Thursday, February 18, 2010
Those spectacular cave paintings in France may not have been the most spectacular things in the caves. Particular shapes, mostly simple geometric icons like a semicircle, appear on cave walls over and over again. By an odd coincidence, there are 26 such repeating shapes. Writing is thought to have appeared only about 5,000 years ago: if this set of symbols is in fact a form of written language, it would push that barrier tens of thousands of years into prehistory.