The oldest portrait of a male was a hand print found in the French Chauvet cave!

July 3, 2009

The world's oldest hand print was found in the Chauvet cave in France.

Take a look at the world’s oldest handprint!

The Chauvet cave in the south-east of France contains the oldest known cave paintings in the world. The most common themes in cave paintings are large wild animals, such as bison, horses, aurochs, and deer… and tracings of human hands!

Interestingly, the Chauvet cave is also known for containing the world’s oldest handprint: see the picture above. Looking at the details: the short pointer finger and the very long ring finger + pinky indicate that like this is the handprint of a male person.

The largest collection of cave handprints is found in another French cave: the ‘Gargas cave‘ in the French Pyrenees – which has become know as the ‘cave with the missing fingers’. For, many of the 231 handprints in this cave have one or more missing fingers (see the picture below) – likely this was the result of some sort of ‘sign language’ of hand gestures.

“The handprint to the right is a cave painting drawn 32,000 years ago and is the oldest portrait of man. On the walls of Chauvet Cave in southern France, the artist used the technology of his day, tinted charcoal dust blown through a straw, to create a simple, yet powerful icon of human-ness. This image captures the essence of human-centered computing. Much like the Paleolithic beings, we still use technology to relate to, understand and depict the world around us, still trying to say “I am here. I am human.”

Sign language from the Gargas cave: one of more fingers are often missing.

In 2007 a ‘wall of celebrity handprints‘ was created in the US – the hand prints were sold afterwards for charity; and in the same year the book ‘celebrity handprints‘ was published – including the hand prints of a few dozens of UK celebrities.

Evolutionary hand analysis!
Males vs. Females: sexe differences in the hand!


4 Responses to “The oldest portrait of a male was a hand print found in the French Chauvet cave!”

  1. Daniel Says:

    The hand has facinated humans forever
    It features as one of the greatest symbols of humanity.
    Every mainstream religion features it in high regard
    I don’t believe the Chauvet caves are the oldest images of human hands
    Once again the euocentric paradigm strikes again
    I have an image of a human hand print that will prove to be 10s if not 100s of thousandsof years earlier
    I’m happy to supply images or have the artifacts scrutinized or scientifically studdied

  2. […] paintings there are quite a lot of hand prints; one of those hand prints became known as ‘the oldest portrait of man‘ – made c.32.000 BC! The oldest portrait of man – a 32.000 year old hand print found in […]

  3. This is perhaps the most fantastic and valuable find yet to date, that some 30 millennia ago the hominid could in fact paint such wonders; it’s almsot unbelievable that Man was that modern and perceptive so many, too many eons ago…

    You sould read my Cold War trilogy on my Website, 3 vols., over 3000 pages; plus the story book; read under “contact” on my academic Website, OK.

    Warmest regards,
    prof. Cutter

  4. […] French argeologists found last summer the ‘oldest’ portrait in the history of mankind in French caves (from 32,000 years ago), recently archeologists have […]

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