A few months ago, researchers stumbled upon something really remarkable: a prehistoric art studio hidden deep inside a tiny cave near Cape Town. Within the cave’s walls were abalone shells filled with residue from ancient red pigment, and intricate tools for mixing colorful rock powder with animal fat to create vibrant paint. The 100,000-year-old artist materials are the earliest known evidence we have of humans as painters. It’s eye-opening (and a bit comforting!) to think that amid the constant pressures of survival, our early ancestors still found time to harness their creative juices.
The next time you’re stuck in a moment where creativity seems forced, foreign or fleeting, remember this: humans have always been artists. It’s in your blood and your DNA to be a creative creature. It’s ingrained in us! And if our early ancestors could take time out of their busy community building, hunting and surviving to tap into this innate creativity, there’s no reason we can’t turn our creativity into something special. Thousands of years from now, when the 21st Century is old news, our creative projects could be inspirational artifacts for a whole new generation of artists. We’ve got a legacy to preserve!
- Emily Hubbell
Fascinated by cave art? Pick up Cave Art by Jean Clottes, pictured above.