The famous Paleolithic cave art that was found in the Lascaux and Chauvet caves in France often depicted drawings of horses. The paintings showed horses in all different coat colors including the distinctive leopard spotting coloration. This horse cave art has also been found in many sites across France's Dordogne-Périgord, Ardèche, and Ariège regions, and the coastal area of Cantabria in Spain.

The prevailing theory had been that these prehistoric cavemen painted what they saw but there were many who argued against this saying that the paintings were most likely symbolic or abstract in nature. The reasoning behind this was that researchers thought it to be highly unlikely that there was a spotted coat for Paleolithic horses.

Recently however, scientists constituting an international team of researchers from the UK, Germany, USA, Spain, Russia and Mexico joined together to genotype and analyze nine coat-color types in 31 wild horses dating as far back as 35,000 years ago. The international team analyzed bone fragments from 15 different locations that included Siberia, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Iberian Peninsula.

What they found from the DNA studies was the evidence that not only were there bay and black horses, but also the leopard complex spotting phenotype was also present at that time resembling some horses of today. Therefore as was quoted by Professor Terry O'Connor from the University of York's Department of Archaeology, who was also involved in the project, " Our research removes the need for any symbolic explanation of the horses. People drew what they saw, and that gives us greater confidence in understanding Paleolithic depictions of other species as naturalistic illustrations."

Responses to "DNA Evidence proves Paleolithic horse cave art was realistic"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Das hat mich schon immer fasziniert....unglaublich und so alt.

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