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Did modern human language originate from ancient rock art drawn by our primitive ancestors?

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Ancient rock art could be the oldest representation of human language
REMY GABALDA / AFP / Getty Images [19659004] It is believed that human language originated 100,000 years ago, but its evolution over time has always been a mystery.How did Homo sapiens develop the ability to speak and began to write things?

The answer this question remains largely speculative, but Shigeru Miyagawa of MIT believes that ancient caves might be our best chance to understand the development of language skills.

In an article published in Frontier in Psychology, Miyagawa and his team have postulated that the work of art found inside thousands of caves could be the oldest representation of human language.

The group believes that in their day, humans can have used the places where the sound echoed more than the "hot spots" to express those sounds as cave drawings.

This could have been anything from simple stories and sounds produced by his steps to a simple conversation or ritual enchantment, says the researcher.

"I think it's very clear that these artists were talking to each other," says Miyagawa. "It's a community effort."

Researchers postulated the theory after analyzing ancient drawings from 70,000 years ago found in the cave of Blombos in South Africa. They also emphasized that, like human language, ancient cave drawings are also present in different parts of the world, be it Europe, the Middle East or Asia.

Although this is only a working hypothesis, the team believes in ancient cave drawings could help archaeologists understand how humans evolved as symbolic beings and evolved language.

"We could speculate that human language emerged as an abstract symbolic system, while its expression – in the form of rock art, cave art or any other modality – may have occurred very late," said study co-author Vitor Nobrega , to National Geographic.

Some archaeologists say the theory is preposterous, but the group plans to expand the work and explore more cave drawings in the near future. This, as they say, would not only help them understand how ancient works of art could be linked to linguistic terms, but could also pinpoint the exact origin of human language.

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