Though they have not been dated directly, the flutings in Chamber A1 are considered Palaeolithic, for several reasons: art in the cave is considered to be so; there are line flutings, including zigzags, next to, inside, underneath, and on top of drawn mammoths in other passages of the cave; mammoths are drawn in Chamber A near to A1; and flutings are elsewhere dated to the Palaeolithic.
Without proof, several observers have casually noted the young-person-like impression of the flutings in Chamber A1.
fingers lightly stroked across a surface may produce narrower flutings than those fluted with more pressure, and
he does not appear to have compared his results with measurements of flutings made by living people of different ages to gain a definitive association of widths with ages.
This investigation is part of a research programme that bases its methodology on the flutings themselves (Sharpe 2004; Sharpe & Lacombe 1999; Sharpe et al.
This study assumes that the people who made the flutings were anatomically a similar size to modern people, which we feel is justifiable, given the anatomical studies of Cro Magnon (Delporte 2004; Stringer 1992: 248-51).
The flutings made by fingers F2-F4 (the 3 central digits) were studied.
For the experimental flutings, subjects (of various racial and demographic backgrounds) drew their fingers (held close together) over smoothed clay and the widths of the narrowest point of F2-F4 were measured.
The study relating to possible errors from different pressures (see Table 4) shows the mean widths of the flutings of Fluter 1 and Fluter 2 are 40.