All these suggestions as to the meaning of the flutings are speculative.
Young children aged 2-5 made many of the flutings in the fluted sub-chamber of Chamber A1 in Rouffignac Cave.
Further, the low sections of the ceilings that young children could comfortably flute by themselves usually show few or no flutings.
While the archaeologist ought not to approach flutings with dogmatic ideas as to what they mean, the flutings' illusive meaning should not deter us studying them.
When the occurrence of negative hands, crooked thumb stencils, dots and image-type finger fluting at Les Trois- Freres is compared to the directly dated Gravettian site of Pech-Merle, where all four image types are also present and attributed to this period, it starts to seem more plausible to prove the possibility of an earlier Gravettian date.
List of sites with figure fluting by period and associated dating technique.
The flutings and fingers are very controlled, which is highly unusual for a child of that age, and suggests it was being taught.
Archaeologists have discovered that children were actively helped to express themselves through finger fluting - running fingers over soft red clay to produce decorative crisscrossing lines, zig-zags and swirls.
To date, Bednarik has investigated finger fluting in about 70 Australian and European caves.
Perhaps finger fluting was simply a playful exercise, a form of ancient finger painting, Sharpe suggests.
While Bednarik welcomes the new evidence on youthful finger fluting, he suspects that such marks mimicked visual sensations produced by reactions of the brain in response to prolonged darkness and sensory deprivation deep inside caves.
Stone Age kids at Rouffignac may have translated these visions into finger fluting without adult assistance, Bednarik holds.