A life-size figure of a honeycomb done in red pigment in the Mesolithic period at Dharul. “A gallery of images is often found in rock shelters near honeycombs,” says Gandhirajan. Photo:Kanti Pawar | India has about 5,000 rock art sites, next only to Australia and South Africa, where prehistoric people have recorded life as they saw it, in paintings, engravings and carvings.
First Writing - inscribed ochre fragment, 77,000 ybp, Blombos Cave, South Africa. Because the patterns are highly regular and not random, anthropologists are confident they encode information (Sci Am, Sept 2014). (Not being artists, they failed to account for the thrill of creating simple decoration, that had to arise sometime in the past. TD)