• AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
    7 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:

    Men and women might have had their fingers deliberately chopped off during religious rituals in prehistoric times, according to a new interpretation of palaeolithic cave art.

    In a paper presented at a recent meeting of the European Society for Human Evolution, researchers point to 25,000-year-old paintings in France and Spain that depict silhouettes of hands.

    In the past, this absence of digits was attributed to artistic licence by the cave-painting creators or to ancient people’s real-life medical problems, including frostbite.

    “There is compelling evidence that these people may have had their fingers amputated deliberately in rituals intended to elicit help from supernatural entities,” said Collard.

    In a paper presented at the European Society conference, they said their latest research provided even more convincing evidence that the removal of digits to appease deities explains the hand images in the caves in France and Spain.

    Collard pointed to rituals still carried out in Mauritius and other places, such as fire-walking, face-piercing with skewers and putting hooks through skin so a person can haul heavy chains behind them.

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