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Homo erectus handprint found in Austria


A 500,000-year-old ochre Homo erectus handprint has been found in Austria on a hammerstone.

The hammerstone user was right-handed and the resulting curved trace of colour on the stone was caused by trituration (the process for reducing particle size of a substance by grinding) of ochre with liquid, showing Homo erectus was undoubtedly using this as a form of paint at the site of Lehberg.

Constant use of the hammerstone in the same way and for the same purpose allowed the ochre particles to become ingrained along the same point where the hand would have rubbed against the stone.

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Story: Past Horizons | Photo: A. Binsteiner

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