Kunstzinnige vingerwijzingen: sporen van paleolithische meisjes en jongens


  • Dick Stapert


Finger marks: traces of Palaeolithic boys and girls. In recent years, forensic research into various categories of Palaeolithic cave art has produced interesting results. Both hand stencils and finger flutings have been shown to be largely products of children. Attempts to determine the sex of the makers have proven to be more difficult. In this paper, the use of the length ratio of the 2nd to 4th digit (F2/F4) is discussed, based on research among 969 Dutch people. Among Dutch women, the mean ratio is 1.00 (St. Dev. 0.04), and among Dutch men 0.98 (St. Dev. 0.04); however, the overlap is huge. It is concluded that the use of this ratio in the case of individual Palaeolithic hand stencils should be approached with caution. Only in quite extreme cases can reliable conclusions be drawn from such measurements. The situation is even less clear-cut when it comes to finger flutings: on the basis of the Groningen database, conclusions about the sex of the makers may be wrong in about 40% of cases.