IPFS News Link • Anthropology

Children of the Ice Age

• arclein

The sun rises on the Palaeolithic, 14,000 years ago, and the glacial ice that once blanketed Europe continues its slow retreat. In the daylight, a family begins making its way toward a cave at the foot of a mountain near the Ligurian Sea, in northern Italy. They're wandering across a steppe covered in short, dry grasses and pine trees. Ahead, the cave's entrance is surrounded by a kaleidoscope of wildflowers: prickly pink thistles, red-brown mugworts, and purple cornflowers. But before entering, this hunter-gatherer family stops to collect the small, thin branches of a pine tree. Bundled together, covered with resin and set alight, these branches will become simple torches to illuminate the cave's darkened galleries. The group is barefoot and the path into the cave is marked by footprints in the soft earth and mud. There are traces of two adults, a male and female, with three children: a three-year-old toddler, a six-year-old child, and an adolescent no older than 11. Canine p