3Lecture 2Early Humans and PlantsThere are indications that our ancestors increasingly interacted with plants. The actual evidence has been rare and ephemeral because of the perishability of plant forms. Consequently most of what we know of the past involves corroboration from durable material such as arrowheads and spear points emphasizing activity of males in the hunt, ignoring other members of the tribe such as woman, children, and the elderly. However there is Stone Age evidence of plant material. In burial sites 60,000 years ago, a high incidence of pollen associated with skeletons suggests flowery funerals. Paleolithic representations of plants are scarce but one cave wall painting, 18,000 years ago shows what may be the first representation of a plant, a Pa-leolithic image of plants has been found etched on a reindeer horn, and images of plants have been found drawn on pottery dating to 7000 years ago (Neolithic period) along with birds and humans holding hands and dancing (Fig. 2-6).
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Lascaux, paleolithic cave paintings, Stone Age evidence, cave wall painting