When the Wadi Sura II cave (also known as the "Cave of Beasts") was discovered in 2002, it was a monumental breakthrough in the anthropological study of humans living in Egypt 8,000 years ago. The cavern is filled with drawings done by our ancient ancestors, offering a window into their lives.
But a recent discovery has made the cave even more intriguing. As it turns out, the decorative handprints on the cave walls, once thought to be made by children, aren`t even human!
In addition to depictions of animals, people, and strange, headless creatures, Wadi Sura II also has handprints scattered all over it.
The prints were previously thought to have been from children, but when archaeologist Emmanuelle Honoré tried to determine what age they were, she concluded that they weren`t human at all.
The palms are too small to belong to a human child, even an infant, and the fingers are way too long. Monkeys and apes were ruled out as well, due to the shape. Who...or what...made these handprints then?
According to Honoré`s hypothesis, it`s possible the prints are the traced hands of reptiles like the monitor lizard or the crocodile.
But why lizard hands? Honoré suggests that these Stone Age people were exhibiting their connection to the natural world.
She says, "Its very challenging for us as researchers to interpret these paintings since we have a culture thats totally different [from the one that created it]."