The oldest fingerprint from an Early Modern Human was that of a child found on the 26,000-year-old Venus of Dolní Věstonice ceramic figurine (from the Czech Republic). This 4.4” statue is the oldest known ceramic article yet discovered in the world. More than 140 of these obese, nude, female statuettes have been found.
The very oldest human fingerprint is that of a Neanderthal found on birch bark resin. It was likely used as a glue to help fix a flint point to a wooden shaft some 80,000 years ago in Ice Age Germany.
For me, these traces of humanity trigger images of a small boy helping the shaman move the clay figurine to the fire, and, millennia before, a fierce Neanderthal hunter making a new spear, while imagining the woolly rhino he plans to kill.
Picture by Miroslav Zachoval