25,000 years: the age of the cave paintings of Pech Merle
Pech Merle Cave in southern France and discovered in 1922, contains like all other caves in the region, a lot of figures representing animals and handprints.
It also contains a very unusual human figure. This is a simple drawing of a man lying on the floor, with disproportionately large head and short legs, and a body pierced with spears. It seems to represent a crime. Perhaps it is even a picture of torture.
Human representations in prehistoric art are very rare. There exist only four images of men out of thousands of paintings depicting animals. Although there is no evidence that passionate crimes were committed or that torture was frequent, it should not surprise anyone that it happened and was even represented in rock art.
Pech Merle paintings are around 25,000 years old. It is one of the caves with earliest prehistoric art in France and one of the few that is still possible to visit: a couple of dozens of tourists are admitted every day.