“Twenty or 30 years ago, there was a view that Europe was really the place where all the big action was taking place – wonderful painted caves 30,000-35,000 years ago, and people decorating their bodies.
We now know that this behaviour goes back far further in Africa; it goes back to 100,000 years, perhaps even more than 100,000 years.
People were starting to express social identity in completely new ways. And there is a view that this behaviour is linked with complex language. So, it may indicate these people were communicating in a fully modern way.”