The engraving was a serpentine form, made as a series of arcs with nearly parallel lines. It was not notation or an animal image, but it was the oldest intentional engraving ever found. Bordes suggested that I study it by microscope, and I accepted the offer. If my analytic results are correct, they may change our concept not only of the origins of art and symbol making, but also of the intellectual and cultural evolution of Homo sapiens.
The engraved image was made by a man who was not yet fully modern and who had a somewhat smaller brain capacity than Nean¬derthal or Cro-Magnon. Yet the microscope revealed that he had built up a sequential structure and image. He had carved two nearly parallel lines (1), then created an¬other pair of lines in the form of a rough arc attached to the first (2). He repeated the process several times (3). Each double arc or branch was made by a different tool.
This prehistoric artist quite clearly was not doodling. He was slowly accumulating or building up an image, adding one section at a time. He then later added certain signs as associated symbols to his main image, such as a series of angles and sets of tiny double marks.
I could not determine the meaning of this main image, which looks like a snake or a river. But the engraving was certainly inten¬tional, cumulative, and sequential, and the bone had apparently been kept for some time.