Prehistoric rock carvings may have been the first cartoons in history, new study suggests

The world’s oldest moving pictures may not come from the late 19th century, but rather from thousands of years earlier: Pictures of ancient animals carved onto flat stones tens of thousands of years ago were deliberately placed around fires so they would look animated in the flickering firelight , a new study suggests.

Creating such animated carvings might have been a popular prehistoric activity as a family group sat around a fire. And at least some of the wall paintings and carvings found in ancient caves might also have been influenced by their appearance in the moving light and shadows of flames, the study suggests.

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