Many people would not associate prehistoric objects with the history of writing. I was one of them, until I visited the Grotte du Mas-d'Azil in the Midi-Pyrénées, South-west France. There I was shown one of the painted pebbles that led to the term 'embryo writing'., as they were accepted by most scholars to evidence the first hand-made expression - 'Hands off! This pebble belongs to Ig or Ug or even Fred Flintstone'. This obviously aroused my interest and I managed to acquire such a pebble, authenticated by the Musée de la Préhistoire that has a remarkable collection of items found in the cave and well worth a visit. I became interested in the cave paintings (parietal art) and rock engravings (Petroglyphs) and later visited most of the others in France and then those in other parts of the world including Tunisia, India and Australia. The chisel was bought on-line from 'Volutospina' ,an expert in prehistoric tools and verified later by the BM..


  • Volutospina
  • Alan E. Cole