High levels of testosterone in our ancient human ancestors may have prevented them from producing art, according to a new study in Current Anthropology.
Anthropologists revel in finding art works from ancient civilizations that have miraculously been preserved over the course of time. Those art works, however, only go back so far. One might think this is simply because that’s the oldest piece of art that made it this long, but there’s a new theory proposed in a new study conducted by Current Anthropology that may tell us otherwise.
The study suggests that the reason for a lack of ancient art past a certain time period may be due to high levels of testosterone in our ancient human ancestors. Researchers have found that about 50,000 years ago there was a “relatively sudden reduction of testosterone-related traits in human skeletal remains” that might have a correlation with the development of art and technology. A reduction in human testosterone levels would have made our ancestors less aggressive and far more agreeable to live with. Researchers believe that this new collective living would have encouraged the rise in technological and artistic development.