YABBA DABBA DOODLE! as a Hoaxer Adds a Bogus Cave Painting to the British Museum, the Mail Offers Its Own Exhibits of Not-So-Primitive Art.

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID THOMAS

VISITORS to the British Museum this week fell victim to a stunt in which a graffiti artist added a hoax exhibit (above) to a display of prehistoric cave paintings. It copied the primitive designs but featured a man pushing a supermarket shopping trolley.

Now the Mail presents its own spoof gallery of 'rock art', revealing the origins of other modern activities-

SPEEDCAM MAN

PRIMITIVE man was obsessed by speed and the African plains were filled with males competing to see whose chariot could go fastest.

They soon became a menace to pedestrians so tribal chiefs hit on an ingenious idea both to combat the danger and fill their treasury.

They hung devices from poles to measure charioteers' speeds and fine them a pot of gold, or even a pair of oxen, if caught exceeding limits laid down in stone.

BARBECUE MAN

ALTHOUGH it took primitive man days to successfully hunt animals for food, many of the kills (such as raw mammoth) tasted disgusting.

The solution was to cook meat on a griddle above a wood or charcoal fire.

After a hard week's hunting, family patriarchs would assemble this 'bar-be-cave' and grill cuts of meat so they were charred black on the outside and raw on the inside.

HOMO GRAFFITUS

THE DEVELOPMENT of writing brought huge benefits to mankind. Sadly, there were drawbacks. Surly adolescents in hooded furs soon discovered cave walls made a perfect surface upon which names, slogans and insults could be painted. Earliest examples of this graffiti include 'Ug luvs Ugga - true!'

and ' Sabretoof tiggaz rool, KO!' Archaeologists are still trying to decode their meaning.

FOOTBALL MAN

ANTHROPOLOGISTS used to believe that primitive ball games showed young males the importance of group activity, teamwork and playing by the rules. However, new research suggests that football was introduced to help teach tribesmen how to cheat, feign injury and launch unprovoked attacks on opponents. The game was also crucial to the development of linguistic structures such as group chanting, protestations of innocence and, of course, obscene and gratuitous abuse.

HOMO GRAFFITUS

THE DEVELOPMENT of writing brought huge benefits to mankind. Sadly, there were drawbacks. Surly adolescents in hooded furs soon discovered cave walls made a perfect surface upon which names, slogans and insults could be painted. Earliest examples of this graffiti include 'Ug luvs Ugga - true!'

and ' Sabretoof tiggaz rool, KO!' Archaeologists are still trying to decode their meaning.

OFF-ROADER WOMAN

THE INVENTION of the wheel heralded enormous social change. But an even bigger upheaval came when the first middleclass cavewoman demanded:'I need a four-wheel drive! It will be perfect to use on the school run for our Cave Kiddies. I don't care how much dirt and dust it kicks up.' The development of what archaeologists called the '4x4' enabled women to stop spending all day gathering nuts and berries. …