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Had the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (figure 1) turned his hand to neuroscience rather than abstract art, he may well have been able to shed some light on an intriguing ivory artefact discovered in the Upper Palaeolithic site of Eliseevitchi, nestled between Kiev and his hometown of Moscow. The 21 000-year-old mammoth tusk is the subject of a fascinating article for JNNP by GD Schott,1 who argues that the piece presents something of a puzzle for archaeologists and neuroscientists, for there appears no convincing conclusion as to the origin of the intricate hexagonal pattern etched on the tusk's surface.
There is consensus that the …
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