The flutings made by fingers F2-F4 (the 3 central digits) were studied.
For the experimental flutings, subjects (of various racial and demographic backgrounds) drew their fingers (held close together) over smoothed clay and the widths of the narrowest point of F2-F4 were measured.
The width of the flutings may depend on the firmness of the medium and the pressure applied; a fluting in a soft medium may be wider the more pressure applied.
The complex and abstract nature of these markings has led some archaeologists to compare the finger fluting
with early prehistoric markings in southern France and northern Spain.
The direct Gravettian dates from Pech-Merle would be a more credible option, especially when the finger flutings at Pech-Merle are themselves identified as being Gravettian in origin.
While a full reorganisation of the stylistic dating system has yet to be undertaken, below are two case studies, finger fluting and negative hands, showing how this might be accomplished.
Finger fluting is defined as "lines made with fingers drawn over a soft surface" (Sharpe & Van Gelder 2006:281).
They came to the conclusion after uncovering finger flutings at one of the most famous prehistoric decorated caves in France, the complex of caverns at Rouffignac in the Dordogne known as the "Cave of a Hundred Mammoths".
The majority of the drawings are flutings covering the walls and roofs of the many galleries and passages in the complex.
Also evident are thousands of lines - a simple form of art or decoration known as finger flutings - made by people running their hands down the soft surfaces of the walls and roofs of the many galleries and passages that make up the complex.
Some of the children's flutings are high up on the walls and on the ceilings, so they must have been held up to make them or have been sitting on someone's shoulders.
They discuss such matters as abstract and figurative artistic expressions in the Levant, support for a new sky hero from a conquered land, eye and vision in paleolithic art, the oldest representation of childbirth, a diachronic analysis of Santa Claus and the European sky bears, claw marks and ritual traces in the paleolithic sanctuaries of the Quercy, the little-known prehistoric Sardinian figurine The Venus of Macomer, four forms of finger flutings
as seen in France's Fouffignac Cave, a nest of Neanderthal enigma, and evolution and the human capacity.
In Rouffignac Cave, finger flutings cut through pliable red clay to expose hard white limestone underneath.
Soon after the discovery of Rouffignac's finger flutings about 50 years ago, researchers started speculating about the mysterious marks.
At night the trees seemed to creep round the house, and the blackbirds never ceased their flutings
and their startled chuckles and chuggings among the bushes till the first stars came out over the hill.