Cro-Magnon man dominated Europe from about 45,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago.  Although they are sometimes considered the first Whites, they are actually only one of three races that gave rise to the white race (the other two being Anatolian farmers and steppe pastoralists).

Draw-A-Man IQ test

Long ago I looked at their cave art, with an emphasis on drawings of people, so I could apply Dale Harris’s revision of the beloved Goodenough Draw-A-Man IQ test.  The first drawing of a man I found was discovered in South-western France and believed to be 17,000 years old.  It’s known as “The Wounded Man”.


The Goodenough Harris Draw-A-Man test has a maximum raw score of 73, but because this drawing depicted the man with the head of a bird, not a human, 13 of the items dealing with features unique to the human head could not be scored, so it ended up with a score of 22/60 which I then prorated to 27/73.

Another mysterious cave painting found in the cavern known as ‘The Sanctuary’ at Trois-FrèresAriègeFrance, made around 15,000 years ago is known as “The Sorcerer”.


Unfortunately this too is a man-animal hybrid, and the animal features made some of the items inapplicable, in this case, the six items dealing with clothing (items #29,#55,#56,#57,#58 and #59), but out of the remaining 67 items, the picture scored 49, which I prorated into a score of 53/73.

Averaging the two drawings together, Cro-Magnon man scored 40/73 on the Goodenough-Harris Draw-A-Man test.  The smoothed mean and standard deviation for U.S. 15-year-olds (considered adult level for the purpose of this test) is 45.2 and 9.83  respectively, so this equates to an IQ of 92 (U.S. norms) or 90 (U.S. white norms).  But because these norms were published in 1963, I originally adjusted for the Flynn effect to determine how they might score by today’s standards, however further research (which I have not yet published) shows Draw-A-Man appears to have no Flynn effect. It may be one of the few genuinely culture reduced tests.

Of course with a sample size of only two people, we can’t be very confident that Cro-Magnon had a mean IQ of 90 (U.S. white norms). But there are two reasons why the figure is quite plausible. First Native Americans have a mean IQ of 92, and like Cro-Magnon man, Native Americans evolved as cold adapted hunter-gatherers so their IQs should be similar.

Second, as Peter Frost recently noted, a new study found that polygenic scores for education (a proxy for IQ) continued to increase even after the Paleolithic by up to half a standard deviation, if the chart below is indicative and half an SD below modern Europe is about 90.