I just read a remarkable article in The Economist: "Why 15,000-year-old art might have been displayed in firelight." They learned about it from this article. British researchers used computer modeling to discover that limestone plaquettes (slabs about the size of a postcard) excavated in southern France & carved with local animals may have been an attempt at animation - as much as 23,000 years ago. "The interaction of engraved stone and roving fire light made engraved forms appear dynamic and alive... Human neurology is particularly attuned to interpreting shifting light and shadow as movement and identifying visually familiar forms in such varying light conditions."
Isn't that cool? Both the creative genius of our earliest ancestors and the researchers.