Saturday, August 11, 2018


Dying Man panel, Lascaux Cave,
France. Public Domain.

Another supposed star map painted in Lascaux Cave, France, is found at the bottom of the shaft in Lascaux Cave. It is the panel known as the "Dying Man." On April 28, 2009, I wrote here in RockArtBlog WHY DO WE BELIEVE THIS? #2, THE DYING MAN IN LASCAUX CAVE. Then on July 9, 2011, I wrote THE "S-WORD", SHAMANISM - OR, THE DYING MAN IN LASCAUX REVISITED. In both of these I discussed possible meanings of that enigmatic painted panel. At the time I wrote these I had not run across the theories of Dr. Michael Rappenglueck. Not only has Dr. Rappenglueck identified the great bull panel of Lascaux as a star map of the Pleiades and Taurus, the Dying Man panel has been identified as a representation of the asterism known as the Summer Triangle.

I wrote about my doubts in Rappengluck's identification of the bull panel as the constellation Taurus on August 4, 2018, in my column titled ARE LASCAUX CAVE PAINTINGS ENCODED PALEOLITHIC STAR CHARTS? This week I am expressing even more doubt with the identification of the Dying Man panel.

Summer Triangle outlined,
Dying Man panel, Lascaux
Cave, France. treeofvisions.
Public Domain.

"According to Dr. Rappengluck, these outlines form a map of the sky with the eyes of the bull, birdman, and bird representing the three prominent stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair. Together these stars are popularly known as the Summer Triangle and are among the brightest objects that can be picked out high overhead during the middle months of the northern summer. Around 17,000 years ago, this region of sky would never have set below the horizon and would have been especially prominent at the start of spring. "It is a map of the prehistoric cosmos," Dr. Rappengluck told BBC News Online. "It was their sky, full of animals and spirit guides."" (Whitehouse 2000)

Summer Triangle star chart,
ualr.ed, Public Domain.

This identification is even shakier than the previous one because he cannot point to the subject matter to say that it supports his identification. He is merely adopting three features of the panel and declaring that they represent the Summer Triangle, but at least that gets around my argument that we cannot know whether Paleolithic peoples of Europe recognized constellations as animals in the sky, and even if they did we cannot know what animals they believed they saw.

Summer Triangle.,
Public Domain.

I still am not convinced that the people would have gone deep underground to paint star charts when all they had to do to see them was look up at night. I get the "secret knowledge" argument, I just don't agree with it.

And why their eyes, why not their assholes. OK, I'll admit that the spacing is different and that is even less likely, but I think you ought to get my point. Rappenglueck is basing this designation on way too many assumptions, with no proof for any of them. And if there is anything we don't need in the study of rock art it is these wild theories with no proof backing them. The next thing we know someone will come out with theories of rock art being produced by ancient aliens. Wait a minute, that has already been done too.

NOTE: Some images in this posting were retrieved from the internet with a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on this report you should read the original at the site listed below.


Whitehouse, David
2000 Ice Age Star Map Discovered, 9 August 2000,

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