Saturday, August 4, 2018

ARE LASCAUX CAVE PAINTINGS ENCODED PALEOLITHIC STAR CHARTS?

                   

Lascaux Cave, France, showing the
supposed star chart panel of Taurus
the Bull, www.twiggietruth.com,
Public Domain. 

Another shaky theory has come to my attention recently. It is a reincarnation of the idea that the paintings in Lascaux cave contain encoded star charts.

"In recent years, new research has suggested that the Lascaux paintings may incorporate prehistoric star charts. Dr. Michael Rappenglueck of the University of Munich argued that some of the non-figurative dot clusters and dots within some of the figurative images correlate with the constellations of Taurus, The Pleiades and the grouping known as the summer triangle." (ancient-wisdom.com)


Lascaux Cave, France, showing the
supposed star chart panel of Taurus
the Bull, clarensnews.co.za,
Public Domain.

"Near to the entrance of the Lascaux cave complex is a magnificent painting of a bull. Hanging over its shoulder is what appears (to us) to be a map of the Pleiades, the cluster of stars sometimes called the Seven Sisters. Inside the bull painting, there are also indications of spots that may be a representation of other stars found in that region of the sky. Today, this region forms part of the constellation of Taurus the bull, with the remarkable suggestion of a direct transfer of information for over 17,000 years." (ancient-wisdom.com)


Lascaux Cave, France, showing the
supposed star chart panel of Taurus
the Bull, truth-zone.net,
Public Domain.

My first problem with this idea is that we have no idea whether people at this stage of cultural development had the concept of the stars making pictures of large animals in the sky (I am not saying they didn't, I am just saying we don't know either way). Although Rappenglueck might assume it, there is no proof. We do know that many thousands of years later the Sumerians had that concept, they left us written records, we just do not know how much farther back it went.

"The history of astronomy - begins with the Sumerians who developed the earliest writing system - known as cuneiform - around 3500-3200 BC. The Sumerians developed a form of astronomy that had an important influence on the sophisticated astronomy of the Babylonians. Babylonian astronomy focused on a select group of stars and constellations known as ziqpu stars. During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Babylonian astronomers developed a new empirical approach to astronomy. They began studying philosophy dealing with the ideal nature of the universe and began employing an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems." (wikipedia)


Lascaux Cave, France, showing the
supposed star chart panel of Taurus
the Bull, thehiddenrecords.com,
Public Domain.

My second problem with this idea is the assumption that their constellations would have been the same as ours. Yes, Rappenglueck apparently can find enough spots and dots in the paintings of Lascaux to roughly approximate some of our historically dedicated constellations. And yes, he can overlay our star pattern for the constellation that we designate as Taurus, the bull, over the forepart of a painted aurochs, but who is to say that the painters of Lascaux thought of those stars as making a bull at all. Perhaps they were part of a great constellation they recognized as a mammoth, a wooly rhinoceros, or maybe the Great Ground Squirrel. Perhaps that bull is just a picture of a bull after all.


A modern star chart showing
Taurus, Orion, and the Pleiades.

And third, I am not comfortable with the concept of people heading underground to study the constellations in the sky. Why aren't they just out looking up at the sky? I get the whole "secret knowledge" thing, I just don't agree. I think that this explanation is way overused. It is trotted out to explain almost anything that there is not an obvious explanation for - and again there is no proof.

Rappenglueck certainly did not originate these theories, fringie elements have propounded this for some time, he has just tried to make them academically respectable. In all fairness, I feel I should say that this might even be correct, but even if it is there is not yet enough proof to make these claims. I can understand why the press jumps on these kinds of theories - secret knowledge of the ancients - sexy stuff. But why do scholars go along with this?

NOTE: 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 these reports you should read the originals at the sites listed below.

REFERENCES:

https://www.ancient-wisdom.com/francelascaux.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_astronomy#Old_Babylonian_astronomy

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