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Palaeontology

Cave art could depict cataclysmic events

By T.K. Randall
November 28, 2018 · Comment icon 13 comments



Do Neolithic cave paintings depict comet impacts ? Image Credit: NASA
Early human cave paintings dating back thousands of years could depict more than just hunting scenes.
In a new study, researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Kent conducted a detailed analysis and comparison of Neolithic cave paintings found at sites all across the world.

Their findings indicated that, far from depicting simple hunting scenes, these images - which include animals such as bulls and lions - may in fact be references to the signs of the zodiac.

This in turn suggests that the people of the time kept a keen eye on the heavens.

"Early cave art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky within the last Ice Age," said co-author Martin Sweatman, a chemical engineer from the University of Edinburgh.
Some cave paintings, such as those at Lascaux in France, could even depict major cataclysmic events that were thought to have occurred during the last Ice Age.

Such depictions are not unheard of; recently decoded stone carvings at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey are thought to refer to a major comet strike that occurred 13,000 years ago.

It is possible that other Neolithic art pieces could similarly reference significant events in history.

"These findings support a theory of multiple comet impacts over the course of human development, and will probably revolutionise how prehistoric populations are seen," said Sweatman.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (13)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
We're about to get carpet bombed! 
Comment icon #5 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
Its not astronomy as Science as in Modern Science or Astronomy, its just saying people has been star gazing for a long time. I don't think comet 'strikes' means what it is defined as today, a comet streaking across the night sky was as good as a any stroke to the old stargazers in ancient China I don't know where they they dug up that hoary number of 100.000 years though, maybe its just hedging the bet just in case Gobekli turns up more unexpected surprises. ~
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever 4 years ago
"Early cave art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky within the last Ice Age,"  ugh, always sticks in my craw a bit when academics act surprised that pre-agricultural humans had any type of knowledge, as if we were all just knuckle dragging up until 4 or 5 thousand years ago. Yes, they had knowledge of something they looked at every single night for their entire lives. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Tatetopa 4 years ago
Two Neanderthals meet at a mammoth kill.   "Whats your sign dude? "  "Lion-man,  Whats yours man?"  "Aurochs, with plesippus rising.". I have no trouble believing our ancient ancestors had some knowledge of astronomy and time keeping.  I am reaching for the connection between animals and constellations. I'll keep an open mind.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Gecks 4 years ago
Totally agree. They dont seem to be able to move past the stereotype do they that early man just grunted and clubbed a bride and dragged them off.   
Comment icon #9 Posted by Tatetopa 4 years ago
I agree.  I thinkpossible  calendar sticks with moon phases have been found.   No doubt they knew the movement of the stars.  The part about comets might be conjecture.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
Are you trying to say that there was no comet 13000 years ago? The impacts of this event were pretty widespread and devastating  to not have happened. The point is the painting may depict it. Not that it's the basis of our evidence.
Comment icon #11 Posted by NCC1701 4 years ago
What have these scientist been smoking?
Comment icon #12 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
I was curious (and still is, truth be told) about these little 'handbags' across the top carved on the monoliths at Gobekli ~   ~ Doesn't it remind anyone of those curious little 'handbags' carried by those Apkallu back in old Babylon ?   ~ Coincidence or Fashion of the GOds ? ~
Comment icon #13 Posted by Eldorado 4 years ago
I thought those were big cans of beer.  Or rather, pails of beer.  Pail ale.  lol


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