Some of the world's oldest cave paintings have revealed how old people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Artworks, in…
Some of the world’s oldest cave paintings have revealed how old people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy.
Artworks, in places in Europe, are not just depictions of wildlife, as previously thought. On the other hand, animal symbols represent the star constellations in the night sky and are used to represent dates and highlight events as comet attacks, suggests analysis.
They reveal that people, perhaps as far back as 40,000 years ago, kept people on time with the help of knowledge of how the stars of stars gradually change over thousands of years.
The results indicate that ancient people understood an effect caused by the gradual change of the Earth’s axis of rotation. The discovery of this phenomenon, called the precession of the equinoxes, has previously been credited to the ancient Greeks.
About the time that Neanderthals were extinct, and perhaps before humanity settled in Western Europe, people could define dates within 250 years, the study shows.
The findings suggest that the astronomical insights of the ancient people were much larger than previously thought. Their knowledge may have helped navigate in the open garden, with consequences for our understanding of prehistoric human migration.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Kent studied details of paleolithic and neolithic art with animal symbols in places in Turkey, Spain, France and Germany.
They found that all sites used the same method of date management based on sophisticated astronomy, although the art was separated in tens of thousands of years.
Researchers prepared previous findings from a study of stone curves in one of these places ̵
1; Gobekli Tepe in modern Turkey – interpreted as a memorial to a devastating comet strike around 11,000 BC. This strike thought to have initiated a mini-age called the younger Dryas period.
They also decoded what is probably the most famous ancient artwork – the Lascaux Shaft Scene in France. The work, which contains a dying man and several animals, can celebrate another clash strike about 15 200 BC, suggests researchers.
The team confirmed their results by comparing the age of many examples of cave art – known from chemically dating the colors used – with the positions of ancient stars as predicted by sophisticated software.
The world’s oldest sculpture, the Leeuwmann in Hohlenstein-Stadelgrottan, from 38,000 BC, was also found to match this ancient era
This study was published in the Athens Journal of History .
Dr Martin Sweatman, at the University of Edinburgh University of Technology, who led the study, said: “Early cave art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky during the recent Ice Age. Intellectually, they were hardly different to us today.”
“These findings support a theory of multiple comet effects during human development and will probably develop how prehistoric populations are seen. “