Astronomy Of Ancient Cave Art

We’ve all seen images of prehistoric cave art. What if I told you primitive cave drawings represent far more than animals? Ponder the possibility they depict astronomical observations.

A paper published on November 2, 2018 by researchers at Edinburgh and Kent Universities in the Athens Journal of History suggest animal symbols represent constellations and document ancient comet strikes.

The Shaft Scene in the Lascaux Caves in France. It’s one of the world’s most famous examples of ancient cave art, featuring a dying man and several animals. Researchers now say artwork might commemorate a comet strike around 15,200 BC. Image via Alistair Coombs.

Researchers carbon dated ancient cave paint, compared their findings with historical star charts and concluded cave paintings up to 40,000 years old represent astronomical awareness.

Pillar 43, Enclosure D, also known as the Vulture Stone of Göbekli Tepe. Image via Martin B. Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis. From

The researchers reinterpreted earlier findings from a study of stone carvings at one of these sites – Göbekli Tepe in modern-day Turkey – which is interpreted as a memorial to a devastating comet strike around 11,000 B.C. This strike was thought to have initiated a mini ice-age known as the Younger Dryas period.”

Until publication of this paper, history credited the Greeks with astronomical recognition of the gradual shift of Earth’s rotational axis, a certainty we call precession of the equinoxes, ( motion of equinoxes along the plan of Earth’s orbit ). New research tells a cosmic tale of an ancient humanity far more sophisticated than we thought possible, ancients who understood the gradual shift of Earth’s rotational axis. People who used this knowledge to track seasons, illustrate astronomical events and navigate intricacies of human migration. That’s worth pondering.


9 thoughts on “Astronomy Of Ancient Cave Art

  1. I’ve posted before my thoughts on that image. I’d very much love to have an official dating of the bison, and of the man figure. Why?

    Because I see the man figure as simply a human touch. I think some ancient humorist, lacking the artistic talents of the guy (possibly even thousands of years?) before him, couldn’t resist adding the man to the bison figure.

    Quite often in the streets we see moustaches added to “Vote for me!” posters of either gender … and rarely matching the artistic qualities of the originals.

    • Obvious answer: ‘cos astronomy is the most accurate clock/calendar—agrarian societies needed to keep track of seasons for their plantings, the annual flooding, etc etc.

      But ‘cranks’ think there’s a lot more to it than just that—however, my advice is don’t go down that track:


      —and if you ever look more closely into it your life may be irretrievably altered (mine certainly was) …

      • I was raised on a northern Alberta homestead and I can assure you of this: farmers don’t give a good goddamn about official calendars and weather prognostication bull. We know when to plant and when to harvest and when to fallow fields. The ancients’ interest in astrology/astronomy had nothing to do with seasons and weather relating to crops. We do need to look way, way, way, deeper and more intelligently than that, and give actual farmers a whole lot more credit than to say they built the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge and such megaliths… to remind themselves that when spring shows up and the land is dry and warm enough it’s time to plant… honestly, what a royal crock.

      • I was raised on a fruit orchard in the Okanagan, my Dad didn’t need astronomy to tell him when to prune, fertilize or distribute bee hives for pollination. That said, ancient observance of astronomy had everything to do with the seasons. Bristling with mythological belief, void of science, they observed astronomical alignments specific to seasonal changes and created festivals to mark them.

  2. It seems that every time someone gets hold of an ancient site they immediately claim “perfect astronomical alignments” to this, that, and the other. It seems that the Great P of Egypt is perfectly square and supremely aligned etc etc … infinitely more so than would ever be required for a mere tomb. Likewise Stonehenge, Gobekli Tepe, and places in Asia and South America.

    So with me it’s not merely “Why so?” but also “How so?” … I post challenges on my own blog but get no response (it’s the blogular equivalent of walking by with hands in pockets, ostentatiously looking at the far horizon and whistling).

    So please, someone, anyone … tell me how that ancients got those eight hundred-plus ton blocks of shaped tone from the quarry at Baalbeck to the Temple of Jupiter … and them dammit, build a blasted temple with them?
    (Millions of willing slaves with loggy rollers and oodles of whips? Why not … and while we’re here you may as well give me next week’s winning Lotto numbers …)

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