Complex astronomy is evident in the 40,000-year-old rock sculptures. Experts recently discovered that ancient drawings were not symbols of prehistoric animals but are star charts.
“Early cave art shows that humans had advanced knowledge of the night sky during the last ice age.”
Scientists have shown that humans had complex knowledge about constellations and stars over 40,000 years ago. Scientists have discovered that ancient people were able to track time by studying how stars move around in the sky.
It was thought that ancient artifacts found throughout Europe depict wild animals. The animal symbols are actually constellations of stars from the night sky. A University of Edinburgh study explains that they mark dates by marking events like asteroid strikes.
Scientists assume that ancient people perfectly understood the effect caused by a gradual change in the Earth’s axis of rotation. This phenomenon is known as the precession or equinoxes. It was originally discovered by the ancient Greeks.
“These findings support the theory of numerous cometary impacts throughout human history and could revolutionize the study of prehistoric populations.”
Experts from Kent and Edinburgh have studied cave art from Turkey, Spain and France.
Scientists have chemically dated the paints used in ancient times to establish the age cave art.
The scientists used computer programs to predict where the stars would be at the time of the creation of the paints. This proved that what was once thought to be abstract representations can now be interpreted as constellations.
Scientists believe that these cave paintings prove ancient people used sophisticated timekeeping techniques based on astronomical calculations. This is despite cave paintings being separated in time by tens to thousands of years.
“The world’s oldest sculpture, the Hochlenstein-Stadel Cave Lion Man, dating from 38,000 BC, has also been found to fit this ancient timekeeping system,” experts reveal in a statement from the University of Edinburgh.
The sculpture was found in 1939 by archaeologist Robert Wetzel, in a cave called Stadel-Hohle, in the Lone Valley of the Swabian Alps. The Lion Man of Hohlenstein Stadel was carved from mammoth ivory, by a sculptor using a simple flint-cutting tool, and stands 11 inches in height (29 cms). It is the largest of all Ice Age sculptures found in the Swabian Jura.
It is believed that the mysterious statuette is dedicated to the catastrophic asteroid impact that occurred about 11,000 years ago and marked the beginning of the so-called Younger Dryad event – a period of a sharp cooling of the climate.
“The date carved on the statuette is interpreted as 10,950 BC, with an accuracy of 250 years,” the scientists explain in their study.
“This date is written using the precession of the equinoxes, and the animal symbols represent the stellar constellations corresponding to the four solstices and equinoxes of this year.”
“Intellectually, these ancient people were no different from us today,” says Dr. Martin Sweetman of the University of Edinburgh.
How did these ancient people gain such knowledge about space, the sky, and other things?