The Ice Age cave paintings in Europe have a hidden meaning. Certain dots and other markings contained in the paintings seemed to mean something. What could it be? What was discovered is that there is an important relationship between the cave paintings and the moon.
British antiquarian and furniture conservator Ben Bacon discovered this. The markings are related to lunar cycles and the reproductive life of animals. This archaeology buff explained his theory to Durham University and University College London. He set about looking for repeating patterns.
Lines and dates
In particular, he examined a “Y” sign that appears in some paintings. Together with scholars, he analyzed the birth cycles of similar present-day animals. They deduced something surprising about the number of marks in the cave paintings. It is a record, by lunar month, of the animals’ mating seasons. The team’s findings were published in the Cambridge Archeological Journal.
These markings are found on more than 600 Ice Age images from across Europe. They are sequences of dots, lines, and other markings. They appear alongside representations of species such as reindeer, wild horses, fish, bison.
“It was surreal to sit in the British Library and slowly decipher what people were saying 20,000 years ago. The hours of hard work were certainly worth it,” Bacon confessed.
“The results show that Ice Age hunter-gatherers were the first to use a systematic calendar. They recorded information about major ecological events,” he confirmed.
Humans like us
“Ice Age hunter-gatherers did not simply live in their present. They recorded memories of the time when past events occurred. They used them to anticipate when similar events would occur in the future.”
University College London professor Tony Freeth was another expert the amateur approached with his hypothesis. “I was surprised when Ben came to me with his idea. The number of dots or lines on the animals represented the lunar month of key events in the animals’ life cycle.” The relationship between the cave paintings and the moon was finally revealed.
“Our ancestors resemble us much more than we thought. These people, separated from us by many millennia, are suddenly much closer,” Bacon noted.