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What can we learn from the immensely ancient cave paintings at Lascaux?

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Showing 151-175 of 247 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 5:08:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 11, 2012 5:10:17 AM PDT
Maybe you're right about the Great Flood but they haven't fared well with the cheap air-conditioning
the Frogs jerry rigged.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 5:28:13 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Jerry as in Lewis? Well, that explains everything, dunt it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 5:54:59 AM PDT
Bubba says:
The music is pretty, but the video is painful to watch.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 11:01:52 AM PDT
'probabilist says:

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 1:45:07 AM PDT
'probabilist says:
Hand stencils in the El Castillo Cave in Spain have been dated to be more than 37,000 years old:

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 3:16:21 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Just goes to show you. Anybody with an interest in art is just a Neanderthal anyway. Enlightened people follow hockey.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 3:23:05 AM PDT
Now is this ice hockey "i went to a fight and an ice hockey match broke out" or girly hockey?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 3:49:50 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
The kind that gets you pumped enough to go stick a spear in a charging bison.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 4:15:38 AM PDT
Harry : see if you can catch a rerun of the old TV series " Combat"
then again the Frogs were Lewis' { Jerry that is } biggest fans and i think he complained a few times about their cheap-O air-conditioining too ... meanwhile billions of gourmond Franco-freon mold spores are launchin an underground sortie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 4:33:28 AM PDT
There are a few people who speculate that the painters at Lascaux and elsewhere may have been women. This is based if I remember on a great deal of bias and the size of hand prints found in these locations. But it would make sense - the real men were out charging bison with spears and hockey sticks while the girls stayed at home and did interior decorating. I have to confess to being an arty Neandethal though give me a pencil over a hockey stick but hey, whatever floats your boat.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 4:47:30 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Chemical warfare, eh? Maybe they are German spores?

Oh, ouch. First frogs, then krauts. This thread is turning me into a Neanderthal.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 5:00:30 AM PDT
Allan says:
Missed a couple of pages on this thread so this may already have been posted. Seems our cave painters may have been even smarter than we thought. Have not been able to find any updates and I know Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez's research was not completed due to lack of funds (and interest?_

I recently saw an unconnected documentary which suggested these paintings included artwork which could be interpreted as the phases of the moon which may show these people had a sound understanding of at least some aspects of astronomy or at least connected the phases of the moon with the seasons.

It brought back to mind (not that it was far off) the following:
Welcome to the site of Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez, independent researcher, PhD in Humanities, Anthropologist, Ethno-astronomer and psychologist
This site presents the main results obtained during fifteen years of investigations. First, since 1992, it was the Vallée des Merveilles, a site full of cave engravings from the Chalcolithic period and from the Ancient Bronze Age, located in the Maritime-Alps. Later, starting from 1998, a study of the caves and Paleolithic ornamented shelters in France (Ornamented caves and shelters Atlas), and other different caves recently discovered.
My works belong to the Archeoastronomy and ethno-astronomy domains. Through several studies together with geographical and astronomical orientation measurements made in the field, which were later related with the specific celestial coordinates of each period, these disciplines succeeded to establish the observations and celestial knowledge achieved by the human groups that created the works founded in the site.
About archeoastronomy:
My researches tend to prove that as well as the Paleolithic works date from 35000 years ago (the Blanchard shelter bone in Sergeac en Dordogne), the works founded in the Vallée des Merveilles show precise and meticulous observations of the solar, lunar and stellar cycles. They reveal unsuspected astronomical knowledge in periods as ancient as the Aurignacienne era. All this knowledge was indispensable for the survival of Occidental Europe's first habitants. It allowed them, for example, to anticipate season changes with the deriving modifications in their vital environment as animal migration.
However, beyond that, these parietal works, furniture, caves, could reveal the link between the sequence of seasonal celestial cycles and the foundational myths of the Indo-European civilizations, myths that we will find later in ancient Egypt or in Mesopotamia, Greece, Etruria and more.

Allan: IIRC the caves were selected from a much larger number on the basis that the sun shone right into them at the winter solstice.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 5:02:05 AM PDT
Allan says:
''This thread is turning me into a Neanderthal.''

I rather suspected you might be one of those who do indeed have Neanderthal genes, Harry.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 7:13:23 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Explains the eyebrows, anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 7:48:57 AM PDT
What I don't get is the reference to the Bronze Age. The earliest evidence of bronze goes back only to around 3500 B.C.E. which is a far cry from the Chalcolithic and 35000 B.C.E.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 3:10:35 PM PDT
Allan says:
All I think it means is that this area had remains indicating it had been occupied, perhaps continuously(?), for 30,000+ years, Franklin.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 6:59:20 PM PDT

Posted on Jul 14, 2012 3:54:37 AM PDT
'probabilist says:
The Vezere river curves among limestone hills covered by forest. At its lower reaches, just before it flows into the Dordogne, a large number of caves inhabited by Palaeolithic man were discovered. ...

Southern France and northern Spain were the territories where the new conqueror, Homo sapiens, created a civilization later called the Franco-Cantabrian culture. It developed in th early Palaeolithic, also named the 'reindeer' era. From the mid-Palaeolithic the environment of Lascaux became a real Promised Land, flowing not so much with milk and mead as with the hot blood of animals. Like cities that later grew near the trade routes, the stone-age settlements were founded on the tracks of migrating animals. Every spring, herds of reindeer, wild horses, cows, bulls, bison and rhinoceri crossed this territory to the green pastures of the Auvergne. The mysterious regularity and the blessed lack of memory in the animals, who yearly followed the same trail to certain death, was as miraculous for Palaeolithic man as the Nile floods for the Egyptians.

A powerful supplication for the eternal preservation of the natural order can be read from the walls of Lascaux. ...

- Zbigniew Herbert, in his book
Barbarian In The Garden, pp. 8-9

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 4:47:53 AM PDT
B. Josephson says:
Well, some of the paintings could have been made by women, and some by men. However in most contempary foraging cultures, women usually gather the majority of the food--they are out and about. So I would not say that women spent most of their time at home. That would just be a guess based on 1950's stereotypes of American women.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 12:20:22 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
I saw a guess once, based on size and regularity of bones in archaelogical digs, that the Celtic invasion of Europe may have been the height of human material well-being. I forget the source. But apparently the agricultural methods brought in by these Indo-Europeans, combined with the richness of rivers and coastline and, I suppose, migrating herds, led to the best fed, healthiest humans in history, over many centuries.

But that would have been long after Lascaux. I suppose the relevance is that it echoes Z. Herbert's picture of abundant game in the area.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 7:54:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2012 7:57:35 AM PDT
Actually, Harry, The Indo-European influence in that area and particularly in the British Isles is now thought to have been more in influence than invasion. Though other theories have been proposed, the one still with the greatest credence, I think, has the Indo-European homeland as the steppes of southern Russia in the area of the Caspian sea around 6000 years ago. The Celtic language and culture is one of the off shoots of this and stems from around perhaps around 1000 BCE or so. We now know European beginnings and history through DNA analysis. In the Celtic areas of the British Isles, DNA shows well over 80% and, in Ireland and Wales, approaching 99% paleolithic. The only area in Europe with that concentration is the Basque area, yet the DNA of western Europe (outside Scandinavia) is highly of the same lineage: R1B1.

The idea is that Western Europe and the Isles were populated by people as the ice sheets retreated and herds and edible plants spread north. At the time the Isles were populated there were still land connections, though the sea was also probably an avenue of migration.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 8:02:20 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Franklin -

I thought the Celts inEurope dated back as far as Druidism, so, before 2000 BCE.

Sorry, but I didn't grasp the point: paleolithic means "pre-Celt"? R1B1 is also paleolithic? Was there also settled agriculture before the Indo-Europeans?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 9:05:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2012 9:13:05 AM PDT
Paleolithic = Old Stone Age, which would include the creation of the cave paintings. And, as for the second point, there is controversy over that, but I think the majority opinion would be that agriculture came before the Indo-Europeans. Western agriculture began in the Middle East around 10,000 BCE. It slowly expanded and reached the British Isles around 5,000 years later. Again, it was more by influence and learning than by actual migration of farm folk from the Middle East. There is almost no, if any, Semitic DNA in Europe outside of Jews who have been there since the Diaspora. Druids were the Celtic intellectual and priestly class over most of the "Celtic world," which at it's height covered the British Isles to much of Spain and westward as far as the Ukraine (in a rather narrowing path.) Three Celtic tribes from the invasion of Greece in the 2nd Century BCE ( populated central Turkey and produced what the Romans called the province of Galatia, so St. Paul wrote his letter to a bunch of Hellenized Celts, many of whom, if we are to believe St. Jerome, still spoke a form of Celtic in the 4th Century CE.

Now when you think of Celts, one shouldn't think of a single ethnic people in terms of "blood," but in terms of language and culture. The peoples of western Europe became Celtic. They weren't to begin with. All the languages of Europe, with 6 exceptions (if you include Turkish) are Indo-European derived languages. (Basque, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Lapp, and Turkish are the exceptions.) Basque stands unique, unrelated - so far as we know - to any other language. The others are more or less distantly related, especially Finnish, Estonian and Lapp.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 9:33:08 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Thanks for that. You are a font of interesting stuff. I had heard some of this, but the majority was new to me, especially the Galatians.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 10:55:55 PM PDT
Ankara (Ankyra,) I think is a Celyic word and definitely a small town, I think to the south west, which on old maps is called Bala, which is the same as a town in Wales.
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Initial post:  Jan 11, 2009
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