New Study of Cave Paintings Say Ancient Man Understood Astronomy
A reinterpretation of one of the world’s most famous primitive cave paintings seems to show our ancient ancestors had a much stronger grasp on astronomy than we’ve given them credit. According to a recent study, cave paintings in France depict animals that represent the constellations, showing the artists who drew them were aware of the precession of the equinoxes — a discovery not thought to have been made before Hipparchus of Ancient Greece.
Of the paintings in question, researchers Martin Sweatman, Ph.D., and Alistar Coombs studied an image titled, “The Shaft,” which portrays a collapsing bird-headed man, a bison eviscerated by a spear, a horse, and a rhinoceros in the Lascaux caves of southern France’s Dordogne region.
In the past, this scene was interpreted as a shamanic ceremony or the scene of a hunt, however the exact meaning has been widely disputed as depictions of men were incredibly uncommon in this era. But according to Sweatman and Coombs’ latest study, the paintings show not only a more primordial understanding of astronomy, but also religion, science, and mathematics.
By comparing radiocarbon dating of paint samples to the position of constellations in the sky when the art was created, the researchers were able to match specific animals with correlating constellations of the solstice and equinox. They used this same method at similar archeological sites, including the ruins of Göbekli Tepe and Catalhöyük, as well as the famous cave art of Chauvet and Altamira.
The two also said they believe the Lascaux paintings commemorate a comet striking Earth, correlating with what they believe to be the cataclysmic impact event that marked the beginning of the Younger Dryas period – evidence of which was recently found in the form of a 19-mile wide crater beneath a Greenland ice sheet.
In addition to these sites, the researchers incorporated the Lion-man figurine from the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in Germany, which dates back 38 thousand BCE and is considered to be the world’s oldest sculpture – they believe it too, may be evidence of zodiacal awareness. Their study was published in the Athens Journal of History.
Like any bold claim made of early humans which challenges long-held archeological timelines, this latest theory has unsurprisingly sparked controversy with some of Sweatman and Coombs’ colleagues who have labeled their method flawed.
According to their model, prehistoric men from the Stone Age discovered the precession of the equinoxes some 36 thousand years before Hipparchus – a bold claim to say the least!
But findings such as this seem to continually piece together disparate pieces of a puzzle that modern archeology has glossed over or ignored entirely. And as Graham Hancock likes to say upon the discovery of new paradigms like this may be, “things just keep getting older.”
For more on the anomalous archeological finds cluing us into our forgotten past, check out this episode of Disclosure with Graham Hancock:
Did The Druids Share a Common Ancestry With Other Ancient Civilizations?
There are few groups in history more enigmatic than those known as the druids. Today there are two neo-druidic sects, whose philosophy centers around a reverence for nature, diversity, and love. These are the often-cloaked people known to perform ceremonies in nature and at megalithic sites such as Stonehenge.
The Druids of antiquity are steeped in legend and folklore, having no written record of who they truly were or where they originally came from. The general consensus holds that they were a highly revered group, with a divine connection to nature and authoritative wisdom that trumped even the highest nobility. They are widely known to be of Celtic origin, but some alternative theories see them as having a common ancestry with ancient Eastern cultures or even one possibly originating in Atlantis.
In ancient times, Druids were known as wise elders who would congregate around oak trees. In fact, the word Druid or Druwid in Celtic translates to oak-knower or “knowing the oak tree,” though little is known what exactly this erudite group was really like. The recorded history of the ancient Druids typically falls into two categories; those that are based on ancient Roman writings, and those based on interpretations of writings seen as distorted Roman propaganda.
The Celtic Druids inhabited the area of Europe once known as Gaul, where they were eventually conquered by the Romans. One of the best-written accounts of the ancient Druids comes from Julius Caesar who described them as civilized, wise, and noble people, with the exception of their alleged ritual human sacrifice. Caesar and Tacitus led the conquering of Gaul and the subsequent persecution of the Druids, viewing them as overly superstitious and having dictatorial control over society.
The Druid religion was said to have sacrificed criminals in a massive wooden effigy, known as a wicker man, which was filled with people and set on fire. Caesar claimed that the Gauls were so consumed by the superstitions of Druidic rituals that they were quick to sacrifice, and would even offer up innocent people if they lacked sufficient criminals. Many contest this image of the Druids as inaccurate and an attempt by Caesar to depict them as a society worth integrating into Roman culture, albeit one that needed civilizing.