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Rock paintings can actually be sophisticated star maps



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If you thought that prehistoric rock art was only traces of hunting scenes, you must think again. Latest research suggests that some of the oldest rock paintings in the world were ancient representations of astronomy.

Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Kent studied details of drawings in caves in Turkey, Spain, France and Germany exhibiting various animal symbols. They claim that all have used the same method to keep time using sophisticated astronomy, even though the art has been drawn at different times over tens of thousands of years.

"Early rock art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky during the last ice age. Intellectually, they were hardly different from us today. These results support a theory of multiple impacts on comets during human development and are likely to revolutionize the way prehistoric populations are perceived, "said Martin Sweatman of the University of Edinburgh. in a report.

Some of the oldest rock paintings in the world have revealed how ancient peoples have relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Animal symbols represent constellations of stars in the night sky and are used to mark dates and events such as comet strikes, according to an analysis of the University of Edinburgh . (Credit: Alistair Coombs)Alistair Coombs / University of Edinburgh

This is not the first time that historians have suggested that rock art could be related to astronomy. Researchers have previously discovered that the Gobekli Tepe stone carvings in Turkey could be interpreted as a memorial of a comet strike of about 11,000 BC. AD which had initiated a mini-age of ice.

For this study, the researchers used the chemical date of the paintings to age many examples of rock art and then compared them to the positions of the stars in ancient times. They discovered that animal images could have been used to represent constellations and mark events such as comet strikes and important dates.

If they are correct, these images also prove that the ancient peoples understood an effect caused by the progressive displacement of the axis of rotation of the Earth, called the precession of the equinoxes, discovery previously attributed to the Greeks of the time.

Astronomical knowledge could have helped these prehistoric peoples navigate the oceans, changing our understanding of how humans have migrated around the world.

L & # 39; study has been published in the Journal of History of Athens.

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If you thought that prehistoric rock art was only traces of hunting scenes, you must think again. Latest research suggests that some of the oldest rock paintings in the world were ancient representations of astronomy.

Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Kent studied details of drawings in caves in Turkey, Spain, France and Germany exhibiting various animal symbols. They claim that all have used the same method to keep time using sophisticated astronomy, even though the art has been drawn at different times over tens of thousands of years.

"Early rock art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky during the last ice age. Intellectually, they were hardly different from us today. These results support a theory of the multiple impacts of comets during human development and are likely to revolutionize the way prehistoric populations are perceived, "Martin Sweatman of the University of Edinburgh said in a statement.

Some of the oldest rock paintings in the world have revealed how ancient peoples have relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. Animal symbols represent constellations of stars in the night sky and are used to mark dates and events such as comet strikes, according to an analysis of the University of Edinburgh . (Credit: Alistair Coombs)Alistair Coombs / University of Edinburgh

This is not the first time that historians have suggested that rock art could be related to astronomy. Researchers have previously discovered that the Gobekli Tepe stone carvings in Turkey could be interpreted as a memorial of a comet strike of about 11,000 BC. AD which had initiated a mini-age of ice.

For this study, the researchers used the chemical date of the paintings to age many examples of rock art and then compared them to the positions of the stars in ancient times. They discovered that animal images could have been used to represent constellations and mark events such as comet strikes and important dates.

If they are correct, these images also prove that the ancient peoples understood an effect caused by the progressive displacement of the axis of rotation of the Earth, called the precession of the equinoxes, discovery previously attributed to the Greeks of the time.

Astronomical knowledge could have helped these prehistoric peoples navigate the oceans, changing our understanding of how humans have migrated around the world.

The study was published in the Journal of History of Athens.


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