According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, mankind has been keeping track of time using knowledge of the slowly shifting locations of stars since at least 40,000 years ago.
Researchers have discovered evidence in cave paintings around Europe that ancient people were aware of complicated astronomy without the need for modern equipment.
According to the research, artworks uncovered in diverse areas around Europe do not just portray nature, as was previously assumed.
These paintings are thought to be symbolic depictions of constellations in the night sky, according to researchers. In ancient times, these symbols were employed to designate dates and commemorate occurrences such as comet impacts.
The findings were published in the Athens Journal of History, and if confirmed by the scientific community, they will aid in the study of current astronomy for millennia. The ancients, it turns out, were aware of the idea of planetary displacement.
The cave paintings of Lascaux: 17,000 years ago, the painters of Lascaux presented the world with an unrivaled piece of art. Some of the drawings, however, might be depictions of stars seen in the sky by our forefathers during the Magdalenian period, according to a new idea. Such a notion, which has been proven in a number of other Paleolithic caves, fundamentally alters our understanding of archaic rock art.
It demonstrates that the ancients recognized the impact of the Earth’s axis of rotation gradually shifting. The discovery of this phenomenon, known as the precession of the equinox, was traditionally credited to the ancient Greeks, who lived roughly 2,500 years ago.
The researchers deduced two significant events from the cave drawings. They explained that prior interpretations of the artwork at Turkey’s Gobekli Tepe, which interpreted it as a souvenir, were erroneous.
The Gobekli Tepe artwork, according to legend, depicts a cataclysmic comet bombardment of approximately 11,000 BC. This is significant because the comet’s impact is supposed to have triggered the Younger Dryas, a minor ice age.
Researchers go into further detail about the ancient artwork known as the Lascaux Landscape, which was discovered in France. A dying man and various animals are shown in the pictures. This might be a sign of another comet strike approximately 15,200 BC, according to research.
“Early cave art demonstrates that individuals had a sophisticated understanding of the night sky during the previous ice age. “They were barely any different from us now intellectually,” said research leader Martin Sweatman of the University of Edinburgh.
“These data support a premise of several comet impacts throughout the history of human development,” Sweatman said, “and will almost certainly revolutionize how ancient populations are seen.”
The researchers validated these conclusions by comparing the dates of several instances of cave art (as determined by chemical dating of the paints used) to the positions of the cave’s stars in antiquity, as projected by sophisticated algorithms.
The Lion-Man of the Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave, the world’s oldest sculpture, was discovered to suit this ancient timekeeping method as well.
The strange sculpture is said to memorialize the disastrous impact of an asteroid approximately 11,000 years ago, which kicked off the so-called Younger Dryas Event, a period of abrupt global cooling.
“The date etched in the “Vulture Stone of Göbekli Tepe is interpreted as 10,950 BC, within 250 years,” the study’s researchers noted.
“The precession of the equinoxes is used to write this date, with animal symbols signifying celestial constellations.” According to the four solstices and equinoxes of this year.”