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At Mind Matters News: Do cave paintings from 20,000 years ago show symbolic writing?

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In an article in the Cambridge Archeological Journal, researchers say they’ve deciphered the dots and Y’s among the animal paintings

Of the 800 sequences of dots analyzed, no sequence contained more than 13 dots, which suggested to the researchers the 13 months of the lunar year. They also “ found strong correlations between the number of marks and the lunar months in which the specific animal is known to mate.” (LiveScience) The frequent “Y” sign was, they believe, connected to giving birth: …

Naturally, other researchers are not convinced.

Note: The find challenges the idea that human consciousness underwent a long, slow evolution in recent millennia. It was mainly our technology that evolved.

2 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Do cave paintings from 20,000 years ago show symbolic writing?

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    From the Great Courses

    World Heritage Sites: Exploring the World’s Greatest Places

    Lecture 1 – Paleolithic Cave Art of Spain and France

    In this first lecture, discover the oldest paintings in the world, in the extraordinary cave art of Altamira, Lascaux, and Chauvet. Explore details of the imagery, principally depicting large animals, taking in the richness and sophistication of the artwork. Contemplate the mysteries of what the paintings mean and how they show us the cognitive tools on which human civilization was built.

    I forget whether there was anything that could be writing. Definitely lots of symbols.

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    FYI, here’s a TED Talk on this very subject . . .

    Why are these 32 symbols found in caves all over Europe | Genevieve von Petzinger


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