Palaeolithic timekeepers looking at the Golden Gate of the ecliptic; The lunar cycle and the Pleiades in the cave of La-Tete-du-Lion (Ardeche, France) - 21,000 BP

Authors
Citation
Ma. Rappengluck, Palaeolithic timekeepers looking at the Golden Gate of the ecliptic; The lunar cycle and the Pleiades in the cave of La-Tete-du-Lion (Ardeche, France) - 21,000 BP, EARTH MOON, 85-6, 2001, pp. 391-404
Citations number
48
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Space Sciences
Journal title
EARTH MOON AND PLANETS
ISSN journal
0167-9295 → ACNP
Volume
85-6
Year of publication
2001
Pages
391 - 404
Database
ISI
SICI code
0167-9295(2001)85-6:<391:PTLATG>2.0.ZU;2-F
Abstract
Decades of research work done by several scientists all over the world sinc e the beginning of the 20th century confirmed the idea, that Palaeolithic m an looked up to the starry sky and recognized prominent patterns of stars a s well as the course of the celestial bodies. Though sometimes highly specu lative, the investigations made clear, that time-factored notations played an important role in the archaic cultures of Palaeolithic epochs (from 33,0 00 to 10,000 BP).* There are some distinct and detailed examples of lunar-, solar- and lunisol ar-calendars sometimes combined with pictures of seasonality, mostly discov ered on transportable bones and stones, but also on the fixed walls of cert ain caves. The investigations showed that in Palaeolithic epochs time-recko ning, in particular the lunar cycle, had been related to the pregnancy of w omen too (Figure 2a-d).** Recently I showed, that in the Magdalenian time (16,000-12,000 BP) man also recognized single and very complex star patterns, including the Milky Way: the Northern Crown in the cave of El Castillo (Spain), the Pleiades in the cave of Lascaux (France) and the main constellations of the sky at the sam e location.*** They were used by the Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers for orientation in spac e and for time-reckoning. These star patterns also played an important role in the cosmovisions of archaic cultures. Together with the depictions of t he course of the moon and the sun, they helped to organize the spatiotempor al structure of daily and spiritual life of Palaeolithic man. Now I present a rock panel in the cave of La-T(e)te-du-Lion (France) that s hows the combination of a star pattern - Aldebaran in the Bull and the Plei ades - with a drawing of the moons cycle above. This picture comes from the Solutrean epoch ca 21,000-22,000 BP. It shows not only a remarkable simila rity with the representation in the Lascaux cave, but clearly connects the star pattern with a part of the lunar cycle.