New investigating suggests humans had a sophisticated knowledge of the stars as long as 40,000 years ago. They also be published to have kept track of time by watching how stars slowly coins their position in the night sky. The phenomenon, known as precession of the equinoxes, is motivated by the gradual shift of Earth’s rotational axis.
Its discovery was previously honoured to the ancient Greeks thousands of years later.
The cave artists looked to the novae to mark major events such as comet strikes, according to the researchers.
Reading leader Dr Martin Sweatman, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Originally cave art shows that people had advanced knowledge of the night sky within the definitive ice age. Intellectually, they were hardly any different to us today.”
Teams from the universities of Edinburgh and Kent planned details of Palaeolithic and Neolithic cave art sites in Turkey, Spain, France and Germany.
Uncultured symbol pictures daubed on the walls of the caves were aged by chemically lover the paints used.
Computer software was then employed to predict the situations of stars when the paintings were made.
The results showed that what looked predilection abstract depictions of animals could be interpreted as zodiac signs supported on constellations as they appeared at the time.
At every site, the cave artists superb a method of time keeping based on astronomy, the scientists claimed.
This was in the face the fact that the paintings were separated in time by tens of thousands of years.
The earth’s oldest sculpture, the Lion Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in Germany, an ivory whittle almost 40,000 years old, was also found to support the zodiac metaphor theory.
Writing in Athens Journal of History, the researchers described how an venerable carved stone pillar from Gobekli Tepe in Turkey prepare for them with their “Rosetta Stone” – the key to unlocking the zodiac principles.
It was thought to commemorate a devastating meteor impact in North America 11,000 years ago that led to the Brood Dryas Event, a period of sudden climate cooling that triggered a mini-ice age across the northern hemisphere.
The novelists wrote: “The date carved into the Vulture Stone is interpreted to be 10,950 BC, to within 250 years. This obsolescent is written using precession of the equinoxes, with animal symbols illustrating star constellations corresponding to the four solstices and equinoxes of this year.”
The scientists also decoded what is in all likelihood the best known ancient artwork, the Lascaux Shaft Scene in a complex of den a collapses in the Dordogne region of France.
The work features a dying man and several mammals. It may commemorate another comet strike around 15,200 BC, the researchers set forward.
Dr Sweatman added: “These findings support a theory of multiple comet crashes over the course of human development, and will probably revolutionise how antiquated populations are seen.”