Scientists have deciphered the mysterious signs on the rock paintings made tens of thousands of years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — A group of British researchers led by University College London have deciphered the markings on rock paintings made by Ice Age hunters tens of thousands of years ago.

Scholars argue that the markings are evidence of the first use of the lunar calendar and may represent some sort of proto-writing.

Scientists have long known about rock paintings made by people in the distant past throughout Europe.

Previous research has shown that the drawings were made by Ice Age hunter-gatherers who ate mostly the meat of the animals they hunted.

These animals were often depicted on the walls of caves in which people of that time lived.

But one aspect of the rock paintings remained a mystery – some dots and dashes located next to the animals. In a new paper, researchers claim they have finally deciphered these strange marks.

Strange scratches and incomprehensible points

Scientists have deciphered the mysterious signs on the rock paintings made tens of thousands of years ago 2
Strokes and dots are found in many caves throughout Europe

After several years of research, the scientists found that the markings matched the seasonal behaviors of the animals, such as mating or giving birth.

The researchers note that this information was very important to hunters because it helped them predict which animals would be easiest to kill over a given period of time.

The researchers also found that the seasonal information painted on the walls can be broken down into 13 periods (months) that alternate throughout the year according to the lunar calendar.

This, scientists say , is evidence of the first use of the lunar calendar.

Archaeologists have also found that some marks, such as the Y-shaped symbols, contain more specific information, such as the start of the birthing season of the animal depicted, while other marks mark seasonal information, such as the time of snowfall.

The researchers speculate that such a writing system could be interpreted as a means of writing, or perhaps a proto-writing system, which they note would be evidence of Homo sapiens’ earliest form of writing.

In conclusion, scientists write that there is still a lot of work to be done to study wall art – there are still signs that have not been deciphered.


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