It seems that a scene has been painted on a cave wall more than 15,000 thousand years ago telling the simple story of a hunt falling before a non-selected animal. When reading between the lines, the images could describe something more. Perhaps even astronomical.
The figures shown in the famous prehistoric paintings in Lascaux have been purpose-focused, according to recent artwork analysis. These are not just stories about hunting. They were signs of the Sidon organized to record a significant cataclysmic event.
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Kent have compared the work of zoomorphic art found at Neolithic sites worldwide, from Göbekli Tepe and Çatalhöyük in Turkey to the caves near Montignac in southwestern France.
The hopes of familiar animals, such as caverns, lions and scorpions, do not mean to represent familiarizations, they are arguing. Instead, they could symbolize concepts, and hence represent an early form of astronomical record keeping.
"Early cave art shows that people have an up-to-date knowledge of night air during the last Ice Age," said one of the authors of the study, Martin Sweatman's chemical engineer from the University of Edinburgh.
If true, the scenes taken in Lascaux may indicate a major event date that was compatible with the Taurid meteorological shower of approximately 17,000 years ago.
Sound a bit familiar? Last year, researchers turned the stone carvings found in Göbekli Tepe as references to a comet strike thought they were responsible for a temporary return to Ice Age climate conditions about 13,000 years ago.
This new study takes their analysis a step further by applying it to other Neolithic art pieces of sites and other timescales.
Lascaux paintings were discovered by a local group of young people in the 1940's, and we've been scratching our heads for ever since. It is not clear exactly when they were created, but experts estimate that the 600 images have been scattered over the walls anywhere up to 17,000 years.
There are many animal figures that would have lived within the local region, including horses and animals similar to buses from the name of goldochs.
The jointly-known images such as the Shaft Motorway include a human figure that has been adjacent to gold, which has links of folders folding from the belly.
Nearby there is something that looks like a duck, while rhinoceros look away to the left. A horsehead has sketched on another side of the wall.
We can all guess why someone would go to the cracking in a cave inside insisting a man who fights in front of an uneven animal while a bird is watching wild and there is a rhine anticipates not to notice … and many historians have their say.
Caves are considered to be supernatural areas that are related to deions, so these images may have been designed trying favor before a hunt, such as prehistoric wish or prayer form.
But other researchers have noticed that the proximity of various animals around the caves seems less than randomly. The French anthropologist André Leroi-Gourhan counted back in the 1960s that this represented some kind of distribution system, good and bad, men and women.
Geometric shapes, dots, and spider lines have also spread through images, and are hard to consider if they are trying to bring realistic placements realistic.
The idea that they might somehow reflect not pastoral scenes but some celestial have been discussed for over 40 years.
Sweatman and a colleague from the University of Kent, Alistair Coombs, now argue that this is the right method, and that we should give more credit to our host when he comes to represent the world.
"Intellectually, they were hardly different from us today," said Sweatman.
Like Göbekli Tepe Cerrig Vulture, the Shaft Scene shows a human figure that appears dead, near four prominent animals.
The researchers argue that the injured bison represents the Capricorn contrast in the summer of equinox, and the bird stands in Libra in the spring equinox. Other animals are more speculative, but they can easily match Leo and Taurus in the other equinox.
This arrangement could set a date of 15,150 BCE, give or take a few centuries, suggesting at an event that could have affected people in a less than desirable way.
Records taken from Greenland ice colors suggest that the climate starts to move around 15,300 BCE, but there are no signs that this has been caused by some form of meteorite effect.
We've been carving and painting animals for tens of thousands of years, and it is not always clear why we are doing it.
A 40,000-year leakage carving found in the Hohlenstein cave in Germany is another example of a strange ball that comes to the attention of Sweatman and Coombs.
"These findings support the theory of multiple comet effects over human development, and they probably revolve how prehistoric populations are being seen," said Sweatman.
Historians will certainly continue to argue for the meaning of ancient art for a long time to come.
If there is anything, these findings show that we may need to move on from stringent interpretations, to see art an integral part of marking time based on the bold feature of the environment that we often ignore in our modern world – night sky.
This research was published in Aberystwyth Journal Journal of History.