Lascaux and intimate with the gods:backstage pass only

The artists or artists who painted the cave at Lascaux in France deserves nearly all the artistic praise he has received. He, or perhaps she, was both knowledgeable and gifted. On the surface, he appeared to have one distressing weakness, in addition to and perhaps related to what seems to be a habit of misplacing ears and horns. He was not terribly interested in composition, beyond arranging files of animals and an occasional confrontation, which may not have been deliberate. Clutter and chaos suited him nearly everywhere; and this brings up a troubling question.That is, who back in 15,000 B.C. constituted the public for the Lascaux paintings?

—At the beginning and end of time, all the ‘worlds’ are integrated and melded into an indescribable whole and ‘oneness’. This final and beginning state of reality is the adamantine bliss of yoga and Buddhist cosmology as typified by the god Brahma. It is often created by the cosmic dance of the multi-armed Shiva. It is everything and nothing, timeless and beyond words. This is the deep layer of meaning in many Paleolithic cave paintings that goes beyond sympathetic hunting magic. This is a multidimensional, mythological layer whose journey in the millennia to follow will connect with Stonehenge as a future article shall discuss. This deeper layer is also metaphysical and mathematical, and relates to the adamantine oneness of Vedic, Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The complexity of mind revealed in late Upper Paleolithic cave art is akin to that expressed much later in history by ancient Vedic philosophers whose art form was Sanskrit poetry. Read More:http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sciencetech/what-the-lascaux-cave-paintings-tell-us-about-how-our-ancestors-understood-the-stars/15506 image:http://e-graficas.com/49.php?q=lascaux-cave-paintings-hall-of-bulls

There is some plausible evidence to support an answer or answers. If, as seems probable, the present entrance to the cave is approximately the original one, all the pictures were executed in dark passages and could have been seen only with the feeble help of grease lamps and firelight. Also, in many places, too many for them to be called exceptional, the artist painted one animal over another, with no apparent concern for the legibility of the entangled result.

John Litchfield (2010):President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, treated themselves to a visit to the most secretive – and most threatened – art gallery in the world yesterday. Seventy years to the day after the discovery of the Lascaux caves in the Dordogne, an eight strong presidential party entered the fragile underground chambers, which contain 900 of the most perfect surviving examples of prehistoric art. The visit, like most things about Lascaux, was controversial. The caves, banned to the public since 1963, have been menaced in recent years by a series of unexplained, and only partially controlled, fungal invasions. Any human presence in the caves is regarded as potentially destructive. Normally, they are entered only once a week by one security guard for a few minutes at a time. Read More:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/closed-to-the-public-but-sarkozy-gains-access-to-threatened-cave-art-2077575.html

And finally, there is no indication that the cave was ever visited, before its discovery in 1940, by a large number of people. The signs of prehistoric frequentation seem to be compatible with the idea that the only people who went down there were the artists and their helpers or attendants. This theory is strengthened by the fact that the paintings began to deteriorate after they were exposed to the mad rush of modern tourism, with its attendant flash cameras and fast food. Beginning around 1960 mysterious green algae began eating away the colors to such an alarming extent that the cave has been closed to the public save for extremely limited visiting in small groups. The menace to the art work has been checked meaning that their very survival through centuries of pre-history implies a relative isolation from the ravages of human confrontation.

—An important cave painting at Lascaux, France depicts six large dots above a magnificent portrait of an Auroch that is known as Bull #18. (The northern hemisphere constellation known as the Seven Sisters is depicted on sky maps intended for ‘naked eye astronomy as six dots because the seventh sister is now only visible with binoculars. Astronomers speculate that the Seventh Sister was brighter and visible to the naked eye in the distant past, perhaps in the Neolithic.) Did those who designed the Pleiades representation and a great bull figure for the walls of Lascaux believe in a dynamic mythic relationship between these two ancient zodiac deities, or is this juxtaposition fortuitous and without meaning? In ancient cultures, the Pleiades are represented above the shoulder or back of Taurus.— Read More:http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sciencetech/what-the-lascaux-cave-paintings-tell-us-about-how-our-ancestors-understood-the-stars/15506 image:http://www.19thpsalm.org/Ch01/Astronomy.html

Hence, the conclusion seems inescapable: Execution was everything and viewing was almost nothing. There was practically no public at Lascaux, or for that matter at other decorated caves since the evidence seems about the same everywhere, as seen in Werner Herzog’s film of the nearby cave at Chauvet. This conclusion can be neatly fitted into the assumption that the typical Lascaux artist was not so much an artist as a priest or a maker of magic of one form of another; perhaps a little less grandiose than Herzog’s assertion in pumping and dumping his film, “You sense somehow this is the origin of the modern human soul; this is the origin of art.”

—Dr. Rappenglück also sees the Summer Triangle on the walls of Lascaux. The eyes of the auroch in this painting (Taurus, the celestial bull), birdman-shaman and a bird together may represent three bright stars – Vega, Deneb and Altair. This is the Summer Triangle and would have been seen during the height of summer at northern latitudes. The Summer Triangle would also have been very prominent at the start of spring and would never set below the horizon.—Read More:http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sciencetech/what-the-lascaux-cave-paintings-tell-us-about-how-our-ancestors-understood-the-stars/15506 image:http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/lascaux/symposium_results.php

It can also serve as a neat pretext for a little old fashioned moralizing, with the deterioration of the paintings interpreted symbolically as the effect of large modern tourist industry on the creation and durability of masterpieces. But, all this does not get us out of the difficulty of believing that such expert and loving rendering of the visible world was simply a very private sort of action art, unrelated to ecstatic public accolade the the cult of celebrity.

ADDENDUM:

Computer simulation allowed the outlines of the animal paintings, and their orientation to one another in the Hall of the Bulls, to be compared to the summer sky of Magdalenian times, ~15,000 B.C. The Summer Solstice of June 19, 1999 was chosen for direct observation of Sun Set and last light into Lascaux. On June 19 at 21 hrs GMT, the last rays of this Summer Solstice Sun Set were observed for 15 minutes. As predicted, the sun’s rays did reach the Hall of the Bulls and illuminated the cave wall paintings. The auroch bulls that dominate much of the panorama of animals in the Hall of the Bulls were confirmed as a mythic priority of these Magdalenian people.Read More:http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sciencetech/what-the

caux-cave-paintings-tell-us-about-how-our-ancestors-understood-the-stars/15506 aaaaa

—Peter Tompkins, in Secrets of the Great Pyramid, shows Schwallers de Lubicz’s graphic evidence that the Egyptians in the time of Rameses IX had worked out a direct relation between p and ?.23 p = ?² x 6/5. The figure in the diagram below shows the pharaoh as the hypotenuse of a sacred 3-4-5 triangle formed in conjunction with a snake. The pharaoh as ? is split into a ?+1 proportion by his phallus. The upraised arm gives a 6/5, or 1.2 x ?² (?=1.618, or p =3.1416). I have drawn a 3-4-5 triangle on top of the birdman using the two outer dots and the back of the birdman’s head as points for the side and the bottom of the bird on the staff, the heel of the birdman and the toes of the bison for the base. The distance from the right toe to the phallus would be in proportion of p to the hypotenuse. The following diagram shows the Well Scene in a construction of two golden section proportions along a straight line O1 to O2, drawn through the eye of the bird and the butt of the man. An arc of a circle with O1 or O2 as the center and the radius being the height of the golden rectangle, drawn from the end of the spear to the horn of the rhino, establishes the birdman lying head to toe between these two golden section proportions. The base of the penis is in the middle of the pentagram, which shows the Pythagorean triangle and golden section proportions from the base of the penis to the break in the dart. Read More:http://www.physikgarden.com/glasshouse/RD/rd01.html

Gary D. Thompson:To date none of the arguments attempting to show the existence of some sort of Paleolithic astronomy can be considered convincing.

Many researchers have believed that the animals painted by the Ice-age hunter-gatherers at Lascaux (the Magdalenian culture) were simply those that they hunted. Certainly the animals they depicted comprise the most dangerous in the world of the Ice-age hunters and were both prey and food. The painted dots are thought by some persons to be perhaps no more than a tally of hunting kills. However, the concepts of hunting magic and hunting tallies would seem to be wrong. The hunted animal remains on the cave floor were largely reindeer yet reindeer are entirely unrepresented in the cave art. Some recent investigations suggest that beliefs involving connection to the spirit-world, through trance and hallucination, are perhaps the key to understanding the cave paintings (including the dot patterns). See especially the remarkable book The Mind in the Cave by David Lewis-Williams (2002).) Professor R. Dale Guthrie, Emeritus Professor in the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; and author of The Nature of Paleolithic Art, proposed in 2006 that the art was largely produced by adolescent males and is somewhat akin to modern teen graffiti. Read More:http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterOne/LascauxCave.htm

———————————————————————————–

—Whether it is argued the proportional harmonies revealed in the Well Scene were arrived at intuitively or intentionally, the diagrams dispel the notion of a haphazard or awkward placement of the figures in the composition. In the Well Scene, the broken line with the figure of the bird at the top resembles a dart-thrower, a baton of command and an instrument with which to make naked-eye observations of stellar positions. The bird is dove-like, a symbol of the Mother Goddess. The axis of the temple at Dendera is indicated by the figure of a hawk-like bird on a staff, which precedes a man with a baton and follows a cow with a star between her horns. The hawk is a symbol for both Horus and Boreas, gods who are associated with the north. In the Well Scene, one of the four-fingered hands of the birdman reaches for the staff, and one is between the horns of the bison. The cave at Lascaux has a natural bearing northward, and the drawing on the wall in the Well Scene faces east. The birdman points towards the northern constellations, which the Pythagoreans called the two hands of Rhea. The bison then represents the eastern horizon in one framework and the circumpolar revolution of the two Dippers in another.— Read More:http://www.physikgarden.com/glasshouse/RD/rd01.html

Laura Lee:Edge does concede that traditions get layered over one another, so we have no idea how far back it all goes. And, he likes the fact that before the Magdalenians, Neanderthals used these same caves, and Cro-Magnon before that. We’ve lost track of how much continuity there was in oral traditions, says Edge. We wonder how they could have remembered it all. Yet in mediaeval France, minstrels were said to be able to remember 1000 words of rhyme, verse, and song in one hearing, then perfectly mimic it.

I’ve heard it said that the memory skills necessary to preserve this oral was also good practice for the development of that part of the mind used in visionary journeying. We activate the inner screen of the mind when remembering, the same part of our brain used for visionary practices.

Edge’s discovery is important in a number of ways. It clearly sets the origins of astronomy back at least to Paleolithic times. It gives us yet another reason to update and upgrade the image of our early ancestors. And, it provides clear evidence for the long-term astronomical observations that are a cornerstone of both the iconography and the cultures that followed.

Interesting, too, that Lascaux’s Hall of Bulls pictures the stars of the ecliptic, the sun’s path around the earth, the highway the sun, moon and planets, from earth’s point of view, follow around the sky. It later became the great circle used by astrologers, the zodiac.Read More:http://www.atlantisrising.com/backissues/issue10/ar10ancientstars.html

Read More:http://archaeology.org/blog/?p=29

This entry was posted in Art History/Antiquity/Anthropology, Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lascaux and intimate with the gods:backstage pass only

  1. Jim A.Cornwell says:

    You have falsely referenced me as making a comment on your page http://madamepickwickartblog.com/2011/05/lascaux-and-intimate-with-the-godsbackstage-pass-only/ “Jim A. Cornwell:To date none of the arguments attempting to show the existence of some sort of Paleolithic astronomy can be considered convincing.”
    If you look at the webpage http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterOne/LascauxCave.htm you will see that it was from as I documented “Paleolithic European Constellations – star maps in Lascaux cave in France 16,500-13,000 B.C.
    Copyright © 2001-2007 by Gary D. Thompson
    from http://www.k-ita.de/~sl/constellations/.
    The following are highlights from the above author and website mentioned and represents Ancient Star Maps in caves in France and Spain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>