Ancient cave art suggests humans understood complex astronomy 40,000 years ago
The findings indicate that the astronomical insights of ancient people were far greater than previously believed. Their knowledge may have aided navigation of the open seas, with implications for our understanding of prehistoric human migration, researchers said.
The team confirmed the findings by comparing the age of many examples of cave art, known from chemically dating the paints used, with the positions of stars in ancient times as predicted by sophisticated software. (Source: FIle Photo)
Some of the world’s oldest cave paintings, found at sites across Europe, reveal that human ancestors may have had an advanced knowledge of astronomy as far back as 40,000 years ago, a study has found. The animal symbols in the artwork represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to represent dates and mark events such as comet strikes, according to researchers from University of Edinburgh in the UK. They reveal that, perhaps as far back as 40,000 years ago, humans kept track of time using knowledge of how the position of the stars slowly changes over thousands of years.