Caves all over Europe are full of prehistoric paintings that depict many animals with remarkable fidelity. The scientists identified the species, understood how the paintings were created and with what technology. But they still lacked an answer to the question of why prehistoric people immortalized animals, and at the same time they were unable to explain the existence of strange dots and other marks that appear on this prehistoric art.
Londoner Bennett Bacon therefore decided to try to decipher these marks. An article in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal, under which he is signed along with the stars of the field, shows that he succeeded in his intention and at the same time indicated the answer to the big “why”.
Passionate amateur, Y and luna
Bacon spent countless hours on the Internet and in the British Library looking at pictures of cave paintings. He thus collected a giant database that includes most of the prehistoric cave art in Europe – and began to look for some regularities and relationships in it. What animals have what signs? And in what number? What connections still exist there? Are there any recurring patterns to be found?
A sign resembling the letter “Y”, which appears on a number of paintings, became key for him. Bacon came up with the idea that it could symbolize childbirth. Why? The brand shows two lines growing out of one – a simple enough symbolism that would have made sense even to our ancestors. If further studies confirm this thesis, then this would be the oldest symbolic-graphical depiction of a phenomenon – i.e. the first letter in history.
Although Mr. Bacon is only a “man in the street,” his diligence, diligence, and passion were such that he won the attention of respected archaeologists and anthropologists. They gradually joined his research until “his team” consisted of the best experts from Durham University and University College London. And they helped him with the analysis. They figured out that the dots under the images of animals have a clear meaning: the number of characters corresponds to the month (according to the lunar calendar) when the mating of the given animal species takes place.