Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Deciphering Cave Painting Code and Ancient Celestial Map in South East Asia Paleolithic Cultures Dated to 40000 Years Old

Version 1 : Received: 3 January 2021 / Approved: 4 January 2021 / Online: 4 January 2021 (11:30:41 CET)

How to cite: Wibowo, A. Deciphering Cave Painting Code and Ancient Celestial Map in South East Asia Paleolithic Cultures Dated to 40000 Years Old. Preprints 2021, 2021010016 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0016.v1). Wibowo, A. Deciphering Cave Painting Code and Ancient Celestial Map in South East Asia Paleolithic Cultures Dated to 40000 Years Old. Preprints 2021, 2021010016 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0016.v1).

Abstract

Currently it was theoritized that cave paintings have meaning more than human and animal interactions. Based on an example from Lascaux cave, a figure of a bull is believed representing Taurus constellation together with the Pleiades. In here this study aims to assess the connections of paleolithic art works in the forms of cave paintings and zoomorphic figures resemble to bovid with possible ancient astronomy and constellation depictions in South East Asia. The study caves were Jeriji Saleh in Kalimantan and Leang Leang and Sumpang Bita caves in Sulawesi where ancient cave paintings and zoomorphic figures date to 40000 years old have been found. The results show that cave paintings in Jeriji Saleh, Leang Leang and Sumpang Bita caves were comparable to the current findings. Those paintings were having bovid like figures with Leang Leang has figure identified as extant Bubalus depressicornis. In Sumpang Bita, this species was depicted in pregnant condition similar to pregnant horse figure in Lascaux cave. Depiction of pregnant figures in cave paintings indicates the use of ancient calendar to determine season based on the animal mating season. Bovid figure in Jeriji Saleh was illustrated in the same posture like auroch bovid in Lascaux cave and this indicates that cave paintings in Jeriji Saleh have been used to visualize Taurus constellation. The postures of bovid paintings in Leang Leang were different and it is interpreted to visualize Capricorn constellation. Another significant similarity between Lascaux and Leang Leang caves can be seen in paintings depicting a shaft scene with the presences of 3 similar figures include dying man, speared bovid and small zoomorphic figures. This concludes that the caves with their wall painting were not merely functioned as media for ancient art works, whereas it has functioned as paleolithic planetarium and this knowledge was globally widespread.

Subject Areas

ancient; astronomy; cave; constellation; zoomorphic

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