Londoner Solves 20,000-Year Ice Age Drawings Mystery

at the BBC:

A London furniture conservator has been credited with a crucial discovery that has helped understand why Ice Age hunter-gatherers drew cave paintings.

Ben Bacon analysed 20,000-year-old markings on the drawings, concluding they could refer to a lunar calendar. It led to a specialist team proving early Europeans made notes about the timing of animals’ reproductive cycles. Mr Bacon said it was “surreal” to work out for the first time what hunter-gatherers were saying. Cave paintings of animals such as reindeer, fish and cattle have been found in caves across Europe. But archaeologists had been stumped by the meaning of dots and other marks on the paintings. So Mr Bacon decided he would try to decode them.

more here.