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      Decoding European Palaeolithic art: Extremely ancient knowledge of precession of the equinoxes

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          Abstract

          A consistent interpretation is provided for Neolithic Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk as well as European Palaeolithic cave art. It appears they all display the same method for recording dates based on precession of the equinoxes, with animal symbols representing an ancient zodiac. The same constellations are used today in the West, although some of the zodiacal symbols are different. In particular, the Shaft Scene at Lascaux is found to have a similar meaning to the Vulture Stone at Gobekli Tepe. Both can be viewed as memorials of catastrophic encounters with the Taurid meteor stream, consistent with Clube and Napier's theory of coherent catastrophism. The date of the likely comet strike recorded at Lascaux is 15,150 BC to within 200 years, corresponding closely to the onset of a climate event recorded in a Greenland ice core. A survey of radiocarbon dates from Chauvet and other Palaeolithic caves is consistent with this zodiacal interpretation, with a very high level of statistical significance. Finally, the Lion Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel, circa 38,000 BC, is also consistent with this interpretation, indicating this knowledge is extremely ancient and was widespread.

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          Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling.

          A carbon-rich black layer, dating to approximately 12.9 ka, has been previously identified at approximately 50 Clovis-age sites across North America and appears contemporaneous with the abrupt onset of Younger Dryas (YD) cooling. The in situ bones of extinct Pleistocene megafauna, along with Clovis tool assemblages, occur below this black layer but not within or above it. Causes for the extinctions, YD cooling, and termination of Clovis culture have long been controversial. In this paper, we provide evidence for an extraterrestrial (ET) impact event at approximately equal 12.9 ka, which we hypothesize caused abrupt environmental changes that contributed to YD cooling, major ecological reorganization, broad-scale extinctions, and rapid human behavioral shifts at the end of the Clovis Period. Clovis-age sites in North American are overlain by a thin, discrete layer with varying peak abundances of (i) magnetic grains with iridium, (ii) magnetic microspherules, (iii) charcoal, (iv) soot, (v) carbon spherules, (vi) glass-like carbon containing nanodiamonds, and (vii) fullerenes with ET helium, all of which are evidence for an ET impact and associated biomass burning at approximately 12.9 ka. This layer also extends throughout at least 15 Carolina Bays, which are unique, elliptical depressions, oriented to the northwest across the Atlantic Coastal Plain. We propose that one or more large, low-density ET objects exploded over northern North America, partially destabilizing the Laurentide Ice Sheet and triggering YD cooling. The shock wave, thermal pulse, and event-related environmental effects (e.g., extensive biomass burning and food limitations) contributed to end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions and adaptive shifts among PaleoAmericans in North America.
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            The microstructure of terrestrial catastrophism

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              Palaeolithic ivory sculptures from southwestern Germany and the origins of figurative art

              Archaeologists have always viewed the origin of figurative art as a crucial threshold in human evolution. Here I report the discovery of three figurines carved from mammoth ivory at Hohle Fels Cave in the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany, which provides new evidence for the appearance of figurative art more than 30,000 years ago. The finds include the oldest known representation of a bird, a therianthropic sculpture and an animal that most closely resembles a horse. The Aurignacian sculptures of the Swabian Jura belong to one of the oldest traditions of figurative art known worldwide and point to the Upper Danube as an important centre of cultural innovation during the early Upper Palaeolithic period.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                31 May 2018
                Article
                1806.00046

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                physics.hist-ph physics.pop-ph

                General physics, History of physics

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