translating cave art symbols into words, four lessons - how can we hope
to not only receive but also decipher messages of an extra-terrestrian
civilization when we don't even understnad the legacy of our ancient
forebears from the Stone Age, the marvel of cave art?
You can only transform cave art into words when you know what
a coherent piece of that Stone Age legacy means.
Marie E.P. König identifies the bull of Lascaux as moon bull, the horse
as sun horse, the descending small black horses in the niche at the rear
end of the axial gallery as winter sun horse, the pair of opposing ibices
as midwinter emblem, hence the niche as midwinter symbol.
Having studied menhirs and then the Lascaux cave for years I found an
amazing lunisolar calendar encoded in two ideograms of the midwinter
niche (in early 2005), and this calendar turned the axial gallery with
the midwinter niche (König) and the rotunda (logical counterpart) into
the representation of a year.
The Lascaux horse is not a common horse but a mythological creature
of the sky. What could have been the word for sky?
Richard Fester compiled a map of the Guyenne and Lower Rhône Valley
with about two hundred dots for villages whose names end on -ac or -acq,
for example Rouffignac and Cognac. He proposed AC or ACQ as word for
I adopted AC for an expanse of land with water, more generally for Earth.
Inverse CA may then have named the sky, Old Latin ca(elum) and English
Is there a word for the horse beginning on CA ? Yes, Spanish caballo
French cheval from Latin caballus (of unexplained etymology, says my
Latin dictionary. What can -ballo mean? Richard Fester compiled words
that vary BAL for heat and BEL for warm. So we have CA BAL meaning
sky CA hot BAL that became Latin caballus and survives in Spanish
caballo and French cheval. CA BAL would have named the red mare of
the early midsummer morning rising above the horizon of the ledge
in the glorious rotunda of Lascaux.
Inverse forms have related meanings (first law of Magdalenian). The inverse
of BAL for hot is then LAB for cold. CA LAB meaning sky CA cold LAB would
thus be the winter sun horse, evoking gallop, and German Klepper for an
old and tired horse - the descending line of horses in the midwinter niche.
What about the lovely pair of 'Chinese' horses (Prjewalski horses) in the
axial gallery, coming from the midwinter niche, heading for the midsummer
rotunda? Richard Fester mentions Basque BELLE 'warmth'. Hence we get
CA BEL meaning sky CA warm BEL for the spring sun horse. This was confirmed
one year later (in 2006) when I found the development ABelios AFelios
Helios, the Greek sun god with a quadriga of horses (probably in one of
the Proceedings of the Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference). We have
then CA.BEL ABelios AFelios Helios indicating an alternative longer name
for the spring sun horse, CA BEL IAS, the warm spring sun healing IAS
ailments of a long and harsh winter, the inverse of IAS being SAI for life.
By the side of the red mare of the early midsummer morning runs a proud
white bull symbolizing a full moon coinciding with the summer solstice
(our June 21), ideal start of an eight-year cycle in the lunisolar
calendar of Lascaux.
The summer sun horse would have been called CA BAL meaning sky CA
hot BAL, and the full moon CA LUN, sky CA of the full round form LUN,
Latin luna 'moon' and Greek selaenae 'moon'. The inverse form LUN CA
might perhaps account for Finnish lenkki 'ring, loop', and LUN for Latin
plenus 'full', LUN -len- also present in English plenty.
And then we have the calendar, from Latin Calendae naming the first day
of each month, when taxes were due. A month had originally been a lunar
period of time, a lunation or synodic month counted in the 30 29 30 mode.
Yes, we can find words for symbols in cave art - provided we know what they
CA LAB winter sun horse
CA BEL spring sun horse CA BEL IAS
CA BAL summer sun horse
CA LUN full moon
CA LAB meaning sky CA cold LAB
naming the winter sun horse,
accounting for gallop, and German Klepper
for an old and tired horse
CA BEL or CA BEL IAS
meaning sky CA warm BEL healing IAS,
naming the lovely spring sun horse,
the warm sun of spring healing
ailments of a long and harsh winter
CA BAL meaning sky CA hot BAL
naming the summer sun horse,
accounting for Latin caballus 'horse'
(etymology unexplained says my dictionary)
CA LUN meaning
sky CA of the full round form LUN,
naming the bull of the full moon
Hear them run
CA LAB CA LAB CA LAB CA LAB ...
CA BEL CA BEL CA BEL CA BEL ...
CA BAL CA BAL CA BAL CA BAL ...
CA LUN CA LUN CA LUN CA LUN ...
Another prominent animal in the Lascaux cave is the stag.
A big roaring stag appears in the axial gallery, near the rotunda, calling
out to the pair of approaching spring sun horses. He may symbolize the
astronomer and calendar shaman. Latin cervus French cerf 'stag' and the
Celtic god Cernunnos wearing stag antlers indicate CER for stag and shaman,
also hind and shamaness.
Megaceroi (giant stags) would have represented wandering arch shamans and
arch shamanesses holding together the Magdalenian Proto-society.
Five swimming stags crossing a river drawn in the nave symbolize (in my
opinion) shamans from all over the Guyenne meeting in the region of
Montignac on the occasion of the midsummer festival celebrated every eighth
year when a long calendar cycle was completed and a new one began.
Further stags can be seen before the red mare of the midsummer sun rising
above the horizon of the ledge and the white bull of a full moon by her
side. These have been Divine Stags guarding the exits from (and entrances
to) the Underworld passed by the sun horse and moon bull.
Their large antlers evoke trees. Oak trees branch in a similar way as
stag antlers, nearly at a right angle. So the oak tree may have been
the emblematic tree of the Divine Stag, patron of astronomer shamans.
Latin quercus 'oak tree' and Gaulish érkos 'oak forest' may indicate
CER KOS for the cosmic stag. His antlers may have been seen in in the
summer constellations we know as Sagittarius and Scorpio.
Sagittarius 'Archer' goes along with hunting signs, in the Lascaux cave
ideograms of astronomical observation.
Present-day astronomers are *hunting* planets. Within ten years the
satellite Kepler found some 2,500 planets, and the satellite Cheops
- a marvel of Swiss precision, launched on December 17, 2019 -
shall examine 300 specific planets, discern between gas and stone
planes, identify planets in the habitable zone, and in the best case
detect chemical markers of conditions that make life possible.
Now for a more demanding lesson involving several Magdalenian words
that can't be explained here.
Across the sky from the summer constellations of Sagittarius and Scorpio
- seen as antlers of the cosmic stag - is the winter constellation ORE EON
Orion, she on the beautiful ORE bank or shore EON of the heavenly CA
stream or lake LAK overformed by Galaxy 'Milky Way'. She was the Orion
Woman, her characteristic hourglass figure indicated by the arcs of the
horns and heads of the opposing ibices in the niche at the rear end of the
axial gallery, identified as midwinter emblem and niche by Marie E.P. König.
The alter ego of the Orion Woman was the Divine Hind of Altamira, a large
beautiful hind licking the horns of a small bison under her
She called life into existence, also moon bulls, thus creating time,
lunations or synodic months, periods of 30 29 30 29 30 29 30 29 30 29 30 ...
days, represented by the compact and often rounded bulls painted on the
walls and ceilings of the Altamira cave.
Her name could have been CER -: I -: or CER LIL (pronounce the lip lick
-: by touching both lips with the tip of the tongue). Derivatives of
CER -: I -: are cow-eyed Hera, wife of Zeus, and NW Proto-Indo-European
*kerdeh- 'herd, series'. Derivatives of -: I -: alone are a call of Celtic
herdsmen surviving in the locally famous lyoba call of herdsmen in
the Swiss Canton of Fribourg; German Leben Liebe English love life;
Latin libido 'desire'; lip (licking the lips would once have been a sign
of desire, still indicates appetite); Ugaritic dd 'loved (by)', Phoenician
Dido 'Beloved One'; Ukrainian lyalka 'doll'; the female given name Lily
and the flower lily; German Laub 'foliage' and Laube 'arbor, bowery'
(some of the Altamira bulls have tails in the shape of fir twiglets,
indicating arbors made from fir branches in honor of the goddess);
and maybe also articles that call the subsequent nouns into existence.
The Divine Stag CER KOS and and his consort CER -: I -: would have been
a couple of Magdalenian mythology and cosmology.