The Lussac cave portraits

 

What could be the oldest lifelike drawings of human faces have been uncovered in a cave in southern France.
The images were first recognised over 50 years ago, but were then lost after doubts were cast on their authenticity.

Now, one German scientist, Dr Michael Rappenglueck, of Munich University, says it is time the pictures were reassessed.

And there could be other surprises awaiting archaeologists, he believes, when they look not at the walls of prehistoric painted caves, but at the floor.

The faces on this page were discovered carved on the floor of a cave at La Marche in the Lussac-les-Chateaux area of France.

  
The cave system was discovered in 1937 by French scientist Leon Pencard, who excavated it for five years. Over 1,500 slabs were found on which images were etched.

The pictures are difficult to interpret. Sometimes several images are superimposed on one another. But to the trained and expectant eye they reveal extraordinary wonders.

From the La Marche caves there are lions, bears, antelope, horses – and 155 lifelike human figures.

These images of “real people” – male and female faces, people in robes, hats and boots – may date back 15,000 years. This was long before the rise of the great civilisations and a time when Europe was firmly in the grip of an Ice Age.

If correct, this would make them far older, for example, than the symbolic face recently recognised, carved into a rock at Stonehenge.
“They have been completely overlooked by modern science,” Dr Rappenglueck told BBC News Online. “They were mentioned in a few books many decades ago and dismissed as fakes – and since then nothing.”

The portraits were carved into limestone slabs that were then carefully placed on the floor.

The illustrations are not the stick-like figures seen in prehistoric cave paintings ¿ such as the images in the more famous Lascaux cave system that probably date back 17,000 years; or at Chauvet that go back more than 30,000 years.

faces280.jpg

However, it has sometimes been asked why the animals painted on the walls of such caves are so much more lifelike than the human forms depicted with them.

Could it be because the more sophisticated human pictures were placed on the floor, asks Dr Rappenglueck? 

  
If so, such treasures on the floors of other prehistoric caves may have been accidentally destroyed.

One of the first things that archaeologists used to do when examining such caves was to level and strengthen the floor, not thinking that what was under their feet could be just as significant as what was on the cave walls.

In Lascaux, for example, the floor was obliterated to make way for visitors in the 1950s. There is no way of knowing if anything significant was destroyed.

Stars in the ground

Dr Rappenglueck speculates that many archaeological wonders could have been covered up.
Some images may have been destroyed
 
“On the floors of one cave I noticed a series of pits arranged in the shape of the Pleiades (also known as the Seven Sisters) star cluster,” he said.

Drawings of the Pleiades have been found by Dr Rappenglueck on the walls of many Neolithic caves in several parts of Europe, but until now no cosmic marks had been found on cave floors.

He speculates that the small holes could have been filled with animal fat and set alight mimicking the flickering stars in the sky.

“Perhaps this is the origin of the candlelit festivals of the Far East where lighted candles are held in the shape of the Pleiades. Perhaps it is a tradition that stretches back tens of thousands of years into our Stone Age past.”

4 responses to “The Lussac cave portraits

  1. Where was all this information gathered from, may I ask?

    my contact is mprobertson11ATgmailDOTcom

  2. …the face on the barroom floor
    i’d rather be than dull once more.
    d’arcy’s poem and charley chaplin’s
    1914 movie about ruined art have
    surfaced once again. gad to think
    we’ve lost gallerys of pictures.
    the mamahuaztli(N)=castor and pollux=
    the fire drill ceremony used at the end
    of a 52yr period on the hill of the star,
    citlaltepetl(N), then the pleiades/7
    watched for universe rebirth movement,
    7=ce uen(tli)=
    cerf/ciervo(sp)/hirvi(Finn)=deer venus
    deor(OE)teotl, tea, thea, dea of life on
    the planet. so the 7 pleiades goes all the way back to the firedrill deer cult, before ehecatl/hecate
    shuttle star is goddess of weaving/venus,
    wendy venado is chicome(N)=reverse 2,
    while ehecatl(N)=ome/2, in booktunes/
    tonalamatl. so, pleiades seven/deer seven/
    seven=ce uentli(N)=one/ce uen/offering
    are linked together, on earth, in the heavens,
    and on the altar. chico(N)=reverse=ci(n)co.
    check out the lagar velho child burial to see
    deer/wendy in action as life goddess.
    her first planetary symbol was the pleiades?
    their 7’s/ce uentli’s coincide, but how do we
    get to venus, through the word, uena/big4/
    uentli(N)=offering, i suppose, to venus,
    mamahuaztli(N)=orbit(of venus)=585,
    13 either way: 58=13, 85=13, hmmmm,
    e=mc2, if m=13th letter of abc, c=3d letter ab(c)
    then, e=13×9=117=1/5th venus cycle.
    interesting. the pleiades seem to be the 52yr
    end of cycle version of deer firedrill before
    she was venus? or venus set apart for other
    worship? one notes the zeus/chronus
    wars, the first wars of extermination, perhaps they were waged by the new hosts of venus shuttlestar against the old hosts of pleiades deer
    worship. zeus, aryan skygod first known to
    the greeks as snake/quetzalcoatl morningstar,
    against the firedrill goddess cult?
    chronus, the youngest titan/titlani(N)=
    messenger/neander, and his son, zeus,
    the neander cross, the new wave, the new astronomy, the new male god, emerges triumphant, driving chronus to the far british isle, and the skygods,
    the tribes/tepulli(N)=male members arise(pun),
    the gene pool of african eve invests europe,
    and neanders escape to england, grendel
    and his mother await beowulf, and it’s eastward
    ho! to the gravettian(22k bc) and ultra mar to amerindia for a mixed bag of crosses.
    for the aztecs(and those before them),
    venus, it’s position, was their warclock.
    for teotihuacan, 250bc-750ad, venus
    ritual star wars coincided with first appearance of venus as morning or evening stars, this was
    true of their mayan allies also. teotihuacan’s
    major rival was the olmeca xicalanca of
    cacaxtla, mother race and vanguard merchant
    southward along the gulf coast. an early preview
    of the tlaxcallan allies so helpful to cortès,
    and who in their turn, 750yrs later, were
    holding ritual flower wars with the aztecs.

  3. …ah, mimicking the flickering stars in the sky=
    cielo(sp)/ceiling(E), from the birthing animal,
    o-cel-otl(N)/ (o)c(i)el(otl)(letra)=cielo/ce(i)ling.

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