Interpretation of the Images

Cave Script translation is a new field. Like all pioneers, I have to work with some restrictions. Please bear the following points in mind when reading my translations.

Firstly, I am working with images found on the Web. The accuracy of the translation therefore depends on how closely the copy that I have resembles the original.

Image: RMN / Franck Raux: Annotation: Lynn Fawcett
Image: RMN / Franck Raux: Annotation: Lynn Fawcett

Secondly, when looking at the same object, not everyone sees the same thing. A good example is this image from the Abri du Birol. On the right hand side of the image, I see dancing feet, depicted using perspective, with perhaps a few lines in the foreground indicating the movement of those feet. Others would argue that the same engraving depicts stylized female figures¹.

Thirdly, each Chinese character can take one of several meanings depending on the context. It is therefore fairly easy to misinterpret text. I fully expect that when more information becomes available, and more examples of a given Cave Script symbol are translated, some of the current translations will need to be revised.

Lastly, the Cave Script Translation Project spans a long period of time. It may be that Cave Script should be thought of as a family of scripts with a common root.

I have tried to document my translations in a detailed fashion. Please note that sometimes it was not possible to include the relevant Chinese character in an article, because some everyday words, such as megaloceros, are not widely available in Unicode fonts.

Author's Note

Starting on the right, try tracing the lines in the image with your finger, and make the accompanying sound to get the rhythm. Are you going to join them on the dance floor?


Image Credit:

Photo: RMN / Franck Raux: Zd_Roche_Lalinde_01.jpg: Source: Original, Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, France: Accessed: 22 August 2012


1. Exposition: Curator’s name not available: Mille et une femmes de la fin des temps glaciaires: Musée Eyzie-de-Tayac: Accessed: 22 August 2012