Understanding Cave Script: One


To understand Cave Script, you need to understand that art may be text and text may be art. It is a symbolic communication system that incorporates more than just glyphs.

The best analogy that I can think of is a Chinese garden. A visit to a Chinese garden involved an appreciation of features both within and outside of the garden. It was meant to be an experience for all of the five senses. The visitor would have both active and passive roles in the experience. There might be puzzles that required the use of your intellect.


Cave Script is essentially an exercise in abstraction. When humans communicate with one another they use devices based on abstraction. If they don’t have a common spoken language, they will wave their arms around, point, mime, draw pictures, and make sounds. These devices get incorporated into what we experience in the cave or see in the mobiliary art.

The Role of the Narrator

Some of the ‘scripts’ would have been ‘read’ with the aid of a narrator. The narrator’s role might have been to tell a story; to explain an engineering diagram; to interpret a map; to teach a skill. In the absence of a narrator, you have to supply the missing information.


Cave Script seems to run from right to left, and top to bottom. I would therefore suggest that caves are ‘read’ starting on the right wall near the original entrance.