Grotte des Trois Frères

Dr Jègues-Wolkiewiez has demonstrated that our ancestors, at Mas d’Azil were able to tell solar time with the aid of a gnomon and a disk¹. From the example of Cave Script below, we can deduce that the day was divided into 24 units (hours).

Image: l’Abbé Breuil
Image: l’Abbé Breuil

The image comes from the Grotte des Trois Frères in the Ariège department of France. It is thought to be around 13,500 years old.

The horse has a large belly. Consequently we can determine that she is in foal. The raised tail can be a sign that the horse will foal soon. A wild horse will normally foal at night when the herd is not moving, because a mare and foal that become separated from the herd are highly vulnerable to predation.

So what does the script tell us?

The first thing that we notice is the symbol that looks a bit like the letter p. It resembles archaic versions of Kangxi radical number 36, . It means sunset or night. There are 12 xī. Hence we can infer that it is an ideographic representation of the hours of darkness.

If xī means sunset, then logically the reversed symbol means dawn.

Before we get to dawn there are two pointers for emphasis, meaning at this point or here.

Then we have a curved line, which is the simple outline of an animal.

Lastly, there is Kangxi radical number 2, gǔn or gěn , which means to drop.

Thus we are told that the foal will be born in the hours of darkness before dawn.


Image Credit: Horse with claviforms: Relevé abbé Breuil, collection Bégouën: Courtesy: l'Association Louis Bégouën

Note: 1. Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez: Paleolithic techniques and tools used to calculate space and time, Part 3: Pleistocene Coalition News, Volume 4, Issue 1, January – February 2012, p. 2: Accessed: 15 January 2013