Lascaux: The Axial Gallery: Astrophyics: Sagittarius A*

In the Axial Gallery there are repeated references to holes and to falling or dropping. The questions that I have for the astronomers are therefore: Does this gallery refer to a black hole? And if so, is it talking about Sagittarius A*?

The black hole Sagittarius A* is located at the centre of the Milky Way. It appears on the Southern Horizon in June, which is when the adjacent Hall of the Bulls is illuminated by the setting sun.

Let’s consider how we might decipher the message in the Axial Gallery.

No attempt at Cave Script translation will work unless we know the context. The big question is therefore in what context were the references to holes made?

There may have been holes in the original gallery floor. However, my understanding is that the original floor was destroyed in the last century, and there are no records of what the floor was like. So perhaps the symbols on the walls refer to holes that were in the floor. If so, the question is why refer to them in several different ways? Why not have one clear warning symbol: hole in the floor: take care? And then again, why not just fill the holes in and create a safer walking surface?

Perhaps the warnings concerned the nearby quarry, but surely you would place the warnings by the quarry, and not in the cave.

There is a passageway at the end of the gallery that was 60cm high and one metre wide. Could that be the hole that is referred to?

In the absence of further information, I have decided to use the context of astronomy, and the subject of a black hole, but that does not, of course, mean that I am right.

We will move on now to consider the imagery and the glyphs.