Lascaux: The Axial Gallery: Transport across the Milky Way
The most common animals depicted in the Axial Gallery are horses and cows. The Chinese term niúmǎ 牛马, literally ox horse is a merism for transport. It is therefore possible that some of the animals in the gallery depict transport.
Norbert Aujoulat said that some of the horses are depicted in their winter coats¹. Thus it may be that the scenes depicted represent the Winter. An alternative interpretation is that we are being told that the animals are travelling somewhere that is very cold.
The drawing above depicts the first third of the Axial Gallery, and shows the location of some of the symbols that I have deciphered.
The Southern wall in the gallery begins with a megaloceros. He has is mouth open and his head back as if bellowing. If you look closely at the image below, you will see the Chinese character zhōng 中, meaning middle.
The next character that we come across is chuān 川, meaning river. So now we know that the megaloceros is talking about something in the middle of the celestial river, in other words the Milky Way.
First Third of the Axial Gallery: Norbert Aujoulat © MCC-CNP, 2004: Lascaux, le geste, l’espace et le temps, Paris, Le Seuil: http://www.american-buddha.com/lascaux.5b.htm
Le cerf noir. Paroi Droite. Diverticule Axial: Norbert Aujoulat © MCC-CNP, 2004: Lascaux, le geste, l’espace et le temps, Paris, Le Seuil: Visite de la Grotte: Ministry of Culture, France:
1. The Animals of Lascaux: An Ethological Approach: Norbert Aujoulat MCC-CNP, 2004: Lascaux, le geste, l’espace et le temps, Paris, Le Seuil: http://www.american-buddha.com/lascaux.5l.htm