From Dr Jègues-Wolkiewiez’s work at Lascaux, we know that the constellations were mapped out using precise measurements. One of the tools that they used was probably this rod (left), which Dr Jègues-Wolkiewiez and Dr Geneste have described as a compass¹. I think that it is perhaps better thought of as a protractor for measuring angles of 10 degrees and 15 degrees.
A second example of what I think is a protractor was found at the La Madeleine rock shelter which is located, just south and west of Lascaux, in the Vézère valley. In this second example (below left), the angles measured are 5 degrees and 20 degrees. On one side of the rod are three arcs (below right), which is of course what is being measured. The number three could represent the azimuth: Observer, Earth, and Sky.
Ancient Chinese astronomers may have had a rod that was used for measuring angles. Liu, C.Y. produced a research paper on the use of angular units of measurement during the period 147 BC to 1238 AD. The abstract states: ‘It is concluded that ancient astronomers used zhang, chi, cun as angular units with clear concept, one chi equal to 1°.’ 2
A Zhàng 丈 = 10 chǐ 尺 = 10 degrees.
Lascaux: Norbert Aujoulat MCC-CNP: Picture 39: Spearheads: Lascaux – Movement, Space, and Time: Chapter 4: http://www.american-buddha.com/lascaux.4.htm#Portable_Objects
La Madeleine: two views of a measuring rod: cliché Ph. Jugie: © MNP Les Eyzies - Dist. RMN.
1. Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez, Jean-Michel Geneste, 2007: Film: Lascaux, le ciel des premiers homes: Documentary by Stéphane Bégoin, Pedro Lima, Vincent Tardieu: Emmanuel Priou, Bonne Pioche productions.
2. Liu, C.Y.: A Research on the Implication of Zhang-Chi in Ancient Chinese Astronomical Records: Acta Astronomica Sinica, Vol.28:4, P. 402, 1987: http://labs.adsabs.harvard.edu/ui/abs/1987AcASn..28..397L