Skip to comments.Prehistoric Cave Paintings of Horses Were Spot-On, Say Scientists
Posted on 11/08/2011 6:42:22 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Long thought by many as possible abstract or symbolic expressions as opposed to representations of real animals, the famous paleolithic horse paintings found in caves such as Lascaux and Chauvet in France likely reflect what the prehistoric humans actually saw in their natural environment, suggests researchers who conducted a recent DNA study.
To reach this conclusion, scientists constituting an international team of researchers in the UK, Germany, USA, Spain, Russia and Mexico genotyped and analyzed nine coat-color types in 31 pre-domestic (wild) horses dating as far back as 35,000 years ago from bone specimens in 15 different locations spread across an area that included Siberia, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Iberian Peninsula.
They found that all color schemes for horses seen in Paleolithic cave paintings, including the distinctive 'leopard' spotting found in the cave painting, "The Dappled Horses of Pech-Merle" dating back more than 25,000 years in France, actually existed in ancient pre-domestic horse populations, supporting the theory that the cave artists were reflecting what they actually saw. Four Pleistocene and two Copper Age bone samples showed genetic evidence of the leopard spotting, and bone samples from 18 other horses showed evidence of bay and black, bay being the most common color for horses depicted in the cave paintings. Of particular interest was the leopard spotting variety, resembling some horses today that exhibit this coat pattern and thought by some scientists to be a phenotype that did not exist during the late Pleistocene times when the cave paintings were created.
(Excerpt) Read more at popular-archaeology.com ...
A modern horse with leopard spots like those seen in France's Pech-Merle cave. Comparing DNA from the present and the Stone Age convinced scientists that those spotted depictions were based on existing animals. [Thomas Hackmann]
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
I'm falling asleep at the keys, so I'm going to bed. If anyone asks, just tell them, "I guess equid for the night."
Now that is a horse of a different color!
whoops, one more:
Ancient DNA provides new insights into cave paintings of horses
Someone stirred the zebra’s paint.
Gallop pretty early in the morning to put one over like that.
And why would it ever occur to them that the prehistoric artist would NOT be painting what he saw/
I’ve always liked the way the ancient artists “signed” their painting with a stencil of their hand. Reaching across 35,000 years, that ancient artist says “I did this”!
Appaloosas rule :)
Thanks for the ping.
Looks like the perfect coat for a snowy terrain dotted with rocks and snow-draped evergreens. Until it warmed up that is.
Yes they do.
Did you know that Apps “pick” their owners?
Sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Oh yes, so very true.
Other parts of the paintings are exaggerated or abstracted. (The horse forms in particular.) It doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe other aspects might have been abstracted from or emphasized beyond literal reality.
With no evidence of spotted horses existing at that one it wasn’t a totally unreasonable speculation.
How can we tell if there were spotted horses 1000s of years ago except through pictures> I'd believe the pictures known to be of that age before I'd believe that there were none. What about humans? Do you think that there were blue eyed Neaderthals? Green eyed cats? Blue eyed wolves?
Well you can’t prove a negative but there is evidence that it took a lot of breeding to get spots on horses such as we have in the modern day. If other parts of the paintings are abstracted - and they appear to be unless those horses were also so thick necked as to have difficulty eating and moving - it doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable to think that coat colors might have been embellished a bit. Even if only to look beautiful.
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