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Sistine Chapel of the ice age revealed
The Guardian ^ | July 14 2004 | David Ward

Posted on 07/14/2004 7:05:36 AM PDT by Winniesboy

Experts hail elaborately carved cave ceiling

With its drooping bill and beady eye, the ancient bird looks like a cross between a podgy curlew and a dodo. The strikingly realistic image was etched into the soft limestone roof a Nottinghamshire cave by a paleolithic artist around 13,000 years ago.

He or she (or some contemporary colleague) also carved a menagerie of birds, bison, deer and bears on the same roof in a gallery that has caused the jaws of experts to drop with amazement.

These relics of a land still shivering in climatic change came to light in the bright sun of a spring morning in the 21st century and are now hailed collectively as "the world's most elaborately carved cave ceiling ... the Sistine Chapel of the ice age".

Discoveries last year of images of animals, dancing girls and female sexual parts at Creswell Crags near Worksop showed conclusively that ancient Britons were part of, rather than excluded from, a continent-wide culture.

But this year's finds are seen as sensational, proving that Britain was up there at the top of the cave art league.

"We thought that last year we had a big discovery with 12 figures," Sergio Ripoll, a Spanish expert on cave art. "Now we have found 96 figures - it is a very, very great discovery.

"We think this is the most elaborately carved cave ceiling in the world. This is one of the biggest discoveries I have ever made and I think we will have many more surprises in the next months," Dr Ripoll said.

"We were shocked, excited - almost disbelieving," added Paul Pettitt, lecturer in human origins at the University of Sheffield. "There was such a notion that cave art just would not be found in Britain. When we did the initial survey, if I was betting man, I would have had money on the fact that we wouldn't find anything."

The team, funded by English Heritage, had previously used high-powered torches and lamps to examine the caves. "But what we found this time is that natural light is the best way to see these figures," said Dr Ripoll. "It was crazy - suddenly images came out of the wall. It was incredible."

Dr Pettitt said he and his colleagues had begun work early simply because they had a lot to do. "We noticed that the low morning sun penetrated the cave and that the stark light really brought it to life. We began to wonder whether much of the art was undertaken in the morning or was deliberately of a nature that it would be visible at that time.

"Not only did it reveal to us a lot more art than was visible under artificial light, but it gave us a shadowy glimpse of perhaps the time of day when the images were made."

The pictures are not drawings, but modification of the rock. The artists saw something that looked like a bison's head and then added an eye, muzzle and ear to produce a realistic head. This year's investigations have also produced antlers to show that that an animal previously thought to be an ibex is definitely a red deer.

"These are masterpieces," said Dr Ripoll. "These people had a very good knowledge of the animals they hunted. They had looked at them for many hours and knew their shapes very well. So they could represent them exactly on the walls of caves."

But why did they produce their pictures?

"Ah, that is the big problem. Many colleagues think the purpose is shamanic. But personally I do not agree. Perhaps these images are telling us something - but we do not know what it is. We have lost the code."

The experts have their disagreements: Dr Pettitt believes the total number of images is less than the number suggested by Dr Ripoll and others and that some "are in the eye of the beholder". He is also positive that one image described as bird shows instead the buttocks and legs of a fat woman.

But there is broad agreement on their significance.

"This bring Britain into line with the continental mainland. We were not just a shadowy reflection of everything that was going on further south. The finds clearly demonstrate that the hunters operating in this country in the ice age were culturally as sophisticated as hunters on the continent [to which Britain was still joined]."

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: archaeology; archeology; creswellcrags; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history

1 posted on 07/14/2004 7:05:37 AM PDT by Winniesboy
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To: Winniesboy

Rats! No photos in the original article, either.


2 posted on 07/14/2004 7:09:31 AM PDT by prion (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM the spelling police)
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To: FairOpinion

GGG Ping!


3 posted on 07/14/2004 7:10:57 AM PDT by TomServo ("I'm so upset that I'll binge on a Saltine.")
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To: Winniesboy

When you go outside and everything is ice, you don't have much to do except put grafitti on the wall of your local cave.


4 posted on 07/14/2004 7:11:07 AM PDT by U S Army EOD (John Kerry, the mother of all flip floppers.)
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To: prion

I would like to see photos as well.


5 posted on 07/14/2004 7:11:08 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Winniesboy

Waiting for the photos as well.

And is anyone else have the term "Piltdown Man" running through their heads?


6 posted on 07/14/2004 7:13:22 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: Winniesboy

We have lost the code."

.
I didn't realize the Los Alamos lab had been in operation that long.


7 posted on 07/14/2004 7:15:44 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rearview mirror.)
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To: BipolarBob

Of course they had a code. It was the Ice Age.

(brrrmpum)


8 posted on 07/14/2004 8:07:19 AM PDT by wizr
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To: BipolarBob
We have lost the code.

Maybe there was no code. Maybe they drew for....artistic pleasure.

9 posted on 07/14/2004 8:10:58 AM PDT by Taliesan (fiction police)
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To: Winniesboy

DO NOT POST STORIES THAT DESCRIBE ELABORATE SCENES WITHOUT PHOTOS .... IT PISSES ME OFF.


10 posted on 07/14/2004 8:16:14 AM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: Winniesboy

bump


11 posted on 07/14/2004 8:35:29 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Winniesboy
Discoveries last year of images of animals, dancing girls and female sexual parts

The world's first porn site. Lemme guess - the artist wore a bathrobe all the time.

12 posted on 07/14/2004 8:38:56 AM PDT by dirtboy (John Kerry - Hillary without the fat ankles and the FBI files...)
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To: Winniesboy
additional info and pictures with this link

http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/nwh_gfx_en/ART23100.html

13 posted on 07/14/2004 8:44:25 AM PDT by jdogbearhunter (Ceterum censeo, Al Quaedem delenda est.)
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To: Winniesboy

How tall is the cave ceiling? Were these giants carving on the roof, or were the carvings on the wall? Did they use scaffolding?


14 posted on 07/14/2004 9:41:06 AM PDT by Chewbacca (There is a place in this world for all of God's creatures.....right next to the mashed potatoes.)
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To: Winniesboy; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; A.J.Armitage; abner; adam_az; AdmSmith; Alas Babylon!; ...
"Experts hail elaborately carved cave ceiling. With its drooping bill and beady eye, the ancient bird looks like a cross between a podgy curlew and a dodo. The strikingly realistic image was etched into the soft limestone roof a Nottinghamshire cave by a paleolithic artist around 13,000 years ago.

"We thought that last year we had a big discovery with 12 figures," Sergio Ripoll, a Spanish expert on cave art. "Now we have found 96 figures - it is a very, very great discovery.

"We think this is the most elaborately carved cave ceiling in the world. This is one of the biggest discoveries I have ever made and I think we will have many more surprises in the next months," Dr Ripoll said. "

PING

This is a "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" -- Archeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc. PING list.

Please FREEPMAIL me, if you want on or off this list.

I just got the list from farmfriend, so those of you who haven’t been pinged lately, please check the link above, where you can find the links to the more recent articles.

LOOKING FOR volunteer to take the ping list and the ping task over. I took it temporarily, to continue it, but I am becoming very busy and there may be days when I am not available. Please FReepmail me, if you would be interested. On the average it’s only a ping a day or so. (Some days more, then for a few days there may be nothing). In the meantime I’ll do it, but you may get some pings a little late.

15 posted on 07/14/2004 11:09:19 PM PDT by FairOpinion (If you are not voting for Bush, you are voting for the terrorists.)
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To: FairOpinion

WOW!


16 posted on 07/14/2004 11:17:33 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: RadioAstronomer; prion; Winniesboy
I would like to see photos as well.

ENGLISH HERITAGE

17 posted on 07/15/2004 7:01:28 AM PDT by NYer (When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
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To: FormerLib

"Piltdown Man"? Not exactly. I am reading "Color, a Natural History of the Palette," by Victoria Stanley. It's a history of artists pigments, and so far I've read about pigments used in cave paintings and rock paintings in Australia, India, Lebanon, China, Mongolia, Germany, France, Greece, Mexico. Why not Great Britain?

England, Scotland and Wales were connected to the mainland of Europe by a land bridge at the time, so why shouldn't the cultures be similar?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0812971426/qid=1089926146/sr=1-18/ref=sr_1_18/104-5930455-4616758?v=glance&s=books


18 posted on 07/15/2004 2:19:54 PM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: Winniesboy

"The experts have their disagreements: Dr Pettitt believes the total number of images is less than the number suggested by Dr Ripoll and others and that some 'are in the eye of the beholder'. He is also positive that one image described as bird shows instead the buttocks and legs of a fat woman. "

*Chuckle*


19 posted on 07/15/2004 10:53:58 PM PDT by DeuceTraveler (Freedom is a never ending struggle)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

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Thanks Winniesboy. This topic is from 2004. Never got pinged I guess. Updating the GGG info, but also sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

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20 posted on 12/17/2010 7:14:04 AM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: wizr

*groan*


21 posted on 12/17/2010 7:49:19 AM PST by null and void (We are now in day 694 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: Winniesboy

When did science change from a thing where people were just happy to figure things out into something where people were not happy unless they made fancy eye-catching headlines?

When exactly?


22 posted on 12/17/2010 10:31:47 AM PST by djf (Touch my junk and I'll break yur mug!!!)
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To: Chewbacca
How tall is the cave ceiling? Were these giants carving on the roof, or were the carvings on the wall? Did they use scaffolding?

They were direct ancestors of the guys who spray paint their names on freeway overpasses.....nobody outside the clan knows their secrets.

23 posted on 12/17/2010 11:45:36 AM PST by norton
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To: CobaltBlue
"Airbrushes" have existed since paleolithic times.

The artists would either spray-spit the pigment onto their ersatz canvas *or* blow it out of a hollow bone or reed.

The omnipresent "hand prints" were made with that technique as were some of the more delicately shaded animals.

You can still buy "mouth powered" airbrushes to this day.

I spat this out one day:

and a matching jacket, the next.

Boy, did my lips ever hurt afterward.....:)

[just kidding...I cheated and used a modern Iwata and a Badger MillionAire]....:-D

Sorry for the flash glare.

24 posted on 12/17/2010 2:09:45 PM PST by Salamander (Can't sleep....the clowns will eat me.)
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To: djf

Well, it must have been some time before the 1950s. “The Double Helix” is not just the story of the intellectual race, byt of the publicity race. Throughout the Post-WWII-Era, scientists were battling with each other to see who could make the biggest headlines: closet manned flight to the earth’s outer orbit, or the development of vaccinations, or biggest bomb. Science was the way that America ruled the world. Its ability to steal the headlines from the sports stars was only equaled by Communist scandals.

That day you are thinking about - where scientists pursued their selfless quest for the truth without thought of fame or recompense - hasn’t existed since the invention of mass media and newspapers.


25 posted on 12/17/2010 9:27:23 PM PST by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: Winniesboy

Interesting. Like a good modern artist, the ice-age guy looked at the cave ceiling and then chipped away everything that didn’t look like a bison or deer or bird.


26 posted on 12/17/2010 9:51:32 PM PST by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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