Amateur Archaeologist Discovers Lost Messages in Stone Age Caver Art

  • An amateur archaeologist discovered what experts refer to as the “first known writing in the history” of Homo sapiens.
  • Bacon, at 67, decoded inscriptions that date back to tens of thousand years. 
  • Bacon believes that his discovery can change our understanding of Stone Age communities. 

A paper published in The describing the discovery of “the first known writing in Homo sapiens’ history” by an amateur archaeologist, was published in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal. 

Ben Bacon was a furniture restorer during the day and spent his nights studying cave paintings photographs, according to The Times. His hobby led him to the “first specific reading” of European Upper Palaeolithic communications, the journal article states. 

Bacon, 67 years old, decoded the code inscriptions in at least 400 caves throughout Europe. These caves can be found over a period of up to 25,000 year.

The writing was discovered 150 years ago, but scientists have been puzzled by it ever since. 

Bacon argued that paleolithic hunter/gatherers could store data about the animals that they needed to survive in cave drawings. These cave drawings would include bulls, horses and aurochs. The codes would detail their breeding cycle, which is based on the lunar calendar beginning in spring.

A line or a dot, for example, would signify months. Four dots or lines would then represent the fourth month after spring began. A symbol resembling a letter Y was used to signify “to give birth”, according to a journal article. The position of the Y between the dots or lines would indicate a due day. 

According to Professor Paul Pettitt from Durham, The Times, sharing information on their preys’ breeding periods would have been helpful for Stone Age hunters since it would have meant that large herds might be forming.

According to Bacon, this discovery could change our understanding of Stone Age communities, according to The Times. 

He said that “they’ve been conventionally thought of as superstitious persons who try to use hunting magical to kill animals.” He also explained to the newspaper that “the signs are actually scientific observational databases of information that they have built up over many years, sometimes decades.”

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