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  to drag someone into a cave, and show them something

  unspeakable. Plenty of caves would do, but let’s take you

  to the Cueva de la Pileta in Andalucia, Spain. There, we’ll

  push you into one of its huge, damp, cool cathedral-halls

  of fractured rock, where the darkness and the vastness of

  empty space seem to press themselves tightly against your

  skin, close and clawed and ancient.

  We know that there 
were people here, some 20,000 years

  ago. They left their millstones and their axe-heads; they

  left walls blackened with soot from fires that went out eons

  ago, leaving traces across a chasm of time that could

  swallow up the entirety of recorded history four times

  over. They left the bodies of their dead. And they left

  marks on the walls. The people who lived in this cave

  20,000 years ago, people who lived lives it’s impossible

  for us to even imagine, are still trying to talk to us.

  Most people are aware of the fantastic animal paintings

  that our stone age ancestors made - the herds of flowing

  bison, the horses that rear up in shimmering patterns

  across slabs of solid rock, the creatures overlapping each

  other in fluid cacophonies without ground lines or settings

  until they look less like representations of objects within

  our world and more like the snorting stinking chaos of the

  infinite. The Cueva de la Pileta has plenty of these; it’s

  noted for its masterly depiction of a large, snub-nosed,

  angry-looking fish. But I want to draw attention to

  something else. Surrounding the fish, overlapping it at

  points, are patterns. These patterns, and ones like them,

  recur across the cave, and they’re echoed in other caves

  across Europe and across the world. Lines, curves, hashes,

  boxes. More complex pectiform shapes, combs with one

  extended tooth, branching combs that can start to look

  like Chinese characters or even human shapes, oscillating

  in the dark somewhere between abstraction and image.

   Sam Kiss - What the caves are trying to tell US


Views: 118

Comment by Michael Grove on August 4, 2020 at 8:55

 THIS [IS] a photograph of the entrance that my family  

 and I were faced with during the early 1980s and we

 then had to ring a bell-push and await the caves

 "guardian" to come and let us in for our visit.  

Comment by Michael Grove on August 4, 2020 at 9:02

This video provides a very modern updated tour of La Cueva and conveys much more than that which we were not able to see during the very magic of our own visit, in the early 1980s. So having watched it we can only be amazed by the art and carvings which have since been revealed and the ease of access which has now been created, such that very real timely comparisons can be made with such finds in France. 

Comment by Michael Grove on August 4, 2020 at 9:06

This recent 3D model of La Cueva de la Pileta provides an insightful perspective of and into the extensive workings of this cave.

Comment by Michael Grove on November 21, 2021 at 22:01

[IN] juxtaposition to the cave art here in Spain, all those years ago, here we are today in contemplation of the fact that Global Heating is [NOW] destroying rock art tens of thousands of years old, on the other side of Planet Earth.


Comment by Michael Grove on November 25, 2021 at 12:38

Nearer to home however • in an area of the British Isles where I spent a year or more of my Air Traffic Control training • Delicate prehistoric carvings of adult red deer, thought to be the oldest of their type in the UK, have been found in a tomb in one     of Scotland’s most famous neolithic sites.

The carvings, which depict two male red deer with full-grown antlers and several thought to be young deer, were discovered by chance in Kilmartin Glen in Argyll, home to one of the UK’s richest accumulations of neolithic and bronze age sites.

Archaeologists estimate the carvings are between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, a period which spans the neolithic and early bronze age, and are the first in the UK located alongside prehistoric cup and ring markings found throughout Kilmartin Glen.

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