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Auroch with dots

30 January 2017

  … this is a piece of art from a rock shelter in the Pyrenees which is thought to date back to 38,000 years ago – about the time it was all going wrong for megafauna in Australia and Neanderthals and big mammals in Euroasia. You can just make out an auroch – a large bull with horns. What connection might worship, or portrayals of the bull in rock art have to do with the Taurids (the bull in the sky)? Who knows but what do all those dots mean, one stream on the flanks and another beneath the shoulders? Do they represent meteors associated with the passage of the bull (in the sky) or can they be interpreted as some kind of hunting magic (lots of spear holes that do not ring true). Unfortunately, the slab doesn't tell us what might have been depicted underneath the auroch (lower down on the rock face), or the wider picture beyond the auroch. Similar portrayals of bulls and spots occur in Ice Age cave art. 

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