Germany’s finest and earliest Stone Age cave art, attributed to be the some of the most ancient pieces of art created by humans, probably turns out to be a hoax as a new study suggests.

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These ancient cave markings present at the 75m-long Mäanderhöhle cave were studied by an archeologist for several years, and his research suggests that these 14,000 to 16,000 year-old markings were created by humans. This research further rendered that these patterns were actually markings of a man, a woman, and a phallus.

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This 75m-long cave houses a multitude of caverns. Out of them, one cavern was seen pocketed with spherical mineral deposits, also known as cave clouds, which follow the genesis pattern of other mineral deposits like stalactites and stalagmites.

However, Julia Blumenröther a researcher who was working on her thesis at Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany says that these ancient cave markings are not human creations; instead, their genesis is of natural origin. This report of Blumenröther is a direct challenge to what was unveiled by archeologists in 2005, who deciphered the markings as signs of fertility.

A team of archeologists in 2005 concluded that these ancient markings are human-made since they more or less resembled a penis, woman, and a man, which was declared normal since man always fantasizes about drawing phallus.

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The solid fact that provided strength to this report was that these markings were carved with sharp tools, believed to be Stone Age tools. But, Blumenröther clearly opposes this research.

A research colleague of Blumenröther, PD Dr. Andreas Pastoors, who works as an expert on Stone Age art from the Neanderthal museum, says “If these lines were made by humans, there would be clear evidence that Stone Age tools were used, as well as similar depictions in other locations.”

Since there are no traces of Stone Age tools in the cave, it creates a fair share of possibility that these markings are what we call cave clouds not human made art.

Besides the explanation provided by Dr. Pastoors, Julia Blumenröther herself proposed more solid proof to back her challenge against the 2005 findings regarding this cave. Using 3D scanning and digital microscopy, she was able to reconstruct a replica of these 138 markings and concluded that creation of such cave art by man is a least a possible condition. Her research reads as follows:

The scientific analysis showed that the courses and cross-sections of all of the lines contradict the hypothesis that they were carved by humans using hard, sharp objects,” she explained. “Furthermore, none of the 138 lines depict any kind of known Stone Age motif.”

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It might be a moment of disappointment for the people who would have liked to believe that these markings are work of man.  However, there is other magnificent cave art in the world, such as in El Castillo cave in Canatbria, Spain, which is believed to be the work of man 40,000 years ago.


Sources:

(1) Researchers say strange 16,000 year old lines found in Bavarian cave thought to show a phallus were NOT made by humans

(2) Ancient Cave Art Was Not Made By Humans


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