In the library of the "Pole International du Préhistoire" I saw a fascinating documentary last week of the research of Chantal Wolkiewiez. You can find some information about her work on her blog. She has investigated over 130 prehistoric sites and caves and shows how all of them are located in a specific cosmic alignment. The sunset or sunrise at summer or winter solstice or equinoxes just hits specific points, or the entrance of a cave. Animals represented there are shown as they are in that particular season,with the particular behaviours of that season.
Also seeming meaningless dots on a piece of bone found there turn out to have been placed in the exact position as where the moon rises on that location for a whole month. So those simple dots represent a lunar calendar.
And most surprisingly she shows how the animals represented in a specific part of the famous Lascaux cave are located in a almost exact alignment as the fixed stars of the Zodiac at that time, 17.000 years ago. Other paintings represent other star constellations.
This is fascinating. How could they know that so long ago? How could they observe it, remember it and translate it in the right proportion in their paintings? Modern representations of the zodiac don't have that. They are not represented with the right distance between the stars of which the signs are made of.
Scientists studying the cave paintings have often remarked that the earth where the animal is standing or lying on is never represented. The animals are floating can be represented in different directions, although the majority is represented in the normal vertical position. When they are connected with star constellations then that is very logical.
Being in the darkness and silence of a cave often feels like being out of normal space and time, quite similar to being out in the universe.
I assume that the painters did have visions of the stars while being inside the cave.
I did try to connect with that experience while painting.