Cave painting could be oldest lunar calendar

A German researcher who has examined prehistoric cave paintings says he has identified what could be the oldest lunar calendar ever found.

Dr. Michael Rappenglueck, of the University of Munich, says 15,000-year-old markings on the walls of caves in Lascaux, France show the moon going through its different phases.

He says a group of dots and squares painted among images of bulls, horses and other animals symbolizes the 27-day cycle of the Earth's moon.

Rappenglueck also claims other drawings in the Lascaux caves are maps of the stars.

In August, he found drawings showing a bull, a birdman and a bird he says are meant to represent the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair which make up the constellation known as the Summer Triangle.

Four teenagers discovered the Lascaux cave in 1940 when a hole opened in the ground following the fall of a big pine tree several years before. The cave quickly became an hot spot for archeologists.