Oldest star map found among cave drawings

A German researcher says a prehistoric cave drawing is actually a map of the stars the oldest yet discovered.

The map is about 16,500 years old. It was discovered among paintings inside caves in Lascaux, France.

Dr. Michael Rappengluck, of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in Furstenfeldbruck near Munich, says one of the drawings shows a bull, a birdman and a bird that represent the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair which make up the Summer Triangle.

He says another drawing of a bull represents the Pleiades star cluster, otherwise known as the Seven Sisters. Today this region of the sky forms part of the constellation Taurus.

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 news of the discovery spread quickly and archeologists have been studying the site ever since.

Rappengluck has also found a drawing of the Northern Crown constellation among 14,000-year-old cave paintings in El Castillo, Spain.