Theory: San Rock Art in the Night Sky/Game Pass Shelter

February 21, 2016/Lynn

Here’s my theory: There is a South African San painting of a thin figure holding the tail of an eland (antelope). There are images in the Milky Way that look like the figures in the South African San painting. I think the San figures are the Milky Way images.

(Update: Added Milky Way Photo)

[Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky. Photo Source. Photo cropped by Lynn. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License]**

Sketch of the Milky Way Images

Sketch of the Milky Way Images

(Milky Way Sketch: The star Sargas/Theta Scorpii is the circle above the triangle shape)

Sketch of the San Painting Figures

Sketch of the San Painting Figures


San Painting/Eland and Thin Figure

These two figures are part of a group of images at Game Pass Shelter in South Africa (Drakensberg mountains). The group of images has been called the “Rosetta Stone” of San rock art.

Milky Way Image

Where to look: The star Sargas (Theta Scorpii) is located above the eland on top of the triangle shape. The stars Shaula and Lesath (Lambda Scorpii and Upsilon Scorpii) are located within the thin figure. And the star Kappa Scorpii is on the thin figure’s right shoulder (on the original painting there is a white line above the thin figure’s right shoulder). These stars are part of the constellation Scorpius. The lower area of the eland is bright/colorful and includes the star cluster NGC 6231 and the Prawn Nebula IC 4628.

Possible Milky Way/Game Pass Shelter/Willcox Shelter Rock Art Connection

Part of the Milky Way eland image looks like a rock art figure at Willcox Shelter (or Willcox’s Shelter) in South Africa. The rock art figure looks like a human/animal.

I think there may be a Milky Way connection between the figures at Game Pass Shelter and Willcox Shelter. Click here for the Willcox Shelter Theory

(Update: Added sketches)

Sketch of Willcox Shelter Rock Art Figure

Sketch of Willcox Shelter Rock Art Figure

Outline of the Milky Way Image

Outline of the Milky Way Image


Links for More Information

My 6 Cave Art/Rock Art and the Milky Way Theories:
France’s Trois Freres Cave Sorcerer, Reindeer/Bison and Markings, and Bison-Man; Africa’s Game Pass Shelter and Willcox Shelter; and Spain’s La Pasiega Cave.


The views expressed on any linked third party websites may not be my views.

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**ESO photos are the property of their respective owners. This Blog is not associated with (including but not limited to) any ESO photos, links, or third party websites.



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