This week a new paper on cave art has been published in response to the article by Bacon et al. (2023), which attempts to demonstrate through the association of figures that the meaning of Palaeolithic art is related to the life cycle of the animals depicted (migration, reproduction and parturition). In our article, this theory is contested from two points of view. Firstly, there are significant errors in the authors’ study corpus, such as the misinterpretation of some signs or the misperception of association between figures. Secondly, there is a large anachronistic bias in the analyses and interpretations of the results obtained, such as the assertion that Palaeolithic populations read these associations from left to right or the adaptation of current calendars to prehistoric times.
With this discussion article, we try to demonstrate that the study of Palaeolithic rock art is more complex than what these authors intend to demonstrate in their study and that trying to interpret the art in a global way is an unattainable goal. You can access it through the following link.