Neolithic cave paintings discovered in Turkey

Numerous cave paintings dating back some 8000 years have been found in Baltalıın and İnkaya caves, located five kilometres apart, in the Balıkesir province in Turkey. The paintings, dated to the Neolithic mark one of the most important archaeological discoveries made in Anatolia in recent years.

Rock paintings in Balikesir (by Hurriyet Daily News)
Rock paintings in Balikesir (by Hurriyet Daily News)

The paintings in one of the caves depicted hunting figures, while the other depicted figures of beliefs, indicating different function of the caves for the Neolithic people.  A deer hunt is depicted on the eastern wall of the Baltalıın cave. The paintings also included a scene never depicted before, in which a trap is set by hunters and a group of animals is driven towards the trap. There are also four people dancing in the main part of the painting on the left side of the entrance. A different depiction of a human wearing fur on the right side of two women and two men is depicted, while on the left side of this painting there is a depiction of a foetus growing in the womb. A human wearing fur appears at the beginning of the main stage. Across from this figure, a human is depicted with a snake behind. It was believed that the snake represents the death in this figure, which was interpreted as “the moment of death” by the experts.  The depiction of a human wearing a fur and extending his hand forward is believed to be a shaman who is helping human spirits to go the land of the dead at the moment of death. A portrayal of a dead human without a head offered to the vultures is also depicted.

(after Hurriyet Daily News)

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