Star Maps and the Shaft of the Dead Man

Looking at the use of crime hot spots in policing, along with crime maps and have just plunged rather briefly down a loooooooong rabbit-hole back 16,500 years to prehistoric times. Am delighted to find that the first maps were star maps. These can be found, in the caves at Lascaux in central France, and indicate a sort of planetarium, where we first attempted to construct knowledge of the universe via ordered representations of what we observed. I suppose looking up at the stars, and creating observatories from which to do so might have been the ultimate in sousveillance, a sort of watching from below.

Dr Rappenglueck suggests that if we look at the eyes of a bull, bird-man and bird, who are painted on the cave walls in an area called (alarmingly) the “Shaft of the Dead Man”, these correspond to the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair.

I probably won’t be able to find an excuse to write about these officially; hence my reminding myself about such a wonderful thing, here. It rather transcends the sadness of examining crime statistics and transparency and writing about corruption and ethics and accountability.

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