Solving the Pyramids Part 2: Evidence of the existence of the Cygnus Star Map and its use to Create a Map of Earth in the Paleolithic Paintings drawn at Lascaux and Cueva di El Castillo

Midnight Science (2011-2012), Volume 3, Paper 3

Paper Submitted 20th May 2011, Published (Preview Mode): 20th May 2011

Update: 30th Sept 2012, Changes by Editor: 31st March 2013

Author: Derek Cunningham


2016 July Website Ad Page The Long JourneyIn the author’s previous work, the Great Pyramids of Giza was transformed from an elaborate burial chamber to an elaborate map of the world where the pyramids align the constellations so they map the shape of the earth’s continents (2). In this paper, the Giza Pyramid Earth Star Map (GPES Map) is now found in paleolithic-era artwork, at the di El Castillo Cave in Spain and the Lascaux Cave in France. The existence of two paleolithic paintings that appear to scale and align to the GPES Map, is the first piece of physical evidence that the earth-star map was used widely at the end of the last ice-age (2,4).

[Editors Note. Recently a new study has now shown and confirmed that geometrical patterns found at Lascaux are geometrical/astronomical text. It is also now confirmed that the same text is found at the Scottish sites used in Part 1 of the series on solving the Pyramids. Thus the hypothesis put forward here, in the year 2011, that the Lascaux cave paintings are linked to the Great Pyramids of Giza appears to be confirmed by both the world map aspect of the theory, and also by the theory that archaic linear patterns are astronomical writing. It is also now known that the exact same data appears at Stonehenge (see “400,000 Years of Stone Age Science“, and in various religious statues found around the world.  The astronomical values used to create the proposed earth map are also present in the Atacama Giant see Volume 10, and the Bush Barrow Lozenge. For part 1 in the series click here.


Previous work directly suggests the possibility that the Pyramids align a group of stars (the stars surrounding the “Summer Triangle”) so that they take the same general shape of the earth’s continents (1-7). Unlike most theories surrounding the Pyramids, the theory of an earth map is testable and the theory has directly led to the discovery of a new geoglyph field in Irkutsk (1). [Note recent studies are now confirming the existence of a worldwide text]

Even more unusual is the ability of the  proposed map to identify the location of numerous important locations; such as Rome, Greece, Mecca, Lhasa, and Shangrila in Deqen China (1,2). However, despite initial data suggesting the possible existence of an ancient map created using the stars, the failure to find a physical copy of the proposed earth map remains a problem.

Using standard astronomical programs the astronomical map has previously been “dated” to be circa 14,000 years old (1,2). A brief study of places linked to the map also reveals multiple examples of artwork that are all linked to “bird-type” image holding a staff (3). Thus the purpose here is to test the structure of a circa 14,000 year old “birdman” figure seen at Lascaux cave in France, which according to archaeoastronomer Michael Rapenglueck is an astronomical painting, and a secondary painting that is circa 11,000 years old uncovered at Castillo Cave in Spain to determine if both images contain components that can be linked to the proposed earth-star map. These two paintings at between 11,000 to 16,000 years old, are approximately contemporary with the estimated date of the proposed Earth-star map.

Archaeological and Astronomical Data

1. The Giza Earth-Star Map

It was argued in prior studies that the orientation required to create this proposed map is found at two different archaeological sites; at a series of potential geoglyphs in Scotland (however this is still extremely controversial) and by the layout of the Great Pyramids of Giza (2). The latter of the two sites is also controversial as experts widely consider the structure to be a large burial chamber, and not linked to astronomy.

The proposed astronomical map primarily uses the stars surrounding the Summer Triangle of Cygnus, Aquila and Lyra – to create a somewhat basic but still functional map of earth. To create an “optimum” fit the star map is aligned in Mercator format to a Mercator map of earth at an angle offset by 6.511 degrees from due north. the 6.511 degree offset angle equals the number of draconic months in an eclipse semester. For scaling, the star map is expanded by a factor of three, a process that permits the night sky to be divided into three visible blocks of 120 degrees, each of which can then be independently used for navigation (see The Long Journey: 400,000 years of Stone Age Science for further details).

In figure 2, the basic earth star map is drawn with the constellations named. To help observe the constellations more clearly the constellations present during the first wrap are shown in white, and on the second wrap in blue. As seen, a line following the positions of the primary stars of the various constellations then creates a basic outline of the continents.

Fig. 1. Earth map created using the primary stars identified by the Greek constellations. In this view the Earth Map is created using Mapquest Satellite images (Equirectangular Mercator Projection).

Fig 2. Map showing the constellations used in creating the world map by wrapping the night sky around the world. Constellations in white are those plotted in the first layer and in blue in the second layer. Earth map created using multiple Mapquest satellite images (Equirectangular Mercator Projection).

In the drawn map, which wraps the stars three times around earth (only two wraps are shown here) Hercules now occurs above Orion; and because their shapes appear similar, the two constellations appear to be twins.

The presence of a second set of “twins”  then appears on the other side of the world, with Pegasus (partially drawn over South America) and Leo over the Caribbean/Atlantic Ocean. Hercules is located under Taurus, thus creating an image similar to the Minotaur. See prior study of Chinese constellations, and their link to the proposed Cygnus star map.

In the next step a comparison is now made with ancient paleolithic artwork.

2. Lascaux Paleolithic Artwork

With respect to astronomical observations, Michael Rappenglueck (8), was the first to interpret a drawing at Lascaux as a representation of the Summer Triangle. This is achieved by using the three eyes drawn in the birdman, the bird standing on a line, and the bull feature.

Fig. 3.  The bird man Lascaux bull drawing (52).

So if the analysis of Michael Rappenglueck is correct, the artwork in Lascaux potentially dates the earliest astronomical observations of the Cygnus star pattern in Europe to circa 14,000 to 11,000 BC.

However, upon studying Michael Rappenglueck claim that the image links to the Summer Triangle, one feature is visible that suggests the interpretation might not be entirely correct. Directly below the feet of the birdman, is a short line. This line has been interpreted to be weapon of some type. But at first glance it appears to represent the constellation Vulpecula.

To test this hypothesis, a star map dating to circa 11,500 BC is overlaid on top of the Lascaux Cave painting drawn in figure 3, which, in turn, is placed on top of a map of the British Isles. See papers 4 and 7 for previous work that links the constellations to a miniature drawing of Cygnus and Aquila over Britain.

The logic followed in this new hypothesis originates from a highly preliminary study of various ancient sites in Scotland. The layout of those sites then orientate the constellation Cygnus to the correct angle to produce the proposed star map. For this specific study, which involves an analysis of the Lascaux Cave painting, a  time period of 12,000 years BC is used and is sufficiently close to the date identified by Michael Rappenglueck that no major difference in the positions of the stars should be observed.

Fig. 4. Lascaux artwork drawn over a Stellarium sstar map centered on the constellation Cygnus placed on top of a map of northern Britain.For further detail see 400,000 Years of Stone Age Science by Derek Cunningham. Here Star data is accurate to the period 12,000 BC. Background UK image created using the program Celestia.

Immediately noticeable is a reasonable overlap between the proposed “weapon” at the feet of the strangely drawn person, and the location drawn by the constellation Vulpecula. However, it is clear that the drawn Bull cannot be drawing a local map of the land surrounding the British Isles. The next test is thus to reanalyze the drawing on the proposed global scale.

To create the required astronomical overlap the position, angle of orientation and scale of the drawing must be entirely correct.

Here the overlap, as perhaps expected, is not 100% perfect. It is however very close, and the small error seen might just be due to problems inherent in the choice of map projection.

As we are plotting three dimensional data onto a flat screen some distortion in the drawing is to be expected. It is also not known, from the photograph of the French cave painting, if the surface under the painting is flat, or curved, nor is it known if photographs of the Lascaux cave painting were taken using a lens configuration that results in further distortion of the image.

However, using only the constellation Vulpecula, to scale and orientate the Lascaux map, it is found that the image produces a reasonable result when the Lascaux drawing is placed on a Mercator map of Earth. Here the Bull figure appears to accurately represent the general shape of Asia and The Middle East.

Fig. 5. Conversion of stereographic projection onto a Mercator map of Earth. Earth Map created using Mapquest Satellite images (Equirectangular Mercator Projection).

In this overlap, the perhaps most important data is the orientation places the bull with perfect rotational alignment over Asia. However the rear end fo the bull does not match the shape of the eastern side of the continent. As stated, in this study the scaling factor and the rotation angle is defined entirely by the constellation Vulpecula.

With the study of the Lascaux painting complete interest now turns to the astronomical painting of El Castillo

3. El Castillo, Northern Crown painting.

The presence of the constellation Northern-Crown at the de El Castillo Cave in Spain, was first identified by Dr. Michael Rappenglueck (8).

Though possibly younger than the Lascaux cave painting (8), the Cueva de El Castillo drawings are perhaps more important, as they appear to be drawn in Mercator format (Fig. 6a,b).

Below is the el Castillo painting scaled and drawn to the proposed earth star map; but this time using the constellation the Norther Crown for scaling purposes (see Fig. 1).

As with the Lascaux painting the position, the scale, and the angle of orientation are all set by matching the drawn constellation at el Castillo to the proposed astronomical map created using the Great Pyramids (2,12).

Fig. 6a Left and right handed prints at Cueva de El Castillo Cave in Spain beside Northern Crown. The print furthest to the right is placed beside the constellation Cygnus. The prints to the left appear to replicate North and South America and the central hand prints replicate Europe and northern Africa. The major white line with black boundary located at the bottom left of the pattern overlaps the Amazon River.

Fig. 6b. Cueva de El Castillo painting with background world map drawn. The scale and orientation of the Cave painting with respect to the world map is defined entirely be size and orientation of the Northern Crown Constellation over the Islands to the South and South East of Japan.

In this map the Northern Crown lies beside Japan. The Cueva de El Castillo drawing is not quite a world map as it highlights only; Asia, the western coast of North and South America, and the Mediterranean Sea region. Australia is entirely missing.

There is also a mark that may represent the Amazon River, and to the north of the Amazon a series of blocks overlap the Caribbean Islands. These islands are drawn at the latitude where an ocean crossing from Africa to America is technically the most easiest to achieve. In the only north mid-Atlantic hand impression (beside the Gulf of St Lawrence in Canada) there is a series of low lying underwater mountains lying just beneath the surface of the water. These undersea mountains were potentially above sea-level during the last ice age.

Discussion and Conclusions

The various handprints and animals do not by themselves draw any outline that conclusively prove the drawings were intended to produce a functional map of earth. However the drawn constellations do align and position the various symbols to produce a reasonable match. Within this study, in the Lascaux cave drawing, the two rows of three dots between the bird on a stick and the Rhino are not discussed. Neither are the secondary dots seen in the Castillo painting. These features are discussed in more detail in the book The Long Journey, and together with other evidence provided add further data to support the proposed hypothesis.


  1. D. Cunningham, Scotland and the Cygnus Constellation, Midnight Science Vol. 1 (2011-2012), Paper 1.
  2. D. Cunningham, The Cygnus Star Map, The Giza Pyramids and their Link to Scotland, Midnight Science Vol. 1 (2011-2012), Paper 2.
  3. D. Cunningham, Three Enclosures: A comparison between Chinese star Charts and the Cygnus Earth Map, Midnight Science Vol. 2 (2011-2012), Paper 1.
  4. D. Cunningham, The 14,000 Year Old Road Map, Midnight Science Vol. 2 (2011-2012), Paper 2.
  5. D. Cunningham, Elements in Motion: Translating the Meaning of YHWH (YHVH), Jehova, GOD, Midnight Science Vol. 2 (2011-2012), Paper 4.
  6. D. Cunningham, The Cygnus Star Map: The Location of Canterbury, and Other British Religious Centers, Midnight Science Vol. 3 (2011-2012), Paper 1.
  7. D. Cunningham, The Spiral, The Minotaur and the Map of the World, Midnight Science Vol. 3 (2011-2012), Paper 2.
  8. Michael Rappenglueck, University of Munich, analysis of Paleolithic art at the Lascaux Cave and Cueva di El Castillo cave systems. News Article BBC August (2000).
  9. Frank L. Edge, Lascaux cave studies.
  10. L. A. Congrgado, Lascaux cave studies.
  11. Kiribati data removed 4th Oct 2011

Copyright and Disclaimer

Copyrights for maps used in this research paper belong to their respective owners. GOOGLE, Google Maps, Google Earth the “Google” logo, and other marks that incorporate the word GOOGLE , are trademarks of Google. The MapQuest name and logo, and related product and service names, design marks and slogans are the trademarks of MapQuest or AOL Inc. All other product and service marks contained herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

© 2011 Derek Cunningham; Midnight Science: ISSN 2160-0201; Volume 3, Paper 4.

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3 Responses to Solving the Pyramids Part 2: Evidence of the existence of the Cygnus Star Map and its use to Create a Map of Earth in the Paleolithic Paintings drawn at Lascaux and Cueva di El Castillo

  1. Emanuel says:

    Great stuff
    Just one comment.

    Have you considered the lower water levels at the end of the ice age? If i am not mistaken, the cygnas image with the isle of man, etc is of modern water levels?

    Perhaps this may help


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