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hibis   Curiosity.

Doc 2 - préhistory, climate evolution, science, caves art.

Marine animals, in size and variety significant for us appeared some 600 million years ago. At -450 million years, the corals invade the oceans, where conditions are favourable. see also " hibis,lagoon"

There are vestiges and fossils everywhere; the flints testify sometimes : very widespread, they would be agglomerates of sponge skeletons, dating from the cretaceous moreover, more than 70 million years ago. One finds out on them prints of shells, gorgons and corals, but it is necessary to be patient (a low sun is more favourable); with a bit of luck, one finds beautiful prints and even cut flint (see "hibis, decoration".

The classification of our planet history is complex and unpleasing for us, profane; I thus chose to fix a simple reference mark, for periods particularly interesting and known for :

the secondary era, which covers approximately two periods: the Jurassic one, with the formation of the mountains of -180 million years to -135 million years, then the cretaceous which reveals incredible layers of limestone coming from marine micro-organisms, from -135 to -70 million years


Considerable mountains are marine deposits (limestones) raised, and even coral reefs, like the Dolomites (Italy), canyons in Madagascar and so on..

As for our beloved dinosaurs, they would have lived approximately between -165 to -65 million years ; they have thus disappeared at the end of the cretaceous, excepted birds, their descendants, they say.

After the Dinosaurs, at the tertiary era, a part of the France was covered by a TROPICAL SEA ( Loire valley, Tours, Angers). In some areas of Touraine, the ground is made of conchiferous calcareous containing uncountable tiny teeth of sharks ; impassioned always hope to find there a tooth of the giant shark, Mégalodon. see "hibis, sharks").

Paris, May 2002; while digging for the enlarging of the aquarium of Trocadéro (Paris), one discovered these tropical fossil traces (small corals, teeth of sharks, shells). Traces of palm trees had already been identified in the same zone.

Evolution of the climates. Since the creation of our planet, its climate does not evolve unrelentingly in a sole and unique direction. In addition to the cyclic variations climatic, the distribution of the ices has changed during the time - for example, the weather has been hot in Europe but cold in Australia - and the magnetic poles themselves would have been reversed, which would be dramatic if renewed because the magnetic flux protects us from mortals jets from the sun and certain more remote radiations.  
atastrophic scenario  ;  By the thinning of the only icecap of the North Pole, some think of a brutal swing (reversal) of our Earth, seemingly as that occurs to the icebergs.

>A recent theory proposes to connect the repetition of great ice ages to the crossing, by our planet, of the "arms" of our galaxy (called Milky Way, kind of gigantic lens made up of billion solar systems like our). That would give periods of some 140 million years. If true, how to understand that the last great glaciation was completed there 11.000/ 8.000 years ago and that the chart below expresses many fluctuations of the volume of the ices during the 900 000 past years ?  reality is changes are numerous, though repetitive. Averages, small and microscopic variations are superimposed on the more significant movements. We are thus not at the end of our sorrows.

In White, simulation of volumes of the ices; white points = maximum of ice. nowdays, ice is at the lowest ever for the last 900,000 years.

The chart is completed for the current time, with one of the lower levels of ice observed over the last 900.000 years period ; it match with a significant reheating. But as one can note it on the chart, nothing clear can be foresee for the future.

The sea level. by supposing that over one "so short" period there is neither loss nor creation of water, the sea level is only depending on the amount of ice ; 600.000 years ago, time of great creation not to say expansion of the marine life, it was rather comparable with that which we know today; but 20.000 years ago, the level was 110 meters lower than today, which explains why the cave of Cosquer (Mediterranean) is now under water.

 - Calanques of Cassis (rocky inlets), France; At a time when the level of water had been lowering, mouths of rivers turned into falls which dug the rock before falling in the sea below. The sea got again its current high level, invading the fjords drugged.

Variations quickness
It was thought that being thousands, million years or more, climates got through extremely slowly from a period to another; science not having ever any embarrassment to disavow itself (*), it is now told that the passage of a glaciation period to a non glaciation period would be carried out in less than one century (one even says 50 years) and could a few years of milder weather take place among a long very cold period.  By by forecast..

These last ten millennia, relatively tiny climatic modifications caused significant cultural upheavals, which could account for the disparition of ancient civilisations.

Climatic forecasts are like our weather forecast. We catch immediately that probably never can we understand anything, because explanations arrive most naturally, afterwards !

Without going any further, the idea of a nearest come back to an Ice Age was in the air, if I can say, when this article was written ; it finds its origin in the extrapolation of the temperature chart relating to the 1 000 last years (East of Europe), then the hundred last years; one always finds this abrupt cooling after a long period of heat. It's somehow a Self-evident truth and one smiles at this holy reading, because the number of times curves were wrongly prolonged is infinitely big. It is like to say, "after the rain, the fine weather". Or the contrary.

Indisputable facts :  they were lived by some old men like me : the fall of the temperatures started more precisely about 1950 (on the Riviera, I indeed have the souvenir of much more beautiful summers - but without water, excepted violent occasional storms - they had been years later.

In 1970, something surprising occurred: the winter lasted only 35 days (instead of 90) and spring made its appearance exceptionally early. And yet brutal change, the autumn started later and spring was very late. It is precisely in 1971 that time started to be degraded, causing the series of agricultural disasters which one knows in the northern hemisphere.
The following year, the average temperature, especially in winter, was definitely lower than that of the previous years in North America and in the Mediterranean area (the quantity of snows and ices years 71/72 increased by 13 % (what is enormous) for only one winter; on the other hand, the European Arctic Ocean knew abnormally high temperatures, while the centre and the west of Europe were affected by long periods of dryness. During this time, the Mediterranean and the Near East, underwent rains unusually abundant just as the Pacific coast of North America and most of Eastern Europe.

Mechanisms and consequence :  if there is too much cold air, no monsoon on the tropics. In summer the contraction of the circumpolar cold air normally attracts the belt of subtropical anticyclones towards the moderate zones (where the weather is nice). While being withdrawn, these anticyclones create an equatorial wet air drainage on the tropics; it is monsoon. If the masses of cold air contract less than usually, monsoon remains more close to the equator : it is the dryness on the tropics.

This document reproduces a digest of an " Science & Vie" item (unknown date).

Evolution of the climates (comments)

The general outline is coherent with what I could read in addition, but it is not therefore a certainty because the ignorance, notorious falsifications can be allowed for a time and even relayed by the most serious world scientific presses (*).

the author points out himself that certain alarmist forecasts produced by American on the climate of India or the countries of Asia, could well be sullied  with a strong desire to selling their foodstuffs !!     (see here-after  Mistakes, falsehoods, deceptions" and " "the Cosquer cave".

 Datation and carbon 14.   carbon-14 is a  whose mass (quantity) is constant in the alive beings, but which decreases regularly by radioactivity after their death. By measuring the remaining quantity, one can estimate the time of death. Alas, this carbon exists only at the alive beings or materials coming from (wood, leather, horn, hair). Therefore, no information can be drawn from the stone, metal, fabrics. except if they contain traces of them (leather, hairs, horn ..).
Some other radioactive elements can allow to evaluate the time, and appropriate means like circles in the fossil trees or other observations (see " the nautilus and the moon")

It was thus hitherto thought that the climate changed over very long periods, it is now admitted the passage from a glaciation period to a non glaciation period can be carried out in less than one century (one says 50 years)

1 / - Enormous glaciers level lowered considerably; that can be watched on the wear of the rocks and I remember to have made this strange observation in the  west Canadian, where one can see vertical cliffs of rock in an immense narrow part scraped by the glacier when its surface was a hundred meters above our heads

2 / - Area which were flooded in the past and sea-beds which were raised : they can be identified because of the presence of laden (there are limestone, shells, fossils..). Most of mountains have that in.
These marine laden, despite their importance, represent only   5 et 10 % of the amount of sediments produced by the wearing of rocks (that gives sands, clays ..) whose have been sometimes agglomerate into new rocks (sandstone, marbles, powdery rocks - bauxite),  under the chemistry or high pressure work.

Mistakes, falsehoods, and hoaxesof the science.

There were sites and archaeological objects, but also animals, "manufactured" to make believe in significant discovery, and distorted experiments that nobody never succeeded in reproducing them. Scientific hoaxes are not rare either ; remember these strange circles in the French fields, that gathered scientists of the whole world, coming to verify on the spot, of which some declared "that could not be done by men" !

For a time, it was admitted that the ground was flat and an English club always supports this theory, but undoubtedly in good mood and with force pints of beer. One will not blame them, for what we believe today can revals being wrong tomorrow.

Galileo had been jailed to have said that the ground was cycling around the sun (and not the reverse as it was affirmed at the time) and our exceptionally gifted Champollion had preferred to keep silent on the fact that the discoveries in Egypt proved incontestably that the arrival of the man on earth largely exceeded less the 5000 years fixed by the Church. For this behaviour, nothing will ever change on the earth.

Similar scientific declarations : "it was believed hitherto that, .. but elements  show now that ... are current facts.

Recent example  : It was discovered recently that the ways and practices of certain species of fish, followed under the ice-barrier with tracers, were not at all what one believed hitherto !   (but we do not understand any more, it was said as being sure !).

Scientists, no more than financial analysts and other politologists has never any embarrassment to disavowed itself, without excuses nor regrets.

We thought until then that the climate were evolving over very long periods; it is now admitted that the passage of a glaciation to a period of not glaciation could occur within century (say, 50 years)

After the famous "ozone hole" and the stream "El Nino", scientists worries now about the Gulf Stream, this stream "blessed by Gods", who gives France and of all the western shore of Northern Europe a moderate temperature while they are freezing in New-York, therefore at the Bordeaux latitude.

(part from a Voutch's drawing)
Relaxing a bit : Well before the invention of our hair sprays, the caveman  had it already become aware that by cutting flint, it modified the climate (..)

stirred at time the the world of the press, archaeology, or art, the whole in the background of legends and of supernatural powers. These human skulls, cut in rock crystal, are indeed fascinating. They are several in the world and even in museums. They first appeared in the second half of the XIXth century, being supposedly of origin Maya or Aztec. Their discovery remains both a little romantic and uncertain; British Museum places his own by 1300-1500 AD, but does not display it any more.

They aroused such a craze that glass false were even produced. A precise analysis allowed to prove that they had been cut with modern tools, such as jeweler's grindstones, probably with a Brazilian quartz sent to Germany. They are now a curiosity shown at temporary exhibitions. There is one piece in France at the Quai Branly Museum. The last movie of Spielberg uses this theme.

Prehistoric man could mean - 70,000 years for our likeness, and much more less for an approach. The man known as "of the caves"; around -40.000, better -20.000 years A.D, is said tbe alike ourselves.
At that time, Europe knew a severe ice age, with temperatures dropping to - 40° - 50°, even - 70° C . On the north of the current France and until half way, extended a deserted zone covered with ice almost all the year. The south of France looked like steppes of Central Asia;

The prehistoric men (*) lived in full ice age, one of the hardest moments of the cyclic history of the terrestrial climate. The chart of France, and more generally of Europe, was divided into three great zones.
The first consisted of a cap of ice, called "ice cap", which covered the ground until a limit fluctuating around the axis Berlin-south of England. The sea level was 110 meters lower than today. The French Channel thus did not exist and the edges of the French coast." were several tens of kilometres  towards the west, on what today is the continental step.
Below, an area called "periglacial desert" extended  from the medium of the today France. This zone that the historians describe as "vacuum" sheltered few animals and even less men. It was completely covered with ice during the long winter. Some parts could thaw out in summer: during a few weeks. It grew a transitory vegetation there, alike this of Northern Canadian or Northern Russia.
The temperatures could vary a few degrees above zero to - 40 - 50, even -70° C. ( -40° F to -94° F )
The third zone, much greeting started at the southern half of France. As the rest of Europe, it was subjected to glacial conditions, but the regular thaw lasted several months allowing the development of a vegetation favourable to the herds.

Translation : white area : "glaces permanentes" = permanent ice - brown area : "zones avec fontes d'été" = areas with melting summer ice.
dec. 1975 picture from "Science&Vie - Paris Match).

the Southern Mediterranean part was much less cold than elsewhere due to the influence of the sea ; at the  contrary, the Rhone, including the area of Solutré (*) was opened to the harsh winds and the Arctic cold. Here, nothing came to mild the icy influence of the Siberian anticyclone which remained permanently above Europe. On the few thousands years of the solutréenne period, a few moments of higher temperatures could be intercalated with durable periods of great cold.

(*) the discovery of a tool made called "Solutréen" the period of the Palaeolithic superior ranging between - 22 000 and -18 000.

(*) Cave man and wall art : the prehistoric man said "of the caves" would be a myth of our textbooks, myth maintained to better trap the tourists, if we believe the beautiful "reconstructions" (?) that now adorn some famous sites. Because there ares no clues of a "day to day" life in those; i.e. not traces of fires having been used to cook food, not remainders of bone of animals consumed on the spot, traces of manufacture of tools, not of dead .. ;  their only "cultural" demonstrations left works which we admire now : drawings of animals and hunting which were undoubtedly their first concern, outline of hands or plugs and clay modelling and sculptures (including very realistic sexes of men or women); all that sometimes at the bottom of the cave, up to several hundred meters (Ariège), but also in incredible settings: at the far end and under a rock projection of a few tens of centimetres in height, a true hole under rock that obliged the artist to be put in position of the mechanic slipped under a four drive wheels to paint its lower part !    Did they permanently do it or only at favourable periods? and what could be their motivations ? perhaps quite simply ourselves, representation of  their environment and their life; pagan belief, exorcism of the bad fate, call upon a good and generous nature (productive hunt, climatic accidents, conditions), or quite simply testimony; perhaps all of that.

This prehistoric man protected himself especially under what one calls rock shelters, perhaps supplemented with branches and peals. He possibly could have sheltered at the entry of a cave, but that's all.  It is not assumed that human groups have ever lived nearby one of them.

  "Lion man" Picture of a remote past dominated by animals, Löwenmensch, or lion  man, reappeared after having spent almost fifty years in the basement of a museum, where it was broken into 200 pieces. Carved in a defence of mammoth, this 30 cm height statuette was found in the cave of Hohlenstein-Stadel, nearby the valley of Danube, line of possible migration towards Europe of men came from the Middle-East. Among the masterpieces of the cave of Vogelherd appear a horse and a mammoth out of ivory. The discovery of a flute of bone, in Geissenklösterle, confirms the existence of an artistic conscience. .

approximately less than 32.000 years A.D. Sculpture of horn. Germany.

Analyses with carbon-14 reveals that frescos come back to approximately 32 000 years, the animals in question kept suddenly more importance.

 In fact, the cave of Chauvet also contains representations of man animal. Numerous are  those nowadays which think that the men of Neandertal, whose beginning is fixed around - 70.000 years, also evolved to modernity. New testimonies coming from French sites indicate that our supposed cousins "stupid" manufactured actually objects of style aurignacian 38 000 years ago. "In the south-west of France, declares the archaeologist Jean-Philippe Rigaud, it seems that the men of Neanderthal carried out the passage to modern technology before the arrival of the aurignacians. The debate among the specialists in the last ice age concerning the mentality of the man of Neanderthal emerged again when in late 1998, a discovery was made close to the town of Fatima in the Portuguese countryside : a prehistoric site of human camping containing pieces of bone, stone tools and charcoal, vestige of hearths as well as the aces of a  child buried 25 000 years ago.
There were lions in France, 36.000 years A.D

picture "Science&Vie - Paris Match", dec. 1975)
heads of lionesses: admire the complete fresco (click)

 the cave
Chauvet (La Combe-d'Arc, Ariège - France) ;
This scenery of bisons hunting by lionesses is, for both the quality of the drawing and the movement, an incredible realism; The artist did not possibly arrive at this stage directly, and a good number of previous sketches from him are certainly ignored ; me be certain awkward drawings are they from students. 


grotte Chauvet  (In French, but pictures.. ) On the website, click onto "bisons".

36.000 years ago A.C, prehistoric men known as"of the caves", of which those of the cave of Chauvet-Combe-d'Arc, were living in full ice age, one of the hardest moments of the cyclic history of the terrestrial climate (see above "evolution of the climates).

The Cosquer cave ; Discovered by a diver, the Cosquer cave, is accessible only by a passage, difficult and long, located deeply under water, because the sea level was low at that glacial time ; it is now closed for protection - there were also deaths. The intervention of the State in this business was nasty and disastrous; just announced by "the inventor", scientific services immediately let know that they knew already the existence in order to deprive our man from his discovery and keep for to them honors and later incomes. It is only after a difficult battle, the business spreading over the media, that our decouvror was half restored in his rights. He gave at least his name. That sad story occurred under Jack Lang, a charismatic culture minister.

The Lascaux cave (In French) One visits only his partial copy; it is a very small cave, extremely well done and it worths the visit. The true cave is always visited on particular reservation.

Great archeological  (In French) sites  Ministry of Culture, choice "disciplines et secteurs", then "archéologie"  only in French, I guess.


Aztec; as for all ancient pre-Columbian, knives for sacrifice are a lot ; one extracted the heart of alive people, these unhappy ones being placed on a sacrifice stone. The heart was posed on the belly of a chac-mool, small statue of stone representing a man on the back, half raised (leaning on on the elbows and folded knees), is the most current representations. Condemned, captive, voluntary or not were to finish their existence there to feed the insatiable need for the gods. At the Mayas were believed less sanguinary; it seems not ; they also pushed girls in the holes of the "cénotes" (kind of swallow-hole of our French south-west). It is said that they "were prepared" (drugged) before the great jump.

Note about the Maya ; Brutal disappearance of the Mayas is the object of many calculations : missing water according an French, final horror for all these sacrifices according to others, leading finally people giving up all and being dispersed; or even big  climatic change.  May be it is what watches for us, facing a  too complex society, which does not bring any more this why it was created (as become right now big cities). But before, it is generally the war which solves temporarily all the problems when States are enable to deal with. But in Maya land, no traces of war were found either.

if you fancy to admire in detail the incredible complexity of incrustations practised in the jade of the handle, click !


Despite of the horror, let us admire this sacrifice knife with an obsidian blade (I brought back a beautiful glare of this rock and I cut myself several times !). . From feet to fingers; and as the whole is thirty centimetres I believe, incrustations are millimetre-length ! One can dispute the artistic quality of the subject, but on the technical field, nothing else in the world can be compared there.

Mayas and astronomy.
The pyramid of Chichen Iza base is a square.
Four staircases, one for each side, sum up 365 steps, the number of the days of the year. Méso-American, just like the Egyptians, were much interested  in the sky, an unreachable world, strange and moving, where the sun, the moon and the stars were rotating, although with variable périods. It was also from a practical point of view, a way of reinforcing the religious power; the forecast of an eclipse, worrying fact, could be used to impress the people.
 In the Mayas, the year was split in 18 months of 20 days each, plus 5 floating days (one finds these 18 months on a very large round stone of the museum of Mexico City, sold in small size to the tourists, and which represents also the four worlds which have existed, the Mayas living the last. For the Mayas, the ground is a square posed on the back of a giant caiman; the sky (there are 13 of them), is supported by four giants and below, it is the hell (there are 9 of them). A giant tree is at the centre and one at each corner.

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