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Wednesday, 9 August, 2000, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Lascaux caves reveal earliest star map

The ancient caves of Lascaux in southern France -- long famous for their prehistoric drawings of animals -- have now revealed a new marvel: the oldest known map of the night sky.

Researchers say one section of the caves contains a map of the constellations charted by prehistoric man, including three bright stars known today as the Summer Triangle.

A drawing of the Pleiades star cluster has also been found.

The map of the stars, full of animals and spirit guides, is believed to be more than sixteenth-thousand years old.

The BBC science unit says the discovery will force a re-appraisal of our understanding of the outlook of early mankind.

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