Eerie tall figures with giant heads found in ancient cave paintings – and the theories are wild | The Sun

MYSTERIOUS figures painted onto the wall of a cave in Tanzania have left archaeologists baffled.

The elaborate artwork, which dates back hundreds of years, depicts three human-like characters with extremely oversized heads.

They appear to have been depicted with stylised buffalo skulls, although the meaning behind this is unclear.

The drawing was discovered in 2018 within one of 52 previously undocumented rock shelters in the Swaga Swaga Game Reserve.

However, images of it only came to light in a paper published last year by Maciej Grzelczyk, a researcher based in Poland.

The artwork forms part of a frieze of figurative art at a site named Amak'hee 4.

Read more about archaeology

Ancient Egyptian shrine and hidden treasures unearthed in lost ‘City of the Sun’

I’m a dinosaur expert – these are the flaws in Jurassic Park

Painted with a mix of red and white pigments, it's thought to date back to the time of hunter-gatherer societies in the region.

Depicted on the panel are animals resembling wildebeest, elands, buffalo, and even a giraffe.

A handful of human-like figures with large heads also feature, with one group, in particular, standing out.

"Particularly noteworthy among the Amak'hee 4 paintings is a scene that centres around three images," Grzelczyk, a researcher at Jagiellonian University Institute for the Study of Religions, wrote.

Most read in Tech

NUMBERS GAME

Brain-scrambling TikTok optical illusion challenges users to see 10 numbers

CHECK NOW

iPhone warning for BILLIONS as three 'parasite apps' RUIN iPhone battery life

CODE RED

Urgent warning for ALL Google and Android phone owners – check settings now

GOLDEN APPLE

My iPhone 'magic trick' will change how you use phone FOREVER – it's so easy

"In this trio, the figures seem to feature stylized buffalo heads.

"These shapes recall the central dip in the profile of the buffalo head from where the two horns rise and then curve outward away from the head, as well as the downturned ears."

The culture of the Sandawe people – who are descended from those who created the paintings – does not have a history of depicting buffalo-headed people, Grzelczyk said.

They are not known to believe in legends about people who can shape-shift into buffaloes, so the images may depict something else.

However, buffalo horns do play a major role in some Sandawe rituals.

Nearby, two other shelter paintings depict similar trios of tall human-like figures boasting enormous heads.

The meaning behind the buffalo-headed figures remains a mystery for now.

Read More on The Sun

As Deborah James dies of bowel cancer – the 5 symptoms she wanted you to know

Must-know iPhone hack saves you from HUGE embarrassment – learn it now

Some of the rock art sites are still used by the Sandawe for ritual activities today, and local communities might be able to shed light on what the figures mean.

The paper was published in the journal Antiquity.


  • Get all the latest Science news
  • Keep up-to-date with the top Space & Astronomy stories
  • All the latest Archaelogy news from dinosaurs to Ancient artefacts

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]

    Source: Read Full Article