Hey Todd! Good to hear from you. The book you want to look at is by Jean Clottes and is called 'Return to Chauvet Cave'. There are other images of interest in that book! One sign, described as an insect, looks to me like a ribcage. It has six ribs each side, the sternum is clearly marked with a red blotch/line descending from the lower sternum. In an adjacent panel (which seems to be repeated seven times according to the author) another sign appears (one which I have already described to you) which I identify as a womb sign. Above the sign is a single diagonal red line. The sternum has six complete ribs attached to it on each side and a seventh whose direct attachment to the sternum is disputable. At the bottom of the sternum is a potrusion called the Xiphoid Process. I have wondered if not that potrusion was seen symbolically as the seventh, ie the thirteenth rib (six each side plus one) which is marked on the 'ribcage' sign. Such numerology corellates with the appearance of twelve complete lunar cycles within the solar year plus the incomplete (thirteenth) cycle, which is well recognised as the basis of European mythology. Thus the singular lines above the seven womb signs could represent 'ribs' that are being cast into the womb. This of course gives rise to a possible link with Genesis. Adam means 'Red Earth' and Eve 'Life Giving' and the world was created in seven days (cycles) while Eve the Life Giving was made out of (received?) Adams rib. To me such imagery suggests a symbolism connected with reincarnation rites. Interestingly a bear rib has been found stuck in one of the rock crevices (animal rib bones are a common enigma in prehistoric caves). Bear femurs are stuck in the cave floor, a bear skull seems purposefully set on a fallen rock. Also, scraped bear paws and canines have been found in a cave asociated with archaic Neanderthal called La Sima de los Huesos (National Geographic Vol.189). The Tau to me also resembles the forehead section (as marked on Shiva) including the nose. According to Elsekiel those who had the cross (believed to be the Tau) marked on their foreheads were spared by God.
Finally, Chauvet seems to be sturctured into three sections: predominantly red images, white images and black images. The red signs are made with red ochre (iron oxide = blood), the white signs are scraped and look bone like in their appearance in colour and structure. The black signs are drawn in charcoal (ashes). Such structure could relate to a goddess cult (virgin, mother, whitch=wise woman). The only clear depictions of vaginas appear in the last (ie black) part (In Hinduism gods of destruction such as Shiva, Kali and Durga are often linked with creative powers). A white sign shows an owl flanked by two ax shaped signs and a single white line next to it (right hand). I believe this sign shows the human pelvis from behind. The sacrum looks very similar to an owl, while the pelvic bones called Llium are shaped like an ax. The owl is drawn looking over its back. The singular white line may represent the rib, now within the womb.
It is worth studying Chauvet in my view. The site has not yet been excravated fully - this may take a long time to come.
Can you give me sources on bears + the meaning of the Tau?
Keeping an open mind.