27 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. In 1991, the earliest known roundel was found in Germany, also corresponding to the Stroked Pottery culture. Called the Goseck Circle, it is 246 feet (75 m) in diameter and had a double wooden palisade and three entrances. Because two of the entrances correspond with sunrise and sunset during the winter and summer solstices, one interpretation of the Goseck Circle is that it functioned as an observatory or calendar of sorts, according to a 2012 study in the journal Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association (opens in new tab).

      Sounds like this shares many of the potential features of Stonehenge, stone and timber circles, and menhirs that fit into Lynne Kelly's thesis on mnemonic devices.

  2. Apr 2022
    1. Last night while watching a video related to The First Astronomers, I came across a clip in which Australian elder Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson indicates that indigenous dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the Indigenous peoples who always relate (associate) their stories from the markings back up to the sky (stars, constellations).

      These markings remind me of some of those found on carved stone balls in neolithic European contexts described by Dr. @LynneKelly in The Memory Code and Memory Craft and carvings on coolamon in Knowledge and Power.

      Using the broad idea of the lukasa and abstract designs, I recently bought a small scale version of the Aberlemno Pictish Cross as a small manual/portable memory palace, which is also an artwork that I can hang on the wall, to use to associate memories to the designs and animals which are delineated in 18 broad areas on the sculpture. (Part of me wonders if the communities around these crosses used them for mnemonic purposes as well?)

      scale model of the Aberlemno Pictish Cross with Celtic designs in the foreground with the life size cross in the background

      Is anyone else using abstract designs or artwork like this for their memory practice?

      Anyone know of other clever decorative artworks one could use and display in their homes/offices for these purposes?


      For those interested in the archeological research on dendroglyphs in Australia: - The Western Yalanji dendroglyph: The life and death of an Aboriginal carved tree - Review: The Dendroglyphs or ‘Carved Trees’ of New South Wales by Robert Etheridge (Content warning: historical erasure of Indigenous culture)

    1. same with our with the with the dendrites we will always tell you the story tell the story to the juvenile who's coming through the novices who's coming through the ceremony will tell them so as they 00:47:47 get to a certain age or a certain time or a certain experience in the ceremony we will then pass that knowledge onto him and we'll take it to him so these hieroglyphs and 00:47:58 petroglyphs and the etchings on the rocks and the paintings on there on the cave walls that's our library that is our library

      The dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or the petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the indigenous peoples who always relate their stories from the markings back up to the sky.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson


      Can this be linked to the practices of the Druids who may have had similar methods? How about linking the petroglyphs in the Celtic (English) countryside?

    2. and within that within that area then you have on one on the light side with on the eastern side of the milky way all of those people there have a 00:39:56 relationship to each other all the tribes and all the clans and so and then you come on to the west side exactly the same thing again so on the east side those stars on the 00:40:10 bright side we are not allowed if you've got a totemic system that belongs to the east side you cannot marry your children into any one of them you must marry across the river so 00:40:23 you've got to go across the river which is that milky way and so the light side's going to go across the dark side to find their wives and so the old people understood who the people were and 00:40:35 and so they understood that genealogical background of every family every child and so they made sure that that when you made a promise to a child you 00:40:49 make sure that there are at least five generation removed from the people you want to marry them back into genetics was very important to us even though we didn't know it was genetics at 00:41:01 the time but it was maintaining the purity of the people

      There's a light side (East) and a dark side (West) of the Milky Way (seen as a river) which is mirrored into the moieties of the people. Dark people must go across the river to marry those on the light side. The elders kept track of all the genealogy in the totemic system of every family and every child and made their promises such that there were at least five generations removed from their family to maintain the purity (in the sense of genetic soundness, not genetic purity from a "racial" perspective) of the people.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson

  3. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkjf0hCKOCE

      The sky is a textbook. The sky is a lawbook. The sky is a science book. —Duane Hamacher, (1:24)

      Hamacher uses the Western description "method of loci" rather than an Indigenous word or translated word.


      The words "myth", "legend", "magic", "ritual", and "religion" in both colloquial English and even anthropology are highly loaded terms.

      Words like "narrative" and "story" are better used instead for describing portions of the Indigenous cultures which we have long ignored and written off for their seeming simplicity.

    1. The idea that ‘everything onEarth is reflected in the sky’ and of ‘reading the stars’ to understandyour environment are two of the most common and widespreadthemes in Indigenous astronomy.

      Hidden in the phrase that "everything on Earth is reflected in the sky" or the idea of "reading the stars to understand one's environment" is the idea of associative memory. If you know one thing, you necessarily know another. Don't let this subtle idea of the words 'reflect' or 'read' hide what is going on.

    2. Lakota Elder Arvol Looking Horse explains that ‘Star knowledge islike a mirror. The stars are up there, and we have the stars down

      here.’ This philosophical standpoint is understood in the Lakota/Dakota language with one word: Kapemni—‘As is above, so is below: What is in the stars is on Earth; and what is on Earth is in the stars.’


      The Lakota/Dakota language word Kapemni captures the idea that what is in the stars mirrors what is on Earth.

    3. Indigenous astronomy focuses on the empirical, scientificlayers of this knowledge, and Traditions refer to the social practices,cultural activities, and methods of transmitting and applying thisknowledge.
    4. Who were the world’s first astronomers? The answer typicallyincludes scientists such as Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus, or ancientcivilisations that gave birth to what we consider Western science,such as Sumer in Mesopotamia.

      Given the predominantly non-literate civilizations that comprised the ancient Near East, I've been wondering about how they may have actually been closer to Indigenous cultures than they are to more modern, literate Western culture.

      Perhaps he shouldn't dismiss them so readily here, but rather tie them more directly into his broader thesis.

    5. Peter Eseli of Mabuiag Island (known locally as Mabuyag)in the western Torres Strait began writing down traditional knowledgein the Kala Lagau Ya language in the early twentieth century. By1939, Eseli had amassed a 77-page manuscript, complete withdrawings, songs and genealogies as well as a wealth of starknowledge, some of which is included in this book. He continuedadding to it until his death in 1958. His manuscript was latertranslated into English.
    6. Professor Mātāmua’s 2017 book, Matariki: The star of the year.
    7. In 1898, Māori man Te Kōkau and his son, Rāwairi Te Kōkau,began recording traditional star knowledge in the Māori language.After 35 years, they had amassed a 400-page manuscript that

      contained over a thousand star names. Rāwairi passed the manuscript to his grandson, Timi Rāwairi. In 1995, Timi’s own grandson asked him about Matariki, a celebration that kicks off the Māori new year, heralded by the dawn rising of the Pleiades star cluster. Timi went to a cupboard, pulled out the manuscript and handed it to his grandson, Rangi Mātāmua.

      Was it partially coincidence that this knowledge was written down and passed on within the family or because of the primacy of the knowledge within the culture that helped to save in spanning from orality into literacy?

      What other examples might exist along these lines to provide evidence for the passing of knowledge at the border of orality and literacy?

      Link this to ideas about the border of orality and literacy in Welsh and Irish.

    8. Given the importance of star knowledge to the survivalof people and the thriving of culture, the role of an astronomer isgenerally considered one of the most prestigious and sacred roles inIndigenous societies.

      Star knowledge can be some of the most important social knowledge with respect to Indigenous peoples and as a result astronomers are some of the most prestigious and sacred roles in these societies.

    9. Guardianship of starknowledge is also a family affair in Lakota cultures of the northernMidwest of the United States. Arvol Looking Horse, a Lakota Elderand spiritual leader, teaches that sacred star medicine is maintainedby family lineages bearing the name Lúta.

      Star knowledge is guarded by family lineages in the Lakota cultures with the name Lúta.

    10. In the western Torres Strait, an astronomer is called a ZugubauMabaig, which literally translates as ‘star person’.
    11. In FirstNations, astronomers are the keepers of knowledge that informsnearly every facet of life and culture.
    12. The stars also give meaning to our existence. The sky is a canvasof sparkling dots that we connect to form familiar patterns, to whichwe assign narratives about their formation and meaning. Across thesky, ancestors, heroic figures, animals, landscapes and fantasticbeasts tell stories of the human experience. They speak of braveryand deceit, war and peace, sex and violence, punishment andreward. It is fascinating to find striking similarities in stories about thestars across vastly different cultures, with even more similarities in theways they are utilised.

      Are these graphic and memorable stories strikingly similar because of the underlying packages of orality and memory used in these cultures?

      This is one of my primary motivations for reading this text.

    13. ISBN 978 1 76087 720 0
    1. archaea what strata me which looked at how ancient civilizations understood

      archaeoastronomy : the study of ancient or traditional astronomies in their cultural context, utilizing archaeological and anthropological evidence.

      sometimes also spelled archeoastronomy

    1. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-the-pagan-gods-that-still-exist-in-israeli-city-names-1.8924898?v=1647845941967

      Cities in Israel named after Semitic gods of the ancient Near East.

      Jerusalem was likely originally Ir Shalem ('The City of Shalem') because the central shrine was dedicated to the Canaanite god Shalem, aka Salem, the personification of the Evening Star.

      Shahar, the twin brother of Shalem, was the personification of the Morning Star and was presumably the tutelary god of Zareth-Shahar. This town is in modern day central Jordan and was mentioned in Joshua 13:19.

      While the original Zareth-Shahar didn't survive into modernity, another town dedicated to the same god may have existed on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee at a site known by the Arabic name for the morning star. A kibbutz named Ayelet HaShachar was built there after 1915. Ayelet HaShachar is a poetic biblical term for the Morning Star (Psalms 22:1).

      Jericho may have taken it's name from the tutelary god Yareakh, the moon god.

      Similarly the site Beit Yarekh may attest to that moon god being worshiped there as well.

      The sun god Shemesh may have created the eponymous names for cities Beth-Shemesh ('House of Shemesh', Joshua 15:10), En-Shemesh ('Spring of Shemesh", Joshua 15:7), and Ir-Shemesh ('City of Shemesh", Joshua 19:41). The modern day city Beit Shemesh was established in 1950 at a site with the Arabic place name 'Ain Shems which was believed to be the site of the ancient city Beth-Shemesh.

      The storm god Baal is the root of cities including Kiryat Baal (Joshua 18:14), Baal Perazim (II Samuel 5:17), Gur Baal (II Chronicles 26:7), Baal-Gad (Joshua 11:17), Baal-Hermon (Judges 3:3), and Baal-Hazor (II Samuel 13:23). There are also cities Baal-Peor (Numbers 23:28) and Ball Shalishah (II Kings 4:42).

      Canaanite god El was the tutelary god of the town Bethel mentioned frequently in the Old Testament including in Genesis 12:8. The Palestinian town Beitin is thought to be the site of the ancient Bethel. Beit El, an Israeli settlement, was created near it in 1977.

      Dagon was the namesake of Beth Dagon (Joshua 15:41). It continued until 1948 when the Palestinian town Bayt Dajan was depopulated leading up to the Israeli War of Independence. The site is now an Israeli town called Beit Dagan.

      Reshef, an ancient Semitic god from Elba and later identified with Apollo lent his name to the todays Arsuf, which is also known as Apollonia. During the Persian period, the Phoenicians had named a town there for Reshef.

      Horon, possibly a desert god with power over animals and snakes, is the inspiration of Beth Horon (I Chronicles 7:24). A modern settlement Beit Horon was founded in 1977.

    1. dark constellations

      Dark constellations are dark patches amidst brighter portions of the Milky Way in the night sky which are visible to the naked eye.

      Historically they were viewed by Indigenous peoples of Australia as well as Incans.

      The emu in the sky is an example from the southern hemisphere. Its 'body' is outlined by Scorpius and Sagittarius and its 'head' is known as as the Coalsack Nebula.

      Another example is the Great Rift.

    1. The constellations’ positions in the night sky on significant dates, such as solstices and equinoxes, are mirrored in the alignments of the main structures at the compound, he found. Steles were “carefully placed within the temenos to mark the rising, zenith, or setting of the stars over the horizon,” he writes.

      Phoenicians use of steles and local environment in conjunction with their astronomy fits the pattern of other uses of Indigenous orality and memory.

      Link this example to other examples delineated by Lynne Kelly and others I've found in the ancient Near East.

      How does this example potentially fit into the broader framework provided by Lynne Kelly? Are there differences?

      Her thesis fits into a few particular cultural time periods, but what sorts of evidence should we expect to see culturally, socially, and economically when the initial conditions she set forth evolve beyond their original context? What should we expect to see in these cases and how to they relate to examples I've been finding in the ancient Near East?

    2. But crucially, he believes the pool at the center of the complex may have also served as a surface to observe and map the stars. The water surface would have mirrored the sky, as water does – none other than Leonardo da Vinci pointed out the attributes of inert standing water when studying the night sky. For one thing, the stars were adored by the Phoenicians, whether as gods or deceased ancestors; and the position of the constellations was of keen interest to the sailors among them for navigation purposes, Nigro points out.

      Lorenzo Nigro indicates that the "kothon" of Motya in southern Sicily was a pool of Baal whose surface may have been used to observe and map the stars. He also indicates that the Phoenicians adored the stars potentially as gods or deceased ancestors. This is an example of a potentially false assumption often seen in archaeology of Western practitioners misconstruing Indigenous practices based on modern ideas of religion and culture.

      I might posit that this sort of practice is more akin to that of the science of Indigenous peoples who used oral and mnemonic methods in combination with remembering their histories and ancestors.

      Cross reference this with coming reading in The First Astronomers (to come) which may treat this in more depth.


      Leonardo da Vinci documented the attributes of standing water for studying the night sky.

      Where was this and what did it actually entail?