- Mar 2022
An early example of a timber circle witnessed by Europeans was recorded by watercolor artist John White in July 1585 when he visited the Algonquian village of Secotan in North Carolina. White was the artist-illustrator and mapmaker for the Roanoke Colony expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to begin the first attempts at British colonization of the Americas. White's works represent the sole-surviving visual record of the native inhabitants of the Americas as encountered by England's first colonizers on the Atlantic seaboard. White's watercolor and the writings of the chronicler who accompanied him, Thomas Harriot, describes a great religious festival, possibly the Green Corn ceremony, with participants holding a ceremonial dance at a timber circle. The posts of the circle were carved with faces. Harriot noted that many of the participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee." and that "Three of the fayrest Virgins" danced around a central post at the center of the timber circle.
Artist, illustrator and mapmaker John White painted a watercolor in July 1585 of a group of Native Americans in the Secotan village in North America. Both he and chronicler Thomas Harriot described a gathering of Indigenous peoples gathered in the Algonquian village as part of Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Colony expedition. They describe a festival with participants holding a dance at a timber circle, the posts of which were carved with with faces.
Harriot wrote that participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee."
This evidence would generally support some of Lynne Kelly's thesis in Knowledge and Power. A group of neighboring peoples gathering, possibly for the Green Corn Ceremony, ostensibly to strengthen social ties and potentially to strengthen and trade knowledge.
Would we also see others of her list of markers in the area?
Read references: - Daniels, Dennis F. "John White". NCpedia. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - Tucker, Abigal (December 2008). "Sketching the Earliest Views of the New World". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - "A Selection of John White's Watercolors : A festive dance". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
- Dec 2021
But we often find such regional networks developinglargely for the sake of creating friendly mutual relations, or having anexcuse to visit one another from time to time;33 and there are plentyof other possibilities that in no way resemble ‘trade’.
There is certainly social lubrication of visiting people from time to time which can help and advance societies, but this regular visiting can also be seen as a means of reinforcing one's oral cultural history through spaced repetition.
It can be seen as "trade" but in a way that anthropologists have generally ignored for lack of imagination for what may have been actually happening.
Already tens of thousands of years ago, one can find evidence ofobjects – very often precious stones, shells or other items ofadornment – being moved around over enormous distances. Oftenthese were just the sort of objects that anthropologists would laterfind being used as ‘primitive currencies’ all over the world.
Is it also possible that these items may have served the purpose of mnemonic devices as a means of transporting (otherwise invisible) information from one area or culture to another?
Can we build evidence for this from the archaeological record?
Relate this to the idea of expanding the traditional "land, labor, capital" theory of economics to include "information" as a basic building block
- mnemonic devices
- spaced repetition
- standing stones
- Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies
- mnemonic devices for information trade
- land labor capital
- moveable information
- talking rocks
Reviewed Work: Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory, and the Transmission of Culture by LYNNE KELLY Review by: Asa R. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26337970
- Nov 2021
There was no ancient poet called “Homer,” he argued. Nor were the poems attributed to him “written” by any single individual. Rather, they were the product of a centuries-long tradition of poet-performers.
Are there possibly any physical artifacts in physical archaeology that may fit into the structure of the thesis made by Lynne Kelly in Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies?
What would we be looking for? Small mnemonic devices? Menhir? Standing stones? Wooden or stone circles? Other examples of extended ekphrasis similar to that of the shield of Achilles?