The Golden Age

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Forum Monk » Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:14 pm

Though its a bit off topic, the theories of how the continents have formed are pretty well detailed over hundreds of millions of years, so I would say there is little possibility of recent cataclysmic continental creation, though islands may well have risen or fallen.

I have big problems comprehending that any stories from seven millions ago can survive. In fact, I have serious problems believing that humankind is anywhere near seven million years old. It does seem within the realm of possibilites that some stories may extend back to the time of when HNS and HSS comingled in Europe and the Middle East but even this seems incredible. I think the earliest cosomologies are traces of very old stories extending back perhaps 10s of thousands of years, but the stories of the ages of the gods and heros are much more recent.
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Postby kbs2244 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:02 pm

I am with you on that kind of time frame Monk.
I can just see some old guy staring into a fire and saying “Many, many, many moons ago.....”
And then some young eager beaver trying to count how many months that was.
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Postby Minimalist » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:15 pm

First off you need language that is complex enough to handle story telling....
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:32 pm

Minimalist wrote:First off you need language that is complex enough to handle story telling....


We don't know when that was, Min. We don't even know when it was first written down. Earliest attested we have is around 3,000 BC but there could be earlier writing that got detroyed.

Monk, I agree with you on the timeframe for the mythology. I think it is essentially Siberian and all the mythology stems from that after a diaspora from Siberia around the end of the last ice age. This means all Indo Europeans have the same core mythological stories, albeit told slightly differently, but also the South Americans too, the Mayans being inheritors of the same mythology from the Siberians (if they weren't actually Siberian themselves).
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Postby Minimalist » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:58 pm

I'm perfectly willing to accept an oral tradition, Ish. That still requires language more complex than simple hunting grunts.

"Oog. You go there. I go here."

"Tiger over there."

"Tiger? Run Away!"


I don't think you could get many exciting stories out of that. On the plus side, it wouldn't take long to memorize.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:41 am

I think we assume that a complex language is dependent upon some system of writing to exist.

But try getting my four-year-old grand daughter, who can barely write her own name, to stop talking and she uses very complex language. The other day, her mum was suggesting that they do something, and Kaya replied,

"Yes, Mummy ... but beforehand, we should do .... etc"

Beforehand! :shock:

She'll be saying 'notwithstanding the aforementioned' next!
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Postby Forum Monk » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:41 pm

Ishtar wrote:[I think it is essentially Siberian and all the mythology stems from that after a diaspora from Siberia around the end of the last ice age. This means all Indo Europeans have the same core mythological stories, albeit told slightly differently, but also the South Americans too, the Mayans being inheritors of the same mythology from the Siberians (if they weren't actually Siberian themselves).


It sounds like you are convinced of a Siberian origin to Indo-European culture as you have explored the same theme in your other postings throughout the board. Aren't you suggesting a sweep from Siberia, through Kashmir and into the Indus Valley as well as points west?

But Siberia would have been a very tough place to survive in the ice age, so it seems reasonable to assume the movement would have been in the opposite direction following the ice age. Genetic evidence I have looked at shows most genetic lines radiating out of the southern Caucasus region or further southwest.

This site has been posted before and can be explored interactively:
https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/gen ... atlas.html
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Postby Forum Monk » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:46 pm

Ishtar wrote:But try getting my four-year-old grand daughter, who can barely write her own name, to stop talking and she uses very complex language.


Add to that, complex thinking as well, which also requires a complex language IMO. I remember quite well the first time my daughter said something which indicated a clear independent thought process at work, not just repeating what is heard. It was stunning to me for some reason because she was very young. Not saying she is remarkable, but complex cognition in human toddlers almost seems prewired.
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Postby Minimalist » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:35 pm

She'll be saying 'notwithstanding the aforementioned' next!



Future politician.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:18 pm

Forum Monk wrote:
But Siberia would have been a very tough place to survive in the ice age, so it seems reasonable to assume the movement would have been in the opposite direction following the ice age. Genetic evidence I have looked at shows most genetic lines radiating out of the southern Caucasus region or further southwest.


Have a look at this:


Image

Siberia doesn't look as affected by the Ice Age as we might have assumed.

On the genetics side, did you not see the recent news about the British, Siberians, Indians and north Chinese all being genetically connected?

Minimalist wrote:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/05/23/sciorkney123.xml

Orkney Islanders are more closely related to people in Siberia and in Pakistan than those in Africa and the near East, according to a novel method to chart human migrations.

The surprising findings come from a new way to infer ancient human movements from the variation of DNA in people today, conducted by a team from the University of Oxford and University College Cork, which has pioneered a technique that analyses the entire human genetic makeup, or genome.


According to the genetic evidence, the Indians did not come down via the northwest passage (Khyber Pass) and their own historians say that entered further east, the Anu tribe from Kashmir and the Puru tribe even further east than that.
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Postby Forum Monk » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:38 pm

Sometime ago it was commonly believed based on hypotheses put forth in the early to mid 1990's that forests existed across southern siberia and northeastern siberia was moist. This is refuted today by researchers on the ground in those regions. Siberia was cold during the LGM, very cold and the northeast was not only cold it was desert dry. That's why there was no ice and very few animal species or plant species are present.

The lastest concensus body of evidence is consolidated by Jonathan Adams of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Pollen and morphological evidence suggests that winter (February) temperatures across southern Siberia were about 12 Deg.C lower than at present (Frenzel 1992a), giving winters almost as severe as those in north-eastern Siberia at present. In the coldest parts of north-eastern Siberia, Frenzel suggests winter that temperatures were some 12-14 degrees lower even than the present extreme temperatures. Summer temperatures for August (Frenzel 1992b) are reconstructed as being about 6 deg.C lower throughout Siberia and the central Asian desert region, except in the north-west close to the ice sheet where they may have been 8-10 deg.C lower than today.

In southern Siberia, the survival of semi-desert mammals suggests somewhat less severe aridity, but with conditions colder than today's (see the main QEN review for a detailed discussion of the evidence relating to this zone during the full glacial period). Relatively moist, but still more arid than present, conditions may have prevailed in some parts of north-eastern Siberia on the continental shelf, and adjacent lowland areas where rain-bearing winds could pentrate inland from the ocean. Whatever the conditions in the lowlands, the high topography of most of eastern Siberia would have meant polar/montane desert conditions in the colder climates of the last glacial. Note that the available evidence, in the view of virtually all those who work on this area, from most of Siberia strongly contradicts the reconstructions based on GCM models by Prentice et al. (1993) and the palaeoevidence-based vegetation reconstructions of Van Campo et al. (1993) and Peng et al. (1995), in which substantial areas of forest are shown across southern Siberia, and the treeless zone to the north was assumed to be a 'moist tundra' or 'moist steppe' type of environment with high biomass and productivity and deep organic-rich soils.

Large ice-dammed lakes appear to have been present in the west Siberian basin throughout the full glacial period (Velichko and Kurenkova 1990). The actual size of these lakes is still uncertain, but in fact they may have been linked into one very large lake that covered almost all of the basin, as this unpublished manuscript suggests. Lower sea levels exposed extensive land bridges in south-east Asia and across Beringia to Alaska. The large amount of data relating to palaeoenvironments for this period is summarized in the main text of the QEN review.


ref: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nercEURASIA.html
(Bolding mine)

Based on the latest views, there was not enough biomass to sustain human populations. People and animals can not live on ice year round.

Image

Even across the Indian subcontinent as seen in the map above, conditions were quite arid and not particularly hospitiable although probably survivable.

The research shows the by 11,000 years ago, measured by carbon 14, conditions in Siberia began to soften and woodlands began to emerge along the steppes with large areas of aridity across central asia.

Image

The researcher, IMO must consider several factors when hypothesizing migrations. Weather conditions and landscape being among the most important. Mountains, deserts, ice, and water are deterrents to mass migration. The actual conditions prior to the Younger Dryas and extending back to the LGM suggest, IMHO a different migration pattern than the one you are supporting during that time frame. Either the time frame was different or the path taken was different.
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Postby Forum Monk » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:43 pm

Some background on the maps of Jonthan Adams:

http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/mapping.html
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Postby john » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:02 pm

Ishtar wrote:I think we assume that a complex language is dependent upon some system of writing to exist.

But try getting my four-year-old grand daughter, who can barely write her own name, to stop talking and she uses very complex language. The other day, her mum was suggesting that they do something, and Kaya replied,

"Yes, Mummy ... but beforehand, we should do .... etc"

Beforehand! :shock:

She'll be saying 'notwithstanding the aforementioned' next!


Minimalist and Ishtar -

I would take the reverse position -

That the development of writing is a result

Of a complex language,

Rather than the reverse.

Why?

Intuitively obvious.

I rather doubt that Paleolithic hunter/gatherers

Communicated by writing for their daily affairs.

However, there is an exceptional point here.

Cave paintings.

Although not "Writing" per se,

Cave paintings passed along, generationally, a sequence of

Shared symbolic understanding/knowledge

Very similar to the alphabet, and language,

In the sense that it reflected the worldview

Expressed in the daily, verbal lingua franca.


hoka hey

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain
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Postby Minimalist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:54 pm

Actually I am inclined to think that writing developed as a response to a need. That need was primarily commercial. The need for merchants and kings to keep track of things.

Literature develops later on....when the scribes have some free time. There can be quite a long gap between the development of language and the development of writing. The American Indians had developed language which could handle complex story telling but they did not, with minor exception (I think the Cherokee) ever develop a written language.

As I recall Phillip R. Davies has a lot to say about ancient literacy.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby rich » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:51 pm

Myself I kinda liked Victor Borge's "Phonetic Puntuation System" :D
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin
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