Zoroastrianism

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 rich » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:48 am

HG's could have had a very good surplus - jerky and other dried foods - they last a veerrry long time. And with the abundance of animal life and plant life (as long as you weren't in desert regions) it wouldn't have been too hard to do.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin
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Postby Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:44 am

If you just look at your monthly income, and then deduct everything you spend money on that the HG wouldn't have needed to do, you'd probably end up with about less than 1 per cent of your income.

The 'affluence' of HG's lifestyle is as much about him not having as many needs as we do, as about abundance of food supply.
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Postby dannan14 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:56 am

According to several researchers HGs spend about 20hrs/week at 'work'. If ou add in cooking, eating, cleaning, bathing, etc that number jumps to a 'staggering' 40hrs/week. HGs had it made. We're the slaves to the clock. If i had that much free time i would not want for anything.


Of course 'Office Space' is one of my all time favorite movies and i share the main character's 'dream of doing nothing'. The only reason we think we have it easier now is because we have more stuff when in fact, having all this stuff makes us work twice as much. Time is a whole lot more valuable than money.
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Postby Minimalist » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:16 am

that we never had it so good and it was the 'original affluent society'.



That's a joke. And a very funny one. I'll look around later and see if I can find it. :D

HG groups tend to be small...typically 30 at most.

Just because we in the west have now moved beyond religion...at least you Euro-types have, does not invalidate the concept. Leisure time provides for intellectual pursuits. Stratified society enables the formation of a leisure class which can spend its time on other things than where is the next meal coming from.
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 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:18 am

dannan14 wrote:Time is a whole lot more valuable than money.


Couldn't agree more.

In his book, Inside the Neolithic Mind, David Lewis Williams says that it is now accepted that agriculturalists had to work harder and longer hours than hunter gatherers, as they have to cope with the following disadvantages:

§ domesticated herds, as opposed to wild herds, have to be tended , protected from predators and provided with pasturage
§ domesticated plants and animals, as opposed to wild, are prone to disease
§ disease – plant, animal and human – can rampage through closely packed populations
§ starch diet can lead to tooth decay and other health problems
§ farming fields degrades soil, causing erosion
§ as fields grew in size, they demanded more water, thus watering and irrigation systems became necessary

Lorna Marshall, an ethnographer, who worked with the HG southern African Bushmen (San) in the 1950s, described them as enjoying ‘a kind of material plenty’.

The French archaeologist Jacques Cauvin argues that the major changes in thought (superstructure) preceded changes in subsistence (infrastructure). He says that people changed their religion and symbolism before they became farmers, not as a result of becoming farmers.

“...given that this chronological sequence is now indisputable, it is necessary to challenge and dismiss former materialist theories in which symbolic constructions were only derived superstructures ... the great civilising changes of the Neolithic were first anticipated and played out in religious and ritual contexts.”

I contend that the Biblical story of Exodus could be a prime example of this. The 40 years the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness could be a metaphor for the 40,000 years approx that man pursued a nomadic lifestyle up to the Neolithic.

The CoI lived on manna that 'fell from the skies' and that had to be collected fresh every day. They couldn't store it to get a surplus. This could be a metaphor for hunting and not being able to store seeds.

I believe tht the purpose of the CoI settling down in "the land of milk and honey" was to build a permanent temple. Not that it really happened. It is a metaphor, or a playing out of a ritual as Cauvin says, that preceded the real thing.

The same story is told in a different way in Cain and Abel, although in that story, the HG is closer to God than the farmer.
Last edited by Ishtar on Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Minimalist » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:19 am

Well that took no time at all!


Indian Chief, "Two Eagles," was asked by a white government official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years.

You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his
progress, and the damage he's done."

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your
opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and
then calmly replied. "When white man find land, Indians
running it. No taxes, No debt, Plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, Clean
Water; women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex."

Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white man dumb enough to
think he improve system like that."
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 Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:21 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby rich » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:22 am

Min said:
HG groups tend to be small...typically 30 at most.


Tell that to Custer! :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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Postby Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:23 am

Min, I'm reposting this because I tihnk you may missed it:

dannan14 wrote:Time is a whole lot more valuable than money.


Couldn't agree more.

In his book, Inside the Neolithic Mind, David Lewis Williams says that it is now accepted that agriculturalists had to work harder and longer hours than hunter gatherers, as they have to cope with the following disadvantages:

§ domesticated herds, as opposed to wild herds, have to be tended , protected from predators and provided with pasturage
§ domesticated plants and animals, as opposed to wild, are prone to disease
§ disease – plant, animal and human – can rampage through closely packed populations
§ starch diet can lead to tooth decay and other health problems
§ farming fields degrades soil, causing erosion
§ as fields grew in size, they demanded more water, thus watering and irrigation systems became necessary

Lorna Marshall, an ethnographer, who worked with the HG southern African Bushmen (San) in the 1950s, described them as enjoying ‘a kind of material plenty’.

The French archaeologist Jacques Cauvin argues that the major changes in thought (superstructure) preceded changes in subsistence (infrastructure). He says that people changed their religion and symbolism before they became farmers, not as a result of becoming farmers.

“...given that this chronological sequence is now indisputable, it is necessary to challenge and dismiss former materialist theories in which symbolic constructions were only derived superstructures ... the great civilising changes of the Neolithic were first anticipated and played out in religious and ritual contexts.”

I contend that the Biblical story of Exodus could be a prime example of this. The 40 years the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness could be a metaphor for the 40,000 years approx that man pursued a nomadic lifestyle up to the Neolithic.

The CoI lived on manna that 'fell from the skies' and that had to be collected fresh every day. They couldn't store it to get a surplus. This could be a metaphor for hunting and not being able to store seeds.

I believe tht the purpose of the CoI settling down in "the land of milk and honey" was to build a permanent temple. Not that it really happened. It is a metaphor, or a playing out of a ritual as Cauvin says, that preceded the real thing.

The same story is told in a different way in Cain and Abel, although in that story, the HG is closer to God than the farmer.
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Postby Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:25 am

rich wrote:Min said:
HG groups tend to be small...typically 30 at most.


Tell that to Custer! :D


Min, do you mean HG groups now or then?

Because then, pre Neolithic, everyone was HG and they moved around in much bigger tribes than just 30 people. :?
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Postby rich » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:03 pm

Possibility also exists that they started to change from hunter gatherers to a combined existence of that plus a central storage group which eventually turned into a farming group. Man has never really totally stopped being a hunter gatherer but has become more farming based. But even if you were just HG - eventually you would build up enough reserves where you would need to store it. Farming just gives you better conrtol over certain aspects (you don't have to hunt te animals down nor search for the food trees, vines, or other plants you would want. It had to happen eventually. Towns and cities give you storage now but at one time the farms could have.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin
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Postby Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:31 pm

rich wrote:(you don't have to hunt te animals down nor search for the food trees, vines, or other plants you would want. It had to happen eventually. Towns and cities give you storage now but at one time the farms could have.


If having enough leisure to sit on our backsides led to religion, we'd all be fucking saints by now! :lol:
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Postby rich » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:39 pm

Didn't say they had leisure - just that it made it easier to get the ones you want :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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Postby Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:45 pm

rich wrote:Didn't say they had leisure - just that it made it easier to get the ones you want :D


Yes, but this discussion is centred around religion and when it was adopted.

That's what we're interested in finding out.
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Postby Ishtar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:52 pm

One thing we can see from the Gobustan cave paintings is that Palaeo (HG) man, in that region, conducted the horse sacrifice.

The horse sacrifice is a religious ritual for which we have evidence in the Rig-veda:


In Vedic India, the greatest of sacrifices was the Ashvamedha (or Horse Sacrifice). Kings spent fortunes in the elaborate rituals, which sometimes required hundreds of officiating priests and lasted for several weeks at a time.

The sacrifice of the horse was often associated with the sacrifice of the goat, as we discuss further below. Both these sacrifices were often associated with Tantric practices, and even today this ritual is often accompanied by the goat sacrifice. In fact the horse sacrifice was a fertility ritual, as it entailed the mating of the queen with the sacrificed horse and had, moreover, connections with the renovation of the cosmos this type of ritual usually represents.

These connections are well attested in the Vedas and other sacred texts from India.

Interestingly enough, the Hindu ritual had its exact counterpart — though in a reversed sense — with the Irish ritual of enthronement, where the king ritually coupled with a mare that was then sacrificed and cooked, being then eaten in a communal meal.

The Irish, as all Indo-Europeans, had deep esoteric connections with horses which apparently derive directly from Vedic India itself. In particular, the Irish ritual of enthronement of the new king and the mating with the mare it involved apparently derives from the Vedic myth of Saranyu and Vivasvat, who couple in equine shape, breeding of the Ashvin Twins. So in the Irish myth, where Maccha gives birth to twins under quite similar conditions. The Ashvin Twins are extremely important in Hindu myths, as they are responsible for Creation in essentially all its aspects.


The stories about gods and goddesses that these rituals were based on were the stories of nomadic herdsmen, pre-agriculture.
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