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Why do many authors and commentators here, look for evolution in the cultural record? Why are people surprised to find complex art, language, myth, ritual, and economy on ancient sites? Why do people need an ancient super race to have taught the people of Gobekli Tepe, or Sumeria, or Egypt?
The developmental, evolutionary, diffusionist paradigm is particularly visible regarding Gobekli Tepe. I argue against some of this paradigmatic delusion, in my response to the article on abstract signs by Madeleine Daines.

Madeleine, thank you for publishing the clay tablet fragment from Susa in the Louvre, with two T-shaped pillars resembling Gobekli Tepe. The loop between them speaks volumes.
I have to question some of the assumptions you make in your article;

>“Only words (from Gobekli Tepe) could give us that kind of information, words on a document written by and copied from someone who knew.”?
No, the Gobekli pictures say more than we have always assumed they do. See some of the pictures, and my article at AOM September 2015.
Here is an eloquent pillar;

>“It is an accepted fact that the earliest pictograms, the subject of my study, were mere pictures of things for practical but primitive purposes such as counting animals or goods.”?

It seems you argue against the 'accepted fact', in which case we agree. Sumerian trade tokens (published by Denise Schmandt-Besserat) indicate a mixed economy, and a set of standards, and a financial system, and an administration. Pictograms were used already in the Ice Age (see a table by National Geographic, and in New Scientist). They were not standardised, and were marked among figurative art that is not 'primitive'.
Likewise, Egyptian hieroglyphs are pictures and gods and sounds, linked to complex and sophisticated iconography, theology, language, and philosophy. Nothing primitive. Chinese pictograms are pictures and principles and sounds. Ditto. You assume evolution to be readable in the cultural record, which is false logic. Ancient records had the same purposes as our current writing systems. We did not evolve in the last 10 000 years, nor did language, myth, ritual, art, or writing. They merely mutated and standardised.

See four relevant images here;
Gobekli Tepe pillar art analysis
See about 50 examples of structural analysis of art and rock, at
structural art analysis applied to ancient and rock art
and at,
mroe examples of structural art analysis ancient and modern
mostly from 220 examples in my book Mindprint, the subconscious art code.
I have about 570 demonstrations available, and no examples of 'primitive, half-formed' art or language or culture. Except perhaps in some recent Tweets and other social media, while the tweeters are known to be capapble of verse drama.

>“The most archaic form of Sumerian writing, has no link to any other language.”?
No, all languages have the same grammar, only different sound allocations. See Noam Chomsky. Writing and language are different media, with some differences in styling.

>”Writing… appeared out of nowhere.”?
No, one of the conscious compulsions for art, myth, and ritual, is to record, rehearse, distill, evoke, and influence. Their subconscious compulsion is to express archetypal structure. Writing is a unique medium since it mainly serves to record speech, but still it serves other media such as ritual (in written drama), and it also has a life of its own, as in literature.

>”…symbols having been transformed and improved for use by more civilized societies.”?
No, symbols are the essence of transformation, but they are never improved. A rose is a rose. Civilisation means building towns and appointing leaders and tax collectors, it does not mean culture, or evolution.

>”…then [symbols] disappeared again without much more than an uneducated squeak; a primitive, isolated language with no past or future of any interest.”?
No, all societies had language, art, ritual, myth, housing, cooking, etc. Some did not need writing, some had unrecognised forms, such as quipo knots in ropes.

>”the stones of Gobekli Tepe have not been seen by human eye since at least 9000 BCE, could it be that the memory was powerful enough to be kept alive, copied from one clay tablet to another for thousands of years?”?
No, icons are archetypal, never discovered, never taught, never learned, never lost. Every society has predators, pets, and pests in its stories.

>”Gilgamesh, hairy Enkidu, the wise father Shuruppak, I find very unengaging… weird and somewhat boring texts”?
You should not study literature. Try movies.

>“Some of those texts originated in more ancient times, and we have indeed missed something… the texts might have been copied over and over for centuries or even millennia before they reached and were copied into these writing systems, then what intermediary language should be used to truly understand them? “
Yes, some stories are copied and translated for millennia, but they are equally understood, and structured, and subconsciously obscure, in any language. If any story is lost, there are many variants in other records.

>“And how can we be sure of… their grammar or… language, where two or more symbols are glued together to form one meaningful word?”
All languages are hybrids. All ‘cultures’ are creoles. However the meanings of units in cultural media are surprisingly standard. See my list of visual elements in art, at AOM September 2016, in an article about the structure of culture.

>“Each image was created by people of great wisdom.”?
No, every society has all the cultural media, and all the possible meanings. Children need only a few prompts to start using all of it.

>“They fitted together to form the whole, and they will continue to do so forever …whether we read them or not. True meaning can be found only when this is understood.”
Yes. The words you put into the mouth of king Ashurbanipal, speak more true than you know. You should be a novelist.

>”Baskets they want! Baskets they shall have!’ How did he know.”?
Here the king speaks of the basket for carrying bricks to lay the cornerstone of a temple (see texts of king Ur Nanshe, and king Gudea of Lagash). But subconsciously, he (as in all the brick basket texts) evokes the Cista Mystica, Basket of Mystery, a borderline type between types 2 Taurus and 3 Aries. At Gobekli Tepe, type 3 Cista is expressed by the spider (a weaver) totem, over a reed hut (woven ‘basket’). The king, and the people did not know, like Freemasons today also do not know. It just feels right.
You have a gift for stringing together archetypal images.

>”Still there is no way of knowing when the work was first composed.”?
Irrelevant. There is no original myth, word, image, ritual. Every expression is partly imitated, and partly original.

>“complex grammar of later times.”?
Grammar is surprisingly simple. It does not evolve, and it has little mutation. Like mathematics. Like DNA. A standard structure, enabling apparent endless varieties of text, which is also surprisingly repetitive.
“the original meaning.”?
Irrelevant. Any rehearsal means the same.

>”Perhaps the ancients were clever enough to create two very different texts in one, a kind of linguistic hologram.”?
All artists, writers, dancers, priests, re-create two texts, by re-combining archetypal elements; in a current context; with greater or lesser skill; allowing greater or lesser access to the subconscious content. The task of structural anthropologists, such as Claude Levy-Strauss, and structural psychologists, such as Freud and Jung, is to reveal the subconscious content. Science is not about guessing how clever and how ancient the text is.

>”Their words must be freed, as far as our understanding will permit, from the cobwebs of those intervening years and then from us.”?
Yes, but first we must free ourselves from fundamentalist assumptions, and the misleading paradigm of ‘development, evolution, diffusion, degradation.’

>”the three baskets carved on Pillar 43.”
No, they are huts made of reed bundles, resembling baskets. See my note on the Babylonian basket and type cista above. See Inana huts, pictured in Sumerian and Babylonian clay tablets, with three stories, and stock animals inside on all three levels (like Noah's mythical ark), and two central pillars, and totems above them.
The handle shape on top is a beam of reed bundles to hold up a sheet of leather skins, weighed down by ropes through looped stones. One such looped stone was found at Gobekli Tepe, in the shape of an animal with an arched body. Babylonian trade weights have a similar shape. Chinese hut sheet cover weights have the same shape, but modelled as little huts, not as animals. A gust of wind is absorbed by the sheets and the weights, which pull the cover down again. Rough weather. Clever ancients.

Here is a Sumerian picture that should be familiar to Sumerian and Babylonian students;

And another one of huts;

Madeleine is honest enough to spell out some of her assumptions. Some authors and commentators just assume that everyone is with the evolutionary programme. How could culture have evolved since Gobekli Tepe, about BC 8000, while we did not?

The 'super race' was, and is, human. Half of what we know and do, is subconscious. One of the reasons for having different levels of consciousness, is to prevent data overload. We should wake up to our sleepy half. In the book Mindprint, I demonstrate that we could gain conscious access to our subconscious behaviour, by using structural analysis of our cultural artefacts, such as art.

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 10-Sep-16 10:48 by Edmond.

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Stop looking for evolution in the cultural record; see pictures 2407 Edmond 07-Sep-16 07:58
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