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Double-Headed Statue from Ain Ghazal

Double-Headed Statue from Ain Ghazal


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Intellectual Giants on Human Origins

I have conducted a lengthy comparative analysis of the Cayce material, the literature of Rudolph Steiner, the Rosicrucian’s, the Freemasons, the Theosophists, Plato, as well as worldwide indigenous oral traditions, myths and legends. What came forth was as unexpected as it was bizarre.

Virtually all the sources claim that Homo sapiens were created in supernatural fashion long ago on the lost continent of Atlantis, which once existed in the Atlantic Ocean. A continent that had as part of its population giants and little people. Long-lived androgynous creator gods sometimes described as possessing six fingers or toes, are claimed to have birthed humanity. Atlantis was claimed to have been eventually destroyed by a great flood roughly 12,000 years ago and survivors were said to have brought the arts of civilization to Egypt, the Americas and several other locations in its aftermath. Cayce reveals the following in reading 364-11:

“Please give a few details regarding the physiognomy, habits, customs and costumes of the people of Atlantis during the period just before the first destruction.” These took on many sizes as to the stature, from that as may be called the midget to the GIANTS – for there were GIANTS IN THE EARTH IN THOSE DAYS, men as tall as (what would be termed today) ten to twelve feet in stature, and well-proportioned throughout. (1)

Rudolph Steiner also had the following to say regarding these inhabitants of Atlantis, “Everything that refers to ‘giants’ in legends is absolutely based on knowledge of the truth . [W]e feel it to be absolutely correct, from the spiritual scientific point of view, that the giants are stupid and the dwarfs very clever.” (2) Secret society literature, oral traditions and religious documents like the Bible all proclaim the existence of ancient giants as well.

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of Steiner School system of education ( Public Domain )


A First Look Inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Although it weighs 7,500 tons, the latticed dome that sits atop the Louvre Abu Dhabi appears to be floating. Its porous structure, comprising 7,850 unique aluminum stars and producing the much-cited &ldquorain of light,&rdquo which dapples down to the 55 gleaming white buildings below it, is an architectural masterpiece. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it is the first piece of art that a visitor to the new museum encounters, and it is nothing short of breathtaking.

Inside, the content and curation is just as impressive, with a radical presentation that dissolves the categories museum-goers are familiar with and displays together objects from similar eras but from different geographies to underline the commonalities of human experience. It is for this reason that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is being lauded as the world&rsquos first universal museum. It is a problematic term, wide open to criticism, but walking through the gallery halls and seeing objects of art from different cultural origins in the same space serves to create a global narrative.

Jean Francois Charnier, the scientific director of the institution, who oversees the curatorial team, describes the museum&rsquos content as being laid out over 12 chapters. The literary reference is pertinent because every time a visitor makes moves from one hall to the next, it is as if a new page of history is being turned. In this way, the museum maps out a smooth journey from the prehistoric ages to the present day.

The entire experience is summarized in the first room, titled the Grand Vestibule, which acts as a prologue and a microcosm for the rest of the museum. The light-bathed room with distinctive floor patterns plotting out marine charts and a jagged line of the coastline of the UAE, is designed to encourage the visitor to feel like a maritime explorer, metaphorically washed up on the shores of Abu Dhabi and about to enter a brave new world.

Inside this large introductory space are nine angular glass cabinets displaying groupings of three similar objects from distant civilizations. An ancient Egyptian statuette of the goddess Isis nursing her son Horus, for example, stands next to a medieval French sculpture of the Virgin and Child and a 19th century maternity figure from Congo&rsquos Yombe culture&mdashall displaying the love of a mother for her child. Other cases contain praying figures, gold masks, water ewers, and men on horseback. The labels are informative without being didactic.

&ldquoThe Louvre Abu Dhabi is not a place where we explain things,&rdquo Charnier said. &ldquoWe just want to visitors to ask themselves questions and then explore the ensuing 12 chapters like an open book, trying to find the answers.&rdquo

The four interconnected wings of the museum continue to delineate the story of human civilization beginning at around 8,000 B.C. when communities first began to settle. The first piece a visitor sees is a monumental statue with two heads, that was discovered in Jordan&rsquos Ain Ghazal and dates to 6500 B.C. It stands at eye level and is beautifully lit and utterly compelling. Its strange form is seen repeated in other vitrines with pieces from ancient Cyprus and Mesopotamia, and immediately this unexplained double-headed character becomes even more intriguing.

The vast halls of the second and third galleries include examples of the world&rsquos first great powers. An imposing figure of Ramesses II, pharaoh of Egypt, is flanked on one side with a statue of Gudea, the ruler of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia, and on the other by a breastplate worn by the rulers of Bronze Age in Europe. Behind them, in the next hall, the gleaming marble figures of ancient Greece remind us of a future yet to be formed. Further along, a second-century standing Bodhisattva from Gandhara in Pakistan stands alongside a Roman orator from the same period. The match-up is stunning. Both statues, of remarkably similar size and form, exhibit clear influences from ancient Greece in the folds of their clothes.

Aside from the main pathway, there are several side rooms dedicated either to single artists or to themes. In one, the work of Rodin is juxtaposed with similar sculptures from ancient Rome. In another, copies of the Torah, the Bible, the Quran, and Sutras from India are housed in a darkened room with black walls upon which gold text explains its content. The experience is intended to evoke the spirituality imparted by the scriptures and also acts as a symbol for the entire building as a place that allows us to &ldquosee humanity in a new light.&rdquo

Later halls pay tribute to several more global civilizations, taking us through Asian trade routes of the seventh century and the golden age of arts and sciences in the Islamic world between the eighth and tenth centuries, as well as the Portuguese navigators who explored the coastlines of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the 15th century.

The gallery titled World in Perspective, introduces the Renaissance with La Belle Ferroniere (1495&ndash99), one of only 15 Leonardo da Vinci oil paintings in existence and also includes Francesco Primaticcio&rsquos bronze Apollo Belvedere (1541&ndash43), loaned from the Palace of Fontainebleau in France, as well as Titian&rsquos Venetian masterpiece, Woman with a Mirror (ca. 1515).

The museum&rsquos ongoing relationship with 13 French institutions is undoubtedly to be credited for the spectacular presentation, and notable loans can be found in every space. In the final three galleries, which cover the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, Claude Monet&rsquos Gare St. Lazare (1877) is displayed alongside The Red Rock (1895) by Paul Cézanne as well as James McNeill Whistler&rsquos Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (1871) or Whistler&rsquos Mother as it is more affectionately known.

Great lengths have been taken to make continual links across continents. A meditative Mark Rothko painting hangs alongside a color block piece from Sayed Haider Raza and an Alexander Calder mobile has been placed next to a Saloua Raouda Choucair sculpture&mdashboth explore movement and form.

The museum closes with a contemporary room of works loosely linked around the theme of identity and territory. They circle around a 23-feet-tall glittering chandelier sculpture by Ai Weiwei. The Fountain of Light (2007), inspired by Tatlin’s proposed monument to the Communist International, is fragile as well as opulent. Visually, it also pays reference to the Tower of Babel, the biblical myth about why the world is divided into different communities who speak different languages. It is possible that a museum of this magnitude can propose new ways of communication to slice through the divisions made by language and culture?

This is the Louvre Abu Dhabi&rsquos claim. When the doors open on November 11, the public will decide.


Scrolling through the millennia at the new Jordan Museum in Amman

At the new Jordan Museum, visitors can gaze at a double-headed plaster statue dating back to 7500 BC. They can also admire ancient stone-carved zodiac signs, Roman columns and a replica of a Moabite black basalt stone bearing a ninth-century BC inscription celebrating Moabite King Mesha’s victory over Israel.

If they are interested in burial practices, they can see human-shaped clay coffins and if they want to learn about controversial historical documents, they can visit an area dedicated to the Dead Sea Scrolls – leather, papyrus and copper documents that include some of the oldest-known copies of biblical books, hymns and prayers.

The museum, the largest in the country at nearly 10,000 square metres, is home to archaeological artefacts and cultural exhibits spanning the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Classical and Late Antiquity periods to the Islamic period and modern Jordan. It also features animal bones dating back 1.5 million years.

The museum, which displays pieces on loan from the Department of Antiquities, had its soft opening in January last year.

The grand opening is pending governmental approval of the ticketing system and the completion of work on the second floor, which is dedicated to the Islamic era and modern Jordan.

While other museums around the country focus on the history of the immediate area, the Jordan Museum aims to tell the story of the country as a whole.

“The uniqueness of it would be depicting the story of the land of Jordan and its people through time,” Sharifa Nofa Bint Nasser, the museum’s director, told The Review. “We are looking forward to it to become the storyteller of Jordan.

“It is also a cultural tourist destination for Jordanians that helps them reconnect with their past and understand and respect their cultural identity. We want it to become a hub for families.”

The museum is located in Amman’s Ras Al Ayn downtown area, which is the site of Roman ruins where cultural events are held.

The new complex will also be home to outdoor exhibitions, lecture halls, a library, a conservation centre and an area devoted to children’s activities.

Highlights of the museum include a collection of plaster statues with reed frames dating back to 7500 BC. They were discovered during a joint American-Jordanian expedition at the prehistoric site of ’Ain Ghazal, in north-east Amman, in the 1980s. The site was once a village where farmers, hunters and herders lived between 7200 BC and 5000 BC.

“It was not clear if people at the time worshipped these statues, but what we know is that sophisticated techniques were used. It was a breakthrough that human beings at the time were able to invent new material by burning limestone,” said Yosha Alamri, one of the museum’s curators.

Visitors can also see clay moulds for casting copper vessels and tools that date back to 5000-3600 BC, when the metal was used for the first time.

Also from the same period are the remains of infants interred inside pottery jars, which were buried under the floors of their parents’ houses. “It remains unclear if the jar symbolises the womb, or a convenient coffin buried under the floor to keep the deceased close to the family, or if the weather was too bad for an outdoor burial,” Alamri said.

At the end of the tour, visitors enter an area where the Dead Sea Scrolls and the jars they were kept in are on display. The documents date from the third century BC to the first century AD.

The scrolls were first discovered by a Palestinian shepherd while he was grazing his animals in 1947, a year before the Arab-Israeli war erupted.

The shepherd sold seven to antiquities dealers and others were smuggled into the United States and sold, according to a document at the museum.

The shepherd kept the remaining scrolls’ hiding place secret but two years later, a Jordanian army officer found them in their broken jars. He told archeologists at the Palestine Archeological Museum about his discovery, which led to excavations and the discovery of scrolls in 11 caves.

Two of them are exceptionally rare copper sheet inscriptions that identify locations where hidden gold and silver treasures are supposedly buried.

“Those who read the scrolls looked for the treasures, but they could not find any. Are there any treasures? We don’t know,” Alamri said.


Bibliography

Belfer-Cohen A. and Goring-Morris A.N.
2011 Reflections on Neolithisation processes. Jacques Cauvin: The right man for the season. Paleorient 37.1: 89-99.

Mithen S.
2004 From Ohalo to Çatalhöyük: The development of religiosity during the early prehistory of western Asia, 20,000- 7000 BCE. In H. Whitehouse and L.H. Martin (eds.), Theorizing Religions Past : 17-43. New York: Altamira Press.

Ornan T.
2009 In the Likeness of Man: Reflections on the anthropocentric perception of the divine in Mesopotamian art. In B. Nevling Porter (ed.), What is a God? : 93-152. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

Schmandt-Besserat D.
1996 How Writing Came About . Austin: The University of Texas Press.

Schmidt K.
2011 Góbekli Tepe. In M. Ozdogan, N. Basgelen, and P. Kuniholm, (eds.), The Neolithic in Turkey : 41- 83. Istanbul: Archaeology and Art Publications.


Biblical Archaeology Test 2

PRIMARY BURIAL:
-person buried shortly after death with all flesh still attached so their skeleton remains articulated after burial
-can be found stretched out or in fetal position
-good indications that they lived within family immediate vicinity

SECONDARY BURIAL:
-individual left to decay, then soft flesh taken off
-sometimes primary burial revisited to get flesh off
-can lay body out on a surface and allow birds/insects to de-flesh the skeleton then they would go re-gather the materials
-sometimes up to 12 individuals: family plots maybe burials after catastrophes maybe
-ochre: iron oxide (rust) that can form in nodules in stone, a natural pigment some skeletons found with ochre on them (some kind of symbolic meaning similar to blush, adorning the body)

line-painted pottery:
-line-painted amphoriskos
-tying together brushes and painting with them
-looks somewhat similar to amphoras
-closed vessels: carried oil with perfume maybe
-typically found in tombs
-omphalos bowls: word means belly button little bumps that would help you hold the bowl
-jugs with high loop-handles
-EB I teapot: never held tea but same shape, the teapot spout is Mesopotamian influence
-evidence of a lot of movement/migration/influence

Sheikh Muhsein:
-circle of defense, trying to protect themselves

Sheikh Awad:
-benches: not for sitting, but for placing food/bowls on
-circular

Sekhemhet wall relief, Wadi Magharah:
-Egyptians interested in Sinai, interested in turquoise
-Egyptians had carved wall carvings showing the pharaohs who had sent them
-Egyptian turquoise mining in Wadi Magharah, Sinai
-defensive structures: high up where miners lived
-smiting the Asiatic: wearing the white crown of upper Egypt, and the red crown of lower Egypt
-Sekhemhet identifying with an animal, has a tail: depicting himself as a god


What’s Passed on in the Man-bags?

Another compelling aspect of this mystery is that many of these androgynous creator gods are depicted worldwide carrying strange "man-bags". Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of The Gods, has enlightened us on a possible transfer of technology from survivors of an ancient cataclysm and highlighted that these bringers of the arts and sciences of civilization are often carrying man-bags. Theories abound attempting to explain what they are but what is known is that they are found over a vast geographic area, associated with Androgynous, supernatural flood survivors from a drowned continent. So, who were these beings and where did they come from?

Androgynous Babylonian man-fish deity Oannes carrying the mysterious “man bag”. (Author provided)

Let's look at some of these God-like deities who showed up after the great flood. Oannes was an androgynous Babylonian man-fish deity who carries the man-bag, in fact in ‘The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A: Cuneiform Texts’, H. V. Hilprecht makes an eye-opening claim. “This androgynous nature, this ability to beget out of himself, his own ego, this self-existence is inherent in each and every god of the Sumerians. All Sumerian gods are androgynous.” (6)

Androgynous demi-god Quetzalcoatl, offspring of the Androgynous Ometeotl carries man bag at the Olmec site of La Venta 1800 BC. (Author provided)

Across the ocean in Mexico, Quetzalcoatl, the demi-god offspring of the androgynous being Ometeotl is depicted at the Olmec site of La Venta (1800 BC) carrying a man bag.

The legendary Viracocha, another androgynous god is renowned for his post-flood activities in South America. Often depicted as a bearded giant, he arrived from a lost continent in the Atlantic and spread advanced and unprecedented wisdom. Oddly, he is called “the foam of the sea” just as the legendary Cucullain was in Ireland. Cucullain was claimed to have seven fingers and toes (you don’t have to venture further than Wikipedia to uncover that fact) and arrived from a lost advanced civilization in the middle of the Atlantic. Where both these supernatural beings called foam of the sea because they had advanced metal sea craft that created a turning of the waves and inspired awe in the indigenous peoples? In the wake of these beings, sprang up wonderfully complex civilizations and stonework. In South America, Sumeria and after androgynous Thoth came to Egypt, some of the world's most incredible and sophisticated civilizations soon appeared. The Androgynous Thoth is widely reported to have been from Atlantis in esoteric circles, he was also known as Hermes Trismegistus, Hermaphrodite is Hermes + Aphrodite.

Double headed Herm statue, Athens. (Author provided)

As an added piece of evidence regarding the sophistication of ancient Sumer let us turn to a remarkable recent discovery. As reported in the Guardian August 24 th 2017, (7) an ancient Babylonian tablet has been finally deciphered after 100 years by a team from New South Wales in Sydney. From the article,

"Mathematicians have been arguing for most of a century about the interpretation of the tablet known as Plimpton 322 , ever since the New York publisher George Plimpton bequeathed it to Columbia University in the 1930s as part of a major collection. He bought it from Edgar Banks, a diplomat, antiquities dealer and flamboyant amateur archaeologist said to have inspired the character of Indiana Jones – his feats included climbing Mount Ararat in an unsuccessful attempt to find Noah’s Ark – who had excavated it in southern Iraq in the early 20th century. Mansfield, who has published his research with his colleague Norman Wildberger in the journal Historia Mathematica , says that while mathematicians understood for decades that the tablet demonstrates that the theorem long predated Pythagoras, there had been no agreement about the intended use of the tablet. “The huge mystery, until now, was its purpose – why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet. Our research reveals that Plimpton 322 describes the shapes of right-angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles. It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius.”

“The tablet not only contains the world’s oldest trigonometric table it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry. This means it has great relevance for our modern world. Babylonian mathematics may have been out of fashion for more than 3,000 years, but it has possible practical applications in surveying, computer graphics and education. This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new.”

All this begs the question, did the androgynous, man bag carrying Oannes pass along this sophisticated information in ancient times? It also adds fuel to the question of why Sumerians used a base 12 system rather than a base 10 system. Could this ancient conundrum be easily explained by the fact that these bringers of civilization had six fingers instead of five as has been previously suggested? Which brings us to another remarkably specific trait associated with the supernatural ancient ones, six fingers and toes. The biblical quote regarding the Giant of Gath has been previously given in reference to the Ain Ghazal statues but there is much more to this story.

Carved Giant six-toed footprint, Island of Tarawa. (Source, The Footprints of Tarawa, I.G. Turbott, Colonial Administration Service, Volume 38, 1949.)

The world is littered with ancient statues, carvings and petroglyphs with six fingers and toes. From isolated pacific Islands to numerous US states to countries beyond mention worldwide. Even Edgar Cayce reports on a high being with six fingers named Muzuen who traveled to the Gobi Desert from the lost pacific continent of Lemuria in 9,026 BC. (8)

Utah, six fingered and toed Petroglyph. (Source James Q. Jacobs Rock Art Pages)

The esoteric belief being that six fingers and toes was a trait attributed to ancient supernatural androgynous deities and their offspring, a trait that was eventually abandoned for the five-fingered homo sapiens of today. Maybe this is the reason the Biblical Adam is portrayed with six fingers in Jan Van Scorel’s painting from 1540.

Six-toed rock carving Illinois. Source, Records of Ancient Races in the Mississippi Valley, Wm. McAdams, page 42, 1887.

Cayce’s description of Muzuen, reading 877-10, describes him as being six feet tall, blue eyed, hair dark gold, hands six-fingered, immediately brings to mind the recently discovered Caucasoid Tarim Basin Mummies found in China, many of which have red and blond hair, blue eyes and are between six feet and six feet six inches tall.

Six fingered Adam, Jan Van Scorel, 1540. Detail of Adam’s left hand (Source, renaissance-in-art.org, Author provided)

Androgynous creator gods, strange beings with man bags, outrageous stone work, strikingly similar iconography and the most stunning part is that all the sources I have listed from Edgar Cayce to the Rosicrucian’s and Plato all report this same reality. Is this not worth investigating? I say of course it is and I am not alone, many other researchers have been on the trail of these mysteries for decades and now it looks like these ideas are beginning to get a closer look.

This alternative view of history makes sense of all the strange and mythological traditions of the world, where our current scientific paradigm addresses none of it and leaves us in the dark with the misperception that our ancestors were superstitious, illogical and insane. Besides the tragedies of the burning of the Library of Alexandria and the Mayan Codices being destroyed, it looks like modern science has thrown out thousands of years of legitimate evidence in the form of myth, legend, religious documents, oral traditions and secret society literature. The more I dig, the more I lean toward the ancient world described by Edgar Cayce and others as being the more probable reality. I certainly don't believe there to be any truth to the idea of academic conspiracies but human nature and the draconian effect of entrenched orientations around pre-existing paradigms make it an uphill battle for new ideas to take root.

Hopefully, this information will strike the reader as profoundly as it has me and you will be open to entertain seemingly heretical notions about the past. Please join me at the Edgar Cayce Ancient Mysteries Conference on October 6th in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Origins conference on November 4th in London or at the Awake and Empowered Expo in Detroit on November 10-12 as I discuss the Lost World of Edgar Cayce.

Top image: Double headed androgynous Herm statue, Athens. Source, Wikipedia (Author provided)


The Goddess from Anatolia


When The Goddess from Anatolia by Mellaart, Hirsch and Balpinar was published in late 1989, the simmering, five-year-long Çatal Hüyük controversy came to a boil. The character of the debate over James Mellaart’s Neolithic Anatolian kilim hypothesis shifted abruptly. It suddenly focused on the credibility of 44 startling new drawings of “reconstructed” wall paintings. Complex issues, such as design diffusion and historical continuity, became irrelevant.
The Çatal Hüyük ruckus that erupted in the rug community in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was impossible to ignore, and I published two related articles in Oriental Rug Review. The Update posted below was the second, written for the December 1992/January 1993 issue (Vol. XIII, No. 2) at the request of the editor. The earlier article, with a detailed examination of questionable “reconstructions,” is posted separately. A few illustrations have been added to each. I want to provide a little background on this dispute and summarize the factors that prompted my involvement in it.
The Goddess from Anatolia


JERICHO, AIN GHAZAL, ASLANTEPE AND OTHER VERY OLD VILLAGES AND TOWNS

Asikli Hoyuk is site occupied between 10,700 and 9,300 years ago. There, archaeologists found one very large building surrounded by small modest buildings. An archaeologist that worked there told U.S. News and World Report, “Much more time and effort went into the big building, and this may be the earliest physical evidence of social divisions on the way to princes and peasants."

At the nearby 9000-year-old site of Nevali Cori, a site on the Euphrates in southeaster Turkey, the buildings are rectangular and have spaces between them, which archaeologists speculate may an attempt to create some privacy. There are also buildings with specialized functions. One was used from cooking. Another was a workshop to make flint tools. Another was filled with human figurines. Nevali Cori has yielded evidence of ritual buildings and 40 houses that have been dated to 10,800 and 9,600 years ago. Einkorn wheat, two-grained wheat, peas and lentils were cultivated here. Human and animal figurines were found in the dwellings.

Nemrik, Qermez Dere and M’lefaat are among the oldest villages in the world. Located in northern Iraq and dated to around 8000 B.C., they feature evidence of early agriculture and animal domestication.

Categories with related articles in this website: First Villages, Early Agriculture and Bronze, Copper and Late Stone Age Humans (33 articles) factsanddetails.com Modern Humans 400,000-20,000 Years Ago (35 articles) factsanddetails.com Mesopotamian History and Religion (35 articles) factsanddetails.com Mesopotamian Culture and Life (38 articles) factsanddetails.com

Websites and Resources on Prehistory: Wikipedia article on Prehistory Wikipedia Early Humans elibrary.sd71.bc.ca/subject_resources Prehistoric Art witcombe.sbc.edu/ARTHprehistoric Evolution of Modern Humans anthro.palomar.edu Websites and Resources of Early Agriculture and Domesticated Animals: Britannica britannica.com/ Wikipedia article History of Agriculture Wikipedia History of Food and Agriculture museum.agropolis Wikipedia article Animal Domestication Wikipedia Cattle Domestication geochembio.com Food Timeline, History of Food foodtimeline.org Food and History teacheroz.com/food Iceman Photscan iceman.eurac.edu/ Otzi Official Site iceman.it

Archaeology News and Resources: Anthropology.net anthropology.net : serves the online community interested in anthropology and archaeology archaeologica.org archaeologica.org is good source for archaeological news and information. Archaeology in Europe archeurope.com features educational resources, original material on many archaeological subjects and has information on archaeological events, study tours, field trips and archaeological courses, links to web sites and articles Archaeology magazine archaeology.org has archaeology news and articles and is a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America Archaeology News Network archaeologynewsnetwork is a non-profit, online open access, pro- community news website on archaeology British Archaeology magazine british-archaeology-magazine is an excellent source published by the Council for British Archaeology Current Archaeology magazine archaeology.co.uk is produced by the UK’s leading archaeology magazine HeritageDaily heritagedaily.com is an online heritage and archaeology magazine, highlighting the latest news and new discoveries Livescience livescience.com/ : general science website with plenty of archaeological content and news. Past Horizons : online magazine site covering archaeology and heritage news as well as news on other science fields The Archaeology Channel archaeologychannel.org explores archaeology and cultural heritage through streaming media Ancient History Encyclopedia ancient.eu : is put out by a non-profit organization and includes articles on pre-history Best of History Websites besthistorysites.net is a good source for links to other sites Essential Humanities essential-humanities.net: provides information on History and Art History, including sections Prehistory

Jericho

Jericho — the Biblical city of Joshua, trumpets and falling walls — is regarded by some as the oldest city in the world. Established around 7,500 B.C. in an arid valley 600 feet below sea level in Palestine near the Dead Sea., ancient Jericho was home to 2000 to 3000 people that survived on plants that thrived in a fertile area around an oasis. Strains of wheat and barley and obsidian tools have been discovered that came from elsewhere. Ancient Jericho had an elaborate system of walls, towers and moats. The circular wall that surrounded the settlement had a circumference of about 200 meters and was four meters high. The wall in turn was surrounded by a 30-foot-wide, 10-foot-deep moat. The technology used to build them was virtually the same as those used in medieval castles. [Source: "History of Warfare" by John Keegan, Vintage Books]

Located near a permanent spring a few miles west of the Jordan River and excavated by Kathleen Kenyon, Jericho is certainly one of the world’s oldest fortified settlement but whether it qualifies as a city is a matter of some debate. There are indications of settlement after 9000 B.C.. This settlement grew to city-like status by 7000 B.C. The archaeological site is situated in the plain of the Jordan Valley two kilometers northwest of modern Jericho city. It is a large artificial mound, rising 21 meters high and covering an area of about one acre.

In 7000 B.C., Jericho encompassed of about eight to ten acres and was home to estimated two to three thousand people. It was inhabited by people who depended on collecting wild seeds for food. It is appears that they did not plant seeds, but harvested wild grains using scythes with flint edges and straight bone handles and used stone mortars with handles for grinding them. Some people lived in caves, while others occupied primitive villages with round huts made from sun-dried bricks. They buried their dead with jewelry in graves made out of rock.

The early inhabitants of Jericho dug out canals to bring water from nearby sources to where they lived and perhaps to irrigate land with wild plants they harvested for food. They constructed huge two-meter-thick walls around their villages. Inside the main fortified settlement was a circular stone tower, nine meters in diameter, and ten meters high, built for protection and requiring thousands of man hours to build. The people of ancient Jericho practiced the domestication of animals, and weaving mats, as well as animal hunting, and perhaps, agriculture. They used spears and flint-capped arrows. They also used hatchets to cut tree branches. Some inhabitants expanded from their settlements in search of new homes outside their boundaries.

Jericho’s first inhabitants, a people called the Natufians, practiced barley cultivation. Pre-Biblical Jericho had an elaborate system of walls, towers and moats by 7,500 B.C. . Thirty-foot-high stone observation tower required thousands of man hours to build. The original walls of Jericho appear to have been built for flood control rather defensive purposes. Another surprising thing about Jericho is that no pottery or baked clay bricks have been found. The excavations go quite deep. By 3000 B.C. the Jericho Valley was a major wine-producing area.

The Archeological Museum of Jordan has a stunning collection of 9,000-year-old sculptured heads from Jericho. Consisting of on an actual skull with plaster skin and sea shell eyes, each head is different. Some archeologists claim they were sealed "spirit" traps," designed to keep the soul from wandering around.

History of Tell es-Sultan (Ancient Jericho)

According to UNESCO: “Tell es-Sultan, the ancient city of Jericho, is the lowest (258 m below sea level) and the oldest town on earth. It grew up around a perennial spring, Ain es-Sultan, in an area of fertile alluvial soil which attracted hunter-gatherer groups to settle down, and to start a process of plant and animal domestication. Archaeological excavations carried out in the mid-20th century evidenced 23 layers of ancient civilizations at the site. The earliest remains date back to the Natufian period, 10th-8th millennia BC. By the 8th millennium B.C. Jericho became a big fortified town surrounded by a stone wall supported by a massive round tower. These are the earliest urban fortifications known in the world, later several times replaced. Their early date took the history of urbanity and domestication back several millennia at the time of their discovery in the 1950s. The Neolithic population ofJerichodeveloped a complex society where house construction, crafts, such as weaving and matting, and mythological and social conception of burial and religion were practiced. The Neolithic houses were built with dried mud bricks: the initial round shape of their construction developed into the rectangular form. [Source: UNESCO ==]

“During the Early Bronze Age, Tell es-Sultan was a fortified town and one of the most flourishing Canaanite City-States in Palestine. It lasted more than a thousand years before being demolished by nomadic groups in the last centuries of the second millennium BC. Afterwards, the site was rebuilt again at the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age, and surrounded by a mud brick wall that lasted until 1580 BC, when it was violently destroyed by fire. However,Jerichowas probably scantily re-occupied in the late Bronze Age, since few remains of this period were found. Throughout the Iron Ages, Tell es-Sultan was re-occupied again, especially in the 7th century BC, a phase which lasted until the end of Iron Age II (586 BC). Thereafter, the tell was no longer occupied, although Byzantine remains were found on its eastern side close to the spring of Ain es-Sultan. The surrounding area, however, today’s Jerichoand environs, was continuously occupied in a fluctuating history over the last two and a half millennia. ==

“Numerous religious events and beliefs are associated with the site and area. For example, the spring of Ain es-Sultan is biblically called Elisha’s spring, in which the prophet (Elisha) made the water atJerichohealthy. Luke narrates that Jesus visitedJerichomore than once on one such occasion (19:1.4), “Jesus enteredJerichoand was passing through it. Now a man named Zacchaeus was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him”. High above the site, perched on the cliff facing the west, is the monastery of the Mount of Temptation, traditionally built at or close to the place where Jesus, fasting for 40 days after his baptism, was offered by Satan the kingdom of the world in exchange for his homage. ==

“The archaeological methodology applied to make these discoveries is also regionally significant. It involved the use at Tell es-Sultan of techniques associated with the English archaeologist, Mortimer Wheeler, developed by him in the 1930s and passed on to his associates and students such as Kathleen Kenyon. She followed his precepts at Tell es-Sultan with large, deep, horizontal trenches designed to expose stratigraphy rather than merely find ‘remains’ or objects. Thus the wall and tower, and indeed the evidence of domestication, were found in a secure cultural and chronological context. The well-preserved trenches remain as witnesses to the development of archaeological research methods inPalestine. Visitors can still see some of the layers in which lies the history of the tell. ==

Jerf el Ahmar

Jerf el-Ahmar, an 11,600-year-old site on the Euphrates River in northern Syria, contains a structure with an enormous 30-foot-in-diameter room. In the room is a bench with friezes of triangles. Believed to have been a meeting place built with collective labor, it seems plausible that it once sat at the center of a town. The site has also yielded evidence of ritual beheading, and cultivation and milling of grains, crossbreeding of crops such peas and lentils and the domestication of aurochs (wild oxen).

Trevor Watkins of the University of Edinburgh wrote: “There are at least three other early aceramic Neolithic settlement sites in the Euphrates valley in north Syria, contemporary with Jerf el Ahmar, that possessed similar buildings. They are large, circular, subterranean structures within the settlement, though each has distinctive features. The most distinctive is the circular structure of massive mudbrick that is emerging at Dja’de el Mughara. The building has massive internal buttresses, or stub-walls, whose mud-plastered surfaces are revealing painted, polychrome, rectilinear designs. These communal buildings clearly involved great investment of labour and the coordination of the skills and efforts of many of the community. [Source: Trevor Watkins, University of Edinburgh,“Household, Community and Social Landscape: Maintaining Social Memory in the Early Neolithic of Southwest Asia”, proceedings of the International Workshop, Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes II (14th –18th March 2011)” in Kiel January 2012 /+]

“It appears that the structures (those where the investigations and analysis have progressed sufficiently to inform us) were in use for a long time, though we as yet have no information as to what took place within them. It is a reasonable inference that their construction, maintenance, modification and repeated use served to perpetuate collective memory, something that will be pursued later. Even more remarkable are two sites that have the superficial appearance of settlements, but were central places to which many people came from a number of communities for specific purposes. /+

Ain Ghazal and Its Other Worldly Figures and Games

Ain Ghazal, an archeological site in Amman, Jordan was one of the largest population centers in the Middle East (three times larger than Jericho) from 7200 to 5000 B.C., a period in human history when sem-nomadic hunters and gathers were adapting to farming and animals herding and organizing themselves into cities. Ain Ghazal means

Ain Ghazal covers about 30 acres. The people were farmers and hunters and gatherers. They used stone tools and weapons and made clay figures and vessels. They lived in multi-room houses with stone walls and timber roof beams and cooking hearths. Plaster with decorations covered the walls and floors. They are meat and milk products from goats, grew wheat barely, lentils, peas and chickpeas, hunted wild cattle, boar and gazelles and gathered wild plants, almonds, figs and pistachios.

Mysterious human figures unearthed at Ain Ghazal, are among the oldest human statues ever found. Made of lime plaster and dating back to 7000 B.C., the figures were about 3½ feet tall and have bitumen accented eyes and look like aliens from outerspace. Scholars believe they played a ceremonial role and may have been images of gods or heros.

The figures were discovered 1985 by the driver of a bulldozers clearing the way for a road. The statues were made of delicate materials’so delicate they whole site was unearthed and shipped to a Smithsonian laboratory where the figures it took ten years to assemble the figures.

The figures come in two types: full figures and busts. Both types were made by forming plaster over a skeleton made of bundles of reed wrapped in twine. Facial features were probably made by hand with simple tools made of bone, wood or stone. The plaster technology that was used was fairly advanced and required heating limestone to temperatures if 600̊ to 900̊C

Archeologists working in Ain Ghazal found what they say may be the world’s oldest known game. The game board, a limestone slab, has two sets of circular depressions and bears a striking resemblance to games played in the Middle East today with counting stones. The slab was found in a house, and because it seemed to serve no utilitarian or ceremonial function archeologists concluded it most likely was a game board. [National Geographic Geographica, February 1990].

Jordan’s Earliest Buildings

Some of the earliest evidence of prehistoric architecture has been found in the Jordanian desert.In 2012, archaeologists said they had found Jordan’s earliest buildings, dated to approximately 20,000 years ago. Cambridge University reported: “Archaeologists working in eastern Jordan have announced the discovery of 20,000-year-old hut structures, the earliest yet found in the Kingdom. The finding suggests that the area was once intensively occupied and that the origins of architecture in the region date back twenty millennia, before the emergence of agriculture. The research, published 15 February, 2012 in PLoS One by a joint British, Danish, American and Jordanian team, describes huts that hunter-gatherers used as long-term residences and suggests that many behaviours that have been associated with later cultures and communities, such as a growing attachment to a location and a far-reaching social network, existed up to 10,000 years earlier. [Source:Cambridge University, February 18, 2012]

“Excavations at the site of Kharaneh IV are providing archaeologists with a new perspective on how humans lived 20,000 years ago. Although the area is starkly dry and barren today, during the last Ice Age the deserts of Jordan were in bloom, with rivers, streams, and seasonal lakes and ponds providing a rich environment for hunter-gatherers to settle in. “What we witness at the site of Kharaneh IV in the Jordanian desert is an enormous concentration of people in one place,” explained Dr Jay Stock from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the article. “People lived here for considerable periods of time when these huts were built. They exchanged objects with other groups in the region and even buried their dead at the site. These activities precede the settlements associated with the emergence of agriculture, which replaced hunting and gathering later on. At Kharaneh IV we have been able to document similar behaviour a full 10,000 years before agriculture appears on the scene.”

The archaeologists spent three seasons excavating at the large open-air site covering two hectares. They recovered hundreds of thousands of stone tools, animal bones and other finds from Kharaneh IV, which today appears as little more than a mound 3 meters high rising above the desert landscape. Based on the size and density of the site, the researchers had long suspected that Kharaneh IV was frequented by large numbers of people for long periods of time these latest findings now confirm their theory. “It may not look very impressive to the untrained eye, but it is one of the densest and largest Palaeolithic open-air sites in the region,” said Dr Lisa Maher, from the University of California, Berkeley, who spearheads the excavations. “The stone tools and animal bone vastly exceed the amounts recovered from most other sites of this time period in southwest Asia.” In addition, the team also recovered rarer items, such as shell beads, bones with regularly incised lines and a fragment of limestone with geometric carved patterns.

“So far, the team has fully excavated two huts but there may be several more hidden beneath the desert’s sands. “They’re not large by any means. They measure about 2–3 meters in maximum length and were dug into the ground. The walls and roof were made of brush wood, which then burnt and collapsed leaving dark coloured marks,” described Dr Tobias Richter from the University of Copenhagen and one of the project’s co-directors. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the hut is between 19,300 and 18,600 years old. Although a team of archaeologists working at Ohalo II on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (Israel) in 1989 found the region’s oldest hut structures, which date from 23,000 years ago, the team working at the Kharaneh IV site believe their discovery is no less significant, as Dr Maher explained: “Inside the huts, we found intentionally burnt piles of gazelle horn cores, clumps of red ochre pigment and a cache of hundreds of pierced marine shells. These shell beads were brought to the site from the Mediterranean and Red Sea over 250 kilometers away, showing that people were very well linked to regional social networks and exchanged items across considerable distances.”

Arslantepe

Arslantepe, a remote site near the town of Malatya and the source of the Euphrates River in southeastern Turkey, is regarded as one of the world’s oldest large towns. It was first settled around 4,250 B.C.. Among the firsts found found there the first known palace, the first known sword (cast from an alloy of copper and arsenic) and the first toothed locks opened with a key (similar to locks still used in parts of Africa and the Middle East). There are also tombs with evidence of what seems to be human sacrifice.

The palace at Arslantepe contains some of the world’s oldest and best preserved ancient wall paintings. They were made on plastered walls and consist of stylized representations of humans and animals. An ancient painters palette consisting of a flat stone with hollowed-out depressions for paint was found here. The evidence for human sacrifice is grave for a man in his 30s of 40s who was buried with three girls and boy in their teens who showed signs of being treated violently.

When Arslantepe was first settled in 4250 B.C., the social system seemed to be fairly egalitarian in that all the dwellings dated to this period seemed pretty much the same. In 4000 B.C. a fairly large temple was built. It also seemed to play a role in storing grain and distributing food. Thousand of storage jar and some measuring tools have been found inside. Later the first locks were used to lock storage rooms containing grain. As society developed, labor became more specialized and stratified with an elite class that ruled over the others. The first palace was built around 2500 B.C.

Tell Hamoukar

Tell Hamoukar is an interesting site, dated to 3500 B.C., in eastern Syria near the border of Iraq and Turkey. With a central city covering 16 hectares, it is as highly developed as sites in southern Iraq such as Uruk and Nippur and seems to debunk the theories that ancient civilization developed in southern Iraq and spread northward and westward. Instead Tell Hamoukar is offered as proof that several advanced ancient civilizations developed simultaneously in different parts of the Middle East. [Source: Natural History magazine, Clemens Reichel of the Oriental Institute of Chicago]

Excavations indicate that Tell Hamoukar was first inhabited around 4000 B.C. perhaps as early as 4500 B.C. By around 3700 B.C. is covered at least 13 hectares and displayed signs of an advanced civilization: a 2.5-meter-high, 3.4 -meter-wide defensive wall, large scale bread making and meat cooking, a wide array of cylinder seals, presumably used to mark goods. Many seals were used to secure baskets and other containers of commodities.

The simplest seals had only simple markings. More elaborate ones had kissing bears, ducks and a leopard with 13 spots. Scholars believed that more elaborate seals were used by people of high status and indicate a hierarchically-ordered society. But as advanced as Tell Hamoukar and other places in the area were they are not regarded as advanced as those in southern Iraq, where writing developed.

Tell Hamoukar contains a 500-acre site with buildings with huge ovens, which offer evidence that people were making food for other people. The city seems to have been a manufacturing center for tools and blades that utilized obsidian supplies further north and supplied the tools throughout Mesopotamia to the south. Other sites being excavated in northern Syria include Tell Brak and Habuba Kabira, both of which appear ro be much larger than previously thought.

A team led by Clemens Reichel of the Oriental Institute of Chicago and Syrian Department of Antiquities have been excavating Tell Hamoukar since 1999.. Guillermo Algaze of the University of California, San Diego is an archaeologist that specialize in north-south relations in Mesopotamia.

Early Village-Like Sites in Israel, the Persian Gulf and Cyprus

Arrowheads found in Qatar in 1960 and ash from ancient campfires in Muscat found in 1983, both dated to around 6000 B.C., are the oldest examples of nomadic pastoralists living on the Arabian peninsula. Remains from Neolithic camps seems to indicate that the climate was wetter at that time and there was more food for grazing animals than today. Nomads are thought to have ranged between Iraq and Syria in the north a the Dhofar region of Oman in the south.

Shells and fishbone middens, dated to around 5000 B.C., found near Muscat is the earliest evidence of fishing communities along the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Artifacts found at one of the middens (heaps of shells of marine life remains) included stone net sinkers, a necklace of shell, soapstone and limestone beads, finely-carved shell pendants. Graves contained human skeletons buried on beds of oyster shells or with sea turtle skulls. Analysis of the human remains turned up evidence of malaria and inbreeding. There was little evidence that they ate anything other than what they could take from the sea.

Trevor Watkins of the University of Edinburgh wrote: ““In Israel the site of Kfar HaHoresh dates to the later aceramic Neolithic, and it shares with southern Levantine settlement sites the burial of bodies, the retrieval of skulls, and, from the typical houses, the elaborate use of lime-plaster for making floor surfaces. However, there is no sign of everyday living at the site, though there is evidence of feasting episodes and the rectangles of lime-plaster floor are not part of roofed buildings. The site appears to have been devoted to rituals that are evidenced on settlements of the period in the region, but it is difficult to imagine why a “central place” site was needed for the exclusive performance of practices that were also practised within settlements.” [Source: Trevor Watkins, University of Edinburgh,“Household, Community and Social Landscape: Maintaining Social Memory in the Early Neolithic of Southwest Asia”, proceedings of the International Workshop, Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes II (14th –18th March 2011)” in Kiel January 2012 /+]

In 2016, the Cyprus' Antiquities Department, announced that archaeological digs have uncovered more than 20 round buildings in what is believed to be the east Mediterranean island's earliest known village that dates as far back as the 9th century B.C. The department said in a statement that excavationsin the Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas area near Cyprus' southern coast, also found domestic dogs and cats had already been introduced to Cyprus when the village was active 11,200 to 10,600 years ago. It said villagers hunted small wild boar and birds, but didn't produce pottery. Excavations directed by Francois Briois from France's School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and Jean-Denis Vigne from France's National Center for Scientific Research-National Museum of Natural History found most buildings had built-in fire places. [Source: Associated Press, Jul 12, 2016]

Dolni Vestonice

Dolni Vestonice in Czech Republic, a site been dated to 27,000 B.C., has been called the world’s oldest village but most scholars argue is too small and too rudimentary to qualify as a village or town. In any case a number of important discoveries related to early man have been found there.

Dolni Vestonice is the site of the earliest known potter’s kiln. Carved and molded images of animals, women, strange engravings, personal ornaments, and decorated graves have been found scattered over several acres at the site. In the main hut, where the people ate and slept, two items were found: a goddess figurine made of fired clay and a small and cautiously carved portrait made from mammoth ivory of a woman whose face was drooped on one side. The goddess figurine is the oldest known baked clay figurine. On top of its head are holes which may have held grasses or herbs. The potter scratched two slits that stretched from the eyes to the chest which were thought to be the life-giving tears of the mother goddess. [Source: mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology/sites/europe/dolni_vestonice]

Some of the sculpture may represent the first example of portraiture (representation of an actual person). One such figure, carved in mammoth ivory, is roughly three inches high. The subject appears to be a young man with heavy bone structure, thick, long hair reaching past his shoulders, and possibly the traces of a beard. Particle spectrometry analysis dated it to be around 29,000 years old. [Source: Wikipedia]

The remains of a kiln was found on an encampment in a small, dry-hut, whose door faced towards the east. Scattered around the oven were many fragments of fired clay. Remains of clay animals, some stabbed as if hunted, and other pieces of blackened pottery still bear the fingerprints of the potter.

The archeological site of Dolni Vestonice was located on a swamp at the confluence of two rivers near the Moravian mountains near present-day the village of Dolni Vestonice. In 1986, the remains of three teenagers were discovered in a common grave dated to be around 27,650 years old. Two of the skeletons belonged to heavily built males while the third was judged to be a female based on its slender proportions. Archaeologists who examined her skeletal remains found evidence of a stroke or other illness which left her painfully crippled and her face deformed. The two males had died healthy, but remains of a thick wooden pole thrust through the hip of one of them suggests a violent death.

The female skeleton was ritualistically placed beneath a pair of mammoth scapulae, one leaning against the other. The bones and the earth surrounding it contained traces of red ocher, a flint spearhead had been placed near the skull and one hand held the body of a fox. This evidence indicates that this was the burial site of a shaman. This is regarded as the oldest evidence of female shamans.

Early African and American Villages

The remains of ancient settlements is particularly abundant in the Near East in part because the materials used to make them --- stones and mud-bricks --- preserve well while materials such as wood used in other areas deteriorates and doesn't leave behind lasting evidence.

"Generally the West African forest area was one of small groupings with strong ethnic ties," writes historian Henry Wilson. "The village integrated society, and all other large groupings, whether political or social, reflected this. The residential unit was the compound, consisting of a cluster of dwellings and storage huts, generally enclosed by a wall, where a man would live with his wife or wives, his children, and his younger brothers and their wives and children. [Source: "The Imperial Experience in Sub-Sahara Africa Since 1870" by Henry S. Wilson, University of Minnesota Press]

“A village was made up of an aggregate of compounds. Several such village conglomerates constituted a ward, which in turn formed part of a township. The township was headed by men who were related and thus formed a distinctive kin grouping. Political, social, and religious power was diffused among elders, the age-grade associations, and in certain cases, the secret societies." [Ibid]


Watch the video: The 9,000-Year-Old Statues of Ain Ghazal of Ancient Jordan. Ancient Architects (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Frans

    Excuse, I thought and pushed the question away

  2. Geoff

    Has stopped on a forum and has seen this topic. Do you allow me to help?

  3. Emerson

    really strange

  4. Henri

    In my opinion, you were deceived like a child.



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