Monday, October 30, 2017

The Portland Vase, Roman Glass and the Astronomy of the Classical Gods

In the archaeological news currently is the famed ca. 2000-year old Portland Vase, an ancient night-dark-blue-backgrounded/white-figure-overlaid artefact of undeniable "heavenly" beauty, originally excavated in Rome, and now found in the British Museum in London.

See the photos of the Portland Vase at Wikimedia Commons.

The Portland Vase has harbored two major secrets over the millennia:

• the first secret was how the vase was made, and
• the second secret was who are the procession of figures represented on that vase and what is their meaning.

The first secret may have been solved now, based on recent news reports, for which see:

• New Atlas, where David Szondy reports:
How was the Portland Vase made? New evidence challenges long held theories.

• Phys.Org News, which provides essential background about the very convincing
New challenge to centuries-old theories on Roman glass.

Our own expertise, however,  concentrates on an unraveling of the second secret, as revealed in our newly made "astronomical" decipherment of the procession of white figures on the vase as depicting ancient mythical Roman gods in their heavenly starry abodes in the night sky.

Others before us in Classical Studies have in fact suggested that the vase figures depict ancient gods, i.e. "Olympians", but it was not known what exactly was being depicted by those figures as ancient "gods".

We suggest now, for the first time in modern academia, that the depiction is quite clear -- when viewed, with sufficient deliberation, from the standpoint of ancient artistic stargazers depicting their "heavenly" gods in the stars, via the background of a dark-blue firmament as the sky.

Our astronomical "heavenly" decipherment
of the Portland Vase is easily followed and is surely correct in its general explanation, even if many details may yet remain to be explained.

• The stars of Boötes are represented by the male figure standing in the hall column having only one upright pillar to the left and one lintel (viz. (chief) beam, epistyle or architrave) extending to its right.

• Boötes holds the stars of Serpens Caput in the hand of his lowered extended right arm [to the left from the viewer's perspective].

• The stars of Virgo are represented by the female figure below and to the right of Boötes [from the vase viewer's perspective].

• The stars of Coma Berenices (or is this Ursa Major ?) are represented above Virgo by a winged cherub.

• Virgo holds the head of what others have identified as a (water) serpent (Hydra ?), but it could very well be a long-necked swan at Leo.

• The "Y-shape" of the stars of Cancer is shown as an upward extending tree of life.

• Gemini is shown as a young man representing also the astronomical lower "twins", as in the more ancient cultures before them, which saw Castor and Pollux as the "upper" twins of the Gemini rectangle.

• Auriga is a head to the right of Gemini (from the vase viewer's perspective).

• Perseus follows as a young male god with his arms and left elbow marking the shape of Perseus.

• The gaze of Perseus is on Andromeda, who here marks the stars of the Great Square and what we today call Pegasus.

• Here the tree extending upwards marks the stars of what we modernly call the astronomical constellation of Andromeda, with the stars of Cassiopeia represented by the butterfly-shaped leaf bunch above Perseus and the stars of Cygnus and/or Aquila represented by leaf clusters on the other branch of the tree.

• The left arm of Andromeda holds a straight sash down to the bucket of Aquarius.

• The young god holding a staff (Serpens Cauda) is Ophiuchus and Hercules above Sagittarius.

The calendric seasons of this era may also be marked on the Portland Vase by the positions of the trees and figures, but for now, we wanted to keep it simple.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Museum Attendance Decline

Events of the present are just as integrally tied to the past, as the future is tied to the here and now.

But getting people interested in the world of yesterday is much more difficult than motivating them to look to the future, even though both are equally important to an appreciation of human life on Earth.

It is therefore of considerable concern that museum attendance in the USA in the digital age, especially among young people, has been declining strongly over the last decades. Young people particularly are losing their connection to their human heritage.

Efforts are underway at various institutions to stem that tide. After all, to know where you are, and to successfully arrive at where you are going, it is advisable to know where you have been.

The Verge in an article by Nikki Erlick at 20,000-year-old artifacts, 21st century technology reports that "Museums are turning to virtual reality, apps, and interactive experiences to keep tech-savvy visitors engaged."

Take a look.

Crossposted at LawPundit.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cerutti Mastodon Bone Astronomical Decipherment : Revised Stellar Identifications in the Sky Map of the Stars

We have revised our initial decipherment of the Cerutti Mastodon Bone -- not by changing any of our illustrative markings or identified cupmarks, but differently interpreting those cupmarks and lines, putting Virgo and Leo higher up in the image, and in the lower part of the image adding Hydra, Corvus, Crux, the Large Magellanic Cloud, Carina, Vela and Canopus in Puppis.

We also now identify a bird and its corresponding cupmarks in the upper left as Cygnus and below it a triangular form as Aquila.

Below is the resulting NEW REVISED decipherment, which we have labelled May, 2017 to keep it separate from the previous April, 2017 decipherment, even though both are separated by only one day at the end of April. Usually, we do not publish decipherments immediately, knowing that revisions may be necessary, but here we wanted to get the work out quickly.

We have also corrected the spelling of Cerutti, which is not two R's and one T but rather vice versa....






Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America


Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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