Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Mishnayot Emeq HaMelekh [The Valley of the King(s)] An Account of the Hiding of the Tabernacle and of the Hiding of the Ark of the Covenant

The Mishnayot
Emeq HaMelekh
[The Valley of the King(s)]

An Account of the Hiding of the Tabernacle
and of the Hiding of the Ark of the Covenant
[A list of these treasures is arguably found
on the Qumran Copper Scroll.]

The Mishnah is the first section of the Talmud,
a collection of ancient Rabbinic writings
including also the Gemara "the summary".

But there is another
Mishnaic source
referred to by Vendyl Jones:

"In 1992 Rabbi Rachmael Steinburg...
and his student, Rabbi Mendel Tropper,
began to search for source
 that could shed light on "the other records.
 [regarding the Copper Scroll]
"They found another source for
and reference to "the records
 in a book published in Amsterdam, Hollan
 in the year 1648.
It was written by
 Rabbi Naftali (ben Elchanan) Hertz
 The work was entitled Emeq HaMelekh
("Valley of the King") ...
Rabbi Hertz calls these records
and included them in the introduction to his text

The Mishnayot contains a detailed account
of the hiding of specific Hebrew treasures,
including, as we shall see,
Ark of the Covenant
as shown in LexiLine pages by Andis Kaulins,
was unknowingly found as King Tut's Treasure
in the Tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter.

Text of the
"Emeq HaMelekh" [Valley of the King(s)]
Rabbi Naftali (Ben Ya'acov Elchanan) Hertz
 in the Hebrew year 5408 (1648 c.e.)

[Ancient World Blog comments to the original are addded in red text

and red brackets]
The text of the Mishnayot follows immediately after this line.

These Mishnayot ["Records"]
were written
by five righteous men.

They are:
Shimur the Levite,
Chaggai the Prophet

and Zechariah,
son of Ido the Prophet.

They concealed the vessels of the Temple
and the wealth of the treasures
that were in Jerusalem
which will not be discovered
until the day of the coming of Mashiach,

son of David
 speedily in our times,
Amen, and so it will be

[Note: We think the 1st Jerusalem,
Jeru-Salem meaning "new city"
anciently referred to was 
Heliopolis, Giza, Per Ramses
location of Solomon's 1st Temple, not the 2nd,
the 2nd being located in Israel of course]

Mishnah 1

These are the vessels dedicated and concealed
when the Temple was destroyed:
The Tabernacle and the Curtain, the Holy Menorah,
the Ark of Testimony
[Covenant], the golden forehead Nameplate,
the golden crown of Aharon the Cohen,
the Breastplate of Judgment, the silver Trumpets, the Cherubim,
and the Altar of burnt offerings, the Curtain of the Communion Tent,
the forks and the bread molds, the Table
[of the Showbread],
the Curtain of the Gate, the Copper Altar, the sacred garments
of Aharon which were worn by the Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) on
the Day of Atonement, Pa'amonim (bells) and Rimonim (pomegranates)
on the hem of the robe
[of the Cohen Gadol],
the holy vessels that Moses made on Mount Sinai by the command
of the Holy One, the Staff, and the Jar of the Manna.
[Almost all of these were found intact in the Tomb of Tutankhamun]

Mishnah 2

These are the holy vessels and the vessels of the Temple
that were in Jerusalem and in every place.
They were inscribed by Shimur HaLevi and his companions,
on a "Luach Nehoshet" (Copper Plate),
[Note: th is surely the Copper Scroll]
with all the Vessels
of the Holy of Holies that Shlomo son of David made.
And together with Shimur were Hizkiyahu, Zidkiyah,
Haggai the Prophet, and Zechariah, son of Berachiah,
son of Ido the Prophet.

Mishnah 3

[Note: The numbers used in the Mishnayot were somehow misread over the millennia
by 1 power of a thousand, so - below - just remove 3 zeros to get the right amount]

These are the Vessels that were taken by (buried in) the ground:
the locking rods, the pegs, the boards, the rings, the standing pillars
of the courtyard. These are the Vessels: 1,200,000 silver Mizrakot
(sacrificial basins); 50,000 Mizrakot of fine gold;
600,000 (?) of fine gold, and 1,200,000 of silver.

These five [men] inscribed [wrote] these Mishnayot in Babylon
[this is the Babylonian captivity after the hiding of all things]
 together with the other prophets that were with them,
including Ezra the Cohen, the Scribe.

Mishnah 4

[Note: Again, the large numbers have been misread by 1 power of a thousand,
so just remove 3 zeros to get the right amount. This error is seen in the calculation

of the value of the Margaliot, showing there were only
ca. 2000 bread molds and not 2000000.

Of the Levites, 130 were killed and 100 escaped with Shimur HaLevi
and his companions.These
[men] concealed 500,000 trays of fine gold,
and 1,200,000 of silver; 500,000 bread molds of fine gold, and 1,200,000
of silver. On each of the molds, there were 5 Margaliot
[margaliot = Latvian mirgot, mirdzaloti "shine, shiny, sparkling, glitter"]
and 2 precious gem stones. The value of each precious stone was
100 talents of gold, and the total value of all the Margaliot was
200,000 talents of gold. There were also 36 golden Trumpets.
All of these were hidden and concealed in a tower in the land of Babylon,
in the great city called Bagdat. [There was also a 7-branched] Menorah
of fine gold, [worth] 100,000 [talents], with 7 lamps on each [branch],
26 precious gem stones on each Menorah, each Margalit (pearl? gem?)
priceless, and between every gem stone, 200 [smaller] stones,
also priceless.

Mishnah 5

There were 77 tables of gold, and gold [hangings] from the walls
of the Garden of Eden that was revealed to Shlomo. Their radiance was
like the brilliance of the sun and the moon that shine above the world.
And all the silver and gold that ever existed in the world, from the six
days of creation until the day that Zidkiyahu became king, did not
equal the value of the gold that was overlaid on the Temple from within
and from without. There is no end, no measure, no set amount, and no
weighing of the gold that overlaid the Temple and the face of the Temple.

All this, plus another 7,000 talents of gold, were brought and concealed
in the "Segel Habar" (?) with precious stones with which the Temple
was built, besides 3 rows of priceless stones and one row of Almogim
(coral?) trees. [Of] the three rows of priceless stones, the length of each
row was 7 cubits, and width 5 cubits, established by David. The length
of one Margalit (pearl? gem? building stone?) was 10 cubits. David
prepared all of these for the Great House (Temple), for Shlomo, his son.

Mishnah 6
[Note: The large numbers have been misread by 1 power of a thousand,
so just remove 3 zeros to get the right amount]

The number of stones was 36,000,
the same as the number of gem stones.
From all these
[cutting gems] the Temple was built.
There were also three-plus-one rows of Almogim trees,
overlaid with fine gold and placed in the building.
All those were hidden
from Nebuchadnezzar
[= Shishak = Ramses III]
by the fittest [men] of Israel. The Almogim shine
like the brilliance of the firmament (sky).

Mishnah 7

[Note: Also here, the large numbers have been misread by 1 power of a thousand,
so remove 3 zeros to get the right amount]
The counting of precious stones, Margaliot gems, silver, and gold
that King David dedicated to the Great Temple was:
1,000,000 talents of silver, 100,000 talents of gold

and trees made of "Parvaim Gold" which bore fruit,
600,000 talents of fine gold from beneath the Tree of Life in the holy Garden.
All these were revealed to Hilkiyah the Scribe, who gave them into
the safekeeping of the angel Shimshiel to guard until King David arises,
to whom he will hand over the silver and gold, including the gold that
Shlomo contributed, and the talents of gold and priceless precious stones.
All these were concealed, hidden, and safeguarded from the army of the
Chaldeans in a place called
[Borseef = Bahr Yusef near Fayyum - or -  is Abu Simbel = Beer es Sebua].

Mishnah 8

There were 7 golden Curtains that contained 12,000 talents of gold.
There were 12,000 garments of the Levites with their belts,
and the Ephod (vest) and Meil (robe) of the Cohen Gadol which he wore
when he performed the Temple service. In addition, there were 70,000
garments worn by the Cohanim, with their belts, their turbans,
and their pants. David made all of these for them to atone for Israel.
And the fittest [men] of Israel took them secretly, as they had been
instructed. All this service-gear was [concealed] until the future
to atone for Israel [in the end of days].

Mishnah 9

David [also] made 1,000 lyres and 7,000 harps to atone for Israel.
He had Zilzalim (cymbals) for singing, extolling, thanksgiving, and
praising the God of Israel which were handed down to him from
Moses, from Sinai. The words, "From beneath the legs of the
Throne of Glory, sapphire stone, in the likeness of the Throne"
(cf. Exodus 24:10), were inscribed upon them.

The lyres were made of Almugim wood, overlaid with fine gold,
with 8 stones on each lyre, carried by the clouds, the demons and
the spirits that were under Shlomo's dominion. On each lyre was
a bell of "Nehoshet Kalal" (burnished copper) from before the
Throne of Glory, together with a priceless, precious stone that
Moses quarried on Mount Sinai from under the Throne of Glory
which was upon the Sapphire Stone. All these were hidden and
concealed in "Ein Zidkiyah" that the fittest
[men] of Israel knew
in secret, lest they fall, God forbid, into the hands of the enemy
who hated Israel. For these vessels are not to be used except to
atone for Israel. Baruch ben Neriah and Zidkiyahu thus concealed
them to prevent the Chaldeans from using them, God forbid.

They hid them until the day when Israel will  return to their former
stature and reclaim
[eternal] honor and wordly glory, and they
find a man whose name is David, son of David. The silver and
gold shall then be unearthed to him, when all Israel shall gather
and make a complete Aliyah (ascent) to Jerusalem. Amen.

Mishnah 10
[Note: The numbers have been misread by 1 power of a thousand,
so just remove 3 zeros to get the right amount]
These are the weights of silver concealed at "Ein Kahal" by Baruch and
Zidkiyah: 1,200,000 talents of silver, 1,600,000 of fine silver. Copper
vessels: 2,000,000 pots of fine copper, and 1,100,000 of iron;
[Countless] Shefatim (type of pot) without Metzukim (ladles) and
copper Metzukim around the copper gate; countless Cherubim;
countless copper sinks/lavers; 3,000 frying pans of fine gold;
70 priceless tables of fine gold from beneath the Tree of Life
standing in the holy Garden, upon which were placed the Showbread.
Golden Shekamim (type of tree) with all manner of delicacies
hanging from them. They are all made of refined gold which
David, King of Israel, refined. All those were concealed by Zidkiyah.

Mishnah 11

Treasures of gold and silver [stored away] from the days of David until
Zidkiyah and until Israel was exiled to Babylon: Hundreds of thousands
of golden shields, and countless silver [shields]; 1,353,000 precious
stones and fine stones. All of these were hidden and concealed in the
wall of Babylon and in Tel Bruk under the big willow tree in Babylon
upon which they hung their lyres (cf. Psalm 137:2). And from the
House of the Forest of Lebanon (i.e. the Temple), they took
1,900,000 Korin (measures) of gold. All the prophets, wise men, and
scribes [in the world] could not calculate the wealth and the glory
that was in Jerusalem.

Mishnah 12

Hiluk, son of Shimur HaLevi, was given twelve more precious stones in
order to hide them so that they could
[eventually] be restored to the
 [of Israel]. The names of the Tribes were engraved on them,
and they shone on the Tribe's heads, excellent and precious, one more
than the other. No king, prophet, or anyone else knew where they were
hidden, excepting Hiluk, son of Shimur HaLevi. The remainder of the
wealth and glory that was in Jerusalem was taken by angel Shimshiel.

Shimur, Hiluk, and their companions, the Levites, later went and
showed it to Michael and Gavriel. All Israel concealed the Vessels
until a righteous king arises over Israel. What's more, they all swore
a solemn vow never to reveal the whereabouts of these vessels until
David, son of David, arises. All silver, gold, and Margaliot (precious stones)
which was ever hidden away will be handed over to him
when the exiles of Israel will be gathered from the four ends of the earth,
and they ascend with greatness and exaltation to the land of Israel.

At that time, a great river will issue forth from the Holy of Holies
of the Temple. Its name is Gihon, and it will flow to the great and
dreadful desert, and become mixed with the Euphrates River.
Immediately, all the Vessels will float up and be revealed."

- End -

To see some of the Treasures found,

Go to the Ark of the Covenant

and/or Go to the Copper Scroll

Stonehenge Laser-Scanned Axeheads Deciphered as Astronomy: Sarsens 5, 4 and 3 and Trilithon 53 (or) How Is it That Archaeologists Are Unable to Recognize the Big Dipper?

New Stonehenge 3D Laser-Scans of Sarsens and Trilithons
reveal new axeheads. See the English Heritage pdf research report.

My comment is: "If you can not recognize Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, the Drinking Gourd, when it is patently obvious, then who can help you?"

Here are the axehead positions found on Sarsen 5 by 3D laser scanning (English Heritage) together with my obvious interpretation, where I use for comparison an image from the astronomy software program Starry Night Pro to which image I have added text and block or color emphasis of some elements:

as URSA MAJOR (the Big Dipper) and URSA MINOR
(The positions of axeheads are according to English Heritage,
but English Heritage has NOTHING to do with my postings,
and I have made my own images to avoid copyright wrangles,
although use of the axehead positions should be "fair use" in research)

Nothing could be clearer than that eight axeheads on the front side of Sarsen 5 at Stonehenge represent the stars of the Big Dipper, i.e. Ursa Major, plus as the largest axe above the others, Ursa Minor, which in the era of Stonehenge construction and use represented the North Celestial Pole --- indeed, even today, the star Polaris at the bottom of the "axe handle" of Ursa Minor, an axe, is the North Pole Star.

What has been written about those axeheads by archaeologists and in the media up to now is ludicrous. I have nothing against pots, but they do not explain Stonehenge, and somehow archaeology should finally realize that. Stonehenge is ASTRONOMY and that is what you should be looking for.

In any case, the reason I found these new axehead laser scans is that I was latching on to my previous postings about ancient seafaring, so I was interested in looking at the recently revealed laser-scanning discovery of more Mediterranean-like two-headed "double axe" Stonehenge axeheads carved on the sarsens and trilithons, as reported at the following websites and blogs:
In the year 2003, I already included in my book Stars Stones and Scholars (pages 119-140 on Wiltshire monuments) the few axehead carvings then already known at Stonehenge, together with cupmarks and other incised lines, and I wrote at page 122 that:
"The Stonehenge Sarsens 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 represent Ursa Major, Leo and Leo Minor, Corvus, Virgo and Coma Berenices, and Boötes."
At that time, in fact, I also specifically wrote that Stonehenge Sarsen 4 shows the stars of LEO MAJOR and LEO MINOR. Here was the image I used in my book Stars Stones and Scholars

More laser-scanned axeheads have been discovered on Sarsen 4, and I show them all together below with Leo Major and Leo Minor, as follows, where the stars of Leo Major and Leo Minor are drawn as the ancients viewed them, with the large lion below and the small lion above:

(positions of the axeheads according to English Heritage)

To the right of Leo we have the stars of Cancer, a weak group of stars, usually marked by just four or five stars as follows (photograph from the Wikimedia Commons, CancerCC.jpg: author - Till Credner, derivative work - Bedwyr (talk)

SARSEN 3 shows 3 axeheads as stars for the stars of CANCER
(positions of the axeheads according to English Heritage):

In my book Stars Stones and Scholars, page 125 shows the cupmarks on Trilithons 53 and 54, which I there said represent the back stars of Scorpio, where the "stinger is", based on cupmarks in the stone:

Modern man is today unable to see the simplest things and people with no creative art talent think to be able to judge ancient sculpture and carving. Archaeologists or commentators who emote that round cupmarks or carved figures on the megaliths of Stonehenge or elsewhere are "natural irregularities" are more than wrong. They continue -- for reasons known only to them -- to broadcast an uninformed opinion on their part for which there is no basis in the probative evidence. There is nothing out there that even remotely proves that such completely round cupmarks are "naturally" made in stone. Nonsense. Funny thing, cupmarks are frequent on megaliths and on specific cupmarked rock art, but try finding such perfectly round cupmarks on large rocks elsewhere. The same is true for figures on megaliths.

In any case, laser-scanning has also found new axeheads and a dagger ("the sting" of the Scorpion, as it were) on Trilithon 53 (actually it is "Stone 53" which is a trilithon). Not only do those axeheads show the stars of Scorpio and Sagittarius, but they show all the stars of Scorpio, including those at the front, and not just those at the back:

In trying to figure out what the strange curved double-U signs left and right were as stars, the fact that they mark areas of the sky where there are no stars indicated they had a different function. Well, the solution is as obvious as it is not, unless you think of "the Archer" and the "bow and arrow". Those double-U signs then arguably both mark the FINGERS of the HANDS on the bow, one hand at the front, holding the bow at the normal mid-position and the hand at the back, pulling back the string for the arrow, which must be symbolized by the stinger "SHAULA", a term having "shoot" at its root. It is as ingenious as it is simple.

Ancient Seafaring, Megaliths, Egypt, Phoenicia, Carthage and the Periplus of Hanno

Ancient seafaring has historically been neglected by mainstream archaeology in spite of numerous historical accounts relating to the Pharaohs and Phoenicians (e.g. Necho II)  viz. Carthaginians (e.g. Hanno the Navigator and Himilco the Explorer):
"Libya is washed on all sides by the sea except where it joins Asia, as was first demonstrated, so far as our knowledge goes, by the Egyptian king Necho, who, after calling off the construction of the canal between the Nile and the Arabian gulf, sent out a fleet manned by a Phoenician crew with orders to sail west about and return to Egypt and the Mediterranean by way of the Straits of Gibraltar. The Phoenicians sailed from the Arabian gulf into the southern ocean, and every autumn put in at some convenient spot on the Libyan coast, sowed a patch of ground, and waited for next year's harvest. Then, having got in their grain, they put to sea again, and after two full years rounded the Pillars of Heracles in the course of the third, and returned to Egypt. These men made a statement which I do not myself believe, though others may, to the effect that as they sailed on a westerly course round the southern end of Libya, they had the sun on their right - to northward of them. This is how Libya was first discovered by sea."
- Herodotus, The Histories 4.42, translated by Aubrey de Selincourt

"When the power of Carthage flourished, Hanno sailed round from Cádiz to the extremity of Arabia, and published a memoir of his voyage of his voyage, as did Himilco when he was dispatched at the same date to explore the outer coasts of Europe."
- Pliny the Elder, Natural history 2.169a
Only recently because of recent boat finds that could not be ignored, such as those at Abydos, or the shipwreck of Uluburun, has the archaeological community been forced to make quantum changes in previously inert, unsubstantiated and outdated archaeological views about ancient seafaring.

This neglect is arguably to be traced to the fact that seafaring and navigation (by astronomy or otherwise), are not specialties of archaeology per se and so these ancient accounts have been ignored or viewed as fantasy in eras where in fact people did not have the luxury or time to write fiction in stone, the first novel having been written as Don Quixote in our modern day and age by Cervantes.

Even today, archaeologists prefer to speculate about "social contexts" rather than dealing with the hands down implications of the fact that ancient vessels were made for transport and travel. Everything we now know about these ancient boats clearly supports previously discredited ancient seafaring tales.

Simple logic should have told the archaeologists that you can not write fiction about traveling the west coast of Africa or circumnavigating Africa in ancient days without also previously knowing that Africa is a continent surrounded by water and thus amenable to such navigation attempts, a knowledge before the fact which itself presumes previous navigation to Africa by someone.

Those versed in seafaring or astronomical navigation are more likely to see that ancient seafaring accounts reflect actual journeys or attempted journeys.

One needs only examine the no fewer than 14 (fourteen!) Abydos boats of Pharaonic Egypt (ca. 3000 BC) to recognize that such sophisticated boats were not initially built for one king's tomb decoration or for his transport to the afterlife, but were made to be used on navigable waterways, and by their size they surely were also suitable for coastal transport.

Archaeologists were reportedly "amazed" at the sophistication of the boats found at Abydos. We are "amazed" that archaeologists were previously so unaware of the sophisticated seafaring nature of early Pharaonic civilization, as this has long been in evidence -- to everyone who wanted to look -- on predynastic rock drawings in the wadis.

We link to an image by Per Storemyr at Per Storemyr Archaeology and Conservation in The Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira, Egypt: Landscape, archaeology, threats and conservation: The Predynastic and later rock art (From c. 4.000 BC):

 Late Predynastic boat at site CAS-2 in Wadi Abu Subeira. Photo: Per Storemyr

Such rock drawings are clearly not "funerary" in nature. Rather, they depict a seafaring civilization. Boats could only have obtained a subsequent funerary significance if they had been important to actual Pharaonic life. See also the "stone ships" of Scandinavia and the astronomical petroglyphs of Tanum.

Indeed, we think the 14 Abydos boats, buried individually and separately from any tomb, are far more in number than necessary to be simple funerary ornaments for a single king (even Cheops had only 2), but were enshrined on their own account to honor some ancient feat of navigation or to honor those who achieved that feat.

Indeed, the National Geographic account of the discovery of the boats reads:
"[E]ach [is] buried in its own brick-lined tomb adjacent to the enclosure of a still unknown king. The boats, which measured up to 75 feet (23 meters) long, were expertly crafted and had been fully functional when buried. They proved to be the world's oldest surviving boats built of planks (as opposed to those made of reeds or hollowed-out logs)."
Well, if they were buried outside some alleged king's tomb, they can hardly have been used for his transport to the afterlife.

Francesco Raffaele has images and a posting at Early Dynastic Funerary boats at Abydos North, writing:
"Their age should be more than 400 years older than Khwfw's (Cheops) and, although found nearby the vast enclosure (Shunet ez Zebib) of Khasekhemwy, it appears possible that they belong to the second king of the first dynasty, Horus AHA, owner of Umm el Qa'ab tombs B19."

If we now look to larger Africa beyond Egypt, we have several historical accounts of seafaring history. Of interest to us here is the Periplus of Hanno, an allegedly Carthaginian-Phoenician voyage which clearly describes an active volcano viewed during the voyage. WHEN, according to the geologists, could that have occurred on the scale described in the periplus. Surely it could have been much earlier for a story perhaps repeated for generations.

See our map of this voyage below as imposed upon our map of the main megalithic sites in Africa:

The Periplus of Hanno in red on a map of the main megalithic sites of Africa.

As concluded by Livio Catullo Stecchini in the best analysis of that voyage as found online at, this volcano can only be Mount Cameroon.

One must note that there is a very active volcanic linear rift zone -- known as the Cameroon Line, a 1,000 km (620 mi) chain of volcanoes -- which is close to the volcanic area that may have been primarily responsible for the split of South America from Africa millions of years ago (see the map below).

Michael Clayton Wilson, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Calgary, in Geoarchaeology and Archaeological Visibility in the Northern Mandara Mountains and Mora Plain (Cameroon): Preliminary Results, has the following map at page 20, which we reproduce here as a scan:

 Map scanned from Michael Clayton Wilson, as cited above, published here as fair use.

The "black blots" in the map above are labeled Cenozoic volcanics by Wilson.

Those that interest us particularly are:
  • the black blot marked "Mt. Cameroon", and
  • the black blot to the lower southwest it, above the word "LINE" in the map, which is today Bioko Island (also written Bioco, earlier called Fernando Po or Fernando Póo).
  • Note that the lower black dots SW of Bioko on the Cameroon Line are the two islands of "São Tomé and Príncipe", which together today form one democratic republic, whereas the island of Bioko, with its highest mountain Pico Basilé, is a part of Equatorial Guinea.

Bioko's Pico Basilé (formerly Pico de Santa Isabel, 3011 meters, 9878 feet)
linked from

Mount Cameroon (opposite Pico Basilé across the Gulf of Guinea).
Mount Cameroon is West Africa's highest peak (4040 meters, 13255 feet)
and its most active volcano, last erupting in  March 28, 1999 and May 28, 2000.
(photo there is courtesy of the Cameroon Embassy in the Netherlands)
(for another photo, see also

These peaks are so impressive at their respective locations that it is incredible that they are not better known to the mass public, even today.

Indeed, as written at the New York Times by Donald G. McNeil Jr. in Precursor to H.I.V. Was in Monkeys for Millenniums:
"Bioko used to be the end of a peninsula attached to the mainland in what is now Cameroon, but it was cut off when sea levels rose 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age....
Since then, six monkey species have developed in isolation on the island...."
And the same is true for the Bioko humans, with a small twist. In A tale of two  islands : population history and  mitochondrial DNA sequence variation of Bioko  and  Sao Tome, Gulf  of Guinea, a team of authors (E. Mateu, D. Comas, F. Calafell F, A. Pérez-Lezaun, A. Abade, J. Bertranpetit -- Laboratori d'Antropologia, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) write in the Abstract of the article that:
"The hypervariable segment I of the control region of the mtDNA was sequenced in 45 unrelated individuals from Bioko and 50 from São Tomé, two islands in the Gulf of Guinea that have had very different settlement patterns: Bioko was colonized around 10000 BP, while São Tomé was first settled by the Portuguese, who brought African slaves to the island. Two different patterns of sequence variation are evident and are also clearly a consequence of their very different demographic histories. The Bubi present a low genetic diversity and it is likely that the island was colonized by a small number of individuals with small later migration. São Tomeans might be considered a subset of a mainland African population relocated to the island. They present high genetic diversity with a high number of sequences being shared with many continental populations. This study, with knowledge of the population history in island populations, strengthens the genetic approach to unravel past demographic events."
In the text of the article (Wiley Online Library) they write:
"The island was first colonized 10000 years BP (Vara & Bolekia,  1993), at the end of the last glacial period. Around 2000 years BP, farming, and possibly a Bantu  language, were introduced to the   island (Martın del Molino, 1993)." [emphasis added]
That date of 2000 years ago is -- we think rightly -- contradicted in A Dictionary of Archaeology by Ian Shaw and Robert Jameson, where we find written as follows about Central Africa and Bioko (Africa, p. 31):
"The beginnings of the expansion of of Niger-Congo speakers of the Bantu Super-Family into Central Africa has been placed by historical linguists at around uncal [uncalibrated] 4000 BP. The current consensus is that the core area for this expansion may be found in the Cameroon grassfields. It would seem that the first Bantu-speaking immigrants into Central Africa arrived before the beginnings of metallurgy, but with ceramics, polished stone tools and small livestock. The initial population movements could have been encouraged by the beginnings of the recent arid phase around uncal 4500 BP -- opening savanna corridors into the rainforest. Additionally, it would seem that some migration was maritime (between southern Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon), since the island of Bioko was occupied by local seafarers around uncal 4000 BP (Vansina 1990; Clist 1995)." [emphasis added]
Ibrahim Sundiata in Equatorial Guinea: Colonialism, State Terror and the Search for Stability writes:
"Venerated erect-standing stones are, indeed, still found throughout the island. These stones, however, did not serve as the image of a diety, but rather the image of spiritual energy -- energy essential to the fecundity and vitality of the locale. During the nineteenth century many people moved to new zones for reasons of trade and abandoned the menhirs in their region. Later, when many were rediscovered, the Bubi averred that the stones had not been erected by humans, but, instead, were signs from the spirits. Many menhirs were located at commercial crossroads and places for palavers.

"Sacred stones had three functions: they were places where this world encountered the world of the spirits; places that acknowledged the presence of the earth goddess, and places that marked the initial settlement of families. ... Memorial stones are especially abundant in places like Batete, Moka (formerly Riabba,) Ureka and Ombori. At times there was only one stone, which represented the founding male. At times there were two, representing the founding couple. In other cases there was a third, smaller, stone which represented "basoome" (children). Because the menhirs were exposed to the elements, small chapels were built close to them for the maintenance of perpetual fires. The chapel was marked by small stones, and the sacred precinct was protected by rites of purification. The principal function of rites before "earth-mother" monoliths was to insure agricultural and human reproduction."
Obviously, the local Bubi of Bioko adopted the megaliths as their own and used them according to their own cultural needs, whereas this says nothing in terms of their being evidence of the actual earlier origin of the megaliths.

Bioko is known by few today, but in earlier years the island was known as Fernando Po viz. Fernando Póo and my significant other recalled these lines from her Spanish classes:

Es el sol de hiero que arde en Tombuctú
Es la danza negra de Fernando Póo
El cerdo en el fango gruñe: pru-pru-prú

Those lines stem from a poem, Danza Negra, by Luis Palés Matos of Puerto Rico, which today is performed in music as a song, for example, by Lucecita (also Lucesita) Benítez and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Roselín Pabón (see YouTube). See the Julio Marzán translation.

Bioko and Mount Cameroon were surely points of contact in the Periplus of Hanno, more-or-less at the farthest extension of their journey.

The problem with the accounts of the voyages of Neccho II, Hanno and Himilco is that purportedly no trace of their colonies or any other evidence of their voyages has been found by the archaeologists, who so often are looking for things in the wrong era. What is quite clear is that these voyages occurred long beforehand and incomplete accounts of them were handed down over the passage of time. Evidence of contact IS PRESENT, just earlier than 500 BC.

What about the Voyage of Himilco to Europe? Recent Stonehenge research has even found Mediterranean-like axe marks on the megaliths. See 3D laser scan of Stonehenge reveals axehead graffiti at Dienekes' Anthropology Blog.

Here is what we wrote some years ago (with some subsequent editing). It is of course VERY speculative material, but the main idea is that researchers are not looking back far enough for evidence of ancient seafaring journeys:
"Legends of the Scots, Welsh and Irish claim that there was influx to the British Isles from the Mediterranean Sea in ancient days and that the ancient kings of Britain were related to the Pharaohs.
In recent years Norse-type longboats capable of sea voyages have been found at Abydos in Egypt, dating to ca. 3000 BC.
What is the significance of these boats?

Was there some kind of technology exchange at this time?

There is much similarity between the stone work on the Orkneys, for example, and the pyramids, both showing corbelling and cladding technology not in evidence elsewhere on cultural Earth at this time. That technology is first found at the Orkneys, not at the pyramids.

In this regard, see the
Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius at
Bulfinch's Mythology at
where it is written as follows:

"There was another kingdom in Thessaly near to that of Athamas, and ruled over by a relative of his. The king AEson, being tired of the cares of government, surrendered his crown to his brother Pelias on condition that he should hold it only during the minority of Jason, the son of AEson. When Jason was grown up and came to demand the crown from his uncle, Pelias pretended to be willing to yield it, but at the same time suggested to the young man the glorious adventure of going in quest of the Golden Fleece, which it was well known was in the kingdom of Colchis, and was, as Pelias pretended, the rightful property of their family. Jason was pleased with the thought and forthwith made preparations for the expedition. At that time the only species of navigation known to the Greeks consisted of small boats or canoes hollowed out from trunks of trees [this puts the date back to several millennia prior to strongly navigational Hellenistic Greece], so that when Jason employed Argus to build him a vessel capable of containing fifty men, it was considered a gigantic undertaking [and one needed previous technology]. It was accomplished, however, and the vessel named "Argo," from the name of the builder.... Jason sent his invitation to all the adventurous young men of Greece, and soon found himself at the head of a band of bold youths, many of whom afterwards were renowned among the heroes and demigods of Greece. Hercules, Theseus, Orpheus, and Nestor were among them. They are called the Argonauts, from the name of their vessel."  [emphasis added][we also note: argos in our opinion actually meant "Earth, Clay" and the Argonauts may have been  "the first surveyors of the Earth".]"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Out of Africa Much Earlier Than Later Seafaring

I have been corresponding with Harry Bourne, author of:
Phoenicians in West Africa at at (covering The Periplus of Necho, The Periplus of Hanno, Carthage & Chami).

From the Red to the Med, The Phoenicians in East Africa at at

Ancient India, West Africa & the Sea at Migration Diffusion at

East Africa & the Sea in Antiquity at at

West Africa & the Sea in Antiquity at at
I am in accord with the "out of Africa" hypothesis for initial human migration to other parts of the world -- see my posting at but that was much earlier than seafaring or the megaliths, as the initial human migration "out of Africa" appears to have started ca. 60000 BC or so, if I understand DNA studies correctly.

However, I am not in accord with attempts to link the much later origins of seafaring or megaliths (as opposed to traveling by dugout canoes) to Africans, because I think that is simply not supported by the evidence.

Nevertheless, it is well worth reading Harry Bourne's writings, because he has collected a lot of material about ancient seafarers that is of value to analysis of ancient seafaring and the spread of the megaliths.

Thinking "out of the box", it occurred to me in reading about the Periplus of Necho viz. the Periplus of Hanno that something is seriously wrong in terms of chronology because the travels are dated otherwise by extreme volcanic activity witnessed by the seafarers. More forthcoming in the next posting.

African Megaliths and Ancient Seafaring

Catherine Acholonu informed me about a canoe excavated in Nigeria dated to ca. 7700 years ago. See Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Cultural Sensitization and Exhibition on the 8000 Years Old Dufuna Canoe, at .

Nigeria is of course rightly proud of this archaeological discovery, showing a high level of culture in the Neolithic era.

I remain extremely skeptical about "seafaring" Africans (outside of Pharaonic Egyptian culture) in the megalithic era ca. 3000 BC.

Yes, dugout canoes of tree logs are surely an ancient basic water travel technology found throughout the world -- also in Nigeria, but dugouts are still quite an extended technological distance from the kind of boats found at Abydos in Egypt.

I have nothing personal against dugouts. Estonia was the last European country to continue to build them, and some of my ancestors come from the border region of Estonia and Latvia.

However, the Baltic peoples -- as opposed to the Scandinavians -- never seem to have gotten much beyond that stage, I think because it was not necessary for them economically. The only ancient peoples in the Baltic who continued to build primitive boats clear into the modern era were the Livs viz. Livonians (relatives of the Finns) and they used them for fishing. Some Baltic DNA appears to be Varangian, so maybe there is an ancient seafaring connection.

Continued Scandinavian seafaring development has culminated in the world's largest ferries traveling e.g. between Kiel, Germany and Oslo, Norway:

"Color Line's Kiel-Oslo ships (and the world's largest ferries) COLOR FANTASY and COLOR MAGIC...."
In Africa, the megaliths in Senegambia, Nigeria and even Bouar to some degree are near a major river by which the subsequent megalithic area was accessed by the megalith makers, so my argument.

In Senegal and Gambia, this was the Gambia River.
In Nigeria it was the Cross River.
For the Central African Republic it was the Sanaga River, the next large river south of the Cross River.
"The Sanaga River is a river of South Province, Cameroon, Centre Province, Cameroon, and West Province, Cameroon.... The Sanaga River forms a boundary between two tropical moist forest ecoregions. The Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests lie to the north between the Sanaga River and the Cross River of Nigeria, and the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests extend south of the river through southwestern Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Cabinda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo."
Jaap van der Waarde, Integrated River Basin Management of the Sanaga River, Cameroon writes at Sanaga.pdf:
"The Sanaga River is the largest river in Cameroon.... It flows for 918 km from its source on the Adamawa Plateau.... The main tributaries in Adamawa are the Lom to the South and the Djerem to the North."
The Electricity Development Corporation, Republic of Cameroon, in Lom Pangar Hydroelectric Project: Environmental and social assessment (ESA), Executive summary, March 2011 writes:
"Lom originates at the foot of Ngaou Ndal [Ngaou "mountain" and Ndal "throne", Mont Ngaoui in Google - Wikipedia] in the Central African Republic at the south-eastern boundary of the Adamaoua, around elevation 1,200 m, 70 km east of Meiganga...."
Mont Ngaoui is only ca. 100 km (60 miles) as the crow flies from Bouar, Central African Republic, where we find the megaliths marking the center of Africa in the ancient land survey system.

I do not know to what degree such rivers were anciently navigable by flat boats like those found at Abydos, Egypt (as was the case for the more modern ancient Vikings, such boats were surely pulled along the shore in areas where not navigable).

It remains speculation that the ancient megalith makers navigated these rivers to get close to locations which they required for their land survey. 

However, it seems significant to me, as in the above quotation from the Wikipedia, that the Sanaga River and Cross River are the major dividing rivers for these two tropical African ecoregions, and it is near these rivers that we find the Nigerian and Central African megaliths.

In any event, we are not going to resolve the issue of origins now, and surely much more research will be required until some element of certainty surfaces as to who the arguably seafaring originators of megalithic culture actually were.

If things were certain, there would be no need of discussion.

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American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
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