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....






Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Mastodon Bone of California, USA as Astronomy ca. 6000-4000 B.C. perhaps by People of Haplogroup X (mtDNA)

Please Note: The sky map decipherment below was revised in part by Andis Kaulins two days later at http://ancientworldblog.blogspot.com/2017/04/cerutti-mastodon-bone-astronomical.html, adding more star identifications and changing the position of Virgo and Leo to be higher up above the underworld of stars.
_______________

Archaeology and related professions suffer from their tendency to opt for a self-serving myopic assessment of the available evidence, too often without sober consultation of what "science" might call "good common sense".

When we take the evidence of genetic studies into account, then mankind migrated out of Africa no earlier than about 60000 B.C. according to the Map of Human Migration, National Geographic. Note that we reject and do not use the confusing and allegedly "politically correct" BCE and BPE labels, which are artificial ill-constructed academic notations with little practical value.

ANYONE, no matter what their academic credentials, suggesting the discovery of prehistoric human or human-like locations and/or artifacts outside of Africa that fall far much earlier than that date of 60000 B.C. -- when faced with the genetic evidence -- is likely to have made a colossal dating error in setting the chronology. That may be the case for the Cerutti Mastodon bone.

We have pointed out the above wisdom repeatedly over the years, most recently in our posting Bruniquel Cave "Ring" Construction in France Represents a Sky Map, But it is Not 176000 Years Old and Likely Not Constructed by Neanderthals.

We now are confronted with a report in the New York Times headlined Humans Lived in North America 130,000 Years Ago, Study Claims, reporting on a study -- published in the purportedly reputable peer-reviewed science journal Nature -- whose editors and reviewers need to start to do their homework -- titled A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA.

We are not going to go into any assessment of the radiometric procedures used in dating the Bone from the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site in question, because it is not necessary, as there is no proof that the carvers of the bone broke the bone into pieces, as the writers of the article allege.

Rather, an old broken mastodon bone from an earlier age was arguably found and carved at some later time -- indeed, based on our dating below, probably carved by the still mysterious, but surely then seafaring people of Haplogroup X (mtDNA), who spread their astronomy in the New World at that time.

The New York Times article by Carl Zimmer writes:

"The bold and fiercely disputed claim, published in the journal Nature, is based on a study of mastodon bones discovered near San Diego.....

Some experts were intrigued by the research, but many archaeologists strongly criticized it, saying the evidence didn’t come close to supporting such a profound conclusion."

The key to this mastodon bone is not only the correct interpretation of the carved wavy lines, but also a host of other carvings and cupmarks on the bone. We can explain the wavy lines, as a bonus of our decipherment.

Anyone who thinks that he has seen all the carving on the mastodon bone when he or she has merely noted the wavy lines on it -- the easy part -- is greatly mistaken. We are reminded of Albert Einstein's famous phrase, that "I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy."

There are numerous things carved on the bone, and we present simple and interpreted illustrations below of the lines and cupmarks made on the bone, all of which -- in our decipherment -- are astronomical in nature -- i.e. they represent "stargazing" in ancient times, we estimate ca. 6000 to 4000 B.C. with the stars near the Autumn Equinox to the left of the bone illustration as seen below and the stars near to the Spring Equinox to the right of the bone, as one is looking at the bone and as presented in the illustrations below. The Summer Solstice is then at the stars of Virgo (the main middle figure)

The head of Leo is to the right and can be viewed as either a human head or the head of a cat-like or dog-like creature. Behind that to the left is the head of human female with the wavy lines surely representing the watery underworld toward the southern stars of Centaurus, Lupus etc.

Marked at the left are the stars of Sagittarius and Scorpio, both near the galactic centre, as marked by heads of the deceased, since the ancients believed the souls of the deceased returned there. See my many postings on Avebury Henge and Stonehenge in the last year for an explanation.

Groupings of stars that are represented on the Cerutti Mastodon Bone may not in ancient days have been exactly comparable to our own modern constellations of course, but decipherment experience shows that the ancients adopted similar groupings, based on the brightest stars in the heavens.

Below is our decipherment of the Cerutti Mastodon Bone based on Letter to Nature 544, 479–483, 27 April 2017, doi:10.1038/nature22065 and the image reproduced in the New York Times article cited above.

Decipherment by Andis Kaulins, Traben-Trarbach, April, 2017:


The entire matter is rather elementary -- once one understands that the ancients carved mastodon and similar bones like this for important reasons such as astronomy, calendration and perhaps other shamanistic endeavors.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

New York City's Metropolitan Museum in Financial Trouble - What Does it Mean?

Met Museum in Decline? is a question posed by Robin Pogrebin at the New York Times regarding the financially troubled Metropolitan Museum in NYC.

We are certain that such a great institution as the Met will ultimately recover and prosper down the road -- after returning to its core responsibilities -- but its financial difficulties in our opinion may mirror severe similar problems found throughout a "liberal" U.S. society too often marked by what we view as skewed "mainstream" hype, hubris and overreaching (i.e. allegedly "politically correct" activism that extends far beyond "legitimate" duties and roles).

The prevailing "populist" revolt in the USA, the United Kingdom's ongoing path to Brexit, plus strong political populist unrest in Europe in general, seem to reflect an inevitable pendulum swing in mass popular opinion -- a movement which appears to be based on an instinctive, underlying need of the affected nations' inhabitants to restore a sensible balance of powers and interests.

We are not against "liberalism" as such, but it represents at best, only half the world. When the other half is forgotten, trouble ensues.

For example, reporters at the New York Times in their recent political reporting have totally forgotten that something like 60 million voters in the USA are not against the new U.S. President but are likely rooting privately: "Go Trump!".

Where in the pages of the world's leading newspaper is that reported? Either you report the REAL news, i.e. what is actually happening "out there" and not necessarily what media people at the NY Times WANT to happen, or, you become like the Met, a once major player left behind by the times....

The Met may thus not be any kind of a special exception. We ourselves are reading the New York Times less and less these days, because their news reporting has become more and more partisan and vastly overreaching in terms of their actual "news" responsibilities.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Sky Map Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia

The "Sky Map" viz. "Star Map" Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia has figures that show definite similarities to the lower half of Avebury Stone #10, e.g. serpent, whale.

We made this decipherment in the year 2004. It deciphers a dolmen in the "Seida" complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia. The island is located about 20 kilometers east of the city of Kem. Though of course previously known to the Lapps, Vottovaara was first discovered as an archaeological site in modern times only in 1992. The sky map has similarities to the carvings on the lower half of Avebury Stone #10:

The Karelia Sky Map Dolmen as Deciphered by Andis Kaulins


For Comparison: Avebury Stone #10 at Avebury Henge
Deciphered as "The Summer Solstice Stone" by Andis Kaulins






The Sky Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia is Oriented to the Milky Way

The Sky Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia was one of our very early astronomical decipherments. We were then examining the origins of Pharaonic civilization in the ancient rock art of pre-historic Norse seafarers. We made the possible connection because the Egyptian wadis have "seafaring" rock art similar to ancient "seafaring" Norse rock art.

We think the Planisphere of Staraya Zalavruga in Karelia, Russia, could be even older than the Hermitage Planisphere. We deciphered this star map also in the year 2002 as marking stars oriented to the Milky Way and preceding some similar features later found in Pharaonic civilization. Provisionally, we date it to ca. 4000 B.C.

The Hermitage Planisphere : A Very Ancient Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia

 In the year 2002, we deciphered "The Hermitage Planisphere" viz. "Sky Map" of Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia, now found in the Hermitage Museum in St. Peterburg, as marking the stars of the Milky Way. As we wrote there:

"The Hermitage Planisphere is painted on rock. The outer periphery line of the rock represents the Milky Way and the figures show stars, i.e. the stellar constellations WITHIN it."

The Hermitage Planisphere : A Very Ancient Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia -- Decipherment by Andis Kaulins


This was an early decipherment showing that the Milky Way was a major point of focus for ancient skywatchers. The spatula-like figure to the right, based on similar such spatulas carved on megaliths at other megalithic sites, points to an Equinox or Solstice point in the stars.

Avebury Henge Stones, The Sanctuary & the Cosmological viz. Religious Pre-Christian Belief System in Ancient Britain ca. 3000-2500 BC

We are putting finishing touches on our book about the Avebury Henge Stones and present here an excerpt from the section titled: Avebury Henge Stone #10 As the First Deciphered Megalith, which contains new materials regarding the cosmological viz. religious significance of Avebury in its era.

Avebury Stone #10 was the first Avebury Henge megalith that we deciphered, and we knew then that we were on to something extraordinary in terms of human history. We initially pre-announced the forthcoming book at the Ancient World Blog at http://ancientworldblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/introducing-avebury-stones-of-avebury.html. We now present some new aspects here.

Our decipherment of Avebury Henge Stone #10 provides us with key insights into the astronomically-oriented "pre-Christian" cosmological viz. religious belief system of the peoples of Ancient Britain, viz. the peoples in Ancient Britain who created the Avebury Henge Stones & Circles and the related megalithic sites, including Stonehenge, the latter site which also shows later vestiges of the same original belief system found at Avebury.

As we can surmise from our decipherment of Avebury Henge in particular and Avebury Stone #10 specifically (and of course, also from decipherments of the other Avebury stones as well), the origin of the ancient cosmological viz. religious belief system of Ancient Britain was astronomical in foundation.

The "gods" of Ancient Britain were "in "heaven, which we allege are still found today in names such as "Ave" and "Avon" ["Heaven"]. "Avebury" was indeed surely in part an "Ave-Bury", a "heaven's-oriented burial ground".

As we know from our Stonehenge decipherment, whose publication is also being prepared at this same time, the ancients placed the origins of their souls in the heavens, indeed, at the galactic center of their Milky Way galaxy.

The "realm of the living" at Avebury was represented by the Avebury Henge earthwork, which represented the Milky Way, with its megaliths as the stars of the Milky Way and the stars within the elliptical enclosure of the Milky Way.

The stars beyond the Milky Way represented the ocean of the underworld. The far depths of stars at Puppis (Apophis) were viewed as the deep "realm of the deceased", similar to the ancient Egyptian mythological demon Apep (Apophis), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apep, representing the giant serpent of the deep that was regarded to consume the mortal remains of the dead.

Apophis (Apep) at the stars of Puppis is represented in the ancient Avebury landscape by The Sanctuary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sanctuary, a giant serpent-shaped construction. It was the place where the mortal remains of the deceased were arguably placed for all eternity. Indeed, many bones have been found there. As written about The Sanctuary at the Wikipedia:

"The site was largely destroyed in 1723 although not before William Stukeley was able to visit and draw it. Stukeley considered the stones at The Sanctuary to represent the head of a giant pagan serpent marked out by the Kennet and Beckhampton Avenues."

At Avebury, the avenue known as Kennet Avenue or West Kennet Avenue -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennet_Avenue -- leads from the realm of the living – Avebury Henge – to the proverbial giant serpent that figuratively consumed the deceased at The Sanctuary. This was surely the path taken by ancient funeral processions in that era from Avebury Henge to The Sanctuary. Stones as human figures to the side of Kennet Avenue are arguably memorials. The word "kennen" in German means "to know someone", which suggests that these figures of Kennet Avenue were "people once known". Perhaps these were the royal couples.

Click the pic to obtain a larger image of the photograph of the Henge-Outward Faceof Avebury Megalith #10 -- see "the break" ?




Avebury Stone #10 shows that the realm of the living and realm of the deceased were also set apart by the basic lines formed by important astronomical parameters, which in turn then also defined how the ancients viewed the stars in their imagined asterisms.

Decipherment of the Henge-Outward Faceof Avebury Megalith #10



The "center" of the realm of the living was represented by the circumpolar stars at midheaven, around which all the stars seemed to revolve. On Avebury Stone #10, Boötes is represented as the creative phallic force of heaven. Ursa Major marks the heads of humanity as the living beings depicted in stone, with their heads above the Galactic Meridian, showing the eternal life of the soul. Leo marked their human progeny. Ursa Major was arguably seen as the "cup of life" of the living.

Hydra was drawn as a surface-based serpent that marked the Celestial Equator. That Celestial Equator is not fixed, but varies due to axial precession.  In ca. 3000 B.C., Hydra marked the Celestial Equator almost exactly from head to tail.

The horizontal stone "break" viz. overlapping stone "projection" on Avebury Stone #10 is found in the middle of the front (henge-outward) face of the stone and thus clearly marks Hydra, which is drawn on Avebury Stone #10 with its head pointing to the left, rather than to the right, as is modernly done. It was this strange break in the stone that led us to decipher Avebury Stone #10 before the other stones because we were intrigued to discover why the ancients would do that, which we did not know at that time.

Below Hydra are two large figures and several smaller ones. To the left, a large leg and foot marking the "base" of the galaxy, the known universe, as it were, with the heel of the foot set firmly on the Galactic Equator at Crux, the Southern Cross, at the thinnest part of the Milky Way ellipse. The other large figure to the right is the head of a whale, Physeter macrocephalus, today known as "the sperm whale", marking the watery realm of the underworld.

Alpha 1 Crucis ("ACrux") is the brightest star in Crux and the 13th brightest star in the heavens. It is the "bottom" star of the Southern Cross and sits virtually on the Galactic Equator, which -- as shown by our analysis -- the ancients regarded as one of their fundamental astronomical bases. ACrux was still completely visible at Avebury ca. 2800 B.C. but soon thereafter started to drop into invisibility because of axial precession.

Click the pic to obtain a larger image


An ancient Milky-Way-oriented astronomical system as found at Avebury has some astronomical comparables in northern Europe. We provide three examples of our deciphered ancient star maps from Karelia, Russia in the next three postings:

  • The Hermitage Planisphere : A Very Ancient Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia
  • The Sky Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia (An Early Astronomical Decipherment)
  • The Sky Map Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia : The Figures on the Dolmen Show Star Similarities to Avebury Stone #10
__________



Friday, January 06, 2017

What's Another Year -- Another 1/230,000,000th of Our Galactic Orbit -- Caleb A. Scharf in Life, Unbounded at the Scientific American Blog Network

Happy New Year 2017 !

To keep things on our planet in perspective for the New Year 2017, a terrestrial "Earth" year can be compared to a "Galactic" year -- as Caleb A. Scharf has done in his Life, Unbounded posting at the Scientific American Blog Network in

Another 1/230,000,000th of a Galactic Orbit.

Scharf suggests there:

"As the solar year ends, let's try to stop being so parochial".

Our comment is, "hear, hear !!"

As written at the Wikipedia for the entry "Galactic Year":
"The galactic year, also known as a cosmic year, is the duration of time required for the Solar System to orbit once around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Estimates of the length of one orbit range from 225 to 250 million terrestrial years. The Solar System is traveling at an average speed of 828,000 km/h (230 km/s) or 514,000 mph (143 mi/s) within its trajectory around the galactic center, a speed at which an object could circumnavigate the Earth's equator in 2 minutes and 54 seconds; that speed corresponds to approximately one 1300th of the speed of light."
We are, galactically seen, part of a much larger "picture", so to speak.

The word "scharf" in German means "sharp" and a sharp intelligence indeed is at work in writing perspicaciously about the present New Year as

Another 1/230,000,000th of a Galactic Orbit.

Take a look there for some outstanding insights about life on our planet.

In the meantime, Scharf might consider applying his own wisdom further, perhaps depart from the blindered parochial focus that marks the mainstream, and look at our "galactic" (if archaeological-anthropological-historical) decipherments of Stonehenge and Avebury in our previous postings -- from a broad historical-astronomical point of view, of course....



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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