Saturday, May 30, 2015

Problems of Bias Are Faced at Every Level of Society, including Science and Law

NPR has a thought-provoking piece at Diversity In The Legal Profession. Copies of the same memorandum of law were divided 50-50 and individually among two groups of partners in a law firm, one group being told that the memo author was white, the other group being told that the memo author was black. The partners were then asked to grade the memo (identical for both groups).

Those partners who thought the writer was white graded the memo at 4.1 on a 5-point scale and praised the writer. Those who thought the writer was black graded the memo at 3.2 on a 5-point scale and said it was "in need of work".

We have written about biases before, as bias has many facets.

At Do People Really Want Ancient Mysteries to be Solved? Facts as Unwanted Visitors in the World of Academic and Other Wishes and Emotions we wrote:
"The Little Prince" (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine Saint Exupéry ... is said to be the world's second most widely read book, after the Bible, so Artcurial....

[A] Turkish astronomer discovers a new asteroid, unveiling his discovery at an international astronomy conference, but no one believes him, because he is dressed as a Turk, gesticulating at a blackboard and pointing to mathematical equations -- just like astronomical drawings in our writings.
The Turkish astronomer attends a second conference later in the book, dressed as a Westerner, and his discovery is resoundingly accepted."
Yes, you can change your dress and, indeed, the right "threads" have had a lot to do with black culture over past decades, as blacks try to evade the initial fate of Exupery's Turk, but you can not change your color -- even though a person such as Michael Jackson tried in his day, and his album Dangerous had as its first single spin-off the song Black and White with the line "I'm not going to spend my life being a color".

How do we get people to look past color and at a person's actual qualifications?

Even without the issue of color, how do we get people to look at people's actual qualifications and works and not all the rest (money, family, race, tribe, religion, etc.)?

It is very difficult, even long-term, and surely impossible in the short term.

Human bias is widespread about nearly everything.
The problem is not just color.

At Advocates Attention! The Sequential Presentation of Information Can Be More Important than the Content of that Information : Frank I. Luntz and Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear we touched upon the problem of people's biased attitudes defining how they view things and not actually what is going on in reality.

Along those lines, Gregory J. Feist points to bias in the scientific peer review process in The Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific Mind, Yale University Press, 2008, and refers to Michael. E Gorman, Simulating Science: Heuristics, Mental Models, and Technoscientific Thinking (Science, Technology, and Society), Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1992. ISBN 10: 0253326087 ISBN 13: 9780253326089, which deals with negative aspects of peer review. The topic is such a threat to the established biases of science that the book is virtually impossible to obtain, though we did find one copy via (thank you!).

We think that people slowly acquire a set of biases in the course of developing from infant to adolescent to adult. These biases come from the entire process of growing up. Sons and daughters of kings, for example, pick up one set of biases. Sons and daughters of the lowest social strata, on the other hand, get a different set of biases. There are of course infinite varieties of bias.

These biases (some might say "views") are picked up from the people and institutions responsible and also not responsible for raising and educating children, including of course parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, tribes and tribal-type associations, churches and similar community or religious organizations, peers, schools, teachers, educators, administrators, mentors, neighborhoods, religions, institutions, peer group pressures, societal role models, and all the other influences to which a person is subjected in formative years, including even such variables as language, dialect, dress, manners, etc.

Mankind is generally not educated to be a better human being.

Rather, mankind is generally educated to fit into a particular society in a given role, and is taught and learns the biases that go along with that. 

Issues of color are only one aspect of the way in which humans are "programmed" for their "localized" world from their earliest days.

In our experience, 99.999999% people live in more-or-less "localized" cocoons of bias and belief created by their environment.

Entering define:cocoon in Google Search results in the following verbal meaning: "envelop or surround in a protective or comforting way". Merriam-Webster defines it at meaning 2 as: "something suggesting a cocoon especially in providing protection or in producing isolation". These cocoons include the entire realm of lifestyle, attitudes, belief systems, values, scales of priorities, subjective feelings of societal position, race biases, etc.

99.999999% means that only 1 in 100 million do not conform, or about 3 or 4 people currently living in the USA. Worldwide, for 7 billion people, that means that there are at the most 70 people out there who have advanced significantly in development beyond their protective environmentalized cocoons, no more.

Expecting any significant change in human biases in the short term is thus simply a hopeless Utopian dream.

Working for significant long-term changes is the only possible alternative, and it is an educational process that will need countless years for success, judging by human history, which is a slow-moving process of human progress, very slow, and by no means constant or linear.

Just look at your daily news. People's biases become so ingrained in their localized environments, that they "live" those biases, and that begins in the family, the neighborhood, the tribe, the religion, the prevailing system of values, indeed, even in the legal system.

The only answer would seem to be better education,
but the exact formula for success remains unknown.

Friday, May 29, 2015

New Genetic Research Says Human Out of Africa Migration Was Via Egypt and Not Via Ethiopia

We have always thought that the most logical topographically-determined path for the "Out of Africa" sojourn of humanity was via Egypt and the Nile and then along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and beyond.

New genetic research, as reported by Joseph Dussault yesterday
at the Christian Science Monitor,
tell us that Early humans left Africa through Egypt.

Dussault discusses the results of a genetic study by Luca Pagani et al. in the American Journal of Human Genetics titled Tracing the Route of Modern Humans out of Africa by Using 225 Human Genome Sequences from Ethiopians and Egyptians.

That article is summarized at that open-access article CC BY-NC-ND as follows:
 "The predominantly African origin of all modern human populations is well established, but the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. Two alternative routes, via Egypt and Sinai or across the Bab el Mandeb strait into Arabia, have traditionally been proposed as feasible gateways in light of geographic, paleoclimatic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. Distinguishing among these alternatives has been difficult. We generated 225 whole-genome sequences (225 at 8× depth, of which 8 were increased to 30×; Illumina HiSeq 2000) from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 individuals). West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world. Using five Ethiopian and three Egyptian high-coverage masked genomes and the multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) approach, we estimated the genetic split times of Egyptians and Ethiopians from non-African populations at 55,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively, whereas that of West Africans was estimated to be 75,000 years ago. Both the haplotype and MSMC analyses thus suggest a predominant northern route out of Africa via Egypt."

Friday, May 22, 2015

What Other Stars Are Marked in the Environs of Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is, in our analysis, not alone in being "marked" in that remote area of the Andes Mountains. Why should it be?

We know from many other ancient sites that the main "hermetic" i.e. "land location oriented by the stars" ("as above, so below"), often was accompanied by less detailed representations of the surrounding stars, and, indeed those can be seen in an "aerial" photographic view of Machu Picchu taken from Wayna Picchu by Martin St-Amant - Wikipedia - CC-BY-SA-3.0. 

See the enormous photograph at the following link, if your hardware can handle an image this large: 99 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009" by Martin St-Amant (S23678). Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0. File:99 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009.jpg. Uploaded by S23678. Created: June 28, 2009. Location: 13° 9′ 28.5″ S, 72° 32′ 48.8″ W.

What a photograph!

Do you see the stars of Scorpio marked as a large figure to the left of Machu Picchu? The three stars at the head of Scorpio are pointed downward and turned to the left, as terraces, it appears.

What about that large head of a bird sticking up prominently at the left in the photographic image? Is that a mountain peak? Does it represent a star group?

There are more. See what you can find.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 84 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

What Other Stars Are Marked in the Environs of Machu Picchu?

Intihuatana (Inti Watana) at Machu Picchu as the Solar Apex, the Apex of the Sun's Way on its Galactic Orbit in the Galaxy

Based on the position of Intihuatana (Inti Watana), "hitchpost of the Sun", and its 13° northward angle, its use to mark annual solar positions may have only been secondary to what we see as its possible use to mark precession and/or the Solar Apex (viz. Antapex) on its orbital path in our galaxy. The Solar Apex is also known as the Apex of the Sun's Way.

Accordingly, the "hitching post" of the Sun for the priest astronomers of Machu Picchu may indeed have been the galactic "Apex of the Sun's Way" in the galaxy, a path leading to (approximately) the star Vega in Lyra.

Intihuatana (Inti Watana) has remarkably similar Indo-European e.g. Latvian comparable terms, where we find tintiņš "the wheel of the spinning wheel" (root wort tin "to revolve about, to wind", also in Etruscan -- see The Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza: An Ancient Starfinder and Calendar) and vietiņā "place of, home of".

That could indicate that an ancient name of the Sun originated in its apparent motion in the stars days before one knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not vice versa.

At Machu Picchu, Intihuatana is marked by a location that appears to mark Sigma Ophiuchus (although we also examined 41 Ophiuchus) which in turn points north toward Alpha Ophiuchi (Rasalhague) with a position angle between them of ca. 13° and that line seems to point along what we today regard as the Sun's galactic orbit on a line that runs from Sirius toward Vega, i.e. the Apex of the Sun's Way, with the home of the Sun thus being seen by the ancients as being located close to Vega.

Vega also marked the North Celestial Pole in ca. 12000 B.C. Could the ancients' astronomy have gone back that far in its roots?

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 83 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Intihuatana (Inti Watana) at Machu Picchu as the Solar Apex, the Apex of the Sun's Way on its Galactic Orbit in the Galaxy

The Rare Road to True Character

The Road to Character by David Brooks, well-known for his New York Times Op-Eds, is reviewed by Angie Drobnic Holan.

Brooks is absolutely right that true character tends to be a rarity in our modern era of self-realization.

People do what brings in the rewards, and selfless service seldom does that, except in goodness being its own reward, but that still does not pay the rent.

Life makes demands that force virtue into the background. Who is immune?

Surely not mainstream science.

Population Genetics Puts the Origin of Indo-European Languages in the East in the Corded Ware Kurgan Culture

Well, well, well. One should read Gimbutas on the Kurgan culture, nicht wahr?

As so many things we have written over the last 40 years, also as to the origin of the Indo-European languages and peoples, it is turning out via genetic research that we were right all along -- or nearly so, in looking eastward, and that the mainstream Western so-called "scientists" in the humanilties were terribly wrong.

Indeed, the first book we wrote was The Baltic: Origin of the Indo-European Languages and Peoples, and it was badly received. However, precisely that idea or its near comparable is again being argued in the forums. Take a look.

What has happened in the interim?

It appears from newest results in the field of population genetics that northern Eurasians are likely responsible for the influx of the proto-Indo-European language into Western Europe, and not, as long alleged by mainstream so-called "scientists", vice-versa.

Ewen Callaway reported the story of new genetic-based insights to the origins of the Indo-European languages at Nature magazine news in an article titled European languages linked to migration from the east: Large ancient-DNA study uncovers population that moved westwards 4,500 years ago. 

See in this regard also Callaway's earlier article Ancient European genomes reveal jumbled ancestry.

As Callaway writes in the most recent Nature article:
"[A] team led by David Reich ... at Harvard Medical School ... found [that] DNA recovered from steppe herders that lived in western Russia around 5,000 years ago closely matched that of 4,500-year-old individuals from Germany, who were part of a group known as the Corded Ware culture.

The herders, named the Yamnaya, lived in present-day Russia and Ukraine and represent “a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery”, Reich and his team say in a paper posted on the bioRxiv preprint server on 10 February1. Yamnaya ancestry survives in varying degrees in the genomes of contemporary Europeans, with northern groups such as Norwegians, Scots and Lithuanians maintaining the strongest link...."
The original academic article referred to relates to research led by Harvard's Reich and published at Haak et al., Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe, Now published in Nature doi: 10.1038/nature14317
which writes in the Abstract as follows:
"We generated genome-wide data from 69 Europeans who lived between 8,000-3,000 years ago by enriching ancient DNA libraries for a target set of almost four hundred thousand polymorphisms. Enrichment of these positions decreases the sequencing required for genome-wide ancient DNA analysis by a median of around 250-fold, allowing us to study an order of magnitude more individuals than previous studies and to obtain new insights about the past. We show that the populations of western and far eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000-5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, ~8,000-7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ~24,000 year old Siberian.... By ~6,000-5,000 years ago, a resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry had occurred throughout much of Europe, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ~4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ~3/4 of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ~3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for the theory of a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe."
Now, whether it turns out that the precise origin is in Karelia (see that link at LexiLine), in the Baltic, or further south of that, the general location in the East is clear.

Maciamo writes at Autosomal analysis of Yamna, Corded Ware and Bell Beaker samples that the genetic admixture in the Baltic is the only stable component in the whole genetic landscape under discussion:
"The Baltic admixture doesn't show big variations between Mesolithic (18%), Yamna (10-16%), Corded Ware (12-20%) and Bell Beaker (6-18%) samples. It is the only stable component. It might be linked to the ubiquitous mtDNA U5 (and Y-haplogroup I), found in all Mesolithic Europeans and absorbed by Neolithic farmers too. Nowadays U5 is most common in the Baltic region. I would think that this admixture was named Baltic because U5 genes survived best in this region, not because the Baltic was the source region (which it certainly wasn't since northern Europe was under ice until the end of the Würm glaciation 10,000 years ago)."[emphasis added]
In connection with that previous citation, I should say here that I have written before (28 March 2002) about the "ice hills" of that last glaciation and more as seemingly referred to in the Latvian Dainas -- so they could have lived on the "edge" of that glaciation --but no one has paid any attention in the intervening years, due to the widescale ignorance found in the mainstream humanities, especially Archaeology and Linguistics. It is nice to see things turning around a bit through Genetics. Here is that posting from 2002:

Latvian Plaid from Lejasciems, Latvia
Similar to Scottish & Tocharian Plaids
Did you know that the ancient Latvians, like the Scots, had bagpipes? or that weaving patterns in Scottish tartans have great similarities to ancient Latvian plaids? See the graphic above. The pictured Latvian plaid is nearly identical to an ancient Tocharian plaid - ancient European mummies of which have been found in China. Did these ancient peoples share a common origin? [For the linguistic tartans compare Latvian terpins, dim. for terps meaning "tartan", all probably derived from a term similar to Latvian dariba, darina (drana), darita, daritins meaning "worked (product)"), whence Latvian drebes "cloth" and English drapes. The Scottish kilt compares to Latvian kleita ("dress").]

It is perhaps not without reason that Paul Dunbavin, in his book Picts and Ancient Britons: An Exploration of Pictish Origins, suggests on the basis of still further evidence, "that the Picts were ... immigrants from the Baltic." Looking back even further in time, archaeology and a study of ancient skull types clearly shows similar Mesolithic humans (ca. 8000 BC) among the Magdalenians (the cave painters of Lascaux, France), the ancient people of Normandy, Scandinavia, the middle European lowland and Latvia. See Raisa Denisova, The Most Ancient Population of Latvia and Ilze Loze, Indo-Europeans in the Eastern Baltic in the View of an Archaeologist.

Hence, the culture and traditions of the Baltic peoples take on a greater importance for those who wish to study the origins of the cultures of the British Isles and of Western Civilization.

One of the important remnants of ancient Baltic culture is formed by the DAINAS. The word "DAINAS" in Latvian is pronounced exactly like the English "DYNAS" in DYNASTY. The Dainas are unique ancient Latvian "folksongs in verse form - originally intended to be sung". The Dainas relate epic, mythical, astronomical and cultural information. One such verse or "Daina" generally consists of four lines of unrhymed trochaic text (one long syllable followed by one short syllable, etc.).

The Dainas have been passed down over the millennia by oral tradition and cover all aspects of ancient Baltic life, mythology and astronomy. Dainas are called Dainos in Lithuania - where they are far less frequent. In Latvia, the Dainas are most frequent in the highlands. Comparables to the Dainas outside the Baltic are perhaps only found in ancient Mesopotamia in the most ancient Sumerian and Akkadian pantheon. An example is the Agushaya Hymn (Agushaya possibly = Latvian Augšaja "(on) the highest"), an ancient song text which was the dissertation subject of Orientalist Wolfram von Soden, who at that time could not have been aware of any possible Baltic connection. A number of lines in the Sumerian-Akkadian Agushaya Hymn bear strong similarity to texts STILL found nearly unaltered in the Latvian Dainas.

As noted by Hans Rychener, in his book "...und Estland, Lettland, Litauen?", Herbert Lang, Berlin, 1975, p. 24: "The myths of the Lithuanians and Latvians...remind one of the belief systems of the ancient Hindus and Greeks."

Robert Payne, in "The Green Linden, Selected Lithuanian Folk-songs", Voyages Press, N.Y., 1964, writes: "The dainos...represent a form of poetry as ancient as anything on this earth.... They have a beauty and pure primitive splendor above anything I know in Western literature, except the early songs of the Greek Islanders. They seem to have been written at the morning of the world, and the dew is still on them."

Hermanis Rathfelders, in his many writings in Acta Baltica, wrote that the Latvian Dainas were extremely ancient, preceding the milling of grain, so that the mythological and astronomical Dainas may reach back many thousands of years in time. 

Oral Tradition and the Dainas

The Dainas as ancient verses were handed down through oral tradition from generation to generation in Latvia, often at great cost.

During one stage of German occupation of Latvia in the 16th century, women caught reciting the Dainas were burned at the stake as witches, which only solidified the cultural resistance more than ever.

In the 18th century the famous German writers Johann Gottfried von Herder and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe devoted serious attention to the Latvian Dainas, which surely helped to generate Herder's interest in his later "Essay on the Origin of Language", as well as "Oldest Records of the Human Race" and his collection of Folk Songs ("Volkslieder").

Through his contact with the Latvian Dainas, Herder may also have developed his theory that the poetry of legend was the "soul of history" - or, as written in the Encyclopaedia Britannica "[Herder] considered poetry to spring from the natural and historical environment" of man. At the end of his life, Herder was thus a great opponent of the modern developing "classical movement" in German literature, which estranged poetry from its place as a historical record, leading to a modern misinterpretation of antique sources which has persisted down to the present day, not just in Mesopotamia, but also in the misinterpretation of the Dainas. 

Krišjanis Barons and the Dainas

In 1878 a group of Latvian intellectuals in Moscow decided to collect and publish the "best" of the Latvian Dainas, not fully realizing the immensity of the task before them. They had no idea that so many Dainas existed. The last volume of their collection, Latvju Dainas, was thus in fact published in St. Petersburg only 40 years later. [See Archives of Latvian Folklore]

The best known of the three initial "collectors" of Dainas is Krišjanis Barons, who was the main coordinator of the project to collect, classify and publish the Dainas. Barons was born on October 31, 1835 in Latvia. He attended schools in Dundaga (German Dondangen), Kurzeme (German Kurland viz. Courland), Ventspils (German Windau) and Jelgava (German Mitau). From 1856 to 1860 he studied mathematics and astronomy in Tartu (German Dorpat), Estonia (German Estland). When Barons passed away on March 8, 1923, he was celebrated by thousands as a national hero, for having collected 35,800 Dainas, including 182,000 variants, for a total of 217,800 verses.

But this was not the end of the matter. Collection of Dainas continued through the 20th century, and there are now a total of ca. 2,000,000 (two million) collected verses, counting variants. As written by Vilmos Voigt, it is the greatest such collection of ancient folksongs in the world - and yet the population of Latvians in Latvia has never exceeded 2,000,000 people, so this must be a very old tradition.

Barons dealt with the Dainas over decades and thus began to understand their essence. He wisely organized the Dainas according to the events of the mythical, astronomical and agricultural year - to which their content is in fact well suited and from which they surely originated. One of the Dainas even speaks of "ice hills" - perhaps glaciers of the most recent glacial period - so that the Dainas may be among the oldest human records.

The DAINAS presented here are selected from and adapted from the 12-volume Latviešu Tautas Dziesmas (Chansons Populaires Lettonnes), Imanta Publishers, Copenhagen, 1952-1956, ed. A. Švabe, K. Straubergs and E. Hauzenberga-Šturma. These volumes followed the Barons system of classification for the Dainas. Dainas were grouped by assigned subject matter and each "basic unique" Daina was assigned a number starting with 1 and today reaching about 60,000, not counting the variants, which bring the total to well over 2,000,000. This classification system is retained on this web site.

A new edition of the Dainas is being prepared by linguists in Latvia according to a new system of classification [See LTK, "Das bäuerliche Jahr im Volkslied", Deutsche Tagespost, No. 85, p. 10, July 16, 1985]. If the new system departs from the ancient scheme of calendric feasts and astronomical events in favor of "modern" views of poetry (such as Herder correctly opposed) - the new compilation may well be less "authentic" than the older versions, and thus less useful for historical study. But we shall see.

All English translations and interpretations of the Dainas on this site, unless otherwise noted, are by Andis Kaulins, J.D. Stanford University; FFA Lecturer emeritus, University of Trier, Germany; Author, Langenscheidt Fachverlag. I find it interesting that ALL the kings of England up to the present generation can be traced back by royal blood to CEAWLIN, who was not only King of the West Saxons (Wessex) 560-592 AD but - according to the historian Bede - was also bretwalda of England south of the Humber (Kingston upon Hull). Bretwalda meant "Brit-ruler, overlord" and Baltic valda means "rules, governs". Do the similar names CEAWLIN and KAULINs also show an ancient historical connection between the Balts and the British Isles?

Most of these translations and interpretations are new and suggest a more modern understanding of the ancient mythology, astronomy and culture of the Baltic peoples, who, according to the recently published History of the Baltic Countries (a book subsidized by the European Union) trace their origins back to the Magdalenians, the cave painters of Lascaux... which is e.g. surely why French tu es is the same as Latvian tu esi or French a'dieu may find itself in ar dievu in Latvian. Accordingly, the most ancient Dainas may trace clear back to the earliest origins of modern human civilization.
In any case, ponder what the now correctly identified Eastern origin of Proto-Indo-European language means for the sheer etymological nonsense that predominantly Western linguists have been writing for years about Indo-European and proto-Indo-European languages.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Cognition of Geographic Information and Human Spatial Orientation in a Given Environment Including the Use of Systems of Landmarks in Ancient Eras

One critical area of scientific inquiry that bears directly on the analysis of ancient rock art, megaliths, mounds, earthworks etc. as land survey markers sited by astronomy is the question of human spatial and geographic orientation in a given environment and the role of systems of ancient landmarks used for this purpose. Far too little research has been devoted to this topic and it is the kind of thing that research foundations should be sponsoring and funding.

We refer here to fundamental articles in Robert B. McMaster & E.Lynn Usery (eds.), 2004/2005. A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 402 p., ISBN-13: 978-0849327285 ISBN-10: 0849327288, eBook ISBN 978-1-4200-3833-0

and especially to Chapter 3 by Daniel R. Montello and Scott Freundschuh on the Cognition of Geographic Information, where they write, inter alia:
"Cognitive research about space and place has focused on several issues:  the responses of sensory systems that pick up spatial information, the development of spatial knowledge from birth to adulthood (ontogenesis) and upon first exposure to a new place (microgenesis), the accuracy and precision of knowledge about distances and directions, spatial language, cognitive structures and processes used during navigation, and perceptual and cognitive issues in cartography, and very recently, GIS. With the advent of new technologies like GIS, new questions about spatial perception and cognition develop, and old questions (both basic and applied) become focused in new ways. 
One of the most basic concepts in this area is that of the cognitive map. Introduced by Tolman (1948) in his work with rat spatial behavior, the cognitive map is a mental representation, or set of representations, of the spatial layout of the environment. According to Downs and Stea (1973), “cognitive mapping is a process composed of a series of psychological transformations by which an individual acquires, stores, recalls, and decodes information about the relative locations and attributes of phenomena in his [or her] everyday spatial environment” (p. 9). The cartographic map thus serves as a metaphor for spatial and environmental knowledge. Other metaphors have been offered as well, from topological schemata to cognitive collage (see Montello & Freundschuh, 1995). GIS and virtual reality provide our latest metaphors for environmental knowledge. 
Cognitive researchers are interested in comparing various sources of geographical knowledge. Montello and Freundschuh (1995) review the characteristics of acquiring knowledge from direct environmental experience, static pictorial representations such as maps (see Thorndyke & Hayes-Roth, 1982), dynamic pictorial representations (movies, animations), and language (see Taylor & Tversky, 1992). Montello and Freundschuh listed eight factors that may play roles in differentiating these sources of geographic information: sensorimotor
systems involved, static vs. dynamic information, sequential vs. simultaneous acquisition, the arbitrariness of symbols, the need for scale translations and their flexibility, viewing perspective, precision of presented information, and the inclusion of detail varying in relevance.
It is commonly thought that spatial knowledge of the environment consists of three types of features: knowledge of discrete landmarks, knowledge of routes that connect landmarks into travel sequences, and configurational or survey knowledge that coordinates and metrically scales routes and landmarks. In fact, inspired by Piagetian theory, it has often been suggested that these features represent a necessary learning sequence (Siegel & White, 1975; for an opposing view, see Montello, 1998). Landmarks in particular are thought to play an important role as anchor-points or reference points for the organization of environmental knowledge (Sadalla, Burroughs, & Staplin, 1980; Couclelis, Golledge, Gale, & Tobler, 1987).

Spatial cognition researchers have studied human navigation and orientation (Golledge, 1999). Navigation is coordinated and goal directed movement through space. It may be understood to consist of both locomotion and wayfinding processes.

Locomotion refers to perceptual-motor coordination to the local surrounds, and includes activities such as moving towards visible targets and avoiding obstacles.
Wayfinding refers to cognitive coordination to the distant environment, beyond direct sensorimotor access, and includes activities such as trip planning and route choice. Humans navigate and stay oriented both by recognizing landmarks (piloting) and by updating their sense of location via dead reckoning processes
(Gallistel, 1990; Loomis, Klatzky, Golledge, & Philbeck, 1999). Some of these processes are relatively automatic (Rieser, Pick, Ashmead, & Garing, 1995), while others are more like conscious strategies (Cornell, Heth, & Rowat, 1992).

A fundamental issue about human orientation concerns the systems of reference that people use to organize their spatial knowledge. Various possible systems have been discussed, including those that encode spatial relations with respect to the body, with respect to an external feature with or without differentiated appearance, or with respect to an abstract frame like latitude-longitude (Hart & Moore, 1973; Levinson, 1996). Several researchers have investigated reference systems within the context of verbal route directions (Allen, 1997)."

From Fish Rack to Desktop: Origin of the Triple-Bar Drop-Down Menu "Air-Vent" "Hamburger" Icon Symbol Now Ubiquitous on Smartphones Facebook Apps Etc

Xerox was the modern-day so-called "inventor" of the digital use of the now ubiquitous triple-bar "air-vent" so-called "hamburger" menu icon symbol.

BBC News has the story at Hamburger icon: How these three lines mystify most people - BBC News.

The Wikipedia writes: "The triple bar, , is a symbol with multiple, context-dependent meanings...."

The triple bar is hardly a modern-day invention, being already predated by two other significant "prior art" uses in long-gone eras, as noted at the Wikipedia:
  • , Qián, the trigram of the I Ching that consists of three unbroken lines
  • Ξ, capital letter Xi of the Greek alphabet
The I Ching trigram meant "heaven, sky".

The capital letter Xi Ξ of the Greek alphabet, as we analyzed in our book, The Syllabic Origins of Writing and the Alphabet, has comparable signs in Linear B, Old Elamite, the Cypriot Syllabary, and the Samekh of the Hebrew and Phoenician alphabets, and evolved as a symbol "out of fish signs and signs representing fish drying racks having two or three levels upon which to place the fish" as also found in symbols in Sumerian, Pharaonic Egyptian, and Luwian.

Indeed, the Hebrew Samekh means "support", i.e. the function of the fish rack, a concept which surely is related to the I Ching idea of a triple bar as meaning "heaven, sky", as the "supported" firmament of the ancients.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Machu Picchu in Peru Marks Stars of Ophiuchus in its Architectural Design Construction as Inca Cosmological Levels: Condor Puma Serpent Heaven Earth Underworld

Machu Picchu in Peru has in modern times advanced to status as one of the world's most famous and important ancient cultural locations.

As we show in our decipherment image below, Machu Picchu marks the stars of Ophiuchus as the head of the mythical Puma of the Inca, with many stars of Ophiuchus marked in the design construction of the site, especially also marking as plazas the open areas of the sky having no visible stars (to the naked eye).

Ground Plan Map of Machu Picchu as a Puma Head
Click the map for a larger image
(This ground map was drawn by us based on various maps online of Machu Picchu,
with the "Puma outline" stemming primarily from the map at the Wikipedia from Holger Behr
and some details amended via maps at
Our map makes no claim to precise accuracy and is shown here for decipherment purposes only.)

Sky Map of Stars of Ophiuchus as Machu Picchu
Click the map for a larger image

When that image of Machu Picchu is turned 90 degrees, its outline has the form of a condor, and that is surely intended, as discussed further below.

It is -- speculatively -- possible to see the horizontal middle of Machu Picchu as a serpent, formed by the sectons along the plazas, thus completing the Inca mythological trio of condor, puma and serpent as the Inca cosmological levels:
  • Condor: Hanan Pacha ("higher world") was the world above in the Sky
    ("Hanan" = "heaven")
  • Puma: Kay Pacha was the world below in which we live, the Earth
    "Kay" = Greek "Gaia", the personification of the Earth
  • Serpent: Uku Pacha ("the lower world") was the Underworld.
We write the following text graphically on our decipherment images above:
"Machu Picchu marks stars of Ophiuchus as the head of the mythical Inca Puma. Machu Picchu turned 90° has the shape of a Condor. Those were independent observations by us, so imagine our astonishment at subsequently reading online at, Machu Picchu: The City of Magic, (, and at ( about the book, The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Myths and Symbols, Sociedad Pacaritanpu Hatha, Cusco, Peru 1996), by Fernando E. and Edgar Elorietta Salazar, which writes that Machu Picchu marked the puma and the condor, with some celestial connections, although the stars of Ophiuchus are not mentioned in this connection and the location of the puma is not identical. Still, the convergence of concepts is spectacular."
"The stars of Ophiuchus are outlined ... by a thick red border drawn by the decipherer to show the similar outline to that of Machu Picchu as representing the mythical Inca Puma. The thick black-lined internal six-sided figure shows the modern lines of Ophiuchus. The thick orange transverse line is the celestial equator ca. 1450 A.D. and marks the main Machu Picchu Temple when Machu Picchu was built. Sigma Ophiuchus at the "eye" of the Puma marks Intihuatana (Inti Watana) as the "hitching post" of the Sun, angled 13° toward Alpha Ophiuchus (Rasalhague) and beyond that toward Vega, suggesting that it marked the Solar Apex (the Apex of the Sun's Way on its galactic orbit). Stars below Eta Ophiuchi (Sabik) are marked by a rock field with similar "figures". Large areas empty of visible stars are represented as plazas at Machu Picchu, and the line of open spaces starting at 1, and then on to 20, 19, 18, and 15 could also be viewed as "segments" marking a celestial serpent in Ophiuchus."
THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 82 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Machu Picchu in Peru Marks Stars of Ophiuchus in its Architectural Design Construction as Inca Cosmological Levels: Condor Puma Serpent Heaven Earth Underworld

The Native America Contribution to the Wealth of the Modern World: Maize (Corn), the Potato, the Tomato, Tobacco, and Machu Picchu

The contribution of Native America to the wealth of the modern world is underestimated. Just think of Mexico's maize, originally teosinte, i.e. "corn", the world's second largest food crop after rice. But that is not all, by a long shot.

Our next postings present our astronomical decipherment of Machu Picchu and its environs in the Andes Mountains, the longest continental mountain chain in the world, and the place of origin of the Inca "potato", the world's fourth largest food crop, the Aztec "tomato" and the Maya and Toltec "tobacco". Where would we be today in terms of feeding the world without the Native Americans who cultivated and improved those crops, especially corn, the potato and the tomato.

The fabulous, remote site of Machu Picchu in recent decades -- deservedly so -- has advanced to "official" status as a "New World" Ancient World Wonder.

We read at the Wikipedia at the Machu Picchu entry:
"Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll."
It is not our intention to detract in any way from that attained position in our forthcoming decipherment of Machu Picchu and environs as astronomy. Quite the contrary, we hope to add to it.

Machu Picchu marks the end of a long stage of human development, a stage spanning perhaps tens of thousands of years of stargazing the heavens and searching for the order of the spheres. This development and the knowledge attained are epitomized at Machu Picchu, just before the advent of the modern age and the coming of the Europeans to the New World. A new era began.

The Americas thereafter changed massively in a short period of time, and much of the old knowledge in Native America was lost as the few priests who may still have had it, passed away. Ancient technology gave way to newer technology. That is the way of the world. As a Darwinian might say, the better technology leads to winning, the outdated technology leads to losing. This is not a moral judgment, merely an observation made about a basically amoral planet.

As we will show in our subsequent postings, Machu Picchu in its location, architecture and design, symbolizes the crowning achievement of pre-modern mankind's attempt over the millennia to find out where man was and when that was, i.e. WHAT position did Man, Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars occupy in the Milky Way Galaxy and WHEN were the ancient astronomers THERE to view what they saw? Man was seeking to escape a fate that he did not know where he was and when he was there....

It was a search for a prehistoric GPS on a galactic scale and a time CHRONOLOGY on the order of astronomical eras.

Men's conceptions of the heavens, both in the Old World and the New World, formed mankind's initial ideas of a religion and a creator God, or creator gods, in the sky, who had formed the universe according to their then notions of "intelligent design". That intelligent design was seen in the stars, and brought to earth, hermetically, "as above, so below". Little has changed in the interim, except for the technology. Men still seek to inquire as to their whereabouts in the cosmos and frankly, many are far more lost today, than in ancient times.

The ancients would, for example, not have taken kindly to Giordano Bruno's question: "If the world has no beginning and no end, then where are we?"

Rather, ancient mankind was busy finding out where they were -- and when -- and devising a system of recordation, even in days before what we call "writing". They "wrote" not in alphabets or syllabic script but rather in pictures, and in sculptures, and in architecture.

The ancients used the stars as a known map to cartograph the Earth in which they lived, and they watched the apparent movement of those stars over millennia to develop their systems of the passage of time.

To comprehend Machu Picchu fully, one has to recall that we started our series postings about the Brickell Point Miami Circle in Florida as an ancient sky map with graphic-only decipherments at

We then proceeded to an even wider decipherment at The Miami Circle at Brickell Point: A Wider Decipherment Image 2 in Color Including Material Outside the Circle -- a decipherment image which shows the Miami Circle as a turtle:
  • Ophuichus at the left as the tail of the turtle, and
  • Orion at right as the head of the turtle,
  • with the entire turtle showing how South America
    was surveyed in prehistoric days using the stars marked there.
We then posted a text explanation of those graphics at Native America Southern Hemisphere Land Survey Revealed at Miami Circle: Plus The Aztec Calendar Stone, Izapa Stela 5, and the Next Google Earth Mystery Image.

The number of readers of those postings was not high at all, indicating once again to us that many people appear not to have good instincts about what is truly important and what is not so important. Our hits should have increased massively, but, in fact, nothing happened.

The Miami Circle is critically important, because it tells us that the region of Nazca, Peru, not far from Machu Picchu,
-- quite apart from the ultimate significance of the Nazca lines and figures to which we will turn at a later time --
marked the stars of what we today call Ophiuchus, and since that is a very large constellation, the region should include Machu Picchu -- whose name element Picchu looks suspiciously similar to Ophiuchus.

We thought immediately: did Machu Picchu mark stars in that region of the sky we modernly call Ophiuchus?

The next posting will tell.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 81 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

The Native America Contribution to the Wealth of the Modern World: Maize (Corn), the Potato, the Tomato, Tobacco, and Machu Picchu

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Does Mankind Really Want Mysteries of the Past to be Solved? Facts as Unwanted Visitors in the World of Academic and Other Wishes and Emotions

It is all a bit like What's it All About, Alfie, a philosophical topic to which David Brooks has just penned a remarkably good op-ed at the New York Times titled "What Is Your Purpose?".

We have a spectacular posting coming up in Posting 82 of this series of postings on The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America. This, however, is Posting Number 80, which should also be read.

Posting Number 81 after that will in fact serve as an introduction to that. 

This Posting Number 80 serves more as a preface to both of those, because we want to post some thoughts about myths, legends and mysteries, and how and why human beings view them as they do -- at least in our opinion -- because it bears immensely upon how some people may view our decipherments.

We can not escape the feeling in much of our work that humanity loves a good mystery and is not even always very happy to see a mystery solved.

This applies particularly to controversial issues of fact or fiction, the resolution of which questions plays (or appears to play) no significant role for matters of human survival (even indirect influences, however, can be important), and where one or the other solution is more a matter of personal fancy than raw necessity. People thus have little motivation to abandon false paths .

When life is dependent upon the solution of some mystery, then things change, because a right solution must be found, but in certain fields of academic inquiry, finding the real "truth" is not what drives much research, otherwise peer-reviewed journals would not be filled with so much jargon-laced garble. "Publication" fulfills many other purposes, not the least of which is "career".

A good case in point for the preference of myth and legend over facts is Stonehenge, where the research of Gerald Stanley Hawkins established fairly convincingly (in our estimation of his work) that Stonehenge was astronomical in purpose, even if many questions remained to be answered.

However, rather than the matter being taken up intensively by the world's astronomical community, further research has in fact fallen back in the hands of archaeologists, anthropologists and assorted other soft-science researchers, most of whom have no understanding of astronomy, modern or ancient, and who therefore will never unravel the mystery of Stonehenge or any similar sites, some even seeing Stonehenge as a pilgrimage point for people suffering from ill health and other such assorted obviously somewhat bizarre theories. 

Similarly, when we view the "gods" of Ancient viz. Classical Greece, then we see how personages -- as anthropomorphic astronomy in origin -- have in the course of millennia been adapted to the world of myth and legend (e.g. Hercules) because that is what the masses want, and that includes the so-called professionals, who manage a thriving profession by it.

Gods and Goddesses, Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, Rites and Rituals. These ideas and their corollaries dominate many research works of the mainstream. Just watch any archaeological TV documentary, from most of which one would presume that there are no unanswered questions and that everything is known, especially by the academics doing the presentations.

That is the wish of humanity -- also in the sphere of religion -- for people to be able to elevate their own present lives into higher spheres by means of their personal association and affiliation with the "divine" and thereby also to exercise their creative capacity for dreaming of great things, also in the past.

"Truth" about the actual original identity of the human "beings" that "divines" surely were originally, is quite secondary, and few really care about that.

It is all a bit like What's it All About, Alfie, a philosophical topic to which David Brooks has just penned a remarkably good op-ed at the New York Times titled "What Is Your Purpose?".

Mankind's works are dominated by a search for meaning, especially a meaning to the (re)searcher's own life, which usually profits by swimming with the stream, and in no case is furthered by rocking the boat of "whatever is".

That is why arguing simply "facts" is a very hard road, because human motivations have little to do with facts and more to do with wishes and emotions. That is what makes "fact people" such as the fabulously wealthy investor Warren Buffet so successful in what he does, where ALL others are much less successful. Wishful thinking is not his bag. He is a rarity.

Nevertheless, we can understand the sentiment that leads to myths and legends, because, as we noted in a previous posting about a popular book heavy with "astronomy":
"The Little Prince" (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine Saint Exupéry ... is said to be the world's second most widely read book, after the Bible, so Artcurial....
[A] Turkish astronomer discovers a new asteroid, unveiling his discovery at an international astronomy conference, but no one believes him, because he is dressed as a Turk, gesticulating at a blackboard and pointing to mathematical equations -- just like astronomical drawings in our writings.
The Turkish astronomer attends a second conference later in the book, dressed as a Westerner, and his discovery is resoundingly accepted."
As we can see from Exupéry, even astronomy can be "popular" among "the crowd" (hey, that's us), extremely so, but it has to be cloaked in the right dress, just as Exupéry's Turk, and myth and legend fill that bill marvelously. 

Just look to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. Good fiction sells like hotcakes.

Accordingly, if we too wanted to be commercially successful through the publication of our own research, through which we have never made any commercial profit, we would have to do it all quite differently. We realize full well that the last thing that people want to read are dry facts.

Alas, however, for what we are doing, which is the revelation of the astronomical nature of many ancient mounds and earthworks, we have no other choice, other than the path of reason. We have to stick to the facts, as much as possible.

We leave the writing of "fiction" on these topics to the appropriate academic disciplines (smiley) ... and that last comment takes us to the next posting, which you should read, before then seeing the spectacular Posting Number 82.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 80 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Does Mankind Really Want Mysteries of the Past to be Solved? Facts as Unwanted Visitors in the World of Academic and Other Wishes and Emotions

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Turtle Mound Largest Shell Midden in the USA Near New Smyrna Beach in Florida Marks Delta Piscium and the Mount Royal Temple Mound Near Welaka Marks Xi Piscium: Map of Florida Mounds of the Lower Fish of Pisces

Our decipherment image at the end of this posting shows the Florida mound sites that mark the lower fish of Pisces, into which have now also integrated our new decipherments of the Turtle Mound and of the Mount Royal Mound and neighboring mound sites.

The decipherment image for Mount Royal will be presented first.

Mount Royal is a "famous site". See Famous Florida Sites: Mt. Royal and Crystal River, Southeastern Classics in Archaeology, Anthropology, and History, 1999, by Jerald T. Milanich (Editor), where he discusses the work of Clarence B. Moore. See also Jerald T. Milanich and Early archaeology in Florida).

The large temple mound at Mount Royal is located near Welaka, Florida on the St. Johns River just north of Lake George. In our decipherment image below, it marks Xi Piscium.

As noted at the Wikipedia for Mount Royal:
"Mount Royal (8PU35) is a U.S. archaeological site of a Timucua Indian village, perhaps the town of Enacape, an important center of the Utina tribe. It is located three miles (5 km) south of Welaka, Florida, in the Mount Royal Airpark, off County Road 309 on the eastern bank of the St. Johns River. On May 7, 1973, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places."
William N. Morgan, Precolumbian Architecture in Eastern North America, Ripley P. Bullen Series, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL, 1999, has a site image of Mount Royal but shows only one mound, from which we could draw no probative conclusions, although we of course knew the general location of the stars sought because of the previous decipherment of neighboring mound sites.

What proved extremely useful to us is the Archaeological Overview of Mt. Royal by Keith H. Ashley which can be downloaded at Files/2005-MtRoyal.pdf.

That source provides a map of Mt. Royal and neighboring mound sites at Figure 7, page 280, and that map was essential to locate Mount Royal in the stars. We have redrawn it in the decipherment below. Click on the image for a larger version.

The Decipherment of the Mount Royal Mound as Xi Piscium

As can be seen above, the Mount Royal Mound marked the bright star Xi Piscium, very likely in the era when it marked the Celestial Meridian of the Vernal Equinox in ca. 240 B.C.

We have also identified the Davenport Mound 8PU50 as the star HIP8998, The Murphy Island Mounds 8PU20 and 8PU21 as marking the stars Alpha Piscium and HIP8576 and the Dunn Creek Mound 8PU14 as marking the star 112 Piscium. When set to a star magnitude limit of 6.90 the only stars shown in this area of the sky by Starry Night Pro are those in the image above.

Proving the stellar identity of the Turtle Mound is a bit more circumstantial.

As written at the Wikipedia under Turtle Mound:
"Turtle Mound is a prehistoric archaeological site located 9 miles (14 km) south of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on State Road A1A. On September 29, 1970, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
It is the largest shell midden on the mainland United States, with an approximate height of 50 feet (15 m).... The turtle-shaped mound contains oysters and refuse from the prehistoric Timucuan people. 

Today, the site is owned and managed by the National Park Service as part of Canaveral National Seashore.

Visible seven miles out at sea, early sailors used Turtle Mound as a navigational device."
By our analysis, the Turtle Mound south of New Smyrna Beach in Florida marks Delta Piscium and the stars to its back, including 62, 60 and 96 Piscium. The Turtle Mound has the shape of a turtle and, as marked in the decipherment image below, a turtle shape could have been seen by ancients in those stars.

Delta Piscium is significant as marking the middle of the lower fish of Pisces.

Our decipherment image for the Turtle Mound shows the position of the mound in the context of the other Florida sites marking the lower fish of Pisces. Click on the image to obtain a larger version.

The Stars of the Turtle Mound and of Mount Royal in the Context
of Other Sites in Florida as Marking Stars of Pisces

What we know now from these decipherments of the mounds of Florida as marking the stars of Cetus and Pisces, is that when Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León "named" the land Pascua Florida, this may have had nothing to do with Easter, as some have thought, but may have meant "Pisces" Florida, the land of fish and flowers, perhaps even reflecting a native knowledge among the inhabitants that Florida's location marked the stars of Cetus and Pisces in the Native America land survey by astronomy.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 79 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

The Turtle Mound Largest Shell Midden in the USA Near New Smyrna Beach in Florida Marks Delta Piscium and the Mount Royal Temple Mound Near Welaka Marks Xi Piscium: Map of Florida Mounds of the Lower Fish of Pisces

Monday, May 04, 2015

The Tomoka Mounds and Middens near Ormond Beach in Florida Mark Primarily the Stars of the Lower Fish of Pisces as a Shark with the Head to the Left and the Body to the Right

As written in the Abstract to Bruce John Piatek, The Tomoka Mound Complex in Northeast Florida, Southeastern Archaeology, Vol. 13, No. 2, Archaic Mounds in the Southeast (Winter 1994), pp. 109-118, Maney Publishing,
"The Tomoka Mound Complex has been known since 1871 as a major coastal shell midden with numerous conical mounds. It had been investigated on three prior occasions, yet the site remained an enigma, undefined temporally and culturally. Recent work establishes Tomoka as a preceramic Archaic period, Mount Taylor site with conical earthen mounds constructed during the Late Archaic. This assessment contradicts traditional models of Archaic life in Florida, which do not provide for large coastal sites nor the construction of earthen mounds during the Archaic period."
According to our analysis and the decipherment image below, the Tomoka Mounds and Middens near Ormond Beach in Florida mark primarily the stars of the lower fish of Pisces, extending from Alpha Pisces as the head, which is always the way we instinctively have seen these stars at the sharp "nose".

We have never understood why the ancients in the Old World saw Alpha Piscium as marking the "tails" of two fish, and here at Tomoka the mounds and middens clearly show the head of the fish at the left, and pointing to the left, here as a shark with the lower back of the fish after the upper fin located at the Cluster of Pisces, opposite to the way we view the lower fish of Pisces modernly.

The decipherment above was so elementary that the decipherment image speaks for itself. Most of the ware mounds have direct corresponding stars in Pisces viz. neighboring stars of Cetus.

Our decipherment image is based on location maps of mounds and middens at:
The star positions, as always in our postings, are rendered via the astronomy software program, Starry Night Pro,, which permits the setting of star positions at any date in history. We add all the explanatory lines, figures and texts and are not affiliated with Starry Night Pro or any of our other cited sources.

Note here that if Omicron Piscium marks the Winter Solstice via the apparent plethora of mound wares at that corresponding star location in the middens, then the construction could date to ca. 4700 B.C., surely then making the sitemakers inheritors of "the Windover culture".

HOWEVER, we have significant problems with accepting dates that far back for these mounds and middens and we leave the chronology here for others to determine since we see nothing in these mounds and middens astronomically that actually demands such an early date. Anytime we see anything beyond ca. 3000 B.C. for mounds of any kind, we are skeptical, since we see astronomical mounds as elements of megalithic culture, and we do not think it went back much further than that. But that is just our personal preference of opinion. Ultimately, the facts, radiocarbon data and other parameters will decide.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 78 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America 

The Tomoka Mounds and Middens near Ormond Beach in Florida Mark Primarily the Stars of the Lower Fish of Pisces as a Shark with the Head to the Left and the Body to the Right

The Rollins Shell Ring and "Ringlet" Mounds at Fort George Island Cultural State Park East of Jacksonville Florida and SW of the Grand Mounds Little Talbot Island State Park Mark Stars of Pisces at Alpha Piscium and Portray a Man of Native America

From the Circlet of Pisces, which marks the head of the lower fish in modern astronomy, we now go to the point where the tails of the fish meet at Alpha Piscium, a star also known as Alrescha

The Rollins Shell Ring near the mouth of the Florida St. Johns River, Florida's longest river, is a relatively little known site at Fort George Island Cultural State Park, which is east of Jacksonville, Florida and just a few miles southwest of the Grand Mounds at Little Talbot State Park, which we previously deciphered as marking stars of Pisces above the ends of the tails of the fish of Pisces.

Expectedly, Rollins Shell Ring marks primarily stars at the point where the tails of Pisces meet, but also upwards and to the right along the bodies of the fish. As we shall show, the entire figure was also designed to portray the head of a man in Native America. Click on the image below to obtain a larger image.

The darkly marked areas are our selection from a topographic map that we redrew of the Rollins Shell Ring as found on page 44 of Early Pottery: Technology, Function, Style and Interaction in the Lower Southeast, edited by Rebecca Saunders and Christopher T. Hays, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 2004.

In spite of the fact that the Rollins Shell Ring is little known, it was the subject of Masters Thesis recently: see Julie Ann Doucet, Oysters and Catfish: Resource Exploitation at Rollins Shell Ring, Ft. George Island, Florida, Louisiana State University, Masters Thesis, May 2012, where the radiocarbon date of the Rollins Ring is given as 5000 to 3500 B.P. i.e. at the earliest ca. 3000 B.C.

That the Rollins Shell Ring was also designed as a whole to show the head of a man in Native America derives from an analysis of a 3D "wire contour" image of the Rollins Shell Ring at Figure 3 in Rebecca Saunders, The Stratigraphic Sequence at Rollins Shell ring: Implications for Ring Function, The Florida Anthropologist, Florida Anthropological Society, Inc., Volume 57, Number 4, December, 2004, p. 249, Figure 3.

We brightened that image by 150% and stretched it upwards and to the right to get a "squarer" 2D form which of course is somewhat skewed from the original dimensions, but it was useful for our purposes. We then traced the darkest lines and figures to see what we would get, and the result is shown below.

 We can clearly see from the image above that the Rollins Shell Ring not only marks stars of Pisces but shows the portrait of man in Native America, a conclusion we derived from an analysis of a "wire contour" image of the Rollins Shell Ring at Figure 3 in Rebecca Saunders, The Stratigraphic Sequence at Rollins Shell ring: Implications for Ring Function, The Florida Anthropologist, Florida Anthropological Society, Inc., Volume 57, Number 4, December, 2004., p. 249, figure 3, page 252. Please view that original image. We reproduce the above skewed images as research "fair use" and are not in any way affiliated with persons or institutions cited above.

As a matter of improved corroboration of the above decipherment, we see that Julie Ann Doucet in Oysters and Catfish: Resource Exploitation at Rollins Shell Ring, Ft. George Island, Florida, Louisiana State University, Masters Thesis, May 2012, refers to and also reproduces at page 4 of her thesis a new "map" of the many "ringlets" found in the topography at the Rollins Shell Ring.

That map of ring and ringlets was originally published by Rebecca Saunders in 2010 at Rollins Redux: Rings, Ringlets and Really Big Pits. Report to the Florida Department of Archives and History, Permit No. 0304.38.

Those "ringlets" can clearly be interpreted to mark the stars of Pisces, as above, and as representing the "hair" ringlets of the profiled head of the Native America figure, as discussed above.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 77 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America 

The Rollins Shell Ring and "Ringlet" Mounds at Fort George Island Cultural State Park East of Jacksonville Florida and SW of the Grand Mounds Little Talbot Island State Park Mark Stars of Pisces at Alpha Piscium and Portray a Man of Native America

Tick Island DeLeon Springs Lake Woodruff Florida north of Orlando and northwest of Windover Archaeological Site marks Stars at the Circlet of Pisces

The Shell and Sand Mounds of Tick Island, Volusia County, are located on the western shore of Lake Woodruff, near DeLeon Springs, Florida, not far from Daytona Beach, ca. 40 miles north of Orlando, Florida and about 80 miles northwest of Windover Archeological Site.

Although we early identified the location of stars as represented by Tick Island as being at or near the Circlet of Pisces, the decipherment of this site was unclear until we found the 1960 map by Francis F. Bushnell of Tick Island as reported by Ripley P. Bullen in "Francis F. Bushnell at Tick Island: A Résumé" in Otto L. Jahn and Ripley P. Bullen, The Tick Island Site, St. Johns River, Florida, The Florida Anthropologist, Volume 31, Number 4, Part 2, December, 1978, That resolved the matter.

It is ironic that the archaic Windover Archaeological Site, 7000 to 8000 years old, and perhaps showing skeletons having European DNA ancestry, as located in Brevard County, near Titusville, Florida, is only about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the modern rocket and space center Cape Canaveral, located in an area named "the Space Coast", whence the "Daily" name below.

The Space Coast Daily, December 28, 2014, reports that "Windover Pond archaeological site" was purchased in 2013 by The Archaeological Conservancy, "the only national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation’s remaining archaeological sites."

The Space Coast Daily writes further:
"Windover Pond – named after the development — is the site of one of the most significant archaeological finds ever made in North America, an underwater cemetery created by ancient people about 8,000 years ago."
The Brevard Museum, "the official exhibitor of the Windover story," writes:
"Among the tools of daily life that have been recovered are split conch shells for dipping water, bone awls used as needles, weaving tools, a wooden mortar and pestle used to crush and mix food, shark teeth used for wood carving, and mussel shells used for scraping. Chert spear points indicate trade, since the nearest deposits of this substance was in the Tampa Bay area."
This reminds of Terra Ceia Island and Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site Mounds and Earthworks Between St. Petersburg and Bradenton Florida Represent Stars in Cetus as Mortar Pestle Dough & Bakers Peel. Take a look.

As written about the finds at Windover at the Wikipedia:
"The collection of human skeletal remains and artifacts recovered from Windover Pond represent among the largest finds of each type from the Archaic Period." [emphasis added]
See especially The Windover Archaeological Research Project, which writes:
"Radiocarbon dating over the three seasons of excavation indicated ages ranging from 6,990 years to 8,120 years, plus or minus 70 years....
The fabric used to wrap the dead is the oldest flexible fabric ever found in this part of the world. The "yarn" was made with fibers from native plants--probably palmetto or queen palm--using at least seven different complex weaves that required the use of some type of loom." [emphasis added]
This would then also be a good time to review Flinders Petrie and the Shelton Mound Wall and Boulder Complex Groups 1 2 3 Together as a Weaver & Vertical Warp-Weighted Backstrap-Type Loom. Check out that loom.

Taking now a look at the Tick Island Shell and Sand Mounds and Earthworks near De Leon Springs, Florida, these are by distance so close to Windover that they could easily be seen as "related" in origin, especially given what Morgan has written about Tick Island and Ripley Bullen (William N. Morgan, Precolumbian Architecture in Eastern North America, Ripley P. Bullen Series, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL, 1999, p. 45, see also
"Shortly after completing his fieldwork, Bullen died. He did not know that some of the materials associated with the burials he had recovered from the south mound would yield radiocarbon dates in the range of 3500 to 3450 B.C."
Otto L. Jahn and Ripley P. Bullen, The Tick Island Site, St. Johns River, Florida, The Florida Anthropologist, Volume 31, Number 4, Part 2, December 1978, have written, in fact:
"[T]he corrected calendrical dates for the Tick Island radiocarbon dates are roughly 4160 B.C. to 4375 B.C."
Our initial decipherment efforts regarding the Tick Island earthworks were based on the only map reconstruction of the site that we could find then, as found on page 44 in William N. Morgan, Precolumbian Architecture in Eastern North America, Ripley P. Bullen Series, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL, 1999,

Based on Morgan's reconstruction, we thought Tick Island marked the Circlet of Pisces. There was good reason for this. As John Scalzi writes in The Rough Guide to the Universe at page 334:
"The most notable sight in Pisces is the Circlet, an asterism composed of seven stars laid out in a rough circle. 19X Piscium (also known as TX Piscium) is one these; it is also a variable star that fluctuates by nearly half a magnitude at irregular intervals. Pisces is home to a number of double and multiple stars, including Alrescha, Zeta Piscium, and Psi Piscium...."
However, it was by no means clear which stars at or near the Circlet of Pisces were represented at Tick Island since only one mound was shown by Morgan's reconstruction. That was cleared up by Bushnell's map, which shows multiple mounds that settle the matter of identification of the most important stars, though one can argue about the stars represented at the bottom left.

Here is the decipherment both the initial decipherment effort left and the final decipherment to the right, showing that this decipherment business is not cut and dried and very difficult if there are not enough mounds available for cross-checking purposes. Click the image to enlarge it:

If the main mounds marked the Winter Solstice point then the entire complex could date to somewhere in the middle of the fifth millennium B.C.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 76 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Tick Island DeLeon Springs Lake Woodruff Florida north of Orlando and northwest of Windover Archaeological Site marks Stars at the Circlet of Pisces

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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