"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Monday, March 04, 2019

Prelude to Our Review of "The radiocarbon dating of megalithic sites, Bettina Schulz Paulsson: PNAS, Radiocarbon dates and Bayesian modeling support maritime diffusion model for megaliths in Europe"

Prelude to our Review:

The radiocarbon dating of megalithic sites has been analyzed in a recent article published at PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) by Bettina Schulz Paulsson titled Radiocarbon dates and Bayesian modeling support maritime diffusion model for megaliths in Europe. PNAS published ahead of print February 11, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1813268116.

We are very sympathetic to Paulsson's approach on the megaliths and on the idea of the maritime spread of megalithic "culture" as it were by ancient seafarers. It is in our judgment an important work, but there are also some points of disagreement viz. suggestions for future, expanded analysis.

This posting is a short prelude to our detailed posting which follows next.

We have taken Paulsson's map of the basic calibrated radiocarbon data of megalithic sites in Europe, reducing and simplifying the underlying data by taking "averages" of regional dates to see if they reveal anything of importance.

There is in fact a regular "clustering" of data at 480-year intervals.

Below is our "averaged" data of Paulsson's map data dating. Although 4400 BC would be a better fit to the first set of averages, we use the date of 4320 BC, as later explained, to be the cardinal date for the first megalithic surge viz. "wave" of megalith building, with such surges or waves separated by the elapse of a 480-year period. We discuss the why of that in the next posting.

The 1st surge viz. "wave" of megalith building: 4320 BC

Western France (Carnac)
4794 + 3999 = 8793 / 2 = 4396 BC
4770 + 4034 = 8804 / 2 = 4402 BC

Southern Spain/France
4722 + 4068 = 8890 / 2 = 4445 BC
4581 + 4267 = 8848 / 2 = 4424 BC
              
Sardinia
4733 + 3986 = 8719 / 2 = 4360 BC

Corsica
4327 + 4266 = 8593 / 2 = 4297 BC

The 2nd surge viz. "wave" of megalith building: 3840 BC

Scotland
4295 + 3495 = 7790 / 2 = 3895 BC
3800 + 3560 = 7360 / 2 = 3680 BC

Ireland
3885 + 3440 = 7325 / 2 = 3663 BC
3715 + 3530 = 7245 / 2 = 3623 BC

England and Wales
3971 + 3805 = 7776 / 2 = 3888 BC
3960 + 3880 = 7840 / 2 = 3920 BC

The 3rd surge viz. "wave" of megalith building: 3360 BC

Sweden, Norway
3635 + 3112 = 6747 / 2 = 3374 BC
3619 + 3351 = 6970 / 2 = 3485 BC

3504 + 3349 = 6853 / 2 = 3427 BC
3409 + 3364 = 6773 / 2 = 3387 BC

Denmark
3500 + 3300 = 6800 / 2 = 3400 BC

North Germany
3475 + 3417 = 6892 / 2 = 3446 BC

Netherlands
3400 + 3050 = 6450 / 2 = 3225 BC

The 4th surge viz. "wave" of megalith building: 2880 BC

Belgium, North France
3013 + 2626 = 5639 / 2 = 2830 BC
2918 + 2696 = 5614 / 2 = 2807 BC

The 5th surge viz. "wave" of megalith building: 2400 BC

Mediterranean
2472-839
2441-1306
The gap between the upper and lower values of these dates is so large that there is no point in taking averages. Obviously, "apples and oranges" have been mixed in the data. The maximum outer dates are the relatively correct ones.

The Main Question

The above are pretty much the main dates, so why are the megalithic surges or "waves" separated by a series of 480-year intervals?

We try to answer that question in our next posting and quote Bertrand Russell:
in Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits:

"Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences,
and the contemplation of the heavens,
with their periodic regularities,
gave men their first conceptions of natural law."

Go to [https://ancientworldblog.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-origin-of-europes-megaliths-pnas.html].