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

Sunday, August 30, 2020

A Lesson in Critical Analysis for Archaeology and Astronomy: The Midheaven Plaquette (Plaquette #2) of Les Varines, Jersey (near St. Helier) ca. 7600 B.C.

Plaquette 2 of Les Varines, Jersey (near St. Helier) is deciphered here in this posting as representing the stars of Midheaven ca. 7600 B.C., marked as points, figures or lines of joined stars, just as modern stellar constellations are drawn.

The Midheaven Plaquette of Les Varines, Jersey
Please click on the image to obtain a larger, resizable image.


The decipherment image above consists of a map of stars -- created by Andis Kaulins, August 28, 2020, using Starry Night Pro astronomy software -- which map is superimposed on a lightened graphic of Plaquette 2 to better show the imposed stars, a graphic based on photos found at PLOS ONE in Artists on the edge of the world: An integrated approach to the study of Magdalenian engraved stone plaquettes from Jersey (Channel Islands) and BBC News of 19 August 2020 at https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53835146. See the *** footnote at the end of this posting for full credit to the photographic original image, governed by a Creative Commons Attribution License, .

As per our decipherment, the top left of Plaquette 2, the "Midheaven Plaquette", which shows the midheaven of stars of the starry night, is focused on the star Tau Herculis as the North Celestial Pole (which thus dates Plaquette 2 to the approximate date we use for our star map, ca. 7600 B.C.):
"Tau Herculis is a visible star located within 1° of the precessional path traced across the celestial sphere by the Earth's North pole. It was the northern pole star around the year 7400 BC, a phenomenon which is expected to reoccur in the year 18,400 due to precession....

The current pole star is, of course, Polaris. Among the 14 stars that could be reasonably ... considered eventual northern pole stars, Tau Herculis is the dimmest, but only Polaris itself and Thuban are closer to the precessional path."
Recall that we are comparing a map carved onto stone 10,000 years ago with a modern map of the stars made with high tech today, so that one can not expect exact overlapping when large star sections of a star map are shown. But if one examines smaller sections of the star map, one can see the identity of some sections easily, starting with the brighter stars that formed the outer perimeter shape of the plaquette, and moving inward to stars that marked unique shapes of lines in the stars, even though these can be somewhat shifted in position.

For example, look at the curved line of stars underneath the North Celestial Pole, or view the tail of Draco, clearly outlined in the middle the plaquette, just as it is drawn on a modern star map. Note also the near match of the Celestial Meridian and Ecliptic Meridian and the relative positions of the North Celestial Pole and the North Ecliptic Pole.

We have made a graphic of one smaller section of the star map, somewhat shifted in superimposed place to show the identity of positions of the stars with the lines drawn on Plaquette 2, as follows, for stars just to the right of Pherkad and Kochab in Ursa Minor:

Connecting the Dots


The identity is indisputable and it is impossible that it exists by chance, since the resulting figure is complex and intended as such. It is clear that the ancients were drawing the stars by "connecting the dots", as it were.

A few things must be said about the academic professions involved in this work.

The profession of Archaeology has a lot to do with discovering viz. "digging up" ancient artefacts. Such work can be painstaking and rigorous and we have a great deal of respect for those who do it.

However -- this MUST be said -- the ability to "find things" of prehistoric interest buried in the ground does not necessarily go hand in hand with the subsequently necessary talent to analyze correctly what has been found, a task for which not every "finder" is predestined. Human abilities are specialized. We have no interest to criticize anyone, rather, our goal is to make sure things are "gotten right", which they currently are not, about mankind's ancient history.

The profession of Astronomy has become a high tech industry in our modern day, but astronomers need to develop a better understanding of how ancient stargazing led to modern rational science long before the invention of the telescope or our modern focus on theoretical black holes and dark matter. Ancient prehistoric astronomy had a direct relationship to Earth and mankind. Modern astronomy oft provides no direct connection to humanity and sometimes forgets the importance that the starry night of stars once had to everyday life.

The "Midheaven Plaquette" of Les Varines, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK -- for so we have herewith named it -- is very much a case in point as a kind of avant-garde object lesson.

That plaquette is known in the original research paper as "Plaquette 2" of the 10 plaquettes found at Les Varines, but one can see from the image above that Plaquette 2 is correctly called the "Midheaven Plaquette", because it represents the "mountain" of stars seen at Midheaven by the ancients, as explained by us in our recent previous postings at:
We repeat.

Please understand that we are not criticizing any particular individual in this posting or in our decipherment work. Criticism of people is not our objective and it brings nothing to anyone.

Rather, we aim to help "educate" the various disciplines that deal with prehistoric periods -- occupations and professions that in our view are in great need of up-to-date reform and improvement through the use of probative evidence, as we have previously posted over many years, e.g. recently in The Donald Trump Presidency: Expectations and Results in Our Age of Disruption in a Rapidly Changing World, where we wrote:
"The Trump political situation can be compared with the problems of modernity confronting establishment Archaeology and related disciplines such as Oriental viz. Biblical Studies, which remain stubbornly backward (of course, in part by the retrograde nature of their study), and out-of-date, because they are not sufficiently pushed from outside to get out of their cozy rut.

The "history industry" is dominated by academics who continue doing what they have always done, story-booking how they think the past was, based on often tenuous authority-based rather than evidence-based "opinions", as presented, e.g. in conclusory documentary films, as if no alternative "stories" existed and as if all questions had been resolved, which is by no means the case.

Hence, the history industry has gotten many things wrong historically viz. pre-historically. The entire field of ancient studies, historical and prehistorical, is marked by what we view to be a glaring absence of analytical critical thinking and a lack of sober consideration of alternative explanatory solutions.

What are needed in the historical disciplines are disruptive people and ideas to "shake" the establishment out of its slumber.

Even in modern technology and media, We Live in an Age of Disruption. Just imagine then how rusty things are in the other "older" arts and sciences."
What we thus see here in the case of the "Midheaven Plaquette" of Les Varines is in our view quite typical for Archaeology as also for the History of Astronomy. Our lesson in critical analysis applies to these disciplines broadly and equally. Let's start to get it right with ancient artefacts, many of which are, as Eusebius wrote long before us, devoted to the subject matter of "astronomy".

Let us now turn again to Les Varines and especially "Plaquette 2". As reported by Paul Rincon, BBC Science Editor, just last week (19 August 2020) at the BBC News website in Earliest art in the British Isles discovered on Jersey in the course of a cooperation between the Ice Age Island project and the British Museum, ten archaeologically so-called small flat "engraved" stone "plaquettes", some with drawings and sketches -- but only on one side -- were excavated between 2014 and 2018 at the allegedly Magdalenian site of Les Varines in Jersey (see in 3D) (just North of St. Helier), Channel Islands, United Kingdom. See also Archaeology Magazine.

We say "allegedly Magdalenian" because -- based on the stars in our decipherment -- we must date Plaquette 2 to ca. 7600 B.C., long after the end of the Magdalenians according to current mainstream chronology.

We have held a long-standing megalithic interest in the Channel Islands and especially in the great mound of La Hogue Bie on Jersey (located not far from Les Varines), about which we find written at Wikipedia:
"La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves... [A]t sunrise on the Spring and Autumn equinox ... the orientation of the passage ... allows the sun's rays to shine through to the chamber entering the back recess of the terminal cell....


Just look at that massive megalithic entrance! The above photos via Megaliths.net show the author of this posting in front of and then entering the "terminal cell" inner sanctum of La Hogue Bie, Saint Saviour, in Jersey, UK (49°12'02.2"N 2°03'49.7"W), September, 2000.

Our astronomical interpretation -- already from the year 2002 -- of the figures found in that inner sanctum of La Hogue Bie, as illuminated by the Sun at the Equinoxes, is shown below. See the inner sanctum video at La Hogue Bie on Facebook.


Contrary to the irritating "newbie" spelling La Hougue Bie and the folks-etymological "big hill" etymology assigned to it, which we view as incorrect, we think that the name has a derivation related to Scottish Hogmanay, start of the New Year. Note that the inner sanctum figures mark Midheaven at the focal point and that in our decipherment of the figures there is a direct representation of the Celestial Meridian marking the Spring Equinox:

It is significant that La Hogue Bie, dated to 3500 B.C., and Les Varines and its plaquettes, in our opinion incorrectly assigned to the Magdalenians and through that erroneously dated ca. 10,000 years older than La Hogue Bie, are only about 3 kilometers viz. 2 miles apart on Jersey. And what happened in the intervening more than 10,000 !! years!?

Our date of 7600 B.C. for the Les Varines plaquettes, on the other hand, meshes well with the beginning of a resettlement era in northern Europe after the last Ice Age known as the Holocene, starting about 10,000 years ago.

Here is a comparison of the location of megalithic La Hogue Bie to the location of the Les Varines plaquettes of an alleged much earlier Magdalenian Era. Please note that our location map below is made up of two composite Google Maps, as we have added the label here for the location of Les Varines.


The original research on the discovery and interpretation of the ten Les Varines (49°10'59.6"N 2°05'01.2"W) plaquettes was published at PLOS ONE in Artists on the edge of the world: An integrated approach to the study of Magdalenian engraved stone plaquettes from Jersey (Channel Islands).

Take a close look at the published photographs of the original plaquette ("Plaquette 2") in question and then compare the interpretative drawings reproduced there, supposedly representing the subject matter drawn on the plaquette.

We can state here categorically that those subjectively selective, simplistic drawings and interpretations are clearly erroneous. But, you, the reader must ultimately decide.

Take a look at a zoomed photo of "Plaquette 2" and compare the markings on that plaquette to the recently published interpretative drawings.

Our opinion: those incomplete drawings are purely subjective interpretations, which is no surprise, as mainstream archaeologists and astronomers in fact apparently have no real idea what those markings on "Plaquette 2" represent. Well then, guesswork is no answer. By contrast, we are not "guessing". Rather, we are superimposing a star map on a plaquette and saying, "there you are" -- that is the answer. LOOK and see for yourselves.

We suggest therefore, that the situation can be corrected by following a few simple rules of "simple scientific method", which are as follows:
  1. Until a researcher or research team has examined all alternative possible explanations, one should not draw any subjective conclusions about what has been discovered. For example, in a worst case scenario, a researcher who subjectively hopes to find mammoths or wooly rhinoceroses drawn on an artefact, because that would fit the alleged artefact era, may indeed claim to find such drawings, even though they may not really be there. Wishful thinking is not science, Check and recheck. THAT is science. Consider EVERYTHING as a possibility, not just a pet theory, or the school of thought of prevailing academic opinion.

  2. As regards prehistoric drawings, figures, carvings, paintings, etc., always consider as a possible explanation the alternative solution that the paintings, drawings, carvings or figures that you see, as also those found on the background of such "art" -- such as the carved stone on which the Lascaux paintings were made  (which the mainstream has thus far ignored) -- had an astronomical significance.

    The ancients wanted to know where they were and what they were doing here on our planet Earth. The sky was their heavenly map, applied to the ground, "as above, so below", and surely became the origin of their "heaven-based" religious beliefs.

    We have been interpreting megalithic culture for 40 years and can state without doubt that many archaeological findings worldwide of ancient cultures are in fact astronomy-based, i.e. "ancient stargazing" as it were.

    We use the term "stargazing" because many modern astronomers seem to discount any kind of astronomy, particularly of the ancient kind, that is made without telescopes and without modern paraphernalia. They are "above it". But it may be advisable to understand the importance of astronomy to humanity, by relearning the beginnings of stargazing  to see the starry sky as ancient mankind saw it.
__________
*** Credits taken directly from the cited PLoS article are as follows:

__________

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Boxgrove, West Sussex, United Kingdom (UK) Reconstructed Flint and the Boxgrove Bone Hammer are Megalithic Astronomy

As written long ago by Eusebius, "It is all astronomy".
__________

In our previous posting, Prehistoric Astronomy on the British Isles: Mapping Midheaven Stars at the Cove Stones of Avebury Henge, we presented further convincing evidence of the astronomical purpose of the Avebury megaliths.

To that astronomical evidence, we now add the West Sussex, UK, Boxgrove Bone Hammer and Boxgrove Flint -- the latter as marvelously reconstructed by the archaeologists from more than 100 flint shards viz. flakes. These artefacts were first brought to our attention several days ago by an article at Smithsonian Magazine by Alex Fox, citing a previous report by Paul Rincon at BBC News. To avoid copyright issues, we use here our own drawings and not artefact photos, so please consult the cited sources for original photographs.

The archaeologists' chronological dating of the human-like use of these tools to 480,000 years ago and the assertion therefrom that Boxgrove represents "Europe's earliest bone tools" is in our opinion clearly erroneous and vastly off the mark, though the bone used for the Boxgrove Bone Hammer could itself of course be that old. The age of a bone, however, has nothing per se to do with the date of its use by humans. The ancients surely used bone implements, even if very old, but half-a-million years ago is not supported by the Boxgrove Bone Hammer, based on the figures drawn on its face, as we shall show below.

The Boxgrove Bone Hammer

As can be seen from the image below, the bone hammer by shape and design in fact looks like a "megalithic era" precursor to the predynastic viz. early dynastic so-called "palettes" in Egypt, including the "Newby Palette" of the "Double Falcon" and the better known "Narmer Palette", dated to ca. the late 4th millennium B.C., a palette which we discuss as part of a series of postings on The Cult of Horus and the Origins of Astronomy -- see:

The image below shows the Boxgrove Bone Hammer in our drawing, placed next to the Newby Palette and Narmer Palette for comparison. In our analysis, all three artefacts represent stars in the sky at the "Mountain of Midheaven", so "drawn" by the ancients, it is a mountain discussed further below in this posting.

The Boxgrove Bone Hammer, The Newby Palette and the Narmer Palette Side-By-Side
Please click on the graphic to obtain a larger image.


The following image shows the midheaven stars that correspond to the markings on the Boxgrove Bone Hammer, which can be viewed by shape and design as a precursor to the later also midheaven-oriented Newby Palette (dated to ca. 3200 B.C.) and the midheaven-oreinted Narmer Palette, dated by Archaeology to the 31st century B.C.*** The image thereafter shows the Boxgrove Bone Hammer side-by-side with the stars that it represents.

Boxgrove Bone Hammer Corresponding Stars
Please click on the graphic to obtain a larger image.


 Boxgrove Bone Hammer Corresponding Stars
Shown Side-By-Side With the Bone Hammer
 Please click on the graphic to obtain a larger image.


The Boxgrove Reconstructed Flint

The reconstructed Boxgrove Flint by its shape and by identifiable figures on the shards viz. flakes, marks stars at heaven's center, and indeed, the similarity of the flint shape and figures to the shapes and figures represented on the Cove Stone megaliths at Avebury Henge is unmistakeable.

The Reconstructed Boxgrove Flint Stone manifests Carved viz. "Flaked"
Shapes that Represent Midheaven Stars and shows the "Mountain of
Heaven" similarly to the Avebury Cove Stones


The following graphic shows the stars represented by the
Reconstructed Boxgrove Flint (shown in the images above)
-- with the Avebury Cove Stones shown below for comparison --


We posted about the "Mountain of Heaven" at Midheaven previously at The Cult of Horus and the Origins of Astronomy, writing:

"David Talbott, On Testing the Polar Configuration, in the most complete summary that we have been able to find of ancient sources relating to the stars at heaven's center, writes:
"Because the north celestial Pole is its pivot or center, it is the polar configuration...."

[Heaven's Center as the "Eye of Heaven"]
"The Egyptian Book of the Dead reads: "I am the lord of the crown. I am in the Eye, my egg. My seat is on my throne. I sit in... the pupil of the Eye...."

[Heaven's Center as a Protective Enclosure. Settlement or Temple of Heaven]

"[T]he Hebrew celestial Jerusalem, "Sublime in elevation in the uttermost north. . .the City of the King; the Chinese "Imperial City," defined as an enclosure around the north celestial Pole; the Hindu celestial city of Brahma, "the all-containing city" at the celestial Pole....

To the Egyptians, the celestial enclosure possessed the magical quality of protecting the inhabitants from the dark
[see Narmer later] and chaotic forces outside the enclosure, and this simple fact will explain why the enclosure was conceived as a shield....."
[Heaven's Center as a Column or Mountain]
"The Hindus knew the famous mountain as Meru, on whose summit stood the primeval dwelling of the gods. In the beginning this "golden mountain" or "jewelled peak" rose in the cosmic sea to serve as a universe pillar holding aloft the celestial city of Brahma. Around the summit of this axis-mountain turned the starry heavens.
Chinese myth recalls a similar mount.... On the summit of Kwen-Lun stood the great palace of Shang-ti, the universal emperor at the celestial Pole ... Tze-wei, "a celestial space around the north Pole."

The Japanese recalled the world mountain Shumi, described as "a fabulous mountain of wonderful height, forming the axis of every Universe, and the center around which all the heavenly bodies revolve ....
According to the Zend Avesta, "The Maker Ahura Mazda [see Narmer later] has built up a dwelling on the Hera-Berezaiti, the bright mountain around which the many stars revolve....

Altaic races remember the cosmic mountain whose "peak rises to the sky at the North Star where the axis of the sky is situated, and where, on the peak, the dwelling of the Over-god and his 'golden throne' are situated." This was "at the navel of heaven, on the peak of the famous mountain.
The Greek Olympos, where stood the original city of the gods and home of Kronos ... was the "wholly shining," a cosmic mountain rising into the fiery aether and called the "navel" and "axis" of the world.
The Hebrew celestial Jerusalem stood on the summit of the cosmic Zion, after which the Hebrews named the local hill in Palestine. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion." "Mt. Zion, thou 'far reaches of the North,' an emperor's citadel.
Many remarkable counterparts to these traditions will be found in the myths and symbols of the New World. One of the better known instances is the White or Shining Mountain Colhuacan, recognized by many writers as a polar column. On the summit of Colhuacan dwelt the original divine race [Achu, the demigods].

The Omaha recall... "the great white rock, standing and reaching as high as the heavens, enwrapped in mist, verily as high as the heavens. In the Eskimo tradition the world of the gods is situated above a great mountain around which the celestial bodies revolve...."
[Heaven's Center as a Mountain, Column (Pole), Phallus, Serpent, World Tree, Bird]
"The hypothesized cosmic mountain could hardly have failed to produce a great variety of symbols.... Taking the most obvious examples, we list these mythical images as the logical and predicted figures of the cosmic column, if such a thing was actually witnessed by ancient man: World Mountain, Pillar, Binding Post, Phallic Column, Serpent-Column, Trunk of the World Tree....
Egyptian symbolism presents the four life-bearing streams as the Four Sons of Horus, identified as "four blustering winds," "four blazing flames" or four streams of water. But the same figures are presented as "four pillars of heaven" placed at the four corners of the celestial habitation.... [T]he outstretched wings of the thunderbird or winged god or goddess, signified the same thing as the cosmic ship, the two peaks of the world mountain .... The stationary god rests within the band of the Aten (presented in its popular form as a circular serpent). Within the enclosure the god's seat is the Aakhut, the two-peaks of the Mountain of Fire-Light."
We disagree with Talbott's main hypothesis in that above-cited writing, but his above discussion of ancient mythologies of heaven’s center [and the stars of that midheaven] is superb and that is why we have quoted so much of his eminently important text. See Kronia where that text appears in an extensive article by Talbott "On the Polar Configuration". "

__________

*** Please note: We date the Narmer Palette to a solar eclipse that we accept to have occurred coincident with the Winter Solstice 3117 B.C. (-3116 by astronomy), a momentous astronomical event which we allege started modern calendration and was the date 0 ("zero") for the "dynastic" start of Pharaonic civilization.

That solar eclipse was an event reproduced correctly on our desktop numerous years ago by the astronomy software Starry Night Pro (version 3) via what we viewed then to be the correct Delta T value for the change in the rate of the spin of the Earth over time.

Recently, astronomy software programs have adopted -- wrongly in our view -- historical Delta T values based on modern theoretical calculations of Delta T values by outside academics and astronomers, values which do not accord with known eclipse records.

The academics have made the changes on the basis of unproven assumptions about the past, based on modern measurements which do not accord with historical determinations of the rate of the spin of the Earth. The seemingly "correct" Delta T values for ancient eras were previously derived from known historical eclipse records, whereas the changed Delta T values are based on recent in part theoretical math calculations, which of course need not in fact apply at all to what the change in the rate of the spin of the Earth actually was in historical time. The changed Delta T may work in the present, but it is clearly erroneous for the past.
__________

Well, there you have it. As written long ago by Eusebius, "It is all astronomy".