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

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Connect the Dots: The Midheaven Plaquette of Les Varines, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK: Perimeter Stars, the North Celestial Pole and Carved Figures in Stone

Connect the Dots: The Midheaven Plaquette of Les Varines, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK: Perimeter Stars, the North Celestial Pole and Carved Figures in Stone

This is a follow-up on our previous posting 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.

We show in the graphic image below*** how the perimeter [Wikipedia: Greek περίμετρος perimetros from περί peri "around" and μέτρον metron "measure"] of the Midheaven Plaquette follows a shape that is outlined by brighter stars of the midheaven starry night sky.

We claim that one can try to place this stone plaquette shape anywhere else in the night's starry sky and it will not fit as well in terms of the stars located at the plaquette shape's perimeter. One could of course draft a mathematical algorithm comparing star magnitudes in the heavens as a means to fit a plaquette like this in the stars of the sky, but this shape would surely fit best at midheaven anyway. 

Similarly, the North Celestial Pole on the plaquette is in a unique place not duplicated elsewhere in the starry sky. Indeed, together with the positions of the Celestial Meridian and Ecliptic Meridian in that era, which arguably have their plaquette comparables, the plaquette origin can be dated to ca. 7600 B.C.

There is really very little that can be disputed here on those parameters.

Where the fun starts -- for those interested -- is in identifying any possible figures carved onto the plaquette via the lines carved in the stone and, so we allege, following the corresponding connected lines viz. dots of stars in the heavens.

Such figures would be expected for a prehistoric portrayal of the stars at heaven's center -- e.g. perhaps comparable to the predynastic Egyptian figures at midheaven of one or even two guardian falcons or a similar high-flying bird, such as an eagle, perhaps including also a guardian dog and a precessionally-winding serpent, all of which we could easily draw above on the plaquette by connecting the dots accordingly (see our sample figure drawing below).

But what figures are really there? No one knows for sure. Perhaps detailed microscopic analysis by experts of the carved incisions could give us more probative information. Otherwise, it is all guesswork.

Moreover, there are numerous other figures that could be identified on the Midheaven Plaquette above -- e.g. we see perhaps what could be two large horse heads (or similar) one above another in the middle of the plaquette, looking right -- which would be "old" carvings perhaps even preceding the Holocene, a "prehistoric" hand-me-down plaquette possibility that is not totally excluded by us -- as also numerous human faces on the plaquette and also on the perimeter of the plaquette -- especially when the plaquette is magnified viz. zoomed digitally so that the star connections "by dots" can be subjectively drawn in detail.

Indeed, the plaquette seen as a whole could also be said to mark a human head looking right, with the hair represented by numerous comparably drawn lines, and a hair bun or animal hat on top of the head marking the North Celestial Pole, which also may have a face figure marking the pole star looking up.

Proving any such figures is next to impossible in our modern day, because there are so many uncertain subjective possibilities, and because there is a clear indication that a multiplicity of figures can be drawn, often appearing to exist as overlays on top of murky, previously drawn viz. carved figures, so that the figures drawn on the plaquette may have been the subjects of time-differing work carved by succeeding generations separated by eras.

Connect the Dots:
What Figures Were Carved on the Midheaven Plaquette? ***

See by comparison the figures found on the Pharaonic Egyptian palettes marking Midheaven via:

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*** The decipherment images above consist 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.

*** Credits taken directly from the cited PLoS article are as follows:

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