On the Origins of the Alphabet by Brian R. Pellar San Diego, California
Twenty-two foundation letters: He placed them in a circle…. He directed them with the twelve constellations. — Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation)
On the Origins of the Alphabet: New Evidence by Brian R. Pellar Boston, Massachusetts
I immediately showed my discovery to my father (who had a great interest in both fonts and astronomy), and I distinctly remember his being pleasantly surprised by what I had found and then saying, “That’s great, now solve the rest.” And so I did, with the fruits of that labor seen in my “On the Origins of the Alphabet”
There has been much speculation as to the date at which the first constellations were created. It is generally assumed that the constellations adopted by Western civilization were first created and recorded by ancient Mesopotamian observers , with some aspects possibly being derived from Egyptian sources
The Foundation of Myth: A Unified Theory of the Link Between Seasonal/Celestial Cycles, the Precession, Theology, and the Alphabet/Zodiac
Part II by Brian R. Pellar
From its possible rudiments in the upper Paleolithic caves of France, to its roots in Neolithic Catalhoyuk, to its complex later stages in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Rome — here is Part Two of this great story.
The Broad Shoulders of Giants
The title of the book is an ode to the great body of work compiled by alternative Egyptologist John Anthony West. West’s book, The Serpent in the Sky, is also in many ways a continuation of the highly under-valued yet significant research of French Egyptologist R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, who discovered the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt, to be a life-sized walkthrough of the biomechanics of the human anatomy. The monumental structure that is the Temple of Karnak was subsequently and aptly dubbed by de Lubicz, The Temple in Man.ii The Spirit in the Sky draws on the insight of de Lubicz and West, by seeking to unite outer space with inner space, science with religion, and more importantly, humankind.
Since the writing of this article, two pronouncements from within the academic realm that are relevant to what is written by the author here have been made. First, the official death of ‘Clovis First’ and the ascent of the maritime ‘Kelp Highway’ model for the peopling of the Americas marks mainstream recognition of the maritime capabilities of Palaeolithic peoples. Second, the replacement of the single ‘Out of Africa’ model of human evolution with the multiple migratory model has shifted the scope of academic enquiry into human origins from Africa to Australasia and Southeast Asia. Mainstream academia now officially recognises hominin migrations as complex webs of interbreeding and genetic introgression, with the initial migration of humans occurring—if Out of Africa—approximately 60,000 years earlier than previously thought. These findings are highly significant to our understanding of human origins, and augment the mapping of history with lore in this article in ways on which the reader is invited to ‘comment’ below.
A Door to the Past
Nuances arising out of contemporary research of the human genome begin to sound esoteric. Archives of ancient DNA teased out of fossils have revealed unknown subpopulations or “ghost tribes” of ancient human groups, species long vanished from the face of the Earth but who continue to unfold in us, their modern human descendants. The discovery of substantial remnants of Denisovan DNA within Melanesian, indigenous Australian peoples, in addition to a more elusive dash detected within Native American populations, has contributed new initiatives to the sat nav of genetic migration and to a possible cultural memory following those same trails.
Located in the winding river Anui Valley of the Altai range of Siberia, the Denisova Cave and its larger archaeological park borders a disputed territory between the highland steppe of Soloneshensky district and the more mountainous Altai Krai to the southeast. Set within this timeless land of waterfalls, bosky hills, grottos and mineshafts, Denisova Cave has yielded a treasury of stunning palaeoanthropological finds, in addition to a new species of human set to cause a scientific tsunami.
Known to indigenous peoples as Bear’s Rock (Ayu-Tash) after a shaman whose spirit animal was a particularly wrathful bear, Denisova Cave was renamed after an 18thcentury Christian mystic called Dionisiy/Denis, who took refuge there. Over the course of 2008–2016, an ornamental crystal bracelet, a marble ring, and a bone sewing needle radiocarbondated to 40,000 to 50,000 years old, were found in the cave. The bracelet is set to be re-dated to a stupendous 60-70,000 years before present, which for finely crafted human jewellery (rather than weapons and tools) outreaches times deemed catalysts in the emergence of the modern mind by decamillennia. Small hinges open big doors. In 2008, a fragment of a finger-bone of a juvenile female who lived approximately 41,000 years ago was excavated there. The DNA extracted from this fossil belonged to an unknown human species, dubbed “X-woman”.
The fact that these stars are known as the Seven Sisters by natives of Siberia, North America and Australia cannot be considered an extraordinary coincidence. This exact designation, for example, is not consistent with the cultures of other times and places who personified this star group in very different ways. The gendering and numbering of the star cluster as seven women by these disparate peoples can be explained by there being a system of astronomical knowledge existent before the peopling of Australia and America. This correlation was noted by the Russian palaeohistorian Boris A. Frolov decades before the Denisovans were coined and discovered, and before the evidence that revises the peopling of these continents was published:
…mention of the American Indians’ observations of the Pleiades, which they called the Seven Sisters, involves an interesting question, for exactly the same name was traditionally used for the Pleiades by the aborigines of both Australia and Siberia, and a similar image of the Pleiades is found in the mythology of ancient Greece. While it seems quite impossible to see in this fact a mere coincidence, there is room for only one supposition: observation of the Pleiades and their denotation by the image of seven sisters pre-dated the populating of America and Australia. In other words, these observations and ideas must have been formed and transmitted by nonliterate Paleolithic hunters.
Frolov’s proposal—that these stars were interpreted as seven sisters by the aborigines of diverse regions, implying that this identity pre-existed the peopling of North America and Australia—was not challenged by the scientific community. This is surprising, given that when Frolov articulated his observation over thirty-five years ago, the notion of a shared description of a star cluster—one that had originated with Palaeolithic inhabitants of Siberia before its dispersal across distanced lands—would have been rejected. The dominant conception of that time held that hunter-gatherers before 10,000 years ago were a brutish, “primitive” lot outcast from influencing the rise of civilisation. The only astronomical inclination that model would have allowed would have been a wild howling at the moon. Though such views are incompatible with the picture painted by new findings today, they linger in cultural lags of knowledge idols and institutionalised dogma for quite some time.
The most popular image of the Pleiades, scientifically designated M45, is of the seven daughters of Atlas being pursued across the heavens by the galactic hunter Orion. Importantly, however, and as previously mentioned, not all peoples of diverse times and places identified this cluster as seven sisters, or as women at all. The Pleiades has otherwise been conceptualised as a sieve/net (Baltic); a spider web (Anishinaabe); jewels/camels (Arabia); a marketplace (Aztec); snakes/bovines (ancient Egypt); a granary (Peru); and a rattlesnake tail (Maya), and more. Since the Seven Sisters’ identification as seven women is very gender and number specific, Frolov’s anomaly is noteworthy—and in light of the genetic trails of Denisovan migration, even more so.
Reconstructing an “original” Siberian tale of the Seven Sisters is fraught with difficulty for obvious reasons, given the enormous 65,000-year window of millennia, and the episodic movement of people across the Eurasian Steppe over this period. Notably, however, the Pleiades is depicted differently in Western Siberian areas, but remains identified as seven sisters in the Amur River area east of Lake Baikal, and more significantly, by the Palaeo-Asiatic people who inhabit the extreme northeast of the Arctic Ocean’s Bering region, the former gateway to North America. Here, Orion has been a humpbacked hunter since his jealous wife (the Leo constellation) struck him for paying attention to the Pleiades women. Though the specific, domestic violence detail of this Arctic version meets no known parallel in North America or Australia, it identifies Orion as a hunter and the Pleiades as women. This, along with other ethnographic examples, situates the Pleiades in a former Palaeolithic space narrative of a Cosmic Hunt in which Venus, Orion and Ursa Major feature pivotally as co–star groups, fragments of which continue to play out in Siberia, North America and Australia today.
Berger had long tried blogging to popularise science, and teamed up with John Hawkes to build up a following. Earlier, Australopithicus (Southern Ape Man) Sediba was on the cover of Science three times, and the lay public took an interest.
Then Berger hit the paleo jackpot at Rising Star cave system near Greensleeves. The cave had been known to the local club for 50 years, but had not attracted hominid fossil specialists. Here are many fossil skeletons, often complete, not just teeth and fragments as before.
For the first time, the number of fossil skeletons outnumbered the scientists studying them. There used to be a 1% chance of finding something, like the tooth that Berger found in the West Rand Cradle two weeks after arriving in South Africa 26 years ago. The second tooth he had called “scientific gold that I could build a career on”. But finds and funding dried up. Berger doggedly mapped his finds by GPS and against Google Earth. He discovered that the early data were wrong, and the new data led him to fossil caves.
“At Malapa, it took my young son only 90 seconds to find the first piece of fossil.” The odds improved. Then they hit the fossil ‘lottery’ in Rising Star caves.
Did Homo Naledi meet early modern humans, of whom known records start about BC 100 000, at Klasies River, Border Cave, and elsewhere in Africa? Some critics think people ate ape and monkey brains, and threw the bones down erosion traps, from where a flood or two washed the light bones down, over a gravel trap, to the deepest part of a cave where no large animals ever went (see critic’s warnings against popular evolutionary assumptions below).
Thanks to Ghostwheel for stimulating comment in previous essay.
Let’s see if my battered being can produce something that resembles a coherent, even vaguely relevant, line of thinking. 🙂
It’s a struggle, I admit, but this is what I do, so I’ll press on as best I can, fwiw.
My suspicion is that Stefan Molyneux is exhausted after his massive Christmas parade of interviews, most of which I have not watched. More generally, I do not agree with his emphasis on reason and logic, what he calls the art of the argument.
Not to say that I am AGAINST reason and logic, but that life, the world, the universe, is extremely weird and complex, and I’m far more amenable toward Jordan Peterson’s position, which is imo coherent and logical, but which also takes into account (mostly via Freud/Jung) that much of human behaviour is driven by unconscious forces which we barely comprehend at all.
If it where possible to predict any given person’s behaviour and reactions toward any given situation, then economics would be an exact and precise science. But humans are weird. They do all kinds of crazy things for all kinds of crazy reasons that make no logical sense. Much less like the mechanics of billiard balls, much more like herding cats.
On the whole, human beings do NOT think and behave rationally and logically. We are animals, of a peculiar and special kind, and motivated by a huge range of impulses and inhibitions, and even the wisest and most learned scarcely have a clue as to what really drives them at deeper levels.
Which is good, at least in some ways, because otherwise we’d be no different to motor cars. Merely machines. Sadly, many humans lack or lose that special quality, which might be called a soul or spark of divinity, and are then little different to automata.
You know, every day I’m zooming in here, focussing on the gossip and twittering of the millions of humans, it’s a constant firehose of reactions and commentary, as in ancient Greece, the concerns of the masses in the marketplace. One day the major topic might be the price and scarcity of eggs and the weather, the next day it’s about a sex scandal or whether to go to war with a neighbouring tribe. It never stops.
I’m old and ill and much closer to the end of my life than to the beginning. I’m mostly just observing. I don’t have hopes that anything much can be changed for the better. I think that if you zoom out and get a broader perspective, an historical overview, looks to me that humans are much like the social insects. Ants, bees, termites, etc.
Partly why I like Jordan Peterson. He noted that we share some neurological circuitry and neurochemistry with lobsters, dating back 600 million years or something like that.
Of course, there are zillions of humans who have never understood or even heard of biological evolution, and some educated ones who don’t accept it (Jay Dyer ?) but imho it’s the best explanation for the evidence that we observe, although of course, not complete, and much remains to be understood and clarified.
Which is why I like Jordan Peterson so much, because he has explained how supposedly ‘non scientific’ material, like myths, and religious beliefs and experiences, can be understood through a psycho-analytic lens and thus hooked up to our biological heritage. Thus the gap between art, myths, religion, politics and physics, chemistry, biology, can be bridged.
There are honey bees that live in the roof of this house. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for them, there’s no way for me to get at their honey without doing a lot of demolition, which would then have to be repaired.
They are mostly no problem to me, so it’s ‘live and let live’, but once or twice every year they get into a frenzy and for a few hours the air all around the house is full of them, making a strikingly loud noise.
This is what’s called swarming, when a new queen decides to leave the hive to seek a fresh site for a colony somewhere.
Amongst the almost countless species of insects there are many variations on this theme. The zoologist E.O. Wilson has studied the social insects and written some good books. Pretty much every kind of behaviour that can be observed in humans, can also be seen in the social insects. They have stratified soceities with division of labour, they grow crops, they have soldiers and guards, they go to war and take slaves, and so on.
So, one way, although obviously not the only way, to understand our human behaviour, is to zoom out and take a sort of God’s Eye perspective, and then we see that many, many human soceities go through some kind of revolutionary spasm, where dissatisfaction with the status quo overwhelms restraints.
Imo, one of the great triumphs of democracy, following ancient Greek ideas, was to develop social systems which could continually adjust, so that the pressure for explosive revolution was constantly dissipated.
I consider that was good, because, generally, revolutionary upheavals are ghastly. The streets fill with bloody corpses and many innocent people suffer terribly. It appears that it is much easier to open the gates of Chaos, of Hell, than it is to build a Heaven upon Earth, so to speak.