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Ancient calendar


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#1    jmccr8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

Hi;

  I didn't know where to put this so I am just posting it here.

  The beginning of time? World's oldest 'calendar' discovered

jmccr8


#2    Leonardo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:26 AM

I have doubts regarding the conclusion this is a calendar.

Typically, it was the move from hunter/gatherer to agrarian society that propelled the need to start measuring seasons. I would have to see a compelling reason for a hunter/gatherer society to need to measure seasonality before acknowledging this might be a calendar of sorts.

From the article:

Quote

Project leader Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, comments: 'The evidence suggests that hunter gatherer societies in Scotland had both the need and sophistication to track time across the years, to correct for seasonal drift of the lunar year and that this occurred nearly 5,000 years before the first formal calendars known in the Near East.

It's not enough for the Professor to simply claim there was a need, he has to demonstrate what this need was.

I would not completely exclude the possibility this is some sort of calendar based on this, but I would suggest that conclusion is doubtful.

Project leader Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, comments: 'The evidence suggests that hunter gatherer societies in Scotland had both the need and sophistication to track time across the years, to correct for seasonal drift of the lunar year and that this occurred nearly 5,000 years before the first formal calendars known in the Near East.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...lendar.html#jCp
Project leader Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, comments: 'The evidence suggests that hunter gatherer societies in Scotland had both the need and sophistication to track time across the years, to correct for seasonal drift of the lunar year and that this occurred nearly 5,000 years before the first formal calendars known in the Near East.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...lendar.html#jCp
Project leader Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, comments: 'The evidence suggests that hunter gatherer societies in Scotland had both the need and sophistication to track time across the years, to correct for seasonal drift of the lunar year and that this occurred nearly 5,000 years before the first formal calendars known in the Near East.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...lendar.html#jCp
Project leader Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, comments: 'The evidence suggests that hunter gatherer societies in Scotland had both the need and sophistication to track time across the years, to correct for seasonal drift of the lunar year and that this occurred nearly 5,000 years before the first formal calendars known in the Near East.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...lendar.html#jCp

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#3    third_eye

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:28 AM

people has been observing the skies for a long long time ... they might not understand it like we do but that does not means they don't understand the intricacies of the connections of signs in the sky with the changing of the seasons ...

they might use terminology different from us today but in the end it mostly means the same things ... if you expect a fish to climb trees to be a better fish then one is a lesser man of poor intelligence ...

an 'eclipse' to us might be a referred to as a 'moon eaten by Jojo the evil wolf' its just a different way to describe the same phenomenon

~edit - typonese attack

Edited by third_eye, 04 January 2014 - 11:30 AM.

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#4    lightly

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:28 PM

View PostLeonardo, on 04 January 2014 - 10:26 AM, said:

I have doubts regarding the conclusion this is a calendar.

Typically, it was the move from hunter/gatherer to agrarian society that propelled the need to start measuring seasons. I would have to see a compelling reason for a hunter/gatherer society to need to measure seasonality before acknowledging this might be a calendar of sorts.


   This made me think .... how about a need to know when various foods are ready to gather ?  It's a long walk to the blueberry patch... but, they're  Always 'out'  by the 'time'  the sun rises   (here).   And the fish are always in the stream  by the time it rises  (here) . etc. etc.

Some animal movements too can be predicted by  knowing  what time of year it is .. allowing hunters to be in the right place at the right 'time'.

I can see how measuring  "seasonality"  would be a valuable survival skill for hunter/gatherers.

One other reason might be simple curiosity? Grampa noticed that the sun rises between those two hills  twice a year...   every year.   Grampa was always curious  ,, and really smart!

Edited by lightly, 04 January 2014 - 12:30 PM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#5    Leonardo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:57 PM

View Postlightly, on 04 January 2014 - 12:28 PM, said:

   This made me think .... how about a need to know when various foods are ready to gather ?

That is indeed the reason the article gives as to why the conclusion is this was a calendar, but I don't find that reason compelling or even likely. The earliest example we have of a lunar calendar discovered prior to this, as the article states, dates a full 5,000 years after the alleged date of this monument.

There is nothing inbetween - at least that we have discovered.

So, if it was so important for hunter/gatherer societies to build calendars, where are the rest of them?

We shouldn't expect to find all of them, but they should be fairly common - as there were a lot of hunter/gatherer communities - so we should find a few.

I suspect this is a case of the disoverers wanting to find "the earliest" of something, and have arrived at the conclusion of a calendar without considering it's isolation.

I'm not saying this might not be a site connecting with the moon in some respect, but the reason they have given for basing their conclusion of a calendar upon it is very weak, imo.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."  - J. Robert Oppenheimer; Scientific Director; The Manhattan Project

"talking bull**** is not a victimless crime" - Marina Hyde, author.

#6    lightly

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:18 PM

Good points Leonardo. I'm thinking the sky itself  (sun/moon/stars)  was the real calendar.. the  annual appearance of a certain star on the horizon, for instance,  might have signaled the 'time' that  herds of whatever arrived in certain locations  ..  and so on) no real need to make a representational copy of it with rocks or whatever?

  There may have been more of them  of varying complexity ...  hard to determine if  these 6 rocks in an arc  were a calendar?

Maybe  Grampa just wanted to build a calendar...  because in addition to being curious and smart, he was sort of a show off  and wanted to impress the tribe...   election time is coming up after all  lol.

Edited by lightly, 04 January 2014 - 01:31 PM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#7    Leonardo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:36 PM

View Postlightly, on 04 January 2014 - 01:18 PM, said:

Good points Leonardo. I'm thinking the sky itself  (sun/moon/stars)  was the real calendar.. the  annual appearance of a certain star on the horizon, for instance,  might have signaled the 'time' that  herds of whatever arrived in certain locations  ..  and so on) no real need to make a representational copy of it with rocks or whatever?

  There may have been more of them  of varying complexity ...  hard to determine if  these 6 rocks in an arc  were a calendar?

Maybe  Grampa just wanted to build a calendar...  because in addition to being curious and smart, he was sort of a show off  and wanted to impress the tribe...   election time is coming up after all  lol.

Or maybe the people living there practiced some form of lunar worship and the site is of religious significance. That it might be interpreted as a calendar would then be purely coincidental.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."  - J. Robert Oppenheimer; Scientific Director; The Manhattan Project

"talking bull**** is not a victimless crime" - Marina Hyde, author.

#8    lightly

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:24 PM

A reasonable idea.     One consideration, sort of left out of my scenario,  might be that if they were mobile groups , following animal movements and food harvest times,  would they be in one spot for an entire year to mark out any sort of calendar?   Maybe not ,  but if it were a 'camp'  that they returned to annually or cyclicly , a calendar in that location would make sense?
    'calendars'  in multiple camp sites would also make sense?    ... dunno...    I just don't see why they wouldn't have marked the movements of the heavenly bodies.. for whatever reasons.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#9    third_eye

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:37 PM

Remember ... the human race was nomadic for a greater part of that millennium ~

He who postpones the hour of living rightly ... is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out ... before he crosses.
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#10    Leonardo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:36 PM

View Postlightly, on 04 January 2014 - 02:24 PM, said:

A reasonable idea. One consideration, sort of left out of my scenario,  might be that if they were mobile groups , following animal movements and food harvest times,  would they be in one spot for an entire year to mark out any sort of calendar?   Maybe not ,  but if it were a 'camp'  that they returned to annually or cyclicly , a calendar in that location would make sense?
'calendars'  in multiple camp sites would also make sense? ... dunno... I just don't see why they wouldn't have marked the movements of the heavenly bodies.. for whatever reasons.

That's kind of why I made the point I did. That hunter/gatherers tend to "follow the season", as it were, renders the creation of a calendar to mark seasons a wee bit obsolete.

Of course, no group would have unlimited range, so "following the season" might be fairly limited - especially for a group up in Scotland. Groups would have fairly regular travels, with presumably regular stops. So maybe this site demarks one of the particularly important stops in the regular travels of a group of hunter/gatherers. Not a calendar, but denoting a significant place/time - maybe with religious, or quasi-religious, overtones.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."  - J. Robert Oppenheimer; Scientific Director; The Manhattan Project

"talking bull**** is not a victimless crime" - Marina Hyde, author.

#11    jmccr8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:46 PM

Hi Leonardo,

  I am not proposing that it was a calendar,I saw the article and thought that it might be of some interest.We really don't know what life was like in this region at that time in history,apparently there was and abundance of fauna in that region at that time things probably changed when the land bridge was submerged restricting the movements of both fauna and ancient man creating different tool sets for survival.

  Replica of 10,000 year old mesolithic dwelling built by UCD experimental archaeologists on campus

  When groups are isolated they are forced to adapt or die,it may have been a calendar or a religious site,I don't know.There may have been other sites like this that have been cleared for cultivating crops in more recent times,or possibly others may exist in areas like Doggerland as I have seen articles that have said that there are Mega-liths underwater there.

jmccr8


#12    Leonardo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:22 PM

View Postjmccr8, on 04 January 2014 - 06:46 PM, said:

Hi Leonardo,

  I am not proposing that it was a calendar...

I'm not suggesting you were, jmc, and thanks for posting the article. :tu:

Even if I think the conclusions of the academics involved were based on what I see as unsubstantiated assumption, it's still an interesting piece.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."  - J. Robert Oppenheimer; Scientific Director; The Manhattan Project

"talking bull**** is not a victimless crime" - Marina Hyde, author.

#13    jmccr8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:24 PM

Hi Leonardo,

  Thanks,and yes I agree that unless they find a similar formation that their proposal is speculation.I don't know if you read the link that I gave in post#11,at the end of the article there is another link that is quite interesting about Stone age hunters used the environment to improve standard of living.I guess I could have added the link myself,but I generally assume that if readers are interested in the subject that they will read other links that are attached to the article. ;)

jmccr8


#14    lightly

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:06 AM

Hi j,  Yup,   Interesting article and links.   I think there are other examples of  environmental manipulation being found too.. from earlier dates than previously known of.

That link talks about how some of those same people   adapted to and remained in that area  through big environmental changes.   Which means that,  yes, people were "nomadic" .. but,  as this group demonstrates,  probably usually didn't move around any farther than they needed to .  ?

    ...  those marking stones  might not be considered a  "calendar"   but seem to mark  positions of the sun and moon?
... sounds sorta like a calendar .       I dunno.. my imagination far outpaces my education .   Interesting stuff though.

Edited by lightly, 05 January 2014 - 01:12 AM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#15    jmccr8

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:36 AM

Hi Lightly,

  Yes it would seem reasonable that the formation would have some significance to an orientation to the sun or moon as this type of symbolism is repeated throughout time by many ancient peoples and later cultures.Even Neandertals would travel to specific routes taken by migratory herds of deer to take advantage of the ease of hunting during these seasonal migrations,so it may be possible that this was some form of recording optimum times for hunting and gathering.Of course I myself am not that informed about ancient traditions so all I can do is speculate based on what practices were employed by some ancient hominid groups that have been studied and published.

  If the population base was small enough there would not be much competition for resources and group movement over greater distances would not be required if there was an abundance of local fauna. Given that they were taking advantage of plant resources as well especially if they were modifying their environment to allow for better development of said plant production would seem to me to indicate that they could/would try to develop more permanent lodging and lifestyle,allowing them more time to develop social/religious aspects of life.

jmccr8





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