The astronomer-priests of these late Upper Paleolithic Cultures understood mathematical sets, and the interplay between the moon annual cycle, ecliptic, solstice and seasonal changes on earth. Between and the early s, Alexander Marshack published breakthrough research that documented the mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the Late Upper Paleolithic Cultures of Europe. Marshack deciphered sets of marks carved into animal bones, and occasionally on the walls of caves, as records of the lunar cycle. These marks are sets of crescents or lines.
|Published (Last):||25 March 2017|
|PDF File Size:||13.60 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||14.87 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The astronomer-priests of these late Upper Paleolithic Cultures understood mathematical sets, and the interplay between the moon annual cycle, ecliptic, solstice and seasonal changes on earth. Between and the early s, Alexander Marshack published breakthrough research that documented the mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the Late Upper Paleolithic Cultures of Europe. Marshack deciphered sets of marks carved into animal bones, and occasionally on the walls of caves, as records of the lunar cycle.
These marks are sets of crescents or lines. Artisans carefully controlled line thickness so that a correlation with lunar phases would be as easy as possible to perceive. Sets of marks were often laid out in a serpentine pattern that suggests a snake deity or streams and rivers.
These small, portable, lightweight lunar calendars were easily carried on extended journeys such as long hunting trips and seasonal migrations. Hunting the largest animals was arduous, and might require hunters to follow herds of horses, bison, mammoth or ibex for many weeks. Other big animals such as the auroch, cave bear and cave lion were well known but rarely hunted for food because they had special status in the mythic realm.
The Auroch is very important to the search for earliest constellations. The phases of the moon depicted in these sets of marks are inexact. Precision was impossible unless all nights were perfectly clear which is an unrealistic expectation. The arithmetic counting skill implied by these small lunar calendars is obvious. The recognition that there are phases of the moon and seasons of the year that can be counted — that should be counted because they are important — is profound.
The reality of time factoring is objective physics and does not depend upon human awareness or consciousness. What Marshack uncovered is the intuitive discovery of mathematical sets and the application of those sets to the construction of a calendar. Objects used in the most potent rituals had the highest contextual, cultural value and were treated with great reverence. Continue reading about images of lunar notations with animal and mythic imagery here.
He was 86 and lived in Manhattan. The cause was heart failure, said his wife, Elaine. Marshack analyzed small incisions in plaques of bone, in southwest France, which dated from the Paleolithic Period, about 30, years ago, in the latter part of the last ice age. While most anthropologists and archaeologists interpreted the markings as decorative, Mr. Marshack found that the notches were carved at varying times using a variety of tools. Their groupings and sequences also seemed to record the waxing and waning of the moon. He concluded that the plaques were lunar calendars -- that humans were keeping records 25, years before the beginning of formal writing and almost 20, years before the start of agriculture.
Alexander Marshack, 86, Is Dead; Studied Stone Age Innovations
The Early Work of Alexander Marshack 1. Introduction Alexander Marshack was born in April, in the Bronx. He was rejected for military service that same year owing to severe allergies but served as director of publicity for the Red Cross in the mid-Atlantic area. After the war he continued his life as a journalist, branching out into radio- and later television-production and writing. He was also a skilled photographer and for several years worked for Life magazine. It was to deal with how human beings had come to the point of space exploration, including a projected moon expedition, and the technical problems involved with a lunar landing. See Paul G.
Roots of Civilization
Want to help write or improve biographies? Check out WikiProject Biography Tips for writing better articles. If so, it would be nice to mention that. Am posting it here. His theories about the beginnings of human notation, which eventually must have led to written language, seemed completely believable to me. Alex told me that no one could actually prove him wrong.. What interested me, as an animation filmmaker, is what he has discovered and postulated about the cave paintings of Europe.