WOODEN BOOKS (EIGHT DIFFERENT AUTHORS) — GLASTONBURY, UK — MEGALITH STUDIES IN STONE — 2018
This book is a very rich and extensive listing of sites and stones, plus just the same rich and extensive set of illustrations, photos, maps, and many other pictorial documents. These graphic extensions are more than half of the book, odd page after odd page, and some more.
The timeline is not that clear though the dates of the sites are all given. So, here is in chronological order what the book says.
Indo-European sites: Following the Indo-European migration from the Irani Plateau to Mesopotamia, Anatolia and then Europe via Greece or via the Caucasus and Central European plains. Note Gobekli Tepe was not yet under Indo-European control (Hittite empire, 1600–1180 BCE, but before the arrival of Indo-European people, and their presence increased to the point that they could take over the territory concerned in Anatolia) but occupied by Turkic people who arrived from Black Africa shortly before those who were to become the Indo-Europeans and the Indo-Aryans after the peak of the Ice Age. These Turkic populations moved into Europe as soon as 50,000–45,000 BCE. They are known as Cro-Magnon and the Gravettians, mostly. The Indo-Europeans started penetrating Western Europe with agriculture and their languages some time before 7,000 BCE. This migration will be fully active by 2,500 BCE as is stated by Professor Doctor Johannes Krause, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany, in his article “A massive migration from the steppe brought Indo-European languages to Europe,” https://www.mpg.de/9005184/humans-migration-indo-european-languages, We could think this is conservative and started a few millennia before. Archaeology does not consider the phylogenic time necessary to produce the material artifacts they are considering: to imagine, devise and produce may very well be a lot longer than we think.
Gobekli Tepe (Turkey) 9,500 BCE
Stonehenge (GB, wooden structure) 8,000 BCE
Carnac (Brittany, France) 6,200 BCE
Evora (Portugal) 6,000 BCE
Portega de Mogos (Portugal) 4,000 BCE
Vale de Meio (Portugal) 4,000 BCE
Avebury (GB) 3,200 BCE
Stonehenge (GB) 3,000 BCE
Non-Indo-European sites: Either in Semitic land or Afro-Asiatic land that will produce, among other things, Egyptian architecture (Oldest known Pyramid, Pyramid of Djoser, built circa. 2630–2610 BCE during the Third Dynasty, three dynasties to come there) and the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (built under King Solomon circa 970–931 BCE, well advanced in Israelian history, and destroyed in 567 BCE). Those architectures have little to do, if anything, with the circular pattern practically unique in the Indo-European tradition. Australia is obviously different (I won’t discuss it here) and the two sites in Semitic or Afro-Asiatic land (today) are the result of a very old occupation of Northern Africa in general by the first migration out of Black Africa at least 250,000 BCE, with a short foray into the Levant up to 80,000 BCE, retreat back to northern Africa (in general), then and only then coming back around 30,000 BCE, this time to stay.
Australia 9,000 BCE
Atlit (next to Haifa, Israel) 6,900–6,300 BCE
Nabta Playa (Nubian Desert) 5,000 BCE
This clearly shows that these circular structures were born in Turkic Hatti Anatolia and then integrated into Indo-European Hittite Anatolia and culture. The Afro Asiatic and Semitic traditions in these old times were not circular but square or triangular with pyramids and temples built on a clearly rectangular pattern. If some circles were integrated it would be on the side, marginal as a survival of a previous tradition recuperated from Middle East culture based on Turkic and Indo-European people.
But this chronological presentation shows clearly that Carnac is the oldest site in western Europe and that it moved to Portugal and England, then the British Isles, with the old wooden structure in Stonehenge only counting three massive timber posts erected five thousand years before the stone structure. These posts are Old European culture (Turkic) whereas the stone circles are Indo-European and you can follow the progress of the Celts in Europe. The Celts stopped long enough in the Rhine valley around Frankfurt to be able to devise their Ogham alphabet from the twenty trees they could find around them there, twenty trees whose initials became the alphabetic letters of this writing system. Note the Rune alphabet on the Germanic side worked exactly the same way by using the names of objects, weapons, tools, and gods whose initials determined the letters of their alphabet. Note too there are several versions of this Germanic Rune alphabet, including an Anglo-Saxon version in northern England. This method to build an alphabet was also used in the case of the Phoenician alphabet
That context is tremendously missing in this book and that would have brought up the case of the Hebrides that seems to be original and integrate an older culture: surviving Neanderthals or surviving merged Neanderthal-Old-European population. The key perhaps could come from the Picts who had a writing system, even if and even though it is undeciphered.
This being said we can now consider what the book exposes and exhibits on the culture of these Old-New Europeans in Great Britain. I will neglect Carnac which is the only other important case presented in the book, but too superficially to show much.
The first idea is that these stones are monumental and a challenge to any human group technically: cut them out of the rock, transport them, erect them and finally decorate them with carvings. Just these elements show the people are socially organized, strictly planified and very imaginative and mentally creative to be technically swift. We are here at the same level as the Easter Island statues. Even with dolmens, because the cover is like the cap of the Easter Island statues, balanced onto enormous supporting stones or statues. Today a crane on wheels can come and do it in a minute. But these people did not have cranes. In La Chaise-Dieu where a monumental (cathedral like) abbey church was built in the 14th century in the mountain at an altitude of more than 1,000 meters (3,000 feet), they have a pure earth hill further on that has nothing to do with the rocky structures of the mountains of the site. The locals call it the scaffolding because it is the earth that was accumulated on the side of the church in construction to bring up the stones, one after another, on top of the walls. That earth was removed later on. Archaeologist should think about this simple technique of our Middle Ages. If this technique was used (including for the Egyptian pyramids), we have to wonder where the earth went afterward. It is true that several Millennia would have eroded such a pile of earth quite a lot.
The second idea is that some sites include a cairn, a set of chambers entirely build with vertical walls and a flat stone ceiling, plus a lot of turf or smaller stones accumulated over the structure to make it kind of underground. This technique has to be compared with techniques that developed in Europe to build temples of all sorts later on. The vault came a long time later, the cupola too, and the Maya technique of two slanting sections supporting each other at the apex has nothing to do with a flat ceiling, flat roofs that we find in these cairns and dolmens. We can note these cairns are built on a horizontal surface along a straight line with alcoves on the sides of the main passage. The outside look of the cairn is generally oblong and not round because the structure is longer than it is wide. Yet these first two ideas should have brought the question of the meaning of this circular structure, circular pattern. It cannot be considered as purely entoptic since it is not present in many other architectural cultures in old civilizations or even primordial civilization. Note “primitive” is to be absolutely rejected here. We are in an extremely advanced civilization, and in fact at the crossing and meeting point of two such civilizations. We must keep in mind here that our European DNA is 75% Old European and only 25% New European. There never was a massive invasion or migration to Western Europe on the side of the Indo-Europeans. The Indo-Europeans may have brought the concept of stone building, erecting stone structures, but the circular concept was probably here before if we consider the three posts planted in Stonehenge 5,000 years before the rock structure.
The third element is the fact that we consider today these stones were all aligned on sun, moon, Venus events, rising or setting, with the absent phases concerning Venus and its appearing as the morning star or evening star. We are here in universal knowledge. Homo Erectus must have transmitted what he knew on the subject because to migrate long-distance any species has to have clear points indicating the direction they must go and those are the stars for one and the various magnetic, telluric or watery circulations they can feel or see. We find, in a completely different culture, among the Mayas, the very same triple construction(s) of cosmographic systems that become cosmological with three main luminaries: the sun, the moon, and Venus. Note the Christian Faith, and before it, Judaism, and after them both, Islam, the three Semitic-based monotheistic religions are the cultures that negate the importance of Venus and reduce in Genesis the sky luminous bodies to only two luminaries, with a side collective note ”and the stars.” This book gives a lot of indications on such elements but no explanation. These migrant people come to new territories where they find an older population that has done the same. Both can confront their knowledge and understanding of the world, both from more or less long memory, and from wood pillars, they move to rock constructions and they bring together their stellar knowledge of the sky and they can align the stones on important dates in the solar or lunar year, plus the Venus cycle too, to be able to know the seasons, the migrations of animals, agricultural requirements, etc.
They insist though lightly on another dimension: the consideration of death, of what death is, what happens afterward death, what essence does a human being have that could survive death and have a new life, what kind of communication the living could have with their ancestors, with the dead spirits of the tribe? The authors, of course, have a tendency to Christianize the subject and thus to think after death there is only the immaterial soul. Note the Mayas considered after death the surviving spirit of the dead person that is very material indeed, has to go down to Xibalba and confront the Gods of Death and vanquish them to win their full exit and merger with the vast cosmic energy of this world, living in the Upper celestial world and communicating, even helping, the living in the Middle human world. We do not seem to have such a complex vision in this civilization, but it has to be explored a lot more because the Christian consensus of a soul that departs forever could have erased a culture that developed long before this Christian orthodoxy was born.
That is what should sustain the effort to get some sense out of the carvings most of these stones carry. That’s the main shortcoming of ALL — nearly all — archaeologists who do not capture the simple idea that these human beings spoke various languages that were identificatory for each particular group, even if they had to be bi- or tri-lingual to survive. It is too simple to take the following two stands:
1- these forms are entoptic and thus come from the very architecture of our retina, eye, nervous system and are unconscious and meaningless;
2- these forms are meaningless since we do not know if they have referents at all or what these referents might be.
The authors do not refer to the shaman theory and only allude to some kind of rituals and priests. They consider these people as illiterate: they cannot write nor read. The authors are thus totally mistaken. These groups must have some visionary leaders who have guided the community on their long migrations, then who guide them now in their social life, in the erection of these stones, in the carving of the inscriptions (and that started a long time before Stonehenge or even Gobekli Tepe since we all came from Black Africa). If the stones are sacred only the certified elite can carve them, touch them, do anything to them. The authors’ vision of these people is that they are all savages, all equal, all doing the same things, etc. We are long after the Ice Age peak and already 60–80% higher as for the level of oceans, a phenomenon that is systematically in most cultures seen as a flood, or primeval watery universe like in Genesis. Hence only this elite knows what is meant by these carvings, but they can tell the people within special rites, and deictically demonstrate with their fingers, what the symbols mean and the story that is behind. It is a writing system comparable to that of the Sioux in Northern America who represented, on buffalo hides in some coded pictorial tale, the great episodes of their history. In fact, this use of such simple geometric patterns is a lot older and goes back to all cave paintings at least 50,000 years ago or even BCE. And it was not invented for caves. Caves protected these symbols and other paintings, but we know it was vastly used on outer surfaces that were not protected and it probably was used on biodegradable media that were easier to work on, and could be transported when going on a distant hunting mission or commercial “trip”. Imagine the stories that were told in the various communities where a Gravettian ivory Venus was produced by someone, and even after that, someone had departed from the community. Every detail had a meaning and a story.
It would be good to get ALL, absolutely ALL these inscriptions to some digitalization machine and then use some recent Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning technology to see what can be “seen” among these symbols. It is and it has to be a form of a symbolic coded writing system. All other attitudes could be compared to the rejection of Maya glyphs as writing by Sir Eric Thompson up to his death in the early 1970s. It was already proved false fifteen to twenty years before his death, but the main man behind the deciphering of Maya writing was Soviet and the main woman in the USA following this deciphering method had a Russian name. SO! This proves that, and the fundamentalistic research worker, knighted and all, was a fool. If we start from the hypothesis this is a coded form of writing, then we can ask the question: What are the recurring elements and what are their various environments? Then we can maybe start seeing some light ion this darkness. True enough, if this is writing then this is no longer prehistory. And good riddance, with this warped concept of “prehistory.” The history of humankind started with the emergence of Homo Sapiens 300,000 years ago. And mind you, the universe has a geological and cosmic history. As soon as time is considered in any phenomenon, we — both the universe and us — introduce history in the evolutionary process, because it is always an evolutionary process that has to be conceived and understood phylogenetically.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU