Time-law Symbols 1
Our image of ancient times is coloured by the great cultures in south. Then we have to scale it down to sparsely populated wilderness in Europe. The environment is different and so even the night sky and that have to be explained with different symbols.
petroglyph, rock-carvings, ban, boats, cattle-rising, agriculture, flint stone, Mother Earth, Laussel cave, cave symbols, pollen curve, afterlife, Egyptian sickle, snake, serpent, time wheel, cupmark, flying footprint, feet, collegium of sevenTime-law Alta | Calendars | Time symbolising 1 | Time symbolising 2 | Time symbolising 3 |Symbols 1 | Symbols 2 |Symbolising 1 | Symbolising 2 | sitemap | home |
Scaling down society
Firstly a couple of words about terms. Americans use mostly the Greek term petroglyph while Europeans use the descriptive rock-carvings. Greek "glyph" = carvings in Oxford Dictionary "sculptured character or symbol" and it is singulars. In the field we mostly see pluralistic images and that is why I generally use the plural word "rock-carvings. My personal feeling is to use pure English as long as possible
About the Egyptians I wrote that it seemed they were taken of their own messages to a virtual world leading their life intensively. It was in the culture and in the message everywhere on temple walls and sometimes many other walls, as we do not know what the houses were like.
Experienced Egyptologists have said the same. They feel like being in two worlds. And then those eyes everywhere ... images or symbols or in the mind of man. They were symbols of the eyes of Horus, the Time and were sun and moon ... as the all-seeing Mights.
However, it is up to human nature to be the sceptic and lazy. How can we know what Egyptians overall thought? We can only know what they did and that is often a different thing.
Still, when the nation, sorry, the two united lands had created the traditions and the bureaucracy, everything went on and on while the pharaohs and the nobility kept the cauldron boiling. It became natural to be in the show and let the show go on since it gave food on the table. The late millennium BC shows that life could go on with fewer spectacular outfits.
Our commercial people have some difficulties in understanding that consumption creates ever more problems and we could do with less. In fact we are just at this time creating a mass consuming mirror of the Egyptian culture.
I will rather not speculate in the mind of the European man then. We have to scale down to our small villages. That means to take away the temples, priests, large-scale rituals and monuments and the eyes and symbols everywhere.
Then compare with small villages with just a pole and no other manifestos in sight. If they had, it might be a common place for a folkland and many small villages. They simply had nothing to feed their imagination.
Nature people as they were, they had no fear of nature as they knew it. Fears came with cities and people seldom visiting the nature. That conclusion seems reasonable up to my evolution from a nature boy to a city-dweller. I have never feared anything and if, I know it should be the man ... and perhaps myself.
For me seeing the concrete manifestos of people 4000 years ago is easy. We have a little more than hundred slab cists in our province. Most of them are along the Lake Vaenern as it is lowland with good possibilities for cattle-rising and a little agriculture or gardens in those days.
The estimation about how many used the same cist varies from one family to several and what do we mean when we say a family? Does it mean two adults with children or a clan with several other members including the old generation? The cists are of a size that they needed to be a little tribe when they build them.
The cists are spread as if they divided the cult area in suitable pieces of land about 25 square kilometres each. This was about the average size needed for a family clan to get whatever they needed from nature. We can speculate in cult areas with about 15 cists each up to the landscape and where they are.
Evenstorp is the natural centre for a cult area with a few hundred adults implied. There could not have been a big mysterious cult as some Big Mouth would easily have discovered the naked Caesar. In a large crowd no one dare to say anything if not too hard pressure.
Archaeologists tell us that they needed about 10 skins a year per person to get clothes. That was perhaps if they had no other means to make clothes. The relativity is also that the animals at the time were small as for instance the cows about 105 cm at shoulder.
They were a little bigger during the 17th century and then the means had increased with more vegetable fibres in use. A normal household of two kept 4 cows, 1 heifer, maybe 1 horse, 1 ox, 2 sheep, 2 goats and 1 pig. On Dal the cattle-breeding were always the main tasks.
My imagination about rural customs in ancient times builds on my own experiences in childhood, during my mobile years and from what I have read about old customs on Dal.
Once my foster-father in spring took me to our little workshop on the farm. He showed me his flint axes found on the farm and told me that if it should be right the first fire in spring should be lit with flint stone.
I asked him to show, but as always he was in a hurry and had much to do. He only showed me that flint could give sparks. Then I went to some neighbours whom I thought had time. But some had never heard about it and some admitted that hey did not know how to do.
I think it has been since Stone Age that children often ask too much. Many customs folks had heard about or thought should be done, however that was the limit. Everyday customs were simple symbol acts just to keep the year ritual in memory.
Folk memories tell that on Dal it was at least since Iron Age custom that when they let the small animals out in the spring they should "be born" between the legs of the "instead Mother Earth", the Lady of House. To mention the word "lady" is originally the one in care for the cows.
The same custom was used when Man of House went hunting "to another world". It was not meant for women if he went for the bear. I suppose some kept the custom to have the sight of Saturday evening in mind when he went to the woods.
They let cows out 18th May due to the ritual calendar. Some made something with flint over their back as protection symbol if the two or four-legged wolves had something in mind they should know where the old flint was. On our rocks we see that the fields were "sacred" by cutting out a living space for them. Already in Bronze Age the symbol act was a bow shot over the land.
In the first evening the cows were taken into their house and the herds got their meal with them. When waiting for supper they made "a rowan" as they said. It was a twig they decorated with what they had on hand and it was set on the dunghill. Then after the supper everyone came out and had a look at it and went to the neighbours to compare. The feeling of summer was there at last.
In rituals they encircled the field in a suite with a sacred idol. Christianity believed their cross or relic was more sacred than the image earlier or other religions used. It is always the question of to come in power and stay there. Cultures with equality, tolerance and forbearance are spared from that kind of struggle.
Then the cult feasts within a folkland were perhaps marking seasons and much like our midsummer feast around the Maypole or in other places around a fire. Some serious people maybe tries to make a speech, present some poetry, but first when everyone can sing within everyone feel belonging to the community. Whole the times there are those small restless ones, to have an eye on and tolerate. The thing was a meeting for the more legal part but in small folklands it was seldom a serious business.
I think they discussed crops in the caves in France when they made these figures on the walls.
They told the customs and rituals at home beginning with the small one who first learned about the dangerous world outside the farmyard. It kept most of the small beings inside the fences. Old women told mysterious tales about the outer world and mixed it with tales containing folk sense. Everyone knew how it should be. However, how they should carry it out was another thing.
Seriousness in rituals is much depending on if at the time a leading character is present. If the leader has a lively imagination, everything becomes livelier and the situation might catch many. That is relativity in time. We cannot give an overall picture of it, because it is a matter of the varying human being and the behaviour and fashion in time.
It is much a question about common feeling. H C Andersen tells us about the naked emperor and the Big Mouth spoiling the feeling and image. Some of us have the nature to believe what they tell us to see ... otherwise all magicians would be without food ... and many wars would never have been fought. That is because the leaders have to be a magician and demagogue getting people to risk their life for his aspirations.
Next picture belong to Scandinavians too because some of our ancestors surely came from the lowlands of France in pace with the ice leaving Scandinavia.
In the Laussel cave France we find the first picture including a symbolic act of the two aspects of pregnancy.
The picture is perhaps their abstraction of the embryo in their way of analysing beginning of life. It is the old tale about Inanna and Ereshkigal and we do not know if it is above or beneath earth. They are in a shell so it might be their analysis or knowledge about the uniting act between two parts. In practice it all happens in a woman's womb in the human world.
To our conventions an act like this is obscure and makes us think outside the issue. We have to seek the explanation in what it pictures and the understanding comes from the Sumerian logic.
They analysed the sequence of motherhood and dealt it in smaller bits. The first is the intercourse ... the next is pregnancy ... then weighing "live or not" ... then to cut of ... and lastly to breast feed and nurse. When two women are vulvas against vulvas, it is the jump from the lover to the bearer.
In rough language they speak about "the whore and the mother giving birth with pain". In my poetic mind that is a question about attitude. It is the best for all three parts including the unborn that the little one and the mother have the love around and is nursed all the way with care and positive expectations.
Too few artefacts
In symbolic language we see this act of intercourse in the connected BAN-symbols.
First a few facts about my choice of sources. We have often discussed it with Tommy, my mirror that in Swedish is few real books about archaeology. Then we mean a book about the entire field. In the last decade we have seen some new special books about some small areas in Sweden but no synthesis.
My last read book about the first five thousand years of agriculture is written by Welinder & Pedersen & Widgren. It tells why our sources are few. It is simply because the excavations were very few before the seventies. Before that for instance they had excavated only a dozen houses. The activities have increased about twelve times during the eighties and now we can begin to see the first sign of analysis.
Still, in Welinder's analysis we see that the statistical material is too little to build a true synthesis on. For instance one of his many statistical maps show the finds up to date of corn in Sweden. They are 1 find in Uppland, 5 in West Gautland, 2 in Halland and 13 in Skaane.
Less than a figure as 10 is no statistic up to my opinion even if we often make conclusions from only a few finds or occurrences. Some-thing is better than nothing, but then we have to know the uncertainty too.
The contrariety comes when we compare those figures to another map telling us about finds of flint sickles. Skaane is of course in the lead with 2519 pieces and the only province we really can tell about as a whole. Next come West Gautland, Bohuslaen 534, Halland 404 and little Dal 346 sickles while the rest of the provinces have less than 16 sickles except East Gautland 32 sickles.
Dal is on fourth place with not a single corn found and only a few excavations. It is natural that much of our conclusions are based on speculation. That counts for much of Sweden. If we want to know about farming and customs the rock carvings tell us much more than all excavations together. The exception is Skaane with a different climate than most of southern Sweden.
Maybe these cave symbols from France are more than 10000 years old. Some of them we understand immediately. They are all European heritage.
Direct act of ploughing in rock carvings we find only in four places in Bohuslaen and one in Vaestmanland and East Gautland each. To that we can add pictures of sickles and other symbols developed from tools. The ritual and astronomic carvings tell us a lot more.
Finds of Bronze Age sickles are much more up to estimable population with exception for East Gautland with only one find. Instead we have the remarkable carving at Norrkauping of an exact picture Egyptian bronze sickle.
Before the middle Bronze Age we cannot see any significant finds of growing crops anywhere outside Skaane. That is if we look only at the artefacts. Bronze sickles are found 109 in Skaane and 97 in other provinces and three of them from Dal.
Tying my more scientific conclusions to Dal is natural because of the quality of the carvings and that they are untouched. They have their own organised symbolic language and are mostly very pedagogic and easy to understand when we know about what they are. I concentrate much on the time about 2000 BC as I believe the most important is from that time. It was a time with a rise of civilisation in many places in Europe and Near East.
I have only one pollen curve from Dal which indicates agriculture for a few hundred years ca 2300 to 2100 BC. It is much alike a curve from Levene in West Gautland near an old Iron Age cultivated field.
We can add to that the excavations in the Haestefjorden project near Evenstorp and the synthesis made by the province museum. It tells about the slab cists and their contents. Then connecting the Evenstorp carving to a mission for agriculture is easy. The pollen curve is from the neighbouring parish on the other side of the low mountain. But we have also finds of sickles and cist there and that suggests a mission at the same time.
In my home parish we have finds from fourth millenium onwards. The cist period gave us relatively as many cists as in Fraendefors. We have 15 carvings with cupmarks but they are difficult to date. They are often near suitable fields for cultivation and then supposed to be signs of the "going to Underworld" ritual.
The carvings in Haugsbyn are from a period of 2500 years but with the Law from about the same time as Evenstorp. That dating is based upon the naked feet and the symbolism, which could match the early symbol languages in Near East.
All that means that I mostly concentrate on Dal. For now I only publish the interpreting I am sure about ... the rest is in the back of my head and I am still working on it. However, I leave the tools and vocabulary for others to work with.
This is supposed to be a synthesis and generalisation as model when looking at other provinces. Our real evidence is too local everywhere in Scandinavia and that means too poor to generalise from.
So we have to tie our conclusions to the localities. Otherwise, working with conclusion supposed to cover the entire Scandinavia would be difficult for later generations. That is if we make them from local facts believed to cover the entire area.
If someone is searching for signs of believing in an afterlife, I doubt they will find any. Then the subject must be tied to the gifts in the graves and they vary much in time. That kind of believes is for nobility and intellectual people. On the other hand we can surely find signs of reincarnation in the sense that the vegetative germs wake to a new life every spring. However, it reincarnates only in its own specie.
To admire and worship that yearly wonder is to worship life itself. When man began to neglect that worship, he began to neglect the environment and use it as a refuse heap.
This is Himmelstadlund 5C with the Egyptian sickle as cargo on the ship in the middle.
One possibility is that they show it as an invention new to the village. The other that it is used to show the time in the season when used. There is no doubt that it is culture import and then evidence for a connection and then with three possibilities a) a visitor from the South brought it, b) a local traveller brought it, c) they got it in second hand within Scandinavia.
In this particular case we need only one occurrence as proof. Usually we need to find the same phenomenon in several places before we can generalise. The cautious connect a single item only to the place were it is found.
Some of the uses of the boat or ship we can give a logic explanation. But others we have to leave to pure speculation with no real answer in sight. Once the sickle is Egyptian, we can ask if the inspiration to the boat type is from the Nile. Some boats are in negative and leave it open to ask if it is a boat from the "other side", which may be another season or below. Other solutions are the construction or another logic we cannot see.
Before we begin with the analysis of the symbols, I have to mention that we need one clear hypothesis. It is the presumption that we developed our languages with the same logic and in syllables as in most of the cultures in our part of the world. The other part is that we build our languages today on the presumed written language on the rocks. I find it obvious that the writing symbols were used in the same way as in "high cultures" as they name them.
Then it is another question, where is the step between them and us in time-space? It is nearer the Scandinavian tongue than the English because that language has taken much from the southern languages and old native languages. English is somewhat more "civilised or petrified" than the Scandinavian that has many of the old words still in use.
Ten thousands of generations have followed the night-lights and the daylights. The night sky is a chaos we cannot grip if we will orient us. It is too chaotic and it moves because we on earth are the relative stable reference. The genius of man was the prehistoric Ariadne thread.
Because some stars are more visible than others making figures easier to remember is possible. However they need something more and that is recording and keeping in mind. We cannot in a short time see the entire ecliptic and night sky. At the level of Near East including Egypt it is easier because the solstice is only a narrow band and vertical enough to show the entire orbit in 24 hours, if only we could see the stars in daylight. Then they have to keep a record to know nearly a year.
Snake or Serpent
The snake is a very good symbol for time and life at the same time. Originally it often symbolised the life-carrying womb of earth, animal or humankind were just the same. Christianity made fertility a sin and thus began the struggle against nature.
This section shows a mix of crossed circles, a wheel and snakes.
The big wheel I normally name time-wheel and it is picturing the entire year. In Norrkauping East Gautland two wheels are picturing the idea well.
On one half we can see seven different footprints as a planned season, while they were not interested in programming the other five moons and eleven days. This is more like a sun wheel with one spoke out of order marking the time for sowing.
The "field" is touching the chosen part and the cupmark marks "going to Underworld" where the snake develops the crops. It is connected to the Serpent symbol for the harvest. The wheels with symbols in two quarters explain what is happening before harvest "give in shell".
It seems that they organised this time-wheel in the "Norse way" with an empty boat at Ramadan. Beginning of season is at the cupmark in the field and Ramadan marked with two cupmarks as in many other places for instance in Babylon.
In another part of the carving we find this symbolism with three snakes.
It starts at the hand with Water-snake. From that rise the growing crops as a snake. Then the third snake is the corn that after threshing ends in the Urn. A snake is a dynamic picture of something living and growing in length and time.
Here we see two jointed snakes and two circles
A circle encloses a defined unit. The jointed snakes shows uniting in a defined time and we can suggest it mean "marriage" since it was an important icon in the rituals.
The word for a snake of that kind was perhaps ADDA which could be read "at then" ... it is easier in Danish "ad da" and the root is in English "ladder" meaning something bearing "at then". The inspiration to the solution I got from the Irish place name "Bunnan Addan" = "tied snake".
Here two addas whirl around and ends in two units. Because it may be about agriculture, we may suggest the solution Marriage of Underworld ... it is shorter than the 30-year war some women talk about.
This moon-round-junction is from rock 1 Haugsbyn where we in fact se two joints and two plus a little symbolise the moon year.
They do not show the longest but it is the summer half. Then at Ramadan they mark the Dog head with cupmarks and eleven days of the thirteenth month is jointed to even the moon year with a sun year. After that follows, the unimportant winter half marked with a double stroked symbol.
This is the same symbolism we find perhaps three thousand years later in two runic carvings from Viking Age.
This is clearly a snake with marked head and they mark the tail to show the end.
The abstract meaning is "something living a lifetime". They mark some snakes with a pair of horns and that is surely Water-snake.
This is surely Water-snake because in its connection they show it at the opening to Underworld. In the abstract sense it is the womb of Mother Earth.
In our time they have taught us to be afraid of snakes, mostly by Christianity however the Americans do their best to find all dangerous creatures on earth. They have never seen the worst by looking in a mirror.
Nature people were not afraid of even poisonous snakes, because they knew the rules in living along with everything in nature. Since they never mention snakes in other connections than in rituals they saw them not as dangerous creatures. That must be the conclusion. The health is silent.
From Rome and Greece we know that the snake was a symbol for defending the larder. It is about the same symbolising as above.
In my childhood they taught me about Adam Eve and the tempting snake and it was a very sinful picture. In some Sumerian seal it is a lovely picture and it is understood that the couple shall be together in love and the snake is a natural matter. Much of a successful life is depending on our attitudes. If we do not love the womb of Mother Earth, we never learn to take care of anything.
A circle is a defined enclosed unit and we can use it as a virtual world to refer to. From several sources I decided that the word for the circle must have been KR or KER. We need jointed syllables for a closed symbol. Then we find the syllable in Chronos/Kronos with the crooked thoughts as well as in Krets/Kreiz a Scandinavian and Germanic word for a closed circle. It can symbolise the sun too or anything, which is round and a closed unit. In Sumerian a circle in another means "a well" and it is a verb.
This carving is a territory claim not far from a slab cist and it shows one aspect of using circles.
We see four individual units and probably symbols for quarters. The little symbols in between "UR BAN" and is probably the Ramadan.
…This little figure is at harvest on the Evenstorp carving. I was not satisfied in seeing it as only a sickle.
Then I drew the figure symbolising quarters of year and got the inner figure in the shape of the shaft of the "sickle".
Surely our speculating ancestors had fun with the compass once they invented it. In Linear A on Crete it was a glyph. A squared model of the vault was initially easier to work with and the round model asked for more mathematics. However as always man create his own problems sometimes it is like an avalanche.
Here the position of the crossed circles might be important referred to the observing direction.
First we set the left symbol for the sun year and with one quarter marked. Then the other symbol has the diagonals in 45 degrees angle referred to the main directions. Thus it symbolises the four inner quarter marks February, May, August, November. In Egypt using February, as beginning of season was suitable, while at our latitude May was and is better as an average.
This might be an inspiring beginning in analysing the footprints. We can read it "The sun/moon in Aries at spring equinox". The flying footprint has only partly contact with earth and must symbolise "a flying one". It is not quite sure what the footprint symbolises, since to the picture belongs a little boat and a big cupmark is showing the opening to Underworld. Then it tells that at that time the spring was earlier than now.
This is surely the Naked. On the carving at Jaerestad 4 many footprints are surely drawn after wet feet. We know that about 2300 to 2000 the Naked was popular in Near East.
In inland we see increased agriculture then. So we can read the feet The Naked and as I formulated it they give The Law in Haugsbyn in her name about that time. In fact the law is older than that of Hammurabi but younger than many Sumerian laws.
The abstract meaning of something naked is whatever we may associate and find as synonyms for nakedness.
This negative footprint is clearly just a symbol and not picturing a foot of any kind. The full cut foot may show that it is under the surface or simply a sound within the logic for a footprint. BO or PO seems to be the best choice. Then leaving open for VO and FO as not frequent. In our Indo-European languages these four consonants are a gliding scale between dialects. Another aspect is that in logic they are expressing different strength sometimes.
For instance the series FA means often "without" or "not being", VA is "to be", BA is more precise and with strength "to be" and then PA is "on" and "a defined to be".
At Vitlycke I found in the toe of the big rock a little "text" a cupmark and a full cut footprint with the toe marked. Then I read it "This is BOTA/botaa", i.e. toe of the foot = village. That gives the entire rock another dimension.
The enclosure shows that it is an assembly and it counts seven members symbolised with different footprints.
I suppose this is the same as the Roman collegium of seven. Since the footprints are humanlike, it suggests that to be a village community instead of the idols in the sky. At least one similar is found in East Gautland.
This time-wheel is more pedagogic than the abstract wheel above. It is from Leonardsberg, East Gautland and shows that seven footprints occupy more than half of it.
On top is a footprint with the heel marked. In Sumerian it would mean "male", but here it is surely at the opening to Underworld. The heel is normally where the observer stands or begins. "To be a heel" is to follow or be subordinated. The heel was also the field while the toe was the living place. Here we note that there might have been two different ways to look at the round and that would only be natural.
About the time-wheel we can furthermore find that it was an important symbol in the Celtic culture. The motive "He with the wheel" is seen on Roman giant colons made from the time of Nero with mixed Roman and Celtic idols. The Gallic word CU ROI means "He the wheel" and the same is case with the Gaelic CU CHULAINN. Perhaps we also find the origin of ideas to German Rad/Rat and Scandinavian RAAD in this symbolism.
The Celtic feasts and Northern feasts of Aegir were the Ramadan when eleven of the star constellations are visible. But not Cancer and we remember that Hermod went to Hel to get back the fallen Balder, while Loke was teasing the assembly.
We can associate to a hidden story about the old Nordic league among the nobility in this part of the myths. Sumerians had early their own assembly at least in some cities as in Uruk with fifty members. In Scandinavian villages a collegium of seven as symbol was a suitable size and it corresponded to the seven months in summer and their aldermen. It is perhaps hidden in the stone circles with sevens stones. In other folklands they had perhaps nine stones and more seldom ten or eleven stones in the circle. We cannot prove this but it is a logic explanation to the structures we see.