Conditions for civilisation

Conditions for civilisation

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We have the Australian "Crocodileman" on several TVchannels at this time. Whether he catch a crocodile or a scorpion it looks like the same technique. I come to think of that the human male often wants to show his superiority over all beings on earth. No other animal on this earth does the same to other beings. I think most of that attitude is pure cultural manners and stronger in some cultures than others.

In a special programme they told he was a hyper active child. He was always on the run for catching something. He always wanted to show his dad and mom how brave he was as if he did not get enough attention from them. Maybe they were so bored by all his "showing up" that they did not really care and maybe it was much like a reflex for him to show his braveness. Anyhow he continues the rest of his life in that style.

I write this as pure description of a type man when he is as most intensive. As I see it he has done much to save the crocodile and other animals in Australia and maybe he influences the entire world. But I do not like his style and I do not like the American style when they make "dangerous animals" out of the most. The only dangerous beast is the Man with big M. It is about cultural attitude.

When we generalise we have to go after the majority occurrence: Then I cannot see that the early civilisation was showing up His superiority over animals. As I see it was quite the opposite. Our ancestors show great respect for animals and the domesticated animals are like members of the family. To create words and concepts they looked for qualities in animals they still used such language in my childhood. We have to note this difference between our ancestors and us before we start analyses of any kind.

The nature-man feels that he is united with nature and he is "in ban" with everything I feel with him since in certain condition I feel that I draw in the entire nature by deep breath when I am in a birch wood or pine forest. General rule with beings is that if you respect them they respect you. We have much evidence about man measuring the world starting from himself. We have the definite measures of foot, thumb, ell (forearm) and more. In our rock carvings we see that he relates the outer world to his body.

On rock carvings we see pairs of feet with a cupmark in left toe for spring and in right heel for autumn. That is calendar marks and we have to imagine the heavenly round to know what they mean. Some of them are oriented after the cardinal directions and that is necessary to orientate in nature as well as in the sky. Next step is when you build some stable ritual place and need the cardinal directions as start.

It is also convenient to build one's house after some "normal rules". In Scandinavia it must have been best to have the door in south to avoid the cold winds from north. That principle and the cardinal directions are older than civilisation. Our word "south = syd = SE-UD = look out" maybe tells about that. As builder one learns soon that it is wise to start with a foundation in water since a building live with the climate. The bigger building the more care. Their worldview was wholeness and living in space-time so many aspects were involved in everything.

It is also convenient to build one's house after some "normal rules" that make it easier to know one's place in the near world as well as in universe. That is also why the settlement set up a pole "bo-pole" in Scandinavian. From that you go outward on earth as well as in sky. Since "time is going" you need a stable "heel-stone" to the pole from where the observations are made. Some use ritual places while other maybe use the chimney on the motel as pole and some fixed place for observation.

In archaeology they often idolise stony civilisation maybe it is easier to find. But as soon as they put some quality in the concept "civilisation" they could be out in the blue. Very often stony cities are occasional. We have plenty of ruins around the world. In Europe some of the big cities are polluting air as well as ground. So in time it would be hard to live and they cannot grow crops and raise animals near big cities. We also know that the technical civilisation over-consume nature in far places like rainforests, coral reefs and whole islands. Archaeology should give us the arguments for not idolising city cultures if we want to learn something from our job.

For instance the Anasazi culture in Colorado bloomed for short around medium 1066 AD. There are many speculations about "Why did they do all this work?" Some think that the Hale comet scared them in 1066. In Europe we have literature from the time that mentions it and it is shown on the tapestry from Bayeux. But no real story tells it scared off the entire population. Mankind has studied the night sky for millions of years and nothings should be real news.

Once I heard an assembly of Swedish scientists in TV telling that Stone Age people were scared by heavenly phenomenon. That is why they build arrangements with big boulders. There are no crystal globes telling about the past and I do not like to speculate and make the wrong image of people from those days. That is why I concentrate on the real problems that put food on table. The world and universe is naturally like chaos. The wisdom of our ancestors was not to bring order but to show paths and means for time path of the settlement.

The combination of the pole and the stone circle showed people to follow the star, sun and moon on the time path or yearly round. The Sumerians knew their limits and marked the time space we have to think about and care for to get a good living modern archaeologists and astronomers do not stop but ask for cosmology in the Sumerian thinking. I cannot see there was much of it in their literature. We cannot measure them with our own frames.

Stony civilisation develops from the possibility to feed a big population in a small space. Soon the need for organisation creates specialists that fight for their own living space. Maybe they besides the necessary organisation develop rituals only they know. That can lead the local civilisation in wrong direction as for instance the Moche, Aztecs and in some sense even the adobe culture. The harsh environment was too risky for a great population I think.

My friend Dar sent me a book "Prehistoric Astronomy in the Southwest" by J McKim Malvie and Claudia Putnam. You can find the same topic and more on http://www.hao.ucar.edu/public/education/archeoslides/index.html Anyway the book starts with the essential of practical astronomy and I comment that part in this short essay.

Catshaman 30 November 2001

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