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Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 3:36 pm
by Komorikid
The Megalithic Empire was not an empire as we perceive it. They had no central authority but did have a common bond: maritime trade. They were the first true trading guild, an extended family if you will, that traded amongst their different clans as well as other cultures especially Egypt. They possessed intimate knowledge of astronomy, navigation and construction, which they jealously guarded, that enabled them to dominate for a very long period of time. They were members of a fractious group that sometimes fought amongst themselves yet still managed to dominate the sea.

Some of their group occupied the coastal regions of Northern Europe, others would eventually become the Classic Greeks, but the most dominant were those who inhabited the coastal cities.

They had harbours in Norway, Sweden, and The Baltic Coast, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain before any of these countries ever existed. In the Bronze Age their most prized possession was Britain from where they controlled the most precious resource of their time: TIN.

They dominated the sea and sailing for over two thousand years and with the skills they possessed they set out from their Atlantic shores and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Their knowledge enabled them to establish precise celestially fixed waypoints built in wood then stone to fix local time from a known prime meridian. And all of this was done before there was need for a written language.

Their sea captains and navigators possessed the knowledge of a spherical world and its division into degrees. They also had an instrument of sheer simplicity with which they could accurately determine latitude and longitude. They were superior astronomers who had charted the heavens and could steer by star, sun, compass, dead reckoning and accurate maps. They had a Time Zone reference datum to calculate global position and an accurate clock that still exist today.

The evidence is all there but only a few have had the foresight to piece it all together from the many clues they left. Almost all of them in stone. The most critical was discovered inside the Great Pyramid by Bill Grundy in 1878 and sent to Piazza Smith who recorded and sketched the items in his diary.

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 8:43 pm
by Mick Harper
Very interesting, Komoro, but who are "they"?

The one thing we know for reasonably certain sure, is that "they" built a system of stone structures that are "clustered" (the most neutral term I can think of) along the western littoral of Europe from the Orkneys to Morocco.

This has always struck me as clear evidence that the megalith-builders were an Atlantic-based and, as you say, an essentially maritime culture. On the other hand the historical population that best matches the distribution of the megaliths is the Goidelic- (Celtic)-speakers of western Britain-Ireland-France-Iberia and yet these people are not notably maritime or Atlantic-oriented. They seem altogether too stay-at-home to qualify as latter-day megalithics.

The ubiquity of the megaliths--they stretch "inland" as far as as Malta, Kent and Denmark (any advances on that?)--means that the megalith-builders must have entered history in some guise or other. So perhaps before anything else we need a list of candidates.

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 9:33 pm
by Donna
You agree that Komorikid's idea is worth following so consider the following.

Britain wasn’t THE beginning but it was A beginning.

First assumption:
Everything we have been taught about European migration is false.

Second assumption:
Everything we have been taught about the extent of ancient maritime knowledge is false.

Third assumption:
Everything we have been taught about the religious significance of monolithic and megalithic structures is false.

Fourth assumption:
Everything we have been taught about the origin of written language is false.

Now apply Occam's Razor to the above.

Answer 1: THE SEA




Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 9:36 pm
by Mick Harper
Dear Donna (and all)

Although this thread just refers to "stones", it is vital that we don't just mean "stones".

One of the abiding difficulties of this branch of study (I use the term loosely) is to decide between:

a) what is a megalith and what is geological freak of nature
b) what is a megalith and what is just a structure made out of stone and
c) what is megalith for our purposes (i.e. put up by these mysterious Stonehenge dudes) and what is a megalith for other purposes (i.e. independently invented by some other bunch of dudes entirely).

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 1:10 pm
by Komorikid
My belief is that the Megalithic Empire was a trading network that was used over millennia by "those in the know". But for a long lived and long distance trading network you first need "something valuable" to trade and people willing to pay a premium for those goods, whether it be chert, obsidian, livestock, copper, tin, gold or salt.

It is only now in the 21st century that orthodoxy is realising that the sea was the fastest, safest and most reliable form of transport and migration in ancient time. Though they have been dragged kicking and screaming to that conclusion.

This Empire stretched from Egypt and the Levant along the Southern Med coast (due to it being the most direct westerly route with landfalls easily visible from a ship) all the way to Norway in the north and at least as far as Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands in the South. At several times in the ancient past it extended to the east coast of mainland America and even up some of the main inland river-ways – the St Laurence in particular where copper was mined around the Great Lakes as early as the 2nd Century BC.

This was an international trading oligarchy who maintained their control over long distance navigation for a quite considerable length of time. They didn't have to control the trade per se, they merely had to control the means by which it was distributed. When one commodity became obsolete they simply modified their infrastructure or created new ones to accommodate a newer market – shifting ports, modifying navigation waypoints, recalibrating navigation information etc.

Apart from the nav info they didn't even have to put up the manpower to achieve a result. The land-based infrastructure would be carried out by those benefiting directly and indirectly from the newer trading network. Pretty much what happens now when governments build new port facilities, lay down new roads and rail links for the high value export commodities.

The key to all of this was the intimate knowledge of the Sky Compass. A system of navigation that lasted from before the time of Odysseus up until the second generation of Portalans were produced.

Have you ever wondered WHY the constellation of Orion appeared to be so important to many ancient cultures?
Have you ever wondered where the purely navigational/cartographic words like origin, orient, orientate, orientation and originate came from?

They all came from the habit of ancient mariners aligning themselves to the ORIGIN stars in the EAST in order to READ the SKY COMPASS. It is the reason many of the earliest maps had an easterly orientation (orion-tation). By having an intimate knowledge of the passage of stars in the night sky at any point along their route they could accurately determine latitude and more importantly longitude which was unrivalled until the navigational chronometer was invented.

There is no religious significance in the megalithic structures (during the time they were widely used), only a zeal to maintain their accuracy as time and the movement of the solar system changed the 'orion-tation' of the night sky. Or the so-called 'worship' of Orion.

I have always thought it rather Freudian that the first refuge of social scientists is to claim some religious significance for anything they don't or won't understand. Even the word Social Science is an oxymoron.

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 6:34 am
by Penny
Komorikid wrote:My belief is that the Megalithic Empire was a trading network that was used over millennia by "those in the know".

Why did the ancient navigational aids fall into dis-use?

They were BIG builders, and devoted scarce resources into constructing things that would last (how do we know - they're still here!).

Generally things are abandoned because there is no demand for them, regardless of the cost of their construction. They can be lost to use, and knowledge of how to use them, very quickly.

What event/occurrence/discovery displaced the old system of navigation?

Surely trying to anwer this gives an insight into the original value and design these artefacts had?

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 6:36 am
by Donna
Literacy. And a continuous road network. No need for megaliths when a simple road sign will suffice.

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 7:02 am
by Iona
The theory that megaliths were navigational markers is really plausible. Travellers may well have been in the position of sailors off a strange coast, with a real need to find firstly their approximate location, secondly a safe haven and finally a course for getting there.

Navigating by the stars doesn't convince me; anyone who has walked (or sailed) in the dark will hardly recommend it, assuming they come back.

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 7:55 am
by Komorikid
These two quotes from historic Pacific voyages emphasise that star navigation was not only possible in former times but that it had developed to high degree of accuracy. These were illiterate Polynesian mariners leading the first European navigators all over the landless Pacific.

“Nearly a hundred years before we sailed with Tevake three Santa Cruz boys were travelling aboard the missionary vessel “Southern Cross”. It was noted that the eldest was: “teaching the names of various stars to his younger companions and [I] was surprised at the number he knew by name Moreover, at any time of night or day, in whatsoever direction we might happen to be steering, these boys, even the youngest of the three, a lad of ten or twelve, would be able to point to where his home lay: This I have found them able to do many hundreds of miles to the South of the SantaCruz group”. (Coote, 1882)

“In spite of Tupaia’s impressive geographical horizons, no one seems to have asked him how he orientated himself, or what were his actual concepts and methods. Yet his ability in this direction was such that when he accompanied Cook in the “Endeavour” to Batavia ‘at more than 2000 leagues distance’ from his home, and despite the ship’s circuitous route between 48 degrees south
latitude and 4 degrees north, he ‘was never at a loss to point to Taheitee, at whatever place he came’.” (Forster JR, 1778)

Re: Who Built The Stones?

PostPosted: 9:26 am
by Komorikid
To understand Stonehenge and other megalithic structures we need to SEE the world as they saw it – exactly the way we see it. Every human sees their environment for a single point – the point at which they are standing. We are the centre of our reality and what we see is a 360º circle around us and a dome sky above – a hemisphere. This is the classic representation of the world of ancient cultures. The plane of existence, the domed sky and the underworld beneath.

This is nowhere more evident than standing on the open deck of a ship at sea or an open plain at night. This is how we see and ancient man saw reality.

We now place our faith in maps and chart and sat navs to negotiate our environment. They on the other hand had only their eyes to perceive their environment. The night sky was their reference and means of traversing great distance. And for setting out the waypoints on land whether as navigation fixes or laying out the “straight ways” that mark the Michael Line and other ancient thoroughfares.

This self centred form of navigation is what allowed James Cook to traverse vast stretches of the almost landless Pacific guided by “uncivilised” Pacific Islander mariners.

Space and our conscious analysis of our position within it is not the same today as it was in the past. Our movement in space is perceived with bicameral vision, that is as we move through our environment the mind discerns two distinct forms of motion our motion and the apparent movement of the surrounding environment relative to our position. This is the self-centric reality that ancient people were familiar with.

The simple experiment of walking through a room and thinking about how all objects in that room appear to move relative to ourselves and how, without actually seeing some previously observed object, we can turn and point straight to it with greater and greater precision as familiarity with that room increases.

Every human's view of the world is self centred. But our perception of the world is different to theirs. Cartography in all its related forms has taken away our ability see our world from a ground based self centred perspective. We now see our world from a detached perspective, from an imagined point somewhere above in the sky – as satellite or Google Earth perspective. The stones and the sky map became obsolete when navigation began to rely on the first accurate maps.