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KRONOS Vol II, No. 4

Psychology And Ancient Astronomical Discovery

SYNOPSIS: Many disciplines agree that astronomy and astronomical concepts are of central importance in human cultures and have been so since the beginning of history. Ancient civilisations of both hemispheres measured time by astronomical cycles and worshipped celestial bodies as primary deities. Monarchs typically held both civil and religious authority in theocratic states which were controlled or significantly influenced by astronomer-priesthoods.

Major religious ceremonies marked phases in astronomical cycles, celebrating the sequence of seasons and other ecologically important events. Others commemorated longer cycles associated with planets and stars. These formed the framework of complex calendric systems against which the basic patterns of religious and civil life were maintained.

In the earliest records many of the standard constellations were recognised and used with others to chart the starfield and track the paths of sun, moon, and planets. The early complexity of astronomical lore suggests prehistoric recognition of astronomical cycles and the development of basic techniques of observation.

Scholars generally attribute widespread distribution of astronomical traditions and practices to the selective advantage of astronomical time reckoning. Groups which achieved some degree of astronomical skills in timing the change of seasons had a greater chance of survival than groups that did not. Anthropology links measurement of time by astronomical cycles with mastery of controlled agriculture and the rise of full civilisation.

Tied to religion, ancient concerns with astronomy have remained an integral part of diverse human cultures to the present. North American lndians still preserve traditions believed to be remnants of the ancient Mesoamerican astronomical systems. Tasmanian aboriginals are said to exercise astronomic traditions possibly acquired in remote prehistory.

Despite the various implications for prehistoric developments in astronomy, there has been little scientific interest in the question until recently. New discoveries in archeology have made it clear that prehistoric cultures were much more complex than formerly believed.

One researcher, Alexander Marshack, has conducted an exhaustive re-examinanation of Upper Paleolithic artifacts and cave art His conclusions significantly affect the conventional evaluation of Upper Paleolithic cultures.

The period currently is theorised to have begun with the appearance of biologically fully modern humans, around 35,000 years ago. Extending downward to around 10,000 B.C., the sequence of development is divided into major cultural traditions. Each division spans thousands of years and is characterised by trends in tools, artifacts, and other evidence.

From the beginning, a rich tradition of cave painting, statuary, engraved pieces, and various signs and serial markings accompany the developing inventory of practical artifacts. Some art works have been praised for their realism and sensitivity of expression. The location of paintings deep inside caves and an apparent ritual placement of the images shows clearly the use of art in formal ceremony. Burial rituals, symbolic statuary, and body decoration with jewellery or body paint further illustrate creative, abstract, fully human qualities among Upper Paleolithic people. But though the quality of some Upper Paleolithic art is impressive it has been interpreted most typically in the context of primitive hunting/fertility-magic.

Marshack's revaluation of the evidence involved technological methods which revealed previously unknown features in the images and markings. New details point to the symbolic juxtaposition of animal and plant images to commemorate a given season. An accompanying tradition of abstracted signs was widespread From its context, one sign appears to have been a commonly understood designation for Spring. Serial notches and marks on engraved pieces show a number of repeating cycles. Marshack has hypothesised that many of the patterns represent the cycle of the moon.

Though the specific case for lunar notation is scientifically equivocal, Marshack's general observations substantiate a basic reassessment of the cognitive capacities and cultural complexities of Upper Paleolithic people. Evidence for complex language development and the formal transmission of culture is implicit in the widespread symbolic-notational tradition. Symbolic compositions in ceremonial art suggest concerns with the concept of time and the seasons. These findings indicate a fully modem level of cognitive capacity in Upper Paleolithic people and places them on a line of cultural development directly akin to the historical agricultural civilisations.

The same revaluation of cultural complexity has been underway for the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages which follow. In the Ancient Near East substantial settlements, food surpluses, and commercial trade are in evidence from early Mesolithic times. By late Mesolithic/early Neolithic times, controlled agriculture and animal husbandry are already well developed. Religious shrines oriented to the cardinal points are decorated with symbolic painting and sculpture reminiscent of Upper Paleolithic traditions. Some examples prefigure the symbols for astronomic gods of early historical civilisations.

Because of such evidence, the case for prehistoric developments in astronomy is significantly enhanced. Yet the question remains controversial and scholars generally are reluctant to accept prehistoric knowledge of astronomy.

The bias stems in part from the prevailing uniformitarian interpretation of human evolution. As the first stages of development toward present civilisation, Upper Paleolithic people have been conceived as too primitive to have achieved astronomy.

But the bias extends far into the historical period where the practice of astronomy and capacity for accurate measurement are fully evident. Study of ancient astronomical knowledge has shown that, prior to the 7th Century B.C., calendars and other astronomical observations do not conform to uniformitarian cycles. To remain within the uniformitarian framework, ancient observations which describe a different order in the solar system are, of necessity, regarded as inaccuracies. Alongside the general evidence for advanced skills in quantification and measurement, this conclusion presents a striking paradox.

From the viewpoint of behavioural science, itself grounded in uniformitarianism, continued use for millennia of inaccurate, non-adaptive applied astronomy to regulate agriculture runs counter to empirically grounded principles of learning. Under uniformitarian conditions, the annual cycle in the path of the sun alone bears consistent, direct relation to the sequence of seasons. It is the only observation necessary to time the year accurately. Conveniently, it is also the simplest to observe and measure. Correct knowledge of the tropical year should have been commonplace from earliest historical times.

The judgment that knowledge of the tropical year as well as other astronomical cycles remained inaccurate for millennia poses a clear contradiction within the uniformitarian framework. The early calendars could not have been effective in the regulation of agriculture. Behavioural science must rationalise an impossibly long learning period for intelligent people whose only reinforcement for continuous concern with astronomical cycles should have been practical success in measurement Given the evidence for unexpected Mesolithic developments in agriculture and for time-factoring in Upper Paleolithic culture, the learning period may be many thousands of years longer.

The question is reviewed here as a problem in human perception and learning. The concept is introduced that, for the sun, contingencies involved in the discovery of its cycle are related to basic learning models of behavioural science. Such analysis indicates that, in a uniformitarian environment, recognition and exploitation of the sun's cycle should have been the expected behaviour of early people.


It is presently known that our remote ancestors centered their religious(l) and civil life on a model grounded in observation and interpretation of the heavens. This knowledge is based upon studies of the written language and cultural symbolism of early civilisations as well as the work of anthropologists with contemporary peoples who carry ancient and, presumably, prehistoric traditions.

In their earliest symbols and records, civilisations of the Ancient Near East display an already established conception of planets and stars as living beings whose will and action controlled the elements, determined time, foretold the future,(2) and held the fate of the individual soul.

Massive monuments and temples, which required large expenditures of human energy and resources, dominate the architectural remains. Generally, these were aligned to mark an occasion such as the winter solstice or the rising or setting point of a revered celestial deity at a certain time of year.(3)

These structures were elaborately ornamented with precious metals and stones, relief sculpture, idols, and sacred inscriptions. Here the mythical images, symbols, names, attributes, and deeds of the principal celestial gods and "host of heaven"(4) record the astral focus of ancient religious belief.(5)


Throughout the Ancient Near East, the celestial model was extended to community planning and administration. Cities and politicogeographic subunits of the realm were zoned and named for various stars and constellations.(6) In the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period (3200-2800 B.C.) "every citizen belonged to a temple district and served the god of his temple. Allotments of land, work assignments, and raw materials were designated by the head priest-administrator of the temple district."(7)

The astronomer-priests "became the wealthiest and most powerful class in the Sumerian cities. In most matters they were the government;it is difficult to make out to what extent the patesi was a priest and to what extent a king."(8) In Babylon, technically

the king was merely the agent of the city god. Taxation was in the name of the city god and found its way directly or deviously into the temple treasuries. The king was not really king in the eyes of the people until he was invested with royal authority by the priests, 'took the hands of Bel' and conducted the image of Marduk in solemn procession through the streets. In these ceremonies the monarch was dressed as a priest, symbolising the union of church and state, and perhaps the priestly origin of the kingship . . . From the . . . priest-governors of Sumeria to the religious coronation of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon remained in effect a theocratic state, always 'under the thumb of the priests.'(9)

In Egypt, too, the Pharaoh was both king and chief priest, a tradition maintained for millennia; and his destiny in the afterlife was a celestial parallel to his earthly powers. From passages of the Book of the Dead found in the tomb of Pepi I (Dynasty VI) we learn the following:

He is brother of the moon, he is the child of the star Sothis, he revolves in heaven like Orion and Sothis and he rises in his place like a star . . . When Pepi standeth upon the north of heaven with Ra, he becometh lord of the universe, like unto the king of the gods.(10)

In texts from the tomb of Unas (Dynasty V), the "life of the deceased is said to be generally that of him 'who entereth into the west of the sky and who cometh forth from the east thereof.' "(11) The sacred text itself "which was very old even in the reign of Semti, a king of the First Dynasty and was, moreover, so long at the time as to need abbreviation, was copied and recopied, and added to by one generation after another for a period of nearly 5000 years."(12)

It is not yet possible to fix a beginning date for various traditions embodied in the texts which apparently originated in prehistoric times.(13) How far back they may extend into prehistory can be inferred only be comparison with the tenacity of the traditions which endured the millennia of Egyptian historical, cultural, and geographical variation.(14)

Like the Egyptian, ancient Mesopotamian historical culture was complex and highly developed at its outset. This indicates that here, as well, developmental roots for the astronomically grounded religious and civil structure may be found in prehistoric generations. A universal characteristic of ancient astral religions and priesthoods involved the "measurement of time by the movements of the heavenly bodies. . .; the very word measure, like the word month. . ., goes back apparently to a root denoting the moon."(15) MacKenzie writes similarly:

An ancient name of the moon was Aa, Â, or Ai, which recalls the Egyptian Aâh or Ah. The Sumerian moon was Aku, 'the measurer,' like Thoth of Egypt, who in his lunar character as a Fate measured out the lives of men and was a god of architects, mathematicians, and scribes.(16)

Hinckley-Allen attributes formation of the constellations of the Zodiac to the "Akkad country, probably in almost prehistoric times," marking an early awareness of the annual path of the sun. He suggests that other star groupings "to represent the length of the moon's daily motion in its orbit . . . possibly long antedated the general constellations or even the solar zodiac."(17)

"Certainly in many of the ancient civilisations the regularity of the motions of the celestial bodies was recognised."(18) This knowledge, when applied to matters of agriculture and husbandry, provided the key to abundance and the liberation of human energy for the further development of civilisation.(19) For this reason, from an anthropological perspective, astronomical measurement of time is viewed as an essential adaptive step.

It is immediately apparent that understanding seasonality and anticipating seasonal changes will have a profound effect on one's ability to maintain a successful agricultural system. . . The group that watches and records the movements of astronomical phenomena has a selective advantage in terms of its survival relative to other groups.(20)


The principle is also seen in the Western Hemisphere where historic Mesoamerican civilisations reflect the same general pattern of development around an astronomical model grounded in systematic observation. "If any one trait can be said to be distinctive of the native cultures of prehispanic Mesoamerica, it is a deep concern with the heavenly bodies and the passage of time as marked by the apparent movements of these objects."(21)

Like the Ancient Near Eastern cultures, Mesoamerican religious beliefs and festivals, temple orientation, city ground plans,(22) divine identifications of monarchy, priestly authority, and the pragmatic regulation of agricultural cycles(23) all share origins in a common concern with astronomic phenomena. Pre-Columbian records indicate a capacity for remarkably accurate observations.(24) These were apparently maintained over long periods of time and motivated, at least in part, by religious zeal.

Maudslay (1912), quoting Motolina, suggests that great care was paid to the correct astronomical orientation of the Temple of Huitzilopochtli at Tenochtitlan: 'The festival called Tlacaxipeualiztli took place when the sun stood in the middle of Huicholobos, which was at the equinox, and because it was a little out of the straight, Montezuma wished to pull it down and set it right.' He suggests that the priests faced east to watch the sun rise precisely between the oratories at the top of the building at the equinox.(25) The solstices were known precisely and served as particularly significant points for orientation. "For the Chorti Maya the four directions are not the cardinal points but the solstices, a finding that has been confirmed along the highland Maya of Chiapas."(26)

Mesoamericans also had names and pictographs for numerous asterisms - e.g., "Orion's belt ('Peccary'), Rigel ('Woodpecker'), Betelgeuse ('Red Dragonfly'), Ursa Minor ('Alligator'), and Sirius (large species of woodpecker)"(27) in addition to Jupiter, Venus, and, it is assumed, the other visible planets as well.(28)

North American Navajo "recognise approximately 37 constellations," particularly Orion, the Hyades, and Pleiades as well as others "which correspond roughly to those recognised by North American modern astronomers. . ."(29) They depicted these (generally by a variety of small crosses) and other astronomical gods (represented as birds, insects, animals, or geometric figures) at

truly sacred sites, the significance known only to Navajo medicine men. . . These star paintings are precisely painted on the roofs of high overhangs or on the roofs of cave-like shelters. . . Many of the star paintings occur on high overhangs, some of which are as much as 150 feet above the canyon floor. Most of the sites are now inaccessible.(30)

Pueblo Indians still

observe the motions of celestial bodies in order to time and regulate their ceremonial life. Of particular importance to most groups is the yearly cycle of the sun from winter to summer solstice and back. Stellar groupings such as the Pleiades and the Belt of Orion and various bright stars are considered important as well. For example, because they make their first yearly appearance just before summer solstice sunrise, the Pleiades are called the summer stars by the Tewa.(31)

Ellis describes a "Pueblo calendar of thirteen lunar months (paralleling the old Maya and Mexican religious calendar). . ." where each moon, specifically named, marks some significant seasonal, agricultural or ceremonial occasion.

"Tally cards with knots to be untied, sticks into which notches are cut, and marks on a floor or wall which could be erased as the days passed, customarily were used in cutting the calendar into shorter intervals when necessary."(32)

Williams, et al., note similarly the "increasing suspicion that these celestial interests of the historic Pueblo Indians are the remnants of more sophisticated, pre-Columbian astronomical observations made throughout the American Southwest and Mexico."(33) The great antiquity of this native American astronomical culture, which partly survived the Spanish Conquest and echoes faintly among contemporary North American and Mexican Indians, can be seen in recent evidence for origins at least as early as 3000 B.C.(34)


Clearly, on both sides of the Atlantic, early historic civilisations are characterised by complex, highly developed, astronomically rooted cultures apparently begun and transmitted by their prehistoric forebearers. We also may infer remote prehistoric origins for both astral religion and the concept of astronomical calendrics from the practices of Australian aboriginals who, on still another continent, "developed in relative isolation directly from Late Pleistocene migrants. . ." and who have carried stone-age culture into modem times.(35)

Eliade has summarised details of a number of initiation mysteries and rituals showing a central religious importance of celestial gods.(36) Smith tells us that aboriginals, whose creation myth involves a wandering Mother-Sun goddess, "have always known of the four points of the compass. . .," divided the stars into constellations and endowed them with meaning.(37) Hallam notes a "regular and orderly annual cycle carried out systematically" in which precision

of ecological spatial and temporal knowledge and skill was backed by astronomical lore. Various constellations were named and figured in myth, some (e.g. Castor and Pollux) throughout Australia and Tasmania, implying that the traditions originated in the Pleistocene before Tasmania was isolated. The Swan River aborigines distinguished and named at least eight phases in the waxing and waning of the moon....The moon... figured in widespread myths, waxing and waning, bringing death and regulating conception, the seasons of earth and of women. . .(38)


That the Tasmanian aboriginals manifest traditions probably acquired prior to their geographic isolation (around 10,000 B.C.)(39) suggests an extant and more generally distributed lore, roughly contemporaneous with the end of the Old Stone Age in Europe and the Ancient Near East. Yet, until recently, no one has gained serious scientif1c attention for the suggestion that people in these regions developed astronomical interests this early even though their culture "flowered in. . .rich exuberance" during this time.(40) There have been

a few scattered attempts by students of Ice Age art to compare the animals and symbols of the later civilisations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Greece, Asia, and the Americas and by their comparisons to impute an astronomical knowledge to prehistoric man. One researcher even claimed to recognise stellar constellations in the markings. But these were comparisons and analogies that could not be verified and they were, therefore, generally dismissed as unscientific.(41)

Now Alexander Marshack who, for more than ten years, has conducted an exhaustive re-examination of Ice Age artifacts and cave art, has attempted to re-establish the question on acceptable scientific grounds in reference to a time near the beginning of biologically fully modern man.

According to the current reconstruction of prehistory, this was about 35,000 years ago when "the biological development of man as he exists today was at long last completed.... The burden of change has, since the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, been carried increasingly by cultural innovation rather than genetic modification."(42)

During the preceding Middle Paleolithic, "roughly equivalent to the period during which neanderthaloid varieties of Homo Sapiens appeared throughout the Old World,"(43) elements of culture were already in evidence. Neanderthal man had controlled use of fire, practiced "the custom of burying the dead. . ,"(44) lived in settlements and built substantial shelters.(45)

With the appearance of fully modern man, there is a significant change in both the amount and complexity of cultural evidence. The "homo sapiens cultural revolution of about 35,000 B.C. seems to have been relatively rapid and widespread, compared with what had gone before."(46) "Viewing the technological inventory of the Upper Paleolithic hunters, it. . .is. . .evident that the take-off point had passed and that culture had embarked on an evolutionary career of its own. ., characterised by a marked increase in blade tools and by a great flourescence of ivory, bone, and antler implements."(47)

The 25,000 years of development toward the Mesolithic period is divided into major traditions based on cultural variations within the sequence. Along one dimension, the presence of certain practical artifacts marks innovations in methods of food production or domestic industry, and reflects a range of skills in members of the culture.

Beads, pendants, bracelets, and other decorative objects show additional diversity while the type and distribution of dwelling sites reveal adaptations to different climatic and geographic environments.(48)

Approximate boundary dates for the sequence (Chatelperonian, 32,000-28,000 B.C.; Aurignacian, 28,500-22,000 B.C.; Gravettian, 22,000-18,000 B.C.; Solutrean, 18,000-15,000 B.C.; Magdalenian, 15,000-8,000 B.C.) have been estimated by C14 measurement.(49)

There is a wealth of artistic and symbolic evidence which accompanies this development. Paleolithic people left a variety of engraved artifacts in bone, stone, ivory, and antler as well as cave paintings, relief sculpture, and statuary.

The few thousand engraved and carved mobiliary artifacts. . . from the Upper Paleolithic represent a diverse body of evidence. They document a complex use of manufactured art and symbol.... The decorated caves and rock walls of the period are regional and specialised aspects of the more general, widespread tradition of symbol usage represented by the mobiliary materials.(50)

From the early Aurignacian, and extending into later periods of the Stone-Age, the engraved materials show a variety of sequential markings, animal figures, and abstracted forms.

During the Gravettian, highly stylised figurines of pregnant women with exaggerated, rounded bodily features flourish in stone, bone, ivory, and baked clay.(51) "The Gravettians were especially fond of statuettes of pregnant women. . ." generally known as "Venus" statues "of whom the Venus of Willendorf is the most famous...."(52) "They undoubtedly possessed some ritual significance associated with . . .fertility"(53) and are generally interpreted as a form of mother goddess.(54)

Gravettians also buried their dead with considerable elaboration full clothing, personal ornaments, and red ochre sprinkled over all suggesting well developed ceremony and ritual concerning death and, probably, afterlife.

"The presence of red, yellow, and black pigments indicates the probability of body painting and ornamentation" during the Solutrean but "although some examples of sculpture and painting have been found. ., it appears that the Solutreans had little interest in representative art."(56)

By contrast, with the appearance of Magdalenian culture prehistoric art achieves an emphasis and colourful realism previously unparalleled which, in the opinion of one writer, "would not be reached again until late in the Christian era."(57) "Bison, deer, horses, and cattle race across walls and ceilings in wild profusion. ., all showing the same uncanny sense of life."(58) Describing a painting of an wounded bison, Jansen writes:

What a vivid lifelike picture it is. We are amazed not only by the keen observation, the assured, vigorous outlines, the subtly controlled shading that lends bulk and roundness to the forms, but even more perhaps by the power and dignity of this creature in its final agony.(59)

The location of sites deep in the earth, sometimes as much as a mile inside the caves which were otherwise uninhabited, "suggests that many of them must have served as places of worship, the paintings, reliefs, and drawings in them fulfilling certain prescribed functions."(60) The way in which the figures "are distributed about the caves often suggests a definite plan with certain motifs occurring regularly in special parts of the cave."(61) In some cases, "the animals were painted one on top of the other even though unused surfaces were available indicating that they were done first and foremost for ritual rather than art."(62)

The rich distribution, beauty, and ritual placement of Magdalenian art most likely reflects a widespread emphasis on religious practice. The remote location and difficult access to many of the most impressive examples must have required painting from memory. This indicates the presence of many highly talented and specialised individuals throughout Magdalenian culture.

As a whole, the growing diversity of general cultural evidence that has come to light has led to a revaluation of Upper Paleolithic people as more advanced than previously was thought. The range and complexity of their tool inventory, the abundance of jewellery and personal artifacts, all contribute objective evidence of considerable creativity and industry. The aesthetic quality of their art "manifests the essential artistic and creative genius of its makers."(63) It was sensitive, skilled, and unexcelled for millennia.

For all the acknowledgments of his practical and aesthetic achievements, there persists the traditional hunting/fertility-magic interpretation of the religious base of Upper Paleolithic culture. Thus the supposed motive for his art and symbolic markings places Upper Paleolithic man at a primitive level in the abstract, spiritual realm. "Upper Paleolithic art had the gross purpose of filling men's stomachs and of maintaining the population by serving as a magical aid in hunting and procreation.... All these expressions of realism are acts of wish-fulfillment through compulsive, mimetic, magic."(64)

The hunter, as the theory runs, made an animal image and 'killed' it, then went out and hunted with the power of magic on his side. Still other archeologists theorise that the animals were totems figures of ancestor animals from which different human groups or clans supposedly descended. The animals have also been interpreted as sexual symbols with certain species representing the male principle and others the female.(65)

Marshack's alternative to these interpretations is that time-factoring was a basic element in the paintings and engravings, and involved the observation and notation of natural cycles including, possibly, the phases of the moon.(66)

By the use of microscopy and both ultraviolet and infrared photography, details were observed which had been "overlooked or inaccurately reported" in the initial analyses of the finds. For example, in invisible light different mixes and layers of pigments become discernible, permitting some reconstruction of the sequence of application and the clear identification of older images underlying later paintings.(67)

Some cave images seemed to have been built up gradually over time by the orderly addition of coloured sets of dots and stylised marks. Some of the images were used and reused "in many different ways by the addition of different kinds of symbols" including spray-stenciled images of the human hand. New details of other compositions showed that various animals and plants were depicted with specific seasonal characteristics and grouped as though to commemorate a particular time of year.(68)

Examined by microscope, many of the engraved bone and stone artifacts showed comparable evidence of cumulative marking and the use of abstracted signs as well as the seasonal compositions of animals and plants. Marshack concentrated much research on the sequential markings which often line the edges and faces of engraved pieces under the hypothesis that the sequences reflect time-factored notation, possibly lunar. "The possibility is important for. . . civilisation may have been built as much on such time-factoring or time-factored skills as on the handmade, hand-held tools that we find in the soil."(69) (emphasis added)

Under magnification, engravings from all periods of the Upper Paleolithic showed that many of the patterns were created by the gradual accumulation of marks, each being made apparently at different times by different engraving tools. The sequence of incisions was often broken into groups, some by spatial separation, some by the addition of specially emphasised or embellished incisions, and others by the appearance of a wholly different style of mark. Quantitative analysis of these sequences revealed a diversity of patterns, some of which could be interpreted as a close fit to various phases of a lunar cycle model.(70) In addition to those possibly lunar, "the body of mobiliary materials documents the presence of other forms of symbolic marking, including non-lunar notations, and these were apparently used in their own specialised contexts."(71)

One sign in particular appears to have been understood commonly and transmitted across generations. Said to represent an ibex head, the figure "is extremely schematic and consists merely of two horns, two ears, and a muzzle. Exactly the same image. . .occurs as a regular motif or sign in Late Ice Age engravings as far away as Spain."(72) From its appearance in various contexts, including engraved seasonal compositions similar to those painted in caves, Marshack believes it to be associated with Spring.(73)

Evidence for Upper Paleolithic time-factoring includes the female figures which often showed cumulative periodic notchings or symbolic marks. Others appeared in seasonal compositions or in conjunction with symbolic animals, or were buried with the dead, suggesting use and meaning fully integrated with the general tradition of time-factored symbols, signs, and notations.(74) An early (Aurignacian) bas-relief indicates that the female figures may be interpretable as celestial symbols. Figured in the tradition of the fat "Venus" statues, the

female is faceless and has legs that lack feet. Her left hand rests on her abdomen, which shows a navel. Her right hand is raised holding a bison horn that is marked with thirteen lines. On her thigh there is a 'Y' mark. Her faceless 'moon' or 'sun' head is turned to the right looking at the horn.(75)

A second figure at the same location, "holding a more arched horn in her raised right hand" is similar to the first. Marshack notes that "thirteen is consistent with the number of crescents during an observational lunar year; it is also the number of days from the birth of the first crescent to just before the days of the mature full moon."(76)

In Marshack's analysis, the archeological record of Upper Paleolithic man shows that he was engaged early in possibly lunar referenced time-factoring of natural cycles. He commemorated this lore in a variety of sequential, mythical stories and periodic ceremonial rites(77) - the visual record of which remains in his notations, art, and symbol. Since observations essential to this interpretation had not been made previously, Marshack's technologically augmented analysis provides a wholly new view of Upper Paleolithic cultural achievements.

The evidence for a ubiquitous tradition of Upper Paleolithic notation would seem to verify a modern level of cognitive capacity and symbolic usage in early, prewriting, prearithmetic phases of sapiens culture. The complexity of the tradition in the typical Aurignacian implies an earlier origin. The later complexities of the tradition in the terminal Magdalenian may indicate that formal writing, arithmetic, and the true calendar, which appear in the first agricultural civilisations, may have had reference to this earlier symbolising tradition, one that was at least 25,000 years old (78)

While elements of the methodology and interpretations have been questioned by some, often with particular reference to the lunar pattern proposed for certain notations, leading authorities generally consider Marshack's work to be scientifically sound and a major breakthrough in understanding the functional capacities of Upper Paleolithic people. This is especially because of the evidence for complex language development and the transmission of culture implicit in the symbolic-notational tradition.(79) Having generally assumed biological equivalence, and having praised their artistic genius, researchers now have tangible evidence that Upper Paleolithic people were fully intelligent as well, possessing language and widespread culture which was on a line of development akin to later historic civilisations.(80) The same revaluation of cultural complexity has also proved necessary for the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages that follow.(81) These were viewed traditionally as a gradual sequence of transition from big game hunting, through an increasing foraging and gathering-fishing small game subsistence base to the eventual domestication of plants and animals and the final achievement of fully controlled agriculture. Research now indicates that the rate of change and level of complexity were much greater than expected.

In the Ancient Near East, Mesolithic people were building settlements, storing surplus grain, constructing shrines, using "large elaborate cemeteries in which some of the tombs represent quite a feat of building," domesticating animals, and were engaged in trade with distant areas as early as the tenth to ninth millennium B.C.(82) Researchers recently were surprised, in kind, by revelations of early Neolithic culture. At Catal Huyuk, "around 7,500 years ago, a people occupied this adobe town. . .with homes interconnected in Pueblo fashion."(83)

Barley, wheat, lentils, and peas were thoroughly domesticated and were producing surplus yields. . .by 6385 B.C. 101 years. Sheep were domesticated by 5800 B.C. 92 years. An amazingly rich inventory of specialised handicrafts. . .

were discovered, clearly indicating a "creative and well-off people."(84) Symbolic ceremonial painting and sculpture had moved from the caves to the frescoed walls of religious shrines oriented to the cardinal points.(85)

Layer after layer of religious murals, painted on the walls and then plastered over to make way for the next painting, bespeak a vital and highly developed cult and religious belief system, much concerned with the mystery of life and death. Life associated scenes, done in symbolic red paint, are on the west walls of the shrine rooms. Death scenes created in black paint are on the east side.(86)

A large bull's head and horns seem to be a central idol or altar with a panel beneath containing a pattern of human hands, apparently stencilled in a fashion reminiscent of the Paleolithic ritual practice.(87) Rams' heads and horns, possibly carried over from the Paleolithic ibex-symbol, are on the opposite wall. Also found are "statuettes of a fertile mother goddess as well as a bearded consort god seated on a bull."

The mother goddess is the familiar overweight model though here she is portrayed with more detailed features and is shown giving birth while seated between two lions.(88) Others show her merely as pregnant. Campbell refers to the "galaxy of female figurines" associated with Ancient Near Eastern culture. "The images are of bone, clay, stone, or ivory, standing or seated, usually naked, often pregnant, and sometimes holding or nursing a child."(89) Murray identifies a later figure of the mother goddess riding a lion as Rhea, sister and wife of Kronos (Saturn), father of a generation of astronomic gods.(90)

Bulls' heads and the bull motif survive prehistory as well, and occupy a central position in the astronomical mythologies of ancient historic civilisations. In Egypt, the tomb of King Nadji of the First Dynasty was surrounded by a frieze of clay bull's heads with real horns. In the Book of the Dead, the Egyptian astronomic gods, Osiris and Amen-Ra, are called, respectively, "Bull of Heaven" and "Bull in Anu", and a passage reads ". . .the Bull, the Lord of the gods who maketh his way. . ." across the sky.(91)

This revised picture of the development of prehistoric cultures presents serious problems for the traditional attitude regarding prehistoric achievements in astronomy. Almost from the beginning, evidence for language, notation, shared symbolism, art, costume, and a diversity of tools describe a range of achievements already more complex than those of contemporary primitives who, themselves, worship astronomic gods, know the solstices, and mark the phases of the moon.

In the Ancient Near East, Meso- and Neolithic developments of symbolic traditions enter history as complex astronomic religious mythologies and calendric systems. These traditions undergo theological and numerical revisions across millennia, but preserve, throughout, certain elemental schemata perhaps many thousands of years older. Though these findings indicating advanced prehistoric culture and the known astronomic practices of the entire range of contemporary human cultures should justify assumptions of prehistoric developments in astronomy, there is resistance to the idea among professionals. Noting some of the reactions to Marshack's work, Aveni, a specialist in archaeoastronomy, comments that "these matters are very controversial and people generally are quite reluctant to believe ancient man's knowledge of astronomy."(92)

Such reluctance is partly an expression of a more general bias which is derived from the prevailing uniformitarian interpretation of human evolution. Applied to human intellectual achievements, slow and cumulative progress toward modern knowledge was assumed so that little had been expected of Upper Paleolithic people. They have been depicted for decades as hairy, basically unkempt, wearing crude animal-skin clothing or naked, appearing little capable of complex thought or culture. They seldom have been represented with personal grooming and standards of style and costume to humanise their image, though such representations would have been no more fanciful in terms of the archeological record than the "cave-man" caricature which developed.(93)

The bias against early achievements in astronomical time-keeping remains in pronounced form, however, long after any question of man's practice of astronomy is removed by the historical record and his capacity for accurate measurement is demonstrated in architecture and mathematics. "At the very outset of recorded Egyptian history we find mathematics highly developed; the design and construction of the Pyramids involved a precision of measurement impossible without considerable mathematical lore."(94)

But, according to Neugebauer, Egyptian astronomy "remained through all its history on an exceedingly crude level...."(95) Referring to the Old Babylonian period, "about 1600 B.C.," he writes that "no astronomical texts of any scientific significance exist from this period, while the mathematical texts show the highest level ever attained in Babylonia."(96) In early cultures, generally, scholars have noted similar discrepancies in apparent accuracy between astronomical and other systems of measurement and calculation.(97)

The paradox is striking, especially from the operational point of view. Egyptian obelisks (gnomons), for example, used from at least the time of the 4th Dynasty,(98) should have "enabled man to measure the [tropical] year with an error of less than 1 part in 40,000." But it is not until the 7th Century B.C. that the "ancient astronomer, by watching the varying length of a vertical column or gnomon [shadow] concluded. . . that the tropical day [sic] was equal to 365.25 days."(99) Around the ancient world

neither the calendar, nor the celestial charts, nor the sundials, nor the water clocks of the time before-687 were adequate for their purpose after that time. Values subsequently established in different parts of the terrestrial globe have remained practically unchanged down to the present....(100)

It appears to have taken historical cultures millennia to determine correctly the number of days in the year and to deal adequately with astronomical facts in general. Yet, scholars acknowledge that, from the beginning, they worshipped stars and planets and their astronomer priests, responsible for keeping the calendar, measured time by observing celestial cycles. "From the earliest history in virtually every centre of civilisation China, India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, even the Mayan and Aztec civilisations in the Western Hemisphere man kept track of the motions in the heavens to regulate his time and dated."(101)

From the viewpoint of behavioural science these facts are particularly difficult, if not impossible to reconcile. "A culture, like a species, is selected by its adaptation to an environment: to the extent that it helps its makers to get what they need and avoid what is dangerous, it helps them to survive and transmit the culture."(102)

Accordingly, it is difficult to imagine the universal evolution of inaccurate, non-adaptive astronomic time-keeping by early civilistions in the first place. To accept, further, that advancing cultures continued to utilise defective calendars, non-functional sundials, and other useless applied astronomy for thousands of years is to disregard behavioural learning principles derived through decades of empirical science. "Behaviour is shaped and maintained by its consequences."(103) Such misdirected efforts would have been corrected early or abandoned for some more effective means of marking the passage of time.


The problem is a significant one for students of archaeoastronomy. Under a uniformitarian sky, the basic tasks of astronomical time-keeping must have been within the grasp of the builders of early historical civilisations. "The equinoxes and the solstices soon would have revealed themselves to these early observers if for no other reason than that they were connected in some way or other with some of the important conditions of their environment,''(104) specifically the seasons, their varied ecologies, and, for people close to nature, the immediate conditions for life. As a task of astronomical measurement

nothing is more easy to determine than a solstice or an equinox.

Let us take the solstice first. We know that at the summer solstice the sun rises and sets furthest to the north, at the winter solstice furthest to the south. We have only from any point to set up a line of stakes before the time of the solstice, and then alter them day by day as the sun gets further to the north or south, until no alteration is wanted. The solstice has been found.

There is another way of doing it. Take a vertical rod. Such a rod . . . is sometimes called a gnomon and used to measure time . . .: We may observe the length of the shadow cast by the sun when it is lowest at the winter solstice, and when it is highest; at these two positions of the sun, obviously the lengths of the shadows thrown will be different. When the noon-set is nearest overhead in the summer the shadow will be least, when the sun is most removed from the zenith the shadow will be longest.

The day on which the shortest shadow is thrown at noon will define the summer solstice; when the shadow is longest we shall have the winter solstice.(105)

The task then in measuring the length of the tropical year is to count the number of days necessary to complete a sun cycle, observing either the variations in the horizon-point of sunrise or in the length of mid-day shadows cast by a gnomon. The additional quarter day in each year requires a minor periodic correction in the count, though continued observation soon would have revealed both problem and solution.

Since the solar and sidereal year differ by a small fraction, the annual rising or setting point of certain stars would have provided a nocturnal correlate for two or three centuries but eventually would have required correction.(106) By contrast, the behaviour of the moon would have been confusing as a standard for the seasons as would the cycles of the various planets.

Thus, among evolving cultures, the unique relation of the sun's cycle to the regular sequence of seasons, along with its relative simplicity of measurement, should have determined observation of the sun-cycle as the most adaptive time-reference for mastery of controlled agriculture and the achievement of full civilisation. Almost from the beginning advanced historical cultures, grounded in astronomical time-reckoning, should have recorded the year at 365.25 days.

That they did not until the 7th Century B.C. stands as an unresolved and perplexing question. The cycle of the moon, too, was given different values before this time(107) and early Babylonian records of Venus' periods of visibility are clearly discordant with its present movements.(108) Uniformitarian science requires that such discrepancies be interpreted as errors on the part of the ancients, either through unconcern or incapacity for strict accuracy, denying the possibility that these discrepant observations truly represented nature at the time.(109) But to do so leaves anthropologists without a sufficiently accurate calendar by which to explain controlled agriculture, and provides behavioural science with the problem of rationalising apparently continuous failure at astronomic time-reckoning, though motive and capacity for success are in evidence both historically and archeologically.

As it stands, the interpretation seems to impose an impossibly long learning period on intelligent people whose concern for astronomy was expressed at all levels of their culture. Their only reinforcement for continuous concern with the calendar should have been practical success in measuring and exploiting the tropical year.

The noted reluctance to believe prehistoric knowledge of astronomy stands on equally prejudiced ground. Evidence of large settlements, elaborate culture, surplus food storage, and widespread trade during Meso- and Neolithic times denote successful exploitation of the environment by intelligent, specialised, and prospering people. Ecliptic oriented temples and an apparent continuity in symbolic traditions with historical cultures renders tenable the existence of an applied calendar and astral temple-culture during these times.

Marshack's archeological discoveries extend the earliest evidence for complex culture, symbol tradition, commemoration of the seasons, and, possibly, the earliest attempts to measure time astronomically to the beginnings of the biologically modern human race.

Clearly, the astronomer-priests of the earliest historical civilisations may have been exercising astronomical traditions already tens of thousands of years in evolutionary development and which, from the Near Eastern Meso- and Neolithic evidence, almost certainly was practised in some form during these prehistoric millennia. Early historical knowledge of the solstices, phases of the moon, planetary motions, the ecliptic path, the north star, the concept of constellations, and the use of both solar and lunar zodiacs, describes a complex tradition long since adequate for recognition and measurement of the tropical year and an accurate numbering of the days of the month.

The judgment that additional historical millennia were required before proper solutions were achieved is a strained negation of capacity among cultures otherwise praised for their achievements. As noted, this runs contrary to the behavioural outcomes expected from a system of competitive cultural evolution in which recognition of the tropical year is of primary selective advantage. A general emphasis on and correct knowledge of the tropical year should have been the rule among advanced cultures whose astronomy evolved under a uniformitarian sun.

To address the question fully, the problem itself must be examined in more detail. What contingencies governed the learning of early observers to whom the earth appeared to be stationary while the sky turned overhead? What kind of astronomy might emerge from individuals without knowledge of the physical nature of the universe and limited to observation with the naked eye?

Sunrise and sunset are cardinal events in a diumal world. Animal and plant life are phased by the alternation of day and night and a wide range of changes occur throughout nature at each transition. As dawn approaches, the sounds of nocturnal species fade, giving way to a developing pattern of sounds by birds and animals adapted to daylight. To this accompaniment, the eastern sky brightens in a rayed display of form and colour centred on the sun. In spring and summer, as the sun crosses the horizon, blossoms which have turned silently toward the brightening sky flower in an array of colour and begin to follow its path across the sky. Birds begin to fly and various animals and insects appear. Both temperature and moisture in the air may change over a wide range from the warmth of the early rays. The whole environment responds specifically and characteristically at each event according to the time of year.

As the seasons pass, the natural settings of sunrise and sunset shift in regular sequence, not only in the visible position of the sun on the horizon, but across a whole range of visual, auditory, olfactory, and other sensations from the attendant patterns of weather and wildlife. Among people subsisting directly from nature, such patterns not only place limits on daily activities, but establish different requirements for survival around the year, imposing a seasonal order on human behaviour as well. As sunrise and sunset, each with its particular and immediate implications for human activities, mark the intervals of daylight and dark in discrete steps along the horizon, the changing quality of associated phenomena directly manifest the recurrent cycle of environmental change to which different classes of behaviour must be effected to sustain life.

Figure 1 illustrates, approximately, the illusion of seasonal movement of sunrise along the eastern horizon. The annual cycle is represented in rough monthly intervnals as it might have appeared to prehistoric rock-shelter inhabitants somewhere in the northern hemisphere. If the reader will imagine the major stimulus qualities such as the brilliance of the sun, the range of colour, temperature, and sound which change with each scene, and "live" through a few years by looking counter-clockwise around the sequence of months the general point may be seen directly. Additional perceptually important details, not fully represented, are the changes in apparent rate of the sun's lateral movement during specific parts of the cycle and significant rates of change in the immediate environment which occur at particular times of year. The rapid greening of spring and the turning of leaves in autumn are familiar examples of the latter. The onset of local annual periods of rain, high winds, migrating game, and other significant discontinuities further subdivide the year into a regular succession of ecologically significant and, often, vital periods; each contiguously relates to sunrise along specific parts of the familiar horizon.

As the reader can see, the direct visual relationship alone would have become obvious to people with the perceptual acuity and visual spatial memory shown by Upper Paleolithic art. Without necessarily numbering the days or any interest in astronomy as such, a fully effective calendar could have been achieved through a mnemonic natural lore marking the order of seasonal change by the place of sunrise in relation to particular landmarks along the horizon. While the illustration here assumes a year-round settlement, the principle applies as well to nomadic people who remained only part of each year at a given site, as a moment's reflection will show. In either case, among intelligent, culturally advanced prehistoric people, so consistent a relationship would have been recognised by many groups, especially those with more sedentary patterns of adaptation, and in many eras of prehistory.

But the high level of cognitive functioning required even for this rough procedure is more complex than necessary for the direct association of horizon-positions of sunrise and sunset, imminent seasonal events, and adaptive behaviours. Since Pavlov first discovered and systematically investigated the development of conditioned behaviours in his laboratory dogs, the experimental science of behaviour has refined significantly the understanding of fundanental variables which govern the learning process. Through systematic control of the contingent relationships between stimuli and responses, variously complex associations, discriminations, and sequences of conditioned behaviour have been established in animals ranging from the biologically simple to man.

The temporal order and sensory effects which occur at each turning of day and night, the experiences which follow, and the gradually changing quality of the whole as the sun moves along the horizon, create in the environment the most basic paradigms described by behavioural science for establishing such conditioned learning. Toward the higher end of the phylogenetic scale, survival becomes increasingly dependent on learning and less grounded in instinctual controls. The capacity to learn highly complex responses to finely discriminated changes in environmental stimuli becomes the primary means of adaptation. With this in mind, analysis of the problem through the learning models of behavioural science leads directly to the conclusion that, in a uniformitarian environment, not only man but many types of animals as well would have developed behaviours associated with the annual movements of the sun.

[*!* Image]


The point will be presented more fully in a later section, but is raised here to emphasise the likelihood for very early perception and practical use of the sun-cycle as a guide to the seasons. Among developing cultures, application of simple observational techniques such as those explained by Lockyer, above, would have permitted a fully accurate accounting of the sun's motion and set the stage for achievement of the formal calendar.

In a second part of this study, the relation of the phenomena of the night sky will be considered as well from the standpoint of a problem in human perception and learning and the development of an integrated knowledge of astronomical cycles. Here, too, it will be shown that knowledge of the most fundamental elements of geocentric, naked-eye astronomy e.g., constellations, cardinal directions, the pole star is inherent in the interaction of human perceptual processes with the visual properties of the celestial sphere and the specific illusions of form and motion which result.

Through operation of the same behavioural principles noted for the sun, the accumulation of a complex and accurate astronomical lore appears likely from very early times, leaving only the achievement of adequate computational skills to bring a mature astronomy and the birth of full civilisation.

. . . to be continued


1. "Oldest of all were the astronomic gods." Will Durant, The Story of Civilisation, Vol. l
Our Oriental Heritage (New York: 1942), p. 234.
2. "Such efforts to wring the future out of the stars became a passion with the Babylonians
priests skilled in astrology reaped rich rewards from both people and king." Ibid., pp. 256-25 7.
3. J. Norman Lockyer, The Dawn of Astronomy ( 1st paperback ed.; Cambridge: MIT Press
1964), pp. 78, 82. See also S. Giedion, The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Architecture (N.Y., 1964).
4. "The stars were generally referred to as the host of heaven, an expression which was also
used in Babylon when the Moon god was the 'lord of hosts'." J.L.E. Dryer, A History of Astronomy (New York: Dover, 1953), p. 3.
5. "In fact in the earliest Sumerian pictographs which preceded cuneiform writing the
symbols for god and for star are identical." I.S. Shklovsku and Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe (New York: Dell, 1968), p. 460, S. Langdon, Semitic Mythology (Boston, 1931), p. 93.
6. Lewis M. Greenberg and Warner B. Sizemore, "Cosmology and Psychology," KRONOS, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 34-35. See also S. Giedion, The Eternal Present The Beginnings of Art (N.Y., 1962), p. 88.
7. E. Adamson Hoebel, Anthropology: The Study of Man (4th ed.; New York: 1972), p. 218.
8. Durant, op. cit., p. 128.
9. Ibid., pp. 232-233.
10. E.A. Wallis Budge, translator, The Book of the Dead (New Hyde Park: 1960), p. 86.
11. Ibid.,p.90. See also pp. 20-21.
12. Ibid., p. xiii
13. Ibid., p. 6.
14. E.A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. I (New York: Dover, 1969), pp. 8-9.
15. Durant, op. cit., p. 79.
16. Donald A. MacKenzie, Myths of Babylonia and Assyria(London: Gresham), p. 301.
17. Richard Hinckley-AUen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (New York: Dover, 1963), p. 7.
18. George Abell, Exploration of the Universe (2nd ed.; New York: 1969), p. 10.
19. Ibid.
20. Jonathan E. Reyman, "Nature and Nurture," Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, ed. A. Aveni, (Austin: 1975), p. 213. See also E. Chesley Baity, "Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy so Far," Current Anthropology, XIV (1973), 389431. "Comments" by eighteen scholars, 431438. "Reply" by Baity, 439449.
21. Michael D. Coe, "Native Astronomy in Mesoamerica," Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, ed. A. Aveni, (Austin: 1975), p. 3.
22. Anthony F. Aveni, "Possible Astronomical Orientations in Ancient Mesoamerica," Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, ed. A. Aveni, (Austin: 1975), pp. 166-170.
23. Coe, Loc. cit., p. 25.
24. Ibid., p. 18.
25. "Even without historical evidence the possibility that peculiar structures might have served an astronomical-ritualistic function is so straightforward that such buildings are often called 'observatories' by the excavators and site mappers." Aveni, Loc. cit., p. 172.
26. Coe, Loc. cit., p. 13.
27. Ibid., p. 27.
28. Ibid., p. 21.
29. Claude Britt, Jr., "Early Navajo Astronomical Pictographs," Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, ed. A. Aveni, (Austin: 1975), p. 101.
30. Ibid., pp. 92-93. See also p. 96.
31. Ray A. Williamson et al., "The Astronomical Record in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico," Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, ed. A. Aveni, (Austin: 1975), p. 34.
32. Florence Hawley Ellis, "Pueblo Sun-Moon-Star Calendar," Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, ed. A. Aveni, (Austin: 1975), p. 65.
33. Williamson et al., Loc. cit., p. 34.
34. See Science News, 109, (April 24, 1976), p. 261. See also Science News, 108, (November 29, 1975), p. 346.
35. Hoebel, op. cit., pp. 236-237.
36. Mircea Eliade, Rites and Symbols of Initiation ( "Harper Torchbooks"; New York: 1965), p. 14.
37. W. Ramsay Smith, Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals (London: 1970), pp. 17, 22, 24-25.
38. Sylvia Hallam, "Comments," in Alexander Marshack, "Cognitive Aspects of Upper Paleolithic Engraving," Current Anthropology, pp. 464465.
39. Ibid., p. 465.
40. Hoebel, op. cit., p. 183.
41. Alexander Marshack, Roots of Civilisation (New York: 1971), p. 36.
42. Hoebel, op. cit., p. 174.
43. Marvin Harris, Culture, Man and Nature (New York: 1971), p. 163.
44. Ibid., p. 172.
45. At one site "the people of the Middle Paleolithic built oval-shaped houses about 50 ft. Iong. Twenty-one such houses were excavated." Carol Ember and Melvin Ember Anthropology (New York: 1973), p. 123.
46. Marshack, Roots of Civilisation, op. cit., p. 374.
47. Harris, op. cit., p. 164.
48. Hoebel, op. cit., pp. 180-184.
49. Ibid., p. 180. The present author is not committed to these dates because of scientific uncertainty regarding C-14 dating (cf. Pensee IV, Spring-Summer 1973, pp. 12f).
50. Marshack, "Cognitive Aspects of Upper Paleolithic Engraving," Loc. cit., p. 445.
51. Hoebel, op. cit., p. 182.
52. Ibid., p. 187.
53. Harris, op. cit., p. 166.
54. Like the engraved materials, female figurines continue to appear in a variety of forms in later periods and are geographically widely distributed "It seems possible that they represent a cult of the goddess for in the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages to follow, there is no question of the importance of the worship of the mother goddess in the Middle East." Hoebel, op. cit., p. 188.
55. Ibid., p. 182.
56. Ibid.
57. Robert Silverberg, Man Before Adam (Philadelphia: 1964), p. 191.
58. H. W. Jansen, History of Art (New York: 1962), p. 19.
59. Ibid.,p. 18.
60. Walter Torbrugge, Prehistoric European Art, (New York: 1969), p. 7.
61. Ibid.
62. Harris, op. cit., p. 169.
63. Hoebel, op. cit., p. 184.
64. Ibid., p. 185.
65. Alexander Marshack, "Exploring the Mind of Ice Age Man," National Geographic, Vol 147, No. 1 (Jan. 1975), pp. 67-68.
66. Ibid., p. 73.
67. Ibid., p. 76.
68. Ibid., pp. 81-82.
69. Marshack, Roots of Civilisation, op. cit., p. 32.
70. Ibid., pp. 81-108.
71. Marshack, "Cognitive Aspects of Upper Paleolithic Engraving," Loc. cit., p. 457.
72. Marshack, "Exploring the Mind of Ice Age Man," Loc. cit., p. 70.
73 It is further noted that a similar figure is held to be the abstracted pictogram which eventually evolved into the letter "A" during the development of writing. Ibid., p. 73 See also J. R. Conrad, The Horn and the Sword (New York: 1957), p. 185.
74. Marshack, Roots of Civilisation, op. cit., p. 307.
75. Ibid., p. 335.
76. Ibid.
77. Ibid., p. 136.
78. Marshack, "Cognitive Aspects of Upper Paleolithic Engraving," Loc. cit., p. 461.
79. Ibid., pp. 461470. See especially comments by Movius, pp. 467469.
80. Marshack, Roots of Civilisation, op. cit., p. 136.
81. "The Mesolithic may be viewed as a terminal phase of the Paleolithic or as the initial phase of the Neolithic." Ralph L. Beals and Harry Haijer, An Introduction to Anthropology (3rd ed.; New York: 1965), p. 302.
82. Derek Roe, Prehistory (Berkeley: 1970), p. 106. See also Ember and Ember, op. cit., p. 159. 83. Ember and Ember, op. cit., p. 157.
84. Hoebel, op. cit., p. 205. See ref. no. 49.
85. Ember and Ember, op. cit., p. 157.
86. Hoebel, op. cit., p. 207.
87. Ember and Ember, op. cit., p. 159.
88. Hoebel, op. cit., pp. 205-208.
89. Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology (New York: 1962), p. 36.
90. Alexander S. Murray, Manual of Mythology (Boston: N.D.), see Plate 1.
91. Budge, Book of the Dead, op. cit., pp. 108, 195, 643.
92. Robert J. Trotter, "Tracing the Roots of Civilisation," Science News, 101, (February 19, 1972), p. 126.
93. As an example see the illustration on page 74 in Marshack, "Exploring the Mind of Ice Age Man," Loc. cit. See also "Prehistory" in the Encyclopedia of World Art, VoL Xl (N.Y.: 1966), pp. 574ff.
94. Durant, op. cit., p. 179.
95. Otto Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (2nd ed.; New York: Dover, 1969), p.80.
96. Ibid.,p. 14.
97. For a review of the literature and a discussion of the problem see Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (Garden City: 1950), pp. 330ff.
98. "Obelisk," The New Encydopedia Britannica, Macropoedia, VII, (1974), p. 460.
99. Walter Bartky, Highlights of Astronomy ("Phoenix Science Series"; Chicago: 1961), p.43.
100. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 359.
101. Abell, op. cit., p. 136.
102. B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (New York: 1971), p. 129.
103. Ibid., p. 18.
104. Lockyer, op. cit., p. 61.
105. Ibid.,pp. 62-63.
106. Ibid.,p. 106.
107. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 342.
108. Lynn E. Rose, "Babylonian Observations of Venus," Pensee III (Winter, 1973), p. 19.
109. Ibid. See also Lynn E. Rose and Raymond C. Vaughan, "Analysis of the Babylonian Observations of Venus," KRONOS II, 2 (November, 1976), pp. 3-26; John V. Myers, "Sin and the Control System " KRONOS II, 2 (November, 1976), pp. 87-89.

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