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Thirty thousand years of silence

  • Giulio Magli
Chapter

This book deals with how humankind experienced its relationship with the sky and the stars. It should therefore begin with the moment the first human started thinking for the first time about the natural world, about the sky above, attempting to keep track of its cycles and attribute meaning to them. The problem is that we do not know when this happened. Until just a few years ago, anyone would have taken it for granted that this date fell not before early humans began establishing permanent settlements, at the end of the Upper Paleolithic age, around 8000 BC. This is when, according to every text on prehistory, the hunter-gatherers became sedentary farmer-herders and started forming villages and then cities, and the need to perform certain agricultural procedures at the right time led them to keep track of the celestial cycles and thus to fashion a calendar. In addition, the need to store food and provisions led them to discover how to bake clay for making vessels, which led to the flowering of the early trades, which led to further steps in civilization's development.

No one would have challenged this hypothesis, including Karel Absolon, directorate archaeological excavations at Dolni Vestonice, in Moravia, a site dating from c. 24,000 BC. That is, until one fine day when the soil at Dolni gave forth a little baked clay figurine.

Think about the immensity of sixteen thousand years. That figurine was sixteen thousand years older than it should have been. So Professor Absolon decided, naturally, that it simply could not be true.

Keywords

Cave Bear Woolly Rhinoceros Ceremonial Center Early Trade Sexual Rite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Magli

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