THE ONCE AND FUTURE SKY GOD? – From Göbekli Tepe to The Zodiac – and Beyond…

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Have yet to read your last entry, however did read what you wrote on the bottleneck and the Northwest Coast - Vancouver Island Kwakwakawakw (Kwakwaka’wakw) and Bella Coola Kusiut, and have been around these tribes and have photos from years ago of ceremonies brought inland to the interior. Had never though of the ceremonies in this way, nor the links to said societies presented by you. This is something - brings up many things.

Noticed also here, if not seen, some old photos of the Hamatsa (very strange) and a dance below:

Hamsamala (Dance of the Hamatsa Masks)​


Here is a paper of the masks of Bella Coola (SFU).


And this describes the Bella Bella in more depth.

Revenge, trespass, violation of custom, and seasonal shortages of food were common causes of war


This made me think of the Haida Gwaii find (out from Bella Coola) that was reported to be 400 ft. below sea level and 13,800 years old. What was going on back then?


As an aside, there is also a modern day connection to the Kwakwaka’wakw by Jordan Peterson with his friend, as seen in this video, followed by controversy as explained in this hit piece.

There is another article that deals with a lost link (possibly 10,000 years) to a village near Bella Bella:


Which lines up with this article:


This area and history, all so strangely unknown.
 

Michael B-C

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Göbekli Tepe – terrorist site of ideological indoctrination

1. INTRODUCTION


1..jpg
Then to Adam [Yahweh] said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:​
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;​
In toil you shall eat of it​
All the days of your life.​
…In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread​
Till you return to the ground,​
For out of it you were taken;​
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”​
Genesis 3:17, 19, New King James Version


Cursed is the ground for your sake …In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground.

Some traditions claim that the Tree of Knowledge Eve enticed Adam to taste the fruit thereof was a Fig. An ancient Armenian legend, however, states that whilst its bough was indeed of heavenly grace, its fruit of temptation was in fact an ear of wheat.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Among the many, many enigmatic finds unearthed at Göbekli Tepe, I think the following tiny object may well prove to be one of the most meaningful:

2..jpg


A tiny green plaquette with the sombre air of a crucifixion scene: the central figure, arms stretched aloft, is at once human-like in form whilst also reminiscent of a tree or a branching pillar. To its left a writhing serpent stands tall upon its tail, its head turned inwards to confront the suspended figure (and are those 6 or 7 dots to its left intentional or merely the grime of millennia past?) Upon the right hand, a bird, wings bent back in flight, its direction of resolve upwards at great speed towards the heavens.

This cryptic trinity - human/tree (God-man?); serpent; bird in flight – predates Christian iconography by some 10,000 years. It is in fact far closer in time to maybe its true companion piece, the legendary cave scene at Lascaux which we touched upon earlier and which scholar Mary Settegast suggested as being the Calvary scene for the fast fading Golden Age.

3..jpg

I will return in time to the implications behind these musings.

Before then I will seek to unpack and distill for you a myriad of threads I have been yanking on as I’ve further researched the mystery that is Göbekli Tepe. This will take quite a series of posts, so hopefully you can bear with me on the journey; I think you will find it worthwhile in the end.

To do this I need to begin by placing the site within a much wider geographical, historical and even cosmic context. For though it garners nearly all the headlines, Göbekli Tepe does not stand alone as if an island. Far from it. The sudden and apparently fully formed emergence of Enclosure D in and around 9,700-9,500BC did not happen by chance but rather was, as we will see, but a single standout element within a wider sea-change towards the imposition of a dominant ideology that in under 1,500 years drove the hunter gatherers of ancient Anatolia to cast aside their harmonious wanderings inherited from their many ancestors and to settle instead for a baleful sedentary life of agricultural sweat and toil upon the land. All this happened many thousands of years before the first city-state appeared further south in Mesopotamia, where hitherto it was an established truth that the centralisation of authority led to agriculture as a means by which to sustain and manage urban growth. That predominant theory has now collapsed beneath the wealth of recent evidence that irrefutably proves agriculture came first with dense urban dwelling following on long after as an inevitable seeming by-product of the demands of the growing complexity of the compressed - and I suspect heavily indoctrinated and closely watched over - communities that took up this new way of life.

Thus ideology - a change of consciousness and mind and action - emerged first. And out of this acted upon ideology, this change of mind, grew first of all a unique and highly revealing, awareness-framing architecture of monumentally sculptured stone, like some epoch defining set of New Commandments.

I have previously suggested that:
  • According to the C’s, the transition period out of the Ice Age and into the Neolithic saw significant structural changes take place to earth’s hitherto all-pervading cosmic environment, including an increase in the level of gravity, the loss of a suspended vapour canopy and some form of shift in orbital pattern. The planet that emerged was therefore fundamentally changed above-and-beyond the series of relatively short-term calamities that its inhabitants went through inside this deeper transition.
  • Beginning as early as 20,000BC something unknown and non-localised (perhaps emanating from the information field itself as a result of all the above?) disrupted human fertility leading to a sustained upsurge in the global ratio of females to males being born which by the end of the Younger Dryas cold spell (around 9,600BC) had already seen this disproportion grown to an 8 to 1 ratio (a figure that was to extend out to a massively unaligned ratio of 17 to 1 by 5,000BC before near instantly receding once more).
  • In line with the thesis of Prof. Hayden, terrorist secret societies were active as early as the late Epipalaeolithic, and that near-east cultures bridging the Younger Dryas and the PPNA, such as the Zarzians of Kurdistan, (circa. 18,000 – 9,000BC) and the Natufians of the Levant (circa. 15,000–11,000BC) already reveal tell-tell signs of manipulative STS intrusion into the path of their development.
  • Dating back to 18,000 BC, if not before, sporadic outcrops of seasonally incipient settlements, husbandry and early attempts at fostering grains, began to crop up in random seeming hot spots between North Africa and the Levant. Though these shifts in orientation did not take hold long-term, they are witness to both attempts to respond to a slowly warming yet ever changing climate as well as likely the first implementation of nefarious ideas that had already begun to germinate out of deep cave complexes and other enclosed environments where survivors of the climate holocaust previously gathered for safety.
  • Beneath all this and driving changes in human thought and practice, the long ecological fall out from repetitive climatic events leading up in to and then out of the Younger Dryas calamity of 10,900BC, left both the natural environment and human consciousness deeply traumatised and ripe for the plucking, with the likely repetitive return of the cosmic engines of destruction an ever present reality and reminder of the existential threat from above.
We'll start off afresh with a series of maps. In understanding the course of this narrative, grasping the importance of geography and geology is essential if one is to keep hold of the complex strands that weave together to make up the web of our story.

4.1.jpg
Top left: the arch of the Fertile Crescent. Top right: the spread of significant rooted settlements that emerged during the PPN A-B down to around 7,500BC. Beneath: the geographic coverage of Natufian activity throughout the Levant and up to the southern reaches of Anatolia, a pivotal culture that bridges the pre Younger Dryas and post Younger Dryas worlds.

Just about everyone has heard of the so called ‘Fertile Crescent’, though many assume it simply refers to the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern Iraq that saw the rise of the later Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian civilisations after circa 6,000 BC. However, as you can see it in fact covers a huge swathe of territory stretching from the boarders of Egypt, up through the entire Middle East, across the lower regions of Turkey and down through northern Iraq and on into Iran. This is the region that saw an eruption of settlements and activities in the post Younger Dryas period of the Pre Pottery Neolithic (PPN), which is typically broken down into two distinct periods:
  • the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) between ca. 9,500 BC and 8,500 BC,
  • with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) following on between ca. 8,700 BC and 6,000 BC
leading into the Pottery Neolithic, ca. 6,400–4,500 BC, when “neolithization” fully kicked in.

From Wikipedia:

Fertile Crescent - Biodiversity and climate

As crucial as rivers and marshlands were to the rise of civilization in the Fertile Crescent, they were not the only factor. The area is geographically important as the "bridge" between North Africa and Eurasia, which has allowed it to retain a greater amount of biodiversity than either Europe or North Africa, where climate changes during the Ice Age led to repeated extinction events when ecosystems became squeezed against the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Fertile Crescent had many diverse climates, and major climatic changes encouraged the evolution of many "r" type annual plants, which produce more edible seeds than "K" type perennial plants. The region's dramatic variety in elevation gave rise to many species of edible plants for early experiments in cultivation. Most importantly, the Fertile Crescent was home to the 8 Neolithic founder crops important in early agriculture (i.e., wild progenitors to emmer wheat, einkorn, barley, flax, chick pea, pea, lentil, bitter vetch), and 4 of the 5 most important species of domesticated animals - cows, goats, sheep, and pigs; the fifth species, the horse, lived nearby. The Fertile Crescent flora comprises a high percentage of plants that can self-pollinate, but may also be cross-pollinated. These plants, called "selfers", were one of the geographical advantages of the area because they did not depend on other plants for reproduction.

While much of the focus of the YD impact and fall out has understandably been on the Americas, it was as we know a truly global event. Among other things, the 1,300-year cold spell that followed led to significant climactic shifts all over the planet with localised ecologies transitioning into states more akin to northerly or southerly norms.

5..jpg

In ancient Anatolia, conditions turned cold, very dry and arid, with lake levels dropping dramatically, sometimes by as much as 260 meters, with water also turning more saline. It was a harsh world - a landscape with few trees and precious little shelter above ground. Concurrent with this, rolling volcanic activity and earthquakes are likely to have been a constant reality, especially in the tectonically challenged region of Anatolia. The constant shaking, out gassing and eruptions would have added greatly to the perpetual seeming instability and ‘anger’ of the environment even as the cold gradually relented.

6..jpg
However, pollen studies do show it took several hundred years for Anatolia to turn more arid which must have given survivors enough time to evolve their food gathering practices with the changing climate and landscape. Again, at the end of the Younger Dryas, even when the rains returned, it took many centuries for woodland expansion to really take hold; the slow return of wet winters saw lake levels dramatically rise again, pistachio shrubs become more abundant across the landscape - more so than trees - and wild grasses, plants and crops begin to reclaim the land.

In an effort to keep abreast with all these changes, in particular the large herds of prey that dominated the plains of the Levant and the steppes of Anatolia, (and which hunter-gatherers so relied on), gradually changed their breeding and migration patterns and moved in great numbers with the climate into regions further north that better suited their needs. The resultant unreliability and unpredictability of primary foodstuffs in the region is of utmost importance in understanding the slow breakdown of the deep faith – for that is what it was – in the righteous and sacred bond between the hunter, the hunted and the benevolent womb of the natural world itself.

With the cessation of the post YD mini ice age ca. 9,600 BC, the temperatures precipitously rose, bringing about a slow blossoming of new flora and fauna in the region. No better environment could be seeded for new growth allowing for the emergence of agriculture on the Middle Euphrates and further south within the Levantine corridor. But this was some way up ahead; in the early 10th millennium the primary food sources remained for many more centuries wild game such as gazelles, red deer, wild boar, auroch, and wild sheep, supplemented with copious amounts of almonds and pistachios.

Hunter-gatherers would work together in small bands to fulfill their primary functions in life, with these being hunting wild game, foraging for various types of food, and ensuring the well-being and safety of their extended family group. They created temporary settlements that they occupied only at certain times of the year; for the rest of the time the hunters followed the migrational routes of herd animals. They relied on these animals for food; clothes; fat for balms, fires, and lamps; bone, horn, and antler for weapons, tools, and items of personal adornment; and sinew (thin shredded fibers of muscle tendons) for use as cordage, binding points on arrow shafts, and as a backing material on bows.​
Epipaleolithic (that is, transitional Paleolithic) hunters used established campsites and work stations, kitted out with basic facilities, before moving on to the next site, and the next site, and so forth, until eventually they returned to their original place of departure. This was their cycle of life, and it would have remained so had neolithization not gotten in the way.​
Gobekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods: The Temple of the Watchers and the Discovery of Eden, Andrew Collins, 151-152​

(As an aside, I would not normally rely on Andrew Collins for anything – but I have no hesitation in giving the above work a high recommendation, for it is to my mind his one stand out offering, bringing together into one volume so many of the important wider threads that others so ignore. Yes, his deductions can be hamstrung by certain blind spots, but overall he comes closer in this work than anyone I have read to grasping the pivotal role the ideology merging on Göbekli Tepe played in the future direction of the world)

This then is our brief overview of the multi-faceted environmental context of the time. As we move forward from here, I will be increasingly drawing in our focus to specific geographic areas of interconnecting developments as per the following:

7..jpg

  1. ARMENIA: This tortured land of the people of the horse, long ignored and in truth persecuted to near extinction at times, has perhaps the rightful claim to holding the most ancient clues to the matrix cradle of our story.
  2. THE PLAIN OF MUŞ: if anywhere on earth has the right to lay claim to being the terrestrial model for Paradise and the Garden of Eden, then it is this wondrous valley plain, where I suspect once upon a time the young Gurdjieff came in search of esoteric knowledge long hidden in its ancient monasteries, which before the Armenian genocide of 1915, so graced its surrounding mountain slopes.
  3. UPPER TIGRIS BEGINNINGS: Here at the upper reaches of the Tigris River, the late Epipalaeolithic/early PPNA settlements of Hallan Çemi and Kortik Tepe shaped the Anatolian beginnings of what would spread west before long to Göbekli Tepe.
  4. THE PLAIN OF HARRAN – around which our story crystallizes at the sites of Göbekli and Karahan Tepe.
  5. NORTHERN REACHES OF NATUFIAN LAVANT INFLUENCE – here in Northern Syria, even as the Younger Dryas impact event shook the land, at sites such as Tell Abu Hureyra shoots of Southern Levantine influence reached out to the very boarders of where later agricultural imperatives were to take firm root.
  6. PAUL OF TARSUS – and by way of the immensely long reach of our story, let us not forget in passing that ten millennia later a man named Paul was to emerge from this crucible by way of his home city of Tarsus with a story to tell by way of a means to save humankind from its ignominious Fall from Eden.

To be continued.
 
Last edited:

rrraven

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
The ratio thing has me intrigued, its been spinning in my head since I first read it here
So many implications , total rethink of what l imagined life in ancient times was like
So if the male female ratio was what it was ...does that mean the workforce to build all those monuments was mainly female ? Or was the building a result of sudden increase of males being put to work by the womenfolk to keep them out of trouble :whistle:
Feeding and clothing her family and build shelters has always been a womans role and males ofen just get in the way so we sent them ,,hunting ,, as in go and kill something with your mates , just keep out of camp making a mess , don't come back untill you have something to bring back
Apparently native women were able to feed the whole fam with 3 hours of gathering or fishing per day , what the hunters brought back was just bonus
Speaking of australian natives now , Anatolia was no doubt very different
 

Michael B-C

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
The ratio thing has me intrigued, its been spinning in my head since I first read it here
So many implications , total rethink of what l imagined life in ancient times was like
So if the male female ratio was what it was ...does that mean the workforce to build all those monuments was mainly female ? Or was the building a result of sudden increase of males being put to work by the womenfolk to keep them out of trouble :whistle:
Feeding and clothing her family and build shelters has always been a womans role and males ofen just get in the way so we sent them ,,hunting ,, as in go and kill something with your mates , just keep out of camp making a mess , don't come back untill you have something to bring back
Apparently native women were able to feed the whole fam with 3 hours of gathering or fishing per day , what the hunters brought back was just bonus
Speaking of australian natives now , Anatolia was no doubt very different
Yes rrraven, a total rethink is indeed implied. Obviously when it comes to the onset of this phenomenon, and for the first few thousand years of its growing reality, we are scrabbling around in the dark with barely a match to light the way. One thing that stands out is that for a significant period of the first stages of the PPN post 9,500BC there are next to no images relating directly to the female crafted anywhere in the region we are exploring; at the sites we will soon look at in detail such as Göbekli and Karahan Tepe, every power image - be it human seeming, anthropomorphic or recognisably animal (at least in symbolic form) - focuses in on its male aspect. The emergence of widespread so called 'goddess/fertility' imagery of the near-east Neolithic doesn't really begin much before around the turn of the 6th millennium BC, (coinciding perhaps not coincidentally with the beginning of the rapid return to a closer parity of female to male births of around 3 to 1), and that period delivered the essentially victorious, unshakable stage of agricultural imposition - as if human agriculture had taken on the mantle of the all giving divine nature that must now be fully relied upon by the female to ensure her own divine fertility. It's most strange - almost as if once the war of minds was finally decided, the 'power' was switched off and down fell the ratio at precisely the time of STS stage 1 mission accomplished. Its only after that we see the rise of goddess iconography once more alongside male figures becoming the norm.

The paradox of course is that agriculture did the opposite of what it was ideologically espoused as delivering; the increasing amount of skeletal remains found as we move forward in time reveal an extraordinarily high level of maladies, nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, teeth decay and abscess, crippling injuries from hard labour, and above all an untimely death. In fact some of the earliest data on this matter comes from an important late PPNB site we will look at anon called Çayönü Tepesi which is one of the first agriculturally focused and sedentary driven settlements of any significant size and longevity; here the average life span of male remains was in their mid 50s whilst the female's was between 20-25!! This, among other signs, makes me suspect that females were treated very differently to males. Dare one say almost dispensably so. Boy children must have been seen as priceless, whilst girls were 12 a penny and essentially worthless other than as work horses. It is likely their breeding worth started as young as 11-12 and after multiple births and few surviving offspring, they died a tragically spent force. I also suspect that with the birth rate ratio way out of kilter, all efforts went into maintaining the boys lives at the expense of the girls, so the mortality rate of girls from birth onward must have been awfully high. There is later evidence we will look at that violence towards women - and in particular via head injuries which is seen by anthropologists as signs of ritual punishment and control - was high as well as evidence that strongly suggests men were fed differently to women with a far higher percentage of meat and fat in their diets (especially among the elite). Also as we will see shortly, the architecture of living arrangements became extremely male (or maybe increasingly left brain driven - which I think is actually the most important consciousness shift that was going on aka 'The master and his emissary'/'The matter with things' by Iain McGilchrist) and we will see how the circular design of shelters spread out with space between to breathe in slowly became swapped out for the rectangular box shape, rammed in one on top of the other. This is one of the essential signs of the transition from PPNA to PPNB that archeologists note happened everywhere but no explanation for this profound shift in spatial relationship is ever given. Again I believe it was ideological and had to do with control and herd management (as well as symbolically representing a hitherto alien way of viewing the world via living and cult spaces). Then there is the issue of how such comparative scarcity - and therefore intrinsic value - would have been placed on males per say, allied to the likely high level of competition between females for the prime place at the table, all of which offered a perfect environment for those Cluster B gene carriers to flourish undetected and uncontrolled.

The battle for control over human consciousness has been long and hard, yet even today the seed of the original way of harmony and balance refuses to go quietly, so its worth baring in mind that the introduction of this new way of being must have met considerable resistance (as it has repeatedly done down through the ages since and long after it had firmly established itself as the seeming norm). That's why the pressure exerted at this early stage was so intense and bizarre - (think COVID propaganda on steroids!) - because it went against nature from the outset, or rather set up and magnified an aspect of nature into a binary opposition with the rest of reality, and that's why I think the people took so long to succumb - but succumb enough they did and the rest followed on to where we are today. Still fighting the long defeat!
 

Mark7

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
...the imposition of a dominant ideology that in under 1,500 years drove the hunter gatherers of ancient Anatolia to cast aside their harmonious wanderings inherited from their many ancestors and to settle instead for a baleful sedentary life of agricultural sweat and toil upon the land. All this happened many thousands of years before the first city-state appeared further south in Mesopotamia, where hitherto it was an established truth that the centralisation of authority led to agriculture as a means by which to sustain and manage urban growth. That predominant theory has now collapsed beneath the wealth of recent evidence that irrefutably proves agriculture came first with dense urban dwelling following on long after as an inevitable seeming by-product of the demands of the growing complexity of the compressed - and I suspect heavily indoctrinated and closely watched over - communities that took up this new way of life.
Left alone, I suspect people would have adapted agriculture slowly, and organically as it suited their needs instead of relatively fast and on such a massive scale. Sort of like the way people, given a choice, would probably slowly and organically give up fossil fuels, (like there was an actual need), instead of all in at the start of what looks like a severe winter. But orders 'come from above' in this long age.

Interesting stuff, looking forward to learning more about these early 'social engineers'.
 

Michael B-C

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Göbekli Tepe – a terrorist site of ideological indoctrination

2. THE NATUFIAN CONNECTION

1..jpg

The Cambridge World Prehistory (2014)


3.9 Anatolia: From The PPN to the End of The Early Bronze Age (10,500 – 2,000 BCE) Mehmet ÖzdoğAn

Pre-Pottery Neolithic and the problem of origins

At present, designating an origin for the PPN cultures of Anatolia is rather difficult – the main problem being the paucity of remains that are ascribed to the final stages of the Upper Paleolithic Period. This particular cultural stage, defined as either Epi-Paleolithic, Mesolithic or Final Paleolithic, with the exception of coastal areas, is poorly represented in most of Anatolia. Even in the most intensively surveyed areas in the inner parts of the Anatolian Peninsula, whatever has been ascribed to this period consists mainly of ad hoc pieces with no sign of any complexity that could be the origin of later Pre-Pottery cultures (Özdoğan 2008a).

The issue of “origins” has to be considered separately for southeastern and central Anatolia. In the southeastern parts, where the cultural setting is more or less similar to that of the Levant, it has been conventional to trace the origins back to Natufian and Kebaran horizons; in central Anatolia, however, designating an origin is more complicated as common elements with the Levant are less apparent then they are in the southeast.

At present in central Anatolia, between the final stages of the Mesolithic cultures, as best documented at Öküzini (Yalçınkaya et al. 2002), and the earliest known Pre-Pottery settlements in the same region, there is a time gap of at least two thousand years with no apparent links, implying that they were genetically unrelated to each other, leaving open the question of origins. … there are almost no common elements among the cultural assemblages of Mesolithic Karain or Öküzini and the Neolithic sites such as Bademağacı or Höyücek that are close to each other…

The beginning of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture in south-eastern Turkey is at least a millennium earlier than in central Anatolia. There, as in northern Syria and Iraq, it appears almost suddenly, fully developed with no detectable predecessors. The early stages of PPNA are now known from Hallan Çemi, Körtik Tepe, Gürcütepe, all sharing similar but at the same time rather sophisticated assemblages.

… considering the homogeneity and the high level of sophistication, it seems obvious to surmise that there must have been a long period for it to develop earlier
. In our view, the early cultures of the southern Levant lack the degree of sophistication to be the ancestral stage of these cultures; only future research will show whether or not the PPNA culture came to south-eastern Turkey after developing fully elsewhere.

Respected Turkish Prof. Mehmet ÖzdoğAn is one of the few leading scholars in the field still willing to break cover and point out the gorilla in the room that, with the evidence available to us today, all the signs are that something unique and unsettling to the status quo took place in southern Anatolia right at the very beginning of the PPNA. On the one hand he acknowledges the over 2,000 year break in continuity in central Anatolia between the final stages of the Mesolithic cultures and the emergence of the earliest known PPN sites in the same region, whilst on the other he admits to the disconcerting truth that meanwhile next door in the southern Anatolian districts something came from ‘elsewhere’ and from its first emergence appeared essentially fully formed and ready to go, more than 1,000 years sooner than its near neighbour. To cap it all, the only known possible nearby source – the Natufians of the Levant – did not come close in sophistication to explain this dramatic and near instant acceleration in cultural complexity so soon after the Younger Dryas hiatus.

This final point is essentially true. However, that does not mean that southern influences were not in the mix or that the Natufians were as pedestrian and ‘innocent’ by comparison as he intimates.


NATUFIAN: OLD TIES vs SECRET SOCIETY INFLUENCE


The Natufians of the Levant, (one of those makey-up names created by archaeologists to give seeming singular identity and purpose to disparate yet interconnected stages of widespread cultural development), first emerged during the Bølling-Allerød warming around 13,000 BC but only came into stark relief as they started to partially settle in numbers from circa 12,000 BC onwards, gaining momentum as a distinctive set of cultural tropes right up to the Younger Dryas boundary when much of what made them distinctive was so abruptly upended.

2..jpg

The Levant hosts more than a hundred kinds of cereals, fruits, nuts, lentils, and other edible parts of plants, and the flora of the Levant during the Natufian period was not the dry, barren, and thorny landscape we know today, but rather was covered in food and game sustaining woodlands interlaced with migratory game tracks. In particular, they principally chose to settle on or near by to water courses and this is something of importance to note going forward, for as Prof. Hayden has referenced, the use of inland waterways was an essential tool of Secret Society intrusion into diversely spread cultures, enabling the shaping and control over time of trade and networking economies across large areas of land as well as the spreading of ideas and the maintenance of titular oversight. Again, it will be no mere coincidence that the first early settlements of the PPNA in southern-Anatolia appeared on or close to major river networks.

There is considerable evidence that by the height of their development, trade links spanned the whole region north to south which in particular was driven by the widespread obsession with Turkish sourced Obsidian, the pitch-black, razor sharp volcanic glass-stone so prized by elite hunters (think a cross between a weapon of mass destruction and a sacred gift from the gods of fire), which will play such a pivotal role in our story going forward:

3..jpg

Natufian Foragers in the Levant: Terminal Pleistocene Social Changes in Western Asia

Chapter 15: Obsidian in Natufian Context: The Case of Eynan (Ain Mallaha), Israel by Hamoudi Khalaily and Francois R. Valla

The Levantine archaeological record has shown that obsidian was traded up to 900 km south of its origin in the late prehistoric periods and was one of the desirable materials among Near Eastern prehistoric societies. These studies have shown that most of the Levantine obsidian originated from several geological outcrops located in central and eastern Turkey (Cauvin et. al. 1998).

The earliest evidence of long-distance ex-change in obsidian occurs during the late-glacial period, among Epipaleolithic hunting and foraging groups around the Fertile Crescent and the Iranian hills (Blackman 1984), while the earliest obsidian finds in the northern Levant were reported from the Natufian occupations at Abu Hureira 1 (Moore 1991:279), Mureybet IA and EI Kowm (Cauvin 1991). Further south, isolated pieces were found in the Judean desert (Neuville 1951:15).

… In conclusion, the presence of obsidian artifacts in the Final Natufian of Mallaha in large quantities suggests that such commodities were introduced to the southern Levant before the beginning of the Neolithic from Turkey. Hence, the long distance cultural contacts between the pre-historic cultures were well-developed, although at different levels of intensity.

We will come back to Obsidian later.

Whilst maintaining many traditional hunter-gatherer practices, the Natufians were a step up from the norm to date and herald the title of being a complex hunter-gatherer society; it is proclaimed by historians of the period that they established comparatively large, and for the first time, sedentary communities alongside more mobile communities; they practised a broad spectrum of hunting and foraging but also some of the first intensive plant exploitation as well as developing more elaborate mortuary practices, with an increasing particular focus on the skull (which we will come on to).

As previously mentioned, the Natufians marked several other pivotal firsts; the world's oldest evidence of bread-making in Jordan's north-eastern desert; the oldest known evidence of beer production at the Raqefet Cave in Israel (dating to approximately 11,000 BC… one wonders at both the location and the timing right on the YD boundary…?); and most importantly in the late North Syrian site of Tell Abu Hureyra, (whose demise we will explore further below), the cultivation of cereals, specifically rye, being the earliest evidence of deliberate agriculture in the world, for which we can add yet another first to the list, though it appeared late in the day during the early years of the PPNA (as if the ‘industry’ was showing signs of becoming entrenched and getting up an economic head of steam).

Evidence for food storage and pre-domestication granaries 11,000 years ago in the Jordan Valley
Food storage is a vital component in the economic and social package that comprises the Neolithic, contributing to plant domestication, increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and new social organizations. Recent excavations at Dhra′ near the Dead Sea in Jordan provide strong evidence for sophisticated, purpose-built granaries in a pre-domestication context ≈11,300–11,175 cal B.P., which support recent arguments for the deliberate cultivation of wild cereals at this time. Designed with suspended floors for air circulation and protection from rodents, they are located between residential structures that contain plant-processing instillations. The granaries represent a critical evolutionary shift in the relationship between people and plant foods, which precedes the emergence of domestication and large-scale sedentary communities by at least 1,000 years.

4..jpeg
Interpretive reconstruction of Structure 4, phase 1, Dhra′, Jordan. The exposed area illustrates the upright stones supporting larger beams, with smaller wood and reeds above, and finally covered by a thick coating of mud. The suspended floor sloped at 7° and served to protect stored foods from high levels of moisture and rodents (Illustration by E. Carlson).

Alongside all this, wherever they settled they were also renowned for some of the first acknowledged portable ‘ritual’ sculpture as well as idiosyncratic circular stone architecture.

5..jpg

Material Images of Humans from the Natufian to Pottery Neolithic Periods in the Levant (British Archaeological Reports International Series. 2014),

Estelle Orrelle, P44-45

Natufian Architecture

Natufian structures are circular, made of stone, and many are partially sunk into the ground. Postholes in some sites are assumed to have supported roofs. Bar-yosef notes that these were first referred to by Perrot as “pit-houses” in the terminology used for dwellings of some American indigenous people. This assumption that such structures were dwellings led excavators to interpret sites as the remains of villages and the Natufian was regarded as a sedentary or semi-sedentary culture and considered a forerunner of later Neolithic farming communities. Goring-Morris and belfer-cohen note that ritual activities at some early Natufian hamlets is suggested by the presence of monoliths, as at for example Wadi Hammeh, eynan and rosh Zin, and the presence of other mobile symbolic items. Occupations were both in caves and in open territory. Features of the architecture, I suggest, support an interpretation of ritual activity addressing both underground (chthonic) and celestial deities.

Natural penetrations of the earth’s surface such as caves, crevices and niches in bedrock are common locations for communication with the underworld. I suggest that features of the Natufian such as cave occupations, subterranean construction, bedrock mortars and cupholes simulate these natural features and provide such liminal locations. Ascent symbols such as monoliths, trees, towers (PPNa) and mountain locations are traditionally associated with communication with both the celestial and underground worlds.

…Evidence for posts in the Natufian may indicate not roof supports, but worship of celestial gods whose burnt offerings required roofless structures and which allow smoke from burnt offerings to ascend. Deposition of human remains in relation to post holes suggests sacrifice to such celestial gods e.g. a posthole intrudes into the grave of an elderly female at Eynan.

Natufian sites are characterized too by installations such as pavements, hearths, graves and pits. The largest Natufian sites contain several structures. Both the ritual significance in Natufian structures and the labour required for their construction support their description as monumental architecture.

From Wikipedia:

The habitations of the Natufian were semi-subterranean, often with a dry-stone foundation. The superstructure was probably made of brushwood. No traces of mudbrick have been found, which became common in the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). The round houses have a diameter between three and six meters, and they contain a central round or subrectangular fireplace. In Ain Mallaha traces of postholes have been identified. Villages can cover over 1,000 square meters. Smaller settlements have been interpreted by some researchers as camps. Traces of rebuilding in almost all excavated settlements seem to point to a frequent relocation, indicating a temporary abandonment of the settlement. Settlements have been estimated to house 100–150 people, but there are three categories: small, medium, and large, ranging from 15 sq. m to 1,000 sq. m.

As you may have detected I have some serious questions relating to all these ‘assumptions’ and ‘interpretations’, as does Emeritus Professor Dimitrios S. Dendrinos of the School Of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas. In a 2016 paper critiquing many of the architectural assumptions made by archaeologists with regard to dating as well as identifying the urban purpose of ancient buildings in the region, he states:

… On the Natufian culture’s architecture, we have a number of examples where structures (both private and public) are shown... they contain some stone foundations, yet no mud brick structures.

In these Natufian settlements, one comes across examples of pre-systematic agriculture practices especially in animal husbandry and in cereals. Fisheries was an important part of their diet, and locations close to rivers were apparently at a premium... their construction details and morphology consists of relatively round or arch shaped small scale structures... These type houses are apparently huts, made out of timber… and clay plaster resting on roughly assembled unfinished stones from local origin or quarries. However, the relative permanency of the foundations may indicate that this was a structure belonging to a member of the upper class. Certainly, less durable homes were then in existence, non-durable huts belonging to the then plebeians.

… possibly a rudimentary hierarchy must have existed within a region, defined as an area that would allow economic and social interaction among its members (not necessarily all peaceful interaction), where some small number of relatively high population levels (possibly around 300 individuals) would be on top of the hierarchy with exponentially decreasing in size settlements
thereafter.

Here the professor is identifying a basic flaw in all the benign, egalitarian assumptions concerning the Natufian’s sudden proclivity for settled life (but only some of them and only sometimes it seems…) with an immediate leap to stone foundation buildings, (without any signs of mud brick which would be a far more likely first stage or at least a supporting tool), which are assumed to be examples of normal Natufian housing. However, a close look at the density of many of these settlements as centrally demarked by these unique stone foundation and floored buildings suggests a volume of inhabitants that would have been far too low to justify or deliver upon all the upsurges in new technologies and practices, let alone the need or independent imagination and cohesion to come up with them. His basic observation is thus that what has come down to us are the stone foundations of elite buildings which would have been surrounded by many more ‘plebeian’ structures – like the typical wigwams that other Natufian’s (who remained mobile) lived in all year round, and which were made of destructible materials, and which therefore have long since disappeared into the landscape without a trace.

6..jpg
7..jpg

This is a pattern we will meet over and over again. Central, more complex stone-based buildings surrounded – like bees around a honey pot – by lesser status buildings, often temporary or more rudely constructed, which coagulate around ground breaking economic and surplus based activities that are connected in a network to other such outcrops (whilst meanwhile ‘normal’ hunter-gatherer activities come and go in the wider environment).

Therefore, we have:
  • The knowing cultivation of grains
  • The development of bread
  • The arrival of beer (in a cave).
  • The beginnings of sedentary labour
  • The building of specialist surplus retention buildings
  • The signs of sacrifice (including possibly human)
  • Small enclosed stone buildings at the centre of activity
  • Post holes that may have contained ritual emblems
  • The proximity of waterways
  • High status Obsidian trading with Anatolia.
Hmmmm…?! Sounds like a bait-and-switch set up to me…

Let us briefly return to Prof. Hayden on the matter:


THE POWER OF RITUAL IN PREHISTORY: SECRET SOCIETIES AND ORIGINS OF SOCIAL COMPLEXITY

BRIAN HAYDEN, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, P306-308

The Near East

Although almost none of the archaeologists working in the Near East have interpreted their excavated materials in terms of secret societies (exceptionally, K. Wright (2000:116) has discussed male “sodalities”), there are a number of prime archaeological candidates for secret societies, beginning in the Late Epipaleolithic and continuing into the Neolithic and probably later periods.

The Late Epipaleolithic

One of the earliest indications of likely secret society existence comes from a quite small cave located high above a wadi floor and at some distance from any known settlement of the time. This is the Late Natufian site of Hilazon Tachtit, occupied c . 12,000 bp. The core Natufian sites in the region had rich resources, significant sedentism, permanent architecture, and a wide array of prestige items exchanged in a regional network that belie important inequalities. Thus, they constitute a prime example of a complex, or transegalitarian, hunter/gatherer society that could produce surpluses (Hayden 2004, 2014).

8..jpg

While there was evidence of occasional use of the Hilazon cave, perhaps by ritualists, the main feature of this cave is the burial of an older woman accompanied by the remains of a feast including at least fifty tortoise carapaces and parts of wild cattle, wild boar, and an eagle wing. Of further note were faunal remains of leopard, eagle, and marten – typical power animals – as well as an articulated human foot (Grosman et al. 2008; Munro and Grosman 2010). Other indications of human sacrifice have been recovered from Natufian sites (Hayden 2001, 2004), and, as we have seen, ethnographic secret society members in other culture areas often either engaged in human sacrifice or used body parts from dead individuals for various purposes (evidence for human sacrifice is even more compelling in the following Prepottery Neolithic A period..)

However, the fundamental question that Hilazon raises is why one single person, or even several people, were buried in such a remote, isolated, difficult- to-access location with so much ceremony. The vast majority of Natufians were buried at the major habitation sites, often under house floors. Why was this person so different? There are few compelling answers to such a question. Perhaps she was a shaman as Grosman and Munro suggest. They also suggest that the burial was a communal event orchestrated to maintain or increase social integration of a community. In view of the small, remote, difficult-to-access location, this seems highly dubious. I think it far more likely that she was an important member of a secret society (Hayden 2017). Society members in other areas commonly went to considerable lengths to secretly bury their most powerful leaders to maintain the fiction that they still lived, or so that their remains would not be pilfered for power amulets (see Chapters 7 and 9). It might also be coincidental, but several secret societies used tortoise carapaces in their rituals, even lining areas with them for initiates to lie within (Chapter 9). Turtle shells appear to have had strong symbolical roles in Mesopotamia (Berthon et al. 2016). All of these factors seem to point to the burial of a powerful secret society member at Hilazon Tachtit. Elsewhere, at Zawi Chemi Shanidar in Iran, Rose Solecki (Solecki and McGovern 1980) excavated a single structure (perhaps the only structure at the site), with abundant remains of raptor wings. These may have been used in secret society rituals in a structure dedicated to society use.

I previously mentioned that the Natufians were also renowned for their portable ‘ritual art’ and a strange proclivity for focussing in on the skull during mortuary practices. Given the age of the period, the finds are few and far between, but those we have are revealing in that the process of representation and symbolic relationship was coming out of the cave and in to the light of day for the first time and seemed to be integral to their very being.

In line with the pre-existing model of the production of ‘art’ or ‘religious’ artefacts, the Natufians base line approach was to enhance objects taken from the natural world:

9..jpg

The Natural Inspiration for Natufian Art: Cases from Wadi Hammeh 27, Jordan
The practice of collecting or lightly modifying natural forms reflects a widespread phenomenon that
Marshack (1997a) believed is ubiquitous in our species. Indeed, the ability to recognize animate forms in inanimate objects may be an integral part of the human condition (Marshack 1997a; Onians 2007). Evidence for this capability appears widely in time and space; for example, the subtle modifications made to European cave walls and stalagmites in the Upper Palaeolithic to enhance their representational value (Bahn & Vertut 1997, 105–6) and the embellishment of elongated stone objects to elaborate their phallic form by Indigenous Australians (McCarthy 1976, 70; Mountford 1939; 1960).

10..jpg
Natufian art is small and intimate (hence handheld). Geometric patterns (circa 80%) vastly outnumber representational or zoomorphic artefacts. The patterning continues to baffle scholars as to its source, be it ‘discovered in the natural world, experienced under the influence of plant derivatives with hallucinogenic properties, or conceived internally through neuro-physiological processes’. Of course, the idea that they could well have been witnessed in the heavens never seems to cross scholar’s minds.

Some geometric motifs continue over from the Early and Middle Epipalaeolithic into the Natufian, and even beyond. For example, the so-called ‘ladder-pattern’ found on Early Epipalaeolithic Kebaran stone work is strikingly paralleled on a Natufian plaque from Wadi Khawwan.


11..jpg

Kebaran, Engraved Ladders, Ein Qashish Jezreel Israel - c. 23-16kb


Both this design and the Natufian forms have been suggested by scholars to represent an esoteric language only understood in its deeper meaning by the beholder and was not for public consumption. Ladder symbology is heavily associated with the original ‘God’ of the North Pole and states of plasma formation.

Where there are zoomorphic depictions or animal – with the specific species often unclear - representations always occur on tools such as sickles, mortars and pestles. As these items were the implements of the new ways of hard labour, this smacks of some form of power motif, even of a slow burn indoctrination, for its likely to my mind that the inspiration for these ‘animal’ forms existed as much in the above and not solely down below (especially as many of them also have abstract geometric forms incorporated into their design)

12..jpg
What is important though is that animal/zoomorphic representations, even in miniature form, were being realised in objects that could for the first time in millennia be transported and shared (representational images made by the Natufian were always rendered in the round, rather than engraved on to static flat surfaces), something that had not happened previously in the Near-east.

The same applied to the first fully realised small-scale representations based on the human form, and this is where things start to get really interesting. Firstly, certain Natufian burial practices became increasingly and notably ornate:

13..jpg

Fig. 3a Skull with tusk shell headdress, Early Natufian, El Wad from Garrod and Bate 1937 PL. VII.2.

Fig. 3b Hip girdle of fox teeth, Early Natufian, Hayonim, from Braun 2002 PL.1 courtesy of IAA.

Fig. 3c Sash of tusk shells, Early Natufian, Eynan, courtesy of The Upper Galilee Museum of Prehistory.

Fig. 3d Gazelle horn headdress, Late Natufian, Eynan, from Perrot and Ladiray 1988, Fig. 32, courtesy
of Julien Loiseau, CRFJ


Sartorial Vestments in the Southern Levant: Headwear, Footwear, Girdles, Sashes and Shrouds, 15,000-5,900 BP cal.,
Janet Levy, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

The Natufian site of El Wad (Fig. 2a) attests to ca. 100 burials in tight groups of which five, including a child, feature headwear, each a discrete combination of bone beads manufactured from kitchen midden debris and hollow Dentillium sp. shell beads…The most elaborate, worn by an adult male; a symmetrical triple row, double fan-like construction spreads across the skull from the temples to the forehead and crown (Garrod and Bate 1937: 18, PL. VII.2) (Fig. 3a). Considerable effort was expended in collecting and assembling shells of identical dimensions to achieve the ascetic result.

The Cave of Hayonim with both early and late Natufian layers evidences ca 50 burials, four of which are decorated. A female, one of a small group features a belt of polished, paired, oval, bone pendants and an adult male from a single burial features hundreds of dentilium in the region of the neck and thorax and a girdle of fox teeth across the pelvis (Fig. 3b) (Belfer-Cohen 1995: 13). A flute with incised bands manufactured on the wing of a vulture, initially defined as a handle was also recovered from the site (Bar-Yosef and Tchernov 1970: 145; Shaham 2012: 202, Fig. 2).

Eynan, an open air site with early, late and final Natufian phases evidences more than 100 burials of which 10 are decorated although most configurations cannot be reconstructed. Also from the same site a late burial group features an adult female with two gazelle horns positioned at the back of the head (Perrot and Ladiray 1988: 59, Fig. 32) (Fig. 3d).The tight association suggests that they were attached to the head at the time of burial.

It intrigues me how archaeologists and anthropologists, so excited by their finds, never stop to ask why it is that they only find say 100 skeletons deliberately buried (with only say 10% finely adorned) and with such outstanding care and attention from a site that likely saw significant ongoing habitation for many, many hundreds of years.

The high status of these individuals is therefore obvious, as is the language of symbolic gesture that distinctly marks them out for such unique burial, with the head/skull being very much at the core of the matter. And so we come to this, the most striking and advanced of but four distinct head representations by Natufians (or are they?) that have thus far been unearthed.:

14..jpeg
NATUFIAN Late – Nahal Ein Gev II - 10,000 BC



Carved into a limestone pebble, the sculptor has very subtly altered the form of the stone to enhance its likeness to a human head with the only significant addition being the relief carving of an eyebrow ridge and nose. Note the total absence of eyes, ears and mouth. This small pebble, like the green plaquette from Göbekli Tepe I previous posted, is to my mind a standout find that will have immense implications going forward.

It is widely assumed that this image marks the beginning of self-recognition, of a fascination with the human form, and in effect is nothing more than a self-portrait or mirror of man as he sees himself. This given, translational idea is then carried forward by scholars to determine their assessment of the meaning behind the swathe of later finds that follow a similar intrinsic pattern of design. I believe this to be a critical misunderstanding right from the outset, one that in particular goes onto distort all comprehension of the real meaning behind later, similar and increasingly more overt representations at places like Göbekli and Kerahan Tepe.

I believe this face represents a primary connection of cosmic understanding between the Natufians and the later northerly Anatolians where this shape and form will come back to haunt us again and again some 1,000 years later. For now I will suggest that, yes this is ‘man’ shaped in stone but it is not ‘man’ in its deepest meaning – or rather it is, but only in terms of that old Christian saying, God the father (‘him’), God the son (‘us’), made in his likeness both in spirit and in form. And the crux of the matter is that the only and singular motif within the face that really mattered, (being clearly the whole purpose of the depiction in the first place), is what we know today as the letter ‘T’, originally denoting what we call the Tau Cross, the bridge and union between left and right hemispheres of the brain, the very meeting place of the cosmic above and the below, and the battleground that was to be used against us in setting up an oppositional binary (and increasingly material v spirit) view of the world…

15..jpg

If one looks at the three earlier Natufian versions I think we can see the complex schematic being worked through between what was witnessed in the heavens, the way it unfolded and what it represented in terms of personalisation in the minds (and representational heads) of the watching/participating humanity below.
  • The nose being the body of god/man as a mighty mountain/ pillar/tree
  • The nose itself also holding symbolic resonance in place of the body, out of the centre of which emerged creation as if it were a male giving birth (the original female and male merged as one belief having by now become subsumed to the dominant male form – perhaps a subtle sign of our shift in birth rates issue, leading to the increasing importance and pre-eminence of the male…?)
  • The linear eyebrow ridge as the arms of the outstretched and normally elevated ‘bull’s horns’ upon which rested the head of the divine being which having abandoned us, becomes an invisible space in the centre of the forehead (where in passing we may note that the pituitary gland sits… and where later in the Rosicrucian version of the same idea the Rose/comet power symbol of death and regeneration will come forth from…)
Sounds a right old jumble I know, but it is actually a highly consistent lexicon of meanings that will become clearer I hope when we get to PNNA Anatolia. For now let me just place it side by side with that later plaquette from Göbekli Tepe with its serpent on the left and bird on the right

16..jpg

My hunch is that the Natufian stone on the left is STS Secret Society code, the planquette on the right its later STO antidote, both likely highly secret signs, both likely only shared with the very few as teaching prompts; the first for nefarious purposes, the second in a later attempt to keep the truth alive and the oppressed hopeful….

Our final Natufian episode took place in Northern Syria on the banks of a tributary of the river Euphrates, where at a settlement on the very fringes of Anatolia called Abu Hureyra a comet fragment came calling one autumn in circa 10,800 BC.

17..jpg

The site of Abu Hureyra is now under Lake Assad in northern Syria, and has been since the 1970s when the Taqba Dam was built across the Euphrates River. However, before the dam was built archaeologists extracted and described parts of houses, food and tools that proved it to be the location of the all-important human transition to agriculture around 13,000 years ago.


A Cosmic Impact and the Beginning of Farming at Abu Hureyra in Syria
Andrew M. T. Moore

Then 12,800 years ago (10,800 BCE) a catastrophe struck. In its orbit around the Sun the Earth intercepted a fragmenting comet. Across much of the world explosions and firestorms incinerated the landscape. One of these airbursts took place near Abu Hureyra itself. The explosion generated a blast of enormous heat that engulfed the village in flames, destroying it and its inhabitants.

As our study of the plant remains, artifacts, and chronology proceeded we could also see that the transition from hunting and gathering to initial cultivation of rye then wheat and legumes took place precisely at the moment when a dramatic, near-instantaneous change in climate and vegetation occurred as the warm, moist conditions of the Late Glacial gave way to a cold, dry Ice Age-like climate that persisted for over 1,200 years. This episode of Northern Hemisphere cooling is called the Younger Dryas.

… the crucial samples came from a level of heavy burning that I had previously interpreted as the remains of cooking fires. It radiocarbon dated to precisely 12,800 years ago, the same date as the comet collision. This level contained a variety of materials that were produced by the heat of the impact: nanodiamonds, spherules, meltglass, and traces of iridium, platinum, nickel and cobalt that came from the comet itself. All of these have been found and described at many other sites, thus recording the effect of this impact throughout the world. The platinum traces, in particular, are important because they also occur in a contemporary, well-dated layer in an ice core from the Greenland ice sheet that independently documents this event. The meltglass was formed by melting of the silica in the subsoil at temperatures over 2,000°C that could only have been reached in an airburst explosion. At Abu Hureyra the meltglass was splattered throughout the soil samples from the impact level as minute discrete lumps and on pieces of animal bone and building clay

So in the end, the above intervened in the push to agriculture down below. The wrath of the gods, summoned perhaps by the hubris of those who thought they could tame his creation and turn it to their STS uses…

Yet despite the thousand plus years of Younger Dryas cold that followed, these seeds were now well and truly sown and the dice were well and truly cast for the future…
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom