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Hundreds of petroglyphs are etched on a slab of crystalline limestone about 180-by-100 feet (a third the size of a football field) in Peterborough, Canada. They may have been left by Algonquin Native Americans about a thousand years ago, or by Scandinavian traders a few thousand years ago. The latter claim flouts the common understanding of history, which places Europeans in the New World much later. But it has had a few prominent supporters.
They say that the depictions of animals, solar symbols, geometric shapes, boats, and human figures on the so-called Peterborough Stone reflect a style used in the Old World.
Peterborough Stone petroglyphs (Robin L. Lyke)
A large ship was drawn in a style common in Scandinavia.
For example, a large ship was drawn in a style common in Scandinavia, according to Boston University Professor Robert Schoch, a Yale-educated geologist. Schoch’s opinions on the Peterborough Stone were recorded by journalist Charles Giuliani in his article, “An Alternative View of the Distant Past.”
The ship features a large steering oar at the stern, which is only included in ships more than 100 feet long. The local Native population is not known to have produced any such vessels. Some argue that the Natives envisioned it as a spirit ship, that it was not meant to depict their own vessels.
Harvard biologist turned epigrapher Barry Fell and Harvard-educated epigrapher and archaeologist David Kelley both identified the glyphs as a proto-Tifinagh script from North Africa. Yet this ancient script from North-Africa was apparently used by the Scandinavians.
Scandinavians Using a North African Script?
Kelley compared the Peterborough petroglyphs to glyphs in Europe and North Africa. He found that proto-Tifinagh was used in Bronze Age Scandinavia, further south in Italy, and in North Africa.
Proto-Tifinagh gave the unlettered Norse the ability not only to record their own language but to produce records intelligible to their Mediterranean trading partners.
— Dr. Robert Schoch, Boston University
Fell controversially claimed in his 1982 book, “Bronze Age America,” that the Peterborough Stone symbols were meaningfully grouped together to document the commercial enterprise of a Bronze Age Nordic king, Woden-lithi. Fell’s translation of part of the inscriptions reads: “Woden-lithi, of Ringerike the great king, instructed that runes be engraved. A ship he took. In-honor-of-Gungnir was its name …. For ingot-copper of excellent quality came the king by way of trial.”
While Kelley didn’t agree with Fell’s exact translation, he did agree that the script was likely left by Scandinavian traders. Fell estimated the date of the petroglyphs to be about 1700 B.C. Kelley’s estimate was 800 B.C. While many academics scoffed at Fell’s claims, Kelley’s reputation was more secure, since he had earned fame for his decipherment of Mayan glyphs.
Kelley hypothesized that a single trade route ran from the Niger River to Scandinavia, and that the Scandinavians linked that route to Canada.
Schoch elaborated on why the Scandinavians may have used the Berber North African script of proto-Tifinagh: “Many of these peoples were accomplished navigators and traders, as were the Norse. Trade no doubt brought Berbers and Norse together, and in the course of that contact they learned something of each other’s languages.
“But the Norsemen didn’t have a written language. Proto-Tifinagh gave the unlettered Norse the ability not only to record their own language but to produce records intelligible to their Mediterranean trading partners. The Norse took the alphabet to their fjords and then over the Atlantic to the New World … In its time and way, Old Norse in Proto-Tifinagh is no stranger than modern Yiddish, a German dialect written in the Hebrew alphabet, or Maltese, the only Arabic tongue written in the Latin alphabet.”
Peterborough Stone petroglyphs (Robin L. Lyke)
Native Teaching Rocks
The Peterborough petroglyph site is known to local Natives as the Teaching Rocks. Their legend hold that it is an entrance to the Spirit world, a place to communicate with spirits.
Giuliani quoted freelance science journalist Patrick Huyghe: “Fell [was] well aware that many of the inscriptions at the [Peterborough] site are the work of later Algonquin artists attempting to imitate what the Scandinavians had originally cut into the limestone. But the central Sungod and Moon goddess figures and certain astronomical signs are clearly not Algonquin.”
Featured image: Peterborough Stone petroglyphs (Robin L. Lyke)
The article ‘ Petroglyphs Left in Canada by Scandinavians 3,000 Years Ago ?’ was originally published on The Epoch Times and has been republished with permission.
Passamaquoddy History Draws International Interest
(This article was originally published in the Calais Advertiser on May 5th, 2016. It is used here with permission from the editor.)
In its largest turnout for a presentation on record, the St. Croix Historical Society was very pleased to present speaker Donald Soctomah at its May meeting for a review of the history of the Passamaquoddy on the St. Croix River. Soctomah shared a virtual “canoe trip down the river” with a crowd that included guests from all over Eastern Washington County and parts of New Brunswick. The SCHS reported that interest in the event had been voiced by members who were located across both the US and Canada.
“The history of the St. Croix Valley is ninety-nine percent Passamaquoddy,” SCHS President Al Churchill said, expressing how little time Europeans have been in the area by comparison.
Churchill shared a story of two Passamaquoddy men who were vying for the position of representative to Augusta in 1878. Both men—John Newell and Noel Joseph—received exactly equal votes, but they themselves had not yet cast votes yet. As it turns out, the day of the voting, Newell was too sick to show up. Rather than voting for himself and winning the position, Joseph refused to cast his vote. The election was later settled when more tribe members came to vote. The scenario highlights the fair disposition that the Passamaquoddies and many other Native Americans have been known for.
“First, archeologists told us they found evidence of Passamaquoddies here going back six thousand years,” Soctomah said. “Then it was eight thousand, then ten thousand.” The most recent discovery, Soctomah explained, is one in New Brunswick dating back 13,000 years—making it one of the oldest in North America. The site included the remains of a short-nosed bear, a now-extinct omnivore the size of a grizzly. “It may have been a gathering spot for wild rice,” Soctomah said.
The Passamaquoddies are among the Native American tribes that have an extensive collection of petroglyphs, or symbols carved into rock. 700 petroglyphs have been located in Machiasport, going back 3,000 years. “The oldest ones there show religious symbols, like a powerful spirit,” Soctomah said, describing one as a stick figure with lines radiating around it. “The ones from two thousand years ago show a lot of stars and sea serpents.” The Passamaquoddies have many legends about sea serpents in the area. The last set of petroglyphs date to around 1604, when Samuel de Champlain and his group of French settlers were leaving the area. They stopped by Machiasport, and the Passamaquoddy there recorded their visit by creating a detailed image of the ship, its anchor, and its sail. Accompanying the image is a cross, signifying the arrival of Christianity in the region.
Soctomah brought three artifacts to share with the group, including an antique miniature bark canoe etched with petroglyphs matching one of the ones in Machiasport. He also shared a recording from the earliest outdoor recordings ever made. In 1890, anthropologist Jesse Walter Fewkes came to Calais to interview the Passamaquoddy and record their tribal songs on 28 wax cylinders. The recordings are now considered to be the second-most important in the Smithsonian collection. While grainy in their present form, Soctomah was excited to share that new technology had enabled them to be clarified, and that he would have a copy of the newly treated recordings on May 12 th . “We’re going to be able to hear the old songs real clear and sing them the way the ancestors did,” Soctomah said.
Soctomah also shared that there had been a revival of interest in the Passamaquoddy language. A free online dictionary has been created at pmportal.org, and efforts to teach the youth through immersion programs are underway. Soctomah relayed that most tribes across the country have about a ten percent population that speaks their native tongue, while the Passamaquoddy now have fifteen percent. “Language is our history,” he said. “We want everyone to learn Passamaquoddy.”
Demonstrating the point, during the presentation itself the “place names” of all the locations covered were provided by an audio recording from David Francis. The names used by the Passamaquoddy are always descriptive of the land or water that is present in the area. In many cases, the Passamaquoddy names were integrated into the name most residents would commonly use.
As an example, Spednik Lake was known as Espotonek, or the “high mountain lake”. Nearby, Young’s Island would have been used a village site, or a spring site useful for cooling off during the warmer seasons. In Vanceboro, the tribe would harvest big eels, considered a delicacy. “The whole area was a network of canoe highways,” Soctomah explained, describing how if you knew the way to go you could travel to St. John or to the Penobscot area.
Soctomah was saddened to share that the building of the dam in the area had flooded a lot of the archeological sites in the region, covered 3,000 acres of land. He said that the dam had recently been relicensed for fifty years. “So we won’t have a say for another fifty years.”
He added that during Calais’ booming lumber years, the St. Croix was completely unusable by the Passamaquoddy. “One log can kill you, and there were thousands. It’s like, you’ve got your vehicle, but you can’t go anywhere.” Soctomah said that the only lumber that had been left in the region was in New Brunswick on a Passamaquoddy reservation. After being pressured by the lumber industry, the government agreed to allow it to be harvested.
Continuing on the canoe journey, Soctomah explained how the area was known as Skutik, which means “burn over place”. Spring settlements would ideally be located in low-lying areas with no trees or shrubs to limit bugs, so the Passamaquoddy would typically burn a site before placing their village.
The Moosehorn region bore the name Maguerrowock, which means “land of the caribou”. It was named as such due to the high population of caribou that would winter in the area. The last caribou in Maine was shot around the turn of the 20 th century. Soctomah expressed that he was glad that the name Maguerrowock was kept intact.
The Milltown region by Salmon Falls (Siqoniw Utenehsis) was the first place in the region to thaw out, and accordingly, the Passamaquoddy would use it to bury their dead after a long winter. When Milltown was settled, 200 acres was initially allotted to the Passamaquoddy to continue the practice, however, it soon included only the rocks by the water to enable them to continue fishing there.
St. Stephen was known as Kci Uquassutile, or the “great landing”. With its many freshwater springs, the area was a favorite spot for Natives coming in from the ocean who had developed a powerful thirst from the salty air. Calais itself was called Pemskutik, again referring to how the area would be burned before the spring settlement was established.
The St. Croix Narrows was called Kpokiyok. “If you want to continue in that direction by canoe, and the tide’s coming in, just pull over and wait,” Soctomah said. “It’s really powerful in that spot.”
Soctomah also shared some legends of the Passamaquoddy as they related to local landmarks. In particular, Dunn Island (Pqapitossisk) was known as the “place of the red-toothed beaver”. Passamaquoddy hero Glooskap was said to have been chasing a great red-toothed beaver all over the waterways, trying to stop him from building dams. The beaver kept fleeing every time Glooskap caught up to him. Finally, when the beaver set up his home at Dunn Island, Glooskap decided to wait him out on a nearby mountain top. He used his tomahawk to cut off the top of the mountain and set his teepee on it directly. The mountain is now known for its distinctive flat top.
Soctomah said that Glooskap travelled around in a stone canoe, according to legend. At the Indian Township museum, there is a stone paddle that he tells visitors belonged to Glooskap (in truth, it was made by a local artist).
The great whirlpool known as Old Sow also has a legend attached to it. Glooskap was traveling around chasing giant fish that were causing trouble by making the waters all muddied. He picked up each fish and rubbed their noses, causing them to shrink to their present size. There was one fish he couldn’t catch, and when he finally did, he said, “You want to be hoggish and eat everything? Now you will swallow the whole bay twice a day,” and he locked the fish in place where the whirlpool is now. The Passamaquoddy say that looking down the whirlpool is like looking into the mouth of a giant fish.
St. Croix Island itself was known as Mehtonuwekoss, or “food storage place”. Soctomah described that in years where there was extra food, the Passamaquoddy would store it on St. Croix Island to keep it away from wolves. He also added that in recent decades, Natives had been sleeping on the island during their canoe trips. During one such trip that Soctomah was part of, his companions reported hearing someone scraping at their tents in their dreams. When it was later discovered that the French remains were still there, the Passamaquoddy stopped using it as a resting place.
Passamaquoddy tribal historian Donald Soctomah holds up a recent donation to their archives, an antique wooden canoe etched with petroglyphs. Josephine Moore, donor of the St. Croix Historical Society Holmestead, looks on in the background. (Photo by Lura Jackson, published in the Calais Advertiser)
Demonstrating a traditional Passamaquoddy dance in this photo from 1921 are Chief Horace Nicholas (far left), Joseph Nicholas (center), and Joseph Neptune (right).
People were linked to the sea
As many as 90 per cent of all Bronze Age petroglyphs (rock carvings) in Norway feature ships, both large and small. They have now begun to attract the attention of archaeologists.
Why were people in Norway 3000 years ago so focused on ships?
When Norwegians learn about the many petroglyphs found in their country during history class in school, the teacher and textbook probably describe them as mythological images of ships, transporting passengers into the realm of death. Essentially, they were thought to be some kind of religious images.
But would it be too unbelievable if the ships were real?
People in Norway, Sweden and Denmark during the Bronze Age travelled far and wide. They were mobile people.
They travelled all the way to Spain and Italy.
Some may have travelled all the way to Greece and to the Pharaohs of Egypt. This can't be ruled out, at least.
I petroglifi di 3000 anni fa lasciati in Canada sono scandinavi?
Dicono che le raffigurazioni di animali, simboli solari, forme geometriche, barche e figure umane sulla cosiddetta Pietra di Peterborough riflettono uno stile usato nel Vecchio Mondo.
Una grande nave è stata disegnata in uno stile comune in Scandinavia.
Ad esempio, una nave di grandi dimensioni è stata disegnata in uno stile comune in Scandinavia, secondo il professore dell' Università di Boston Robert Schoch , un geologo istruito a Yale . Le opinioni di Schoch sulla Pietra di Peterborough sono state registrate dal giornalista Charles Giuliani nel suo articolo "An Alternative View of the Distant Past".
La nave è dotata di un ampio remo dello sterzo a poppa, che è incluso solo in navi lunghe più di 100 piedi. Non è noto che la popolazione locale nativa abbia prodotto tali vasi. Alcuni sostengono che i nativi lo immaginassero come una nave spirituale, che non intendeva raffigurare le proprie navi.
Esperti divisi su origini native americane
Il biologo di Harvard ha trasformato l'epigrafo Barry Fell e l'epigrafista istruito a Harvard e l'archeologo David Kelley entrambi hanno identificato i glifi come una scrittura proto-Tifinagh dal Nord Africa. Eppure questa antica scrittura dal Nord-Africa è stata apparentemente usata dagli scandinavi.
Scandinavi che usavano una scrittura del Nord Africa?
Kelley ha paragonato i petroglifi di Peterborough ai glifi in Europa e Nord Africa . Scoprì che il proto-Tifinagh era usato nella Scandinavia dell'Età del Bronzo, più a sud in Italia e nel Nord Africa.
Il Proto-Tifinagh diede ai norvegesi illetterati la capacità non solo di registrare la propria lingua, ma di produrre record comprensibili per i loro partner commerciali mediterranei.
- Dott. Robert Schoch , Università di Boston
Nel suo libro del 1982, " Bronze Age America ", Fell sosteneva controverso che i simboli della Pietra di Peterborough fossero raggruppati in modo significativo per documentare l'impresa commerciale di un re nordico dell'Età del Bronzo, Woden-lithi. La traduzione di Fell di parte delle iscrizioni recita: " Woden-lithi, di Ringerike, il grande re, ordinò che le rune fossero incise. Una nave ha preso. In-honor-of-Gungnir era il suo nome . Per il lingotto di rame di ottima qualità è arrivato il re attraverso un processo ".
Mentre Kelley non era d'accordo con la traduzione esatta di Fell , era d'accordo sul fatto che la sceneggiatura fosse probabilmente lasciata dai commercianti scandinavi. Fell stimò che la data dei petroglifi fosse circa del 1700 aC . La stima di Kelley era dell' 800 aC. Mentre molti accademici beffeggiavano le affermazioni di Fell, la reputazione di Kelley era più sicura, poiché si era guadagnato la fama per la sua decifrazione dei glifi maya .
Kelley ipotizzò che una singola rotta commerciale correva dal fiume Niger alla Scandinavia, e che gli scandinavi collegavano quella rotta al Canada .
What humans may have looked like 7,000 years ago
Dark skin. Blue eyes. Beard. Thin and borderline lactose-intolerant.
That's what scientists say man may have looked like 7,000 years ago, after studying DNA from bones discovered in a Spanish cave. The Mesolithic skeleton found at the La Brana-Arintero site in Leon in 2006 is thought to be the first recovered genome of a European from that period.
According to a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature, pigmentation genes extracted from a tooth of the man — dubbed La Brana 1 — reveal he had dark skin like an African-American but the blue eyes of a Scandanavian, "suggesting the light skin of modern Europeans was not yet ubiquitous in Mesolithic times."
"The biggest surprise was to discover that this individual possessed African versions in the genes that determine the light pigmentation of the current Europeans," Carles Lalueza-Fox, a researcher from the Spanish National Research Council, said in a press release accompanying the findings.
While the man had dark skin, Lalueza-Fox said, "we cannot know the exact shade."
La Brana 1 was a hunter-gatherer subsisting on a low-starch diet and had trouble digesting milk.
"The arrival of the Neolithic, with a carbohydrate-based diet and new pathogens transmitted by domesticated animals, entailed metabolic and immunological challenges that were reflected in genetic adaptations of post-Mesolithic populations," the study noted. "Among these is the ability to digest lactose, which La Brana individual could not do."
But the 7,000-year-old also had an advanced immune system normally associated with modern Europeans, the study found.
The researchers added that more genome analysis is necessary from the Mesolithic Period to determine whether La Brana 1's looks were common. The group is preparing to study the remains of "La Brana 2," another male found in the same cave.
12,000 – 2,000 Years Ago – Indigenous-Scandinavians (Nordic)
“Scandinavian rock art comprises two categories: The first dates to the Nordic Stone Age (in Norway from between 8,000-1,800 BCE or around 10,020 to 3,820 years ago), and usually depicts animals, there are also examples of boats, humans, and various geometrical figures. A popular interpretation is “hunting magic” art or clan animal totems as well as a possibility these animals could have been believed as spiritual/supernatural animals seen in a trance. This also highlights not only cultic rituals but also as source material for cultural history and potentially social hierarchies. The second dates to the Nordic Bronze Age (1,700-500 BCE or around 3,720 to 2,520 years ago). This second kind of Scandinavian rock art was made by farmers, usually in the Nordic Bronze Age, the Pre-Roman Iron Age and the Roman Iron Age (in Norway 1800 BCE until AD 400). The most common motifs are the cup mark (cupule), boats, horses, people (often brandishing weapons), foot soles, wagons, and many kinds of abstract geometrical symbols (such as spirals, concentric circles etc.) Interpretations of this kind of art has usually been that of a fertility cult, with the ship being a mythical ship that is sometimes seen pulling abstract representations of the sun.” ref, ref
“The Nordic Bronze Age is often considered ancestral to the Germanic peoples, a successor of the Corded Ware culture 2,900-2,350 BCE or around 4,920 to 4,370 years ago in southern Scandinavia and Northern Germany. The Corded Ware people carried mostly Western Steppe Herder ancestry and were closely related to the people of the Yamna culture (or Yamnaya), “documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery,” the Eurasiatic steppes. The Corded Ware culture may have disseminated the Proto-Germanic and Proto-Balto-Slavic Indo-European languages. The Corded Ware Culture also shows a genetic affinity with the later Sintashta culture, where the Proto-Indo-Iranian language may have originated. The Nordic Bronze Age could be a fusion of elements from the Corded Ware culture and the preceding Pitted Ware culture 3,200-2300 BCE or around 5,220 to 4,320 years ago a hunter-gatherer culture.” ref, ref, ref, ref
12,000 – 2,000 Years Ago – Indigenous-Scandinavians (Nordic)
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12,000 – 2,000 Years Ago – Indigenous-Scandinavians (Nordic), found Petroglyphs and archeological findings such as settlements dating from about 12,000 are found in the traditional lands of the Sami. There are significant changes in genetic makeup of North East Europeans through time. In Ice age Eurasia went through two phases of mass extinctions, first 52,000 to 32,000 years ago and by around 40,000-35,000 years ago there is evidence of human presence was discovered in the European Arctic along the western flank of the Ural Mountains. matching human migrations as well, beginning with Aurignacian culture peoples (deep branches in different parts of Europe) dating to around 37,000. Around 34,000 to 26,000 years ago Gravettians displaced Aurignacians and both maybe distinct genetically but connect to the same origin group. And around 27,000 years ago evidence of human presence at a site on the Yana River above the Arctic Circle in Siberia and Europe’s northernmost point include a dart foreshaft. In relation to clement a major cold event expanded ice sheets around 27,000 to 20,000 years ago where much of northern Europe was covered by the Fenno-Scandinavian ice sheet and much of central-southern Europe as well was covered by the Alpine ice sheet.
Around 19,000 – 15,000 Magdalenians related to the Aurignacians migrated and by about 14,000 years ago populations from around Turkey and Greece, spread into Europe seeming to coincide with a larger majority of animals going extinct around 15,000 and 11,000 years ago. With this 14,000-years-old migration blue eyes begin to also spread due to new gene flows and the Middle East and Europe started having closer genetic links. And it would seem likely there was also spreading of religious and other cultural transfer. Therefore, from around 37,000 years ago and 14,000 years ago different groups of Europeans were still largely descended from similar originating monadic hunting groups and began human migrations are thought to be largely linked to changes in the climate, limiting of resources and animal migrations or extinctions. Eurasia is a land consented by the DNA of peoples as well as land stretches from Europe through to the Caucasus, Central Asia/Northern Asia, Siberia and Beringia.
Around 12,000 to 7,000 years ago in northwest Europe hunter gathers DNA held high frequencies and diversity seen in European hunter-gatherers from Iberia to Scandinavia. As early as 11,000 to 8,000 years ago the glyphs mainly involve hunting and fishing mainly found in Northern Scandinavia (Jamtland center of Sweden, Nord-Trondelag center of Norway and Nordland “Northern Sami” is a county in Norway). Around 13,000 years ago it is thought that the Scandinavia became ice-free although at around 14,500 years ago the Hamburg culture seems to have beed pushing itself at the edge of the ice on Scania, which is at the southernmost part of Sweden. Around 12,000 years ago nomadic hunter gathers are increasingly represented in Scania The Komsa Culture from around 12,000 to 10,000 years ago existed in Northern Norway and whose predecessor possibly links to central and Uralic parts of Russia seen in cultural artifacts links from the Ural Mountains north and north-west into Fenno-Scandinavia. Around 11,800 years ago the Bromme-Ahrensburg culture emerge from and spread with the recession of northerly glaciers and changing of other cultures in the area between 17,000 to 12,000 years ago. This changing of cultures likely has a connection to the extinction of mammoth and other large animals utilized for food a provided need to utilize other forms of food resources this included maritime resources.
Northward migrations also seem to coincide with two warm events first of which is the Bolling event beginning around 14,700 years ago then maxing out at around 14,500 years ago to and Allerod events 14,100 years ago maxing out at around 13,000 years ago and possibly ending around 10,900 years ago. There may a possible link from the people of the Komsa culture to the ancestors of the Sami. Traditional Sami’s shamanistic culture was not an isolate rather it was a part of a larger arctic pattern of shamanistic cultures. This pattern of arctic shamanism seems to generally include reverence for and ceremonies to animals, use of drums and a belief that spirits were generally present in all life forms likely thanking the animal for their life. Shamanistic cultures commonly can be thought to have had a reverence of the ancestors such as in Sami shamanism the Sarahkka (lives under fire and helps during birth) An Akka is a female spirit in Sami shamanism as well as goddess of fertility in Finnish mythology and in Estonian mythology Akka is known as Maan-Emo (Finland) An earth goddess. The wife of Ukko, god of thunder. She prsides over the fertility of women. Furthermore, akka could be seen as a kind of “mother earth spirit”, Mader-akka in Sami shamanism is seen as the first akka mother of the tribe, Sar-akka is the goddess of fertility. Sami shamanism like other similar shamanistic cultures seems to attach to an affinity to mountains seen in the naming of the Ahkka mountain range in northern Sweden likely is connected to Mattar-ahkka “Grandmother/ Mother Earth Spirit” and Sar-ahkka (who lives under the fire and helps in birthing) and Uks-ahkka (helper of newborns). Sami shamanistic/totemistic rock art takes various forms from carvings, engravings and paintings made with red ochre often involving anthropomorphs motifs some of which may represent ancestor or other believed zoomorphic spirits both of which are often found in the depictions on traditional Sami dress, decorative jewelry and drums. And on some of the early historical Sami drums sometimes depicting images of Mattarahkka taking other forms such as a mythical reindeer cow, matching typical female gendered mythical reindeer/elk cow figures (possablly also Earth Mothers) in the rock art of various north Eurasian peoples where they were a hunted animal. Pointing to such a significance is the around 6,000 to 4,000-year-old the 900 feet geoglyph outlying in a shape similar to a mythical reindeer/elk or moose on slopes of the Zyuratkul Mountains in the Southern Urals, Russia. This connecting of migrating is somewhat expressed in the Proto-Finno-Ugric/Uralic speaking peoples who likely having an originating connection to the Gravettian culture around 34,000 year ago that used to hunt big game including bison, horse, reindeer and mammoth though also used nets to hunt small game.
This Gravettian culture who succeeded the Aurignacians had a large expression and thus is found at sites in Italy, France, Spain, Britain, Central Europe, and Russia are thought to have followed the retreating icecap northward, reaching the Baltic and southern area of Finland. Gravettian peoples further developed religious/ cultural iconography with their art expressions such as portable sculptures mainly of women and animals called Venus Figurines made mainly in ivory, stone or even primitive ceramic appearing across Europe. In addition, Gravettian involved refinement in petroglyphs and engravings and appeared in France about 27,000 years ago. Then around 11,000 years ago or earlyer it is thought that the Proto-Sami people may connect to the peoples originated in an area from northern Spain to southeastern France, who had moved northward to Fennoscandia. Likewise, around 11,000 to 10,000 years ago some of the first, ancestors of the Sami are suggested to have reached Fennoscandia from Western Europe along the cast of Norway as part of the expansion of post-Ahrensburgian cultures (Fosna-Hensbacka and Komsa). Furthermore, the diverse Sami may even have some connecting origins in post-Swiderian cultures (Kunda, Veretye, Suomusjarvi), which came from Poland into North East Europe around 12,000 to 10,000 years ago. Sami DNA diversity has been influenced by a combination of presumably multiple founder event(s) and reproductive isolation likely due in some part to the challenging conditions of sub-arctic Europe. Around 10,000 years ago glaciers had receded Finland and presumably allowed the Proto-Sami to travel where it is thought that they encountered/mixed as well as likely had a cultural/religious transfer with the Proto-Finns who were another indigenous group in the area. Interestingly enough both the Fins and the Sami both developed shamanic traditions. Around 9,265 to 9,140 years ago, evidence at the Sujala site in the northernmost borough of Finnish Lapland where the Sami people are the most numerous. Around 9,000-5,000 years ago the Komsa culture in Finland also seems to share similarities with the Suomusjarvi culture (around 10,300-7,000 years ago) spread into Finland from the east.
Moreover, there is evidence of human occupation in southern Finland around 9,300 years ago, evident in a Antrea fishnet found on the Karelian Isthmus close to the Russia-Finland border an area where the comb-ware is dated to about as old as 7,600 years ago. A possible connecting origin of or to this culture is the Jeulmun (Pit-Comb “Comb-patterned” ware) Pottery that has an “Early” phase beginning in Korean around 10,000 years ago. Korea shamans are often female and interestingly enough Korean shamanism has common connections with shamanism in northern Asia including Siberia. Shamanistic stone arrangements are seen in many areas ranging from piles of arranged rocks, Menhirs “monolith standing stone” found alone or as part of a group, to Dolmens “megalithic standing stone tomb.” In Finland a Napakivi (pole/navel stone) or tonttukivi (elf stone) is a standing stone connecting to fertility, protection or death, such as being placed the middle of a field, central spot or the heart of an pile of stones compiled burial mound and Juminkeko pole stones are located in the Western and Southwestern Finland and southeastern Norway is the main area of dolmens both of which may also have some cultural connection with sami seids as well as central European and Great Britian megaliths. The Haga dolmen (Swedish: Hagadosen) is a thin slab “stone box” like dolmen, which dates to around 5,400 years ago containing several artifacts sch as an amber necklace, slate jewelry, a flint knife and a stone axe.
Around 7,000 years ago Dolmens begin to be situated in Brittany France and were found in Britain, Ireland and southern Scandinavia about 4,000 Similarly, Sami seids (Finnish: Seita) maybe dolmen and other standing stones or stone arrangements which may also be associated with artifacts generally found at places north-European people believed to be sacred such as the mountains, tundra, lakes, or other natural formation. Around 5, 000 years ago in the North-Western Caucasus there are found dolmens (few tombs have breasts, done in relief), also seem to generally involve thin slab “stone box” like dolmens situated along the coast of the Black Sea and southern Caucasus mountain range extends eastwards to the Caspian Sea in northwestern Iran, and into northeastern Turkey. In fact, there are thousands of dolmens above-ground stone burial structures scattered across the Middle East, found in Israel, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Iran and Turkey. Dolmen-like structures occur throughout much of the Levant commonly dating to around 5,000 years ago and one special around 4,000 years old Dolmen table-like burial structures with the multi-burial of both adults and children along with a roof containing engraved shapes depicting symbols involving a simple line attached to the inside of an open semicircle on its ceiling found at the Golan Heights in Israel. Which is interestingly similar but reversed shapes to the Zuschen (megalithic dolmen tomb) Germany, dated to around 5,000 years ago with engraved shapes depicting symbols involving a simple line attached to the outside of an open semicircle, interpreted as possibly stylized cattle. Another monumental stone display in Israel called Rujm el-Hiri, involves a circular monument of stones in the middle of a large plateau covered with hundreds of surrounding dolmens and ancient beads have been found at dolmens in the Galilee. Moreover, Dolmen like structures are also found in Switzerland, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean, India as well as in parts of Africa. Dolmens “monolith table top roof with standing stones,” which have different names in other languages, including Abkhaz (northwest of Georgia south of russia): Adamra, Adyghe Ispun, dysse Dutch and Norwegian: hunebed Galician and Portuguese: anta German: Hunengrab/Hunenbett Irish: dolmain Korean: goindol/koindol or chisongmyo, Portugal: Granja, Spain: Galicia, and Swedish: dos. Dolmen like structures are also found in Switzerland, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean as well as in parts of Africa. Additionally, Dolmens may have served as places of ritual or worship and possibility a porthole to the spiritual world (some dolmans actually contain a circular porthole).
Most of the dolmens worldwide are dated to around 6,000 to 4,000 years ago but in Japan the oldest late Jomon type of dolmens only date to around 3,500 to 3,000 years ago and in Korea the dolmens are around 2,700 years old seeming to sujest the migration of populations from Europe transferring eventually to Japanese archipelago as well as in to the Korean Peninsula, and of course shared religious beliefs and myths. The genetics in a large number of buried peopes at the up to around 3,000 years ago shell mounds north-eastern Japan also connect to the indigenous peoples of the Primorsky Krai (southeasternmost part of Russian Far East bordered by China, North Korea) thought to have entered Japan from the north at a time not too different from that of the former (M7a) group. The prehistory of Japan when focacing on the origin of the Jomon culture’s peoples (around 16,000–3,000 years ago) were not homogeneous. Some of the Jomon peoples held ganedic similarities with the indigenous peoples of Siberia around 30,000 to 20,000 years ago but the main group came to Japan together with rice farming during the Yayoi period around 2,300 to 1,700 years ago. Therefore, the Japanese people are from intermixing southern Jomon and northern Yayoi which would involve religion as much as other culture and genes from different regions remaining in elements of the Kojiki “Account of Ancient Matters.” Kojiki (written in a form of Chinese with a heavy mixture of Japanese a collection of myths including the Kami (animistic concept), divine beings, spirits or phenomena worshiped in Shinto, a Japanese ethnic religion. Many kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans, and some ancestors became kami upon their death. The Kojiki myths were utilized for Shinto written down around 1,300 years ago containing various songs/poems all written in a form of Chinese with Japanese elements. These Japanese earliest writings seem to express that the “Shinto religion” was unified mix of native beliefs and mythologies.
Moreover, the earliest evidence of Japanese creation myths includes various descriptions of kami, whose earliest roles were mostly as earth-based anthropomorphic “fertility” spirits from early hunter-gatherer groups, that often-worshipped supreme being/gods of mountains, trees, rocks, rivers, and seas. Testing the DNA of Sanganji Jomon individuals seems to show that they are closest to modern Japanese and more specifically held a strongest genetic connection to the Ainu indigenous people of Japan, followed by the Ryukyuan people indigenous peoples of the Ryukyu Islands between the islands of Kyushu and Taiwan. Therefore, the Japanese religion like the Japanese people came about from that kind of intermixing, thus it is likely the myths and records of different regions may have offered elements that were added in the Kojiki. The shinto torii sacred gates seem to have posable connections to India’s torana gates (2,300 years ago) seen in the hindu, buddhist and jain religious architecture. Religious bird perches in Asia, such as the Korean sotdae are commonly found at the entrance of villages with jangseung “totem poles” also similar to sotdae (tall wooden pole or stone pillar with a carved bird on its top) in other shamanistic cultures in China, Mongolia and Siberia. The word shinto (“way of the spirit/essences/gods”) “shin” refers to kami and “to” connects to the Chinese word dao/tao signifying ‘way’, ‘path’, ‘doctrine’ or ‘principle’ utilized within traditional Chinese philosophy/religions is the intuitive knowing of “life” that cannot be fully grasped, supposedly just its “essences” are believed to be known. The word “tao” in confucianism generally expresses moral or ethical usage whereas religious taoism (at least by 2,400 years ago) and the more metaphysical usage of the term used in philosophical taoism/daoism and most forms of Mahayana buddhism.
The Japanese myths are from intermixing of southern Jomon involving a variety of earthly gods/deities (kami), wih are similar to myths found from East Asia to Indonesia. Whereas the northern Yayoi has the characteristics of northern-type myths such as Ninigi-no-Mikoto whose mythology imply he was sent down to earth to plant rice and was claimed to be the great-grandfather of Emperor Jimmu who reportedly descends around 2,711 years ago (on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar) from the sun goddess Amaterasu. Chan Buddhism developed in China from around 1,600 years ago spreading to Vietnam as Thien, to Korea as Seon, and around 700 years ago to Japan as Zen. Chan style is thought to be a predictable evolution of Buddhism (thought to be a barbarian version of Taoism)” under the dominant Taoist religious thinking and it is this Taoist terminology “matching the concepts” that was used in the oldest translations of Buddhist texts. Some elements of Taoism may trace to prehistoric paganism/folk religions in China and Taoist ethics generally emphasize “naturalness” seeming to connect with the School of Yin-yang (“Naturalists” around 2,481 to 2,403 years ago) yin (dark, cold, female, negative) and yang (light, hot, male, positive) which were deeply influenced by one of the oldest texts of Chinese culture, the Yijing/I Ching (beginning around 3,000–years ago). Another Taoist practice “Naturalists” phenomena of the wu that also connected to the shamanic culture of northern China, Wuism likely originating in cultures such as the Hongshan culture. Chinese shamanic traditions are intrinsic to Chinese paganism/folk religion, an overarching term for all the indigenous religions of China.
A torii (bird abode, traditionally made from wood or stone) is a traditional Japanese gate commonly at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine and is similar to symbolic gates widely dispersed throughout Asia, (India, China, Thailand, Korea, and within the indigenous Shompen and Nicobarese peoples found at the Nicobar Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. The Shompen people closest to that of Indonesians and Austroasiatic people including the Nicobarese who follow the traditional animistic/totemistic religion of the islands believing in spirits, ghosts who are believed to exist all around the islands, which shamans call upon to handle the bad spirits. The prehistory of Korean and Japan become closer linked by steadily increasing contact with the Korean Peninsula beginning around 2,900 years ago. Moreover, Korean prehistoric religious/cultural iconography includes paintings, rock carvings, and stones positioned for religious ceremonies that may connect to the Pit-Comb pottery culture. Likewise, some of the oldest Pit-Comb pottery evidence are found in the remains of Liao civilization/xinglongwa culture found mainly around the Inner Mongolia-Liaoning border in China. The area of southern Liaoning is along north Korean where northern Inner Mongolia is along southern Mongolia. Moreover, this pottery culture was also in northeastern China which had burials under the pit-houses with jade objects as grave goods. The most special of this culture’s graves seems to have involved an around 8,000-year-old ceremonially burial of a male interned with a pair of pigs and jade objects.
A 7,200 years old wooden carving presumably a type of shamanistic totem, was from the Xinle culture (7,500–6,800 years ago) found in northeast China. And while the prehistory of Ceramics seems to begin with the Gravettian culture “Venus of Dolní Vestonice” figurine from the Czech Republic dated to around 29,000 years old. But the oldest usable pottery is from Jiangxi, China dated to around 20,000 years old and as well as Jomon culture in Japan dated to around 18,000 years ago, the oldest pottery from the Russian Far East dates to around 16,000 to 13,000 years ago, showing idea transfer was accruing and likely that involved religion. In Asia pottery came long before farming whereas in the Near East farming appeared before pottery, then when farming spread into Europe it appears in the Pit-Comb Ceramic Culture reflects influences from Siberia, Koria and distant China. Around 7,000-5,200 years ago the two groups both the Proto-Sami and Proto-Finic peoples joined together in the Pit–Comb Ware culture in Finland, Baltic and Russia that had diffused from the east to the Baltic Sea area. Comb Ceramic or Pit-Comb Ware developed in the northern woodlands of Eurasia and was transferred from the Baltic, Finland, south Siberia, Lake Baikal, Mongolian Plateau, Liaodong Peninsula, northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula. Pit-Comb culture transfer is quite extensive demonstrating vast exchange networks in red slate stone tools originating from northern Scandinavia, asbestos stone tools from Lake Saimaa, green slate stone tools from Lake Onega, amber artifacts from the southern shores of the Baltic Sea and flint stone tools from the Valdai area in northwestern Russia.
In Finland, the Pit-Comb peoples involved a maritime culture who probably used teepee but by around 6,000 tend to prefer rectangular timber houses and the burials covered with red ochre. This Pit-Comb culture seems diverse, possibly involving several languages and did produced small burnt clay figurines as well as stone animal heads often involving a reference to bears and moose in addition to many rock paintings which may express a shamanic connection such as that seen at around 100 of which in Finland. Rock painting from Juusjarvi Lake near Helsinki Finland are thought to depict a shaman in a trance possibly with a pike and presumably accompanied with a spirit helper fish. And interestingly, one of the first embryo-shaped figurines connects to the comb-pit culture around 5,000 years ago in the Ishim-Irtysh region in south-central Russia. One piece of supporting one part of the Sami ancestry may be found in how the languages of the Sami and many of the modern inhabitants of the Urals seem to be traced to a common ancestor. The Sami of Fennoscandia share a 9,000-year-old genetic ancestral connection to the Berbers of North Africa. All of Finland was ice-free by around 8,900 years ago and the Heinola sledge dated at 8,800 years ago was found in southern Finland along with the both with parallels in the East Baltic and Northwest Russia. And by around 8,500 years ago the peoples in the ariea become more semi-nomadic and reached northernmost Finland by 8,400 years ago or earlier.
Early Proto-Finnish shamanism seems to connect to Suomusjarvi culture of Finland. It is thought that the Proto-Finns developed a shamanic hunting-gathering-fishing culture similar to peoples across the sub-Arctic Eurasian such as the shamanism of the Evenks of Siberia. Likewise, there is a genetic link with its highest frequency is seen in Russia and among some Sami groups. Around 8,600 years ago, a Fosna culture settlement is found at Foskvattnet along the south Norwegian coast followed by the “Komsa Culture” that also is seen at early dated in arctic Norway and appear to have come from the east. Of special importance is a rock carving at Shiskino at the upper end of the Lena Riverseeming to show that peoples with a large dugout log, with what looks like large rabit ears or maybe ritualized moose/elk ears travelled from Ob River in western Siberia, Russia to Yenisei, to Ankara to the upper Lena Rivers. Part of Sami genetics have ben purposed to be focused at around 7,600 years ago, though the peoples amongst Sami and Finns maybe more around 6,600 years. Moreover, between around 7,500 to 6000 years ago some of the first people in Norway settled in Flatanger and Leka within Nord-Trondelag. Farming started in Denmark and southern Sweden about 6,000 years ago for at least the next few hundred years, settlers from more culturally developed regions of Central Europe and beyond immigrated/migrated introducing agricultural as well as the attributed religious thinking/deities that came with such a cultural transfer. It must be understood that there seems to ha e been long-distance contacts and connections across Eurasia. Which is further exposed by analyzing the genetic links between populations of Yuzhnyy Oleni Ostrov and Popovo (Western Russia 7,500 years ago)/Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov (Kola Peninsula beyond the Arctic Circle Russian 3,500 years ago) and the populations of Siberia (10,000 to 6,000 years ago). Nomadic peoples travel long-distances and culturally integrated with as well as transferred genetically/culturally/religiously as they trailed and such long-distance connections across Eurasia where quite common. For example, it seems that hunter-gatherer pottery from the North East and East Europe may have originated from early ceramics from the Russian Far East and Siberia. A later migration from the East was associated with the spread of the Imiyakhtakhskaya culture from Yakutia (East Siberia) through northwestern Siberia to the Kola Peninsula during the Early Metal Age (around 4,000 to 3,000 years ago).
The DNA in later migration from the East has differences compared with around 10,000 to 5,000 years ago hunter-gatherer nomads and genetic influx from central/eastern Siberia. Moreover, comparing prehistoric and modern-day North-East Europeans/Sami demonstrates genetic differences. Tests on Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov showed the highest shared genetics to Central Siberian Tuvinians, East Siberians and an indigenous Buryat indaidual of Central Siberia. Moreover, the genetic distributions in Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov are similar to those found in all Central/East Siberian, Eurasia, Bashkirs in the Urals, Scandinavian and Baltic populations (Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Ingrians, Karelians, and the Saami). Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov genetics are 4,000 years younger and located further North-West than Yuzhnyy Oleni Ostrov and Popovo (7,500 years ago) but they show a large diversity of DNA lineages of Central/East Siberian origin as well as are the most common in northern, central and eastern Asia, which may have originated in eastern Asia and expanded through multiple migrations after 20,000 years ago. The indigenous Sami are all over Sweden were originally nomads/semi-nomadic people, living in teepees during the summer and peat huts during the cold. Sami people indigenous Finno-Ugric people region stretches over four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The teepee making Sami people, share a religion similar to many other indigenous peoples living in the same latitudes such as various Native/Aboriginal peoples and various Siberian peoples, though they had a practice Shamanism/pantheism-polytheism. The Sami Shaman, or noaidi, enabled ritual communication with the supernatural by tools such as drums, chants, and sacred objects. Sami have birth/mother female spirit/grandmother/goddesses as well as death spirit/grandmother/goddesses in addition to Beaivi goddess of the Sun, mother of humanity and her husband Bieggagallis was god of storms as well as the father of humanity. And Horagalles “Thor-man/grandfather” who was god of thunder and Thor was the Norse paganism’s most popular god. Thor was believed to be a supernatural being with a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and hallowing and fertility. Early Sami religion variants the dead as well as animal spirits and utilized natural sacred sites such as mountains, springs, land formations, as well as man-made petroglyphs and labyrinths. Moreover, Sami genetics has conations at moderate frequencies across Europe, from Iberia (Portugal and Spain) to the Ural Mountains western Russia.
This genetic dispersal likely transferred religion as well and is thought to likely comprise ancient hunter migrations following migrating herds from the Central Siberian shifted up to the Tamir Peninsula northernmost part of the mainland of Eurasia, where today lives the Nenets/Samoyeds an indigenous people in northern arctic Russia, and some live at the Taymyr Peninsula. The shamanistic Nganasan people are an indigenous Samoyedic people inhabiting central Siberia, including the Taymyr Peninsula. Nenets with beliefs that involve animistic, totemistic and shamanistic thinking stressing respect for the land and its resources with a clan-based social structure. Nganasan beliefs involve animistic, totemistic and shamanistic, which are thought to be the descendants of Paleo-Siberian peoples who were culturally assimilated by various Samoyedic indigenous peoples of Siberia. The origin of ancient migrations may also be expressed in genetic connections between Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov (3,500 years ago) and modern-day central Siberian Buryats seems to indicate an early eastern connection with west. In addition, there is DNA that seems to link to migrations from Siberia around the time of the Kama culture aound 8,000 years ago in the southern Urals to the Pechora and Vychegda basins northwest Urals to the modern populations in the Volga-Ural Basin and the Sami which seems to genetically connect to Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov (3,500 years ago) seemingly expressing migration brought ‘Central/East Siberian’ DNA into North East Europe further dispersing religious thinking as well. The genetic evidence seems to connect Bol’shoy Oleni Ostrov to ancient genetic West Siberia as well as the Altai area.
The Northern Bronze Age of Scandinavian prehistory dates to around 3,700 to 2,500 years ago with sites hold bronze and gold objects were all imported, primarily from Central Europe and rock carvings depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships continuity of a maritime cultures as well as other continuity in religion where men or gods are depicted with erected phallus to express vitality and fertility going back around 7,300 years ago (Ertebolle culture: red ochre and deer antlers in some graves, with women buried with necklaces and belts of animal teeth/shells as well as a Mollegabet burial in a dugout tree trunk which may express a beginning of Scandinavian boat burials). This intermixing of genetics was mirrored by religious thinking as well such as how at no time was even the Norse religion homogeneous but rather it too was a conglomerate of related customs and beliefs inherited, borrowed, and/or transferred which led to a wide variety of cultural differences in customs, poetic traditions and myths. Though the Norse religion Sacrifice “blot” held a connecting or commonly distributed role in most of the rituals as well as communal feasting on the sacrificed animals, which usually involving beer or mead shamanistic masked dancers, along with music, and singing. Norse pagan “blot” worship with sacrifice to the Norse gods, the spirits of the land, and maybe even someone’s ancestors and could involve horse sacrifice also found in Indo-European people including the Indian, Celtic and Latin. Ancestors constituted as one of the most ancient and widespread types of deity worshipped in the Nordic region.
Even though the Norse paganism is often portrayed as male centric there was wide use of female goddesses as well as fertility and divination rituals expressed in place-names that shown a connection to the goddess Freyja near place names connected to the god Freyr and the Old Norse term for a priest gothi and the Old Norse term for a priest and gyoja for priestess. Though religious development was common connect them seen in how the petroglyphs and engraved bronze razor knifes of the Bronze Age turn into the runestones of the Viking Age. These motifs were gradually included (around 4,000 to 2,000 years ago) with more zoomorphic glyphs or religious themes primarily depict ships, solar and lunar motifs, geometrical spirals and anthropomorphic beings, which seems to possibly mark the beginning of Norse religion. Religious transfer seems thunderstone discoveries found in Viking burials that held thunderstones up to around 5,000 years older than the graves but also thousands of year old Bronze age thunderstone discoveries were also older than the United Kingdom graves that held them. This valuing of prehistoric stones to Vikings may have connection to or from the legends of Thor, possibly believing that Thor’s thunderstone protected the dead. The name Corded Ware culture refers to its pottery the name Battle/Boat Axe culture, is named from its characteristic grave offering to males, a stone boat-shaped battle axe with similarities to the contemporary Beaker culture, that may have contributed to the pan-European spread of that culture.
The earliest “Maritime” Bell Beaker “drinking vessel” design is likely from Iberia, specifically in Portugal around 4,800 to 4,700 years ago, spreading from there to many parts of western Europe initially as the western equivalent of the Corded Ware culture but from around 4,400 years ago the Bell Beaker culture expanded eastwards over parts of Central and Eastern Europe as far east as Poland where Corded Ware was found, which included Scandinavia but not in the British Isles. Corded Ware culture was not a “unified culture,” but was genetically related to the Yamnaya culture suggesting migrations from the Eurasiatic steppes and encompassed a vast area occupying parts of Northern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The around 7,300 years ago Ertebolle culture began to expand along the Baltic coast then shortly thereafter it was replaced by the Funnel(neck)beaker culture around 6,300 to 4,800 years ago, divided into northern, south-central, eastern, and western groups. Some burials included ceramic vessels with food, amber jewelry and flint axes oldest graves consisted of wooden chambers but were later stone passage graves and dolmens. Importantly northern Funnelbeaker culture included northern Germany and southern Scandinavia and the appearance of Megalithic tombs and passage graves (around 5,400 years ago in Denmark). Do to the high Northwest African DNA in Funnelbeaker, there is a good chance that Iberian Megalithic people (which had 6,000-year-old Megalithic passage graves, such as the Seven-Stone Antas in Portugal and Spain with large interlocking stones making a large chamber which could been an early astronomical sky gazing structures long before telescopes) inherited genes from Northwest Africans. Northwest Africans were said to “worshipped rocks/worshiped with rocks” so a megalithic culture may have been part of both a cult of the dead or worship of the heavens/star-worship or maybe a passage/portal/gateway for the dead to travel to the heavens/stars.
Capsian culture Northwest Africans had burial covered with ochre on tools and bodies suggesting both a religious belief in afterlives as well as later early religion being relatively connected to cults of the dead as well as fertility cults, that may have focused on a females, goddess or goddesses. These Capsian peoples where part of a Mesolithic culture with common decorative art including figurative and abstract rock art Ostrich eggshells beads and seashells were used for necklaces of the region of western North Africa, which lasted from about 12,000 to 8,000 years ago, with some sites attested in southern Spain to Sicily. Around 7,000 years ago proto-Berber tribes of North Africa primarily descended from the Iberomaurusian and Capsian North African cultures. There may be influences for the Maritime Bell Beaker precursors in northern Africa possibly the result of sea faring contacts between Iberia and North Africa sometime around 5,000 years ago or older. Today, most Berber people live in North Africa, mainly in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers ancestors from possibly around 12,000 years ago demonstrated in the presence of cave paintings dated to around 12,000 years ago in the Tassili n’Ajjer region of southern Algeria and yet another rock art expression is found in the Libyan desert.
Then between around 6,000 to 2,000 years ago the society involved domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region (the Maghreb) where the ancient tombs which held the dead usually buried in a fetal position that where painted with ochre seems to have been primarily a Capsian style industry where the dead sometimes were buried with ostrich egg shells, jewelry, and weapons. Unlike the majority of mainland Berbers, the Guanches mummified the dead and a Libyan thus Burber mummy is older than any comparable Ancient Egyptian mummies. The cult of the dead seems to have been quite popular among the Berbers and it is reported that the Augilae (Modern Awjila in Libya) considered the spirits of their ancestors to be gods. Ancient Berber tombs, mausoleum of Madghacen seems to indicate that the Berbers and their forebears (the Numidians and Mauretanians) all believed in an afterlife. The prehistoric people of northwest Africa first started by buried bodies in little holes only to later start bury the dead in caves, tumuli, tombs in rocks, mounds, and other types of tombs showing an evilution. These tombs evolved from primitive structures to much more elaborate ones, such as the pyramidal tombs spread throughout Northern Africa. The pyramidal Berber tombs with the great Egyptian pyramids on the basis of the etymological and historical data.
The best known of the Berber pyramids, are the around 60 ft. Numidian pyramid of the Medracen and the around 100 ft. Mauretanian pyramid. In general, polytheistic Africans are thought to in a since worship the rocks or in another since worship with rocks. The megalithic culture may have been part of a cult of the dead or of star-worship and cultural religious transfer was likely between the ancient Egyptians and their neighbors the Berbers. Moreover, it likewise seems possible that some deities were originally worshipped by both the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Libyans (Berbers). Egyptian deities worshipped by the ancient Eastern Berbers at least involved Isis and Set. The Egyptians considered some Egyptian deities to have had a Libyan (Berbers) origin, such as Neith who has been considered, by Egyptians, to have emigrated from Libya to establish her temple at Sais in the Nile Delta. Neith/Nit/Net/Neit served as a protector or guardian goddess and was an early Egyptian goddess in the patron deity of Sais “Sa El Hagar” an ancient Egyptian town in the Western Nile Delta dated at least as early as the First Egyptian Dynasty around 5,100 to 5,050 years ago. The Temple of Sais like many ancient Egyptian temples was associated with a medical school and particularly the medical school at Sais had many female students as well as women faculty. An inscription from Sais dated around a similar time roughly reads, “I have studied at the Sais woman’s school where the divine mothers have taught me how to cure diseases.”
Some legends tell that Neith was born around Lake Tritons (in modern Tunisia). Furthermore, some Egyptian deities were depicted with Berber (ancient Libyan) characters such as the goddess Ament which was portrayed with two feathers, the normal ornaments of the Ancient Libyans but were drawn by the Ancient Egyptians. Ammon identified with the Egyptian supreme deity Amun so was also a common deity of the Egyptians as well as the Berbers and possibly one of the greatest ancient Berber gods. Moreover, the Lydian (western Turkey) king Croesus (2,560-2,546 years ago) is seem to have offered sacrifices to the god Ammon thus seemingly the cult had begun to spread outside North Africa spreading to the Greek world at least by around 2,522 to 2,445 years ago the first Greeks to visit the Ammon shrine are seen to have called him the god Zeus Ammon. Berber meaning “barbaric” and the first known reference of the term “barbarian” to describe Numidia. He was honored by the Ancient Greeks in Cyrenaica, and was united with the Phoenician god Baal due to Libyan influence. Early depictions of rams (related possibly to an early form of the cult of this deity) across North Africa have been dated to between around 9,600 to 7,500 years ago. The time at which the most recent common ancestor of the Berber DNA is about 3,700 years ago time that the Green Sahara era.
Saharan rock paintings and engravings, which we now know date back to the African Humid Period, a humid phase across North Africa which peaked between around 9,000 and 6,000 years ago. This would imply a male dominated migration, likely bringing the current Berber languages as well, just before the dawn of the historic era in Egypt and well after the likely ethnogenesis of the Chadic people around 5,700 years ago whose DNA corresponds well with the archaeologically calibrated date of origin of these peoples. Some human remains (some with animal bones: crocodiles, fish, clams, turtles, and hippos) are buried with clay potsherds, beads, and stone tools. Such animal remains suggests a Green Sahara. While it may seem strange today the Sahara about 12,000 years ago became green after being dry for around 70,000 years due to a sway in the Earth’s axis bringing rains to new areas turning the area green thus attracting different animals and eventually people. The 10,000-year-old Gobero site is the oldest known graveyard in the Sahara Desert located in Niger north Western Africa. From around 9,500 to 8,200 years ago and is characterized by a wet climate and the first evidence of Kiffians (with highs as much as 6-foot 8-inches) occupation a hunter-fisher-gatherer group the Kiffians vanished approximately 8,000 years ago, when the desert became very dry for a long while.
Then from 7,200 to 4,200 years ago the second main occupation by the Tenerians. Tenerians were considerably shorter in height had different skeletal configurations, which was less robust than the earlier Kiffians. The Berber “Moors” tribal nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyle populations of antiquity are known as Numidians and later as Mauri in classical antiquity. These are umbrella terms that would include populations whose self-designation was a variety of tribal names, although Strabo asserts that Mauri was also used indigenously. The Libu of ancient Egyptian sources, eponymous of the name Libya may also have been an early Berber or Proto-Berber population. The tightly bundled burials date to around 9,000 years ago in the middle of the Kiffian era and smaller but evolved “sleeping” skeletons date to around 6,000 years old years ago within the Tenerian period. Unique burials involve a Tenerian woman posed facing two young children with their hands interlaced laid on a bed of flowers and another male buried with a finger in his mouth. Another burial of seeming importance was as elaborate ritualized grave had been interred inside a frame of disarticulated human bones and yet another involved an adult male with partially burnet bones buried with a boar tusk and a crocodile ankle bone with his head resting on a clay pot.
There was ceremonial jewelry offered as part of some grave goods, including a young girl wearing a bracelet made from the hippo tusk and a man buried with the carapace of a turtle. And most interesting is a likely family grave was also found, with a woman and two children buried on their sides, facing each other and with hands entwined. They were buried with four hollow based points, and there was pollen evidence found at the probable family burial, suggesting that flowers decorated the grave. Burber genetics found in West Africans and Tibetans evidence of some back migration from Eurasia and this is generally true for North Africans as well as most Ethiopians and Somolians that tend to have DNA connecting them with West Eurasia.
Most other sub-Saharan Africans have almost no West Eurasian DNA. Beaker-people of Iberia Portugal and Spain seemed to have had some kind of relations with the Atlantic coast of North Africa, with evidence of Beakers found at a few sites in Morocco and there are other forms of pottery such as the lemon-shaped vases found in both Spain and North Africa. Early dates for Bell Beaker phenomenon are found in Portugal and Cerro de la Virgen in Spain around 5,900 to 4,500 although instead of ‘battle-axes’ seen in the similar Swedish-Norwegian Battle Axe culture/Boat Axe culture, the Bell Beaker culture used copper daggers. Speaking of how the Beaker culture tended to use copper a Palmela (Portugal) style tanged dagger that seems to have been a ritual object was as old as 5,500 years ago from North Africa. Moreover, from North Africa other finds involve Palmela points, axes, and awls and a rectangular axe that may be from Spain. Tongue-daggers, Palmela points, axes, and awls where found in burials from Portugal. Palmela points from the Iberian Peninsula and southern France are a common grave good rather than a tool found in structures thus seems to have been ritual objects that are thought to originate during the Bell-Beaker Period and last until the Early Bronze Age.
Funnelbeaker Rock carving from Sotetorp Sweden show a sailing vessel with a dragon/horse head in the bow, holding 13 men and two mythical figures with horned or elk/moose eared helmets as well as holding big axes and matching large phallus’. Similarly, there is evidence of religious meaning in horned helmets found in two horned bronze helmets in Denmark are obviously unfit for fighting and must have been used in religious ceremonies and are believed to be like those seen in many Bronze Age rock carvings as well as are also common in the south of Europe possibly even originating there. From rock carvings of mythical beings with horned helmets and large axes are seen in several petroglyph depictions. Like the ceremonial horned helmets there have been found ceremonial axes are made of thin fragile bronze unfit for fighting and with erect penis which could relate to the god Freyr pictured as a phallic fertility deity and one of the most important gods of Norse religion. The name Freyr derives from the Proto-Norse frawjaz meaning “lord” and is associated with a sacred religious/political kingship.
Moreover, the Funnelbeaker culture maybe a precursor of the Bell-beaker ceramic that would spread across the western half of Europe from around 4,800 years ago. And it was followed by The Swedish-Norwegian Battle Axe culture/Boat Axe culture in the north still using some of the practices from the previous Funnelbeaker culture showing a connectivity of transfer. This connected but evolved is seen in how the Funnelbeaker culture had collective megalithic graves with collective sacrifices, whereas the Battle Axe culture has individual graves with individual sacrifices. The Swedish-Norwegian Battle Axe culture appeared around 4,800 years ago and is known from about 3000 graves from Scania to Uppland and Trondelag. Around 5,000 to 4,350 years ago Corded Ware Culture/the Battle Axe culture/Single Grave culture is associated with the diffusion of Proto-Germanic and Proto-Balto-Slavic speakers and was a blend of cultural elements of the earlier Funnelbeaker culture and with the PIE steppe culture (Yamna). DNA studies of Yamnaya and Corded Ware Culture burials shows that a genetic transformation took place where the DNA from around 12,000 to 6,000 was heavily reduced by the new Yamnaya DNA (Yamnaya culture also known as the Pit Grave culture or Ochre Grave culture dates to around 5,500 to 4,000).
This genetic group seems to show that the first farmers in Central Europe stems from a significant religio-cultural as well as genetic transfer via migration, beginning in Turkey and the Near East where farming originated and only after is seen in Germany around 7500 years ago. Around 4,800 years ago involved a time of changes in Jutland and areas east of Denmark when the Single Grave Culture’s neighbor to the east was called the Battle Axe Culture/Boat(shaped)Axe Culture and are thought to have spoken Proto-Indo-European with burials generally date between 4,800–4,200 years ago found in central, northern, and Eastern Europe. Similar cultural discussion may be involved as the Single Grave Culture in Denmark, Holland and North Germany, the Battle Axe Culture of Sweden, Norway and Finland, and the Fatjanovo Culture in Russia expressed in a wide geographic distribution of similar cultural sharing/adapting. This new Yamnaya/Yamna Pit-Ochre Grave culture’s genetic presence provided much of the genetic material for contemporary European populations. About 5,000 years ago Saqqaq culture Paleo-Eskimo Paleo-Eskimo wave of migration from Siberia into the Arctic region that occurred producing “Saqqaq man,” settlement in eastern Greenland about 4,000 years ago. Interestingly enough, both Saqqaq Paleo-Eskimo and modern-day Eskimo’s each have DNA linking them to eastern Siberia but with differing genetic lineages. Saqqaq Paleo-Eskimo Siberian Far East genetic lineages connecting to the Nganasans, the Chukchis, and closest to the Koryaks as well as Aleuts (a native people of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska).
There is commonly some amount of religious localization differences after connected original religious transfer. Seen in how new religious uses are applied to difference practices, such as how the Aleuts have a style of expressing their animism/totemistic/shaminism tattoos and piercings, believing body art attributed spiritual authority and could please the animal spirits or fend off evil. Similarly, believing body piercing placing nose, mouth, and ears could fend off evil spirits (khoughkh) entering through the nose, mouth, and ears. Body art also enhanced their beauty, social status, and spiritual authority. The Koryaks who are indigenous people of the Russian Far East, north of the Kamchatka Peninsula in coastlands of the Bering Sea. The Koryaks practice animism/shamanism centralizing on Quikil (Big-Raven/supernatural shaman), that is believed to have been the first man and protector of the Koryak. Similar big raven myths are also found on Haida indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. occupied Haida Gwaii British Columbia, Canada since at least the 12,500 years ago, possibly as much as over 17,000 years. Among the Tlingit, Tsimshian, and other Alaskan natives and Northwest Coast Amerindians and the Aleuts and different from contemporary Eskimos DNA did not resemble the present-day Eskimos or the Na-Dene population, ancestors of most Native Americans. and was independent of both the Native American and Inuit expansions into the Americas. Saqqaq man’s closest living relatives were the Chukchis, people who live at the easternmost tip of Siberia. Moreover, Saqqaq man’s ancestors split apart from Chukchi or Chukchee people of Russia some 5,500 years ago. It should be understood, that religion as well as its love of gods, must be seem for what they are, which beyond their pomp and circumstance are exposed as little more than indoctrinated cultural products, the conspiracy theories of reality no one should believe today in our world of science. Simply, religion and its gods are the leftovers of an ignorant age trying to explain and control a fearful world which seems now favored by the uninformed, misinformed, emotional/physical/social support seekers and conmen.
What's happened to Thalidomide babies?
Fifty years ago, the sedative Thalidomide was withdrawn after thousands of mothers gave birth to disabled babies. That ageing Thalidomide generation now faces rising care bills - but some hope a possible Nazi link to the drug could bring more compensation.
In November 1961, I was five months old. My family had no idea why their otherwise healthy baby boy had been born with short arms, twisted hands and no thumbs.
But by the end of that month, the truth was finally out in the open.
After a German newspaper reported that Thalidomide was the likely cause for the mysterious spate of disabled babies born in Germany since 1958, the drug's producer, Chemie Gruenenthal, caved in to growing pressure, and on 26 November withdrew all products containing Thalidomide from what had been very lucrative, over-the-counter sales.
A few days later, Thalidomide's British licensee, Distillers, followed suit in the UK. But by then, the damage was done.
Thalidomide has strong sedative properties and many women in the early weeks of pregnancy had taken it to ease their morning sickness, utterly unaware its effect on the unborn child can be teratogenic, or "monster-forming".
Limbs can fail to develop properly, in some cases also eyes, ears and internal organs. No-one knows how many miscarriages the drug caused, but it's estimated that, in Germany alone, 10,000 babies were born affected by Thalidomide. Many were too damaged to survive for long.
Today, fewer than 3,000 are still alive. In Britain, it's about 470. Among the nearly 50 countries affected are Japan (approximately 300 survivors), Canada and Sweden (both more than 100), and Australia (45). Spain's government only recently acknowledged the drug was ever distributed there. No-one knows how many Spanish survivors there are. It could be hundreds.
After 1961, the drug didn't disappear - medical researchers discovered it can be extremely effective in certain treatments. Stringent precautions should be taken, particularly with women patients of child-bearing age. But sadly, in Brazil, where the drug has been widely used in treating certain leprosy symptoms, there is now another, younger generation of disabled Thalidomide survivors.
Just as the drug's effect in the womb seems totally random, so too was the compensation received. In recent years, UK survivors have won concessions from the government, the tax authorities and Distillers' successor company, which has boosted current average compensation pay-outs in the UK to around $63,000 (£40,000) a year.
But elsewhere, survivors still get nothing, or very little. Of today's 6,000 estimated survivors around the world, nearly half fall under the compensation deal in Germany. That currently provides a yearly maximum of about 13,500 euros (£11,840), which does not cover the needs of those with multiple limb deficiencies. Many have no independent income and require constant care.
Campaigns for higher compensation are gaining support - in Germany and elsewhere. Progress has been slow, but that could change dramatically, if proof is found that it was not Chemie Gruenenthal which discovered Thalidomide, as has always been claimed, but scientists working for the Nazi regime.
Gruenenthal patented Thalidomide in the mid-1950s. But investigations in the past two years have confirmed that the German brand-name - Contergan - was owned by the French pharma-company, Rhone-Poulenc, during the early 1940s, when it was effectively under Nazi control.
It's also now becoming clear that Gruenenthal was part of a post-war network of German scientists and businessmen who had played leading roles during the Nazi era. Immediately after the war, for example, Gruenenthal employed Dr Heinrich Mueckter as chief scientist, who was sought in Poland on charges of war crimes after conducting medical experiments in prison camps, during which hundreds of prisoners may have died.
"Gruenenthal taking on someone like Dr Mueckter is one of the key factors we must highlight in the Thalidomide scandal," says Gernot Stracke, a leading spokesman for survivors in Germany.
He adds: "To my knowledge, no representative for the German government has yet made any public comments about Thalidomide's possible roots in the Nazi-era, or whether the government would accept greater liability and offer more help to survivors if proof of such a link were found."
Martin Johnson, director of the UK Thalidomide Trust, and Professor Ray Stokes, of the University of Glasgow, are preparing to publish a book after investigating Thalidomide's possible Nazi origins.
Mr Johnson says: "Although, at this stage, we cannot prove that Thalidomide was definitely developed and tested in prison camps by the Nazis, there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that it was tested as part of their search for an antidote to nerve gas."
For the survivors, decades of coping with stunted, twisted or missing limbs has meant greater wear and tear on remaining joints and muscles, and virtually guaranteed the premature onset of arthritis and chronic pain.
Many who managed to go out and work have already been forced into early retirement, while others who used to rely on their parents for everyday care, can no longer do so. Every year, more and more are becoming totally dependent on other family members, on social benefits or health insurance payouts - or on charity.
Which is why, on 26 November - 50 years on - we, the German survivors, will march, waddle, limp or roll in wheelchairs from the Brandenburg Gate to the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.
To celebrate that we are still alive, and to remember those who never lived.
Everyone’s house looks like an IKEA showroom
Come on now, IKEA is Swedish after all! In case you were wondering, there are 24 IKEA stores in Sweden, nine in Norway, and five in Denmark.
Scandinavian homes tend to skew smaller than you'd get in the United States, for example. This means no space is wasted and clever storage solutions are utilised wherever possible.
So while not everyone shops at IKEA, the functional style of furniture made famous by the furniture store is certainly a feature of many Scandinavian homes.
No petroglyphs without sunlight
“You’ll never find carvings in places where the sunlight can’t reach,” Tangen says.
“Rock carvings are best seen when they’re backlit. The direction the figures are facing explains when to look for them, in order to see them at their best. If the rock carvings are north-facing, they are best seen when the sun is in the south at noon.”
Tangen believes it’s the depth of the carvings in the rock and the shadow effect this creates that gives the effect the artists behind the rock carvings intended to show.
Water can also play a role in how we see the rock carvings.
Several scientists who have studied petroglyphs have noticed that they often were carved in places where water trickles down over them from above.
The water even creates the illusion of movement in some places. The individuals who created the art may have also intentionally used this an effect.