Tuesday, 20 March 2012

More Advanced Technology of the Ancients

By Robert John Langdon

One of the interesting problems I have as an author and historian, is to show people just how inaccurate archaeologists and anthropologists have portrayed our ancestors.   We still see pictures in museums and on-line of Mesolithic people either half naked or wrapped in furs - when we know from evidence, in the form of imprints on clay floors found in caves, that thousands of years before the end of the last ice age, Cro-Magnon's (our ancestors) wore woven clothes and some graves (frozen in time) in Russia show the same people with trousers and fur covered shoes.



But this depiction is not the only misinformation archaeologists have perpetuated over the years.  Missing from the archaeological time-line is the use of utensils - bowls, spoons etc.  They seem to conclude, that until the use of  clay and pottery, our ancestors had nothing.  This is clearly not true, and my next book 'Dawn of the Lost Civilisation' shows that these people possessed advanced technological tools such as bows and microliths (very small flints) that allowed them to hunt effectively.  But moreover, this same technology allowed the production of wooden utensils by making a wood turning lathe.  Most people would consider wooden lathes a modern invention, but the first known wooden lathe was found on a Egyptian wall dated at 300 BCE.

Two man Egyptian Lathe

But this is not 'Rocket Science' for the Cro-Magnon's as you see from the video, you need string, wood and a tree branch for power - in the video the modern equivalent of this device uses metal for the cutting of the wood (a chisel) and metal points to secure the wood in position.  This is the reason the possibility of even more ancient people having this device has been ignored.  But we have found these devices in the micolithic tool kit of the 'Magdalenian' period (15,000 - 7,000 BCE).

Only one found complete is known as the Tvaermose arrow  -  its NOT an arrow its a chisel!

These strange 'trapeze' shaped microliths are perfect chisels when mounted on wood and there are other microliths called burins that are known to have been made for engraving and grooving.

A Burin - perfect for wood turning

But the main problem for archaeologists is in 'setting' the wood between two points - So try two of these.

These are perfect Lathe wood holders - with a hole to keep the wood in place when turning.


Simple but very effective, therefore Cro-Magnon man could now have a complete domestic kitchen with utensils take dont let him drop food down his trousers /fur skin!

Who needs pottery?
Not quite as privative the history books would have you believe.  And if you dont have a tree to bend try this portable device using a bow saw.



Anthropologists and archaeologists would have you believe the builders of Stonehenge could make such a colossal construction, but could not use a bow saw to turn wood or live in houses - its pure nonsense.  Has this Moroccan boy and his friends the ability to make a Stonehenge - I don't think so!

Moreover, the most interesting aspect of this available technology is that it was 'preferred' to clay pottery.  The first Kiln was known to have been built in France in 14,000 BCE - but the Cro-Magnon's did not use them - we believe the reason for using wood over clay is a medical as published in the Feb. 6, 1993 edition of Science News, an article describes research claiming that wooden cutting boards possess some sort of bacteria-killing properties, thus making them less likely to contaminate food than clay, this and other 'naturalist' habits are explored in my new book out in June.


RJL

(by Robert John Langdon)



62 comments:

  1. Thanks for another fascinating article. I often wondered how stone age man would have made utensils and it does make a lot more sense to fix the cutting blade and turn the wood - if only to prevent cuts which were dangerous pre-penicillin. Everybody who has done minimalist camping knows that a plate and a cup is part of the basic kit. Cups were likely (imo) made of bone or even leather, plates of wood perhaps or bark.

    Pottery is curious. It survives well so archeologists talk about it a lot. However I am surprised by the lack of individuality - perhaps to do with the "mass" production aspect? Culturally, this is same as everybody else has and I don't want to be different? Was this the same for utensils - everybody having the same and so a tendency to machine production, or did everybody do their own thing?

    Thanks again Robert for tweaking my brain.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris

    The pottery issue is very interesting and I came in for much criticism by a very prominent archaeologist in my last book, which questioned the dating of something that is not carbon dated and relied on 'design' and internal structure for dating purposes.

    I have the same issue with stone tools and the instant introduction of 'new cultures' when a new design is discovered rather than just an innovation of the same culture. For economics and trade is considered as 'recent' rather than a evolutionary trait that recognises that trades and specialities were key to a societies progress.

    I suspect Neanderthals made all tools 'in house' within the family group and the acceptance of speciality was a cro-magnon attitude that allowed faster development.

    RJL

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robert,

    Interesting post. Can you provide us with some references where your facts come from?

    For instance, the drawing depicting the 'two man Egyptian Lathe' dated 300BC (long way from Stonehenge, by the way, some 5000 years earlier according to you!). Is that found in an Egyptian wall somewhere? Or made up.

    The reason why I ask is because the profile of the two men showing 'high brow' and a 'stiff upper lip' is not an Egyptian characteristic but more British.

    As for the “lathe wood holders”, very impressively carved! Are you sure these were not the handles of ancient walking sticks? I have an uncle that has a whole collection of these!

    This reminds me of the discussions we had many months ago of the Nile boat carrying a huge megalith which turned out to be the 'standing platform' of the pilot steering the boat.

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      Earliest known representation of the use of a woodworking lathe in the tomb of Petosiris from the early Ptolemaic period (after Nicholson & Shaw 2000), http://www.oocities.org/unforbidden_geology/ancient_egyptian_stone_vase_making.html

      PIERCED STAFF's from - MAGDALENIAN PERIOD, La MADELEINE ROCK SHELTER, DORDOGNE, FRANCE. http://lithiccastinglab.com/gallery-pages/2009marchpiercedstaffspage1.htm

      Bows are found at 'Holmegaard' in Denmark dated 9,000 BCE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmegaard_bow

      Which all border Doggerland - as you see this IS a true example of 'Plausible Reasoning' as it has qualified references for all of its components - Consequently, I don't need to make this up as I'm not a fantasist (unlike some), all my hypothesis are based on facts.

      RJL

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the references. But what about the drawing? Is that a modern sketch or trace of the original? Again, the high brow and stiff upper lip are a puzzlement.

      Delete
    3. Kostas

      Not important!

      If you google 'Egyptian bow drill' you'll get lots of pictures from temple walls - it's not an issue as the blog is simply stating that the facility was there to be available earlier than 300BC.

      You seemed to have drifted off into 'Kostas world' again.

      RJL

      PS. In fact the first recorded was in King Tut's chamber showing a bow-drill (1500BC) making a mortise and tenon joint - remember them at Stonehenge? See 'Echoes of Atlantis' for the reason for the connection - Spring 2013.

      Delete
  4. Robert,

    So at 300 BC in Egypt people knew about lathes. Your point is? Therefore cro-magnons built Stonehenge 5000 years earlier than that?

    A 'rationally laughable' argument! It's like arguing because we know about rockets people at 3000 BC could fly to the moon!

    You are such a clever devil, Robert! Is there anything you don't think you know? But you can count on Chris to admire your brilliance!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      "Therefore cro-magnons built Stonehenge 5000 years earlier than that?" I think your still in 'Kostas world' of rational implausibility - the essay has nothing to do with Stonehenge.

      My point is that utensils like bowls and spoons were used in the Mesolithic Period, by cro-magnons who invented the 'microlith' and used bows and therefore constructed the first lathe.

      But its interesting, your happy to accepting that the little Moroccan boy is putting your Greek ancestors to shame. Do you really believe that the ancient Greeks - with all their philosophical writings, did not have the intelligence to use a bow drill before 300BC ?(were they too busy making alphabets) - For it's just a piece of string and a chisel, pivoted on two horizontal points to make bowls and cutlery.

      Or did the master race jump to clay and miss out on wood altogether?- if so, your ancestors must have been eating off the floor in 9500 BC, when the cro-magnon's turned up in their ships - no wonder (as Plato tells us) they were worshipped as gods, for they eat with knifes, folks and wooden bowls.

      RJL

      Delete
  5. Robert,

    Your racist comments in your last post speak not so well for you. I wont comment in kind. Instead, I'll let you stew in your own racist venom. Let others judge you and if still swayed by you choose to be like you.

    The reason why ancient people used ceramics is the same why modern people continue to use ceramics for plates, bowls and pots. They are cheep and easy to mass produce and use abundant and replaceable material. As someone who has worked with ceramics as an art form for many years, I assure you this is the reason!

    Since ceramic relics do not decay while wood does what a clever denial by you for the absence of ceramics in the Mesolithic by arguing cro-magnons used wooden bowls instead which latter decayed and are nowhere to be found.

    Your veil of objectivity is too transparent of the lies you promote and the values you espouse.

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kostas

    Racist?

    That's a new one for me, but I guess its a move forward form 'story teller'. In theory using your interpretation of the word 'racism' that Darwin was also a racist as he promoted that different cultures survived history as they were better suited - either physically or mentally that other cultures - what he called 'survival of the fittest'.

    For the record, I'm not a racist, I was poking fun at some of your 'absurd' ideas from your past comments. As individual that has both Cro-magnon DNA (on my fathers side) and my Italian Mediterranean DNA (on my mothers side) - hence my brown hair and green eyes (not blonde hair and blue eyes like Cro-magnon) I feel justified to judge these matters impartially.

    As for the more important question of ceramics, its a question of economics, as your an expert I don't need to tell you how long it takes to make a pot - find the clay, dig it out, mould it, build a fire, fire it, wait for it to cool down, glaze it, build another fire etc

    With wooden bowls its about half this time if not less and wood is just as free as clay. But the most interesting aspect is that pots do not rot - so we know that clay pots did not exist before 7000BC, according to archaeologists in ANY country - so what did they use?

    My evidence shows they used bow drills. Alas, your rhetoric tells us nothing.

    RJL

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kostas, I like more people to join this debate with their knowledge and without feeling threatened.

    The bickering going on does not help. Agree?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      Last comment has been delete - as I agree with Chris that an extensive comment trying to justify a racist comment is not progressive debate about prehistory.

      If you wish to submit the comment about the use of Ceramics ONLY, then I will happy publish it.

      RJL

      Delete
  8. Chris/Robert,

    I am not sure who I am addressing any more since now both of you seem to be controlling the debate and the 'delete' button. So much for no censorship in this blog! Another lie uncovered!

    “trying to justify a racist comment” [???]


    No Robert! In the comment you deleted I was not trying to justify racism but to condemn it! Again, you are taking liberties with the truth and are twisting or deleting what does not suit your purposes. While leaving your readers blind to the truth. What all censorship seeks to do!

    I am happy to move on, however. As long as you refrain from racist comments and other stupid tactics and personal attacks I will do the same. But I will respond when provoked. You will know one way or another how I feel and think!

    Chris, it takes two to bicker! How about some criticism thrown Robert's way? Or your admiration of his brilliance makes you blind to the facts.

    Part of my last (deleted) post had to do with ceramics. I am verbatim pasting this below:

    As for ceramics in history … your economic calculations 'wood vs clay' are absurd! You don't make 'one pot at a time'! A single kiln firing can produce hundreds of pots. Clay is not collected and prepared for each pot individually. Unlike wooden bowls where even cutting the wood down to proper size for the lathe would be a monumental task using stone tools! It was more economical in ancient times to make clay bowls than wooden bowls. You are extrapolating from how a wooden bowl is made today to your false proposition that wood is more economical than clay. Exactly the opposite is true. And History clearly shows that. Otherwise why give up on wooden bowls if this was a more economical way of mass producing utensils?


    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      You model is based on trading economics - which is ok but out of the date we are looking at pre-7000BC.

      No pottery has been found so we are left with three alternatives - they had nothing 'eat off the floor' or they used a bow drill and made wooden utensils, which do not survive 10,000 years as they are biodegradable or the pottery found is much older than believed (can't be carbon date carbon dated).

      Modern man (which new genetic term used by anthropologists for cro-magnon's now days) were around from 25,000 BCE to 4,000 BCE - four times longer than our present civilisation, Kilns were developed in 17,000 BCE but not used for pottery (if our archaeology is correct) This is the reason for the blog.

      RJL

      Delete
  9. Robert makes an interesting point on specialist skills. Was the making of utensils something everybody was expected to do for themselves, or was it outsourced to a specialist within the group? Maybe it was something parents did for their children as a rite of passage. I suppose anthropological study of people living in basic conditions might throw some light on the matter.

    The economic argument is missing an important aspect - what we call in business "cost of ownership". Wood has a clear advantage here as it does not break easily and might last a lifetime whereas pottery is fragile and not suited for semi-nomadic lifestyles. Today, for camping, there is a distinct preference for plastic because it is lightweight and robust.

    The idea of kilns is taking progress forward too quickly. A kiln for making hundreds of pots simultaneously is a sophisticated piece of kit with a lot of learned knowledge behind its use. With a typical band being 30-50 people, in my view, you would NOT have a need for producing hundreds of pots simultaneously and regularly. The exception might be a communal feast, say on Windmill Hill, where a batch of pots might be made for the event. Being fragile, the pots were not taken home but rather broken and buried in the pits or tossed into the ditch. Otherwise a big kiln is more appropriate to city dwellers - even a Bronze Age farming village would not have a need for batches of hundreds of new pots.

    We have to look at economics in context and I am confident that mass production had little utility in the stone ages as experienced in Europe. In my view, a lathe for shaping wood would have been more valued for safety than for volume production and there was not much point in pottery due to fragility.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am not so pessimistic about dating pottery. There are different techniques to identify trace minerals in the pots and even the fatty acids may remain after cooking. I am not an expert but I think dating from pottery is nowadays reasonably accurate. The Egyptologists seem to rely on it.

    I wonder what the kilns in 17000 BCE were being used for?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think the early kilns were more like ovens than kilns that were spaces in the bottom of fires. Therefore, I would imagine it being for bread and baking, without the burning of the naked flame.

    Dr Stuart Love

    ReplyDelete
  12. Stuart, this makes a lot of sense. Would steaming fish and roasting meat enter the equation?

    Where I live we have a long tradition of smoking meat and fish to preserve it. Some people actually prefer the taste - not me. I can imagine that people going away for a while might like to take some smoked protein.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Chris/Robert/Love

    “No pottery has been found so we are left with three alternatives - they had nothing 'eat off the floor' or they used a bow drill and made wooden utensils, which do not survive 10,000 years as they are biodegradable or the pottery found is much older than believed (can't be carbon date carbon dated).”

    No Robert! YOU are left with three alternatives because you want to use the argument that cro-magnons had lathes to make wooden bowls but unfortunately wooden bowls decay over time. That explains why there are no wooden bowls dating prior to clay bowls. This is a spurious argument to pull the wool over the eyes of people that want and need to believe in an advanced lost civilization of cro-magnons that left no records behind, including your nicely bow-drilled wooden bowls.

    Let me suggest that the utensils people use depend on the food being prepared! For a barbequed meat, all you need is a pointed stick to pierce the meat and eat off it. We use such all the time even now. Had a 'souvlaki' recently? Or kebob on a stick? For soups and sauces (did these exist 10,000 years ago?) you will need bowls and spoons. But in all likelihood the type of prepared food prehistoric people ate was oven baked or charcoal grilled. The most basic staple in any diet is the bread loaf. And even more recently, people subsisted with just the 'baked potato'. I know of an old man in my village that still lives entirely on a small sack of potatoes each week!

    But all of this raises a very interesting point Dr. Love has made. Whereas it would be very possible to use clay utensils for baking bread and making 'spanakopita' (to use a Greek example) a wooden utensil used for baking would burn up! It is fair to say that for people all over the world, food utensils for the preparation and cooking of food were (are) more essential than utensils for eating the food.

    Wood burns! Clay cooks! End of argument!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kostas

    Sorry you confuse me, are you suggesting Robert's third argument, that clay exists but is dated incorrectly?

    Stuart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was referring to your Mar 22, 2012 03:50 AM
      comment of using kilns as ovens to bake bread etc. That raised in my mind the use of cooking utensils! And these of course had to be made of clay and not wood.

      But if you choose not to associate with my comment even to that extend, no problem!

      Kostas

      Delete
    2. Kostas

      "And these of course had to be made of clay and not wood."

      So you are supporting Robert's third option then?

      Stuart

      Delete
  15. Chris you write,

    “A kiln for making hundreds of pots simultaneously is a sophisticated piece of kit with a lot of learned knowledge behind its use.”


    Not nearly as sophisticated piece of equipment as the sharp metal chisels and the strong metal lathe base in Robert's video clips in his blog!

    Have you considered turning wood not using metal tools? And do it more efficiently and faster than throwing a pot on the potter's wheel? I challenge Robert to make us a video showing us how a wooden bowl can be made using stone tools. I would be satisfied just seeing how a block of wood (like in the video) could be axed down to size and shape with a stone ax! The ax the Norwegian used for this in the video was a rather sharp metal ax! Noticed Chris?

    Coming back to the 'sophisticated kiln' capable of firing hundreds of pots at the same time. It does not require new knowledge or advanced technology. Just the side of a hill to create an updraft and the close packing of the pots covered with wood, branches, leaves and anything that can burn. There is much information on such wood burning kilns if Robert chose to look into it! But why disturb the intellect!

    As for Robert's argument that wooden boards are more hygienic than clay! Nonsense! A glazed clay pot is nonabsorbent and much easier to clean and keep clean! It does not allow pathogens to be absorbed in the material and grow, as wood does over time. Ask any 'health inspector officer' monitoring restaurants for what are the accepted surfaces for food preparation! They have to be nonabsorbent!

    But the strongest argument against Robert's claim that cro-magnons "prefered" wooden food utensils and not clay is:

    Wood burns! Clay cooks!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kostas

    Microbiologists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison were trying to find decontamination techniques that would make wood as safe as plastic. What they found was that, if they inoculated wooden boards with either salmonella, listeria, or E.coli (all food poisoning agents) 99% of the bacteria died. When the bacteria were put on plastic, none of them died. Left overnight, the plastic bacteria multiplied and none were found on the wood.

    Sadly, your idea that Mesolithic man eating kebabs and potatoes, sums up the problems you have with prehistoric history, you seem to have great difficulty in separating fact from fiction and evolutionary time lines.

    Stuart, I think you'll find that Kostas thinks we 'eat off the floor' and occasional kebab sticks, as soup is clearly off the menu - good luck in getting a straight answer from him, I certainly haven't over the past 12 months.

    RJL

    ReplyDelete
  17. So Robert,

    ...your cro-magnons ate in tables set with fine wooden bowls but cooked their food on the floor!

    Wood burns! Clay cooks!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  18. Robert,

    If as you argue soup was not off the menu, what wooden pots were used before the age of ceramics to cook the soup?

    Wood burns, Robert! While we cook in clay pots! And clay does not decay like wood. But I understand why it is important to you to have everything cro-magnon prehistoric be made of wood. That way you can claim all the traces of civilization vanished from history to make room for your 'made up stories' and 'Fictional Archeology'.

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kostas

    I was trying to help Stuart clarify your cryptic answer to his question about clay pots, which you did not answer, so I guess you didn't understand the question.

    I'll try to simplify it for you, if you believe stews and soup were cooked, then they would have used fireproof clay pots. Pots survive the ravages of time, so the pots we find my be older than the current archaeological record suggest - which was my third option.

    If you think the archaeological record is correct (pots not invented until 7000BC) then either they eat 'off the floor' for they had no utensils (and used skulls as cups or even coconuts shells to go with the jacket potatoes, both of which were not added to European history until Sir Walter Raleigh), or they used wood and woven baskets.

    RJL

    ReplyDelete
  20. The opening thesis was that ignorance and prejudice blind our understanding and this is well illustrated by some of the comments. It is very likely that our mesolithic ancestors made soups - the plains indians did. They would dig a pit, line it with hide, add water and bring to the boil with hot stones. Animal stomachs were used to prepare dishes and either suspended over the pit or immersed. I imagine the Avebury folk were partial to a nice piece of steamed sea trout netted from the Kennet. No pottery required, but a wooden bowl - I can see how that would be handy. Lots of pits found around our early neolithic sites in UK. I suppose variations on the theme could have been used to make glue and beer even. Putting a roof on top would have made a nice oven for steaming or grilling.....

    We don't need to twist chronology to invent glazed pottery in the neolithic or assume that bread and potatoes were part of the staple diet - they were not.

    Kostas never addressed my point on economics, so I will add another - the value of time is different for hunter gathers and semi-nomadic herders. There is plenty of time and long winter evenings with no TV. Plenty of time to craft utensils. In my tradition and in my memory even, a young child was given a spoon and a cup when old enough to feed themselves. These were regarded as precious objects and part of the personal tool kit. Speed and efficiency had nothing to do with it.

    Wood bends! Pottery breaks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Robert, you write

    “if you believe stews and soup were cooked, then they would have used fireproof clay pots. Pots survive the ravages of time, so the pots we find my be older than the current archaeological record suggest”


    Right! Your third argument is that 'the pots we find my be older than the current archaeological record suggest'. The premise to that conclusion is people in the Mesolithic, and before the recorded time of ceramics, made soups. Whereas you like to change the dating of the pots, I suggested the changing of the menu.

    My post begins by arguing the utensils used for cooking are driven by the cooking. Excepting for soups and stews, all other 'menu items' could be cooked in the absence of ceramic pots. Certainly no wooden pots could be used for preparing soups. Thus, no lathed wooden bowls needed!

    But if there were other ways of preparing soups I am not aware of (like Chris suggests) I have no problem with that. As long as the argument does not hinge on the use of lathed wooden pots for their preparation!

    Thus, in conclusion, no lathed wooden bowls needed before the age of ceramics. No lost and decayed wooden civilization.

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      Congratulations you have come up with a answer that is even more preposterous than your 'ice sculptures'.

      Your happy with wooden bowls 'As long as the argument does not hinge on the use of lathed wooden pots for their preparation!'

      So the little Moroccan boy is more sophisticated than our ancestors including those who built Stonehenge, because the bow drill is 'so advanced' that it can not be considered even those we have found the bows and stone chisels.

      Complete nonsense again!

      RJL

      Delete
  22. Chris,

    Your “cost of ownership” argument was superseded by other more directly compelling ones. It's not that I have ignored it! Sorry you feel so. So I'll address it now.

    “Wood bents. Pottery breaks!” That is right! And if that's all there was, you would be right! But there are many other considerations. I'll list some that occur to me. There may be other that don't occur to me right now.

    In spite of what Robert tells you, it is much more inefficient to turn a block of wood into a lathed wooden bowl than throwing a bowl on the potters wheel. I have done ceramics as an art form for over twenty years. Believe me! For an experienced potter, it takes just one minute to make a simple clay pot on the potter's wheel! And the technology of making a potters 'kick-wheel' is much simpler than making a working bow lathe.

    In the absence of metal chisels and metal lathes, I am not convinced you can even turn a wooden pot. Robert's misleading video clips convinces me of one thing only. Tree bows can be used for power. But that is the least of the problems. I suggested that Robert show us how he can even cut and shape a block of wood using stone axes to even begin the process of turning the bowl.

    As for the availability and ease of using wood. Again, totally the opposite. Whereas you will need to cut down a tree for the wood ('green wood' is used for turning) and then you will need to cut down the tree to small even wood blocks using stone tools, all you need for ceramics is to dig up using your bare hands lumps of wet clay by the side of rivers and streams and you are ready to go. For a clean clay source (and there is no reason to use any other!) there is nothing more to it! You can go directly to your potters wheel and make some bowls.

    Though it is true you then need to let the clay pots dry and then fire the pots in a kiln, this is done all at once and for many pots (no extra technology needed!). There is no additional labor needed for any of this. Just the loading up of the kiln. In the meantime, and while the clay is drying and the pots are cooking, you can go about doing other important things. Like dragging megaliths!

    Finally, wood can rot and decay or be infested with worms and parasites. Clay does not! And though clay may break, wood can also crack and be made useless for holding liquids.

    So there is no particular advantage to using wood ware as compared to ceramics. I argue there are many great advantages to ceramics. And that is also what History is showing us from all over the world. But of course, Robert knows better!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  23. "I have done ceramics as an art form for over twenty years. Believe me! For an experienced potter, it takes just one"

    There you go..... 'it takes just one' and you are sure it... completely potty!!

    No.6

    ReplyDelete
  24. Prisoner No. 6,

    'it takes just one minute to make a simple clay pot on the potter's wheel'.

    What did you think I said! Or is this what you are challenging? Are you a potter? Ask one!

    So much visceral reaction but no reasoned argument! I must be touching a truth here somewhere …

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  25. Chris,

    This is your opportunity to show how open and fair minded you are. You asked for a reasoned discussion, and I gave you a very detailed and totally honest argument.

    You write, “Sorry you do not understand.”

    Is it 'understanding' or 'complicity' you are seeking? If 'understanding', what I do not understand? Robert's cro-magnon woodworking civilization? Is this a proven fact for you? It is not for me! Therefore my ideas and reasoning are essential in this discussion. Otherwise the discussion becomes praise and admiration of the “emperor's new clothes”.

    I tried to address in a thoughtful manner all of your points. I deserve a similar consideration and not a blanket “you don't understand”!

    Please explain “they have yet to be deployed in this context and for good reasons” What context and good reasons?

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  26. Robert,

    You have a problem with Moroccan boys! They are totally irrelevant to our discussion. Unless you drag them into your sophistry!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      Far from being 'irrelevant' its an example of the level of expertise needed to use the bow drill - NIL!!

      You have a strange capacity to miss the relevant and concentrate on the irrational.

      RJL

      Delete
    2. Kostas

      As your comments are bring up racism once again - it has been deleted.

      Come up with observation and research rather than dysfunctional opinion then I will accept your comments.

      Last warning!

      RJL

      Delete
  27. Robert you write,

    “Your happy with wooden bowls 'As long as the argument does not hinge on the use of lathed wooden pots for their preparation!'”


    If you are going to quote me do it correctly, completely and in context. Your quote above is pure sophistry! Let me remind you what I actually said!

    “But if there were other ways of preparing soups I am not aware of (like Chris suggests) I have no problem with that. As long as the argument does not hinge on the use of lathed wooden pots for their preparation!”


    The question is how you prepare soup! My argument is you cannot prepare soup in wooden bowls because wood burns! Have a problem with that? Want to tell us how you can prepare soups in wooden bowls?

    I am getting weary of psychoanalyzing your twisted reasoning. If you persist, I will have to charge you for my professional services straightening up your thinking.

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  28. I wrote a reply in response to Kostas post but posted under No6, so here goes again.

    Pottery was an important innovation - obvious. However pottery did not become widely used until more recent times, so several of Kostas' arguments are true but fall outside the context we are trying to discuss. Kostas fails to explain why clay was NOT used earlier which is a central point of this discussion.

    Baked clay figurines and tiles are known from early times, for thirty thousand years, so one assumes there was a basic understanding of the technology. So why did pottery arrive relatively late on the scene? I do not believe it is a question of dating mistakes.

    As our pottery expert Kostas might be expected to have ideas on this subject. Robert brings us a completely new idea, new to me at least. Being a practical guy I think "cost of ownership" is probably very important when you consider a hunting community with no fixed abode. Maybe "taboo" did play a part - better to use wood than dirt. The fact that there is apparently a real health benefit makes it more remarkable. Until clay pots evolved into ceramics, thousands of years later, wood and bone utensils would have been a lot easier to keep clean. Robert makes a good case that woodworking techniques might have been more advanced than we think. When you can hollow out a canoe, you can almost certainly make a bowl.

    Please bring something constructive Kostas.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Kostas, it seems you read my earlier post before I deleted it. Your earlier arguments are spurious and mischievous. To go into this in detail would cost me a lot of time and have little effect. Suffice it to say - you do not understand - and because you are not a stupid person I suspect you choose not to understand, either that or you have a serious health issue and should revert to wooden plates before it is too late (smile, another one of my bad jokes).

    As for wooden utensils and soups, I recommend you research "bain marie". Not for nothing did Cro Magnon flourish in France and pass on their ancient heritage into the finest kitchens of the modern era.

    @Robert. While you continue to publish Kostas perhaps you could get rid of the anti-spam text before I have to buy an Ipad3 in order to read it?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Chris you write,

    'Please bring something constructive Kostas.'


    'Constructive'? Like in line with what you believe and want others to believe? I bring my honest thoughts and reasoning in this discussions. And if that is not constructive enough, that much the worst for you!

    You write,

    “Kostas fails to explain why clay was NOT used earlier which is a central point of this discussion.”


    Didn't realize this was on the table! Let me give you my thoughts on this.

    I would argue clay MAY have been used much earlier. But not in the form of a vessel as a clay bowl. It is very likely that the use of clay started with the use of fire and it was a way of making a flat smooth hard surface to be placed over a fire for cooking.

    Using clay over a fire to cook on is certainly much more energy efficient and more pliable to shape than using stone slate. Wood of course would be out of the question to use as a utensil to cook on!

    So to answer your question directly and simply: I believe clay WAS used earlier while clay pots may not have been invented till latter. When the need to store food safely from rodents became necessary.

    Every which way we analyze this question of Mesolithic 'wood vs. clay' any objective and reasoned argument comes up 'clay'.

    Reread my long comments above! But if you have new arguments to make, I'll consider these also.

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I believe clay WAS used earlier while clay pots may not have been invented till latter."

      Are you Canadian?

      Clay was used before clay was invented.... what a joke!

      The term 'potty' was first used because of the fumes given off by kilns when firing pots, as this 'person' has clearly spent the last 20 year 'inhaling' the fumes, I suggest that the nurse takes him back to his room before he injures himself in thought - as clearly such a process is alien to him.

      No.6

      Delete
    2. No. 6,

      Once again you are full of wit-less!

      Clay cannot be 'invented'. It is the natural material out of which clay pots are made. It kind of looks like mud! A little like you in your picture!

      Kostas

      Delete
  31. Chris,

    So we now have the prehistoric “French cuisine connection” to prove the existence of Robert's wooden civilization! All nicely decaying leaving no evidence behind. Except for a University of Wisconsin study showing some medicinal properties of wood. Conclusive proof that Robert's cro-magnon ancestors were 10,000 years ahead of their times! But still couldn't read or write!

    … from the subliminal to the absurd! Sadly, I understand!

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
  32. Kostas, I would be careful with your blanket statement about not being able to read or write. I saw last week that someone has figured out an alphabet based on an analysis of the symbols found in cave paintings.

    Do you know of evidence for Cro-Magnon's using clay griddles?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Chris you write,

    “... someone has figured out an alphabet based on an analysis of the symbols found in cave paintings”


    Whether true or not, this is a tacit admission that no great civilization can exist without some form of writing (and reading). Robert is not even willing to admit to that much! Instead, he argues that writing (and reading) is not necessary for a civilization to exist and develop.

    As for “evidence for Cro-Magnon's using clay griddles” what do you think clay tiles are! In an earlier post you wrote, “Baked clay figurines and tiles are known from early times, for thirty thousand years, so one assumes there was a basic understanding of the technology.”

    Kostas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kostas

      " no great civilization can exist without some form of writing (and reading)"

      What is the basis of your assumption?

      Civilisation are not measured by the written word, but by their deeds and actions!!

      Socrates could not read or write so was he 'uncivilised'? - both the Greek and Roman 'senates' did not allow written documents to be read as it was seen as a 'weakness' of character. Just like Socrates individuals were expected to have clarity of thought and memory if they we justified to have such a high position of influence and power.

      The Norse and Germanic societies had the same format - which clearly comes from an earlier prehistoric time.

      The inability to remember that forces us now to write down our thoughts is not a 'strength' but a weakness - so do we judge a civilisation by its weaknesses?

      RJL

      Delete
    2. No point of arguing the toss with a guy who can't tell his tiles from his griddle.

      Chris

      Delete
    3. Chris 'incognito'!

      From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griddle):
      “A griddle is a cooking device consisting of a broad flat surface that can be heated ... in the non-industrialized world or more traditional cultures or uses it may also be made of a brick slab or tablet"

      Googled definition of tile :
      tile/tīl/ A thin rectangular slab of baked clay

      Note: Griddle is a brick slab , tile is a baked clay slab, while brick is baked clay!

      Need help making the connection? Or you are looking for prehistoric griddles with 'Made in China' labels?

      Of course, when you can't engage in a well reasoned debate you'll slab any excuse to get out of one!

      Very disappointing! Very revealing!

      I understand!

      Kostas

      Delete
    4. Dear Kostas,

      More sophistry! Very clever. Time to take your hemlock my dear old friend.

      Again you ignore the evidence. No glaciers, no pottery. Not in the right context at any rate. When you cite me as an academic source your argument is skating on very thin ice, like your Google definition.

      Entirely expected! Very revealing!

      I understand!

      Chris

      Delete
  34. Robert,

    Little by little I am drawing you out of your 'Plato's Cave'!

    I said 'no great civilization can exist without some form of writing (and reading)'.

    Can individuals be illiterate in a great civilization? Of course! Plenty of examples of that around! Does the Roman Senate forbidding written records contradict my claim? Of course not!

    There are many other reasons why written records are not kept! The Mafia does not keep written records. And some societies may encourage a more 'oral tradition' for their traditions.

    But all of these exist in civilizations that do have writing (and reading) at their very core. Writing down your ideas is more than 'weak memory'. It is 'thinking' and a means of perpetuating your thinking over time and space!

    As to evidence for my claims … the entire History of Mankind!

    Kostas

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    Replies
    1. Kostas

      The entire history of mankind is unknown - is that your evidence?

      I'll help you:

      “The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops — no, but the kind of man the country turns out”. Ralph Waldo Emerson

      “A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.” Samuel Johnson

      “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.” Oscar Wilde

      “Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities”. Mark Twain

      “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be” Thomas Jefferson

      “What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.” Mahatma Gandhi

      “While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.” Henry David Thoreau

      “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

      “The development of civilization and industry in general has always shown itself so active in the destruction of forests that everything that has been done for their conservation and production is completely insignificant in comparison.” Karl Marx

      “We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology”
      Carl Sagan

      “Everybody thinks that this civilization has lasted a very long time but it really does take very few grandfathers' granddaughters to take us back to the dark ages.” Gertrude Stein

      “Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.” George Orwell

      “The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men.” Henry Ellis

      “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject” .Ayn Rand

      “You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn”. John Buchan

      “The first requisite of civilization is that of justice”. Sigmund Freud

      And this one is especially for you Kostas -

      “Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.” Ambrose Bierce

      Notice not one person talks about writing - is it possible they are all wrong about civilisation and you are right?

      RJL

      Delete
    2. Robert,

      Thanks for the great quotes! I value the wisdom in each of these!

      you write,
      “ … is it possible they are all wrong about civilisation and you are right?”

      No Robert! They are all right about civilization and you are wrong!

      Kostas

      Delete
    3. No problem Kostas - another 20 quotations on what constitutes an ideal civilisation, appears in my new book 'Dawn of the Lost Civilisation'. Where we show exactly what a 'virtuous' and great civilisation did achieve ten thousand years ago, which is above and 'beyond' our very own.

      RJL

      Delete
  35. Are we moving on Robert or should I stop checking in?

    Sorry to be impatient but my life is getting shorter day by day and I look forward to more of your insights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have the Mesolithic conquest of America tomorrow - just need to find a few more illustrations and references.

      RJL

      Delete
  36. Stumbled on this blog and Robert you have some good points. Of course they used wood or bone for utensils. We have zero record of pottery being used for food until 18,000 BP in China, although ceramic figurines were made in a kiln in Czech at 30,000 BP. If man did not use pottery for food then he used wood or bone--it's obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jack

      Thanks for the support - and yes it is obvious.

      RJL

      Delete