Paganism (beginning around 12,000 years ago)

Paganism (such as that seen in Turkey: 12,000 years ago). Gobekli Tepe: “first human-made temple” around 12,000 years ago. Sedentism and the Creation of goddesses around 12,000 years ago as well as male gods after 7,000 years ago. Pagan-Shaman burial in Israel 12,000 years ago and 12,000 – 10,000 years old Paganistic-Shamanistic Art in a Remote Cave in Egypt. Skull Cult around 11,500 to 8,400 Years Ago and Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city” around 10,000 years ago.

Paganism is approximately a 12,000-year-old belief system and believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife that can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects and these objects can be used by special persons or in special rituals that can connect to spirit-filled life and/or afterlife and who are guided/supported by a goddess/god, goddesses/gods, magical beings, or supreme spirits. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden paganist.

Around 12,000 years ago, in Turkey, the first evidence of paganism is Gobekli Tepe: “first human-made temple” and around 9,500 years ago, in Turkey, the second evidence of paganism is Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city”. In addition, early paganism is connected to Proto-Indo-European language and religion. Proto-Indo-European religion can be reconstructed with confidence that the gods and goddesses, myths, festivals, and form of rituals with invocations, prayers, and songs of praise make up the spoken element of religion. Much of this activity is connected to the natural and agricultural year or at least those are the easiest elements to reconstruct because nature does not change and because farmers are the most conservative members of society and are best able to keep the old ways.

The reconstruction of goddesses/gods characteristics may be different than what we think of and only evolved later to the characteristics we know of today. One such characteristic is how a deity’s gender may not be fixed, since they are often deified forces of nature, which tend to not have genders. There are at least 40 deities and the Goddesses that have been reconstructed are: *Pria*Pleto*Devi*Perkunos*Aeusos, and *Yama.

The reconstruction of myths can be connected to Proto-Indo-European culture/language and by additional research, many of these myths have since been confirmed including some areas that were not accessible to the early writers such as Latvian folk songs and Hittite hieroglyphic tablets. There are at least 28 myths and one of the most widely recognized myths of the Indo-Europeans is the myth, “Yama is killed by his brother Manu” and “the world is made from his body”. Some of the forms of this myth in various Indo-European languages are about the Creation Myth of the Indo-Europeans.

The reconstruction of rituals can be connected to Proto-Indo-European culture/language and is estimated to have been spoken as a single language from around 6,500 years ago. One of the earliest ritual is the construction of kurgans or mound graves as a part of a death ritual. kurgans were inspired by common ritual-mythological ideas. Kurgans are complex structures with internal chambers. Within the burial chamber at the heart of the kurgan, elite individuals were buried with grave goods and sacrificial offerings, sometimes including horses and chariots.

The speakers of Pre-Proto-Indo-European lived in Turkey and it associates the distribution of historical Indo-European languages with the expansion around 9,000 years ago, with a proposed homeland of Proto-Indo-European proper in the Balkans around 7,000 years ago. The Proto-Indo-European Religion seemingly stretches at least back around 6,000 years ago or likely much further back and I believe Paganism is possibly an approximately 12,000-year-old belief system.

The earliest kurgans date to 6,000 years ago and are connected to the Proto-Indo-European in the Caucasus. In fact, around 7,000 years ago, there appears to be pre-kurgan in Siberia. Around 7,000 to 2,500 years ago and beyond, kurgans were built with ancient traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia, which display the continuity of the archaic forming methods. Kurgan cultures are divided archaeologically into different sub-cultures such as Timber GravePit GraveScythianSarmatianHunnish, and KumanKipchak. Kurgans have been found from the Altay Mountains to the Caucasus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. Around 5,000 years ago, kurgans were used in the Ukrainian and Russian flat unforested grasslands and their use spread with migration into eastern, central, northern Europe, Turkey, and beyond. refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref, & ref

Progressed organized religion (around 5,000 years ago)

Progressed organized religion (such as that seen in Egypt: 5,000 years ago “The First Dynasty dates to 5,150 years ago”). This was a time of astonishing religion development and organization with a new state power to control. Around the time of 5,000 to 4,000 years ago, saw the growth of these riches, both intellectually and physically, became a source of contention on a political stage, and rulers sought the accumulation of more wealth and more power.

*The First Dynasty*

Date: 3,150 B.C.E. (5,150 years ago)

 The Beginning Rise of the Unequal State Government Hierarchies, Religions and Cultures Merger

The Pharaoh in ancient Egypt was the political and religious leader holding the titles ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ Upper and Lower Egypt and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’. In 5,150 years ago the First Dynasty appeared in Egypt and this reign was thought to be in accordance with the will of the gods; but the office of the king itself was not associated with the divine until later.

Around 4,890 years ago during the Second Dynasty, the King was linked with the divine and reign with the will of the gods. Following this, rulers of the later dynasties were equated with the gods and with the duties and obligations due to those gods. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods and the people, and when he died, he was thought to become Osiris, the god of the dead. As such, in his role of ‘High Priest of Every Temple’, it was the pharaoh’s duty to build great temples and monuments celebrating his own achievements and paying homage to the gods of the land. Among the earliest civilizations that exhibit the phenomenon of divinized kings are early Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

In 5,150 years ago the First Dynasty appeared in Egypt with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by the king Menes (now believed to be Narmer). Menes/Narmer is depicted on inscriptions wearing the two crowns of Egypt, signifying unification, and his reign was thought to be in accordance with the will of the gods; but the office of the king itself was not associated with the divine until later. During the Second Dynasty of Egypt 4,890-4,670 years ago King Raneb (also known as Nebra) linked his name with the divine and his reign with the will of the gods. Following Raneb, the rulers of the later dynasties were equated with the gods and with the duties and obligations due to those gods. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth.

The honorific title of `pharaoh’ for a ruler did not appear until the period known as the New Kingdom 3,570-3,069 years ago. Monarchs of the dynasties before the title of `pharaoh’ from the New Kingdom were addressed as `your majesty’ by foreign dignitaries and members of the court and as `brother’ by foreign rulers; both practices would continue after the king of Egypt came to be known as a pharaoh. Ref Ref

CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago)

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago). Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. Christianity around 2,000 years old. Shinto around 1,305 years old. Islam around 1407–1385 years old. Sikhism around 548–478 years old. Bahá’í around 200–125 years old.

Paganism (such as that seen in Turkey: 12,000 years ago)

Haplogroup G2a (Y-chromosomal DNA) and the Seeming Development of Early Agriculture  “Haplogroup G descends from macro-haplogroup F, which is thought to represent the second major migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa, at least 60,000 years ago. Haplogroup G has 303 mutations confirming a severe bottleneck before splitting into haplogroups G1 and G2. G1might have originated around modern Iran around 26,000 years ago. G2 would have developed around the same time in West Asia and haplogroup G2 appear to have been closely linked to the development of early agriculture in the Fertile Crescent part, around 11,500 years before present. G2a branch expanded to Anatolia, the Caucasus, and Europe, while G2b diffused from Iran across the Fertile Crescent and east to Pakistan.

There has so far been ancient Y-DNA analysis from Early Neolithic Anatolia, Iran, Israel, Jordan as well as most Neolithic cultures in Europe (Thessalian Neolithic in Greece, Starčevo culture in Hungary/Croatia, LBK culture in Germany, Remedello in Italy, and Cardium Pottery in south-west France and Spain) and all sites yielded a majority of G2a individuals, except those from the Levant. This strongly suggests that farming was disseminated by members of haplogroup G at least from Anatolia/Iran then moved to Europe. 44 ancient Near Eastern samples, including Neolithic farmers from Jordan and western Iran, and found one G2b sample dating from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (9,250 years ago) and a G2a1 from the Early Pottery Neolithic (7,700 years ago), both from Iran. The highest genetic diversity within haplogroup G is found in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, between the Levant and the Caucasus, which is a good indicator of its region of origin.

Çatalhöyük in south-central Anatolia/Turkey was founded by farmers who also brought domesticated goats and sheep. Also around 8,500 years ago, G2a Neolithic farmers arrived in northwest Anatolia and Thessaly in central Greece, as attested by the ancient genomes around the time that it seems cattle domestication was introduced to Çatalhöyük and other sites in Central Anatolia, presumably by trading with their eastern neighbors. Ancient skeletons from the Starčevo–Kőrös–Criș culture (8,000-6,500 years ago) in Hungary and Croatia, and the Linear Pottery culture (7,500-6,500 years ago) in Hungary and Germany, all confirmed that G2a (both G2a2a and G2a2b) remained the principal paternal lineage even after farmers intermingled with indigenous populations as they advanced. G2a farmers from the Thessalian Neolithic quickly expanded across the Balkans and the Danubian basin, reaching Serbia, Hungary, and Romania by 7,800 years ago, Germany by 7,500 years ago, and Belgium and northern France by 7,200 years ago. By 7,800 years ago, farmers making cardial pottery arrived at the Marmara coast in northwest Anatolia with ovicaprids and pigs.

These people crossed the Aegean by boat and colonized the Italian peninsula, the Illyrian coast, southern France and Iberia, where they established the Cardium Pottery culture (5000-1500 BCE). Once again, ancient DNA yielded a majority of G2a samples in the Cardium Pottery culture, with G2a frequencies above 80% (against 50% in Central and Southeast Europe). Nevertheless, substantial minorities of other haplogroups have been found on different Neolithic sites next to a G2a majority, including C1a2, H2, I*, I2a1, I2c, and J2a in Anatolia, C1a2, E-M78, H2, I*, I1, I2a, I2a1, J2 and T1a in Southeast and Central Europe (Starčevo, Sopot, LBK), as well as E-V13, H2, I2a1, I2a2a1 and R1b-V88 in western Europe (Cardium Pottery, Megalithic). H2 and T1a were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Levant and are undeniably linked to the early development of agriculture alongside G2a. That being said, C1a2 was also found in Mesolithic Spain and, as it is an extremely old lineage associated with the first Paleolithic Europeans, it could have been found all over Europe and Anatolia before the Neolithic. E1b1b was also found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Levant, but the subclades may not be E-M78 or E-V13 (more likely E1b1b1* or E-M123).

R1b-V88 surely spread from the Near East too, although through a different route, with cattle herders via North Africa, then crossing over to Iberia. The rest probably represent assimilated hunter-gatherers descended from Mesolithic western Anatolian (I*, I2c, J2) and Europeans (E-V13, I*, I1, I2a, I2a1, I2a2). It is interesting to note that many of these lineages, such as C1a2, H2 and I* are virtually extinct anywhere nowadays, and several others are now very rare in Europe (I2c, R1b-V88).” ref

Haplogroup J (mtDNA) and the Seeming Spread of Early Agriculture – “Samples have been identified from various Neolithic sites, including Linear Pottery culture (LBK) in Central Europe, the Cardium Pottery culture in southern France, Megalithic cultures in northern Spain, and the Funnelbeaker culture in Germany and Sweden. All Neolithic samples tested to date belonged to J1*J1c or J2b1a. One question that follows is: did J1c and J2b1a lineages actually come from the Near East during the Neolithic, or whether they were already in the Balkans and just expanded from there? Both being rare in the Near East today, the second hypothesis might seem more convincing at first. However, the age of J2b1a has been estimated at 11,000 years before present, while the Neolithic started over 12,000 years ago in the Near East. In other words, it could have arrived from the Near East as J2b1* and developed into J2b1a only after reaching Europe, which would explain why this particular subclade is almost exclusively European while all other subclades of J2b1 are mostly Middle Eastern or the eastern Mediterranean. J2b1a would, therefore, have come as a maternal lineage of early agriculturalists alongside the paternal lineage G2a (and perhaps also E1b1b and T1a). J1c, however, is too old (15,000 years) for that scenario.

If it had been part of the Neolithic expansion from the Fertile Crescent, many J1c subclades would be primarily West Asian today, which isn’t the case. The only J1c individuals outside Europe belong to deep clades that clearly originated in Europe or in Anatolia. DNA of Early Neolithic farmers from western Anatolia and from the Starcevo culture in Hungary and Croatia, and found that J1c was present in both cultures, alongside other typical European Neolithic lineages like H5, K1a, N1a, T2, and X2. Of 44 ancient Near Eastern samples, including Neolithic farmers from Jordan and western Iran, and well as Chalcolithic and Bronze Age samples from Armenia and the Levant, but did not find any J1c, apart from a single sample in Neolithic Iran.

This suggests that J1c lineages were probably not found among the very first farmers of the Fertile Crescent but were rather assimilated in neighboring populations further north, notably in Anatolia and Iran, but probably also in the Balkans, which were connected to Anatolia by a land bridge during the glacial and immediate post-glacial periods. Haplogroup J has been found in Bronze Age samples from the Yamna culture (J2b), Corded Ware culture (J1c and J2b1a), the Catacomb culture (J1b1a1), the Unetice culture (J1b1a1), and the Urnfield culture (J1b1), all in Central Europe. The Corded Ware culture is associated with the expansion of Y-haplogroup R1a from the northern Russian steppe, and in light of the continuity with Neolithic samples from Central Europe it can be assumed that J1c and J2b1a maternal lineages were not brought by the newcomers, but absorbed by the male invaders. On the other hand, J1b has never been found in Europe before the Bronze Age and was very probably brought by the Indo-Europeans carrying R1b paternal lineages. Both the Unetice and the Urnfield cultures are thought to have been founded mainly by R1b men.” ref

Paganism is approximately a 12,000-year-old belief system and believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife that can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects and these objects can be used by special persons or in special rituals that can connect to spirit-filled life and/or afterlife and who are guided/supported by a goddess/god, goddesses/gods, magical beings, or supreme spirits. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden paganist.

Around 12,000 years ago, in Turkey, the first evidence of paganism is Gobekli Tepe: “first human-made temple” and around 9,500 years ago, in Turkey, the second evidence of paganism is Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city”. In addition, early paganism is connected to Proto-Indo-European language and religion. Proto-Indo-European religion can be reconstructed with confidence that the gods and goddesses, myths, festivals, and form of rituals with invocations, prayers, and songs of praise make up the spoken element of religion. Much of this activity is connected to the natural and agricultural year or at least those are the easiest elements to reconstruct because nature does not change and because farmers are the most conservative members of society and are best able to keep the old ways.

The reconstruction of goddesses/gods characteristics may be different than what we think of and only evolved later to the characteristics we know of today. One such characteristic is how a deity’s gender may not be fixed, since they are often deified forces of nature, which tend to not have genders. There are at least 40 deities and the Goddesses that have been reconstructed are: *Pria*Pleto*Devi*Perkunos*Aeusos, and *Yama.

The reconstruction of myths can be connected to Proto-Indo-European culture/language and by additional research, many of these myths have since been confirmed including some areas that were not accessible to the early writers such as Latvian folk songs and Hittite hieroglyphic tablets. There are at least 28 myths and one of the most widely recognized myths of the Indo-Europeans is the myth, “Yama is killed by his brother Manu” and “the world is made from his body”. Some of the forms of this myth in various Indo-European languages are about the Creation Myth of the Indo-Europeans.

The reconstruction of rituals can be connected to Proto-Indo-European culture/language and is estimated to have been spoken as a single language from around 6,500 years ago. One of the earliest ritual is the construction of kurgans or mound graves as a part of a death ritual. kurgans were inspired by common ritual-mythological ideas. Kurgans are complex structures with internal chambers. Within the burial chamber at the heart of the kurgan, elite individuals were buried with grave goods and sacrificial offerings, sometimes including horses and chariots.

The speakers of Pre-Proto-Indo-European lived in Turkey and it associates the distribution of historical Indo-European languages with the expansion around 9,000 years ago, with a proposed homeland of Proto-Indo-European proper in the Balkans around 7,000 years ago. The Proto-Indo-European Religion seemingly stretches at least back around 6,000 years ago or likely much further back and I believe Paganism is possibly an approximately 12,000-year-old belief system.

At a mound is called Gadachrili Gora, and the Stone Age farmers who lived here 8,000 years ago were grape lovers: Their rough pottery is decorated with bunches of the fruit, and analysis of pollen from the site suggests the wooded hillsides nearby were once decked with grapevines. Combined with the grape decorations on the outside of the jars, ample grape pollen in the site’s fine soil, and radiocarbon dates from 7,800 to 8,000 years ago, the chemical analysis indicates the people at Gadachrili Gora were the world’s earliest winemakers.  ref

Starting from 9,500 years ago, a new population began to settle the Balkans and the Danube valley. Evidence shows that the Neolithic newcomers mixed with the indigenous population in Lepenski Vir. Arriving from Asia Minor/Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), the immigrants had a completely different physical appearance and lifestyle. With them, they brought a knowledge of agriculture, first grain crops, and husbandry: sheep, cattle, and goats. Based on the research, Starović concluded that the blending of the population occurred almost immediately, during the first immigrant generation, which was unique as in the other parts of Europe two such different communities would live next to each other at first. He believes that this melting pot was a keystone of human development in Europe. It produced the boom of the Lepenski Vir culture, establishing the “original Balkan Neolithic, the most original occurrence in the entire prehistory in Europe, which founded all we know today – the concepts of village, square, family – which then spread over and overwhelmed the continent”. ref

The culture of Lepenski Vir is around 8,5 millennia old and is located on the right bank of the Danube in the Djerdap gorge (The Iron gates of the Danube) near the town of Donji Milanovac. It was the center of one of the most complex prehistoric cultures. Rich cultural layer reveals the traces of the highly developed culture that had complex social relations and as such was the first in Europe to organize its settlement according to a plan. Trapezoid-base houses with a primitive wooden construction which were organized in the shape of a horseshoe. The buildings surrounded an open space – the first known square, with the central building, probably some kind of a temple or a shrine. Fireplace surrounded by fishlike stone figurines took central place in every house. Stone idols found in Lepenski Vir represent the oldest monumental stone sculptures found in Europe. At first, they only had a head with a strange expression, while in later stages these figurines had anthropomorphic shapes. Besides these figurines, numerous tools and arms made of stone, bone, and antler, pottery and jewelry made of shells and pebbles were found here. Based on these pieces of evidence we can conclude that these first inhabitants of the Danube banks lived at the time of the so-called Neolithic revolution when the first communities started working the land and tamed some animals. The culture of Lepenski Vir developed in the period from 8,500 to 7,500 years ago. refref

The main site consists of several archeological phases starting with Proto-Lepenski Vir, then Lepenski Vir Ia-e, Lepenski Vir II and Lepenski Vir III, whose occupation spanned from 1,500 to 2,000 years, from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic period, when it was succeeded by the Neolithic Vinča culture and Starčevo culture, both upstream the Danube, 135 km (84 mi) and 139 km (86 mi) from Lepenski Vir, respectively. The Vinca culture a Neolithic archaeological culture in Serbia and smaller parts of Romania (particularly Transylvania), dated to the period 7,700–8,500 or 7,300–6,700/6,500 years ago.

The Vinča culture occupied a region of Southeastern Europe (i.e. the Balkans) corresponding mainly to modern-day Serbia (with Kosovo), but also parts of RomaniaBulgariaBosniaMontenegroRepublic of Macedonia, and GreeceThis region had already been settled by farming societies of the First Temperate Neolithic, but during the Vinča period sustained population growth led to an unprecedented level of settlement size and density along with the population of areas that were bypassed by earlier settlers.  it was thought, on the basis of typological similarities, that Vinča and other Neolithic cultures belonging to the ‘Dark Burnished Ware’ complex were the product of migrations from Anatolia to the Balkans but the Dark Burnished Ware complex appeared at least a millennium before Troy I, the putative starting point of the westward migration. An alternative hypothesis where the Vinča culture developed locally from the preceding Starčevo culture.

Named for its type siteVinča-Belo Brdo, a large tell settlement. These settlements maintained a high degree of cultural uniformity through the long-distance exchange of ritual items but were probably not politically unified. Various styles of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines are hallmarks of the culture, as are the Vinča symbols, which some conjecture to be the earliest form of proto-writing. Although not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or “Copper Age”, the Vinča culture provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy. A number of satellite villages belonging to the same culture and time period were discovered in the surrounding area. These additional sites include Hajdučka Vodenica, Padina, Vlasac, Ikaona, Kladovska Skela, and others. Found artifacts include tools made from stone and bones, the remains of houses, and numerous sacral objects including unique stone sculptures.

It is assumed that the people of Lepenski Vir culture represent the descendants of the early European population of the BrnoPředmostí (Czech Republichunter-gatherer culture from the end of the last ice age. Archeological evidence of human habitation of the surrounding caves dates back to around 20,000 BC. The first settlement on the low plateau dates back to 11,500–9,200 BC. The late Lepenski Vir (8,300–8,000 years ago) architectural development was the development of the Trapezoidal buildings and monumental sculpture.[1] The Lepenski Vir site consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages. Numerous piscine sculptures and peculiar architecture have been found at the site. And the sculptures of this size so early in human history and original architectural solutions, define Lepenski Vir as the specific and very early phase in the development of the prehistoric culture in Europe. refref

An 8,000-YEAR-OLD VEILED MOTHER GODDESS NEAR BULGARIA’S VIDIN ‘PUSHES BACK’ NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION IN EUROPE. The head of the Neolithic Mother Goddess, the earliest deity of Europe’s first sedentary farmers was found along with and other artifacts and structures in the settlement in Mayor Uzunovo, Vidin District, close to the Danube River, in Northwest Bulgaria. Also, in Bulgaria is found one of the oldest funerals in the Balkans – an early Neolithic funeral of a person at the age of 12-13, which dates back to around 8,300-8,150 years ago. The Neolithic settlement at Dzhulyunitsa existed between 8,300 and 7,700 years ago. Bulgaria farming inhabitants of 8,000 years ago deliberately burned individual homes down, perhaps as some sort of sacrifice. It’s likely they followed a religion concerned with fertility and there are graves dating to the end of the sixth millennium BC, with one skeleton buried in a fetal position. Some of the earliest European evidence for farming is found here as the new crops and domestic animals spread from the Near East through modern-day Turkey.

The finds from the Ohoden excavations indicate that the Balkan Peninsula was the center of a prehistoric civilization which spread to the rest of Europe and we can ponder what they spread the settlement, also had a religious shrine of the sun cultEarly Neolithic pits with traces of fire were next to a northern pit, and an 8,000-year-old stone structure set at a right angle and featuring an arch has been discovered. This is one of the earliest stone structures in the Balkans. The shrine is believed to have been a fertility and sun temple as its floor was paved with U-shaped stones directed to the east; it contained dozens of clay and stone disc symbolizing the sun disc, respectively the sun cult, in early agrarian societies. At the Ohoden site with the sanctuary containing a prehistoric altar decorated with huge trophy elk horns placed 2 meters away from a ritual burial of a man. refrefrefrefrefref

The earliest kurgans date to 6,000 years ago and are connected to the Proto-Indo-European in the Caucasus. In fact, around 7,000 years ago, there appears to be pre-kurgan in Siberia. Around 7,000 to 2,500 years ago and beyond, kurgans were built with ancient traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia, which display the continuity of the archaic forming methods. Kurgan cultures are divided archaeologically into different sub-cultures such as Timber GravePit GraveScythianSarmatianHunnish, and KumanKipchak. Kurgans have been found from the Altay Mountains to the Caucasus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. Around 5,000 years ago, kurgans were used in the Ukrainian and Russian flat unforested grasslands and their use spread with migration into eastern, central, northern Europe, Turkey, and beyond. refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref, & ref

Y-DNA G2a, F* and J2 are what we would expect from a source in Anatolia or the Caucasus Mountains or the highlands of Iran, not the Levant or Arabia or even the lowlands of Mesopotamia (although J2 would surely be found in Mesopotamia in significant proportions). The first European farmers probably emerged from the highlands that form the Southern boundaries of Europe and West Asia, rather than from what we would conventionally think of as the “Near East” proper. And rather than being European hunter-gatherers who were assimilated into the first wave of Neolithic farmers in the Balkans, that the Pelasgians (the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures) may have been the first wave Neolithic farmers in the Balkans (who probably arrived around 9,000-6,000 years ago). ref

The arrival of the Neolithic culture comes from Anatolia between 9.000 and 5.000 years ago, mtDNA data from Early Neolithic farmers of the Starčevo Criş culture in Romania (Cârcea, Gura Baciului, and Negrileşti sites), confirm their genetic relationship with those of the LBK culture (Linienbandkeramik Kultur) in Central Europe, and they show little genetic continuity with modern European populations. On the other hand, populations of the Middle-Late Neolithic (Boian, Zau and Gumelniţa cultures), supposedly the second wave of Neolithic migration from Anatolia, had a much stronger effect on the genetic heritage of the European populations. In contrast, we find a smaller contribution of Late Bronze Age migrations to the genetic composition of Europeans. Based research findings, it has been proposed that permeation of mtDNA lineages from the second wave of Middle-Late Neolithic migration from North-West Anatolia into the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe represent an important contribution to the genetic shift between Early and Late Neolithic populations in Europe, and consequently to the genetic make-up of modern European populations.

The study of the genomes of a 7,000-year-old farmer from Germany and eight ~8,000-year-old hunter-gatherers from Luxembourg and Sweden have shown that most present-day Europeans derive from at least three highly differentiated populations. Besides, authors have proposed that early European farmers had a ~44% ancestry from a ‘basal Eurasian’ population.

Archaeological data show that the Neolithic expansion from Anatolia was not a single event but was represented by several waves of migrants. In this respect, the Proto-Sesklo culture in Greece, from which directly Starčevo-Criş in the northern Balkans and indirectly LBK in Central Europe originate represents only the first great wave of Neolithisation of Europe. A later great wave of migration from North-West Anatolia led to important cultures of South-Eastern Europe such as Vinča and Boian cultures.

aDNA studies of hunter-gatherers revealed a high genetic homogeneity in the pre-Neolithic groups throughout Europe, whether from Scandinavia, Central Europe or the Iberian Peninsula. The analysis of aDNA from Early European farmer groups of the Linear Pottery Culture (LPC, also known as Linienbandkeramik Kultur or LBK) in Central Europe suggested a genetic discontinuity in Central Europe and favored instead of a process of Neolithic transition through a of population diffusion into and across the area, based on a high frequency of the N1a haplogroup (about 15%) in the LBK farmers, absent in hunter-gatherers in this same region and almost nonexistent (0.2%) in the present-day European populations. Moreover, these first farmers shared an affinity with the modern-day populations from the Near East and Anatolia, supporting a major genetic input from this area during the advent of farming in Europe. Studies of other Neolithic sites in the North of France, Hungary and the Northeast of Iberian Peninsula also supported this view. However, an ancient mtDNA study of a Neolithic site in the Mediterranean region of Europe, namely in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), led to the proposal of a dual model for explaining the Neolithic dispersion process in Europe: DD in Mediterranean area and CD in Central Europe. ref

Progressed organized religion

Progressed organized religion (such as that seen in Egypt: 5,000 years ago),

(Prehistoric Egypt 40,000 years ago to The First Dynasty 5,150 years ago)

4,600 years ago: (2600 BC): Writing is developed in Sumer 

and Egypt, triggering the beginning of recorded history.

*The First Dynasty*

Date: 3,150 B.C.E. (5,150 years ago)

 The Beginning Rise of the Unequal State Government Hierarchies, Religions and Cultures Merger

The Pharaoh in ancient Egypt was the political and religious leader holding the titles ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ Upper and Lower Egypt and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’. In 5,150 years ago the First Dynasty appeared in Egypt and this reign was thought to be in accordance with the will of the gods; but the office of the king itself was not associated with the divine until later.

Around 4,890 years ago during the Second Dynasty the King was linked with the divine and reign with the will of the gods. Following this rulers of the later dynasties were equated with the gods and with the duties and obligations due those gods. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods and the people, and when he died, he was thought to become Osiris, the god of the dead. As such, in his role of ‘High Priest of Every Temple’, it was the pharaoh’s duty to build great temples and monuments celebrating his own achievements and paying homage to the gods of the land. Among the earliest civilizations that exhibit the phenomenon of divinized kings are early Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

In 5,150 years ago the First Dynasty appeared in Egypt with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by the king Menes (now believed to be Narmer). Menes/Narmer is depicted on inscriptions wearing the two crowns of Egypt, signifying unification, and his reign was thought to be in accordance with the will of the gods; but the office of the king itself was not associated with the divine until later. During the Second Dynasty of Egypt 4,890-4,670 years ago King Raneb (also known as Nebra) linked his name with the divine and his reign with the will of the gods. Following Raneb, the rulers of the later dynasties were equated with the gods and with the duties and obligations due those gods. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth.

The honorific title of `pharaoh’ for a ruler did not appear until the period known as the New Kingdom 3,570-3,069 years ago. Monarchs of the dynasties before the title of `pharaoh’ from the New Kingdom were addressed as `your majesty’ by foreign dignitaries and members of the court and as `brother’ by foreign rulers; both practices would continue after the king of Egypt came to be known as a pharaoh. Ref Ref

“This was a time of astonishing creativity as city-states and empires emerged in a vast area stretching from the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley. The previous millennium had seen the emergence of advanced, urbanized civilizations, new bronze metallurgy extending the productivity of agricultural work, and highly developed ways of communication in the form of writing. Around the time of 5,000 to 4,000 years ago, saw the growth of these riches, both intellectually and physically, became a source of contention on a political stage, and rulers sought the accumulation of more wealth and more power. The civilizations of Sumer and Akkad in Mesopotamia became a collection of volatile city-states in which warfare was common. Uninterrupted conflicts drained all available resources, energies, and populations. Also, in Egypt, pharaohs began to posture themselves as living gods made of an essence different from that of other human beings. Even in Europe, which was still largely Neolithic during the same period, the builders of megaliths were constructing giant monuments of their own. In the Near East and the Occident around 5,000 years ago and religion developed and advanced to roughly the ways we are somewhat familiar to a large amount, limits were being pushed by architects and rulers. After lengthy wars, the Sumerians recognized the benefits of unification into a stable form of national government and became a relatively peaceful, well-organized, complex technocratic state called the 3rd dynasty of Ur. This dynasty was later to become involved with a wave of nomadic invaders known as the Amorites, who were to play a major role in the region during the following centuries.” ref

“Foreign artifacts dating to the 7,000 years ago in the Badarian culture in Egypt indicate contact with distant Syria. In predynastic Egypt, by the beginning of the 6,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians in Maadi were importing pottery as well as construction ideas from Canaan. By the 4th millennium BCE, shipping was well established, and the donkey and possibly the dromedary had been domesticated. Domestication of the Bactrian camel and use of the horse for transport then followed. Charcoal samples found in the tombs of Nekhen, which were dated to the Naqada I and II periods, have been identified as cedar from Lebanon. Predynastic Egyptians of the Naqada I period also imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. The Naqadans traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean to the east. Pottery and other artifacts from the Levant that date to the Naqadan-era have been found in ancient Egypt. Egyptian artifacts dating to this era have been found in Canaan and other regions of the Near East, including Tell Brak and Uruk and Susa in Mesopotamia. By the second half of the 4th millennium BCE, the gemstone lapis lazuli was being traded from its only known source in the ancient world—Badakhshan, in what is now northeastern Afghanistan—as far as Mesopotamia and Egypt. By the 3rd millennium BCE, the lapis lazuli trade was extended to Harappa, Lothal and Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley Civilization of modern-day Pakistan and northwestern India. The Indus Valley was also known as Meluhha, the earliest maritime trading partner of the Sumerians and Akkadians in Mesopotamia. The ancient harbor constructed in Lothal, India, around 4,400 years ago is the oldest seafaring harbor known. The overland route through the Wadi Hammamat from the Nile to the Red Sea was known as early as predynastic times; drawings depicting Egyptian reed boats have been found along the path dating to 6,000 years ago. Ancient cities dating to the First Dynasty of Egypt arose along both its Nile and Red Sea junctions, testifying to the route’s ancient popularity. It became a major route from Thebes to the Red Sea port of Elim, where travelers then moved on to either Asia, Arabia or the Horn of Africa.”

Genetic analyses shows that 7,000-8,000 years ago, a closely related group of early farmers moved into Europe from the Near East, confirming the findings of previous studies. ref

Progressed organized religion is approximately a 5,000-year-old belief system and believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife that can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects and these objects can be used by special persons or in special rituals that can connect to spirit-filled life and/or afterlife and who are guided/supported by a goddess/god, goddesses/gods, magical beings, or supreme spirits and are attached to a standardized and hierarchy structure of control, rules, male dominance, oppression, and lowering of women status. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden animist, shamanist, totemist, and paganist.

This was a time of astonishing creativity as city-states and empires emerged into a vast area that stretch from the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley. The previous thousand years had seen the emergence of advanced and urbanized civilizations, new bronze metallurgy that extend the productivity of agricultural work, and highly developed ways of communication in the form of writing. 5,000 years ago, the growth of these riches, both intellectually and physically, became a source of contention on a political stage, and rulers sought the accumulation of more wealth and more power. Along with this came the first appearances of mega-architecture, imperialism, organized absolutism, and internal revolution. The civilizations of Sumer and Akkad in Mesopotamia became a collection of volatile city-states where warfare was common and the uninterrupted conflicts drained all the available resources, energies, and populations.

In addition, during this period, larger empires succeeded the last and conquerors grew in stature until the great Sargon of Akkad pushed his empire to the whole of Mesopotamia and beyond. It would not be surpassed in size until Assyrian times 1,500 years later. In the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the Egyptian pyramids were constructed and would remain the tallest and largest human constructions for thousands of years. Also in Egypt, pharaohs began to posture themselves as living gods made of an essence different from that of other human beings. Even in Europe, during the same period, which was still largely primitive, the builders of megaliths were constructing giant monuments of their own. Around 5,000 years ago, in the Near East and Fertile Cresent where agriculture arose, religion developed and advanced to roughly the ways we are somewhat familiar with today, and limits were being pushed by architects and rulers. refrefref, ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

To me, Animism starts in Southern Africa, then to West Europe, and becomes Totemism. Another split goes near the Russia and Siberia border becoming Shamanism, which heads into Central Europe meeting up with Totemism, which also had moved there, mixing the two which then heads to Lake Baikal in Siberia. From there this Shamanism-Totemism heads to Turkey where it becomes Paganism.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Here are my thoughts/speculations on where I believe is the possible origin of shamanism, which may have begun sometime around 35,000 to 30,000 years ago seen in the emergence of the Gravettian culture, just to outline his thinking, on what thousands of years later led to evolved Asian shamanism, in general, and thus WU shamanism as well. In both Europe-related “shamanism-possible burials” and in Gravettian mitochondrial DNA is a seeming connection to Haplogroup U. And the first believed Shaman proposed burial belonged to Eastern Gravettians/Pavlovian culture at Dolní Věstonice in southern Moravia in the Czech Republic, which is the oldest permanent human settlement that has ever been found. It is at Dolní Věstonice where approximately 27,000-25,000 years ago a seeming female shaman was buried and also there was an ivory totem portrait figure, seemingly of her.

And my thoughts on how cultural/ritual aspects were influenced in the area of Göbekli Tepe. I think it relates to a few different cultures starting in the area before the Neolithic. Two different groups of Siberians first from northwest Siberia with U6 haplogroup 40,000 to 30,000 or so. Then R Haplogroup (mainly haplogroup R1b but also some possible R1a both related to the Ancient North Eurasians). This second group added its “R1b” DNA of around 50% to the two cultures Natufian and Trialetian. To me, it is likely both of these cultures helped create Göbekli Tepe. Then I think the female art or graffiti seen at Göbekli Tepe to me possibly relates to the Epigravettians that made it into Turkey and have similar art in North Italy. I speculate that possibly the Totem pole figurines seen first at Kostenki, next went to Mal’ta in Siberia as seen in their figurines that also seem “Totem-pole-like”, and then with the migrations of R1a it may have inspired the Shigir idol in Russia and the migrations of R1b may have inspired Göbekli Tepe.

Göbekli Tepe Shamanism

Shamanism at Early Neolithic Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey. Methodological contributions to an archaeology of belief

by Oliver Dietrich

From the journal Praehistorische Zeitschrift

Abstract: The term shamanism is widely used in archaeology to describe early belief systems. Sometimes, this has taken the form of a one-size-fits-all-explanation, without a discussion of the concept or the cultural contexts it was applied to. Recently, the Early Neolithic (9600–7000 BCE) of southwestern Asia has become a focal point of this discussion. Sites like Nevalı Çori, Göbekli Tepe, Jerf el Ahmar, Körtik Tepe, Tell Abr’3, Tell Qaramel, Wadi Faynan 16, Karahantepe and Sayburç have produced rich evidence, mostly of an iconographical nature, that seems to offer direct insights into early belief systems. The current contribution uses one of the best-researched sites, Göbekli Tepe, as a case study to develop criteria for the identification of shamanism in the archaeological record.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

refrefrefrefrefref, ref

Trialetian culture (16,000–8000 years ago) the Caucasus, Iran, and Turkey, likely involved in Göbekli Tepe. Migration 1?


Haplogroup R possible time of origin about 27,000 years in Central Asia, South Asia, or Siberia:

Trialetian sites

Caucasus and Transcaucasia:

Eastern Anatolia:

Trialetian influences can also be found in:

Southeast of the Caspian Sea:

  • Hotu (Iran)
  • Ali Tepe (Iran) (from cal. 10,500  to 8,870 BCE)
  • Belt Cave (Iran), layers 28-11 (the last remains date from ca. 6,000 BCE)
  • Dam-Dam-Cheshme II (Turkmenistan), layers7,000-3,000 BCE)” ref

“The belonging of these Caspian Mesolithic sites to the Trialetian has been questioned. Little is known about the end of the Trialetian. 6k BC has been proposed as the time on which the decline phase took place. From this date are the first evidence of the Jeitunian, an industry that has probably evolved from the Trialetian. Also from this date are the first pieces of evidence of Neolithic materials in the Belt cave.” ref

“In the southwest corner of the Trialetian region it has been proposed that this culture evolved towards a local version of the PPNB around 7,000 BCE, in sites as Cafer Höyük. Kozłowski suggests that the Trialetian does not seem to have continuation in the Neolithic of Georgia (as for example in Paluri and Kobuleti). Although in the 5,000 BCE certain microliths similar to those of the Trialetian reappear in Shulaveris Gora (see Shulaveri-Shomu) and Irmis Gora.” ref

“The genome of a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer individual found at the layer A2 of the Kotias Klde rock shelter in Georgia (labeled KK1), dating from 9,700 years ago, has been analyzed. This individual forms a genetic cluster with another hunter-gatherer from the Satsurblia Cave, the so-called Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) cluster. KK1 belongs to the Y-chromosome haplogruoup J2a (an independent analysis has assigned him J2a1b-Y12379*).” ref

“Although the belonging of the Caspian Mesolithic to the Trialetian has been questioned, it is worth noting that genetic similarities have been found between an Mesolithic hunther-gatherer from the Hotu cave (labeled Iran_HotuIIIb) dating from 9,100-8,600 BCE and the CHG from Kotias Klde. The Iran_HotuIIIb individual belongs to the Y-chromosome haplogroup J (xJ2a1b3, J2b2a1a1) (an independent analysis yields J2a-CTS1085(xCTS11251,PF5073) -probably J2a2-). Then, both KK1 and Iran_HotuIIIb individuals share a paternal ancestor that lived approximately 18.7k years ago (according to the estimates of full). At the autosomal level, it falls in the cluster of the CHG’s and the Iranian Neolithic Farmers.” ref

Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill”) is a Neolithic archaeological site near the city of Şanlıurfa in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. Dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, between c. 9500 and 8000 BCE, the site comprises a number of large circular structures supported by massive stone pillars – the world’s oldest known megaliths. Many of these pillars are richly decorated with abstract anthropomorphic details, clothing, and reliefs of wild animals, providing archaeologists rare insights into prehistoric religion and the particular iconography of the period..” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Raqefet Cave

13,000-year-old stone mortars offers the earliest known physical evidence

of an extensive ancient beer-brewing operation.

“The find comes on the heels of a July report that archaeologists working in northeastern Jordan discovered the charred remains of bread baked by Natufians some 11,600 to 14,600 years ago. According to the Stanford scientists, the ancient beer residue comes from 11,700 to 13,700 years old. Through laboratory analysis, other archaeological evidence found in the cave, and the wear of the stones, the team discovered that the ancient Natufians used species from seven plant families, “including wheat or barley, oat, legumes and bast fibers (including flax),” according to the article. “They packed plant-foods, including malted wheat/barley, in fiber-made containers and stored them in boulder mortars. They used bedrock mortars for pounding and cooking plant-foods, including brewing wheat/barley-based beer likely served in ritual feasts ca. 13,000 years ago,” the scientists write. “It has long been speculated that the thirst for beer may have been the stimulus behind cereal domestication, which led to a major social-technological change in human history; but this hypothesis has been highly controversial,” the Stanford authors say. “We report here of the earliest archaeological evidence for cereal-based beer brewing by a semi-sedentary, foraging people.” ref

“Beer making was an integral part of rituals and feasting, a social regulatory mechanism in hierarchical societies,” said Stanford’s Wang. The Raqefet Cave discovery of the first man-made alcohol production, the cave also provides one of the earliest pieces of evidence of the use of flower beds on gravesites, discovered under human skeletons. “The Natufian remains in Raqefet Cave never stop surprising us,” co-author Prof. Dani Nadel, of the University of Haifa’s Zinman Institute of Archaeology, said in a press release. “We exposed a Natufian burial area with about 30 individuals, a wealth of small finds such as flint tools, animal bones, and ground stone implements, and about 100 stone mortars and cupmarks. Some of the skeletons are well-preserved and provided direct dates and even human DNA, and we have evidence for flower burials and wakes by the graves.” ref

“And now, with the production of beer, the Raqefet Cave remains provide a very vivid and colorful picture of Natufian lifeways, their technological capabilities, and inventions,” he said. Stanford’s Liu posited that the beer production was of a religious nature because its production was found near a graveyard. “This discovery indicates that making alcohol was not necessarily a result of agricultural surplus production, but it was developed for ritual purposes and spiritual needs, at least to some extent, prior to agriculture,” she said. “Alcohol making and food storage were among the major technological innovations that eventually led to the development of civilizations in the world, and archaeological science is a powerful means to help reveal their origins and decode their contents,” said Liu. “We are excited to have the opportunity to present our findings, which shed new light on a deeper history of human society.” ref

Religion and Alcohol

The world’s religions have had differing relationships with alcohol. Many religions forbid alcoholic consumption or see it as sinful or negative. Others have allocated a specific place for it, such as in the Christian practice of using wine during the Eucharist rite. Hinduism does not have a central authority which is followed by all Hindus, though religious texts forbid the use or consumption of alcohol. In Śruti texts such as Vedas and Upanishads which are the most authoritative texts in Hinduism and considered apauruṣeya, which means “not of a man, superhuman”, all alcoholic drinks or intoxication are considered as a recipe of sinfulness, weakness, failure, and destruction in several verses.” ref

Judaism relates to the consumption of alcohol, particularly of wine, in a complex manner. Wine is viewed as a substance of import and it is incorporated in religious ceremonies, and the general consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted, however, inebriation (drunkenness) is discouraged. This compound approach to wine can be viewed in the verse in Psalms 104:15, “Wine gladdens human hearts,” countered by the verses in Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is riotous; and whoever stumbles in it is not wise,” and Proverbs 23:20, “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat.”  Christian views on alcohol are varied. Throughout the first 1,800 years of Church historyChristians generally consumed alcoholic beverages as a common part of everyday life and used “the fruit of the vine” in their central rite—the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper. They held that both the Bible and Christian tradition taught that alcohol is a gift from God that makes life more joyous, but that over-indulgence leading to drunkenness is sinful or at least a vice.” ref

“Observant Buddhists typically avoid consuming alcohol (surāmerayamajja, referring to types of intoxicating fermented beverages), as it violates the 5th of the Five Precepts, the basic Buddhist code of ethics, and can disrupt mindfulness and impede one’s progress in the Noble Eightfold Path. In Jainism alcohol consumption of any kind is not allowed, neither are there any exceptions like occasional or social drinking. The most important reason against alcohol consumption is the effect of alcohol on the mind and soul. In Jainism, any action or reaction that alter or impacts the mind is violence (himsa) towards own self, which is a five-sense human being. Violence to other five sense beings or to own self is violence. Jains do not consume fermented foods (beer, wine, and other alcohols) to avoid killing of a large number of microorganisms associated with the fermenting process. An initiated Sikh cannot use or consume intoxicants, of which wine is one.” ref

In the Quran, khamr, meaning “wine”, is variably referenced as an incentive from Satan, as well as a cautionary note against its adverse effect on human attitude in several verses: such as, O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. — Surat 5:90 AND Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist? — Surat 5:91 Whereas Sake is often consumed as part of Shinto purification rituals in Japan. Sakes served to gods as offerings prior to drinking are called Omiki. People drink Omiki with gods to communicate with them and to solicit rich harvests the following year.” ref

Older Historical Religions and Alcohol

In Ancient Egyptian religion, beer and wine were drunk and offered to the gods in rituals and festivals. Beer and wine were also stored with the mummified dead in Egyptian burials. Other ancient religious practices like Chinese ancestor worship, Sumerian and Babylonian religion used alcohol as offerings to gods and to the deceased. The Mesopotamian cultures had various wine gods and a Chinese imperial edict (c. 1,116 BCE) states that drinking alcohol in moderation is prescribed by Heaven.” ref

“IN MESOPOTAMIA, evidence of winemaking from the fourth millennium BCE (the late Uruk period) has been found in the city-states of Uruk and Tello in southern Iraq and the Elamite capital of Susa in Iran. The Babylonian and Egyptian found that if they crushed grapes or warmed and moisten grain, the covered mush would bubble and produce drink with a kick. Ancient beer was thick and nutritious. The fermentation process added essential B vitamins and amino acids converted from yeast. Mesopotamians drank beer and wine but seemed to have preferred beer. By some estimates forty percent of the wheat from Sumerian harvest went to make beer. Thus lends credence to the beer theory, that man switched to agriculture so that people could to settle down and grow grain so they sit around and drink beer together on small villages.” ref

“It has been argued that beer was preferred over wine because beer-producing barley grows better in the hot, dry climate of southern Iraq than wine-producing grapes. Cylinder seals from the Early Dynastic period (2900-2350 BCE) show monarchs and the courtiers drinking beer from large jars with straws. Another beverage, possibly wine, was consumed from hand-held cups and goblets. Cuneiform tablets show allocations of beer and wine for royal occasions. One tablet from northeastern Syria allocates 80 liters of the “best quality beer” to honor “the man from Babylon.” By 700 BCE, the Phrgyians in present-day Turkey were drinking an alcoholic beverage made from wine, barley beer, and honey mead. For hangovers, the Assyrians consumed a mixture of ground bird’s beaks and myrrh.” ref

“In the ancient Mediterranean world, the Cult of Dionysus and the Orphic mysteries used wine as part of their religious practices. During Dionysian festivals and rituals, wine was drunk as way to reach ecstatic states along with music and dance. Intoxication from alcohol was seen as a state of possession by spirit of the god of wine Dionysus. Religious drinking festivals called Bacchanalia were popular in Italy and associated with the gods Bacchus and Liber. These Dionysian rites were frequently outlawed by the Roman Senate. In the Norse religion the drinking of ales and meads was important in several seasonal religious festivals such as Yule and Midsummer as well as more common festivities like wakes, christenings, and ritual sacrifices called Blóts. Neopagan and Wiccan religions also allow for the use of alcohol for ritual purposes as well as for recreation.” ref

Nectar of the Gods: Alcoholic Mythology

Here are a handful of stories from around the globe that illustrate the long-time love of alcohol that connects the world. Norse mythology tells of Aegir, the ale brewer of the gods, who held a big party for honored guests every winter. The party was held inside a great hall whose floor was littered with glittering gold, providing enough light that no fires were necessary for illumination. The special beer for the event was brewed in a giant cauldron given to him by Thor and served in magical cups that refilled as soon as they were empty. He even had a couple of loyal servants who distributed food and otherwise cared for the guests’ needs. The shindig was the highlight of the social season and all the gods attended. However, like so many off-campus college parties, alcohol and animosity could sometimes spoil a perfectly good evening.” ref

“According to the Poetic Edda, a collection of mythological poems, the party started off great, with everyone drinking and eating and telling stories. As they sat down for the big feast, the inebriated guests offered praise to the two lowly servants, Fimafeng and Eldir. The snobby rich kid of the gods, Loki, in his drunken arrogance, took offense to the gesture, feeling the servants were not worth such accolades, and killed Fimafeng. The others kicked him out of the party for being a jerk, but he returned shortly after, demanding to be shown some respect and allowed back at the table. Loki didn’t get away unharmed, though. Skaoi, one of the goddesses he insulted that night, caught up with the god and tied him to a rock. Above his naked body, she hung a poisonous snake, whose fangs dripped acidic venom into a small dish, held up by Loki’s wife, Sigyn. Whenever the dish filled, she had to pull it away and pour the venom on the ground. This meant the venom would occasionally drip onto her husband, causing him immense pain. According to legend, Loki’s violent writhing is what causes earthquakes. Of course, this could have all been avoided if Loki had simply known when to say when.” ref

The Aztec drink of choice was pulque, a syrupy, pulpy alcohol made from the fermented sap of the agave plant. Pulque was available to almost everyone, but most people were cut off after four cups. The elderly, on the other hand, had earned as many cups as they could handle. The priests were also able to drink as much as they wanted in order to commune with the gods – and work up the nerve to commit human sacrifices. A believer’s drunkenness was measured on a scale of rabbits, with two or three rabbits being a petty good buzz, all the way up to 400, which we can only imagine meant, “poke him with a stick and see if he’s dead.” So the next time you’re doing tequila shots with friends, instead of saying “three sheets to the wind,” perhaps you could say you’re “at least 10 rabbits in” and pay a little honor to Mayahuel, Patecatl, and their 400 kids.” ref

List of Deities of Wine and Beer

“Deities of wine and beer include a number of agricultural deities associated with the fruits and grains used to produce alcoholic beverages, as well as the processes of fermentation and distillation.

“Beer goddess:

Alcohol, where Agriculture and Religion Become one?

Such as Gobekli Tepe’s ritualistic use of grain as food and ritual drink.

Alcohol use in an Archaeology/Anthropology context theorized:

(My thoughts on alcohol in prehistoric religious rituals could have a dual nature. One of Euphoria and thus altered states religions tend to seek. Second is its association with the grave and death, such as how one can get so intoxicated on alcohol, they blackout or pass out (pseudo-death early peoples may have believe killed you, then miraculously in time the drinker would arise again from an alcohol stupor and it would have seemed like magic, thus they may have associated alcohol with reincarnation thinking.)

History of alcoholic drinks

“Purposeful production of alcoholic drinks is common and often reflects cultural and religious peculiarities as much as geographical and sociological conditions. The Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggests that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (c. 10000 BCE). The ability to metabolize alcohol likely predates humanity with primates eating fermenting fruit. The oldest verifiable brewery has been found in a prehistoric burial site in a cave near Haifa in modern-day Israel. Researchers have found residue of 13,000-year-old beer that they think might have been used for ritual feasts to honor the dead. The traces of a wheat-and-barley-based alcohol were found in stone mortars carved into the cave floor.” ref

“As early as 7000 BCE, chemical analysis of jars from the neolithic village Jiahu in the Henan province of northern China revealed traces of a mixed fermented beverage. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, chemical analysis of the residue confirmed that a fermented drink made of grapes, hawthorn berries, honey, and rice was being produced in 7000–6650 BCE. This is approximately the time when barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East.” ref

“Evidence of alcoholic beverages has also been found dating from 5400-5000 BC in Hajji Firuz Tepe in Iran, 3150 BCE in ancient Egypt, 3000 BCE in Babylon, 2000 BCE in pre-Hispanic Mexico, and 1500 BCE in Sudan. According to Guinness, the earliest firm evidence of wine production dates back to 6000 BCE in Georgia. The medicinal use of alcohol was mentioned in Sumerian and Egyptian texts dating from about 2100 BCE. The Hebrew Bible recommends giving alcoholic drinks to those who are dying or depressed, so that they can forget their misery (Proverbs 31:6-7).” ref

“Wine was consumed in Classical Greece at breakfast or at symposia, and in the 1st century BCE, it was part of the diet of most Roman citizens. Both the Greeks and the Romans generally drank diluted wine (the strength varying from 1 part wine and 1 part water, to 1 part wine and 4 parts water). In Europe during the Middle Ages, beer, often of very low strength, was an everyday drink for all classes and ages of people. A document from that time mentions nuns having an allowance of six pints of ale each day. Cider and pomace wine were also widely available; grape wine was the prerogative of the higher classes.” ref

“By the time the Europeans reached the Americas in the 15th century, several native civilizations had developed alcoholic beverages. According to a post-conquest Aztec document, consumption of the local “wine” (pulque) was generally restricted to religious ceremonies but was freely allowed to those who were older than 70 years. The natives of South America produced a beer-like beverage from cassava or maize, which had to be chewed before fermentation in order to turn the starch into sugar. (Beverages of this kind are known today as cauim or chicha.) This chewing technique was also used in ancient Japan to make sake from rice and other starchy crops.” ref

Ancient China

“The earliest evidence of wine was found in what is now China, where jars from Jiahu which date to about 7000 BCE were discovered. This early rice wine was produced by fermenting rice, honey, and fruit. What later developed into Chinese civilization grew up along the more northerly Yellow River and fermented a kind of huangjiu from millet. The Zhou attached great importance to alcohol and ascribed the loss of the mandate of Heaven by the earlier Xia and Shang as largely due to their dissolute and alcoholic emperors. An edict ascribed to c. 1116 BCE makes it clear that the use of alcohol in moderation was believed to be prescribed by heaven.” ref

“Unlike the traditions in Europe and the Middle East, China abandoned the production of grape wine before the advent of writing and, under the Han, abandoned beer in favor of huangjiu and other forms of rice wine. These naturally fermented to a strength of about 20% ABV; they were usually consumed warmed and frequently flavored with additives as part of traditional Chinese medicine. They considered it spiritual food and extensive documentary evidence attests to the important role it played in religious life. “In ancient times people always drank when holding a memorial ceremony, offering sacrifices to gods or their ancestors, pledging resolution before going into battle, celebrating victory, before feuding and official executions, for taking an oath of allegiance, while attending the ceremonies of birth, marriage, reunions, departures, death, and festival banquets.” Marco Polo‘s 14th-century record indicates grain and rice wine were drunk daily and were one of the treasury’s biggest sources of income.” ref

“Alcoholic beverages were widely used in all segments of Chinese society, were used as a source of inspiration, were important for hospitality, were considered an antidote for fatigue, and were sometimes misused. Laws against making wine were enacted and repealed forty-one times between 1100 BC and AD 1400. However, a commentator writing around 650 BCE asserted that people “will not do without beer. To prohibit it and secure total abstinence from it is beyond the power even of sages. Hence, therefore, we have warnings on the abuse of it.” The Chinese may have independently developed the process of distillation in the early centuries of the Common Era, during the Eastern Han dynasty.” ref

Ancient Persia (or Ancient Iran)

“A major step forward in our understanding of Neolithic winemaking came from the analysis of a yellowish residue excavated by Mary M. Voigt at the site of Hajji Firuz Tepe in the northern Zagros Mountains of Iran. The jar that once contained wine, with a volume of about 9 liters (2.5 gallons) was found together with five similar jars embedded in the earthen floor along one wall of a “kitchen” of a Neolithic mudbrick building, dated to c. 5400-5000 BCE. In such communities, winemaking was the best technology they had for storing highly perishable grapes, although whether the resulting beverage was intended for intoxication as well as nourishment is not known.” ref

Ancient Egypt

Brewing dates from the beginning of civilization in ancient Egypt, and alcoholic beverages were very important at that time. Egyptian brewing began in the city of Hierakonpolis around 3400 BCE; its ruins contain the remains of the world’s oldest brewery, which was capable of producing up to three hundred gallons (1,136 liters) per day of beer. Symbolic of this is the fact that while many gods were local or familial, Osiris was worshiped throughout the entire country. Osiris was believed to be the god of the dead, of life, of vegetable regeneration, and of wine. Both beer and wine were deified and offered to gods. Cellars and wine presses even had a god whose hieroglyph was a winepress. The ancient Egyptians made at least 17 types of beer and at least 24 varieties of wine. The most common type of beer was known as hqt. Beer was the drink of common laborers; financial accounts report that the Giza pyramid builders were allotted a daily beer ration of one and one-third gallons. Alcoholic beverages were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. The latter involved storing the beverages in tombs of the deceased for their use in the after-life.” ref

“Numerous accounts of the period stressed the importance of moderation, and these norms were both secular and religious. While Egyptians did not generally appear to define drunkenness as a problem, they warned against taverns (which were often houses of prostitution) and excessive drinking. After reviewing extensive evidence regarding the widespread but generally moderate use of alcoholic beverages, the nutritional biochemist and historian William J. Darby makes a most important observation: all these accounts are warped by the fact that moderate users “were overshadowed by their more boisterous counterparts who added ‘color’ to history.” Thus, the intemperate use of alcohol throughout history receives a disproportionate amount of attention. Those who abuse alcohol cause problems, draw attention to themselves, are highly visible, and cause legislation to be enacted. The vast majority of drinkers, who neither experience nor cause difficulties, are not noteworthy. Consequently, observers and writers largely ignore moderation. Evidence of distillation comes from alchemists working in Alexandria, Roman Egypt, in the 1st century CE. Distilled water has been known since at least c. 200 CE, when Alexander of Aphrodisias described the process.” ref

Ancient Babylon

“Beer was the major beverage among the Babylonians, and as early as 2700 BCE they worshiped a wine goddess and other wine deities. Babylonians regularly used both beer and wine as offerings to their gods. Around 1750 BCE, the famous Code of Hammurabi devoted attention to alcohol. However, there were no penalties for drunkenness; in fact, it was not even mentioned. The concern was fair commerce in alcohol. Although it was not a crime, the Babylonians were critical of drunkenness.” ref

Ancient India

Alcohol distillation likely originated in India. Alcoholic beverages in the Indus Valley Civilization appeared in the Chalcolithic Era. These beverages were in use between 3000 to 2000 BCE. Sura, a beverage brewed from rice meal, wheat, sugar cane, grapes, and other fruits, was popular among the Kshatriya warriors and the peasant population. Sura is considered to be a favorite drink of Indra.” ref

“The Hindu Ayurvedic texts describe both the beneficent uses of alcoholic beverages and the consequences of intoxication and alcoholic diseases. Ayurvedic texts concluded that alcohol was a medicine if consumed in moderation, but a poison if consumed in excess. Most of the people in India and China, have continued, throughout, to ferment a portion of their crops and nourish themselves with the alcoholic product. In ancient India, alcohol was also used by the orthodox population. Early Vedic literature suggests the use of alcohol by priestly classes.” ref

“The two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, mention the use of alcohol. In Ramayana, alcohol consumption is depicted in a good/bad dichotomy. The bad faction members consumed meat and alcohol while the good faction members were abstinent vegetarians. However, in Mahabharata, the characters are not portrayed in such a black-white contrast. Alcohol abstinence was promoted as a moral value in India by Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, and Adi Shankaracharya. Distillation was known in the ancient Indian subcontinent, evident from baked clay retorts and receivers found at Taxila and Charsadda in modern Pakistan, dating back to the early centuries of the Common Era. These “Gandhara stills” were only capable of producing very weak liquor, as there was no efficient means of collecting the vapors at low heat.” ref

Ancient Greece

“While the art of wine making reached the Hellenic peninsula by about 2000 BCE, the first alcoholic beverage to obtain widespread popularity in what is now Greece was mead, a fermented beverage made from honey and water. However, by 1700 BCE, wine making was commonplace. During the next thousand years wine drinking assumed the same function so commonly found around the world: It was incorporated into religious rituals. It became important in hospitality, used for medicinal purposes, and became an integral part of daily meals. As a beverage, it was drunk in many ways: warm and chilled, pure and mixed with water, plain and spiced. Alcohol, specifically wine, was considered so important to the Greeks that consumption was considered a defining characteristic of the Hellenic culture between their society and the rest of the world; those who did not drink were considered barbarians.” ref

“While habitual drunkenness was rare, intoxication at banquets and festivals was not unusual. In fact, the symposium, a gathering of men for an evening of conversation, entertainment, and drinking typically ended in intoxication. However, while there are no references in ancient Greek literature to mass drunkenness among the Greeks, there are references to it among foreign peoples. By 425 BCE, warnings against intemperance, especially at symposia, appear to become more frequent.” ref

Xenophon (431-351 BCE) and Plato (429-347 BCE) both praised the moderate use of wine as beneficial to health and happiness, but both were critical of drunkenness, which appears to have become a problem. Plato also believed that no one under the age of eighteen should be allowed to touch wine. Hippocrates (cir. 460-370 BCE) identified numerous medicinal properties of wine, which had long been used for its therapeutic value. Later, both Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and Zeno (cir. 336-264 BCE) were very critical of drunkenness. Among Greeks, the Macedonians viewed intemperance as a sign of masculinity and were well known for their drunkenness. Their king, Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), whose mother adhered to the Dionysian cult, developed a reputation for inebriety.” ref

Pre-Columbian America

“Several Native American civilizations developed alcoholic beverages. Many versions of these beverages are still produced today. The making of pulque, as illustrated in the Florentine Codex (Book 1 Appendix, fo.40). Pulque, or octli is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of the maguey, and is a traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica. Though commonly believed to be a beer, the main carbohydrate is a complex form of fructose rather than starch. Pulque is depicted in Native American stone carvings from as early as CE 200. The origin of pulque is unknown, but because it has a major position in religion, many folk tales explain its origins.” ref

Balché is the name of a honey wine brewed by the Maya, associated with the Mayan deity Acan. The drink shares its name with the balché tree (Lonchocarpus violaceus), the bark of which is fermented in water together with honey from the indigenous stingless bee. Tepache is a mildly alcoholic beverage indigenous to Mexico that is created by fermenting pineapple, including the rind, for a short period of three days. Tejuino, traditional to the Mexican state of Jalisco, is a maize-based beverage that involves fermenting masa dough.” ref

Chicha is a Spanish word for any of variety of traditional fermented beverages from the Andes region of South America. It can be made of maize, manioc root (also called yuca or cassava) or fruits among other things. During the Inca Empire women were taught the techniques of brewing chicha in Acllahuasis (feminine schools). Chicha de jora is prepared by germinating maize, extracting the malt sugars, boiling the wort, and fermenting it in large vessels, traditionally huge earthenware vats, for several days. In some cultures, in lieu of germinating the maize to release the starches, the maize is ground, moistened in the chicha maker’s mouth and formed into small balls which are then flattened and laid out to dry. Naturally occurring diastase enzymes in the maker’s saliva catalyze the breakdown of starch in the maize into maltose. Chicha de jora has been prepared and consumed in communities throughout in the Andes for millennia. The Inca used chicha for ritual purposes and consumed it in vast quantities during religious festivals. In recent years, however, the traditionally prepared chicha is becoming increasingly rare. Only in a small number of towns and villages in southern Peru and Bolivia is it still prepared. Other traditional drinks made from fermented maize or maize flour include pozol and pox.” ref

Manioc root being prepared by Indian women to produce an alcoholic drink for ritual consumption, by Theodor de Bry, Frankfurt, 1593. Women in the lower left can be seen spitting into the manioc mash. Salivary enzymes break down complex starches, and saliva introduces bacteria and yeast that hasten the fermentation process. Cauim is a traditional alcoholic beverage of the Native American populations of Brazil since pre-Columbian times. It is still made today in remote areas throughout Panama and South America. Cauim is very similar to chicha and it is also made by fermenting manioc or maize, sometimes flavored with fruit juices. The Kuna Indians of Panama use plantains. A characteristic feature of the beverage is that the starting material is cooked, chewed, and re-cooked prior to fermentation. As in the making of chicha, enzymes from the saliva of the cauim maker break down the starches into fermentable sugars.” ref

Tiswin, or niwai is a mild, fermented, ceremonial beverage produced by various cultures living in the region encompassing the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Among the Apache, tiswin was made from maize, while the Tohono O’odham brewed tiswin using saguaro sap. The Tarahumara variety, called tesgüino, can be made from a variety of different ingredients. Recent archaeological evidence has also revealed the production of a similar maize-based intoxicant among the ancestors of the Pueblo peoples. Okolehao is produced by Native Hawaiians from juice extracted from the roots of the ti plant. Cacao wine was produced during the formative stage of the Olmec Culture (1100-900 BCE). Evidence from Puerto Escondido indicates that a weak alcoholic beverage (up to 5% alcohol by volume) was made from fermented cacao pulp and stored in pottery containers.” ref

In addition:

· The Iroquois fermented sap from the sugar maple tree to produce a mildly alcoholic beverage.

· The Chiricahua prepared a kind of corn beer called tula-pah using sprouted corn kernels, dried and ground, flavored with locoweed or lignum vitae roots, placed in water and allowed to ferment.[42]

· The Coahuiltecan in Texas combined mountain laurel with agave sap to create an alcoholic drink similar to pulque.

· The Zunis made fermented beverages from aloe, maguey, corn, prickly pear, pitaya, and grapes.

· The Creek of Georgia and Cherokee of the Carolinas used berries and other fruits to make alcoholic beverages.

· The Huron made a mild beer by soaking corn in water to produce a fermented gruel to be consumed at tribal feasts.

· The Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island produced a mildly alcoholic drink using elderberry juice, black chitons, and tobacco.

· Both the Aleuts and Yuit of Kodiak Island in Alaska were observed making alcoholic drinks from fermented raspberries.” ref

Ancient Rome

“Bacchus, the god of wine – for the Greeks, Dionysus – is the patron deity of agriculture and the theater. He was also known as the Liberator (Eleutherios), freeing one from one’s normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the aulos and to bring an end to care and worry. The Romans would hold dinner parties where wine was served to the guest all day along with a three-course feast. Scholars have discussed Dionysus’ relationship to the “cult of the souls” and his ability to preside over communication between the living and the dead. The Roman belief that wine was a daily necessity made the drink “democratic” and ubiquitous: wine was available to slaves, peasants, women, and aristocrats alike. To ensure the steady supply of wine to Roman soldiers and colonists, viticulture and wine production spread to every part of the empire. The Romans diluted their wine before drinking it. The wine was also used for religious purposes, in the pouring of libations to deities.” ref

“Though beer was drunk in Ancient Rome, it was replaced in popularity by wine. Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day. Thracians were also known to consume beer made from rye, even since the 5th century BC, as the ancient Greek logographer Hellanicus of Lesbos says. Their name for beer was brutos, or brytos. The Romans called their brew cerevisia, from the Celtic word for it. Beer was apparently enjoyed by some Roman legionaries. For instance, among the Vindolanda tablets (from Vindolanda in Roman Britain, dated c. 97-103 AD), the cavalry decurion Masculus wrote a letter to prefect Flavius Cerialis inquiring about the exact instructions for his men for the following day. This included a polite request for beer to be sent to the garrison (which had entirely consumed its previous stock of beer).” ref

Ancient Sub-Saharan Africa

Palm wine played an important social role in many African societies. Thin, gruel-like, alcoholic beverages have existed in traditional societies all across the African continent, created through the fermentation of sorghum, millet, bananas, or in modern times, maize or cassava.” ref

People wrongly say “Paganism” like there is only one kind or only one meaning.

I am not supporting Paganism as I am atheist and antireligious. I am just offering this inform to others so we know what we or others are talking about.

Paganism is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of religions, belief-sets and spiritual paths. The lack of a firm and agreed definition makes the question ‘What is paganism?’ a very difficult one to answer.

Paganism is a broad group of religions including modern pagan religions, indigenous religions and historical polytheistic religions. In a wider sense, paganism has also been understood to include any non-Abrahamic, folk, ethnic religion or or European occultism.

The term pagan is from Latin “Paganus” likely acquired its meaning in Christian speach via Roman military jargon. Early Christians adopted military motifs and saw themselves as “Milites Christi” (“soldiers of Christ”). Classical Latin pagus which originally meant “region delimited by markers”, paganus had also come to mean “of or relating to the countryside”, “country dweller”, “villager”; by extension, “rustic”, “unlearned”, “yokel”, “bumpkin”; in Roman military jargon, “non-combatant”, “civilian”, “unskilled soldier”. It is related to pangere (“to fix”, “to fasten”) and ultimately comes from Proto-Indo-European *pag- (“to fix”). The adoption of paganus by the Latin Christians as an all-embracing, pejorative term for polytheists but was relatively a word of Latin slang originally some what devoid of religious meaning. The evolution occurred only in the Latin west, and in connection with the Latin church. Elsewhere, “Hellene” or “gentile” (ethnikos) remained the word for “pagan”; and paganos continued as a purely secular term, with overtones of the inferior and the commonplace.

What do pagans believe?

Some pagans believe in a single god or single goddess, some believe in a god and goddess, some believe in many gods and/or many goddesses, some believe there is no god and some are not sure whether there is/are god(s) or not. Some worship these gods, and some (even those who believe in them) do not. Some are animist (Nature – Veneration) and believe that ‘spirit’ exists in all humans, animals, plants, non-living things like rocks, planets, oceans and wind, as a real concept or an abstract concepts such as love, creativity, and change.

Some pagans feel closer to the deities of other cultures – Native American, Celtic, Norse, Roman, Greek, Germanic, Scandinavian, Slavic, Baltic, Albanian, Armenian, Basque, Etruscan, Finnic, Georgian, Egyptian, Vainakh… etc.

Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices. Some modern forms of Paganism have their roots in 19th century C.E. European nationalism (including the British Order of Druids), but most contemporary Pagan groups trace their immediate organizational roots to the 1960s, and have an emphasis on archetypal psychology and a spiritual interest in nature. Paganism is not a traditional religion per se because it does not have any official doctrine, but it does have some common characteristics joining the great variety of traditions. One of the common beliefs is the divine presence in nature and the reverence of the natural order in life. Paganism often has absorbed influences from around the world and some Pagans choose to specialise in one of these traditions, or paths as they are often known.

Some groups take influences from a particular part of the world. Some follow ancient Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon belief systems. Other traditions are defined by elements of their practice. For instance, Wiccans use magical techniques in worship, Druids emphasize arts and philosophy, and Shamans employ spirit-journeying for healing.

What about neopaganism?

There are new religious movements that have been called occult, new age, neopaganism, and esotericism, but they have the same obscure and arcane reasonless revelations and prophecies. Generally, the word “occult” is associated with secret knowledge and practices that deal with the supernatural or “psychic” phenomena and often, with the purpose of obtaining personal power. Some occult practices rely on good or evil “spirits” or “deities” to achieve their goals. Interest in the occult has been promoted by the new age, neopaganism, and esotericism.

All religions had a beginning point and a point when someone started telling lies. One of the new religious movements’ highly influential liars of reasonless revelations, prophecies, or predictions was Aleister Crowley, an esoteric conman who influenced scientology, eckankar, and wicca, which was created as a hoax. A hoax tries to make you believe in something that is not true or compatible with reality such as creationism, prayer, or magic for examples. Really, how is any religion different from a hoax religion? To me there is little to no difference. Aleister Crowley was a hoaxer, occult delusionary, and esoteric conman extraordinaire who inspired others like him directly or to a much lesser second hand sense such as Gerald Gardner (wicca 1954).

Aleister Crowley, the continual hoaxer who once faked his own death by leaving a sad note about heartbreak at the top of this dangerous rock formation and the implication being that he had jumped to his death. The papers ran with it and announced Crowley’s suicide much to the amusement of Crowley. Some weeks later, Crowley arrived unannounced at an exhibit of some of his paintings in Berlin and showed that his death was a hoax. Gerald Gardner was a hoaxer, occult delusionary and esoteric conman who took a bunch of Aleister Crowley’s writings and material from liber al vel legis, and sort of cut and paste them with a few words changed and added into his creation of initiation rituals, the charge of the goddess, the drawing down the moon ritual, and more.

Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, and novelist, responsible for founding the religion and philosophy of thelema, in which role he identified himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the aeon of horus. Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named aiwass, who provided him with the book of the law, a sacred text that served as the basis for thelema. Crowley was influenced from a variety of sources, ranging from Eastern religious movements and practices like hindu, yoga, and buddhism, scientific naturalism, and various currents within Western esotericism, among them ceremonial magic, alchemy, astrology, rosicrucianism, kabbalah, and the tarot. Several Western esoteric traditions other than thelema were also influenced by Crowley. Gerald Gardner, founder of gardnerian wicca, made use of much of Crowley’s published material when composing the gardnerian ritual liturgy.

Anton LaVey and Michael Aquino, who are two prominent figures in religious satanism were also aware of Crowley’s work and had conflicting thoughts on it. It is not uncommon to read the name Aleister Crowley and it linked to satanism or devil worship. There have been various statements made by Crowley or attributed to him that were used as proof that he was the archetypal satanist. However, many occultists reject the belief of Crowley-the-Satanist as well. Many of these occultists, even some of these are satanists and followers of Crowley’s magical system of thelema believed he was a satanist; however, there are some satanic groups who also reject the idea of Crowley being a satanist. Many of the people claiming that Crowley was a satanist based their assumptions on the literal interpretations of his writings. It is clear that some of Crowley’s writings were extremely anti-christian. However, to be anti-christian does not make someone a satanist per se and does not indicate that the person identifies with the popular conceptions of satanists. Crowley wrote of being the servant of satan, “the devil, our lord whose number of magic is 666, the seal of his servant the beast” in his ritual for the attainment of knowledge and conversation of his holy guardian angel, shaitan-aiwaz. Kenneth Grant, another student of Crowley, wrote, “This whole ritual is an invocation of shaitan (satan) or set.” It is easy to see how Crowley, the great beast 666, gained the reputation as a satanist and hardcore anti-christian. The simple answer to the question of Aleister Crowley of having been a satanist is that there is no definitive answer. The religion of satanism is stupid and is just like all religions. I do care and am against satanism, even though it is not real, it is still a religion or a form of religious thinking, all of which I reject just like all other religions or pseudo-religions.

Now we get to Wicca:

Gerald Gardner, founded the religion of wicca and put it together in the middle 1950s using blatant rip-offs of Aleister Crowley, Freemasonry, Egyptian ideologies and Celtic lore. Wiccans or neo-pagan witches are not satanists nor do they worship devils or consort with demons. Let us address the satanic ritual abuse and used to describe the actions of “pseudo-satanists” or those who sexually abuse children and use the trappings of so-called satanic rituals and claims of magical powers to coerce and terrify victims, but do not actually believe in the official organized satanic rituals. In the first place, there has never been any consensus on what actually constituted satanic ritual abuse and it was actually used more a catchall fear motivated term. This lack of a single definition, as well as confusion between the meanings of the term “ritual” (religious versus psychological), allowed a wide range of allegations and evidence to be claimed as a demonstration of the reality of satanic ritual abuse claims, irrespective of which “definition” the evidence supported.

A survey of more than 12,000 satanic ritual abuse allegations has found no substantiating evidence for an intergenerational conspiracy, but did document several examples of abuse by pseudo-satanists. Despite allegations appearing in the United States, Holland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia, no real material evidence has been found to verify allegations of organized cult-based abuse that practices human sacrifice and cannibalism. Satanic ritual abuse is considered a moral panic and no more credible to the historical witch-hunts. Anthropologists, sociologists, and journalists performed the initial investigations of satanic ritual abuse, which failed to find evidence of satanic ritual abuse actually occurring. However, they concluded that satanic ritual abuse was a result of rumors and folk legends that were spread by the media hype, christian fundamentalism, and some evangelical activists and groups were using claims of satanic ritual abuse to further their religious and political goals.

Now back to wicca, which is the largest category of neopaganism. Wicca, no matter how it would like, it is not historically accurate and not part of or a continuation of a Stone Age religion. Wiccan expressions are essentially esoteric, not exoteric. Wicca is a decentralized religion, which mostly involves witchcraft as a spiritual system, and though many share this common name, many wiccans develop their own beliefs, rituals, and other practices. As a result, they place their emphasis on a subjective religious experience and not on historically verifiable facts. Originally, wicca’s founder Gerald Gardner claimed the rituals in the book of shadows were the original rituals used by British wiccans for centuries; it becomes quite obvious when reading it that the material comes from several sources. The writings of Aleister Crowley were a major source of material and without question; there were no sources from British wiccans as historically there is no such thing as British wicca since it was created in the 1950’s. If wicca is the survival of an ancient tradition, there would be a record of those beliefs somewhere and yet, there is not. There is an old saying that if you ask any ten wiccans about their religion, you will get at least fifteen different answers. Margot Adler a wiccan author states, “The most authentic and hallowed wiccan tradition is stealing from any source that didn’t run away too fast.”

The truth is all too clear and not a single culture from pre-christian Europe held beliefs, even remotely similar to those of wicca. There are literally thousands of inscriptions to Celtic deities, most of them appearing only once, and many tied to small areas of population. The surviving Celtic myths speak of their gods as behaving as individual beings unto themselves and not pieces of one super-god. The druids, often cited by new agers as being monotheistic, were actually of little importance to Celtic religion. After the Romans outlawed the druids, the Celtic religious practice continued uninterrupted. The druids are often viewed as something of a mystical brotherhood of priests and wizards. Upon closer examination, one finds they were more akin to a guild of bards and lawyers who acted as priests from time to time. Wicca instead relatively a mix of witch cult, ceremonial magic, Victorian ideas and British legend about nature worship, some old esoteric knowledge into his original tradition, including eastern mysticism, kabballah, a sprinkling of hinduism and spiritualism all put together by Gerald Gardner created and founded wicca with possibly some additional help and wicca is relatively a mix of witch cult, ceremonial magic, Victorian ideas and British legend about nature worship, some old esoteric knowledge into Gardner’s original tradition that includes eastern mysticism, kabballah, and a sprinkling of hinduism and spiritualism.

The claims of a surviving Stone Age cult appears to me as an attempt to validate wicca by making it appear older and to give it the popular appeal of “ancient and powerful mysteries.” Many wiccans criticize or deny the division of an ultimate deity into a purely good god and another into purely evil. For wiccans, the ultimate deity divides into a male god and female goddess. Since this division does not correspond to a division between good and evil, it follows that the male god and female goddess must be mixtures of good and evil or is mixtures of positive and negative values. However, as stated before, wiccan views on theology are numerous and varied and there is no universally agreed-upon religious canon. Traditionally, wicca is a duotheistic religion that venerates both a triple goddess associated with the moon, stars, and often the earth, and a horned god associated with the sun, forests, and animals. These two deities are variously understood through the frameworks of pantheism as being dual aspects of a single godhead, duotheism as being two polar opposites, hard polytheism as being two distinct deities in a larger pantheon which includes other pagan gods, or soft polytheism as being composed of many lesser deities. In some pantheistic conceptions, found within the wicca and including monotheism, the concept that there is just one deity, which is seen by some such as dianic wiccans as being the goddess, whilst by others, like the church and school of wicca as being genderless.

There are other wiccans, who are atheists or agnostics and do not believe in any actual deity, but instead view the gods as psychological archetypes of the human mind, which can be evoked and interacted with. Many wiccans believe that the god and goddess are merely two aspects of the same godhead, often viewed as a pantheistic deity, thereby encompassing everything in the universe within its divinity. Many wiccans believe in magic, a manipulative force exercised through the practice of witchcraft or sorcery. Several wiccans agree with the definition of magic offered by ceremonial magicians such as Aleister Crowley, who declared that magic was “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” Many wiccans believe magic to be a law of nature, yet misunderstood or disregarded by contemporary science, and as such, they do not view it as being supernatural, but a part of super powers that reside in the natural.

Some wiccans believe that magic is simply making full use of the five senses in order to achieve surprising results, whilst other wiccans do not claim to know how magic works and merely believing that it does because they have observed it to be so. Some spell it “magick,” a variation coined by the influential occultist Aleister Crowley, though this spelling is more commonly associated with Crowley’s religion of thelema than with wicca. If wicca really is nature-based, then it is contradictory to the present theory of nature and is so deeply inconsistent with natural science. Therefore, if wicca really does demand empirical testing, then it is contradictory for wiccans to make claims that are obviously empirically false. Skeptics and rationalists ought to put pressure on wiccans to naturalize their beliefs. Wiccan texts are full of woo and just plain irrational thinking. It is precisely because wicca has naturalism that it seems it can very easily become naturalized and de-mythologized. As long as our brain structures remain the same, religion is here to stay. The question is whether the Wiccan religion can be changed so that it becomes more rational.

References 123456789101112131415

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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1. Kebaran culture 23,022-16,522 Years Ago, 2. Kortik Tepe 12,422-11,722 Years Ago, 3. Jerf el-Ahmar 11,222 -10,722 Years Ago, 4. Gobekli Tepe 11,152-9,392 Years Ago, 5. Tell Al-‘abrUbaid and Uruk Periods, 6. Nevali Cori 10,422 -10,122 Years Ago, 7. Catal Hoyuk 9,522-7,722 Years Ago

Birds, Ancestor worship, and Funeral practices

“Sky burial (Tibetan: བྱ་གཏོར་, Wylie: bya gtor, lit. “bird-scattered”) is a funeral practice in which a human corpse is placed on a mountaintop to decompose while exposed to the elements or to be eaten by scavenging animals, especially carrion birds. It is a specific type of the general practice of excarnation. It is practiced in the Chinese provinces and autonomous regions of Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia, as well as in Mongolia, Bhutan, and parts of India such as Sikkim and Zanskar. The locations of preparation and sky burial are understood in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions as charnel grounds. Comparable practices are part of Zoroastrian burial practices where the deceased are exposed to the elements and scavenger birds on stone structures called Dakhma. Few such places remain operational today due to religious marginalization, urbanization, and the decimation of vulture populations.” ref

“The majority of Tibetan people and many Mongols adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism, which teaches the transmigration of spirits. There is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel. Birds may eat it or nature may cause it to decompose. The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible (the origin of the practice’s Tibetan name). In much of Tibet and Qinghai, the ground is too hard and rocky to dig a grave, and due to the scarcity of fuel and timber, sky burials were typically more practical than the traditional Buddhist practice of cremation. In the past, cremation was limited to high lamas and some other dignitaries, but modern technology and difficulties with sky burial have led to an increased use of cremation by commoners. Other nations which performed air burial were the Caucasus nations of Georgians, Abkhazians, and Adyghe people, in which they put the corpse in a hollow tree trunk.” ref

“The veneration of the dead, including one’s ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors. Certain sects and religions, in particular the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, venerate saints as intercessors with God; the latter also believes in prayer for departed souls in Purgatory. Other religious groups, however, consider veneration of the dead to be idolatry and a sin.” ref

“In European, Asian, Oceanian, African, and Afro-diasporic cultures, the goal of ancestor veneration is to ensure the ancestors’ continued well-being and positive disposition towards the living, and sometimes to ask for special favors or assistance. The social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration is to cultivate kinship values, such as filial piety, family loyalty, and continuity of the family lineage. Ancestor veneration occurs in societies with every degree of social, political, and technological complexity, and it remains an important component of various religious practices in modern times.” ref

“Ancestor reverence is not the same as the worship of a deity or deities. In some Afro-diasporic cultures, ancestors are seen as being able to intercede on behalf of the living, often as messengers between humans and God. As spirits who were once human themselves, they are seen as being better able to understand human needs than would a divine being. In other cultures, the purpose of ancestor veneration is not to ask for favors but to do one’s filial duty. Some cultures believe that their ancestors actually need to be provided for by their descendants, and their practices include offerings of food and other provisions. Others do not believe that the ancestors are even aware of what their descendants do for them, but that the expression of filial piety is what is important.” ref

“Most cultures who practice ancestor veneration do not call it “ancestor worship”. In English, the word worship usually but not always refers to the reverent love and devotion accorded a deity (god) or God. However, in other cultures, this act of worship does not confer any belief that the departed ancestors have become some kind of deity. Rather, the act is a way to express filial duty, devotion, and respect and look after ancestors in their afterlives as well as seek their guidance for their living descendants. In this regard, many cultures and religions have similar practices. Some may visit the graves of their parents or other ancestors, leave flowers and pray to them in order to honor and remember them, while also asking their ancestors to continue to look after them. However, this would not be considered as worshiping them since the term worship may not always convey such meaning in the exclusive and narrow context of certain Western European Christian traditions.” ref

“Modified and Plastered human skulls are human skulls where something has been done to the skull, such as covered in layers of plaster, such plastered skulls have been typically found in the ancient Levant, most notably around the modern Palestinian city of Jericho, between 8,000 and 6,000 BC (approximately 9000 years ago), in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period. They represent some of the oldest forms of art in the Middle East and demonstrate that the prehistoric population took great care in burying their ancestors below their homes. During the Neolithic period, the deceased were often buried under the floors of their homes.” ref

“Sometimes the skull was removed, and its cavities filled with plaster and painted. In order to create more lifelike faces, shells were inset for eyes, and paint was used to represent facial features, hair, and moustaches. Some scholars believe that this burial practice represents an early form of ancestor worship, where the plastered skulls were used to commemorate and respect family ancestors. Other experts argue that the plastered skulls could be linked to the practice of head hunting, and used as trophies. Plastered skulls provide evidence about the earliest arts and religious practices in the ancient Near East.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Gobekli Tepe: “first human made temple” around 12,000 years ago

Ritualistic Bird Symbolism at Gobekli Tepe and its “Ancestor Cult” a Sacred Sky Burial Relationship between Birds and Spirits of the Dead

Myths from several regions’ associate birds with the creation of the world. Sacred ideas of birds range from a creator role, to a symbol of life as well as relating to both death and rebirth. Birds are a common totem or believed spirit and relate to renewal, transformation, and ancestors as well. In this deity, spirit or ancestor role they may be seen as Bird People (people with the characteristics of birds) a common motif in myths. Also, birds are commonly associated with or relate to fertility, longevity, and life itself. ref


Many references to ravens exist in world lore and literature. Most depictions allude to the appearance and behavior of the wide-ranging common raven (Corvus corax). Because of its black plumage, croaking call, and diet of carrion, the raven is often associated with loss and ill omen. Yet, its symbolism is complex. As a talking bird, the raven also represents prophecy and insight. Ravens in stories often act as psychopomps, connecting the material world with the world of spirits. The Raven has appeared in the mythologies of many ancient peoples. Some of the more common stories are from those of Greek, Celtic, Norse, Pacific Northwest, and Roman mythology.” ref

In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo, the God of prophecy. They are said to be a symbol of bad luck, and were the gods’ messengers in the mortal world. According to the mythological narration, Apollo sent a white raven, or crow in some versions to spy on his lover, Coronis. When the raven brought back the news that Coronis had been unfaithful to him, Apollo scorched the raven in his fury, turning the animal’s feathers black. That’s why all ravens are black today. According to Livy, the Roman general Marcus Valerius Corvus (c. 370-270 BCE) had a raven settle on his helmet during a combat with a gigantic Gaul, which distracted the enemy’s attention by flying in his face.” ref

“The raven (Hebrew: עורב‎; Koine Greek: κόραξ) is the first species of bird to be mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, and ravens are mentioned on numerous occasions thereafter. In the Book of Genesis, Noah releases a raven from the ark after the great flood to test whether the waters have receded (Gen. 8:6-7). According to the Law of Moses, ravens are forbidden for food (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14), a fact that may have colored the perception of ravens in later sources. In the Book of Judges, one of the Kings of the Midianites defeated by Gideon is called “Orev” (עורב‎), which means “Raven”. In the Book of Kings 17:4-6, God commands the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah. King Solomon is described as having hair as black as a raven in the Song of Songs 5:11. Ravens are an example of God’s gracious provision for all His creatures in Psalm 147:9 and Job 38:41. (In the New Testament as well, ravens are used by Jesus as an illustration of God’s provision in Luke 12:24.)” ref

Philo of Alexandria (first century CE), who interpreted the Bible allegorically, stated that Noah’s raven was a symbol of vice, whereas the dove was a symbol of virtue (Questions and Answers on Genesis 2:38). In the Talmud, the raven is described as having been only one of three beings on Noah’s Ark that copulated during the flood and so was punished. The Rabbis believed that the male raven was forced to spit. According to the Icelandic Landnámabók—a story similar to Noah and the Ark — Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson used ravens to guide his ship from the Faroe Islands to Iceland. Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 25) explains that the reason the raven Noah released from the ark did not return to him was that the raven was feeding on the corpses of those who drowned in flood.” ref

The Raven is the chief deity of the Tlingit people of Alaska. All over that region it is the chief figure in a group of myths, fulfilling the office of a culture hero who brings the light, gives fire to mankind, and so on (Thomas 1911, p. 51). A raven story from the Puget Sound region describes the “Raven” as having originally lived in the land of spirits (literally bird land) that existed before the world of humans. One day the Raven became so bored with bird land that he flew away, carrying a stone in his beak. When the Raven became tired of carrying the stone and dropped it, the stone fell into the ocean and expanded until it formed the firmament on which humans now live. In the creator role, and in the Raven’s role as the totem and ancestor of one of the four northwest clan houses, the Raven is often addressed as Grandfather Raven. It is not clear whether this form of address is intended to refer to a creator Raven who is different from the trickster Raven, or if it is just a vain attempt to encourage the trickster spirit to act respectably.” ref


“Together with the eagle-hawk the crow plays a great part in the mythology of southeastern Australia (Thomas 1911, p. 51). Ravens also play a part in some European mythologies, such as in the Celtic and Germanic Religions, where they were connected to Bran and the Morrigan in the former and Woden in the latter. According to Florance Waterbury, hawk worship was universal (Waterbury 1952, p. 26). This particular bird was “a heavenly deity; its wings were the sky, the sun and moon were its eyes” (Waterbury 1952, p. 26).” ref

“North Borneo treated the hawk as a god, but it was technically the messenger of the people’s Supreme God (Waterbury 1952, p. 62). There were rituals that involved the hawk when the natives wished to make decisions about certain events, such as journeys from home, major agricultural work, and war (Waterbury 1952, p. 62). In North Borneo we seem to see the evolution of a god in the three stages of the cult of the hawk among the Kenyahs, the Kayans and the sea Dyaks. The Kenyahs will not kill it, address to it thanks for assistance, and formally consult it before leaving home on an expedition. It seems, however, to be regarded as the messenger of the supreme god Balli Penyalong. The Kayans have a hawk-god, Laki Neho, but seem to regard the hawk as the servant of the chief god, Laki Tenangan. Singalang Burong, the hawk-god of the Dyaks, is completely anthropomorphized. He is god of omens and ruler of the omen birds, but the hawk is not his messenger. For he never leaves his house. Stories are, however, told of his attending feasts in human form and flying away in hawk form when all was over (Thomas 1911, p. 52).” ref

“The hawk is commonly associated with the Egyptian god Horus. As a god of the sky, divine authority, war, victory, and civilization, Horus became the patron deity of the pharaohs. The souls of former pharaohs were said to be the followers of Horus and, therefore, the hawk (Waterbury 1952, p. 26). Horus was originally depicted by the Egyptians as a full hawk, but after the Fourth and Fifth Dynasty, depictions with a human body and a hawk head became more common. (Waterbury 1952, p. 27). Other Egyptian deities shown in the form of a hawk or hawk-headed man include Qebehsenuef, Sopdu, Ra (not always), and Sokar.” ref

“Egypt was not the only location of hawk worshippers. There were several other cultures that held the hawk in high regard. The hawk was a deity on the island of Hawaii and symbolized swift justice (Waterbury 1952, p. 62). Along with the lone island from the Hawaiian archipelago, the Fiji islands also had some tribes who worshipped a hawk god (Waterbury 1952, p. 62). Furthermore, although animal worshipping is not a part of Sikh culture, a white falcon bird is mostly regarded in Sikhism as it was associated with the sixth guru and especially the tenth guru. The tenth guru would always carry a white falcon perched on his hand when going out to hunt. The tenth guru was known as the Master of White Hawk. Many people believe that the bird carried by Guru Gobind Singh was a hawk; however, historians believe that the bird was a gyrfalcon or a saker falcon.” ref


“On Easter Island until the 1860s there was a Tangata manu (Bird man) cult which has left us Paintings and Petroglyphs of Birdmen (half men half frigatebirds). The cult involved an annual race to collect the first sooty tern egg of the season from the islet of Moto Iti and take it to Orongo. The Frigate Bird Cult is thought to have originated in the Solomon Islands before immigrating to Easter Island where it became obsolete (Balfour 1917, p. 374). The Frigate-Bird was a representation of the god Make-make, the god of the seabird’s egg on Easter Island (Balfour 1917, p. 374).” ref


“In Ancient Egypt, the ibis was considered sacred as it was viewed as a manifestation of Thoth, a god of the moon and wisdom. In art, Thoth was usually depicted as a man with the head of an ibis, or, more rarely as a baboon. Sacred ibises were kept and fed in temples in his honor, and mummified ibises were given to him as votive offerings. It is thought that the association of the ibis with Thoth may have originated from the curved shape of the bird’s beak, which resembles a crescent moon.” ref


“Another species of bird that was considered sacred in Ancient Egypt was the Egyptian vulture. At the city of Nekheb in Upper Egypt there was a temple dedicated to the goddess Nekhbet, who was depicted in art as a vulture, sometimes wearing a royal crown. Nekhbet was closely associated with the Egyptian royal family, and was considered a personal protector of the Egyptian king. She was often portrayed or invoked alongside a similar goddess named Wadjet, who was depicted as a cobra and had her main temple at Buto in Lower Egypt. Nekhbet and Wadjet thus often featured together on temple reliefs and stelae, representing in heraldic format the union between Upper and Lower Egypt. These two goddesses were considered so important that they could be referred to by the simple title “nebty” (“the two ladies”) without any confusion as to their identity. Out of the five names that made up the Ancient Egyptian royal titulary, one of them, the “nebty name,” was dedicated to the Two Ladies. This great honor of patronage over one of the king’s names was shared only with such major gods as Ra and Horus.” ref

“Egyptologists have theorized that the association of Nekhbet with the vulture may have originated from observations of a mother vulture’s behavior as it protects its chicks by “mantling” them with its wings, leading to its association with a protective and maternal goddess. In fact, the Egyptian word “mut” (“mother”) is spelt in hieroglyphs with a picture of a vulture. Due to the vulture’s maternal connotations and its early use in the iconography of Nekhbet, in later periods, a vulture headdress came to be worn by a large number of Egyptian goddesses, as well as by human queens. The goddess Mut, worshipped at Thebes, Egypt, alongside Amun and Khonsu, was written in hieroglyphs with a picture of a vulture, and would be indistinguishable from the common noun “mother” except for the fact that in the goddess’s name, the vulture bears a royal flail. Goddesses who wore the vulture headdress in later periods included Mut, Hathor, Isis, and Wadjet, although only Nekhbet appeared as a vulture in its entirety.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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 “Sky Burial” and its possible origins at least 12,000 years ago to likely 30,000 years ago or older.

“In archaeology and anthropology, the term excarnation (also known as defleshing) refers to the practice of removing the flesh and organs of the dead before burial, leaving only the bones. Excarnation may be precipitated through natural means, involving leaving a body exposed for animals to scavenge, or it may be purposefully undertaken by butchering the corpse by hand. Practices making use of natural processes for excarnation are the Tibetan sky burial, Comancheplatform burials, and traditional Zoroastrian funerals (see Tower of Silence).  Some Native American groups in the southeastern portion of North America practised deliberate excarnation in protohistoric times. Archaeologists believe that in this practice, people typically left the body exposed on a woven litter or altar.” ref

Ancient Headless Corpses Were Defleshed By Griffon Vultures

Sky burial ( Animal Worship mixed with Ancestor Worship) is a funeral practice where a human corpse is placed on a mountaintop, elevated ground, tree, or constructed perch to decompose while be eaten by scavenging animals, especially birds. This Animal Worship (or Zoolatry) rituals may go back to the  Neanderthals who seem to Sacralize birds starting around 130,000 years ago in Croatia with eagle talon jewelry and oldest confirmed burial. Or possible (Aurignacian) “Bird Worship” at  Hohle Fels cave, Germany, early totemism and small bird figurine at around 33,000 years old, which had been cited as evidence of shamanism.

As well as possible ‘Bird Worship’ (in the Pavlovian culture/Gravettian culture) part of Early Shamanism at Dolní Věstonice (Czech Republic) from around 31,000-25,000 years ago, which held the “first shaman burial.” The shamanistic Mal’ta–Buret’ culture of Siberia, dating to 24,000-15,000 years ago, who connect to the indigenous peoples of the Americas show Bird Worship. The Magdalenian cultures in western Europe, dating from around 17,000-12,000 years ago have a famous artistic mural with a bird that I think could relate to reincarnation and at least bird symbolism. Likewise, there is evidence of possible ‘Bird Worship’ at  Göbekli Tepe (Turkey), dated to around 13,000/11,600-9,370 Years ago with “first human-made temple” and at Çatalhöyük(Turkey), dated to around 9,500-7,700 Years ago with “first religious designed city” both with seeming ancestor, animal, and possible goddess worship.

Of Love and Loathing: The Role of the Vulture in Three Cultures (click link for more info)

On The Relationship between Birds and Spirits of the Dead (click link for more info)

Raptor and human – falconry and bird symbolism throughout the millennia on a global scale(click link for more info)

Ritualistic Bird Symbolism at Gobekli Tepe and its “Ancestor Cult” 

Bird People?

“Avian humanoids (people with the characteristics of birds) are a common motif in folklore and myth. Angels are associated with birds more than any other animal because angels that appear to humans in heavenly glory sometimes feature wings.”  ref, ref

“People have also extended the use of the term “angel” to various notions of spirits or figures found in other religious traditions. An angel is generally a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies. Abrahamic religions often depict angels as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God (or Heaven) and humanity. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out tasks on behalf of God. In fine art angels are usually depicted as having the shape of human beings and they are often identified In Christian artwork with bird wings, halos, and light. They are aluded to as “Manlike Beings”, see Genesis 18:2, Daniel 10:5.

List of Avian Type Humanoids:

Birds and Creation

“Myths from several regions associate birds with the creation of the world. One of several creation stories in ancient Egypt said that when land rose out of the primeval waters of chaos,the first deity to appear was a bird perching on that land. The Egyptians called the god the Benu bird and portrayed it as a long-legged, wading heron in the sun temple at Heliopolis. The Benu bird created the universe and then made gods and goddesses and men to live in that universe. A number of creation myths from Southeast Asia feature birds. On the great island of Borneo dwell the Iban people, who tell of Ara and Irik, two bird spirits floating above an expanse of water at the beginning of time. Seizing two eggs from the water, Ara made the sky from one egg, while Irik made the earth from the other. As Irik squeezed the earth into its proper size, mountains and rivers appeared on its surface. Then the two creator spirits shaped bits of earth into the first people and woke them to life with bird cries.” ref

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Similarities were Similarities discovered at Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe, as well as others.

With Gobecli Tepe starts to me the male clan leader cult that later turns into the warrior cult and later kings and all this in the new hierarchies that emerged with agriculture and the ability to hoard wealth. “slavery became widespread only with agriculture 11,000 years ago.” ref

“Damien, based on your amazing research & artistic presentation do you think Göbekli Tepe is unique, special, in any way with human development?” – Questioner

My response, I think it was involved in the rise of agricultural religion (I label it paganism), this was at the very beginning and thus was more shamanism (with heavy totemism) related but they added deities to me likely totemistic animals around 13,000/12,000 years ago.

Gobekli Tepe: First Temple, Early Paganism Themes, Sky Burial, Skull Cult, T-pillar Site Similarities, Obsidian Trade, Agriculture Revolution, and Megalith Cultures

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Possible Clan Leader/Special “MALE” Ancestor Totem Poles around 13,500/11,600 years ago?

Not only are there a set of arms and hands on a few of the “T” shaped pillars, mainly the center pillars, which, to me, may represent clan leader’s ancestors, but there I one pillar seeming to express what, to me, could be a totemistic story done on what looks sort of like a totem pole pillar from Layer II, dated to around 10,800-10,000 years ago, and it appears to involve a woman squatting, potentially giving birth. This could be related to a birth with what may be a child coming out with head and arms showing as well as snakes on either side pointing to the child. And of even more interest, one stone slab holds a crude carving a naked woman squatting with her legs spread and genitals open, possibly also referencing childbirth but it could be of a somewhat sexual nature and this expression of design seems to be somewhat new in the archaeology record.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Göbekli Tepe

“Investigating the function of Pre-Pottery Neolithic stone troughs from Göbekli Tepe – An integrated approach Abstract: An integrated approach using contextual, use-wear, scientific, and experimental methods was used to analyze the role of stone troughs of up to 165 l capacity at the Early Neolithic site Göbekli Tepe in the context of other stone containers found there. Around 600 (mostly fragmentary) vessels from the site constitute the largest known assemblage from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Near East. Besides the large limestone troughs, it encompasses middle-sized, coarsely made limestone vessels, finely executed platters, and ‘greenstone’ vessels. All lines of evidence taken together indicate the use of limestone troughs for the cooking of cereals.” ref

“Is there any evidence for any production activities in Göbekli Tepe (for instance agriculture, or beer-brewing as was mentioned by Dietrich et al.)? Traces of typical domestic activities are missing so far at Göbekli Tepe, as are any traces of Prehistoric agriculture or husbandry – any remains of plants and animals discovered as of yet hint at the respective wild forms only. However, numerous flint tools and flint flakes clearly hint at flint knapping on a grand scale taking place at and around Göbekli Tepe. The possible production of beer in the frame of large scale feasting is indeed a point worthy of discussion in the frame of these already mentioned large feasts – since preliminary chemical analysis hints at oxalate residues in large stone vessels at the site.” ref

Around 13,000 years ago the site functioned as a ritual or religious center with the early circles around 11,600 years ago and then 11,130–10,620 years ago is Layer III first building stage. A totemistic-shamanistic proto-paganism meeting place of ancestor worship and cultic feasting as well as drinking, with evidence of beer brewing almost 11,000 years ago. Next, around 10,280–9,970 is enclosure B, and at around 9,560–9,370 is enclosure C building stages. Some pillars are around 15 to 20 ft-foot-high and can weigh up to 20 tons, many with totem animals and anthropomorphic human-like fertility cult representations. ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Consequences of Agriculture in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Levant

“The ancient Near East was one of the earliest centers of agriculture in the world, giving rise to domesticated herd animals, cereals, and legumes that today have become primary agricultural staples worldwide. Although much attention has been paid to the origins of agriculture, identifying when, where, and how plants and animals were domesticated, equally important are the social and environmental consequences of agriculture. Shortly after the advent of domestication, agricultural economies quickly replaced hunting and gathering across Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Anatolia. The social and environmental context of this transition has profound implications for understanding the rise of social complexity and incipient urbanism in the Near East.” ref

“Economic transformation accompanied the expansion of agriculture throughout small-scale societies of the Near East. These farmsteads and villages, as well as mobile pastoral groups, formed the backbone of agricultural production, which enabled tradable surpluses necessary for more expansive, community-scale economic networks. The role of such economies in the development of social complexity remains debated, but they did play an essential role in the rise of urbanism. Cities depended on agricultural specialists, including farmers and herders, to feed urban populations and to enable craft and ritual specializations that became manifest in the first cities of southern Mesopotamia. The environmental implications of these agricultural systems in the Mesopotamian lowlands, especially soil salinization, were equally substantial. The environmental implications of Mesopotamian agriculture are distinct from those accompanying the spread of agriculture to the Levant and Anatolia, where deforestation, erosion, and loss of biodiversity can be identified as the hallmarks of agricultural expansion.” ref

“Agriculture is intimately connected with the rise of territorial empires across the Near East. Such empires often controlled agricultural production closely, for both economic and strategic ends, but the methods by which they encouraged the production of specific agricultural products and the adoption of particular agricultural strategies, especially irrigation, varied considerably between empires. By combining written records, archaeological data from surveys and excavation, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction, together with the study of plant and animal remains from archaeological sites occupied during multiple imperial periods, it is possible to reconstruct the environmental consequences of imperial agricultural systems across the Near East. Divergent environmental histories across space and time allow us to assess the sustainability of the agricultural policies of each empire and to consider how resulting environmental change contributed to the success or failure of those polities.” ref

On Scorpions, Birds, and Snakes—Evidence for Shamanism in Northern Mesopotamia during the Early Holocene

“Based on a systematic ethno-archaeological approach and comparison of figurative decorations in northern Mesopotamia, we suggest new interpretations of the figurative art of early Holocene sites in that region. Recently discovered decorated objects from different early Holocene sites hint at shamanistic practices and at close cultural-ideological ties in northern Mesopotamia from the upper Tigris to the middle Euphrates during the early Holocene. The data indicate a highly standardized symbolic repertoire. We argue that the monumental buildings at Göbekli Tepe and the emergence of standardized associations of motives indicate a society in a liminal state, with adherents still closely tied to their traditions; but some aspects of the applied mediality distinguish them from the highly flexible and situational ideologies of hunter-gatherers and point to the development of institutionalized religious authorities and dogma before farming.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Kortik Tepe

“McGovern (2009) presented preliminary results from chemical studies made on two stone vessels from the PPN necropolis at Körtik Tepe which yielded traces of tartaric acid that accrues during the wine production process. The consensus is that early grain crops would have been far better suited to the production of gruel or beer than bread, especially considering that the glumes of primitive domesticated plants would have adhered to the grain. Even though this idea (fermentation) was raised frequently in subsequent years, particularly in the context of the previously noted advantages (higher nutritional value) afforded by this process, it was considered improbable that beer was actually produced. Ever since the so-called Braidwood Symposium in 1953, there has been a debate as to whether beer – and not bread – was the first product made from domesticated crops. Based on the discovery of grain at the site of Qalat Jarmo, and at the suggestion of the archaeo-botanist Sauer, Braidwood inquired whether or not the discovery of fermentation could have been the spark that triggered the targeted selection, and ultimately domestication, of certain crops. Fermented grain, which sees its starch transformed into sugars, is well known for its beneficial properties, including an increase in nutritional value, also making it easier to digest.” ref

“Recently, further chemical analyses were conducted by M. Zarnkow (Technical University of Munich, Weihenstephan) on six large limestone vessels from Göbekli Tepe. These (barrel/trough-shaped) vessels, with capacities of up to 160 litres, were found in-situ in PPNB contexts at the site. Already during excavations, it was noted that some vessels carried grey-black adhesions. A first set of analyses made on these substances returned partly positive for calcium oxalate, which develops in the course of the soaking, mashing, and fermenting of grain. Although these intriguing results are only preliminary, they provide initial indications for the brewing of beer at Göbekli Tepe, thus provoking renewed discussions relating to the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages at this early time. Further, they are particularly significant in light of results from genetic analyses, undertaken by a team from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Oslo, which have suggested that the earliest domestication of grain occurred in the vicinity of the Karacadağ (Karaca Dağ is a shield volcano located in eastern Turkey). It was also known as Mount Masia i.e. very near to Göbekli Tepe. Once again, we must ask whether the production of alcohol and the domestication of grain are interrelated. Finally, the aforementioned insights also provoke new questions relating to the use and consumption of alcohol at Göbekli Tepe, which may have been in the context of religiously motivated feasts and celebrations. Not surprisingly, such events are well attested in the ethnographic literature as a means of attracting and motivating large groups of people to undertake communal work and projects.” ref

“Studying encoded ideas the site of Körtik Tepe may serve as a starting point. Körtik Tepe is one of the earliest permanent settlements in Southeastern Turkey. Possible local adaptations of the Körtik Tepe belly-shaped vessel type/decoration 1- Göbekli Tepe 2- Tell ‘Abr 3. Examples of possibly kept and reused chlorite sherds with decoration similar to the belly-shaped standardized vessel from Körtik Tepe: 1- Tell Qaramel; 2- Tell ‘Abr 3, both in northern Syria. Import or copy? Chlorite vessels from 1- Jerf el Ahmar and 2- Tell ‘Abr 3. A very similar item was found at Körtik Tepe.” ref

“Körtik Tepe is a low mound on the Tigris in Southeastern Turkey, rich lithic industries, hundreds of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic decorated stone vessels, undecorated stone vessels, decorated ritual bone objects, thousands of shell beads, and several kinds of stone beads, animal decorated stone plaques, bone tools & fishing hooks, perforated stones large and small in size, and many mortars and pestles.” ref

Living by the water – Boon, and Bane for the People of Körtik Tepe

“Despite a long and on-going discussion on the development of early sedentism and the broad spectrum revolution as a precondition for sedentary farming communities, many studies have been biased by focusing on the study of wild cereal remains. However, recent botanical and archaeozoological studies have shown clearly a wide spectrum of plants and small game that were used by hunter-gatherers opportunistically. Many ethnographic examples and pioneering studies on prehistoric coastal fishing and even trade of marine fishes into the hinterland during the early Holocene demonstrate the importance of fish for sedentary communities. Nevertheless, fish remains have rarely been studied systematically. A recent overview on data of Near Eastern Early Neolithic sites could list only a handful of Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic sites for which a systematic collection of fish bones had been practiced. The missing systematic collection of microfauna and fish remains sieving has hampered quantitative as well as qualitative analyses of fish remains and microfauna on many sites. Although a systematic collection of fish remains at Körtik Tepe only in future seasons, we argue that the archaeological materials and archaeozoological remains in the sediments and graves clearly illustrate that freshwater resources such as fish and waterfowl, besides other small game such as tortoise, played an important role for the fourishing of the Körtik Tepe community during the PPNA1 and contributed much to its richness and identity.” ref

The Site and Environmental Conditions

“The extraordinary findings and the lavishly endowed burials of the early Holocene site of Körtik Tepe (37°48’51.90” N, 40°59’02.02”E) have been presented recently in this journal and in many other publications. The site is located near the confluence of the Batman Creek and Tigris River. An old channel of the Batman Creek visible on the aerial photo passes directly by the site. Preliminary analyses of charcoal remains suggest that Körtik Tepe lay in the oak park-woodland at the beginnings of the Holocene, with the dominance of oak and some Amygdalus sp., Maloideae, Pistacia sp., Celtis sp. and Rhamnus sp. Furthermore, Tamarix sp., Populus sp. /Salix sp., Vitis sp., Alnus sp., and Fraxinus sp. hint at the proximity of gallery forests indicative of water. The seed remains underline the proximity to water reservoirs.3 They comprise a wide spectrum of wild plants including hygrophilous species such as sea club rush (Scirpus maritimus) (12 %). The abundance of taxa such as tragant (Astragalus sp.) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusea/crinitium), however, indicate the presence of open vegetation. Large-seeded grasses (Poaceae) contribute the main portion (37 %) and occur in every sample, whereas progenitors of modern cereals account for less than 6 %. A specialization on one or the other plant does not show up in the botanical remains, and domestication of plants could not been proven so far (Riehl et al. n.d.). The people of Körtik Tepe thus had access to at least three different environmental milieus, of which they used the plant and animal resources opportunistically.” ref

Excavations at Körtik Tepe. A New Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Site in Southeastern Anatolia

“With its location near the point where Batman Çayı and the Tigris River meet, approximately 30 km west of Batman in southeastern Anatolia, Körtik Tepe is situated on the west bank the Tigris near a Pınarbaşı field of the Ağıl Village (Ancolini) within the administrative borders of Bismil district, Diyarbakır. In the form of a low hill, the mound extends across an area of 100 x 150 m and a height 5.50 m above its surroundings. The mound, also known by its traditional names Kotuk or Kotik, was first detected in surveys carried out in 1989 and evaluated as a late site (Algaze and Rosenberg 1990). Archaeological excavations that began in 2000 continued until 2009. Excavations exposed an area of approximately 2600 m² in 89 trenches of 5.00 x 5.00 m, reaching variable depths between 1.00- 5.50 m (Fig. 2). Together with Hallan Çemi, Körtik Tepe is one of the earliest sites in which the transition from hunter-gatherer communities following a nomadic way of life to settled village life is represented.” ref

“The PPN cultural structure of the mound generally reflects important differences, especially in terms of small finds, from other well-known contemporary settlements in the region. All data indicate that Körtik Tepe is a permanent settlement. Excavations during 2005-2009 showed that there are at least six separate architectural layers. It is possible to gather Körtik Tepe structures in three main groups. The first group is composed of 77 round buildings. All houses are round in plan with dirt floors surrounded by single-leaf walls of unworked stones. Walls were badly damaged by the construction activity of the medieval phase occupations. Among these, there are many structures that are not walled at all. These structures, varying in size between 2.30-3.00 m, are constructed directly on the ground.” ref

“The floors of stones pressed into the compact earth. Based on a preliminary judgment, these round buildings from Körtik Tepe, whether with flat or concave floors, are single-family dwellings characteristic of the earliest Pre-Pottery Neolithic period and similar in nature to Hallan Çemi, Göbekli Tepe, Tell Abr, Jerf el-Ahmar, Sheikh Hassan, Mureybet, Qermez Dere and Nemrik. The second group is composed of 34 buildings that are too small for residences. The sizes of these buildings, which are found in almost all levels in the excavated areas and are also round in plan, vary between 1.10–2.10 m in diameter. Floors of this group are also paved with pebbles. These structures must have served as storage units similar to those at Hallan Çemi, confirmed by the dense vegetable remains in them.” ref

“The last group of structures in our sample (Y3, Y11, Y44, Y35) is completely different in terms of their sizes and floors as well as in their rare numbers. Data are not sufficient to explain the functions of these, but we suspect they may have played some special roles, similar in some ways to the public structures at Hallan Çemi. However, despite the architectural similarities with Hallan Çemi, Körtik Tepe stands apart in terms of its small finds. Although there are no direct similarities with Çayönü or Nevalı Çori, similar structures to the third group are found in other Neolithic settlements of Anatolia. In the Levant region there are comparable structures in such early settlements such as ‘Ain Mallaha, Jericho, and the lower layers of Beidha. Though they include specific differences in terms of features, structure types, finds, and some functions, it is not surprising that the rarity of these buildings are generally considered to be public structures. Therefore, the site of Körtik Tepe shows parallels not only with Anatolia but also with the Levant.” ref

“Burials Graves play an important role in terms of characterizing the social and cultural structure of Körtik Tepe. The majority of skeletons were buried with grave goods, and a large proportion of the burials on the mound were found beneath house floors (Figs. 4-5). The context of a few graves is uncertain as they are near the surface and badly disturbed. Burials inside houses show that the places where people were living were sanctified as well as profane. Instead of being buried haphazardly, rules of treating the dead included practices before burial as well as internment itself. One specific practice was the partial smearing of skeletons with gypsum plaster. For many of the plastered skeletons, including skulls, colored parallel bands occur in the upper parts of the bones. In two different samples red and black lines are parallel to each other. Such color traces are also seen on grave goods.” ref

“All these data show that the dead were defleshed, subsequently partly covered with plaster, and then pigmented. Similar practices in the later PPN period have been noted, but Körtik Tepe holds a special place in terms of the specific kinds of plastering treatment. Traditions of burying the dead and the accompanying grave goods help to demonstrate the sociocultural system of the era. It is possible to gain an understanding in such related features as production, technology, labor, and decoration of grave gifts, most of which were of worked stone. Jewelry was made of different stones; decorated and undecorated bone objects and stone figurines were numerous. Other grave goods include stone vessels, axes, pestles, mortars, perforated stones, and cutting-piercing tools (Figs. 6-9). Similarities to tools used in daily life indicate fundamental beliefs among the Körtik Tepe settlers, particularly the concept of a continuation of life after the death.” ref

Chipped and Ground Stone Artifacts Chipped stone artifacts from Körtik Tepe are chiefly composed of flint. 

“Obsidian tools and debitage are secondary. Furthermore, although rare numerically, quartz raw material was also used. Among tool groups Çayönü tools show up although in small quantities. Notably, although projectile points are numerous, no arrowheads of Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) or Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) types common to the classic Levant or Zagros traditions were found. Instead, tool types are more typical of the Epipaleolithic, characterized by microliths and arch-backed blades, generally similar to the inventory from Hallan Çemi. There is nothing among the tool types to contradict our interpretation that wild plant collecting was the principal means of acquiring plant foods. Some tools still reflect Paleolithic origins, with large scrapers being very important. It is observed that more formal tools were produced from obsidian, and these mostly consist of lunates and other geometric forms. The obsidian at Körtik Tepe was only obtainable from a great distance, whether through exchange or direct acquisition. As was the case for Hallan Çemi, the green transparent obsidian is likely East Anatolian in origin.” ref

“Most of the material from the mound consists of ground stone artifacts, and the majority of these came from burials; a small proportion came from domestic contexts. Except for a few examples that were preserved as complete objects, most finds included as grave goods were broken, including many stone vessels, utilitarian and ceremonial axes in different shapes and sizes, mortars, pestles, and grinding stones, all of which reflect the rich cultural collection in Körtik Tepe. Foremost among the types, stone vessels constitute a special group with their broad formal repertoire and their geometric and natural decoration. All parts of the stone vessels are covered by engraved animal figures, mostly snakes, wild goats, scorpions, birds, and mixed creatures that likely represent elements of their belief system. Despite their rarity throughout the region, it is clear that such stone vessels are seen in Pre-Pottery Neolithic period communities in Near East. One type of ground stone object brings relationships among Körtik Tepe and contemporary sites into sharp relief. This is the pestle produced for utilitarian and ceremonial use. Samples worked from coarse stone include abrasion traces as a result of use, and they generally display rough formal features. Ones that have shiny surfaces are made of more workable chlorite that is also used for stone vessels.” ref

“Most of the pestles of this type have upper ends finished with stylized wild bird and goat heads and are found as grave goods. Nearly identical pestles also came from Hallan Çemi and Çayönü in Anatolia and from Nemrik 9 in Iraq. Among the Körtik Tepe finds, stone axes comprise another important group. In addition to some with rough formal features, there are others that were shaped carefully. Axes differ in terms of size based on different stone types; however, they all share similar morphologies. Axes among the grave goods have holes carefully bored in the center. The majority of axes from non-burial contexts are abraded from rough usage. In addition to axes included as grave goods, there are also small, carefully fashioned mace heads with compressed circular forms. Chlorite stone figurines included as grave goods made by abrasion and incision are often of undefinable animals, although there is one that is clearly a goat.” ref

“Such figurines are not known from contemporary sites in the Near East, and they appear to be expressions of a local belief system. The concentric circles on the shoulders of the figures are also commonly found on decorated stone vessels among the grave goods, adding to the uniqueness of these objects. Another exotic piece that is of unknown use is a stone decorated with patterned incisions. Another type of shaped stone object from Körtik Tepe includes small-sized pointed cylinders that reflect close cultural ties with other early and late Pre-Pottery Neolithic period sites in Anatolia/Turkey. Shaped by means of abrasion, these chlorite objects have simple incised lines; one of them, with deep corrugations, has counterparts at Hallan Çemi and Demirköy. Bone Artifacts Bone artifacts make up another basic group at Körtik Tepe. The majority of them were found in burials, although a few were found in other contexts. Considering their formal features and decoration, it is possible to classify bone artifacts in two groups as either decorative or utilitarian. Utilitarian tools consist of awls, hooks, and points.” ref

“Most of them are fragmentary, but definable awls reflect morphological differences with Çayönü samples. Awls with their bigger size and stubby heads differ from points. Close equivalents of small-sized bone points that are used as pins are known from Çayönü. Once again, the bone material from Körtik Tepe shows similarities with bone finds from Hallan Çemi (Rosenberg 1999) and is related to the Zarzian tradition, connected to some degree with traditions known from other sites of the region in form and function. Personal Ornaments Different jewelry groups produced from different materials reveal the richness of the collection of grave goods from the mound. Beads are one group placed in burials as gifts next to skeletons or in stone vessels. Most of the beads were produced from burgundy-colored stone, which is easily worked. This kind of ornament is the largest group, but another includes vertebrae of animals such as birds, fish, and shell.” ref

“As in other kinds of grave goods, the quantity and quality of beads vary from burial to burial; some graves lack ornaments altogether. Although they are represented by only a few samples, some beads are made of chlorite, the same material the stone vessels are fashioned from. Ornaments were competently made involving decoration of parallel incised lines and carefully drilled holes. Although generally oval in shape, serpentine beads also occur in different forms, similar to those from Hallan Çemi. Although there are some specific differences, the jewelry from Körtik Tepe is similar to that from Çayönü as well. The disparity of grave good distributions suggests that those burials with large quantities of beads and other jewelry are of a different social class than those people buried in graves with none or only a few objects. This, in turn, indicates that social complexity had already appeared among the residents of Körtik Tepe by the PPNA period.” ref

“Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) denotes the first stage of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, in early Levantine and Anatolian Neolithic culture, dating to around 12,020 – 10,820 years ago, that is, 10,000–8,800 BCE. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and Upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent. The time period is characterized by tiny circular mud-brick dwellings, the cultivation of crops, the hunting of wild game, and unique burial customs in which bodies were buried below the floors of dwellings. The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) were originally defined by Kathleen Kenyon in the type site of Jericho (Palestine). During this time, pottery was not yet in use. They precede the ceramic Neolithic (Yarmukian). PPNA succeeds the Natufian culture of the Epipaleolithic (Mesolithic).” ref

Sedentism of this time allowed for the cultivation of local grains, such as barley and wild oats, and for storage in granaries. Sites such as Dhra′ and Jericho retained a hunting lifestyle until the PPNB period, but granaries allowed for year-round occupation. This period of cultivation is considered “pre-domestication“, but may have begun to develop plant species into the domesticated forms they are today. Deliberate, extended-period storage was made possible by the use of “suspended floors for air circulation and protection from rodents”. This practice “precedes the emergence of domestication and large-scale sedentary communities by at least 1,000 years”. Granaries are positioned in places between other buildings early on c. 11,500 BP, however, beginning around 10,500 BP, they were moved inside houses, and by 9,500 BP storage occurred in special rooms. This change might reflect changing systems of ownership and property as granaries shifted from a communal use and ownership to become under the control of households or individuals. It has been observed of these granaries that their “sophisticated storage systems with subfloor ventilation are a precocious development that precedes the emergence of almost all of the other elements of the Near Eastern Neolithic package—domestication, large scale sedentary communities, and the entrenchment of some degree of social differentiation”. Moreover, “[b]uilding granaries may […] have been the most important feature in increasing sedentism that required active community participation in new life-ways”.” ref

With more sites becoming known, archaeologists have defined a number of regional variants of Pre-Pottery Neolithic A:

  • Sultanian in the Jordan River valley and the southern Levant, with the type site of Jericho. Other sites include Netiv HaGdud, El-Khiam, Hatoula, and Nahal Oren.
  • Mureybetian in the Northern Levant, defined by the finds from Mureybet IIIA, IIIB, typical: Helwan points, sickle-blades with base amenagée or short stem and terminal retouch. Other sites include Sheyk Hasan and Jerf el-Ahmar.
  • (Aswadian) in the Damascus Basin, defined by finds from Tell Aswad IA; typical: bipolar cores, big sickle blades, Aswad points. The ‘Aswadian’ variant recently was abolished by the work of Danielle Stordeur in her initial report from further investigations in 2001–2006. The PPNB horizon was moved back at this site, to around 10,700 BP.
  • Sites in “Upper Mesopotamia” include Çayönü and Göbekli Tepe, with the latter possibly being the oldest ritual complex yet discovered.
  • Sites in central Anatolia that include the ‘mother city’ Çatalhöyük and the smaller, but older site, rivaling even Jericho in age, Aşıklı Höyük. ref

“Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) is part of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, a Neolithic culture centered in upper Mesopotamia and the Levant, dating to c. 10,800 – c. 8,500 years ago, that is, 8,800–6,500 BCE. It was typed by Kathleen Kenyon during her archaeological excavations at Jericho in the West Bank. Like the earlier PPNA people, the PPNB culture developed from the Mesolithic Natufian culture. However, it shows evidence of a northerly origin, possibly indicating an influx from the region of northeastern Anatolia. Cultural tendencies of this period differ from that of the earlier Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) period in that people living during this period began to depend more heavily upon domesticated animals to supplement their earlier mixed agrarian and hunter-gatherer diet.” ref

“In addition, the flint tool kit of the period is new and quite disparate from that of the earlier period. One of its major elements is the naviform core. This is the first period in which architectural styles of the southern Levant became primarily rectilinear; earlier typical dwellings were circular, elliptical, and occasionally even octagonal. Pyrotechnology, the expanding capability to control fire, was highly developed in this period. During this period, one of the main features of houses is a thick layer of white clay plaster flooring, highly polished and made of lime produced from limestone. It is believed that the use of clay plaster for floor and wall coverings during PPNB led to the discovery of pottery. The earliest proto-pottery was White Ware vessels, made from lime and gray ash, built up around baskets before firing, for several centuries around 7000 BCE at sites such as Tell Neba’a Faour (Beqaa Valley).” ref

“Sites from this period found in the Levant utilizing rectangular floor plans and plastered floor techniques were found at Ain Ghazal, Yiftahel (western Galilee), and Abu Hureyra (Upper Euphrates). The period is dated to between c. 10,700 and c. 8,000 BP or 7000–6000 BCE. Plastered human skulls were reconstructed human skulls that were made in the ancient Levant between 9000 and 6000 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period. They represent some of the oldest forms of art in the Middle East and demonstrate that the prehistoric population took great care in burying their ancestors below their homes. The skulls denote some of the earliest sculptural examples of portraiture in the history of art.” ref

The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey: Changing Medialities – Symbols of Neolithic Corporate Identities

“Sedentism not only challenged the economic system of hunter-gatherers, but above all the social and ideological framework of their lives. Larger groups, increasing social differentiation and the potential for accumulating material possessions may have led to a decrease in trust and an increase in alienation, fear, and of aggression. Both processes can be counteracted by adjusting ideological and ethical concepts. One option of a society adapting to such stress is to strengthen corporate identities by an increased demonstration and standardization of symbolic praxis, including (communal) architecture as symbols in space, rituals as symbols in action, and systems of recurring signs, with an implied shared symbolic meaning. This introduction to the ideological and intangible ideas of corporate identities surrounds discussing if and how we can track shifts in ideological frameworks from the Epipaleolithic to the Early Neolithic in the Near East. It is suggested that an integrative approach combining anthropological, archaeological, and neurobiological research with studies of mediality may be capable of reconstructing the social impact of symbolic systems. Instead of creating a uniform picture of a monolithic symbolic system, we focus on tensions and contradictions of symbolic actions and representations with daily praxis. The observed shift in mediality probably aimed at creating strong social networks with present and bygone generations to counteract tendencies in ever larger communities. However, the increased display of corporate identities seems to be a transitional phenomenon. When living in permanent settlements had become customary, monumental and ubiquitous symbolic representations almost vanished.” ref

Gobekli Tepe: “first human made temple” around 12,000 years ago.

Don’t get your facts from Ancient Aliens or other pseudo-science/pseudo-history/pseudo-archaeology shows and look for real facts or ask me or others who know the facts or what is likely to be facts in this area and not pseudo-scholarship.

Debunking Ancient Aliens and other Unsupported Pseudoscience Beliefs 

Gobekli is not alone; there are many megalith T pillars, nor is it a one-off as the uninformed Media seems to imply. And why most seem connected is in a way they are, but as I told you, it’s not something like aliens; it’s from a similar set of religious beliefs or behaviors. Both were inspired by Eastern Hunter gathering shamans, turning into early paganists to me. 

Modern Europeans descend from FOUR groups of hunter-gatherers: New strand of DNA discovered in the Caucasus is the ‘missing piece in the ancestry puzzle’ 

Europeans drawn from three ancient ‘tribes’ 

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG)  

DNA Offers Insights into European Hunter Gatherers  

“In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) is the name given to an ancestral component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture or a population closely related to them. The genetic component ANE descends from Ancient South Eurasian. The ANE lineage is defined by association with MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy“, the remains of an individual who lived during the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000 years ago, discovered in the 1920s. Populations genetically similar to MA-1 were an important genetic contributor to Central Asians, Native Americans, Europeans, South Asians, and a minor contributor to East Asians. Lazaridis et al. (2016:10) note “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” Flegontov et al. (2015) found that the global maximum of ANE ancestry occurs in modern-day Kets, Mansi, Native Americans, Nganasans, and Yukaghirs. Additionally it has been reported in ancient Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures. Between 14 and 38 percent of Native American ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal’ta Buret people, while the other geneflow in Native Americans appears to have an Eastern Eurasian origin. Sequencing of another south-central Siberian (Afontova Gora-2) dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures as Mal’ta boy-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum. Genomic studies also indicate that ANE was introduced to Europe by way of the Yamna culture, long after the Paleolithic. The ANE genetic component is visible in tests of the Yamnaya people, and seems to make up 50% of their ancestry indirectly. It is also reported in modern-day Europeans (5%–18% ANE admixture), but not of Europeans predating the Bronze Age.” ref 

“Eastern European Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) is a lineage derived predominantly from ANE. It is represented by two individuals from Karelia, one of Y-haplogroup R1a-M417, dated c. 8.4 kya, the other of Y-haplogroup J, date 7.2 kya, and one individual from Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297, dated 7.6 kya. This lineage is closely related to the ANE sample from Afontova Gora, dated c. 18 kya. After the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the WHG and EHG lineages merged in Eastern Europe, accounting for early presence of ANE-derived ancestry in Mesolithic Europe. Afontova Gora 3 female individual dated to 14.7 kya is earliest known individual with the derived allele of KITLG responsible for blond hair in modern Europeans, and is recorded in Mesolithic Eastern Europe as associated with the EHG lineage .” ref 

Genetic studies on Jewish DNA is not 6,000 years old but has origin links to about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago?

Archaeologist David Rohl claims to have found the site described in Genesis as “Eden” in a lush valley beneath an extinct volcano in northern Iran.

The current distribution of sites with T-shaped pillars: 

Göbekli Tepe video representation by animation

THE TEPE TELEGRAMS: “The characteristic element of Göbekli Tepe´s architecture are the T-shaped pillars. In the older Layer III (10th Millenium BCE), the monolithic pillars weigh tons and reach heights between 4 m (pillars in the stone circles) and 5.5 m (central pillars). The T-shape of the pillars is clearly an abstract depiction of the human body seen from the side. Evidence for this interpretation are the low relief depictions of arms, hands, and items of clothing like belts and loincloths on some of the pillars. Often the pillars bear further reliefs, mostly depictions of animals, but also of numerous abstract symbols. Layer III is supraposed by layer II, dating to the 9th Millenium BCE. This layer is not characterized by big round enclosures, but by smaller, rectangular buildings. The number and the height of the pillars are also reduced. In most cases, only the two central pillars remain, the biggest measuring around 1,5 m. The many T-shaped pillars are all part of the ending of eastern hunter gather shamanism and the emergence of early Turkish paganism. The large pillars are so far only known from Göbekli Tepe. This may change over time, however, as they’re now are several sites that show smaller pillars, resembling those of Göbekli Tepe´s younger layer. T-shaped pillars resembling the smaller examples from Göbekli Tepe’s Layer II were first recorded at the settlement site of Nevalı Çori.” ref

“Several more sites in the near vicinity of Göbekli – Sefer Tepe, Karahan, and Hamzan Tepe – are known to have similar pillars, but no excavation work has been carried out so far. With the Neolithic site of Urfa-Yeni Yol, which seems to have revealed a small T-shaped pillar in the course of construction work in that area, with Taşlı Tepe, and with Gusir Höyük three more related sites were added to this list recently. A further addition to the sites with T-shapes is the so-called Kilisik statue, which closely resembles the general pillar form but has more naturalistic features. While most sites concentrate in a rather small radius around Göbekli Tepe, Gusir Höyük in the Turkish Tigris region has considerably widened the distribution area of circular enclosures; however, the pillars discovered there are slightly differently shaped – they seem to be missing the bar of the T. Similar stelae have been discovered in Cayönü and Qermez Dere. As only Gusir Höyük has been excavated, nobody can tell at the moment what the other sites might hide.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city” around 9,500 to 7,700 years ago (Turkey)

This is also similar to spread legged seeming or possible goddess motifs which are a part of the extensive religious art in the 9,500-to-7,700-year-old site of Catal Huyuk, the “first religious created city”, which also is also located in Turkey. Likewise, the other stone art on the T-shaped stones may be stylized with what, to me, are or could be animal spirits, with the seemingly most symbolically used animal being snakes, which are 28% of the engravings. Possibly indicating it held more significance than other animals.

Ancient North Eurasian (ANE)

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American (AB/ANA)

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG)

Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG)

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) 

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG)

Early European Farmers (EEF)

Jōmon people (Ainu people OF Hokkaido Island) 

Neolithic Iranian farmers (Iran_N) (Iran Neolithic)

Amur Culture (Amur watershed)

Haplogroup R possible time of origin about 27,000 years in Central Asia, South Asia, or Siberia:

“Haplogroup R”

Paleolithic mammoth hunters


“Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years before present). This haplogroup has been identified in the 24,000 year-old remains of the so-called “Mal’ta boy” from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia (Raghavan et al. 2013). This individual belonged to a tribe of mammoth hunters that may have roamed across Siberia and parts of Europe during the Paleolithic. Autosomally this Paleolithic population appears to have passed on its genes mostly to the modern populations of Europea and South Asia, the two regions where haplogroup R also happens to be the most common nowadays (R1b in Western Europe, R1a in Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and R2 in South Asia).” ref

“The series of mutations that made haplogroup R1* evolve into R1a probably took place during or soon after the Last Glacial Maxium. Little is know for certain about R1a’s place of origin. Some think it might have originated in the Balkans or around Pakistan and Northwest India, due to the greater genetic diversity found in these regions. The diversity can be explained by other factors though. The Balkans have been subject to 5000 years of migrations from the Eurasian Steppes, each bringing new varieties of R1a. South Asia has had a much bigger population than any other parts of the world (occasionally equalled by China) for at least 10,000 years, and larger population bring about more genetic diversity. The most likely place of origin of R1a is Central Asia or southern Russia/Siberia.” ref

“From there, R1a could have migrated directly to eastern Europe (European Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), or first southward through Central Asia and Iran. In that latter scenario, R1a would have crossed the Caucasus during the Neolithic, alongside R1b, to colonise the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. In the absence of ancient Y-DNA from those regions the best evidence supporting a Late Paleolithic migration to Iran is the presence of very old subclades of R1a (like M420) in the region, notably in the Zagros mountains. However these samples only make up a fraction of all R1a in the region and could just as well represent the descendants of Eastern European hunter-gatherers who branched off from other R1a tribes and crossed from the North Caucasus any time between 20,000 and 8,000 years ago. The logic behind this is that most known historical migrations in Eurasia took place from north to south, as people sought warmer climes. The only exception happened during the Holocene warming up of the climate, which corresponds to the Neolithic colonisation of Europe from the Near East. A third possibility is that R1a tribes split in two around Kazakhstan during the Late Paleolithic, with one group moving to eastern Europe, while the other moved south to Iran.” ref

“Some people have theorized that R1a was one of the lineages of the Neolithic farmers, and would have entered Europe through Anatolia, then spread across the Balkans toward Central Europe, then only to Eastern Europe. There are many issues with this scenario. The first is that 99% of modern R1a descends from the branch R1a-M417, which clearly expanded from the Bronze Age onwards, not from the early Neolithic. Its phylogeny also points at an Eastern European origin. Secondly, most of the R1a in Middle East are deep subclades of the R1a-Z93 branch, which originated in Russia (see below). It could not have been ancestral to Balkanic or Central European R1a. Thirdly, there is a very strong correlation between the Northeast European autosomal admixture and R1a populations, and this component is missing from the genome of all European Neolithic farmers tested to date – even from Ötzi, who was a Chalcolithic farmer. This admixture is also missing from modern Sardinians, who are mostly descended from Neolithic farmers. This is incontrovertible evidence that R1a did not come to Europe with Neolithic farmers, but only propagated from Eastern Europe to the rest of Europe from the Bronze Age onwards.” ref

“The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age. The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa. The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia, or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.” ref

Neolithic cattle herders

“It has been hypothesized that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighboring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs. With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals. The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars, and goats led to their progressive taming. Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G, and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.” ref

“The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains. The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words, the “original homeland” of R1b.” ref

“The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. One branch (M335) remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity, today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment. A second branch migrated south to the Levant, where it became the V88 branch. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel. The third branch (P297), crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga. It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In any case, M73 would be a pre-Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.” ref

“R1b-M269 (the most common form in Europe) is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times, from the Atlantic coast of Europe to the Indian subcontinent, which comprised almost all Europe (except Finland, Sardinia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Anatolia, Armenia, European Russia, southern Siberia, many pockets around Central Asia (notably in Xinjiang, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan), without forgetting Iran, Pakistan, northern India, and Nepal. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.” ref

Levantine & African branch of R1b (V88)

“Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia. Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE). R1b-V88 migrated south towards the Levant and Egypt. The migration of R1b people can be followed archeologically through the presence of domesticated cattle, which appear in central Syria around 8,000-7,500 BCE (late Mureybet period), then in the Southern Levant and Egypt around 7,000-6,500 BCE (e.g. at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba). Cattle herders subsequently spread across most of northern and eastern Africa. The Sahara desert would have been more humid during the Neolithic Subpluvial period (c. 7250-3250 BCE), and would have been a vast savannah full of grass, an ideal environment for cattle herding.” ref

“Evidence of cow herding during the Neolithic has shown up at Uan Muhuggiag in central Libya around 5500 BCE, at the Capeletti Cave in northern Algeria around 4500 BCE. But the most compelling evidence that R1b people related to modern Europeans once roamed the Sahara is to be found at Tassili n’Ajjer in southern Algeria, a site famous pyroglyphs (rock art) dating from the Neolithic era. Some painting dating from around 3000 BCE depict fair-skinned and blond or auburn haired women riding on cows. The oldest known R1b-V88 sample in Europe is a 6,200 year-old farmer/herder from Catalonia tested by Haak et al. (2015). Autosomally this individual was a typical Near Eastern farmer, possessing just a little bit of Mesolithic West European admixture.” ref

“After reaching the Maghreb, R1b-V88 cattle herders could have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, probably accompanied by G2 farmers, J1 and T1a goat herders. These North African Neolithic farmers/herders could have been the ones who established the Almagra Pottery culture in Andalusia in the 6th millennium BCE. The maternal lineages associated with the spread of R1b-V88 in Africa are mtDNA haplogroups J1b, U5, and V, and perhaps also U3 and some H subclades (=> see Retracing the mtDNA haplogroups of the original R1b people).” ref

“Nowadays, small percentages (1 to 4%) of R1b-V88 are found in the Levant, among the Lebanese, the Druze, and the Jews, and almost in every country in Africa north of the equator. Higher frequency in Egypt (5%), among Berbers from the Egypt-Libya border (23%), among the Sudanese Copts (15%), the Hausa people of Sudan (40%), the Fulani people of the Sahel (54% in Niger and Cameroon), and Chadic tribes of northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon (especially among the Kirdi), where it is observed at a frequency ranging from 30% to 95% of men. According to Cruciani et al. (2010) R1b-V88 would have crossed the Sahara between 9,200 and 5,600 years ago, and is most probably associated with the diffusion of Chadic languages, a branch of the Afroasiatic languages. V88 would have migrated from Egypt to Sudan, then expanded along the Sahel until northern Cameroon and Nigeria. However, R1b-V88 is not only present among Chadic speakers, but also among Senegambian speakers (Fula-Hausa) and Semitic speakers (Berbers, Arabs).” ref

“R1b-V88 is found among the native populations of Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau. The wide distribution of V88 in all parts of Africa, its incidence among herding tribes, and the coalescence age of the haplogroup all support a Neolithic dispersal. In any case, a later migration out of Egypt would be improbable since it would have brought haplogroups that came to Egypt during the Bronze Age, such as J1, J2, R1a, or R1b-L23.” ref

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy”, remains of 24,000 years ago in central Siberia Mal’ta-Buret’ culture 24,000-15,000 years ago. The Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) samples (Afontova Gora 3, Mal’ta 1, and Yana-RHS) show evidence for minor gene flow from an East Asian-related group (simplified by the Amis, Han, or Tianyuan) but no evidence for ANE-related geneflow into East Asians (Amis, Han, Tianyuan), except the Ainu, of North Japan.” ref 

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy”, remains of 24,000 years ago in central Siberia Mal’ta-Buret’ culture 24,000-15,000 years ago “basal to modern-day Europeans”. Some Ancient North Eurasians also carried East Asian populations, such as Tianyuan Man.” ref

“Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were ANE at around 50% and Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) at around 75% ANE. Karelia culture: Y-DNA R1a-M417 8,400 years ago, Y-DNA J, 7,200 years ago, and Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297 7,600 years ago is closely related to ANE from Afontova Gora, 18,000 years ago around the time of blond hair first seen there.” ref 

Ancient North Eurasian

“In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient North Eurasian (often abbreviated as ANE) is the name given to an ancestral West Eurasian component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture and populations closely related to them, such as from Afontova Gora and the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site. Significant ANE ancestry are found in some modern populations, including Europeans and Native Americans.” ref 

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy“, the remains of an individual who lived during the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000 years ago in central Siberia, Ancient North Eurasians are described as a lineage “which is deeply related to Paleolithic/Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe,” meaning that they diverged from Paleolithic Europeans a long time ago.” ref

“The ANE population has also been described as having been “basal to modern-day Europeans” but not especially related to East Asians, and is suggested to have perhaps originated in Europe or Western Asia or the Eurasian Steppe of Central Asia. However, some samples associated with Ancient North Eurasians also carried ancestry from an ancient East Asian population, such as Tianyuan Man. Sikora et al. (2019) found that the Yana RHS sample (31,600 BP) in Northern Siberia “can be modeled as early West Eurasian with an approximately 22% contribution from early East Asians.” ref

“Populations genetically similar to MA-1 were an important genetic contributor to Native Americans, Europeans, Central Asians, South Asians, and some East Asian groups, in order of significance. Lazaridis et al. (2016:10) note “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” The ancient Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were found to have a noteworthy ANE component at ~50%.” ref

“According to Moreno-Mayar et al. 2018 between 14% and 38% of Native American ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal’ta–Buret’ people (ANE). This difference is caused by the penetration of posterior Siberian migrations into the Americas, with the lowest percentages of ANE ancestry found in Eskimos and Alaskan Natives, as these groups are the result of migrations into the Americas roughly 5,000 years ago.” ref 

“Estimates for ANE ancestry among first wave Native Americans show higher percentages, such as 42% for those belonging to the Andean region in South America. The other gene flow in Native Americans (the remainder of their ancestry) was of East Asian origin. Gene sequencing of another south-central Siberian people (Afontova Gora-2) dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures to that of Mal’ta boy-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.” ref

“The earliest known individual with a genetic mutation associated with blonde hair in modern Europeans is an Ancient North Eurasian female dating to around 16000 BCE from the Afontova Gora 3 site in Siberia. It has been suggested that their mythology may have included a narrative, found in both Indo-European and some Native American fables, in which a dog guards the path to the afterlife.” ref

“Genomic studies also indicate that the ANE component was introduced to Western Europe by people related to the Yamnaya culture, long after the Paleolithic. It is reported in modern-day Europeans (7%–25%), but not of Europeans before the Bronze Age. Additional ANE ancestry is found in European populations through paleolithic interactions with Eastern Hunter-Gatherers, which resulted in populations such as Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers.” ref

“The Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) split from the ancestors of European peoples somewhere in the Middle East or South-central Asia, and used a northern dispersal route through Central Asia into Northern Asia and Siberia. Genetic analyses show that all ANE samples (Afontova Gora 3, Mal’ta 1, and Yana-RHS) show evidence for minor gene flow from an East Asian-related group (simplified by the Amis, Han, or Tianyuan). In contrast, no evidence for ANE-related geneflow into East Asians (Amis, Han, Tianyuan), except the Ainu, was found.” ref

“Genetic data suggests that the ANE formed during the Terminal Upper-Paleolithic (36+-1,5ka) period from a deeply European-related population, which was once widespread in Northern Eurasia, and from an early East Asian-related group, which migrated northwards into Central Asia and Siberia, merging with this deeply European-related population. These population dynamics and constant northwards geneflow of East Asian-related ancestry would later gave rise to the “Ancestral Native Americans” and Paleosiberians, which replaced the ANE as dominant population of Siberia.” ref

Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) is a lineage derived predominantly (75%) from ANE. It is represented by two individuals from Karelia, one of Y-haplogroup R1a-M417, dated c. 8.4 kya, the other of Y-haplogroup J, dated c. 7.2 kya; and one individual from Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297, dated c. 7.6 kya. This lineage is closely related to the ANE sample from Afontova Gora, dated c. 18 kya. After the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and EHG lineages merged in Eastern Europe, accounting for early presence of ANE-derived ancestry in Mesolithic Europe. Evidence suggests that as Ancient North Eurasians migrated West from Eastern Siberia, they absorbed Western Hunter-Gatherers and other West Eurasian populations as well.” ref

Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) is represented by the Satsurblia individual dated ~13 kya (from the Satsurblia cave in Georgia), and carried 36% ANE-derived admixture. While the rest of their ancestry is derived from the Dzudzuana cave individual dated ~26 kya, which lacked ANE-admixture, Dzudzuana affinity in the Caucasus decreased with the arrival of ANE at ~13 kya Satsurblia.” ref

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG) is represented by several individuals buried at Motala, Sweden ca. 6000 BC. They were descended from Western Hunter-Gatherers who initially settled Scandinavia from the south, and later populations of EHG who entered Scandinavia from the north through the coast of Norway.” ref

“Iran Neolithic (Iran_N) individuals dated ~8.5 kya carried 50% ANE-derived admixture and 50% Dzudzuana-related admixture, marking them as different from other Near-Eastern and Anatolian Neolithics who didn’t have ANE admixture. Iran Neolithics were later replaced by Iran Chalcolithics, who were a mixture of Iran Neolithic and Near Eastern Levant Neolithic.” ref

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago. The AB lineage diverged from the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage about 20,000 years ago.” ref

“West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (WSHG) are a specific archaeogenetic lineage, first reported in a genetic study published in Science in September 2019. WSGs were found to be of about 30% EHG ancestry, 50% ANE ancestry, and 20% to 38% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) is the name given to a distinct ancestral component that represents descent closely related to the Yamnaya culture of the Pontic–Caspian steppe. This ancestry is often referred to as Yamnaya ancestry or Steppe ancestry.” ref

“Late Upper Paeolithic Lake Baikal – Ust’Kyakhta-3 (UKY) 14,050-13,770 BP were mixture of 30% ANE ancestry and 70% East Asian ancestry.” ref

“Lake Baikal Holocene – Baikal Eneolithic (Baikal_EN) and Baikal Early Bronze Age (Baikal_EBA) derived 6.4% to 20.1% ancestry from ANE, while rest of their ancestry was derived from East Asians. Fofonovo_EN near by Lake Baikal were mixture of 12-17% ANE ancestry and 83-87% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Hokkaido Jōmon people specifically refers to the Jōmon period population of Hokkaido in northernmost Japan. Though the Jōmon people themselves descended mainly from East Asian lineages, one study found an affinity between Hokkaido Jōmon with the Northern Eurasian Yana sample (an ANE-related group, related to Mal’ta), and suggest as an explanation the possibility of minor Yana gene flow into the Hokkaido Jōmon population (as well as other possibilities). A more recent study by Cooke et al. 2021, confirmed ANE-related geneflow among the Jōmon people, partially ancestral to the Ainu people. ANE ancestry among Jōmon people is estimated at 21%, however, there is a North to South cline within the Japanese archipelago, with the highest amount of ANE ancestry in Hokkaido and Tohoku.” ref

Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

Mycenaeans (Mycenaean Greece or the Mycenaean civilization: was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece) differed from Minoans (Minoan civilization: was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete) in deriving additional ancestry from an ultimate source related to the hunter-gatherers of eastern Europe and Siberia, introduced via a proximal source related to either the inhabitants of either the Eurasian steppe or Armenia. Modern Greeks resemble the Mycenaeans, but with some additional dilution of the early Neolithic ancestry. Our results support the idea of continuity but not isolation in the history of populations of the Aegean, before and after the time of its earliest civilizations.”

ref, ref, ref

“Lighter skin and blond hair evolved in the Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) population. The SLC24A5 gene’s derived threonine or Ala111Thr allele (rs1426654) has been shown to be a major factor in the light skin tone of Europeans. Possibly originating as long as 19,000 years ago, it has been the subject of selection in the ancestors of Europeans as recently as within the last 5,000 years, and is fixed in modern European populations.” refref

I don’t see it as white skin being more evolved than those with dark skin, as bigots could see it, but rather it is just one of many factors that happen when the evolutionary pressures on a region like Siberia have on evolutionary changes that would not have happened if not for the different climate pressures the far north have that is not experienced in lower latitudes.

“Light skin is a human skin color that has a base level of eumelanin pigmentation that has adapted to environments of low UV radiation. Light skin is most commonly found amongst the native populations of Europe and East Asia as measured through skin reflectance. People with light skin pigmentation are often referred to as “white or “fair”, although these usages can be ambiguous in some countries where they are used to refer specifically to certain ethnic groups or populations. As populations migrated away from the tropics into areas of low UV radiation, they developed light skin pigmentation as an evolutionary selection acting against vitamin D depletion.” ref 

“Humans with light skin pigmentation have skin with low amounts of eumelanin, and possess fewer melanosomes than humans with dark skin pigmentation. Light skin provides better absorption qualities of ultraviolet radiation. This helps the body to synthesize higher amounts of vitamin D for bodily processes such as calcium development. Light-skinned people who live near the equator with high sunlight are at an increased risk of folate depletion. As a consequence of folate depletion, they are at a higher risk of DNA damage, birth defects, and numerous types of cancers, especially skin cancer. Humans with darker skin who live further from the tropics have low vitamin D levels, which also can lead to health complications.” ref 

“The distribution of light-skinned populations is highly correlated with the low ultraviolet radiation levels of the regions inhabited by them. Historically, light-skinned populations almost exclusively lived far from the equator, in high latitude areas with low sunlight intensity. Due to colonization, imperialism, and increased mobility of people between geographical regions in recent centuries, light-skinned populations today are found all over the world.” ref 

“In the 1960s, biochemist W. Farnsworth Loomis suggested that skin colour is related to the body’s need for vitamin D. The major positive effect of UV radiation in land-living vertebrates is the ability to synthesize vitamin D3 from it. A certain amount of vitamin D helps the body to absorb more calcium which is essential for building and maintaining bones, especially for developing embryos. Vitamin D production depends on exposure to sunlight. Humans living at latitudes far from the equator developed light skin in order to help absorb more vitamin D. People with light (type II) skin can produce previtamin D3 in their skin at rates 5–10 times faster than dark-skinned (type V) people.” ref 

“In 1998, anthropologist Nina Jablonski and her husband George Chaplin collected spectrometer data to measure UV radiation levels around the world and compared it to published information on the skin color of indigenous populations of more than 50 countries. The results showed a very high correlation between UV radiation and skin color; the weaker the sunlight was in a geographic region, the lighter the indigenous people’s skin tended to be. Jablonski points out that people living above the latitudes of 50 degrees have the highest chance of developing vitamin D deficiency. She suggests that people living far from the equator developed light skin to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D during winter with low levels of UV radiation. Genetic studies suggest that light-skinned humans have been selected for multiple times.” ref 

Polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere receive little UV radiation, and even less vitamin D-producing UVB, for most of the year. These regions were uninhabited by humans until about 12,000 years ago. (In northern Fennoscandia at least, human populations arrived soon after deglaciation.) Areas like Scandinavia and Siberia have very low concentrations of ultraviolet radiation, and indigenous populations are all light-skinned.” ref 

However, dietary factors may allow vitamin D sufficiency even in dark-skinned populations. Many indigenous populations across Eurasia survive by consuming reindeer, which they follow and herd. Reindeer meat, organs, and fat contain large amounts of vitamin D which the reindeer get from eating substantial amounts of lichen. Some people of the polar regions, like the Inuit (Eskimos), retained their dark skin; they ate Vitamin D-rich seafood, such as fish and sea mammal blubber.” ref 

Furthermore, these people have been living in the far north for less than 7,000 years. As their founding populations lacked alleles for light skin color, they may have had insufficient time for significantly lower melanin production to have been selected for by nature. “This was one of the last barriers in the history of human settlement,” Jablonski states. “Only after humans learned fishing, and therefore had access to food rich in vitamin D, could they settle regions of high latitude.” Additionally, in the spring, Inuit would receive high levels of UV radiation as a reflection from the snow, and their relatively darker skin then protects them from the sunlight.” ref 

Variations in the KITL gene have been positively associated with about 20% of melanin concentration differences between African and non-African populations. One of the alleles of the gene has an 80% occurrence rate in Eurasian populations. The ASIP gene has a 75–80% variation rate among Eurasian populations compared to 20–25% in African populations. Variations in the SLC24A5 gene account for 20–25% of the variation between dark and light-skinned populations of Africa, and appear to have arisen as recently as within the last 10,000 years. The Ala111Thr or rs1426654 polymorphism in the coding region of the SLC24A5 gene reaches fixation in Europe, but is found across the globe, particularly among populations in Northern Africa, the Horn of AfricaWest AsiaCentral Asia, and South Asia.” ref 


“Migration from Siberia behind the formation of Göbeklitepe: Expert states. People who migrated from Siberia formed the Göbeklitepe, and those in Göbeklitepe migrated in five other ways to spread to the world, said experts about the 12,000-year-old Neolithic archaeological site in the southwestern province of Şanlıurfa.“ The upper paleolithic migrations between Siberia and the Near East is a process that has been confirmed by material culture documents,” he said.” ref

“Semih Güneri, a retired professor from Caucasia and Central Asia Archaeology Research Center of Dokuz Eylül University, and his colleague, Professor Ekaterine Lipnina, presented the Siberia-Göbeklitepe hypothesis they have developed in recent years at the congress held in Istanbul between June 11 and 13. There was a migration that started from Siberia 30,000 years ago and spread to all of Asia and then to Eastern and Northern Europe, Güneri said at the international congress.” ref

“The relationship of Göbeklitepe high culture with the carriers of Siberian microblade stone tool technology is no longer a secret,” he said while emphasizing that the most important branch of the migrations extended to the Near East. “The results of the genetic analyzes of Iraq’s Zagros region confirm the traces of the Siberian/North Asian indigenous people, who arrived at Zagros via the Central Asian mountainous corridor and met with the Göbeklitepe culture via Northern Iraq,” he added.” ref

“Emphasizing that the stone tool technology was transported approximately 7,000 kilometers from east to west, he said, “It is not clear whether this technology is transmitted directly to long distances by people speaking the Turkish language at the earliest, or it travels this long-distance through using way stations.” According to the archaeological documents, it is known that the Siberian people had reached the Zagros region, he said. “There seems to be a relationship between Siberian hunter-gatherers and native Zagros hunter-gatherers,” Güneri said, adding that the results of genetic studies show that Siberian people reached as far as the Zagros.” ref

“There were three waves of migration of Turkish tribes from the Southern Siberia to Europe,” said Osman Karatay, a professor from Ege University. He added that most of the groups in the third wave, which took place between 2600-2400 BCE, assimilated and entered the Germanic tribes and that there was a genetic kinship between their tribes and the Turks. The professor also pointed out that there are indications that there is a technology and tool transfer from Siberia to the Göbeklitepe region and that it is not known whether people came, and if any, whether they were Turkish.” ref

“Around 12,000 years ago, there would be no ‘Turks’ as we know it today. However, there may have been tribes that we could call our ‘common ancestors,’” he added. “Talking about 30,000 years ago, it is impossible to identify and classify nations in today’s terms,” said Murat Öztürk, associate professor from İnönü University. He also said that it is not possible to determine who came to where during the migrations that were accepted to have been made thousands of years ago from Siberia. On the other hand, Mehmet Özdoğan, an academic from Istanbul University, has an idea of where “the people of Göbeklitepe migrated to.” ref

“According to Özdoğan, “the people of Göbeklitepe turned into farmers, and they could not stand the pressure of the overwhelming clergy and started to migrate to five ways.” “Migrations take place primarily in groups. One of the five routes extends to the Caucasus, another from Iran to Central Asia, the Mediterranean coast to Spain, Thrace and [the northwestern province of] Kırklareli to Europe and England, and one route is to Istanbul via [Istanbul’s neighboring province of] Sakarya and stops,” Özdoğan said. In a very short time after the migration of farmers in Göbeklitepe, 300 settlements were established only around northern Greece, Bulgaria, and Thrace. “Those who remained in Göbeklitepe pulled the trigger of Mesopotamian civilization in the following periods, and those who migrated to Mesopotamia started irrigated agriculture before the Sumerians,” he said.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref


Kurgan Hypothesis

“The Kurgan hypothesis (also known as the Kurgan theory or Kurgan model) or Steppe theory is the most widely accepted proposal to identify the Proto-Indo-European homeland from which the Indo-European languages spread out throughout Europe and parts of Asia. It postulates that the people of a Kurgan culture in the Pontic steppe north of the Black Sea were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). The term is derived from the Russian kurgan (курга́н), meaning tumulus or burial mound. The Steppe theory was first formulated by Otto Schrader (1883) and V. Gordon Childe (1926), then systematized in the 1950s by Marija Gimbutas, who used the term to group various prehistoric cultures, including the Yamnaya (or Pit Grave) culture and its predecessors. In the 2000s, David Anthony instead used the core Yamnaya culture and its relationship with other cultures as a point of reference.” ref

“Gimbutas defined the Kurgan culture as composed of four successive periods, with the earliest (Kurgan I) including the Samara and Seroglazovo cultures of the DnieperVolga region in the Copper Age (early 4th millennium BCE). The people of these cultures were nomadic pastoralists, who, according to the model, by the early 3rd millennium BCE had expanded throughout the Pontic–Caspian steppe and into Eastern Europe. Recent genetics studies have demonstrated that populations bearing specific Y-DNA haplogroups and a distinct genetic signature expanded into Europe and South Asia from the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the third and second millennia BCE. These migrations provide a plausible explanation for the spread of at least some of the Indo-European languages, and suggest that the alternative Anatolian hypothesis, which places the Proto-Indo-European homeland in Neolithic Anatolia, is less likely to be correct.” ref

“Cultures that Gimbutas considered as part of the “Kurgan culture”:

“It is generally accepted that dark skin evolved as a protection against the effect of UV radiation; eumelanin protects against both folate depletion and direct damage to DNA. This accounts for the dark skin pigmentation of Homo sapiens during their development in Africa; the major migrations out of Africa to colonize the rest of the world were also dark-skinned. Studies have suggested that the two genes most associated with lighter skin color in modern Europeans originated in the Middle East and the Caucasus about 22,000 to 28,000 years ago, and were present in Anatolia/Turkey by 8,500 years ago, where their carriers became associated with the Neolithic Revolution and the spread of Neolithic farming across Europe.” ref

“The Ancient North Eurasian population had also evolved lighter skin tones and blond hair. A further wave of lighter-skinned populations across Europe (and elsewhere) is associated with the Yamnaya culture and the Indo-European migrations bearing Ancient North Eurasian ancestry and the KITLG allele for blond hair. The modern association between skin tone and latitude is thus a relatively recent development. It is widely supposed that light skin pigmentation developed due to the importance of maintaining vitamin D3 production in the skin. Strong selective pressure would be expected for the evolution of light skin in areas of low UV radiation.” ref

Genetics Reveal Movements of Ancient Siberians

“DNA reveals the previously unknown degree of mixture between Japan, North America, and the Eurasian mainland. Ancient DNA preserved in the icy climate of Siberia has revealed new insights about how ancient humans migrated five to seven thousand years ago.” ref

“In a study published recently in Current Biology, the researchers examined the DNA from 10 different ancient humans, which is quite a lot considering most of them date from 5,500 to 7,500 years old. These remains came from three locations in Siberia — the Altai Mountains, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Russian Far East.” ref

Altai Mountains meetings and Shamanism?

“Researchers were surprised to discover a previously unknown population with mixed genetics in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia. At some point during the last Ice Age, a group of ancient north Eurasians mixed with a population from northeastern Siberia. The corresponding mixture is one that researchers haven’t seen before, the head researcher explained. It’s also not clear where these two groups first met and intermingled since the people were mostly nomadic at the time. It’s possible they met in the region where the remains are found, though, which may have provided a good passage between mountains to the north and the desert to the south. “It’s a perfect meeting point for groups, geographically speaking,” the head researcher explained.” ref

“Five of the Altai Mountains remains — all males — had very similar DNA, despite dating from different times between 7,500 and 5,500 years ago. But the sixth male, which dates to about 6,500 years ago, comes from farther east. The DNA shows this, but so does the archaeological context. The individual was buried with rich burial goods and a costume that the head researcher explained could indicate some sort of shamanism. Moreover, the head researcher explained it’s unclear whether this man is representative of a larger migration between the Altai Mountains and people farther east. But it shows that a degree of movement was occurring between different people at the time.” ref

Japanese Connection?

“Nest, one of the analyzed individuals was found in the Russian Far East. This male isn’t that remarkable at first glance, for the DNA resembles that of other similarly aged people that have been previously analyzed. Or at least three-quarters of the DNA is similar. The other quarter of this man’s genome appears to be Japanese. This discovery is surprising. This man dates back to about 7,000 years ago, but Japan was settled much earlier — possibly 30,000 years ago. This means that people from Japan were traveling back to the mainland and mixing with other humans there. “These hunter-gatherers were also able to cross bodies of water and interact among each other,” the head researcher explained. Overall, these results show how fluid ancient people were in Eurasia and even North America. “These foraging communities were in close contact with each other, they were highly mobile with each other and were admixing,” the head researcher also explained. “We are really talking about large-distance mobility.” ref

Crossing the water to and from the Americas?

“Two males and one female from Kamchatka lived relatively recently — only 500 years ago. The reason it’s interesting is that researchers haven’t previously published any ancient genome information from this region. All three of the remains the head researcher and his colleagues analyzed contained small portions of ancestry from Indigenous Americans. The presence of these markers suggests that Indigenous Americans were also crossing back to Russia prior to the period these individuals were alive. “This probably happened over a long period of time,” the head researcher explained. While researchers had previously known there was gene flow back and forth across the Bering Sea — perhaps for 5,000 years — this finding stretches that area of gene flow further south into the Kamchatka Peninsula.” ref

Here are other supporting articles:

Steppe-Anatolian-Kurgan hypothesis (by Damien Marie AtHope)

To me, Proto-Indo-European starts in the steppe after leaving North Asia, then one-part heads to #1 Turkey/Anatolia with “Anatolian” and the other part to #2 Ukraine/Russia and the rest of Proto-Indo-European. Mythology starts 7,000-8,000 years ago in North Aisa.

To me, along with this migration of peoples also carried with them a Paganistic-Shamanism with heavy totemism.

To me, paganism starts around 12,00 years ago in Turkey/Anatolia in Western Asia. The odd thing is most of the world’s religious myths/fables start or commonly relate to “Siberia” like “Lake Baikal/Golden Mountains of Altai” region and “North China like Chertovy Vorota Cave (Devil’s Gate Cave) area at about 8,000/7,000 years ago and they were transferred to the middle east and East Europe/Balkans/Ukraine/Russia.”

Mal’ta–Buret’ culture of Siberia and Basal Haplogroup R* or R-M207

“The Mal’ta–Buret‘ culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Paleolithic (around 24,000 to 15,000 years ago) on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia, Russian Federation. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal’ta, Usolsky District and Buret’, Bokhansky District (both in Irkutsk Oblast).” ref

“The “Mal’ta Cluster” is composed of three individuals from the Glacial Maximum 24,000-17,000 years ago from the Lake Baikal region of Siberia.” ref

“From about 55,000 years ago to about 15,000 years ago, the mammoth hunters are distinguished by their yurts built of mammoth bones. During that time their physical appearance changed from the rugged Neanderthal type to the more modern type like ourselves. The architecture of the yurts improved until 15,000 years ago, they were neatly constructed with the bones fitted together in patterns. Society seems to have developed too, with larger villages and the yurts arranged along streets. And with a ceremonial lodge as a main feature.” ref

“Blades and Microblades, Percussion and Pressure: Towards the Evolution of Lithic Technologies of the Stone Age Period, Russian Far East around 22,530 to 5,830 years ago. Russian Far East. Cultures and sites locations. 1 Selemja Culture; 2 Gromatukhinskaya and Novopetrovskaya Cultures ; 3 Osipovskaya Culture; 4 Mariinskaya Culture; 5 Ustinovka Culture; 6 Vetka Culture; 7 Ogonki Sites; 8 Ushki Lake sites.” ref

“When the mammoth hunters first arrived in Europe from Siberia, about 30,000 to 35,000 years ago, they brought with them a far more advanced technology and culture to the native Neanderthal population. Although the Neanderthals at the time were not far behind, this new culture was far more advance in so many ways that the European Neanderthals were from that time history. This is referred to as the Aurignacian culture and sites have been across Europe as well as in Siberia. These perhaps represent the first wave of “modern” European settlers as can be traced in the Y chromosomes of European men as originating from South Siberia.” ref

“The next wave of migrants into Europe from Siberia from 28,000 to 22,000 years ago is called the “Gravettian culture”. This is also traceable in the Y chromosome indicating orgins of European men as from South Siberia. Not just more advanced in technology, but also in trading relations and cultural and some kind of political relationship with other peoples. This is shown by the little portable “mother” figurines found at such mammoth hunter sites from across Europe, France, Czech Republic etc. and in South Siberia itself.” ref

The development of this culture can be found in sites in south Siberia such as those of Mal’ta and Buret. Finds from the mammoth-hunter yurts excavated near the Angara River (especally Mal’ta and Buret) sites start at a date of about 24,000 years ago. At Malta, with large and small round houses, partly dug out of the ground (as homes were in the north until into the Iron Age) and built with a low wall of stone and then roofed over with mammoth bones, reindeer antlers etc. – which would have been covered with mammoth hides. At Buret, the people lived together in large dwellings, several families together. There were three hearths in each – one in the center, and one either end.” ref

“Paleolithic art of Europe and Asia falls into two broad categories: mural art and portable art. Mural art is concentrated in southwest France, Spain, and northern Italy. The tradition of portable art, predominantly carvings in ivory and antler, spans the distance across western Europe into North and Central Asia. It is suggested that the broad territory in which the tradition of carving and imagery is shared is evidence of cultural contact and common religious beliefs.” ref

“Female/Mother images have been found right across the mammoth-hunter area. Artistically they vary. Some are very abstract and sophisticated. The mother figurines near the Angara River are mostly naturallistic. They show real women, with braided hair styles, possibly tattoos or body paint, saggy breasts, and in some cases it could represent clothing – a fur onesie or jumpsuit – much as was still worn until recently by the Chukchi and Koryak women in the North Pacific regions. These could be interpreted as protective “mothers” for childbirth, hunting, the home, the tribal territory, the earth and land itself, etc. Clearly many iconic beliefs still held today were already well established some 25,000 years ago.” ref

“Totally there are 39 or 40 known figurines found both on Mal’ta and Buret and although the ancient Siberian Venus figurines ‘are NOT Venuses (not depicting goddesses or gods). At least some if not many are show of ordinary people of seemingly all ages in clothing dating from some 20,000 years ago. Far from being only idealized female forms.  many are seemingly male, and others could represent children. It’s true that in the past some of the woolly mammoth tusk carvings were known to be clothed as well as the different types of hats, hairstyles, shoes and accessories. Notably, these were called alluringly Venus in Furs figurines. They were dressed for protection from the Siberian winter, and are possibly the oldest known images anywhere in the world of sewn fur clothing. Through scientific study traces on the surface of the figurines were seen not visible to the naked eye, due to the ravages of time. These traces showed more details of clothes than we had seen previously: bracelets, hats, shoes, bags and even back packs. ” ref

“At one of the three hearths of the long house, were found “mother” dolls together with bracelets, headbands, pins and spatulas (which could be used for applying makeup). This is easily interpreted as the women’s quarters, especially as at the hearth at the other end, was found weapons, tools, jewellry and small ivory images of phallic looking swans – made to wear as pendants. Such swan pendants were also found in the tombs of men.” ref

“MA-1 is the abbreviation of male child remains found near Mal’ta dated to 24,000 years ago, who belonged to a population related to the genetic ancestors of Siberians, American Indians, and Bronze Age Yamnaya people of the Eurasian steppe. In particular, modern-day Native Americans, Kets, Mansi, Nganasans and Yukaghirs were found to be harbour a lot of ancestry related to MA-1.” ref

“24,000-year-old individual (MA-1), from Mal’ta in south-central Siberia. The MA-1 mitochondrial genome belongs to haplogroup U, which has also been found at high frequency among Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers and the Y chromosome of MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and near the root of most Native American lineages. Similarly, we find autosomal evidence that MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and genetically closely related to modern-day Native Americans, with no close affinity to east Asians.” ref

“This suggests that populations related to contemporary western Eurasians had a more north-easterly distribution 24,000 years ago than commonly thought. Furthermore, we estimate that 14 to 38% of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population. This is likely to have occurred after the divergence of Native American ancestors from east Asian ancestors, but before the diversification of Native American populations in the New World.” ref

“Gene flow from the MA-1 lineage into Native American ancestors could explain why several crania from the First Americans have been reported as bearing morphological characteristics that do not resemble those of east Asians. Sequencing of another south-central Siberian, Afontova Gora-2 dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures as MA-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum. And findings reveal that western Eurasian genetic signatures in modern-day Native Americans derive not only from post-Columbian admixture, as commonly thought, but also from a mixed ancestry of the First Americans.” ref

Haplogroup P1 (P-M45), the immediate ancestor of Haplogroup R, likely emerged in Southeast Asia. The SNP M207, which defines Haplogroup R, is believed to have arisen about 27,000 years ago. Only one confirmed example of basal R* has been found, in 24,000 year old remains, known as MA1, found at Mal’ta–Buret’ culture near Lake Baikal in Siberia. R-M207 was found in one out of 132 males from the Kyrgyz people of East Kyrgyzstan who are a Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, primarily Kyrgyzstan bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest, and China to the east. It is possible that neither of the primary branches of R-M207, namely R1 (R-M173) and R2 (R-M479) still exist in their basal, undivergent forms, i.e. R1* and R2*. Despite the rarity of R* and R1*, the relatively rapid expansion – geographically and numerically – of subclades from R1 in particular, has often been noted: both R1a and R1b comprise young, star-like expansions.” ref

‘The earliest publications on R1b described their ancestor R1, entering Europe from central Asia during a warm period about 30,000 – 40,000 years ago.  The last ice age forced R1 to split and take refuge south in Iberia and the Balkans.  Time and separation gave us the mutations R1b in Iberia and R1a in the Balkans.  That split is roughly what we see today in those regions.  That’s clean and simple.  The real world is much more complex.  R1b and R1a were not alone in Europe.  Their interactions with the other major European haplogroups- E, G, I, J and N has to be taken into consideration.” ref

“We know that modern humans survived and flourished in the Iberian refuge during the end of the last ice age, based on mitochondrial DNA studies.  [Could someone please run some y-DNA tests on those samples?]  The tribes in western Europe, whoever they were, had a 1,000 to 2,500 year head start over the tribes in central and eastern Europe on repopulating the continent.  The ice sheets melted and retreated earlier on the west coast than in the rest of Europe.  This gave the inhabitants of the Iberian refuge an advantage – a “first-mover” advantage gained by being the first to move north.  These first-movers gained a land-monopoly.  A tribe with a first-mover advantage and over a 1,000 year head start should have been hard to displace from western Europe.  In other anthropological situations, those original inhabitants are forced into niche locations by invading populations, but very rarely are displaced completely.  What we see on the west coast of Europe, is a very strong R1b presence and no niche haplogroups of a significant age.” ref

“Haplogroup R1 is very common throughout all of Eurasia except East Asia and Southeast Asia. Its distribution is believed to be associated with the re-settlement of Eurasia following the last glacial maximum. Its main subgroups are R1a and R1b.” ref

“The split of R1a (M420) is computed to ca 25,000 years ago or roughly the last glacial maximum. A large study using 16,244 individuals from over 126 populations from across Eurasia, concluded that there was compelling evidence that “the initial episodes of haplogroup R1a diversification likely occurred in the vicinity of present-day Iran.” ref

“A subclade of haplogroup R1a (especially haplogroup R1a1) is the most common haplogroup in large parts of South Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Western China, and South Siberia.  One subclade of haplogroup R1b (especially R1b1a2), is the most common haplogroup in Western Europe and Bashkortostan which is a federal subject of Russia. It is located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains.” ref

Haplogroup R possible time of origin about 27,000 years in Central Asia, South Asia, or Siberia:

“Sequencing of another south-central Siberian, Afontova Gora-2 dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures as MA-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.” ref

“Afontova Gora is a Late Upper Paleolithic Siberian complex of archaeological sites located on the left bank of the Yenisei River near the city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Afontova Gora has cultural and genetic links to the people from Mal’ta-Buret’.  Afontova Gora II consists of 7 layers. Layer 3 from Afontova Gora II is the most significant: the layer produced the largest amount of cultural artefacts and is the layer where the human fossil remains were discovered. Over 20,000 artefacts were discovered at layer 3: this layer produced over 450 tools and over 250 osseous artefacts (bone, antler, ivory).  The human fossil remains of Afontova Gora 2  discovered at Afontova Gora II dated to around 16,930-16,490 years ago.  The individual showed close genetic affinities to Mal’ta 1 (Mal’ta boy). Afontova Gora 2 also showed more genetic affinity for the Karitiana people versus Han Chinese. Moreover, human fossil remains  consisting of five lower teeth of a young girl (Afontova Gora 3) estimated to be around 14–15 years old is dated to around 16,130-15,749 BC (14,710±60 BP).” ref

“The great majority of European ancestry derives from three distinct sources. 177 First, there is “hunter-gatherer-related” ancestry that is more closely related 178 to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from Europe than to any other population, and that can be 179 further subdivided into “Eastern” (EHG) and “Western” (WHG) hunter-gatherer-related ancestry. 7 180 Second, there is “NW Anatolian Neolithic-related” ancestry related to the Neolithic farmers of northwest Anatolia and tightly linked to the appearance of agriculture.9,10 181 182 The third source, “steppe-related” ancestry, appears in Western Europe during the Late 183 Neolithic to Bronze Age transition and is ultimately derived from a population related to Yamnaya steppe pastoralists. 184 Steppe-related ancestry itself can be modeled as a mixture of 185 EHG-related ancestry, and ancestry related to Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers of the Caucasus (CHG) and the first farmers of northern Iran.” ref

Map showing Afontova Gora (27) and Mal’ta (29), both circled. 

“Afontova Gora is an important site has cultural ties with Mal’ta and Buret’, hundreds of kilometres to the south east. It is on a north flowing river, the Yenisei, Енисея.
The settlement is dated to 20,000 – 18,000 years ago.” ref

Haplogroup R1b (R-M343), is the most frequently occurring paternal lineage in Western Europe, as well as some parts of Russia (e.g. the Bashkir minority) and Central Africa (e.g. Chad and Cameroon). The clade is also present at lower frequencies throughout Eastern Europe, Western Asia, as well as parts of North Africa and Central Asia. R1b also reaches high frequencies in the Americas and Australasia, due largely to immigration from Western Europe. There is an ongoing debate regarding the origins of R1b subclades found at significant levels among some indigenous peoples of the Americas, such as speakers of Algic languages in central Canada. It has been found in Bahrain, Bhutan, Ladakh, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Western China. The point of origin of R1b is thought to lie in Western Eurasia, most likely in Western Asia.” ref

“Within haplogroup R1b, there are extremely large subclades, R-U106 and R-P312. While these subclades are important to the overall picture, their size leads tonoise in the analysis of an R1b origin. It isthe minority branches of R1b (R-L278*, R-V88, R-M73*, R-YSC0000072/PF6426 andR-L23-) that provide the resolution required.(While the data from R-V88 supports anIberian origin, and along the Western Atlantic coast, with R-L278 origins south of the Pyrenees. And the  Pyrenees, Spanish Pirineos, French Pyrénées, Catalan Pireneus, mountain chain of southwestern Europe that consists of flat-topped massifs and folded linear ranges. It stretches from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on the east to the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic Oceanon the west. The Pyrenees form a high wall between France and Spain that has played a significant role in the history of both countries and of Europe as a whole.” ref, ref

“R1b-V88 originated in Europe about 12 000 years ago and crossed to North Africa by about 8000 years ago; it may formerly have been common in southern Europe, where it has since been replaced by waves of other haplogroups, leaving remnant subclades almost excusively in Sardinia. It first radiated within Africa likely between 7 and 8 000 years ago – at the same time as trans-Saharan expansions within the unrelated haplogroups E-M2 and A-M13 – possibly due to population growth allowed by humid conditions and the adoption of livestock herding in the Sahara. R1b-V1589, the main subclade within R1b-V88, underwent a further expansion around 5500 years ago, likely in the Lake Chad Basin region, from which some lines recrossed the Sahara to North Africa.” ref

“The majority of modern R1b and R1a would have expanded from the Caspian Sea along with the Indo-European languages.  And genetic studies support the Kurgan hypothesis regarding the Proto-Indo-European homeland. According to those studies, haplogroups R1b and R1a, now the most common in Europe (R1a is also common in South Asia) would have expanded from the West Eurasian Steppe, along with the Indo-European languages; they also detected an autosomal component present in modern Europeans which was not present in Neolithic Europeans, which would have been introduced with paternal lineages R1b and R1a, as well as Indo-European languages.” ref

The oldest human remains found to carry R1b include:

  • Villabruna 1 (individual I9030), found in an Epigravettian culture setting in the Cismon valley (modern Veneto, Italy), who lived circa 14,000 years BP and belonged to R1b-L754,
  • numerous individuals from the Mesolithic Iron Gates culture of the central Danube (modern Romania and Serbia), dating from 10,000 to 8,500 BP – most of them falling into R1b-L754;
  • two individuals, dating from circa 7,800–6,800 BP, found at the Zvejnieki burial ground, belonging to the Narva culture of the Baltic neolithic, both determined to belong to the R1b-P297 subclade, and;
  • the “Samara hunter-gatherer” (I0124/SVP44), who lived approximately 7,522 years ago in the Volga River area and carried R1b-L278. ref

“This burial is from the early Mesolithic stage which is proto-Lepenski Vir. Whereas, the general Lepenski Vir, located in Serbia, Mesolithic Iron Gates culture of the Balkans. Around 11,500/9,200–7,900 years ago.” ref,ref, ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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“The shaman is, above all, a connecting figure, bridging several worlds for his people, traveling between this world, the underworld, and the heavens. He transforms himself into an animal and talks with ghosts, the dead, the deities, and the ancestors. He dies and revives. He brings back knowledge from the shadow realm, thus linking his people to the spirits and places which were once mythically accessible to all.–anthropologist Barbara Meyerhoff” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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From the Evidence, I Speculate, the First Human-Male God was Created in the Balkans around or after 7,000 years ago following Harsher climate, Emerging social hierarchy, and Fear of violence.

Fear of Wars Violence and the Creation of Male God: Hamangia culture around 7,250-6,500 years ago (Romania and Bulgaria)?

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Ancient mDNA “N1a1a1” and Pottery from Turkey to Europe? People likely descended from central Anatolian populations with Pottery and mDNA “N1a1a1” such as Boncuklu/Çatalhöyük, spread to central Europe through NW Anatolia thousands of years later?

Arcane Capitalism: Primitive socialism, Primitive capital, Private ownership, Means of production, Market capitalism, Class discrimination, and Petite bourgeoisie (smaller capitalists)

7,522-6,522 years ago Linear Pottery culture, sometimes fortified or palisade settlements and weapon-traumatized bones also found, all which I think relates to Arcane Capitalism’s origins.

Arcane = complicated and therefore understood or known by only a few people

To me, societies start with primitive anarchism and socialism at least 100,000 years ago and are seen in animist-only thinking that is now largely limited to southern Africa today. Then they lose systematic anarchism possibly by 50,000 to 40,000 years ago but keeps socialism/primitive communism with the emergence of totemism largely limited to Europe and then spreading out from there. And to me, arcane/primitive capitalism emerges at or around 7,000 to 5,000 years ago in central Europe especially southern Germany or surrounding areas (Czecho-Slovakia and Austria), and then spread out from there.

Early Pottery People movements and its eventual emergence of Elites, Private property, and the Private ownership of the means of production, (private accumulation of capital) which are seen as characteristics that distinguish capitalism from socialism.

Private property creates monopoly power, harming allocative efficiency, unlike the Common ownership of property helping allocative efficiency. ref

“An earlier view saw the Linear Pottery Culture as living a “peaceful, unfortified lifestyle”. Since then, settlements with palisades and weapon-traumatized bones have been discovered, such as at Herxheim, which, whether the site of a massacre or of a martial ritual, demonstrates, “…systematic violence between groups”. Most of the known settlements, however, left no trace of violence.” ref

“In 2015 a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences details the findings of researchers at a site near Schöneck-Kilianstädten, who “found the skeletons of 26 adults and children, who were killed by devastating strikes to the head or arrow wounds. The skull fractures are classic signs of blunt force injuries caused by basic stone-age weapons.” Pottery has been found in long houses, as well as in graves. Analysis of the home pottery reveals that each house had its own tradition.” ref

“The early Neolithic in Europe featured burials of women and children under the floors of personal residences. Remains of adult males are missing. Probably, Neolithic culture featured sex discrimination in funerary customs, and women and children were important in ideology concerning the home. Burials beneath the floors of homes continued until about 4000 BCE or 6,022 years ago. However, in the Balkans and central Europe, the cemetery also came into use at about 5000 BCE or 7,022 years ago.” ref

“Linear Pottery Culture cemeteries contained from 20 to 200 graves arranged in groups that appear to have been based on kinship. Males and females of any age were included. Both cremation and inhumation were practiced. The inhumed were placed in a flexed position in pits lined with stones, plaster, or clay. Cemeteries were close to, but distinct from, residential areas. The presence of grave goods indicates both a sex and a dominance discrimination. Male graves included stone celts, flint implements, and money or jewelry of Spondylus shells. Female graves contained many of the same artifacts as male graves, but also most of the pottery and containers of ochre.” ref

“The goods have been interpreted as gifts to the departed or personal possessions. Only about 30% of the graves have goods. This circumstance has been interpreted as some sort of distinction in dominance, but the exact nature is not known. If the goods were gifts, then some were more honored than others; if they were possessions, then some were wealthier than others. These practices are contrasted with mass graves, such as the Talheim Death Pit and the Herxheim archeological site.” ref

“Their Neolithic agricultural economy was based primarily on the cultivation of crops from the Fertile Crescent, such as Emmer wheat, Einkorn wheat, peas, and lentils, and to a lower extent barley, millet, rye, and broad beans. The Linear Pottery Culture people settled on fluvial terraces and in the proximities of rivers, especially in regions rich in fertile loess. Stockbreeding was also practiced, of cattle in particular, but also of goats and pigs. The Linear Pottery Culture farmers supplemented their diets by hunting deer and wild boar in the open forests.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Sacred/Ritual Monuments of the Earth, as well as Stone or Wood such as Henges or Other Roughly Circular Earthworks, Seem to Start Around 7,000 years ago.

“There are three related types of Neolithic earthwork that are all sometimes loosely called henges. The essential characteristic of all three is that they feature a ring-shaped bank and ditch, with the ditch inside the bank. Because the internal ditches would have served defensive purposes poorly, henges are not considered to have been defensive constructions (cf. circular rampart). The three henge types are as follows, with the figure in brackets being the approximate diameter of the central flat area:

  1. Henge (> 20 m). The word henge refers to a particular type of earthwork of the Neolithic period, typically consisting of a roughly circular or oval-shaped bank with an internal ditch surrounding a central flat area of more than 20 m (66 ft) in diameter. There is typically little if any evidence of occupation in a henge, although they may contain ritual structures such as stone circles, timber circles, and coves. Henge monument is sometimes used as a synonym for henge. Henges sometimes, but by no means always, featured stone or timber circles, and circle henge is sometimes used to describe these structures. The three largest stone circles in Britain (Avebury, the Great Circle at Stanton Drew stone circles and the Ring of Brodgar) are each in a henge. Examples of henges without significant internal monuments are the three henges of Thornborough Henges. Although having given its name to the word henge, Stonehenge is atypical in that the ditch is outside the main earthwork bank.
  2. Hengiform monument (5 – 20 m). Like an ordinary henge except the central flat area is between 5 and 20 m (16–66 ft) in diameter, they comprise a modest earthwork with a fairly wide outer bank. Mini henge or Dorchester henge are sometimes used as synonyms for hengiform monument. An example is the Neolithic site at Wormy Hillock Henge.
  3. Henge enclosure (> 300 m). A Neolithic ring earthwork with the ditch inside the bank, with the central flat area having abundant evidence of occupation and usually being more than 300 m (980 ft) in diameter. Some true henges are as large as this (e.g., Avebury), but lack evidence of domestic occupation. Super henge is sometimes used as a synonym for a henge enclosure. However, sometimes Super henge is used to indicate size alone rather than use, e.g. “Marden henge … is the least understood of the four British ‘superhenges’ (the others being  AveburyDurrington Walls, and Mount Pleasant Henge)”. ref

Henges may be classified as follows:

  • Class I henges, which have a single entrance created from a gap in the bank;
  • Class II henges which have two entrances, diametrically opposite each other;
  • Class III henges, which have four entrances, facing each other in pairs. ref

“Subgroups exist for these when two or three internal ditches are present rather than one. Henges are usually associated with the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, and especially with the pottery of this period: Grooved Ware, Impressed Wares (formerly known as Peterborough Ware), and Beakers. Sites such as Stonehenge also provide evidence of activity from the later Bronze Age Wessex culture.” ref

“Henges often contain evidence of a variety of internal features, including timber or stone circles, pits, or burials, which may pre- or post-date the henge enclosure.” ref

Some of the best-known henges are at:

“Henges sometimes formed part of a ritual landscape or complex, with other Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments inside and outside the henge. Earlier monuments associated with a later henge might include Neolithic monuments such as a cursus (e.g., at Thornborough Henges the central henge overlies the cursus), or a long barrow such as the West Kennet Long Barrow at Avebury, Wiltshire, or even, as in the case of Stonehenge, Mesolithic post holes. A c. 2 km circle of large pits has also been discovered centered on Durrington Walls henge. Later monuments added after the henge was built might include Bronze Age cairns as at Arbor Low. ref

 Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Masseboth similar but much smaller than a European Menhir, dates to around 13,000-11,000 years ago in the Near East. Kurgan a burial mound over a timber burial chamber, dates to around 7,000/6,000 years ago. Dolmen a single-chamber ritual megalith, dates to around 7,000/6,000 years ago. Ziggurat a multi-platform temple around 4,900 years ago. Pyramid a multi-platform tomb, dates to around 4,700 years ago. #3 is a Step Pyramid (or proto pyramid) for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser it went through several revisions and redevelopments. First are three layers of Mastaba “house of eternity” a flat-roofed rectangular structure, then two step pyramid one on top the other, showing the evolution of ideas.

Before the monument (from 8000 BC):

“Archaeologists have found four, or possibly five, large Mesolithic postholes (one may have been a natural tree throw), which date to around 10,000 years ago, beneath the nearby old tourist car-park once used. These held pine posts around two feet six inches (0.75 m) in diameter, which were erected and eventually rotted in situ. Three of the posts (and possibly four) were in an east-west alignment which may have had ritual significance. Another Mesolithic astronomical site in Britain is the Warren Field site in Aberdeenshire, which is considered the world’s oldest Lunar calendar, corrected yearly by observing the midwinter solstice. Similar but later sites have been found in Scandinavia. A settlement that may have been contemporaneous with the posts has been found at Blick Mead, a reliable year-round spring one mile (1.6 km) from Stonehenge.” ref

Salisbury Plain was then still wooded, but 4,000 years later, during the earlier Neolithic, people built a causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood’s Ball and long barrow tombs in the surrounding landscape. In approximately 5,500 years ago, a Stonehenge Cursus was built 2,300 feet (700 m) north of the site as the first farmers began to clear the trees and develop the area. A number of other previously overlooked stone or wooden structures and burial mounds may date as far back as 6,000 years ago. Charcoal from the ‘Blick Mead’ camp 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Stonehenge (near the Vespasian’s Camp site) has been dated to 6,000 years ago. The University of Buckingham‘s Humanities Research Institute believes that the community who built Stonehenge lived here over a period of several millennia, making it potentially “one of the pivotal places in the history of the Stonehenge landscape.” ref

Stonehenge 1 (around 5,100 years ago)

“The first monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure made of Late Cretaceous (Santonian Age) Seaford Chalk, measuring about 360 feet (110 m) in diameter, with a large entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south. It stood in open grassland on a slightly sloping spot. The builders placed the bones of deer and oxen in the bottom of the ditch, as well as some worked flint tools. The bones were considerably older than the antler picks used to dig the ditch, and the people who buried them had looked after them for some time prior to burial. The ditch was continuous but had been dug in sections, like the ditches of the earlier causewayed enclosures in the area. The chalk dug from the ditch was piled up to form the bank. This first stage is dated to around 5,100 years ago, after which the ditch began to silt up naturally. Within the outer edge of the enclosed area is a circle of 56 pits, each about 3.3 feet (1 m) in diameter, known as the Aubrey holes after John Aubrey, the seventeenth-century antiquarian who was thought to have first identified them. The pits may have contained standing timbers creating a timber circle, although there is no excavated evidence of them. A recent excavation has suggested that the Aubrey Holes may have originally been used to erect a bluestone circle. If this were the case, it would advance the earliest known stone structure at the monument by some 500 years. A small outer bank beyond the ditch could also date to this period.” ref

“Archaeologists, excavated more than 50,000 cremated bone fragments, from 63 individuals, buried at Stonehenge. These remains had originally been buried individually in the Aubrey holes and subsequently re-interred together in one hole, Aubrey Hole 7. Analysis of the remains has shown that the cremated were almost equally men and women, and included some children. As there was evidence of the underlying chalk beneath the graves being crushed by substantial weight, the team concluded that the first bluestones brought from Wales were probably used as grave markers. The remains date to around 5,000 years ago. The bones of many of the individuals that buried there where around the time of construction and had probably come from near the source of the bluestone in Wales and had not extensively lived in the area of Stonehenge before death.” ref

Stonehenge 2 (around 5,000 years ago)

“Evidence of the second phase is no longer visible. The number of postholes dating to the early third millennium BC suggest that some form of timber structure was built within the enclosure during this period. Further standing timbers were placed at the northeast entrance, and a parallel alignment of posts ran inwards from the southern entrance. The postholes are smaller than the Aubrey Holes, being only around 16 inches (0.4 m) in diameter, and are much less regularly spaced. The bank was purposely reduced in height and the ditch continued to silt up. At least twenty-five of the Aubrey Holes are known to have contained later, intrusive, cremation burials dating to the two centuries after the monument’s inception. It seems that whatever the holes’ initial function, it changed to become a funerary one during Phase two. Thirty further cremations were placed in the enclosure’s ditch and at other points within the monument, mostly in the eastern half. Stonehenge is therefore interpreted as functioning as an enclosed cremation cemeteryat this time, the earliest known cremation cemetery in the British Isles. Fragments of unburnt human bone have also been found in the ditch-fill. Dating evidence is provided by the late Neolithic grooved ware pottery that has been found in connection with the features from this phase.” ref

Stonehenge 3 I (around 4,600 years ago)

“Archaeological excavation has indicated that around 4,600 years ago, the builders abandoned timber in favor of stone and dug two concentric arrays of holes (the Q and R Holes) in the center of the site. These stone sockets are only partly known (hence on present evidence are sometimes described as forming ‘crescents’); however, they could be the remains of a double ring. Again, there is little firm dating evidence for this phase. The holes held up to 80 standing stones (shown blue on the plan), only 43 of which can be traced today. It is generally accepted that the bluestones (some of which are made of dolerite, an igneous rock), were transported by the builders from the Preseli Hills, 150 miles (240 km) away in modern-day Pembrokeshire in Wales. Another theory is that they were brought much nearer to the site as glacial erratics by the Irish Sea Glacier although there is no evidence of glacial deposition within southern central England. Evidence of Megalithic quarrying had been found at quarries in Wales identified as a source of Stonehenge’s bluestone, indicating that the bluestone was quarried by human agency and not transported by glacial action.” ref

“The long-distance human transport theory was bolstered by the discovery of a megalithic bluestone quarry at Craig Rhos-y-felin, near Crymych in Pembrokeshire, which is the most likely place for some of the stones to have been obtained. Other standing stones may well have been small sarsens (sandstone), used later as lintels. The stones, which weighed about two tons, could have been moved by lifting and carrying them on rows of poles and rectangular frameworks of poles, as recorded in China, Japan, and India. It is not known whether the stones were taken directly from their quarries to Salisbury Plain or were the result of the removal of a venerated stone circle from Preseli to Salisbury Plain to “merge two sacred centers into one, to unify two politically separate regions, or to legitimize the ancestral identity of migrants moving from one region to another”. Each monolith measures around 6.6 feet (2 m) in height, between 3.3 and 4.9 ft (1 and 1.5 m) wide and around 2.6 feet (0.8 m) thick. What was to become known as the Altar Stone is almost certainly derived from the Senni Beds, perhaps from 50 miles (80 kilometres) east of Mynydd Preseli in the Brecon Beacons.” ref

“The north-eastern entrance was widened at this time, with the result that it precisely matched the direction of the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset of the period. This phase of the monument was abandoned unfinished, however; the small standing stones were apparently removed and the Q and R holes purposefully backfilled. Even so, the monument appears to have eclipsed the site at Avebury in importance towards the end of this phase. The Heelstone, a Tertiary sandstone, may also have been erected outside the north-eastern entrance during this period. It cannot be accurately dated and may have been installed at any time during phase 3. At first it was accompanied by a second stone, which is no longer visible. Two, or possibly three, large portal stones were set up just inside the north-eastern entrance, of which only one, the fallen Slaughter Stone, 16 feet (4.9 m) long, now remains. Other features, loosely dated to phase 3, include the four Station Stones, two of which stood atop mounds. The mounds are known as “barrows” although they do not contain burials. Stonehenge Avenue, a parallel pair of ditches and banks leading two miles (3 km) to the River Avon, was also added. Two ditches similar to Heelstone Ditch circling the Heelstone (which was by then reduced to a single monolith) were later dug around the Station Stones.” ref

Stonehenge 3 II (around 4,600-4,400 years ago)

“During the next major phase of activity, 30 enormous OligoceneMiocene sarsen stones (shown grey on the plan) were brought to the site. They may have come from a quarry around 25 miles (40 km) north of Stonehenge on the Marlborough Downs, or they may have been collected from a “litter” of sarsens on the chalk downs, closer to hand. The stones were dressed and fashioned with mortise and tenon joints before 30 were erected as a 108-foot (33 m) diameter circle of standing stones, with a ring of 30 lintel stones resting on top. The lintels were fitted to one another using another woodworking method, the tongue and groove joint. Each standing stone was around 13 feet (4.1 m) high, 6.9 feet (2.1 m) wide, and weighed around 25 tons. Each had clearly been worked with the final visual effect in mind; the orthostats widen slightly towards the top in order that their perspective remains constant when viewed from the ground, while the lintel stones curve slightly to continue the circular appearance of the earlier monument.” ref

“The inward-facing surfaces of the stones are smoother and more finely worked than the outer surfaces. The average thickness of the stones is 3.6 feet (1.1 m) and the average distance between them is 3.3 feet (1 m). A total of 75 stones would have been needed to complete the circle (60 stones) and the trilithon horseshoe (15 stones). It was thought the ring might have been left incomplete, but an exceptionally dry summer revealed patches of parched grass which may correspond to the location of removed sarsens. The lintel stones are each around 10 feet (3.2 m) long, 3.3 feet (1 m) wide, and 2.6 feet (0.8 m) thick. The tops of the lintels are 16 feet (4.9 m) above the ground. Within this circle stood five trilithons of dressed sarsen stone arranged in a horseshoe shape 45 feet (13.7 m) across, with its open end facing northeast. These huge stones, ten uprights, and five lintels, weigh up to 50 tons each. They were linked using complex jointing. They are arranged symmetrically. The smallest pair of trilithons were around 20 feet (6 m) tall, the next pair a little higher, and the largest, single trilithon in the southwest corner would have been 24 feet (7.3 m) tall. Only one upright from the Great Trilithon still stands, of which 22 feet (6.7 m) is visible and a further 7.9 feet (2.4 m) is below ground. The images of a ‘dagger’ and 14 ‘axeheads’ have been carved on one of the sarsens, known as stone 53; further carvings of axeheads have been seen on the outer faces of stones 3, 4, and 5. The carvings are difficult to date, but are morphologically similar to late Bronze Age weapons. Laser scanning of the carvings supports this interpretation. The pair of trilithons in the northeast are smallest, measuring around 20 feet (6 m) in height; the largest, which is in the southwest of the horseshoe, is almost 25 feet (7.5 m) tall.” ref

“This ambitious phase has been radiocarbon dated to between 2600 and 2400 BC, slightly earlier than the Stonehenge Archer, discovered in the outer ditch of the monument in 1978, and the two sets of burials, known as the Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen, discovered three miles (5 km) to the west. Analysis of animal teeth found two miles (3 km) away at Durrington Walls, thought by Parker Pearson to be the ‘builders camp’, suggests that, during some period between 2600 and 2400 BC, as many as 4,000 people gathered at the site for the mid-winter and mid-summer festivals; the evidence showed that the animals had been slaughtered around nine months or 15 months after their spring birth. Strontium isotope analysis of the animal teeth showed that some had been brought from as far afield as the Scottish Highlands for the celebrations. At about the same time, a large timber circle and a second avenue were constructed at Durrington Walls overlooking the River Avon. The timber circle was oriented towards the rising Sun on the midwinter solstice, opposing the solar alignments at Stonehenge. The avenue was aligned with the setting Sun on the summer solstice and led from the river to the timber circle. Evidence of huge fires on the banks of the Avon between the two avenues also suggests that both circles were linked. They were perhaps used as a procession route on the longest and shortest days of the year. Parker Pearson speculates that the wooden circle at Durrington Walls was the center of a ‘land of the living’, whilst the stone circle represented a ‘land of the dead’, with the Avon serving as a journey between the two.” ref

Stonehenge 3 III (around 4,400-4,280 years ago)

“Later in the Bronze Age, although the exact details of activities during this period are still unclear, the bluestones appear to have been re-erected. They were placed within the outer sarsen circle and may have been trimmed in some way. Like the sarsens, a few have timber-working style cuts in them suggesting that, during this phase, they may have been linked with lintels and were part of a larger structure.” ref

Stonehenge 3 IV (around 4,280-3,930 years ago)

“This phase saw further rearrangement of the bluestones. They were arranged in a circle between the two rings of sarsens and in an oval at the center of the inner ring. Some archaeologists argue that some of these bluestones were from a second group brought from Wales. All the stones formed well-spaced uprights without any of the linking lintels inferred in Stonehenge 3 III. The Altar Stone may have been moved within the oval at this time and re-erected vertically. Although this would seem the most impressive phase of work, Stonehenge 3 IV was rather shabbily built compared to its immediate predecessors, as the newly re-installed bluestones were not well-founded and began to fall over. However, only minor changes were made after this phase.” ref

Stonehenge 3 V (around 3,930-3,600 years ago)

“Soon afterward, the northeastern section of the Phase 3 IV bluestone circle was removed, creating a horseshoe-shaped setting (the Bluestone Horseshoe) that mirrored the shape of the central sarsen Trilithons. This phase is contemporary with the Seahenge site in Norfolk.” ref

After the monument (around 3,600 years ago to the Middle Ages)

“The Y and Z Holes are the last known construction at Stonehenge, built about 1600 BC, and the last usage of it was probably during the Iron Age. Roman coins and medieval artifacts have all been found in or around the monument but it is unknown if the monument was in continuous use throughout British prehistory and beyond, or exactly how it would have been used. Notable is the massive Iron Age hillfort Vespasian’s Camp built alongside the Avenue near the Avon. A decapitated seventh century Saxon man was excavated from Stonehenge. The site was known to scholars during the Middle Ages and since then it has been studied and adopted by numerous groups.” ref 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Proto-Indo-European: A person who spoke the Proto-Indo-European language and/or the reconstructed ancestor language or proto-language of the Indo-European family of languages, which includes most European, Iranian, and Indian languages.” ref


The Proto-Indo-Europeans are a hypothetical prehistoric population of Eurasia who spoke Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the ancestor of the Indo-European languages according to linguistic reconstruction. Knowledge of them comes chiefly from that linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics. The Proto-Indo-Europeans likely lived during the late Neolithic, or roughly the 4th millennium BCE. Mainstream scholarship places them in the Pontic–Caspian steppe zone in Eurasia (present-day Ukraine and southern Russia). Some archaeologists would extend the time depth of PIE to the middle Neolithic (5500 to 4500 BCE) or even the early Neolithic (7500 to 5500 BCE) and suggest alternative location hypotheses. By the early second millennium BCE, descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans had reached far and wide across Eurasia, including Anatolia (Hittites), the Aegean (the linguistic ancestors of Mycenaean Greece), the north of Europe (Corded Ware culture), the edges of Central Asia (Yamnaya culture), and southern Siberia (Afanasievo culture).” ref

“In the words of philologist Martin L. West, “If there was an Indo-European language, it follows that there was a people who spoke it: not a people in the sense of a nation, for they may never have formed a political unity, and not a people in any racial sense, for they may have been as genetically mixed as any modern population defined by language. If our language is a descendant of theirs, that does not make them ‘our ancestors’, any more than the ancient Romans are the ancestors of the French, the Romanians, and the Brazilians. The Indo-Europeans were a people in the sense of a linguistic community. We should probably think of them as a loose network of clans and tribes, inhabiting a coherent territory of limited size.” While ‘Proto-Indo-Europeans’ is used in scholarship to designate the group of speakers associated with the reconstructed proto-language and culture, the term ‘Indo-Europeans’ may refer to any historical people that speak an Indo-European language.” ref

“Using linguistic reconstruction from old Indo-European languages such as Latin and Sanskrit, hypothetical features of the Proto-Indo-European language are deduced. Assuming that these linguistic features reflect the culture and environment of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, the following cultural and environmental traits are widely proposed:

“A 2016 phylogenetic analysis of Indo-European folktales found that one tale, The Smith and the Devil, could be confidently reconstructed to the Proto-Indo-European period. This story, found in contemporary Indo-European folktales from Scandinavia to India, describes a blacksmith who offers his soul to a malevolent being (commonly a devil in modern versions of the tale) in exchange for the ability to weld any kind of materials together. The blacksmith then uses his new ability to stick the devil to an immovable object (often a tree), thus avoiding his end of the bargain. According to the authors, the reconstruction of this folktale to PIE implies that the Proto-Indo-Europeans had metallurgy, which in turn “suggests a plausible context for the cultural evolution of a tale about a cunning smith who attains a superhuman level of mastery over his craft.” ref

In the early 20th century, the question became associated with the expansion of a supposed “Aryan race“, a now-discredited theory promoted during the expansion of European empires and the rise of “scientific racism“. The question remains contentious within some flavors of ethnic nationalism (see also Indigenous Aryans). In regard to terminology, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the term Aryan was used to refer to the Proto-Indo-Europeans and their descendants. However, Aryan more properly applies to the Indo-Iranians, the Indo-European branch that settled parts of the Middle East and South Asia, as only Indic and Iranian languages explicitly affirm the term as a self-designation referring to the entirety of their people, whereas the same Proto-Indo-European root (*aryo-) is the basis for Greek and Germanic word forms which seem only to denote the ruling elite of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) society.” ref

“In fact, the most accessible evidence available confirms only the existence of a common, but vague, socio-cultural designation of “nobility” associated with PIE society, such that Greek socio-cultural lexicon and Germanic proper names derived from this root remain insufficient to determine whether the concept was limited to the designation of an exclusive, socio-political elite, or whether it could possibly have been applied in the most inclusive sense to an inherent and ancestral “noble” quality which allegedly characterized all ethnic members of PIE society. Only the latter could have served as a true and universal self-designation for the Proto-Indo-European people. By the early twentieth century, this term had come to be widely used in a racist context referring to a hypothesized white, blonde, and blue-eyed “master race” (Herrenrasse), culminating with the pogroms of the Nazis in Europe. Subsequently, the term Aryan as a general term for Indo-Europeans has been largely abandoned by scholars (though the term Indo-Aryan is still used to refer to the branch that settled in Southern Asia).” ref

R1b and R1a DNA

“According to three autosomal DNA studies, haplogroups R1b and R1a, now the most common in Europe (R1a is also very common in South Asia) would have expanded from the Pontic steppes, along with the Indo-European languages; they also detected an autosomal component present in modern Europeans which was not present in Neolithic Europeans, which would have been introduced with paternal lineages R1b and R1a, as well as Indo-European languages. Studies that analyzed ancient human remains in Ireland and Portugal suggest that R1b was introduced in these places along with autosomal DNA from the Pontic steppes.” ref

R1a and R1a1a DNA

“The subclade R1a1a (R-M17 or R-M198) is most commonly associated with Indo-European speakers. Data so far collected indicate that there are two widely separated areas of high frequency, one in Eastern Europe, around Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, and the other in South Asia, around Indo-Gangetic Plain. The historical and prehistoric possible reasons for this are the subject of on-going discussion and attention amongst population geneticists and genetic genealogists, and are considered to be of potential interest to linguists and archaeologists also. A large, 2014 study by Underhill et al., using 16,244 individuals from over 126 populations from across Eurasia, concluded there was compelling evidence, that R1a-M420 originated in the vicinity of Iran. The mutations that characterize haplogroup R1a occurred ~10,000 years ago. Its defining mutation (M17) occurred about 10,000 to 14,000 years ago. Pamjav et al. (2012) believe that R1a originated and initially diversified either within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region.” ref

“All Yamnaya individuals sampled by Haak et al. (2015) belonged to the Y-haplogroup R1b. Based on these findings and by equating the people of the Yamnaya culture with the Proto-Indo-Europeans, David W. Anthony (2019) suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language formed mainly from a base of languages spoken by Eastern European hunter-gathers with influences from languages of northern Caucasus hunter-gatherers, in addition to a possible later influence from the language of the Maikop culture to the south (which is hypothesized to have belonged to the North Caucasian family) in the later neolithic or Bronze Age involving little genetic impact. According to Jones et al. (2015) and Haak et al. (2015)autosomal tests indicate that the Yamnaya-people were the result of admixture between “Eastern Hunter-Gatherers” from eastern Europe (EHG) and “Caucasus hunter-gatherers” (CHG). Each of those two populations contributed about half the Yamnaya DNA.” ref

According to Haak et al. (2015), “Eastern European hunter-gatherers” who inhabited Russia were a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ~24,000-year-old Siberian from the Mal’ta-Buret’ culture, or other, closely related Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) people from Siberia and to the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG). Remains of the “Eastern European hunter-gatherers” have been found in Mesolithic or early Neolithic sites in Karelia and Samara Oblast, Russia, and put under analysis. Three such hunter-gathering individuals of the male sex have had their DNA results published. Each was found to belong to a different Y-DNA haplogroup: R1a, R1b, and J. R1b is also the most common Y-DNA haplogroup found among both the Yamnaya and modern-day Western Europeans. R1a is more common in Eastern Europeans and in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Near East population were most likely hunter-gatherers from the Caucasus (CHG) c.q. Iran Chalcolithic-related people with a major CHG-component.” ref

Jones et al. (2015) analyzed genomes from males from western Georgia, in the Caucasus, from the Late Upper Palaeolithic (13,300 years old) and the Mesolithic (9,700 years old). These two males carried Y-DNA haplogroupJ* and J2a. The researchers found that these Caucasus hunters were probably the source of the farmer-like DNA in the Yamnaya, as the Caucasians were distantly related to the Middle Eastern people who introduced farming in Europe. According to Lazaridis et al. (2016), “a population related to the people of the Iran Chalcolithic contributed ~43% of the ancestry of early Bronze Age populations of the steppe.” According to Lazaridis et al. (2016), these Iranian Chalcolithic people were a mixture of “the Neolithic people of western Iran, the Levant, and Caucasus Hunter Gatherers.” Lazaridis et al. (2016) also note that farming spread at two places in the Near East, namely the Levant and Iran, from where it spread, Iranian people spreading to the steppe and south Asia.” ref

Proto-Indo-European language

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. No direct record of Proto-Indo-European exists; its proposed features have been derived by linguistic reconstruction from documented Indo-European languages. Far more work has gone into reconstructing PIE than any other proto-language, and it is the best understood of all proto-languages of its age. The majority of linguistic work during the 19th century was devoted to the reconstruction of PIE or its daughter languages, and many of the modern techniques of linguistic reconstruction (such as the comparative method) were developed as a result. PIE is hypothesized to have been spoken as a single language from approximately 4500 BCE to 2500 BCE during the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age, though estimates vary by more than a thousand years. According to the prevailing Kurgan hypothesis, the original homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans may have been in the Pontic–Caspian steppe of eastern Europe. The linguistic reconstruction of PIE has provided insight into the pastoral culture and patriarchal religion of its speakers. No direct evidence of PIE exists; scholars have reconstructed PIE from its present-day descendants using the comparative method. ref

“As speakers of Proto-Indo-European became isolated from each other through the Indo-European migrations, the regional dialects of Proto-Indo-European spoken by the various groups diverged, as each dialect underwent shifts in pronunciation (the Indo-European sound laws), morphology, and vocabulary. Over many centuries, these dialects transformed into the known ancient Indo-European languages. From there, further linguistic divergence led to the evolution of their current descendants, the modern Indo-European languages. Today, the descendant languages of PIE with the most native speakers are Spanish, English, Portuguese, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Bengali, Russian, Punjabi, German, Persian, French, Marathi, Italian, and Gujarati. PIE is believed to have had an elaborate system of morphology that included inflectional suffixes (analogous to English child, child’s, children, children’s) as well as ablaut (vowel alterations, as preserved in English sing, sang, sung, song) and accent. PIE nominals and pronouns had a complex system of declension, and verbs similarly had a complex system of conjugation. The PIE phonology, particles, numerals, and copula are also well-reconstructed.” ref 

“The Anatolian hypothesis, which posits that PIE spread out from Anatolia with agriculture beginning c. 7500–6000 BCE and the Kurgan hypothesis, 4000 to 1000 BCE proposes that the original speakers of PIE were the Yamnaya culture associated with the kurgans (burial mounds) on the Pontic–Caspian steppe north of the Black Sea. The earliest (Kurgan I) included the Samara and Seroglazovo cultures of the DnieperVolga region in the Copper Age (early 4th millennium BCE).” ref

Proto-Indo-European mythology

Proto-Indo-European mythology is the body of myths and deities associated with the Proto-Indo-Europeans, speakers of the hypothesized Proto-Indo-European language. Although the mythological motifs are not directly attested – since Proto-Indo-European speakers lived in preliterate societies – scholars of comparative mythology have reconstructed details from inherited similarities found among Indo-European languages, based on the assumption that parts of the Proto-Indo-Europeans’ original belief systems survived in the daughter traditions. The Proto-Indo-European pantheon includes a number of securely reconstructed deities, since they are both cognates – linguistic siblings from a common origin – and associated with similar attributes and body of myths: such as *Dyḗws Ph₂tḗr, the daylight-sky god; his consort *Dʰéǵʰōm, the earth mother; his daughter *H₂éwsōs, the dawn goddess; his sons the Divine Twins; and *Seh₂ul, a solar goddess. Some deities, like the weather god *Perkʷunos or the herding-god *Péh₂usōn, are only attested in a limited number of traditions – Western (i.e. European) and Graeco-Aryan, respectively – and could therefore represent late additions that did not spread throughout the various Indo-European dialects.” ref

“Some myths are also securely dated to Proto-Indo-European times, since they feature both linguistic and thematic evidence of an inherited motif: a story portraying a mythical figure associated with thunder and slaying a multi-headed serpent to release torrents of water that had previously been pent up; a creation myth involving two brothers, one of whom sacrifices the other in order to create the world; and probably the belief that the Otherworld was guarded by a watchdog and could only be reached by crossing a river. Various schools of thought exist regarding possible interpretations of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European mythology. The main mythologies used in comparative reconstruction are Indo-Iranian, Baltic, Roman, and Norse, often supported with evidence from the Celtic, Greek, Slavic, Hittite, Armenian, Illyrian, and Albanian traditions as well.” ref

The mythology of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is not directly attested and it is difficult to match their language to archaeological findings related to any specific culture from the Chalcolithic. Nonetheless, scholars of comparative mythology have attempted to reconstruct aspects of Proto-Indo-European mythology based on the existence of linguistic and thematic similarities among the deities, religious practices, and myths of various Indo-European peoples. This method is known as the comparative method. Different schools of thought have approached the subject of Proto-Indo-European mythology from different angles.” ref

“One of the earliest attested and thus one of the most important of all Indo-European mythologies is Vedic mythology, especially the mythology of the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas. Early scholars of comparative mythology such as Friedrich Max Müller stressed the importance of Vedic mythology to such an extent that they practically equated it with Proto-Indo-European myths. Modern researchers have been much more cautious, recognizing that, although Vedic mythology is still central, other mythologies must also be taken into account. Another of the most important source mythologies for comparative research is Roman mythology. The Romans possessed a very complex mythological system, parts of which have been preserved through the characteristic Roman tendency to rationalize their myths into historical accounts. Despite its relatively late attestation, Norse mythology is still considered one of the three most important of the Indo-European mythologies for comparative research, due to the vast bulk of surviving Icelandic material.” ref

Baltic mythology has also received a great deal of scholarly attention, as it is linguistically the most conservative and archaic of all surviving branches, but has so far remained frustrating to researchers because the sources are so comparatively late. Nonetheless, Latvian folk songs are seen as a major source of information in the process of reconstructing Proto-Indo-European myth. Despite the popularity of Greek mythology in western culture, Greek mythology is generally seen as having little importance in comparative mythology due to the heavy influence of Pre-Greek and Near Eastern cultures, which overwhelms what little Indo-European material can be extracted from it. Consequently, Greek mythology received minimal scholarly attention until the first decade of the 21st century. Although Scythians are considered relatively conservative in regards to Proto-Indo-European cultures, retaining a similar lifestyle and culture, their mythology has very rarely been examined in an Indo-European context and infrequently discussed in regards to the nature of the ancestral Indo-European mythology. At least three deities, Tabiti, Papaios, and Api, are generally interpreted as having Indo-European origins, while the remaining have seen more disparate interpretations. Influence from Siberian, Turkic, and even Near Eastern beliefs, on the other hand, are more widely discussed in the literature.” ref

Proto-Indo-European Cosmology

“There was a fundamental opposition between the never-aging gods dwelling above in the skies and the mortal humans living beneath on earth. The earth *dʰéǵʰōm was perceived as a vast, flat and circular continent surrounded by waters (“the Ocean”). Although they may sometimes be identified with mythical figures or stories, the stars (*h₂stḗr) were not bound to any particular cosmic significance and were perceived as ornamental more than anything else. According to Martin L. West, the idea of the world-tree (axis mundi) is probably a later import from north Asiatic cosmologies: “The Greek myth might be derived from the Near East, and the Indic and Germanic ideas of a pillar from the shamanistic cosmologies of the Finnic and other peoples of central and northern Asia. David A. Leeming also notes that the concept of the Cosmic Egg, symbolizing the primordial state from which the universe arises, is found in many Indo-European creation myths. ref

“Lincoln reconstructs a creation myth involving twin brothers, *Manu- (“Man”) and *Yemo- (“Twin”), as the progenitors of the world and humankind, and a hero named *Trito (“Third”) who ensured the continuity of the original sacrifice. Regarding the primordial state that may have preceded the creation process, West notes that the Vedic, Norse and, at least partially, the Greek traditions give evidence of an era when the cosmological elements were absent, with similar formula insisting on their non-existence: “neither non-being was nor being was at that time; there was not the air, nor the heaven beyond it” (Rigveda), “there was not sand nor sea nor the cool waves; earth was nowhere nor heaven above; Ginnunga Gap there was, but grass nowhere” (Völuspá), “there was Chasm and Night and dark Erebos at first, and broad Tartarus, but earth nor air nor heaven there was” (The Birds).” ref

“In the creation myth, the first man Manu and his giant twin Yemo are crossing the cosmos, accompanied by the primordial cow. To create the world, Manu sacrifices his brother and, with the help of heavenly deities (the Sky-Father, the Storm-God, and the Divine Twins), forges both the natural elements and human beings from his remains. Manu thus becomes the first priest after initiating sacrifice as the primordial condition for the world order, and his deceased brother Yemo the first king as social classes emerge from his anatomy (priesthood from his head, the warrior class from his breast and arms, and the commoners from his sexual organs and legs). Although the European and Indo-Iranian versions differ on this matter, Lincoln argues that the primeval cow was most likely sacrificed in the original myth, giving birth to the other animals and vegetables, since the pastoral way of life of Proto-Indo-Iranian speakers was closer to that of Proto-Indo-European speakers.” ref

“To the third man Trito, the celestial gods then offer cattle as a divine gift, which is stolen by a three-headed serpent named *Ngʷhi (“serpent”; and the Indo-European root for negation). Trito first suffers at his hands, but the hero eventually manages to overcome the monster, fortified by an intoxicating drink and aided by the Sky-Father. He eventually gives the recovered cattle back to a priest for it to be properly sacrificed. Trito is now the first warrior, maintaining through his heroic actions the cycle of mutual giving between gods and mortals. According to Lincoln, Manu and Yemo seem to be the protagonists of “a myth of the sovereign function, establishing the model for later priests and kings”, while the legend of Trito should be interpreted as “a myth of the warrior function, establishing the model for all later men of arms”. The myth indeed recalls the Dumézilian tripartition of the cosmos between the priest (in both his magical and legal aspects), the warrior (the Third Man), and the herder (the cow).” ref

“The story of Trito served as a model for later cattle raiding epic myths and most likely as a moral justification for the practice of raiding among Indo-European peoples. In the original legend, Trito is only taking back what rightfully belongs to his people, those who sacrifice properly to the gods. The myth has been interpreted either as a cosmic conflict between the heavenly hero and the earthly serpent, or as an Indo-European victory over non-Indo-European people, the monster symbolizing the aboriginal thief or usurper. Some scholars have proposed that the primeval being Yemo was depicted as a two-fold hermaphrodite rather than a twin brother of Manu, both forming indeed a pair of complementary beings entwined together. The Germanic names Ymir and Tuisto were understood as twin, bisexual or hermaphrodite, and some myths give a sister to the Vedic Yama, also called Twin and with whom incest is discussed. In this interpretation, the primordial being may have self-sacrificed, or have been divided in two, a male half and a female half, embodying a prototypal separation of the sexes.” ref

Cognates deriving from the Proto-Indo-European First Priest *Manu (“Man“, “ancestor of mankind”) include the Indic Manu, legendary first man in Hinduism, and Manāvī, his sacrificed wife; the Germanic Mannus (PGmc *Mannaz), mythical ancestor of the West Germanic tribes; and the Persian Manūščihr (from Aves. Manūš.čiθra), a Zoroastrian high priest of the 9th century CE. From the name of the sacrificed First King *Yemo (“Twin”) derive the Indic Yama, god of death and the underworld; the Avestan Yima, king of the golden age and guardian of hell; the Norse Ymir (from PGmc *Jumijaz), ancestor of the giants (jötnar); and most likely Remus (from Proto-Latin *Yemos or *Yemonos, with the initial y– shifting to r– under the influence of Rōmulus), killed in the Roman foundation myth by his twin brother Romulus. Cognates stemming from the First Warrior *Trito (“Third”) include the Vedic Trita, the Avestan Thrita, and the Norse þriði.” ref

“Many Indo-European beliefs explain the origin of natural elements as the result of the original dismemberment of Yemo: his flesh usually becomes the earth, his hair grass, his bone yields stone, his blood water, his eyes the sun, his mind the moon, his brain the clouds, his breath the wind, and his head the heavens. The traditions of sacrificing an animal to disperse its parts according to socially established patterns, a custom found in Ancient Rome and India, has been interpreted as an attempt to restore the balance of the cosmos ruled by the original sacrifice. The motif of Manu and Yemo has been influential throughout Eurasia following the Indo-European migrations. The Greek, Old Russian (Poem on the Dove King), and Jewish versions depend on the Iranian, and a Chinese version of the myth has been introduced from Ancient India. The Armenian version of the myth of the First Warrior Trito depends on the Iranian, and the Roman reflexes were influenced by earlier Greek versions.” ref

“Linguistic evidence has led scholars to reconstruct the concept of *h₂értus, denoting ‘what is fitting, rightly ordered’, and ultimately deriving from the verbal root *h₂er-, ‘to fit’. Descendant cognates include Hittite āra (‘right, proper’); Sanskrit ṛta (‘divine/cosmic law, force of truth, or order’); Avestan arəta- (‘order’); Greek artús (‘arrangement’), possibly arete (‘excellence’) via the root *h₂erh₁ (‘please, satisfy’); Latin artus (‘joint’); Tocharian A ārtt- (‘to praise, be pleased with’); Armenian ard (‘ornament, shape’); Middle High German art (‘innate feature, nature, fashion’).” ref

“Interwoven with the root *h₂er- (‘to fit’) is the verbal root *dʰeh₁-, which means ‘to put, lay down, establish’, but also ‘speak, say; bring back’. The Greek thémis and the Sanskrit dhāman both derive from the PIE noun for the ‘Law’, *dʰeh₁-men-, literally ‘that which is established’. This notion of ‘Law’ includes an active principle, denoting an activity in obedience to the cosmic order *h₂értus, which in a social context is interpreted as a lawful conduct: in the Greek daughter culture, the titaness Themis personifies the cosmic order and the rules of lawful conduct which derived from it, and the Vedic code of lawful conduct, the Dharma, can also be traced back to the PIE root *dʰeh₁-.” ref 

“According to Martin L. West, the root *dʰeh₁- also denotes a divine or cosmic creation, as attested by the Hittite expression nēbis dēgan dāir (“established heaven (and) earth”), the Young Avestan formula kə huvāpå raocåscā dāt təmåscā? (“What skilful artificer made the regions of light and dark?”), the name of the Vedic creator god Dhātr, and possibly by the Greek nymph Thetis, presented as a demiurgical goddess in Alcman‘s poetry. Another root *yew(e)s- appears to be connected with ritualistic laws, as suggested by the Latin iūs (‘law, right, justice, duty’), Avestan yaož-dā- (‘make ritually pure’), and Sanskrit śáṃca yóśca (‘health and happiness’), with a derived adjective *yusi(iy)os seen in Old Irish uisse (‘just right, fitting’) and possibly Old Church Slavonic istǔ (‘actual, true’).” ref

“The realm of death was generally depicted as the Lower Darkness and the land of no return. Many Indo-European myths relate a journey across a river, guided by an old man (*ǵerh₂ont-), in order to reach the Otherworld. The Greek tradition of the dead being ferried across the river Styx by Charon is probably a reflex of this belief, and the idea of crossing a river to reach the Underworld is also present throughout Celtic mythologies. Several Vedic texts contain references to crossing a river (river Vaitarna) in order to reach the land of the dead, and the Latin word tarentum (“tomb”) originally meant “crossing point”. In Norse mythology, Hermóðr must cross a bridge over the river Giöll in order to reach Hel and, in Latvian folk songs, the dead must cross a marsh rather than a river. Traditions of placing coins on the bodies of the deceased in order to pay the ferryman are attested in both ancient Greek and early modern Slavic funerary practices; although the earliest coins date to the Iron Age, this may provide evidence of an ancient tradition of giving offerings to the ferryman.” ref

“In a recurrent motif, the Otherworld contains a gate, generally guarded by a multi-headed (sometimes multi-eyed) dog who could also serve as a guide and ensured that the ones who entered could not get out. The Greek Cerberus and the Hindu Śárvara most likely derive from the common noun *Ḱérberos (“spotted”). Bruce Lincoln has proposed a third cognate in the Norse Garmr, although this has been debated as linguistically untenable. Several traditions reveal traces of a Proto-Indo-European eschatological myth that describes the end of the world following a cataclysmic battle. The story begins when an archdemon, usually coming from a different and inimical paternal line, assumes the position of authority among the community of the gods or heroes (Norse Loki, Roman Tarquin, Irish Bres).” ref

“The subjects are treated unjustly by the new ruler, forced to erect fortifications while the archdemon favours instead outsiders, on whom his support relies. After a particularly heinous act, the archdemon is exiled by his subjects and takes refuge among his foreign relatives. A new leader (Norse Víðarr, Roman Lucius Brutus, Irish Lug), known as the “silent” one and usually the nephew or grandson (*népōt) of the exiled archdemon, then springs up and the two forces come together to annihilate each other in a cataclysmic battle. The myth ends with the interruption of the cosmic order and the conclusion of a temporal cyclic era. In the Norse and Iranian traditions, a cataclysmic “cosmic winter” precedes the final battle.” ref

In the cosmological model proposed by Jean Haudry, the Proto-Indo-European sky is composed of three “heavens” (diurnal, nocturnal and liminal) rotating around an axis mundi, each having its own deities, social associations and colors (white, dark and red, respectively). Deities of the diurnal sky could not transgress the domain of the nocturnal sky, inhabited by its own sets of gods and by the spirits of the dead. For instance, Zeus cannot extend his power to the nightly sky in the Iliad. In this vision, the liminal or transitional sky embodies the gate or frontier (dawn and twilight) binding the two other heavens.” ref

“Proto-Indo-Europeans may have believed that the peripheral part of the earth was inhabited by a people exempt from the hardships and pains that affect us. The common motif is suggested by the legends of the Indic Śvetadvīpam (“White Island”), whose inhabitants shine white like the moon and need no food; the Greek Hyperborea (“Beyond the North Wind”), where the sun shines all the time and the men know “neither disease nor bitter old age”; the Irish Tír na nÓg (“Land of the Young”), a mythical region located in the western sea where “happiness lasts forever and there is no satiety”; or the Germanic Ódáinsakr (“Glittering Plains”), a land situated beyond the Ocean where “no one is permitted to die.” ref

Proto-Indo-European Deities See also: List of Proto-Indo-European deities


“The archaic Proto-Indo-European language (4500–4000 BCE) had a two-gender system which originally distinguished words between animate and inanimate, a system used to separate a common term from its deified synonym. For instance, fire as an active principle was *h₁n̥gʷnis (Latin ignis; Sanskrit Agní), while the inanimate, physical entity was *péh₂ur (Greek pyr; English fire). During this period, Proto-Indo-European beliefs were still animistic and their language did not yet make formal distinctions between masculine and feminine, although it is likely that each deity was already conceived as either male or female. Most of the goddesses attested in later Indo-European mythologies come from pre-Indo-European deities eventually assimilated into the various pantheons following the migrations, like the Greek Athena, the Roman Juno, the Irish Medb, or the Iranian Anahita. Diversely personified, they were frequently seen as fulfilling multiple functions, while Proto-Indo-European goddesses shared a lack of personification and narrow functionalities as a general characteristic. The most well-attested female Indo-European deities include *H₂éwsōs, the Dawn, *Dʰéǵʰōm, the Earth, and *Seh₂ul, the Sun.” ref

“It is not probable that the Proto-Indo-Europeans had a fixed canon of deities or assigned a specific number to them. The term for “a god” was *deywós (“celestial”), derived from the root *dyew, which denoted the bright sky or the light of day. It has numerous reflexes in Latin deus, Old Norse Týr (< Germ. *tīwaz), Sanskrit devá, Avestan daeva, Irish día, or Lithuanian Dievas. In contrast, human beings were synonymous of “mortals” and associated with the “earthly” (*dʰéǵʰōm), likewise the source of words for “man, human being” in various languages. Proto-Indo-Europeans believed the gods to be exempt from death and disease because they were nourished by special aliments, usually not available to mortals: in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, “the gods, of course, neither eat nor drink. They become sated by just looking at this nectar”, while the Edda tells us that “on wine alone the weapon-lord Odin ever lives … he needs no food; wine is to him both drink and meat”. Sometimes concepts could also be deified, such as the Avestan mazdā (“wisdom”), worshipped as Ahura Mazdā (“Lord Wisdom”); the Greek god of war Ares (connected with ἀρή, “ruin, destruction”); or the Vedic protector of treaties Mitráh (from mitrám, “contract”).” ref

“Gods had several titles, typically “the celebrated”, “the highest”, “king”, or “shepherd”, with the notion that deities had their own idiom and true names which might be kept secret from mortals in some circumstances. In Indo-European traditions, gods were seen as the “dispensers” or the “givers of good things” (*déh₃tōr h₁uesuom). Although certain individual deities were charged with the supervision of justice or contracts, in general, the Indo-European gods did not have an ethical character. Their immense power, which they could exercise at their pleasure, necessitated rituals, sacrifices, and praise songs from worshipers to ensure they would in return bestow prosperity to the community. The idea that gods were in control of the nature was translated in the suffix *-nos (feminine -nā), which signified “lord of”. According to West, it is attested in Greek Ouranos (“lord of rain”) and Helena (“mistress of sunlight”), Germanic *Wōðanaz (“lord of frenzy”), Gaulish Epona (“goddess of horses”), Lithuanian Perkūnas (“lord of oaks”), and in Roman Neptunus (“lord of waters”), Volcanus (“lord of fire-glare”) and Silvanus (“lord of woods”).” ref

Linguists have been able to reconstruct the names of some deities in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) from many types of sources. Some of the proposed deity names are more readily accepted among scholars than others. According to philologist Martin L. West, “the clearest cases are the cosmic and elemental deities: the Sky-god, his partner Earth, and his twin sons; the Sun, the Sun Maiden, and the Dawn; gods of storm, wind, water, fire; and terrestrial presences such as the Rivers, spring and forest nymphs, and a god of the wild who guards roads and herds. The head deity of the Proto-Indo-European pantheon was the god *Dyḗws Ph₂tḗr, whose name literally means “Sky Father”. Regarded as the Sky or Day conceived as a divine entity, and thus the dwelling of the gods, the Heaven, Dyēus is, by far, the most well-attested of all the Proto-Indo-European deities. As the gateway to the gods and the father of both the Divine Twins and the goddess of the dawn (Hausos), Dyēws was a prominent deity in the pantheon. He was however likely not their ruler, or the holder of the supreme power like Zeus and Jupiter.” ref

“Due to his celestial nature, Dyēus is often described as “all-seeing”, or “with wide vision” in Indo-European myths. It is unlikely however that he was in charge of the supervision of justice and righteousness, as it was the case for the Zeus or the Indo-Iranian MithraVaruna duo; but he was suited to serve at least as a witness to oaths and treaties. The Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Jupiter both appear as the head gods of their respective pantheons. *Dyḗws Ph₂tḗr is also attested in the Rigveda as Dyáus Pitā, a minor ancestor figure mentioned in only a few hymns, and in the Illyrian god Dei-Pátrous, attested once by Hesychius of Alexandria. The ritual expressions Debess tēvs in Latvian and attas Isanus in Hittite are not exact descendants of the formula *Dyḗws Ph₂tḗr, but they do preserve its original structure.” ref

Bronze Age “Ritual” connections of the Bell Beaker culture with the Corded Ware/Single Grave culture, which were related to the Yamnaya culture and Proto-Indo-European Languages/Religions

I see religion as a “theme” of supernatural thinking/beliefs as a honeycomb or connected tree of branching ideas (similar to language or stone tool technology: “a cultural product”), several connected cells all influencing the others, and while they are all different cells that are all part of the whole religion phenomenon. I do not see them as old or new but a cultural product that evolved again and again from several different factors, but the majority was by transfer from cultural diffusion to others, 1. by people movements, and 2. idea transfer not directly connected to people moving to live but through trade and cultural interactions both positive and negative. To me, religion as a phenomenon (IE: several religions or religious ideas not grouped in a fully religious context but still influenced religiously/spiritually) it is several deviations and subsections all loosely connected in many loose ways.

“The Bronze Age (3300–1200 BCE or 5,320-3,220 years ago) marks the emergence of the first complex state societies, and by the Middle Bronze Age (mid-3rd millennium BC) the first empires. By the end of the Bronze Age, complex state societies were mostly limited to the Fertile Crescent and to China, while Bronze Age tribal chiefdoms with less complex forms of administration were found throughout Bronze Age Europe and Central Asia, in the northern Indian subcontinent, and in parts of Mesoamerica and the Andes (although these latter societies were not in the Bronze Age cultural stage).” ref

“Beaker culture was taken up by a group of people living in Central Europe whose ancestors had previously migrated from the Eurasian Steppe.” ref

“The Bell Beaker culture (or, in short, Beaker culture) is an archaeological culture named after the inverted-bell beaker drinking vessel used at the very beginning of the European Bronze Age. Arising from around 2800 BCE or 4,820 years ago, it lasted in Britain until as late as 1800 BCE or 3,820 years ago but in continental Europe only until 2300 BCE or 4,320 years ago, when it was succeeded by the Unetice culture. The culture was widely dispersed throughout Western Europe, from various regions in Iberia and spots facing northern Africa to the Danubian plains, the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and also the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The Bell Beaker culture was partly preceded by and contemporaneous with the Corded Ware culture, and in north-central Europe preceded by the Funnelbeaker culture. In its early phase, the Bell Beaker culture can be seen as the western contemporary of the Corded Ware culture of Central Europe. From about 2400 BCE or 4.420 years ago the Beaker folk culture-expanded eastwards, into the Corded Ware horizon. In parts of Central and Eastern Europe, as far east as Poland, a sequence occurs from Corded Ware to Bell Beaker. This period marks a period of cultural contact in Atlantic and Western Europe following a prolonged period of relative isolation during the Neolithic. In its mature phase, the Bell Beaker culture is understood as not only a collection of characteristic artifact types, but a complex cultural phenomenon involving metalwork in copper and gold, archery, specific types of ornamentation, and (presumably) shared ideological, cultural, and religious ideas. A wide range of regional diversity persists within the widespread late Beaker culture, particularly in local burial styles (including incidences of cremation rather than burial), housing styles, economic profile, and local ceramic wares (Begleitkeramik).” ref

“Corded Ware pottery of Central Europe and Single Grave culture, which consisted of burial under tumuli, burial mounds, or kurgans, in a crouched position with various ritual artifacts. They were related to the Yamnaya culture and the dispersal of Proto-Indo-European languages.” ref

“The Corded Ware culture (outdated called Battle Axe culture) comprises a broad archaeological horizon of Europe between c. 3100 – 2350 BCE or 5,120 to 4,370 years ago. Corded Ware culture encompassed a vast area, from the contact zone between the Yamnaya culture and the Corded ware culture in south Central Europe, to the Rhine on the west and the Volga in the east, occupying parts of Northern Europe, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe. The Corded Ware people of Central Europe carried mostly Western Steppe Herder (WSH) 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 be ancestral to the Proto-Germanic and Proto-Balto-Slavic Indo-European languages in Europe. The eastern Corded Ware Culture also shows genetic affinity with the later Sintashta culture, where the Proto-Indo-Iranian language may have originated. The term Corded Ware culture was named it after cord-like impressions or ornamentation characteristic of its pottery. The term Single Grave culture comes from its burial custom, which consisted of inhumation under tumuli in a crouched position with various artifacts. Battle Axe culture, or Boat Axe culture, is named from its characteristic male grave offering, a stone boat-shaped battle axe.” ref

When did the Celts arrive in Ireland? 

“The question has plagued linguists and archaeologists alike for a century. By the 5th century CE., the beginning of Irish historical records, all of Ireland was Celtic speaking; but when had it become so? Theories have ranged widely, from as early as 5000 to as late as 100 BCE or 7,020-2,120 years ago. This article will summarize the present theories, and suggest a resolution. But before these various theories can be examined, the meaning of the term “Celt” must be clarified. “Celtic” was initially a linguistic con­cept, used solely to refer to the Celtic languages. The earliest recorded versions of Celtic are Gallic and Brythonic, spoken in Gaul and Britain respectively at the time of the Roman conquest, and Goidelic, the language of Ireland by the 5th century CE. The Medieval and Modern Celtic languages are Welsh, Cornish, and Breton, all derived from the early Brythonic spoken in Britain, and Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx, which are all derived from Old Irish Goidelic. Gallic appears to have become extinct during the Roman occupa­tion of Gaul—at all events, there is no trace of it by the 5th century CE. when the Western Roman Empire collapsed.” ref

“Celtic is a branch of the great Indo-European language family, as are the Teutonic, Romance, and Balto-Slavonic languages of Europe, classical Greek and Latin, and many others. Indo-European languages, in fact, are found across a huge swath of the Old World, from northwestern Europe to the Indian sub-continent. Many of these languages, of course, are known from many centuries of written sources, and from place-names of considerable antiquity, as well as from their modern versions where these survive. Linguistic analysis has sorted this multiplicity of languages into closer groups and into more distant and disparate relationships, and named the whole huge ‘family’ Indo-European, from its distribution. From the earliest forms of the languages, which are linguistically closer to each other than their later descendants, it has proved possible to reconstruct the ‘skeleton,’ as it were, of the original language from which all were derived: this reconstruction is known as Proto-Indo-European, or *IE (the * indicating a language not known from any written sources, but reconstructed from its surviving descendants).” ref

“Celtic is divided into two main groups. Gallic and Brythonic (and probably the very poorly-known and long-extinct Pictish, so Professor Jackson argues) are P-Celtic, while Goidelic is Q-Celtic. This linguistic terminology identifies the shift from the original kw in *IE to qu in Goidelic and to p in Gallic and Brythonic. Old Irish is the only original Q-Celtic language known, Scots Gaelic and Manx resulting from historical Irish settlement in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Thus our problem in searching for the origins of a Celtic language in Ireland is compounded: Irish is the only native language recorded there, and there is no linguistic clue as to its origin, other than the general one that it is Celtic, and that Celtic is Indo-European. Moreover, Q-Celtic is usually considered to be linguistically more archaic and conservative than P-Celtic.” ref

“Here we introduce the archaeological problem. As in all parts of the world, one concern of archaeologists in Europe has been the attempted correlation of identifi­able archaeological cultures and traditions with the languages, language groups, and language families identified by linguistics. In turn, linguistics has turned to archaeol­ogy (when and where no documents exist] for assistance. In our specific case, the problem for both archaeologists and linguists is this: since the *IE language is generally agreed to have originated in central and/or eastern Europe during the 4th/3rd millennia BCE., how and when did Q-Celtic find its way to Ireland? Did it once exist on the continent as well, but survived only in Ireland? Or did it develop in Ireland from some earlier introduced Indo-European language? In either case, the time limit is wide: as we have noted already, theories range from 5000 to 100 BCE. for this event—and we must remember that this linguistic ‘event’ may well have been a protracted process.” ref

“Our earliest references to the Celts come from Greek sources of the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. These identify ‘Keltoi’ in central Europe, France, and at least parts of Spain. A growing number of such references in the succeeding centuries testify ever more clearly to Celtic-speaking peoples over much of Europe immediately north of the classical world. And the Roman conquests of Gaul and Britain, in the 1st centuries BCE. and CE. respectively, have left us substantial information of Celtic language, customs, and society in those areas. Archaeologically, this linguistic informa­tion correlates closely with the iron-using Hallstatt (ca. 700-500 BCE.) and the suc­ceeding La Tène cultures. Distinctive metal types such as the long iron sword (some­times copied in bronze), horse-bits, harness parts, and wagon fittings have been used by archaeologists to identify Hallstatt Iron Age culture in central Europe and parts of western Europe.” ref

“The succeeding La Tène culture, named after the find-spot of a large votive deposit on Lake Neuchatel, is renowned for its art style, manifested mainly in fine bronze drinking vessels, personal ornaments, weapons, and helmets, La Tene artists pro­duced their own abstractions based on Hallstatt, Greek and Oriental motifs— acanthus leaves, running scrolls, palmettes and peltas. This was a totally new amalga­mation of the art styles of three cultures and resulted in a distinctive, non­representational style. Hallstatt material is found not only in central and Western Europe but also in Britain and Ireland, while La Tène material is even better represented in these areas. Their presence has been presumed to note expansion from the Continent into Britain and Ireland. Could either of these archaeological groups represent Q-Celtic speakers introducing their language to Ireland and imposing it there?” ref

Hallstatt Iron Age

“The archaeological evidence for a Hallstatt invasion of Ireland is, to say the least, sparse. The foreign artifacts consist of approximately twenty-four bronze swords, one iron sword, seven winged scabbard chapes, seven bucket-shaped cauldrons, fifteen to twenty riveted vessels of bronze and one of iron, a fragment of a gold cup, a band and some ribbons of gold, two “flesh hooks” and two shields. This is a rather paltry assemblage on which to base the claim of an invasion. Current archaeological literature dealing with the Hallstatt invasions has begun to question the wisdom of hypothesizing an expansion throughout Europe based solely on metal artifacts. In addition, it is interesting to note that the bronze swords, which are the major portion of the Hallstatt material in Ireland, are insular copies of Continental prototypes.” ref

“It has been postulated that the earliest appearances of the Hallstatt swords in the British Isles were attributable to trade, to traveling sword-smiths, or to princely gifts or exchanges; and that thereafter the imported varieties were quickly copied by local sword-smiths, sometimes with their own modifications so as to develop eventually into purely insular varieties. An alternative explanation for the presence of the Hallstatt material is that it might be due to raiding activities since the largest portion consists of warrior-type equipment with a coastal-riverine distribution. Such distributions are argued as constituting a classic raiding pattern. Whether it be trading or raiding adventurers who account for the presence of Hallstatt material, it is now becoming increasingly apparent that a massive Hallstatt invasion of Ireland in the 7th century BCE. and the subsequent hypothesized language change are very difficult to substantiate.” ref

“The evidence for a La Tène invasion of Ireland, although in number of artifacts more formidable, is still questionable. Etienne Rynne has identified and discussed fifty or so objects which he attributed to the La Tène invasion in the 2nd/1st centuries B.C. In addition, there are swords, spear butts, and horse-bits which he omitted from his paper. Together this material constitutes a considerable corpus of La Tène decorated artifacts in Ireland, and undoubtedly suggests the influence of the continental La Tène culture. The ques­tion arises as to precisely what form this influence took; was it, as Rynne proposes, a two-prong invasion of La Tène Celts from Gaul and Britain, or does it represent, as others have suggested, raiding, or trad­ing, or just the adoption of a new art style by the indigenous people? I am inclined to accept the latter version.” ref

“In short, the appearance of a new art style, or even of a whole new metal industry, need not constitute the arrival, en masse, of a new population group. To ascertain the arrival of new population groups into any country it is necessary to substantiate the introduction of a number of indicative material objects and charac­teristics which constitute the known cul­ture of the “invading people.” Yet in Ireland, the characteristics of the conti­nental La Tène Celts are noticeably lacking: a few fibulae, swords, decorated torques, stones, and horse-bits are already well known, but the large flat cemeteries of the Marne, the wheel-turned or stamped pottery and the “princely tombs” are not evident.” ref

“The art of the Turoe stone has often been cited for its continental parallels, but Professor Duignan’s study indicates that its curvilinear ornament “represents an advanced stage of insular La Tène art” (my emphasis). Barry Raftery has described the Irish La Tène material as undoubtedly insular rather than continental in origin, and goes on to say that the limited burial and settlement evidence available “gives more than a hint of broad cultural stability in the last millennium BCE.” This does not necessarily signify that there were no La Tène Celts present in Ireland. However, it could be interpreted to mean either that a comparatively small number of La Tène people made their way to Ireland or that the new art motifs were introduced through trading. Neither interpretation seems likely to have been responsible for a total language change. There is also a critical linguistic objec­tion to this postulated La Tene introduction of Q-Celtic to Ireland, however: all our information on both continental and British La Tène cultures of the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE. indicates that they were P-Celtic in language.” ref

“The view that Q-Celtic was a late intro­duction into Ireland thus can be seriously questioned. What alternative hypotheses have been proposed? A number of Indo-European scholars conclude that an archaic form of Celtic was in existence by circa 2000 BCE or around 4,020 years ago. Linguists are not alone in propos­ing such an early date for the emergence of a Celtic language, Several Celtic specialists have postulated that the Celts emerge as a separate people about 2000 BCE., Goidelic being the earlier form of Celtic, and Gallic (along with Brythonic) a later development. If this theory is tenable then the archaeological evidence should attest to a major population incursion into Ireland at about that time.” ref

“In the later third millennium BCE., the appearance of foreign pottery in consid­erable quantity strongly suggests the arrival of continental migrants in Britain. These people have been given the make­shift label, the Beaker Folk, due to their distinctive beaker-shaped pottery. Their presence is well attested in Britain, but what of Ireland? Few actual Beaker vessels have been found in Ireland. However, in the last twenty years the “Irish Bowl,” of which there are several hundred known examples, has been recognized as a locally derivative form of Beaker pottery. Thus a Beaker invasion of Ireland can be argued. But from where did this invasion take place?” ref

“The exact location of the Beaker Folk’s homeland is yet to be pinpointed, but the controversies of archaeologists need not concern us here as on two points there is general agreement: that the British and Irish beakers mainly derive from the Low Countries, and that the beaker series of the Low Countries includes a strong component derived from central and east­ern European “corded beakers.” These “corded beakers” are part of a cultural complex (Battle-axe/Corded ware/Single grave) that is widely held both by archaeol­ogists and linguists to correspond to that of the speakers of “proto-Indo-European.” ref

“A further aspect of the Beaker-Battle-axe group is their technology. It has been con­clusively established by the recent work of Butler and van der Weals that tin-bronze and copper metallurgy were practiced among the Beaker Folk in the Low Countries. Hence, the Beaker Folk immediate conti­nental origin has been located as well as several diagnostic features of their culture. Furthermore, it has been established that there is a definite correlation between the accepted culture of the Indo-European speakers and that of the Beaker Folk in the Low Countries. Can their presence in Ireland be proven?” ref

“The end of the Irish Neolithic is heralded not only by a technological change—the appearance of copper and tin-bronze metallurgy—but also by the arrival of the Beaker culture. Dr. Case has shown that the Beaker Folk were the first metallurgists in Ireland. In spite of the growing number of Beaker finds recorded in Ireland, the classic Beaker burial (i.e. single grave inhumation) with “true” beaker pottery is rare. The only representative group in Ireland which appears to have practiced this burial rite with any frequency was the makers of the Irish Bowl (mentioned above). Although this classic Beaker burial rite occurs infrequently, nonethe­less, intrusive cultural elements can be discerned from the presence of the Irish Bowl and from the inclusion of “true Beaker” pottery within Late Neolithic Passage-graves. In short, it is possible to conclude that the joint appearance of various types of Beaker pottery and of innovations such as single inhumations and metalworking may be accepted as evidence of the move­ment of Beaker communities from the Low Countries to Britain and thence to Ireland.” ref

“The effect that the firm establishment of the Beaker Folk in Ireland had on the country must be discussed. Beaker migrations extended over a long period of time, starting perhaps with a phase of movements between Britain and Ireland, with exchanges of gifts and ideas. Next, settlers arrived in Ireland, with new metal technologies and new pottery types: the `eastern’ group has affinities with British Beaker assemblages, while the ‘western’ group may have come from northwestern France and buried their dead in `Wedge-graves’. The final phase corresponds to the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, and is mainly a con­tinuation of the second phase, with Beaker or Beaker-derived cultures persisting. It is perhaps during this phase that derivative forms of Beaker pottery came into existence, such as the Irish Bowl, Food Vessels, and Collared Urns.” ref

“It is apparent that the Beaker migra­tions to Ireland were not rapid and all-pervasive. Instead, they spanned hundreds of years and were characterized not only by the introduction of metallurgy and new pottery types but also by cultural inter­change and assimilation between “foreign” and “native” populations. The final question which must be raised in regard to the Beaker settlement of Ireland is important—is there continuity of tradition throughout the Bronze Age? It has been noted that many of the features which characterize the Early Bronze Age, such as pottery types, burial, and ritual monuments, and all of the major metal­lurgical products of this period, can be traced down to about 1400 BCE or 3,420 years ago., but then disappear from the archaeological record.” ref

“From the Middle and Late Bronze Age we have pitifully few settlements, pottery manufacture becomes more and more infre­quent, and we become increasingly reliant upon metal types for our knowledge of the period. New metal types do indeed occur but, as noted above, are not the safest basis for promoting the notion of large-scale population movements. In other words, there is no good archaeological rea­son to propose that any major language change occurred in Ireland through this time. Several archaeologists, perplexed by this, have sought the answer in a change of climate, for which there is evidence. This is a possible solution. Again, historical analogy shows that it is not necessary to conjure up new migrations each time there is some innovation or an apparent break in the archaeological record. The Early Chris­tian period in Ireland witnessed such major cultural changes as the beginning of written records, the emergence of a new art style, and the foundation of many monastic sites. These changes are quite dramatic, but cannot be attributed to invasion. They reflect the external influence and internal social development.” ref

“Thus it can be argued both linguistically and archaeologically that the Beaker Folk appear to have brought an early form of Q-Celtic to Ireland. At this point a question arises which cannot at present be satisfactorily answered; under what circumstances will an indigenous popula­tion adopt the language of an incoming group? Tao few studies have dealt with this important aspect of culture change for us to reach any valid conclusions. How­ever, the two most probable causes I have been able to discern are: 1) a massive influx of people and a subsequent take­over of the controls of power (i.e. an invasion) and 2) the indigenous population being “forced” to learn the language of a new dominant group in order to protect their economic, social and legal rights.” ref

“A massive influx and take-over of Ireland by the Beaker Folk? What little evidence is known of their presence in Ireland tends to indicate that their settlement was of a peaceful nature and in no way suggests any hostile intentions. Studies of the Beaker Folk’s migration and settlements suggest considerable cultural interchange, borrow­ing, and sharing. The evidence from Ballynagilly, Co, Tyrone, indicates that the Beaker Folk established their settlements in close proximity to the indigenous Neo­lithic population. What seems a likely cause of language change in this instance would be the second alterna­tive cited above.” ref

“Although there existed peaceful inter­change between the immigrants and the natives, the Beaker Folk were “socially preeminent.” They appear to have brought metallurgy to Ireland and therefore most likely controlled its production and dis­tribution. This would certainly make them economically “superior.” If economically powerful, the Beaker Folk perhaps also held the upper hand in matters of legal priority and social interaction. It would therefore be advantageous to the native population to adopt the Beaker Folk’s language in order to sustain their social and economic position. I am not envision­ing a rapid transition to this language, but instead, one that extended over a long period of time, eventually stabilizing in the unique Goidelic language.” ref