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.

Not all “Religions” or “Religious Persuasions” have a god(s) but

All can be said to believe in some imaginary beings or imaginary things like spirits, afterlives, etc.

Here are a few of what I see as “Animist only” Cultures:

“Aka people”

“The Aka people are very warm and hospitable. Relationships between men and women are extremely egalitarian. Men and women contribute equally to a household’s diet, either a husband or wife can initiate divorce, and violence against women is very rare. No cases of rape have been reported. The Aka people are fiercely egalitarian and independent. No individual has the right to force or order another individual to perform an activity against his or her will. Aka people have a number of informal methods for maintaining their egalitarianism. First, they practice “prestige avoidance”; no one draws attention to his or her own abilities. Individuals play down their achievements.” ref

“Mbuti People”

“The Mbuti people are generally hunter-gatherers who commonly are in the Congo’s Ituri Forest have traditionally lived in stateless communities with gift economies and largely egalitarian gender relations. They were a people who had found in the forest something that made life more than just worth living, something that made it, with all its hardships and problems and tragedies, a wonderful thing full of joy and happiness and free of care. Pygmies, like the Inuit, minimize discrimination based upon sex and age differences. Adults of all genders make communal decisions at public assemblies. The Mbuti people do not have a state, or chiefs or councils.” ref

“Hadza people”

“The Hadza people of Tanzania in East Africa are egalitarian, meaning there are no real status differences between individuals. While the elderly receive slightly more respect, within groups of age and sex all individuals are equal, and compared to strictly stratified societies, women are considered fairly equal. This egalitarianism results in high levels of freedom and self-dependency. When conflict does arise, it may be resolved by one of the parties voluntarily moving to another camp. Ernst Fehr and Urs Fischbacher point out that the Hadza people “exhibit a considerable amount of altruistic punishment” to organize these tribes. The Hadza people live in a communal setting and engage in cooperative child-rearing, where many individuals (both related and unrelated) provide high-quality care for children. Having no tribal or governing hierarchy, the Hadza people trace descent bilaterally (through paternal and maternal lines), and almost all Hadza people can trace some kin tie to all other Hadza people.” 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”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Animism (simplified to me as a belief in a perceived spirit world) possably by at least 100,000 years ago “the primal stage of early religion” To me, Animistic Somethingism: You just feel/think there has to be something supernatural/spirit-world or feel/think things are supernatural/spirit-filled.

Totemism (simplified to me, as a belief that these perceived spirits could be managed or related with by created physical expressions) possably by at least 50,000 years ago “progressed stage of early religion” A totem is a representational spirit being, a sacred object, or symbol of a group of people, clan, or tribe.

Shamanism (simplified to me as a belief that some special person can commune with these perceived spirits on the behalf of others by way of rituals) possably by at least 30,000 years ago Shamanism is an otherworld connection belief thought to heal the sick, communicate with spirits/deities, and escort souls of the dead.

Non-human primates like apes and monkeys seem to have an awareness of death in the same way humans do, scientists have said. On the left is a gorilla who holds her dead baby’s body on her back. This is similar to the chimp on the right who carries the remains of her dead baby’s body who died 17 days earlier on her back.  ref, ref, ref 

“After analyzing over 200 years worth of research into how primates deal with death, they found common behaviors emerged—including carrying their dead, defending the deceased from threats and exhibiting a grief-like response.”  ref 

“For example, a BBC documentary in 2017 (VIDEO): Spy Monkey Mistaken for Dead Baby and Mourned by Troop appeared to show a group of langur monkeys grieving for what they believe is a dead baby—even though it was actually just a robotic spy monkey.”  ref 

“The same year, scientists observed a chimpanzee using tools to clean the body of a deceased group member. A female sat down with the dead male and used a firm stem of grass to clean his teeth. The practice, researchers say, suggests chimps may have a more sophisticated response to death than we currently know. Andre Gonçalves from Japan’s Kyoto University and Susana Carvalho from the University of Oxford in the U.K. say there is a huge amount of anecdotal evidence relating to they way non-human primates deal with death—but a review of the literature to find specific characteristics and behaviors has been lacking.”  ref

“For the past two centuries, non-human primates have been reported to inspect, protect, retrieve, carry or drag the dead bodies of their conspecifics and, for nearly the same amount of time, sparse scientific attention has been paid to such behaviors,” they wrote in a study published in Biological Reviews. In their analysis of 240 reports, Gonçalves and Carvalho showed that specific responses emerge among different non-human primate species. Often this involves carrying the dead around—especially mothers and their dead babies. Species that are unable to grasp objects—such as lemurs and tamarins—are observed trying to carry their dead even though they lack the ability.”  ref

“Researchers have long suspected that chimps and other apes might engage in similar behavior, but they very rarely observe the death of a chimp in the wild, says Richard Byrne, a psychologist at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom. Zoos usually separate dying individuals from fellow chimps, he adds, making observations of their responses very difficult. In Pansy’s case, zookeepers decided to allow the other chimps to stay with her as she died, while a research team, led by psychologist James Anderson of the nearby University of Stirling, observed their reactions.” ref

“In a second example of chimpanzee grieving, a research group led by Dora Biro, a zoologist at the University of Oxford in the U.K., observed two chimp mothers carrying the remains of their dead infants for weeks. The observations were made in the forests of Bossou, Guinea, where primatologists have been studying wild chimps for 3 decades. In 2003, an epidemic of respiratory disease broke out at Bossou, killing five chimps. Two were infants, 1-year-old Jimato and 2-year-old Veve. The mothers of the infants carried their dead bodies around on their backs for 68 and 19 days, respectively, even as they dried out and became mummified. They brushed flies away from the babies, groomed them regularly, and allowed other chimps—including other young animals—to poke at the bodies, lift their limbs, and even carry them around for short distances.” ref

“In the case of Pansy, Anderson and his colleagues conclude that the other chimps reacted to her death in humanlike ways, experiencing grief and mourning. “Some of the behaviors appear strikingly similar to aspects of human responses to death and dying,” Anderson says, adding that many researchers have considered such reactions to be unique to humans. Christophe Boesch, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, says that his team has observed similar behavior among chimps at Tai Forest in the Côte d’Ivoire and agrees that “we have certainly underestimated awareness of death in chimpanzees.” ref

“The Bossou study is more difficult to interpret, researchers say, because it is not clear whether the mothers realized that their infants were truly dead. “It’s extremely difficult to make any claims either way,” Biro says. “We only have access to behavior, not to internal mental states.” But Byrne, who once observed a gorilla carry her dead baby around for 3 days in the mountains of Rwanda, points out that hospitals and doctors are increasingly giving the parents of a deceased infant the option of remaining with the body of their child for hours or even days before giving it up for burial, as a way of aiding the grieving process. Anderson hopes the Pansy episode will encourage zoos to do the same.” ref


 To me, it seems likely Homo Naledi did have an intentional cemetery as seen at Dinaledi Chamber, in South Africa, thus “Pre-Animism” dating to around 250,000 years ago. The odd cache of bones from several Homo Naledi was recovered from a deep chamber in a South African cave, seeming to express a cemetery far from the cave entrance, accessible only through a narrow, difficult passage impossible place to live, and not by accident this purposeful cave chamber was most likely kind of graveyard. ref

An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding

of  Religion Evolution


Religions continuing in our modern world, full of science and facts, should be seen as little more than a set of irrational conspiracy theories of reality. Nothing more than a confused reality made up of unscientific echoes from man’s ancient past. Rational thinkers must ask themselves why continue to believe in religions’ stories. Religion myths which are nothing more than childlike stories and obsolete tales once used to explain how the world works, acting like magic was needed when it was always only nature. These childlike religious stories should not even be taken seriously, but sadly too often they are.

Often without realizing it, we accumulate beliefs that we allow to negatively influence our lives. In order to bring about awareness, we need to be willing to alter skewed beliefs. Rational thinkers must examine the facts instead of blindly following beliefs or faith. Below is a collection of researched information such as archaeology, history, linguistics, genetics, art, science, sociology, geography, psychology, philosophy, theology, biology, and zoology. It will make you question your beliefs with information, inquiries, and ideas to ponder and expand on. The two main goals are to expose the evolution of religion starting by around 100,000 years ago and to offer challenges to remove the rationale of faith. It is like an intervention for belief in myths that have plagued humankind for way too long. We often think we know what truth is nevertheless this can be but a vantage point away from losing credibility if we are not willing to follow valid and reliable reason and evidence.

The door of reason opens not once but many times. Come on a journey to free thought where the war is against ignorance and the victor is a rational mind. Understanding Religion Evolution: Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago), * Animism (such as that seen in Africa: 100,000 years ago), *Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago), * Shamanism (beginning around 30,000 years ago), *Paganism (beginning around 12,000 years ago), * Progressed organized religion (around 5,000 years ago), * CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago), and * Early Atheistic Doubting (at least by around 2,600 Years Ago)

Key Words:

#Archaeology #Anthropology #Religion #Pre-Animism #Animism

#Totemism #Shamanism #Paganism #Atheism

The Interconnectedness of Religious Thinking?

“Religion is an Evolved Product”


Who Were Artists in Ancient Egypt and What Audiences Did They Address? – John Baines

In a general way, it all starts with Animism (a theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits) and this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (a theoretical belief in a mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to perform this worship and believed interaction as Shamanism (a theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through rituals). In addition, there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above, which is Paganism and is often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking from which it stems.

My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theoretical house (modern religions development). It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe by superstition perceived as good and evil”, and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul”, which was thought to affect the still living and led to ancestor worship. Presumably, this ancestor worship led to the belief in supernatural beings, which some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived idea that was “made from nothing into something over and over, changing again and again, taking on more as they evolve, and all the while, they are thought to be special.” However, it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.

Historically, around 5,000 years ago, in large city-state societies such as Egypt or Iraq culminated to make religion into something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine. However, this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent, it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine. These magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed and many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere, even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence. This amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion that started at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. This message of how religion and gods are intertwined with humans is clearly a man-made idea that was developed slowly as it was invented, reinvented, and implemented piece by piece, which discredits them all. This seems to be a simple point, which some are just not grasping how devastating this is to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

    “Religion is an Evolved Product”

    What we don’t understand we can come to fear. That which we fear we often learn to hate. Things we hate we usually seek to destroy. It is thus upon us to try and understand the unknown or unfamiliar not letting fear drive us into the unreasonable arms of hate and harm.

    Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago)

    Around a million years ago, I surmise that Pre-Animism, “animistic superstitionism”, began, Around 400,000 Years ago shows Sociocultural Evolution, and then led to the animistic somethingism or animistic supernaturalism, which is at least 300,000 years old and about 100,00 years ago, it evolves to a representation of general Animism, which is present in today’s religions. There is also Homo Naledi and an Intentional Cemetery “Pre-Animism” dating to around 250,000 years ago. And, Neanderthals “Primal Religion (Pre-Animism/Animism?)” Mystery Cave Rings 175,000 Years Ago. Neanderthals were the first humans to intentionally bury the dead, around 130,000 years ago at sites such as Krapina in Croatia.

    Pre-animism ideas can be seen in rock art such as that expressed in portable anthropomorphic art, which may be related to some kind of ancestor veneration. This magical thinking may stem from a social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration, which cultivates 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.

    Humans are not the only species, which bury their dead. The practice has been observed in chimpanzees, elephants, and possibly dogs. Intentional burial, particularly with grave goods, signify a “concern for the dead” and Neanderthals were the first human species to practice burial behavior and intentionally bury their dead, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. Exemplary sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Kebara Cave in Israel and Krapina in Croatia. The earliest undisputed human burial dates back 100,000 years ago with remains stained with red ochre, which show ritual intentionality similar to the Neanderthals before them. refref

    Animism (such as that seen in Africa: 100,000 years ago)

    Did Neanderthals teach us “Primal Religion (Pre-Animism/Animism?)” 120,000 Years Ago? Homo sapiens – is known to have reached the Levant between 120,000 and 90,000 years ago, but that exit from Africa evidently went extinct. 100,000 years ago, in Qafzeh, Israel, the oldest intentional burial had 15 African individuals covered in red ocher was from a group who visited and returned back to Africa. 100,000 to 74,000 years ago, at Border Cave in Africa, an intentional burial of an infant with red ochre and a shell ornament, which may have possible connections to the Africans buried in Qafzeh.

    Animism is approximately a 100,000-year-old belief system and believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden animist.

    The following is evidence of Animism: 100,000 years ago, in Qafzeh, Israel, the oldest intentional burial had 15 African individuals covered in red ocher was from a group who visited and returned back to Africa. 100,000 to 74,000 years ago, at Border Cave in Africa, an intentional burial of an infant with red ochre and a shell ornament, which may have possible connections to the Africans buried in Qafzeh, Israel. 120,000 years ago, did Neanderthals teach us Primal Religion (Pre-Animism/Animism) as they too used red ocher and burials? refref

    It seems to me, it may be the Neanderthals who may have transmitted a “Primal Religion (Animism)” or at least burial and thoughts of an afterlife. The Neanderthals seem to express what could be perceived as a Primal “type of” Religion, which could have come first and is supported in how 250,000 years ago, the Neanderthals used red ochre and 230,000 years ago shows evidence of Neanderthal burial with grave goods and possibly a belief in the afterlife. ref

    Do you think it is crazy that the Neanderthals may have transmitted a “Primal Religion”? Consider this, it appears that 175,000 years ago, the Neanderthals built mysterious underground circles with broken off stalactites. This evidence suggests that the Neanderthals were the first humans to intentionally bury the dead, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. Exemplary sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Kebara Cave in Israel and Krapina in Croatia. Other evidence may suggest the  Neanderthals had it transmitted to them by Homo heidelbergensis, 350,000 years ago, by their earliest burial in a shaft pit grave in a cave that had a pink stone axe on the top of 27 Homo heidelbergensis individuals and 250,000 years ago, Homo naledi had an intentional cemetery in South Africa cave.  refrefrefrefref

    Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago)

    Did Neanderthals Help Inspire Totemism? Because there is Art Dating to Around 65,000 Years Ago in Spain? Totemism as seen in Europe: 50,000 years ago, mainly the Aurignacian culture. Pre-Aurignacian “Châtelperronian” (Western Europe, mainly Spain and France, possible transitional/cultural diffusion between Neanderthals and Humans around 50,000-40,000 years ago). Archaic–Aurignacian/Proto-Aurignacian Humans (Europe around 46,000-35,000). And Aurignacian “classical/early to late” Humans (Europe and other areas around 38,000 – 26,000 years ago).

    Totemism is approximately a 50,000-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. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden totemist.

    Toetmism may be older as there is evidence of what looks like a Stone Snake in South Africa, which may be the “first human worship” dating to around 70,000 years ago. Many archaeologists propose that societies from 70,000 to 50,000 years ago such as that of the Neanderthals may also have practiced the earliest form of totemism or animal worship in addition to their presumably religious burial of the dead. Did Neanderthals help inspire Totemism? There is Neanderthals art dating to around 65,000 years ago in Spain. refref

    Shamanism (beginning around 30,000 years ago)

    Shamanism (such as that seen in Siberia Gravettian culture: 30,000 years ago). Gravettian culture (34,000–24,000 years ago; Western Gravettian, mainly France, Spain, and Britain, as well as Eastern Gravettian in Central Europe and Russia. The eastern Gravettians, which include the Pavlovian culture). And, the Pavlovian culture (31,000 – 25,000 years ago such as in Austria and Poland). 31,000 – 20,000 years ago Oldest Shaman was Female, Buried with the Oldest Portrait Carving.

    Shamanism is approximately a 30,000-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. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden shamanist.

    Around 29,000 to 25,000 years ago in Dolní Vestonice, Czech Republic, the oldest human face representation is a carved ivory female head that was found nearby a female burial and belong to the Pavlovian culture, a variant of the Gravettian culture. The left side of the figure’s face was a distorted image and is believed to be a portrait of an elder female, who was around 40 years old. She was ritualistically placed beneath a pair of mammoth scapulae, one leaning against the other. Surprisingly, the left side of the skull was disfigured in the same manner as the aforementioned carved ivory figure, indicating that the figure was an intentional depiction of this specific individual. The bones and the earth surrounding the body contained traces of red ocher, a flint spearhead had been placed near the skull, and one hand held the body of a fox. This evidence suggests that this was the burial site of a shaman. This is the oldest site not only of ceramic figurines and artistic portraiture but also of evidence of early female shamans. Before 5,500 years ago, women were much more prominent in religion.

    Archaeologists usually describe two regional variants: the western Gravettian, known namely from cave sites in France, Spain, and Britain, and the eastern Gravettian in Central Europe and Russia. The eastern Gravettians include the Pavlovian culture, which were specialized mammoth hunters and whose remains are usually found not in caves but in open air sites. The origins of the Gravettian people are not clear, they seem to appear simultaneously all over Europe. Though they carried distinct genetic signatures, the Gravettians and Aurignacians before them were descended from the same ancient founder population. According to genetic data, 37,000 years ago, all Europeans can be traced back to a single ‘founding population’ that made it through the last ice age. Furthermore, the so-called founding fathers were part of the Aurignacian culture, which was displaced by another group of early humans members of the Gravettian culture. Between 37,000 years ago and 14,000 years ago, different groups of Europeans were descended from a single founder population. To a greater extent than their Aurignacian predecessors, they are known for their Venus figurines. refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref, & ref

    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.

    Early Atheistic Doubting (at least by 2,600 years ago)

    Around 2,600 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

    Religious beliefs often don’t stay in the “belief” category, as if it is something chosen temporarily if needed or changeable if required. No, what is most common is that religious beliefs are completely infused to the person’s identity, thus it’s not what they believe it is more a factor of who they are. What this means is if they are later challenged and given reason to let the belief go this is largely disrupted because they and the belief are mixed with the person’s identity making its loss, not just a possible belief loss but a perceived personal identity loss.

    Religions continuing in our modern world, full of science and facts, should be seen as little more than a set of irrational conspiracy theories of reality. Nothing more than a confused reality made up of unscientific echoes from man’s ancient past. Rational thinkers must ask themselves why continue to believe in religions’ stories. Religion myths which are nothing more than childlike stories and obsolete tales once used to explain how the world works, acting like magic was needed when it was always only nature. These childlike religious stories should not even be taken seriously, but sadly too often they are. Often without realizing it, we accumulate beliefs that we allow to negatively influence our lives. In order to bring about awareness, we need to be willing to alter skewed beliefs. Rational thinkers must examine the facts instead of blindly following beliefs or faith.

    Below is a collection of researched information such as archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, history, linguistics, genetics, art, science, sociology, geography, psychology, philosophy, theology, biology, and zoology. It will make you question your beliefs with information, inquiries, and ideas to ponder and expand on. The two main goals are to expose the evolution of religion starting 100,000 years ago and to offer challenges to remove the rationale of faith. It is like an intervention for belief in myths that have plagued humankind for way too long. We often think we know what truth is nevertheless this can be but a vantage point away from losing credibility if we are not willing to follow valid and reliable reason and evidence. The door of reason opens not once but many times. Come on a journey to free thought where the war is against ignorance and the victor is a rational mind.

    If you are a religious believer, may I remind you that faith in the acquisition of knowledge is not a valid method worth believing in. Because, what proof is “faith”, of anything religion claims by faith, as many people have different faith even in the same religion?

    refref, ref, ref, ref

    Pre-Animism: Portable Rock Art Figure Stones

    Neanderthal figure stone, Fontmaure, France, around 150,000 to 50,000 years ago. refref

    Hamburg, Germany around 200,000 years ago with the common primal theme of one eye open, one eye closed or partly closed. ref

    Ancient handaxe figure stone Niger, around 800,000 to 300,000 years ago. ref

    “Right eye open, left eye missing”a common theme in Paleolithic art motif found in the Netherlands context around 300,000 years ago. ref

    Figure Stones

    A shell etched by Homo erectus is by far the oldest engraving ever found, challenging what we know about the origin of art and complex human thought. A right-handed individual and used a shark’s tooth. They had a remarkably steady hand and a strong arm. Half a million years ago, on the banks of a calm river in central Java, they scored a deep zigzag into a fossilised freshwater clam, by far the oldest engraving ever found. The date also means it was made two to three hundred thousand years before our own species evolved, by a more ancient hominin, Homo erectus.” ref

    If the artifact was intended to replicate a female figure, it would be the earliest example of representational art in the archaeological record. Rather than being made by modern humans, it would have been made by Homo erectus, hunter-gatherers and Acheulean tool users. There is some other evidence of an aesthetic sensibility during the period although compelling examples do not appear in the archaeological record until the emergence of behaviorally modern humans around 50,000 years ago. ref

    Subjectivity in Stone Age art works such as figure stones, engravings, sculptures, effigies and curated manuports. See how images and icons have been realized in portable rock media since the dawn of humanity. Here, archaeologists and art historians are becoming aware of these forsaken artifacts. “And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing.” -in W. Shakespeare, As You Like It, 1599.

    One common primal theme of one eye open, one eye closed or partly closed on stones. Below, compare the eyes and the shape of the mouth of the German figure with those on a sandstone petroglyph at Day’s Knob. Ursel Benekendorff’s Stone Age Art website displays some of her extensive collection of Figure Stones from northern Germany and the Canary Islands.  Many of the motifs characterizing this material closely resemble those in the artifacts from the much more recent 33GU218 site in Ohio, in some cases almost to the point of being identical, although of different lithic material.  In addition to anthropomorphic imagery, a readily identifiable bird motif is well represented. Figure Stones and Acheulean handaxes, some of which have now been confirmed as artifacts by professional archaeologists and by Dr. Eric Law, petrologist and professor of geology, who examined the Venus figure at Muskingum University in Ohio. Faces on customized stones seem to indicate it had symbolic significance. To me the nose and eyes look like possible fire starting holes but then there is the mouth and the odd hole at the top. Maby it represents a loved one or ancestor or magical significance…is it an idol of some sort or symbol of something? Homo erectus was the first to use fire and sophisticated tools. Unlike earlier hominids that developed crude choppers and flakes,

    Homo erectus produced sophisticated stone axes and used sharp stone cleavers and finger-size scrapers used slice off chewable sizes of meat. “Tools gave them access to elephants, wildebeest—bonanzas so big they couldn’t eat it all,” Nick Toth, an archaeologist from Indiana University told National Geographic. Blades dated to 240,000 year ago made from long slivers of stones in the Rift Valley are so skillfully crafted from difficult-to-work obsidian and lava, that some anthropologists argue that they required abstract thought to make. Some tools associated with Homo erectus however were also relatively primitive. The tools found at sites Dmanisi, Georgia consisted of rock “cores” and primitive choppers, not much sophisticated than those made by Homo habilis and possibly Australopithecus. Hand axes are usually associated with Homo erectus. Ones found at Konso-Gardula, Ethiopia are believed to be between 1.37 and 1.7 million year old.

    Describing a primitive 1.5- to 1.7-million-year-old ax, Ethiopian archaeologist Yonas Beyene told National Geographic, “You don’t see much refinement here. They’ve only been knapped away a few flakes to make the edge sharp.” After displaying a beautifully-crafted ax from a perhaps a 100,000 year later he said, “See how refined and straight the cutting edge has become. It was an artform for them. It wasn’t just for cutting. Making these is time-consuming working.” Thousands of primitive hand 1.5-million- to 1.4-million-year-old hand axes have been Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and Ubeidya, Israel. Carefully-crafted, sophisticated 780,000-year-old hand axes have been unearthed in Olorgesaile, near the Kenya and Tanzania border. Scientists believe they were used to butcher, dismember and deflesh large animals like elephants. Sophisticated Homo erectus teardrop-shaped stone axes that fit snugly in the hand and had a sharp edged created by careful shearing of the rock on both sides.

    The tool could be used to cut, smash and beat. Big symmetrical hand axes, known as Acheulan tools, endured for more than 1 million years little changed from the earliest versions found. Since few advances were made one anthropologists described the period in which Homo erectus lived as a time of “almost unimaginable monotony.” Acheulan tools are named after 300,000-year-old hand axes and other tools found in St. Acheul, France. In Eastern sites in China, India and Indonesia, numerous choppers and flakes have been discovered but no hand axes. This has lead scientists to speculate that larger tools may have been made from bamboo or wood. The oldest tools found in Asia include a 1.7-million-year-old flakes found in Nihewan, near Beijing and a crude 600,000-year-old biface found in Yuxian, China.

    Homo erectus learned to control fire about one million years ago. Sophisticated stone tools found at the 780,000-year-old site of Bose Basin in southern China near the Vietnam border seems to indicate that homonids in Asia developed tools just as advanced as tools made by their cousins in Africa and Europe. For a long time Asian homonids were depicted as being inferior and less sophisticated than homonids in Africa and Europe but the teardrop-shaped tools with double sharp edges found at Bose basin are as developed as this made 500,000 years ago in Europe. A 116,000-year-old core tool has been found in Jimminum, north Australia. Skulls dated to be 500,000 years old found in caves in Longgushan China appear to have been severed from the body and preserved, presumably as trophies. The purpose of this may have been to obtain the strength of the deceased. Critics of these claim say the marks made on the skulls were more likely made by giant hyenas than other hominids. Cut marks made on human bones, similar to those made with Homo erectus tools on butchered animals, have been found in sites ranging from South Africa to Croatia.

    Homo Erectus ritual/culture and thinking: At the 350,000-year-old site in Bilzingsleben, archaeologists found pieces of bone and smooth stones arranged in a 27-foot-wide circle. “They intentionally paved this area for cultural activities,” Dietrich Mania off the University of Jena, told National Geographic. “We found here a large anvil of quartzite set between the horns of a huge bison. Near it were fractured human skulls.” Describing an elephant tibia engraved with a series a regular lines found at Bilzingsleben, Mania said, “Seven lines go in one direction, 21 go in the other. We have found other pieces of bone with cut lines that are also too regular to be accidental. They are graphic symbols. To us they are evidence of abstract thinking and human language.” The tibia was dated at around 400,000 years ago. Scientists debate whether 400,000-year-old hominids were capable of symbolic thinking, often regarded as hallmark of language. If Mania’s conjectures are correct, then ancient hominids could have been much more advanced than previously thought.

    In Zambia, scientists found what they said were 350,000-year-old ocher crayons. If these crayons had in fact been used to make drawings or markings they could be regarded as the oldest known attempt to paint, suggests that early man attempted create art much earlier than people thought. Some scientists have theorized that Homo erectus must have possessed some form of rudimentary language because it needed to communicate to organize hunts and pass on information about tool making. The parts of the Homo erectus brain associated with reasoning, symbolism and imagination though were relatively undeveloped. The frontal lobe, where complex thinking takes place in modern humans, was relatively small. The small hole in its vertebrae probably meant that not enough information was transferred from the brain to the lungs, neck and mouth to make speech possible. Ann MacLarson, an anthropologist at Roehampton Institute in London, told National Geographic: “With simple grunts you can communicate a lot. But he couldn’t have produced anything like modern speech.”

    Scientists believe that man may have been able to speak as early as 400,000 years based on studies of the hypoglossal canal, an opening on the skull through which nerve fibers pass from the brain to the tongue. Humans have a larger hypoglossal canal than chimpanzees and evidence from 400,000 fossils seems to indicate that early man had a canal closer in size to a human canal than a chimpanzee canal. 

    ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

    The world’s oldest sculpture

    The world’s oldest sculpture; archaeology reveals the earliest sculptures discovered and enhanced by hominid hand. To date, the oldest known human three-dimensional representation is the Tan-Tan sculpture (above left), discovered in Morocco, in an open site in ancient river deposits of the Draa river. It is Acheulian, and has been dated between 500,000 to 300,000 years old. It is almost 6 cms in height and just over 1 cm wide. The overall shape of this small quartzite pebble resembles a human figure. Found near stone tools, it is possible that the pebble was simply collected and kept by someone who noticed its human shape. It is entirely natural yet appears to have been modified by human action; examination under a microscope suggests this shape may have been emphasised by deliberate alteration of the natural grooves which run across the body. It was found at the Berekhat Ram site on the Golan Heights, a pebble of volcanic rock 35mm in length. The pebble was noticeable because it resembled a female human form. ref

    The Berekhat Ram sculpture (above right) has a groove around the neck and on the sides which have been shown to be deliberate modifications absent from other scoria found in the area. The archaeologist Alexander Marshak examined the pebble using an electron microscope. He concluded that it had been made, or enhanced, by hominid hand, the hominins who found and worked on their respective pieces would have been unaware of their future significance. The Venus of Berekhat Ram is a pebble found at Berekhat Ram on the Golan Heights, Israel. The base object is an anthropomorphic red tufic pebble, 35 mm (1.4 in) long, which has had at least three grooves, possibly incised on it by a sharp-edged stone. One is a deep groove that encircles the narrower, more rounded end of the pebble, two shallower, curved grooves run down the sides. These grooves can be interpreted as marking the neck and arms of a figure. Because it was found between two layers of ash, it has been dated by tephrochronology to at least 230,000 years before the present but is at a range of 500,000 – 233,000 Years Ago.

    The venus of Berekhat Ram is a red stone figure with symbolic intent and possibly intended to represent an anthropomorphic female figure. The surface is a bright high red with a large hole lined with black volcanic glass is at the approximate position of a ‘navel.’ Venus figurines are often found in different elements or mediums from limestone, serpentine, ivory, clay, and bone ash and are dispersed from western Europe to Siberia. These figurines are often faceless with downturned heads, large breasts, buttocks (many-extreme fat), some possibly pregnant, several stuck into the ground, and found near cave walls or in hearths. So what are the possible explanations of venus figurines? They could be some kind of good luck charms (evidence of polish), symbols of fertility, cult objects, art, Paleolithic porn, or representations of women by women or men (some look like modern pregnant bodies and some very skinny) but overall there may be no one reason. These figurines may have been created for several different reasons depending on time, place, and people but we just do not know.

    Though calling them all goddesses or venus is at least misleading if not outright uncalled for because of mythologizing motivated by current projections and this is true even if a few were seen as some kind of goddesses. However, the venus of Berekhat Ram even if just anthropomorphic art (i.e. ascribing human form or attributes to a thing not human) could be seen as possibly the earliest known archaeological manifestations of any kind of elements that later become more defined religious belief systems. This is reasonable because anthropomorphic character design in art is a symbolic use of design to portray personality and thus, natural objects resembling the human body (or parts of it) which have received minor amounts of intentional modification in order to bring out the similarity further for a desired purpose. One could possibly even surmise that for some, there may have been a character that can play a possible part in telling stories. Thus, anthropomorphic art, such as venus figurines, may connect or be a larger growing fantasy of symbolism, superstitions, and supernaturalism thus to socio-cultural-religious transformations or evolution.

    Although one cannot at present rule out a purely fortuitous association with the venus of Berekhat Ram and the piece can hardly be described as artistic, the possibility remains that it can be placed in the figures category as unambiguous indicators of early symbolism, let alone ritual, and we should not write it off as casual ‘lithic art’. Instead, the appearance of precocious lithic technologies such as end-scrapers and stone chisels at Berekhat Ram, symbolism (and by extension perhaps ritual) drifted in and out of use over evolutionary time. refrefrefrefref

    Ref: Insoll, T. (2012). The Oxford handbook of the archaeology of ritual and religion. Oxford, United Kingdom. Oxford University Press.

    ref, ref, ref, ref

    Pre-Animism Emergence is No Accident at Least by 300,000-year Ago Was Aided by Evolution
    Pre-Animism: “animistic superstitionism”, I surmise, leads to the animistic somethingism, or animistic supernatralism is presented in today’s religions and is a representation of general Animism that is at least 100,000 years old. ref
    The Blue on the outside references the size difference between modern human brains and the inside to illustrate regions with surface size increase associated with this gradual shape changes. ref
    300,000-year-old Moroccan, North African skulls look shockingly that of Modern Humans and these skulls hold a combination of advanced and archaic features suggesting that these skulls may represent the very root of our Modern Human species. This is further supported in how all Homo sapiens ever found even far beyond Africa trace their ancestral linkages to the Moroccan, North African skulls or at least point as it where in that direction. And seemingly Homo sapiens could have been living across Africa and sem9ingly engaging in extensive movement, which could have involved exchange both in ideas, technology as well as even genetics. ref
    300,000-year-old wolf tooth pendant from Repolust Cave, Austria. ref

    Pre-animism: Anthropology; “A stage of religious development supposed to have preceded animism, in which material objects were believed to contain spiritual energy.” ref


    “Primal Religion (Pre-Animism/Animism?)” or at least burial and thoughts of an afterlife may have been transferred from Neanderthals to arcane humans when they bread with them. Neanderthals, also interbred with Homo erectus, the “upright walking man,” Homo habilis, the “tool-using man,” and possibly others which means they could have possibly learned some pre-animism ideas from one of them like that expressed in portable anthropomorphic art that could have related to so kind of ancestor veneration as well. ref

    The earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos, and Swanscombe, dating to around 500,000 to 400,000 years ago. The Atapuerca fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertal clade, whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution, to Homo heidelbergensis, or to a subspecies of Homo erectus A recently discovered cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 436,000 to 390,000 years ago provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins as well as could show a transfer of ideas. ref

    Homo erectus, the “upright walking man,” Lived: Between about 1.89 million and 143,000 years ago, whereas, early African Homo erectus fossils (sometimes called Homo ergaster) are the oldest known early humans to have possessed modern human-like. The earliest evidence of hearths (campfires) occur during the time range of Homo erectus. While we have evidence that hearths were used for cooking (and probably sharing) food, they are likely to have been places for social interaction, and also used for warmth and to keep away large predators, possibly even relating to Primal Religion “Pre-Animism, which may have included Fire Sacralizing and/or Worshipref

    Neanderthals used fire 400,000 years ago and there is evidence of a 300,000-year-old ‘campfire’ from  Israel not that surprising after our human ancestors controlled fire from 1.5 million to 300,000 years ago and beyond. The benefits of fire are not only to cook food and fend off predators, but also extended their day and added to the community by how a fire in the middle of the darkness mellows and also flames excite people, possibly inspiring pre-animism’s “animistic superstitionism.” Sun-worshipping baboons rise early to catch the African sunrise and race each other to the top for the best spots. Thus, we may rightly ponder how much did fireside tales aid to the socio-cultural-religious transformations or evolution. In the dark under flickering lights both above and below, was the scene a mix of wonder, fear, and mystery that superstition was expanded and religion further imagined? It would seem that superstition was expanded and religion further imagined because both heavenly lights and flickering fire have been sacralized. Which does seem to be somewhat supported by a researcher who spent 40 years studying African Bushmen who gathered evidence of the importance of gathering around a nighttime campfire might be a universally applicable time for bonding, social information, many shared emotions, in fireside tales if we can ascertain a correlation that our prehistoric ancestors likely lived in a similar way to how the Bushmen current do.

    Although, we cannot directly peer into the past, or fully know the past from the indigenous Bushmen, these people do live in a way that our ancient ancestors lived for around 99% of our evolution. Therefore, we can somewhat draw some reasonable parallels such as how daytime conversations focused mainly on social relationships with only a small percentage of stories, whereas the evening conversations around campfires centered on storytelling, especially the adding of stories about the spirit world adding possible credence to the thinking that nighttime and its darkness full of fear and or wonder in the flickering lights of fireside allows for more mystical thinking and the tales such an environment can produce which could have aided in socio-cultural-religious transformations or evolution. The importance of water and fire can be a set of hidden factors to human evolution and socio-cultural-religious transformations and involved in many religious themes; lingering primitive animism still seen in current religions.

    Fire as sacred or magic can be seen in consuming fire, volcanos/lightning as gods power/vengeance, holy fire, fire as a means of transformation or magical purification or just a magical being itself as well as used in fire worship/worshiping the sun or punishment (hell: lake of  fire which could be seen as mixing fire and water if only symbolically) used in ceremonies like bonfires, eternal flames, or sacred candles/incense/lights/lamps are in one form or another incorporated in many faiths such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Bahaism, Shintoism, Taoism, etc. All this worship of fire/sun are hardly special certain primates worship thunderstorms, others fire or sunrises. We have forgotten how nature worship, animistic superstitionism, animistic somethingism, or animistic supernatralism is presented in today’s religion. The mega religions now think they are removed from animistic superstitionism, which they have not. Their rituals, beliefs, and prayers have a connection to animism nature worship but are more hidden or stylized, such as burning candles which is worshipping fire. 

    refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref,  ref

    Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago)

    First, there was Pre-Animism: Portable Rock Art

    Around a million years ago, I surmise that Pre-Animism, “animistic superstitionism”, began and led to the animistic somethingism or animistic supernaturalism, which is at least 300,000 years old and about 100,00 years ago, it evolves to a representation of general Animism, which is present in today’s religions.

    Anthropology states that Pre-animism is “A stage of religious development supposed to have preceded animism, in which material objects were believed to contain spiritual energy.” ref

    To me, it is a kind of “Primal Pre-Religion (Pre-Animism/Proto-Animism” or at least burial and thoughts of an afterlife, may have been transferred from the Neanderthals to arcane humans when they bred with them. Neanderthals, also interbred with Homo erectus, the ‘upright walking man,’ Homo habilis, the ‘tool-using man” and possibly others, which means they could have possibly learned some pre-animism ideas from one of the other hominids thas is expressed in portable anthropomorphic art, which could have been related to some kind of ancestor veneration as well. ref

    Around 500,000 to 400,000 years ago, the earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos, and Swanscombe. The Atapuerca fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertals whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to Homo heidelbergensis or to a subspecies of Homo erectus, which is an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution. A cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 436,000 to 390,000 years ago provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins as well as could show a transfer of ideas. ref

    Homo erectus, the “upright walking man,” lived between 1.89 million and 143,000 years ago, whereas early African Homo erectus and sometimes called Homo ergaster are the oldest known early humans to have possessed modern human-like attributes. The earliest evidence of campfires occurred during the time of Homo erectus. While there is evidence that campfires were used for cooking, and probably sharing food, they are likely to have been placed for social interaction, used for warmth, to keep away large predators, and possibly even relating to Primal Religion, “Pre-Animism,” which may have included Fire Sacralizing and/or Worshipref

    Neanderthals used fire 400,000 years ago and there is evidence of a 300,000-year-old ‘campfire’ from Israel, which is not that surprising since our human ancestors have controlled fire from 1.5 million to 300,000 years ago and beyond. The benefits of fire are not only to cook food and fend off predators, but also extended their day and added to the community by how a fire in the middle of the darkness mellows and also excite people, which possibly inspire pre-animism’s “animistic superstitionism.” ref

    Forkhead box P2 (FOXP2) is implicated in human speech and language playing important roles in the plasticity of the developing brain and that of modern populations suggests that it has been the target of positive (Darwinian) selection during recent human evolution. The first mutations in exon 7 more than around 400,000 years ago, prior to the human-Neandertal split, and impacted FOXP2 function. The second event, beginning within the last 200,000 years, did not involve further FOXP2 amino acid changes (because the Neandertal and human FOXP2 are identical) but might have instead affected FOXP2. Overall, there was strong evidence of selection of FOXP2 targets in Europeans, but not in the Han Chinese, Japanese, or Yoruba populations. Analyses of ancient DNA samples have revealed that the amino acid differences were shared with Neandertals, who split from modern humans 300,000–400,000 years ago, and the haplotypes extended across the amino acid changes. And, Neanderthals and humans share two changes in FOXP2 compared with chimpanzees and the possibilities range from interaction gene flow to that of a common ancestor to both or changes and selective sweep occurred before the divergence that could mean Neanderthals had language and or other type capabilities. ref, ref

    There was a primitive Homo sapiens skull found at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco dated to around 300,000 years ago. With remarkable similarities between the Moroccan skull and one found in China dated to around 260,000 years ago. ref, ref

    Sun-worshipping baboons rise early to catch the African sunrise and race each other to the top for the best spots. Thus, we may rightly ponder how much did fireside tales aid to the socio-cultural-religious transformations or evolution. In the dark under flickering lights from the stars above and the fire below was the scene of wonder, fear, and mystery. Was superstition expanded and religion further imagined? It would seem that superstition was expanded and religion further imagined because both heavenly lights and flickering fire have been sacralized. This does seem to be somewhat supported by a researcher who spent 40 years studying African Bushmen who gathered evidence of the importance of gathering around a nighttime campfire as a time for bonding, social information, and shared emotions with fireside tales. This may provide a correlation that our prehistoric ancestors likely lived in a similar way to how the Bushmen currently do. Although we cannot directly peer into the past or fully know the past from the indigenous Bushmen, these people do live in a way that our ancient ancestors lived for around 99% of our evolution.

    Fire, as sacred or magic, can be seen in:

    • Consuming fire as volcanos/lightning as gods and gods’power/vengeance.
    • Holy fire as a means of transformation or magical purification.
    • A magical being as used in worshipping the sun or punishment such as hell/lake of fire, which could be seen as mixing fire and water, if only symbolically.
    • Ceremonies such as bonfires, eternal flames, or sacred candles/incense/lights/lamps are in one form or another incorporated in many faiths such as judaism, christianity, islam, hinduism, buddhism, sikhism, bahaism, shintoism, taoism, etc.  refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref

    All this worship of fire/sun is hardly special to humans since many other primates worship thunderstorms, others fire, or sunrises. We have forgotten how nature worship, animistic superstitionism, animistic somethingism, or animistic supernatralism is presented in today’s religion. The mega religions now think they are removed from animistic superstitionism, which they are not. Their rituals, beliefs, and prayers have a connection to animism nature worship but are more hidden or stylized such as burning candles, which is worshipping fire.

    Archaeology reveals that the world’s oldest sculpture was enhanced by hominid hand. To date, the oldest known human three-dimensional representation is the Tan-Tan sculpture, which is an anthropomorific human form from Morocco was found in ancient river deposits of the Draa river. It is Acheulian and has been dated between 500,000 to 300,000 years old. 500,000 to 233,000 years ago, in Israel, another sculpture, which may be the oldest Stone Age Art was found at the Berekhat Ram site on the Golan Heights that consist of a small quartzite pebble, which resembles a human female figure with magical believed qualities or representing something that was believed to be magical. ref

    Is this just art or a form of ancestor veneration? 

    Pre-animism ideas can be seen in rock art such as that expressed in portable anthropomorphic art, which may be related to some kind of ancestor veneration. This magical thinking may stem from a social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration, which cultivates 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.

    Humans are not the only species, which bury their dead. The practice has been observed in chimpanzees, elephants, and possibly dogs. Intentional burial, particularly with grave goods, signify a “concern for the dead” and Neanderthals were the first human species to practice burial behavior and intentionally bury their dead, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. Exemplary sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Kebara Cave in Israel and Krapina in Croatia. The earliest undisputed human burial dates back 100,000 years ago with remains stained with red ochre, which show ritual intentionality similar to the Neanderthals before them. refref

    130,000 years ago – Earliest undisputed evidence for intentional burial and it is Neanderthals…

    Evidence suggests that the Neanderthals were the first humans to intentionally bury the dead and possibly doing cannibalism which could be evidence of a death ritual, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. 130,000 years ago – Earliest undisputed evidence for intentional burial. Neanderthals bury their dead at sites such as Krapina in Croatia. There was a total of 876 single Neanderthal fossil remnants found at the Hušnjak hill. The Bones belonged to several dozen different individuals, of different sex, from 2 to 40 years of age. Over a thousand pieces of various stone tools and weapons from the Paleolithic era were found, all witnessing to the material culture of the Krapina proto-human. This rich locality is approximately 130.000 years old. Numerous fossil remnants of the cave bear, wolf, moose, large deer, warm climate rhinoceros, wild cattle and many other animals were also found. Moreover, there is bird skeletons, with some of the parts modified, are found in association with the Neanderthal bones. Here are some talons and foot bones from the white-tailed eagle. There appears to be cut marks in the talons and foot bones to which they were attached, suggesting that Neanderthals were using the talons and bones as jewelry. This is supported by recent findings of gut “fiber” tied around part of a talon. Here are a foot bone and a talon that have been modified by having grooves cut in them. Neanderthals were largely carnivores, though we know they also used medicinal plants. refrefref

    Did Neanderthals teach us “Primal Religion (Pre-Animism/Animism?)” 120,000 Years Ago?

    Homo sapiens – is known to have reached the Levant between 120,000 and 90,000 years ago, but that exit from Africa evidently went extinct. Homo sapiens – is known to have reached the Levant between 120,000 and 90,000 years ago, but that exit from Africa evidently went extinct. refref

    A population that diverged early from other modern humans in Africa contributed genetically to the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains roughly 100,000 years ago. By contrast, we do not detect such a genetic contribution in the Denisovan or the two European Neanderthals. In addition to later interbreeding events, the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains and early modern humans met and interbred, possibly in the Near East, many thousands of years earlier than previously thought. ref

    In 2005, a set of 7 teeth from Tabun Cave in Israel were studied and found to most likely belong to a Neandertal that may have lived around 90,000 years ago. And another Neandertal (C1) from Tabun Cave was estimated to be in northern Israel. The limb bones are characteristic of Neanderthals, whereas the lower jaw has a combination of Neanderthal and earlier features. These fossils date from more than 150,000 years ago  refref

    A fossilized human jawbone in a collapsed cave in Israel that they said is between 177,000 and 194,000 years old. The Tabun Cave contains a Neanderthal-type female, dated to about 120,000 years ago. It is one of the most ancient human skeletal remains found in Israel. Objects at Tabun suggests that ancestral humans used fire at the site on a regular basis since about 350,000 years ago. refrefref

    The absolute chronology of the Levantine (Israel and local surrounding areas) Middle Paleolithic (300–45 ka) fossils indicates that Humans existed there between 120,000 to 90,000 years ago (possibly leaving the area due to climate change), making things colder and again migrating and staying from 55,000 years ago until the present. The genomic evidence suggests gene flow from early Humans to the eastern Altai Neandertals around 100,000 years ago and flow from Neandertals to Humans between around 60,000 and 50,000 years ago. In the Levant, the archaeological record cannot distinguish between these two Middle Paleolithic populations. The broad array of stone tool techniques and styles variability observed in the Levantine Middle Paleolithic is not clearly taxonomy related. The two populations left similar material culture remains—in particular, lithic industries that include the Levallois technology. In addition, the populations seem to have had similar, settlement and mobility patterns with respect to the use of caves for habitation and burials; at Tabun, these populations used the same cave diachronically. Therefore, it was also difficult to determine these species’ settlement patterns and territorial behavior within the Levant. ref

    The remains of seven adults and three children were found, some of which (Skhul;1,4, and 5) are claimed to have been burials. Assemblages of perforated Nassarius shells (a marine genus) significantly different from local fauna have also been recovered from the area, suggesting that these people may have collected and employed the shells as bead as they are unlikely to have been used as food. Skhul Layer B has been dated to an average of 81,000-101,000 years ago with the electron spin resonance method, and to an average of 119,000 years ago with the thermoluminescence method. refrefref

    Skhul 5 had the mandible of a wild boar on its chest. The skull displays prominent supraorbital ridges and jutting jaw, but the rounded braincase of modern humans. When found, it was assumed to be an advanced Neanderthal, but is today generally assumed to be a modern human, if a very robust one. refref

    It is possible that Neandertals and early moderns did make contact in the region and it may be possible that the Skhul and Qafzeh hominids are partially of Neandertal descent. Non-African modern humans contain 1-4% Neandertal genetic material, with hybridization possibly having taken place in the Middle East. ref

    It has been suggested, however, that the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids represent an extinct lineage. If this is the case, modern humans would have re-exited Africa around 70,000 years ago, crossing the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb strait between Eritrea and the Arabian Peninsula. ref

    Modern humans were present in Arabia and South Asia earlier than currently believed, and probably coincident with the presence of Homo sapiens in the Levant between ca 130 and 70,000 years ago. This is the same route proposed to have been taken by the people who made the modern tools at Jebel Faya. This Neandertal girl’s toe bone had ancient DNA her ancestors picked up by mating with modern humans more than 100,000 years ago. refrefref

    If the Skhul burials took place within a relatively short time span, then the best age estimate lies between 100 and 135 ka. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that the material associated with the Skhul IX burial is older than those of Skhul II and Skhul V. These and other recent age estimates suggest that the three burial sites, Skhul, Qafzeh and Tabun are broadly contemporaneous, falling within the time range of 100 to 130 ka. The presence of early representatives of both early modern humans and Neanderthals in the Levant during Marine Isotope Stage 5 inevitably complicates attempts at segregating these populations by date or archaeological association. Nevertheless, it does appear that the oldest known symbolic burials are those of early modern humans at Skhul and Qafzeh. This supports the view that, despite the associated Middle Palaeolithic technology, elements of modern human behavior were represented at Skhul and Qafzeh prior to 100 ka. ref

    As some of the first bands of modern humans moved out of Africa, they met and mated with Neandertals about 100,000 years ago—perhaps in the fertile Nile Valley, along with the coastal hills of the Middle East, or in the once-verdant Arabian Peninsula. These early modern humans’ own lineages died out, and they are not among the ancestors of living people. But a small bit of their DNA survived in the toe bone of a Neandertal woman who lived more than 50,000 years ago in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, Russia. ref

    100,000 years ago – The oldest known ritual burial of modern humans at Qafzeh in Israel: a double burial of what is thought to be a mother and child. The bones have been stained with red ochre. By 100,000 years ago anatomically modern humans migrated to the middle east from Africa. However, the fossil record of these humans ends after 100kya, leading scholars to believe that population either died out or returned to Africa. 100,000 to 50,000 years ago – Increased use of red ochre at several Middle Stone Age sites in Africa. Red Ochre is thought to have played an important role in ritual. The human skeletons were associated with red ochre which was found only alongside the bones, suggesting that the burials were symbolic in nature. ref

    Within Israel’s Qafzeh Cave, researchers found evidence of a sophisticated culture and remains of modern humans that are up to 100,000 years old. About 100,000 years ago, tall, long-limbed humans lived in the caves of Qafzeh, east of Nazareth, and Skhul, on Israel’s Mount Carmel. The Skhul-Qafzeh people gathered shells from a shoreline more than 20 miles away, decorated them and strung them as jewelry. They buried their dead, most likely with grave goods, and cared for their living: A child born with hydrocephalus, sometimes called water on the brain, lived with a profound disability until the age of 3 or so, a feat only possible with a patient, loving care. The Qafzeh humans were around 92,000 years old, and the Skhul people were even older, averaging about 115,000 years. Around 75,000 years ago, close to the time, the Homo sapiens of Skhul and Qafzeh disappear from the fossil record, the climate in the Levant shifted in Neanderthals’ favor. Rapid glaciation left the region both cooler and drier. Steppe-deserts advanced, and forests retreated. Neanderthal bodies were adapted for colder conditions. Their stocky, barrel-chested build lost less heat and offered plenty of insulating muscle, and their systems were streamlined to extract calories from food and turn them into body heat. The Skhul-Qafzeh people’s slender physiques were better at getting rid of heat than making it. Or, as Shea says, “Neanderthals liked cold and dry. Our ancestors liked warm and wet. It got cold, and humans retreated.” refref

    At some point between 195,000 and 123,000 years ago, the population size of Homo sapiens plummeted, thanks to cold, dry. A late human population bottleneck is postulated by some scholars at approximately 70,000 years ago, during the Toba catastrophe, when Homo sapiens population may have dropped to as low as between 1,000 and 10,000 individuals. Everyone alive today is descended from a group of people from a single region who survived this catastrophe. The southern coast of Africa would have been one of the few spots where humans could survive during this climate crisis. Estimates all indicate that everyone alive today is descended from a small population that lived in one region of Africa sometime during this global cooling phase. ref, ref

    At Blombos Cave, South Africa, revealed a processing workshop where a liquefied ochre-rich mixture was produced and stored in two Haliotis midae (abalone) shells 100,000 years ago. Ochre, bone, charcoal, grindstones, and hammerstones form a composite part of this production toolkit. The application of the mixture is unknown, but possibilities include decoration and skin protection. At Pinnacle Point on the southern coast of South Africa at cave Cave PP13B  held the earliest evidence for human consumption of shellfish – dated to around 164,000 years ago. Cave shelter PP5-6, containing possibly the earliest evidence for projectile points around 71,000 years ago, and to make those microliths they focused on heat treatment to improve the stone. The types of innovations that have been revealed by the excavations in the Pinnacle Point complex share some major traits: cooperation, organization, and planning,” says Leonard. And these were critical to the later development of agriculture and urbanization, basic elements of civilization. 75,000-year-old pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs, 75,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius (sea tick) shells, and 80,000-year-old bone tools, as well as human teeth with crown diameters that suggested that the people in the cave were likely anatomically modern. Moreover, at the Pinnacle Point complex, there were deposits dating to around 110,000 years ago include both red ochre and seashells that were clearly collected for their aesthetic appeal seeming to show that humans had begun to embed in their worldview and rituals. refrefref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art 

     ref, ref, ref 

    At Border Cave, a “savanna-woodland” vegetation community is implied before 100,000 years ago and the matching density of stone tools vary considerably through time, with high frequencies of stone blades occurring before 100,000 years ago. ref 

    Around 74,000 years ago, in Border Cave, South Africa, the burial of a 4 to 6-month-old child was found in a pit with a personal ornament, a perforated Conus shell. ref

    Border Cave is the only African site covering a time span of 250,000 years, with Middle Stone Age human remains, and also records the first emergence of key cultural innovations such as things like grass bedding dated between 70,000 to 30,000 years ago. ref 

    In South Africa, some of the oldest beads are made of marine shells that come from the Still Bay layers of Blombos Cave dating back to around 72,000 years ago, and engraved ostrich eggshells dated to around 60,000 years ago from Diepkloof in South Africa. Some of the oldest beads made of non-marine shells involve ostrich eggshells and from Border Cave, there are some that date to around 42,000 years ago. Beads were also collected from the late MSA/early LSA context of similar age at Apollo 11 and from layers associated with MSA at Boomplaas Cave. Furthermore, beads were also reported from the MSA at Cave of Hearths. Other sub-contemporaneous beads have been recovered north of South Africa. ref 

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

    ref, ref, ref

    Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago

    Evidence from Rhino Cave, in Botswana produced results that revealed a very special set of behavioral patterns which best-fit ritualized behavior. There were colorful non-local stone tools carefully and often elaborately made just to be offered to the stone snake; burned and smashed beyond use then abandoned. ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


    60,000 years old fragments of engraved ostrich eggshells from the Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Western Cape, South Africa. 

    Symbolic meaning expressed in art or designs and patterns, starting with animism at 100,000 years ago and more so around 50,000 years ago with the emergence of totemism and shamanism 30,000 years ago which I think all connect in a general way to religious thinking or mindsets that create the art or patterns and are not only a much older phenomenon than previously thought and has its roots in the African continent. Such early symbolic expression is seen in things like personal ornamentation and engraved designs, traditions that go far back into African prehistory. The patterns are symbolic and could have been used to express religious clan connections, group relations or personal expression. The patterns may indeed have a meaning and while abstract in representation they are unequivocal evidence for symbolic thought and one step closer to language. Ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

    ref, ref

    Our origins originate from Southern African (NOT THE FIRST ANCESTORS EVER AS THAT WOULD BE NORTH AFRICA AROUND 300,000 YEARS AGO TO EAST AFRICA AROUND 200,000 YEARS AGO OR SO BUT RATHER OUR LAST MAIN COMMON ANCESTORS AROUND 100,000 YEARS AGO), with a population divergence around 120,000 to 110,000 years ago and this is after the two other main areas of North and East Africa either migrated south or largely went extinct around 100,000 years ago. This is the most recent glacial era that consisted of a larger pattern of glacial and interglacial periods beginning around 115,000 which may have influenced both the migrating south and possibly could connect to some of the influences relating to the extinctions as well. Moreover, as these Ancient Southern African peoples developed over time, they also expanded out from there to populate the globe, and the DNA of us all points to a southern African origin. Furthermore, it seems as they expanded back out, they either replaced the other populations in central and east Africa that may have been left or absorbed any remaining individuals. ref

    Southern African Middle Stone Age sites:

    (Ap) Apollo 11; (BAM) Bambata; (BBC) Blombos Cave; (BC) Border Cave; (BGB)Boegoeberg; (BPA) Boomplaas; (BRS) Bushman Rock Shelter; (BUN) Bundu Farm; (CF)Cufema Reach; (CK) Canteen Kopje; (COH) Cave of Hearths; (CSB) Cape St Blaize; (DK)Die Kelders Cave 1; (DRS) Diepkloof Rock Shelter; (EBC) Elands Bay Cave; (FL) Florisbad; (≠GI) ≠Gi; (HP) Howiesons Poort; (HRS) Hollow Rock Shelter; (KD) Klipdrift; (KKH) Klein Kliphuis; (KH) Khami; (KK) Kudu Koppie; (KP) Kathu Pan; (KRM) Klasies River Main Site; (L) Langebaan; (MBA) Mumbwa Caves; (MC) Mwulu’s Cave; (MEL)Melikane; (MON) Montagu Cave; (NBC) Nelson Bay Cave; (NG) Ngalue; (NT) Ntloana Tšoana; (OBP) Olieboomspoort; (PC) Peers Cave; (POC) Pockenbank; (PL) Plover’s Lake; (POM) Pomongwe; (PP) Pinnacle Point; (RCC) Rose Cottage Cave; (RED) Redcliff; (RHC) Rhino Cave; (SCV) Seacow Valley; (SFT) Soutfontein; (SEH) Sehonghong; (SIB)Sibudu Cave; (SPZ) Spitzkloof Rock Shelter; (SS) Sunnyside 1; (STB) Strathalan Cave B; (STK) Sterkfontein; (TR) Twin Rivers; (UMH) Umhlatuzana; (VR) Varsche Rivier 003; (WPS) White Paintings Shelter; (WK) Wonderkrater; (WW) Wonderwerk; (YFT)Ysterfontein 1; (ZOM) Zombepata Cave. ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


    “When researchers completed the final analysis of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, they confirmed that the 3 billion base pairs of genetic letters in humans were 99.9 percent identical in every person. It also meant that individuals are, on average, 0.1 percent different genetically from every other person on the planet. And in that 0.1 percent lies the mystery of why some people are more susceptible to a particular illness or more likely to be healthy than their neighbor – or even another family member.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

    “There are two geographically plausible routes that have been proposed for humans to emerge from Africa: through the current Egypt and Sinai (Northern Route), or through Ethiopia, the Bab el Mandeb strait, and the Arabian Peninsula (Southern Route).” ref

    “Although there is a general consensus on the African origin of early modern humans, there is disagreement about how and when they dispersed to Eurasia. This paper reviews genetic and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic archaeological literature from northeast Africa, Arabia, and the Levant to assess the timing and geographic backgrounds of Upper Pleistocene human colonization of Eurasia. At the center of the discussion lies the question of whether eastern Africa alone was the source of Upper Pleistocene human dispersals into Eurasia or were there other loci of human expansions outside of Africa? The reviewed literature hints at two modes of early modern human colonization of Eurasia in the Upper Pleistocene: (i) from multiple Homo sapiens source populations that had entered Arabia, South Asia, and the Levant prior to and soon after the onset of the Last Interglacial (MIS-5), (ii) from a rapid dispersal out of East Africa via the Southern Route (across the Red Sea basin), dating to ~74,000-60,000 years ago.” ref

    “Within Africa, Homo sapiens dispersed around the time of its speciation, roughly 300,000 years ago. The so-called “recent dispersal” of modern humans took place about 70–50,000 years ago. It is this migration wave that led to the lasting spread of modern humans throughout the world. The coastal migration between roughly 70,000 and 50,000 years ago is associated with mitochondrial haplogroups M and N, both derivative of L3. Europe was populated by an early offshoot that settled the Near East and Europe less than 55,000 years ago. Modern humans spread across Europe about 40,000 years ago, possibly as early as 43,000 years ago, rapidly replacing the Neanderthal population.” ref, ref

    Animism (beginning around 100,000 years ago)

    Animism (such as that seen in Africa: 100,000 years ago)

    Animism is approximately a 100,000-year-old belief system and believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden animist.

    The following is evidence of Animism: 100,000 years ago, in Qafzeh, Israel, the oldest intentional burial had 15 African individuals covered in red ocher was from a group who visited and returned back to Africa. 100,000 to 74,000 years ago, at Border Cave in Africa, an intentional burial of an infant with red ochre and a shell ornament, which may have possible connections to the Africans buried in Qafzeh, Israel. 120,000 years ago, did Neanderthals teach us Primal Religion (Pre-Animism/Animism) as they too used red ocher and burials? ref, ref

    It seems to me, it may be the Neanderthals who may have transmitted a “Primal Religion (Animism)” or at least burial and thoughts of an afterlife. The Neanderthals seem to express what could be perceived as a Primal “type of” Religion, which could have come first and is supported in how 250,000 years ago, the Neanderthals used red ochre and 230,000 years ago shows evidence of Neanderthal burial with grave goods and possibly a belief in the afterlife. ref

    Do you think it is crazy that the Neanderthals may have transmitted a “Primal Religion”? Consider this, it appears that 175,000 years ago, the Neanderthals built mysterious underground circles with broken off stalactites. This evidence suggests that the Neanderthals were the first humans to intentionally bury the dead, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. Exemplary sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Kebara Cave in Israel and Krapina in Croatia. Other evidence may suggest the  Neanderthals had it transmitted to them by Homo heidelbergensis, 350,000 years ago, by their earliest burial in a shaft pit grave in a cave that had a pink stone axe on the top of 27 Homo heidelbergensis individuals and 250,000 years ago, Homo naledi had an intentional cemetery in South Africa cave.  refref, ref, refref

    • “120,000–90,000 years ago: Abbassia Pluvial in North Africa—the Sahara desert region is wet and fertile.
    • 120,000 to 75,000 years ago: Khoisanid back-migration from Southern Africa to East Africa.
    • 82,000 years ago: small perforated seashell beads from Taforalt in Morocco are the earliest evidence of personal adornment found anywhere in the world.
    • 75,000 years ago: Toba Volcano supereruption that almost made humanity extinct. Populations could have been lowered to about 3000-1000 people on the Earth.
    • 70,000 years ago: earliest example of abstract art or symbolic art from Blombos Cave, South Africa—stones engraved with grid or cross-hatch patterns.
    • 70,000 years ago: Recent African originseparation of sub-Saharan Africans and non-Africans.” ref

    Did Neanderthals Help Inspire Totemism?

    Because there is Art Dating to Around 65,000 Years Ago in Spain?

    “What About Neanderthals and Religion”

    Scientists have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals made cave paintings, indicating they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own. A new study led by the University of Southampton and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology shows that paintings in three caves in Spain were created more than 64,000 years ago – 20,000 years before modern humans arrived in Europe. This means that the Palaeolithic (Ice Age) cave art – including pictures of animals, dots, and geometric signs – must have been made by Neanderthals, a ‘sister’ species to Homo sapiens, and Europe’s sole human inhabitants at the time. It also indicates that they may have had a similar artistic sense, in terms of thinking symbolically, to modern humans. Published today in the journal Science, the study reveals how an international team of scientists used a state-of-the-art technique called uranium-thorium dating to fix the age of the paintings as more than 64,000 years. Until now, cave art has been attributed entirely to modern humans, as claims to a possible Neanderthal origin have been hampered by imprecise dating techniques. However, uranium-thorium dating provides much more reliable results than methods such as radiocarbon dating, which can give false age estimates. Results show that the paintings we dated are, by far, the oldest known cave art in the world, and were created at least 20,000 years before modern humans arrived in Europe from Africa so it is assumed – therefore they may have been painted by Neanderthals. All three caves contain red (ochre) or black paintings of groups of animals, dots, and geometric signs, as well as hand stencils, handprints, and engravings. According to the researchers, creating the art must have involved such sophisticated behavior as the choice of a location, planning of light source and mixing of pigments. There is evidence that Neanderthals in Europe used body ornamentation around 40,000 to 45,000 years ago, but many researchers have suggested this was inspired by modern humans who at the time had just arrived in Europe. Study co-author Paul Pettitt, of Durham University, commented: “Neanderthals created meaningful symbols in meaningful places. The art is not a one-off accident. ref

    Neanderthals are our closest extinct relative, but for a long time, they had a reputation for being pretty backward. Early modern humans, for example, made cave paintings. But even though Neanderthals used pigments and decorated themselves with eagle claws and shells, there was no clear proof that they painted caves. One theory goes that Neanderthals developed their rudimentary culture only after early modern humans arrived in Europe some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. The most recent painting is at least 64,800 years old, according to this technique, and the oldest is more than 66,000 years old. ref

    The Neanderthal was the only proven Human of Europe at the time, but was his or her brain up to the job? Or did modern humans reach Europe tens of thousands of years earlier than thought? The ancient art forms are symbolic but not figurative, explain their finders. In Spain, a cave in Maltravieso features hand stencils more than 66,000 years old, Prof. Dirk Hoffmann of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and others report in their paper, published Thursday in Science. The La Pasiega Cave in Cantabria features a ladder form composed of red horizontal and vertical lines that were created more than 64,000 years ago, they say. Further supporting the Neanderthal-as-artist theory, a related paper published Thursday in Science Advances reports that dyed and decorated seashells found in a Spanish cave dated to more than 115,000 years ago. Perforated shells found in sediments in Cueva de los Aviones that date to between 115,000 and 120,000 years. There’s no argument that there were Neanderthals in Europe 64,000 years ago. Homo sapiens, on the other hand, was thought to have reached Europe only 45,000 to 40,000 years ago. There is no evidence for modern humans in Iberia before 41,000 years ago, and there is evidence for Neanderthal presence until about 36,000 years ago in southern Spain and Portugal. Neanderthals existed for twice the time modern people have, if not more, and were once the dominant hominin in Europe. While Neanderthals may have etched a crisscross and perhaps carved a flute, look what Homo sapiens achieved, Coolidge says. The Paleolithic record is replete with exquisite works, from cave paintings to carvings done tens of thousands of years ago – such as the Lion Man sculpture found in a German cave and made of mammoth ivory some 38,000 years ago. ref

    Neanderthal ritual or religious practice at around 50,000 years old burial in Sima de las Palomas in MurciaSoutheast Spain of a female covered with rocks inturned with a cut off panther paw, suggesting that Neanderthals—much like today’s bear hunters—ceremoniously cut off panther paws and kept them as totemistic trophies. This 50,000-year-old Neanderthal burial ground actually includes the remains of at least three individuals intentionally buried, with each Neanderthal’s arms folded such that the hands were close to the head. Remains of other Neanderthals have been found in this position, suggesting that it held meaning. The remains of six to seven other Neanderthals, including one baby and two juveniles, have also been excavated at the site. The tallest individual appears to have been an adult who stood around 5 feet 1 inch tall. refref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


    This is my thoughts/speculations on the origins of Totemism

    Totemism as seen in Europe: 50,000 years ago, mainly the Aurignacian culture

    • Pre-Aurignacian “Châtelperronian” (Western Europe, mainly Spain and France, possible transitional/cultural diffusion between Neanderthals and humans around 50,000-40,000 years ago)
    • Archaic–Aurignacian/Proto-Aurignacian (Europe around 46,000-35,000) 
    • Aurignacian “classical/early to late” (Europe and other areas around 38,000 – 26,000 years ago)

    “In the realm of culture, the archeological evidence also supports a Neandertal contribution to Europe’s earliest modern human societies, which feature personal ornaments completely unknown before immigration and are characteristic of such Neandertal-associated archeological entities as the Chatelperronian and the Uluzzian.” – (PDF) Neandertals and Moderns Mixed, and It MattersLink

    Totemism as seen in Europe: 50,000 years ago, mainly the Aurignacian culture


    “Possible migration routes taken by ancient humans starting from Africa (purple arrows) people characterized by mtDNA haplogroups l1–3 spread out and gave rise to 3 lineages: European (green arrows) with haplogroups H, I, J, U and X, Central Asian (pink arrows) with haplogroups N and M giving rise to A–D and South Asian where N and M gave rise to P and Q.” ref

    “Haplogroup M is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. Possible time of origin 50,000-65,000 years ago. An enormous haplogroup spanning all the continents, the macro-haplogroup M, like its sibling the macro-haplogroup N, is a descendant of the haplogroup L3. All mtDNA haplogroups considered native outside of Africa are descendants of either haplogroup M or its sibling haplogroup N. Haplogroup M is relatively young, having a younger most recent common ancestor date than some subclades of haplogroup N such as haplogroup R.” ref

    “There is a debate concerning the geographical origins of Haplogroup M and its sibling haplogroup N. Both lineages are thought to have been the main surviving lineages involved in the out of Africa migration (or migrations) because all indigenous lineages found outside Africa belong to haplogroup M or haplogroup N. Scientists are unsure whether the mutations that define haplogroups M and N occurred in Africa before the exit from Africa or in Asia after the exit from Africa. Determining the origins of haplogroup M is further complicated by an early back-migration (from Asia to Africa) of bearers of M1.” ref

    “Its date of origin in absolute terms is only known with great uncertainty, as reconstruction has yielded different (but overlapping) ranges for the age of M in South Asia and East Asia. The same authors give an estimate for t of L3 as 71.6+15.0 −14.5 kya, later (2011) narrowed to the somewhat younger 65±5 kya. Thus, haplogroup M would have emerged around 10,000 or at most 20,000 years after L3, around or somewhat after the recent out-of-Africa migration event. M was present in the ancient population which later gave rise to both M1 in Africa, and M more generally found in Eurasia. The presence of M1 in Africa is the result of a back-migration from Asia which occurred sometime after the Out of Africa migration.” ref

    “The highest frequencies worldwide of macrohaplogroup M are observed in Asia, specifically in Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, and Nepal where frequencies range from 60 to 80%. The total frequency of M subclades is even higher in some populations of Siberia or the Americas, but these small populations tend to exhibit strong genetic drift effects, and often their geographical neighbors exhibit very different frequencies. Deep time depth >50,000 years of western, central, southern, and eastern Indian haplogroups M2, M38, M54, M58, M33, M6, M61, M62, and the distribution of macrohaplogroup M, do not rule out the possibility of macrohaplogroup M arising in Indian population. With the exception of the African specific M1, India has several M lineages that emerged directly from the root of haplogroup M. Only two subclades of haplogroup M, M1 and M23, are found in Africa, whereas numerous subclades are found outside Africa.” ref

    “A number of studies have proposed that the ancestors of modern haplogroup M dispersed from Africa through the southern route across the Horn of Africa along the coastal regions of Asia onwards to New Guinea and Australia. These studies suggested that the migrations of haplogroups M and N occurred separately with haplogroup N heading northwards from East Africa to the Levant. However, the results of numerous recent studies indicate that there was only one migration out of Africa and that haplogroups M and N were part of the same migration. This is based on the analysis of a number of relict populations along the proposed beachcombing route from Africa to Australia, all of which possessed both haplogroups N and M.” ref

    “A 2008 study by Abu-Amero et al., suggests that the Arabian Peninsula may have been the main route out of Africa. However, as the region lacks of autochthonous clades of haplogroups M and N the authors suggest that the area has been a more recent receptor of human migrations than an ancient demographic expansion center along the southern coastal route as proposed under the single migration Out-of-Africa scenario of the African origin hypothesis. M is the most common mtDNA haplogroup in Asia, super-haplogroup M is distributed all over Asia, where it represents 60% of all maternal lineages.” ref

    “All Andamanese belong to Haplogroup M. It peaks in the Malaysian aboriginal Negrito tribes at almost 100% but with mtDNA M21a representing Semang; 84% in Mendriq people, Batek people 48%, (almost all belong to the specific Malaysian Negrito haplogroup M21a, this subclade also found in the Orang Asli 21%, Thais 7.8% and Malay 4.6%). It also peaks very high in Japan and Tibet, where it represents on average about 70% of the maternal lineages (160/216 = 74% Tibet, 205/282 = 73% Tōkai, 231/326 = 71% Okinawa, 148/211 = 70% Japanese, 50/72 = 69% Tibet, 150/217 = 69% Hokkaidō, 24/35 = 69% Zhongdian Tibetan, 175/256 = 68% northern Kyūshū, 38/56 = 68% Qinghai Tibetan, 16/24 = 67% Diqing Tibetan, 66/100 = 66% Miyazaki, 33/51 = 65% Ainu, 214/336 = 64% Tōhoku, 75/118 = 64% Tokyo (JPT)) and is ubiquitous in India and South Korea, where it has approximately 60% frequency. Among Chinese people both inside and outside of China, haplogroup M accounts for approximately 50% of all mtDNA on average, but the frequency varies from approximately 40% in Hans from Hunan and Fujian in southern China to approximately 60% in Shenyang, Liaoning in northeastern China.” ref

    Carriers of human mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup M colonized India from southeastern Asia

    From a mtDNA dominant perspective, the exit from Africa of modern humans to colonize Eurasia occurred once, around 60 kya, following a southern coastal route across Arabia and India to reach Australia short after. These pioneers carried with them the currently dominant Eurasian lineages M and N. Based also on mtDNA phylogenetic and phylogeographic grounds, some authors have proposed the coeval existence of a northern route across the Levant that brought mtDNA macrohaplogroup N to Australia. To contrast both hypothesis, here we reanalyzed the phylogeography and respective ages of mtDNA haplogroups belonging to macrohaplogroup M in different regions of Eurasia and Australasia.” ref

    “The macrohaplogroup M has a historical implantation in West Eurasia, including the Arabian Peninsula. Founder ages of M lineages in India are significantly younger than those in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Near Oceania. Moreover, there is a significant positive correlation between the age of the M haplogroups and its longitudinal geographical distribution. These results point to a colonization of the Indian subcontinent by modern humans carrying M lineages from the east instead the west side. The existence of a northern route, previously proposed for the mtDNA macrohaplogroup N, is confirmed here for the macrohaplogroup M. Both mtDNA macrolineages seem to have differentiated in South East Asia from ancestral L3 lineages. Taking this genetic evidence and those reported by other disciplines we have constructed a new and more conciliatory model to explain the history of modern humans out of Africa.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

    ref, ref

    “The Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura are a collection of six caves in southern Germany which were used by Ice Age humans for shelter about 33,000 to 43,000 years ago. The caves are located in the Lone and Ach Valleys. Within the caves one statuette of a female form, carved figurines of animals (including cave lions, mammoths, horses and cattle), musical instruments and items of personal adornment have been discovered. Some of the figurines depict creatures that are half animal, half human.” ref 

    Swabian Jura’s six caves: Bocksteinhöhle, Geißenklösterle, Hohler Fels,  Hohlenstein-Stadel, Sirgensteinhöhle, and Vogelherd Cave  

    “The sites of the Swabian Jura stand at the beginning of human artistic expression and represent with more than fifty pieces the richest region for Aurignacian art and mobile art from the Aurignacian in general is abundant. Artistic creativity in the Aurignacian time was therefore not unusual, but – more and more discoveries confirm this – rather the rule. And the Swabian Aurignacian is currently the oldest known Aurignacian in Europe. No precursor of these artworks has yet been discovered and thus the findings from the four caves of Vogelherd, Hohlenstein-Stadel, Geissenklösterle and Hohle Fels represent the oldest figurative art  worldwide to date. At the beginning of the Aurignacian strong changes in material culture are visible, suddenly, ‘at least 600’ artistic creations ‘from a total of at least 20 sites’. But the sites of the Swabian Jura stand at the beginning of human artistic expression and represent with more than fifty pieces the richest region for Aurignacian art.” ref 

    A research approach to the Figurine Marks

    “A striking, though still insufficiently studied feature of the figurative art of the Swabian Jura are the numerous markings. Many figurines bear sequences of marks, usually found in the form of parallel lines, crosses and cross-lines, diamonds, V-shaped signs and points. An important comprehensive categorization counted all signs on the then-known figurines and discussed them in relation to the representations. A current interprets the marks as ‘clearly reflective’ and with an evident ‘scoring’ character, sometimes with astronomical information. Harald Floss emphasises the amount of decorated objects and the importance of the individuality of each figurine and its marks. About half of all hitherto examined figurines bear marks (54%).” ref 

    “The ones from Vogelherd Cave located in the eastern Swabian Jura, south-western Germany.  are included as far as possible; the figurines for the other sites are to be regarded only as preliminary results. From Vogelherd Cave at least 31 reliable figures and fragments of figures are known, 22 of them bear markings of various kinds. Another 21 potential, not certainly identifiable fragments were recorded, of which 8 bear marks. Thus 58% of the figurative elements from Vogelherd are marked. The finds from this site alone show the enormous importance of marks in the Swabian Aurignacian.” ref   

    Tally sticks of the Stone Age

    “One of the more uncommon finds, that many researchers try to connect to the cult activities of the Paleolithic man are the so-called “tally sticks”, found across the world from the Upper Paleolithic onward. Based on recent analogies, as well as ethnographic observations done on societies still practicing some forms on primal magic, one could assume that they were used for tracking numbers, notes, and counts. Relating to this, it is not hard to imagine that these sticks, made from wood or animal bones, “decorated” with transverse cuts or notches, could also be used for documenting the time-flow, annual cycles, or even for creating some form of calendars.” ref 

    Totemism (beginning around 50,000 years ago)

    Totemism as seen in Europe: 50,000 years ago, mainly the Aurignacian culture

    “In the realm of culture, the archeological evidence also supports a Neandertal contribution to Europe’s earliest modern human societies, which feature personal ornaments completely unknown before immigration and are characteristic of such Neandertal-associated archeological entities as the Chatelperronian and the Uluzzian.” – (PDF) Neandertals and Moderns Mixed, and It MattersLink
    Cave art dated at least 64,800 years ago to more than 66,000 years old are likely Neanderthal cave paintings as Modern humans presumed to be less than 50,000 years ago in Europe, as well as possibly Neanderthal cave paintings dated in 42,000 years, have been discovered in southern Spain when it is not though Modern humans were in the area thus seeming to show they may have started such thinking first as well.

    “The most significant “recent” Out of Africa wave took place about 70,000 years ago, via the so-called “Southern Route”, spreading rapidly along the coast of Asia and reaching Australia by around 65,000–50,000 years ago. While Europe was populated by an early offshoot which settled the Near East and Europe less than 55,000 years ago.”  ref

    There is prehistoric art possibly relating to Aurgnacien, it is similar to other Aurgnacien cultural items. Such as the “lion-human”, Löwenmensch figurine from Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany but also in its decorating like marking on the arms in Aurgnacian times (43,000 – 28,000 years ago). This statue comes from Geißenklösterle, also in Germany, which contains traces of prehistoric art from between 43,000 to 30,000. This Ivory Art Statue is dated to around 32,500 to 38,000 years ago. There are 86 notches on the tablet, a number that has two special meanings, subtracted from a year equals the average number of days of pregnancy and the number of days that one of Orion’s two prominent stars, Betelguese, is visible. To ancient man, this might have linked human fertility with the spirits (stars) in the sky. ref, ref, ref, ref

    All populations before around 40,000 years ago where way more inbred and then after that is has a great decrease, to which I hypothesize could be genetic evidence of the emergence of INCEST-PROHIBITION hints at the taboo in Totemism. ref

    “Totem and Taboo”

    “The Horror of Incest” concerns incest taboos adopted by societies believing in totemism.

    Totemism is a belief system scattered world-wide mainly by hunting and gathering peoples, which seems to diminish when agricultural becomes predominant.  Totemism seems expressed all over the North American especially the west cost indigenous peoples, in Peru, in Guiana, what was the African Gold Coast, in India, the South Seas islands, Australia, Siberia, Egypt and Semitic regions. It is thought that the current true totemism is found only among Australian Aborigines, North, and South American indigenous peoples, in New Guinea, and parts of Africa and India. But it is Australia, America, and Africa that are the three main areas where totemism has been found in its most highly developed and widespread forms. ref

    Totemism is approximately a 50,000-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. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden totemist.

    Toetmism may be older as there is evidence of what looks like a Stone Snake in South Africa, which may be the “first human worship” dating to around 70,000 years ago. Many archaeologists propose that societies from 70,000 to 50,000 years ago such as that of the Neanderthals may also have practiced the earliest form of totemism or animal worship in addition to their presumably religious burial of the dead. Did Neanderthals help inspire Totemism? There is Neanderthals art dating to around 65,000 years ago in Spain. refref

    Based on archaeological evidence from caves around 300,000 to 50,000 years ago, suggests that a widespread Neanderthal bear-cult existed. Animal cults from 50,000 to 10,000 years ago, such as the bear cult may have had their origins in these hypothetical 300,000 to 50,000 years ago animal cults. 50,000 to 10,000 years ago, animal worship intertwined with hunting rites. For instance, archaeological evidence from art and bear remains reveals that the bear cult apparently had involved a type of sacrificial bear ceremonialism, in which a bear was shot with arrows, then was finished off by a shot in the lungs, and ritualistically buried near a clay bear statue covered with bear fur with the skull of the bear buried separately.

    100,000 to 50,000 years ago, there is an increased use of red ochre at several sites in Africa. Red ochre is thought to have played an important role in rituals. 42,000 years ago, there is a ritual burial of a man covered in red ochre at Lake Mungo in Australia. Around 40,000 years ago in Europe, an abundance of fossil evidence includes elaborate burials of the dead with Venus female figurines and cave art also involving red ochre.

    Around 45,000 to 30,000 years ago, the Aurignacian culture created figurines that have been found depicting faunal representations of the time period associated with now-extinct mammals, including mammoths, rhinoceros, and Tarpan, along with anthropomorphized depictions that may be interpreted as some of the earliest evidence of religion. Many 35,000-year-old animal figurines such as mammoths and horses were discovered in the Vogelherd Cave in Germany. The production of ivory beads for body ornamentation was also important to the Aurignacian.

    The oldest cave art is found in the Cave of El Castillo in Spain, in early Aurignacian dated at around 40,000 years, the time when it is believed that homo sapiens migrated to Europe from Africa. The next oldest cave art is found in the Chauvet Cave in France, dating to around 37,000 to 33,500 years ago (Aurignacian period: Totemism) and the second from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago (Gravettian period: Shamanism) with most of the black drawings dating to the earlier period. What is interesting is the Neanderthals favor the color black as well that may connect to their transferring some of their ideas to modern humans.

    Chauvet Cave appears to have been used by humans during two distinct periods: the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. Most of the artwork dates to the earlier Aurignacian period (30,000 to 32,000 years ago) and the later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25,000 to 27,000 years ago. The art features a larger variety of wild animals such as lions, panthers, bears, and hyenas. There are no examples of complete human figures in these cave art. The cave art is believed to represent religious thought by modern humans. refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref, & ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

    “Probably occupied from as much as around 38,900–32,630 years ago. It had previously been dated at a lower date as low as around 23,000-19,000 years ago which changed.” ref

    Sungar (Russia), found posable evidence of shamanistic Gravettian culture burials and that seem to match the latter indigenous American shamanistic burials in Alaska at the Tanana River site with around 11,500 years old duel infant burial very similar shamanistic grave offerings like decorated stone weapons. To further a clear connection is the Bluefish Cave (Yukon Territory Canada) that held bones with cut marks which is possibly as old as 24,000 to 19,650 years ago and the youngest are around 12,000 years old seem to offer strong support for the “Beringian hypothesis” human population dispersed to North and South America. ref

    To me, is seems Siberian is the general origin of native Americans at least by around 11,000 years ago, by the land bridge “Beringia” from Asia by way of Siberia in Russia over to Alaska in the Americas, which the Paleoindians had crossover on, finally flooded over by rising sea levels and was submerged. Siberia has a large variety of climate, vegetation, and landscape. Siberia’s Prehistory demonstrates several distinct cultures sometimes transferring ideas, other times not, and some split from earlier cultures creating new ones often in illation, mainly starting with hunter-gatherer nomadism. During glaciation around 115,000 to 15,000 years ago, the Siberia tundra extended south and an ice sheet covered area of Russia around the Ural Mountains that while some of the oldest mountains are more like large hills, and the area to the east of the lower Yenisei River basin, which in the general area of central and southern Siberia. ref

    Some of the first nomadic peoples entered Siberia about 50,000 years ago. Ancient nomadic tribes such as the Ket people and the Yugh people a separate but similar group lived along its banks. Shamanism among Kets shares characteristics with those of Turkic and Mongolic peoples thus not at all homogeneous in expression though neither is shamanism in Siberia in general. As for shamanism among Kets had several types of Ket shamans and shared characteristics with those of Turkic and Mongolic peoples. The Yana River sites, in Siberia, demonstrate that modern human populations had reached Western Beringia by 32,000 years ago then engaging in an early dispersal possibly by 24,000 years ago. ref


    “Shamanism is still practiced in Russia, particularly in the Lake Baikal area of southern Siberia near the Mongolian border and in the middle Volga regions. The word Shamanism comes from Siberia. And believed shamanistic powers are passed on from generation to generation or by spontaneous vocation during an initiation ceremony that usually involves some kind of ecstatic death, rebirth, vision or experience. Though a for some shaman cultures a distinction is made between hereditary ones and those who have become shaman after suffering a serious illness. A shamanist is a one person cult-authority, spirit medium, soul-traveler, meteorologist, physician, philosopher, and ideologist.” ref

    “Shaman have traditionally been important religious figures and healers among many Siberian peoples and commonly connect to and revolved around hunting and family/ancestor cults. The word “shaman” comes to us from the Tungus language via Russian. In Siberia, shamans have traditionally been called upon to heal the sick, solve problems, protect groups from hostile spirts, make predictions and mediate between the spiritual world and human world and guide dead souls to the afterlife.” ref

    “After death it was believed that the breath soul left through the nostrils.
    Many groups make wooden images of dolls of the deceased and for a period of time, they are treated like the real person. A wide variety of goods may be placed in the graves of the deceased, depending on the group. These generally include things the deceased needs in the next life. Often totems are broken or defaced in some way to “kill” them so they don’t assist the dead in returning. Some groups placed the dead in graves others on the ground covering them with something, while other groups placed the dead on a special platform on the trees.” ref

    ‘Sky Burial’ theory and its possible origins at least 12,000 years ago to likely 30,000 years ago or older.

    “Shaman cults tend to revolve around animals, natural objects, heroes and clan leaders have also been central to the lives of many of Siberia’s indigenous people. Many groups have strong beliefs in spirits, in realms of the sky and earth and follow cults associated with animals, especially the Raven. Things like illness and other misfortunes were attributed to spirits. Many Arctic people believe that each person has two souls: (1) a shadow soul that may leave the body during sleep or unconsciousness and take the form of a bee or a butterfly, and (2) a “breath” soul that provides life to humans and animals. Many groups believe the life forces lies within the bones, blood, and vital organs. For this reason the bones of the dead are treated with great reverence so a new life can be regenerated from them.” ref

    “The Khanty (an indigenous people calling themselves Khanti, Khande, Kantek, living in Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug, a region historically known as “Yugra” in Russia) shamans who believe the forest is inhabited by invisible people and spirits of animals, forest, rivers and natural landmarks. The most important spirits belong to the sun, moon, and bear. Khanty shaman work as intermediaries between the living worlds and the spiritual world. The invisible people are like gremlins or trolls. They are blamed for missing puppies, strange events and unexplained behavior.” ref

    Why This Paleolithic Burial Site Is So Strange (and So Important)

    “In addition to beads and ochre, carefully manufactured mammoth ivory spears, ivory disks, and pierced cervid antlers were found with the skeletons. And this is not supersizing because by approximately 40,000 years ago, narrow stone blades and tools made of bone, ivory, and antler appeared, along with simple wood instruments. Yet these extravagant burials are only part of the reason why  Sungir stands out as the site is characterized by a much greater diversity of mortuary behaviors than archaeologists previously thought. ” ref, ref

    “Sungir – Sunghir is a site that held multiple burials of least 10 individuals  and specifically two of the most extraordinary Upper Paleolithic burials known: one of an adult male “Sungir-1” and another of two children “Sungir-2 and  Sungir-3. The  two children  originally thought to be a boy and girl,are now thought to be two boys interred head-to-head. All remains were covered in ochre and were accompanied by rich grave goods including ivory beads and spears, armbands, and carvings, as well as arctic fox canines. Adjacent to  Sungir-2  was the femoral diaphysis (main or midsection (shaft) of a long bone) of an adult “Sungir 4″ that had been polished, hollowed out, and filled with red ochre. The site also yielded other less complete human remains, some of uncertain stratigraphic provenance [Sunghir 5 to 9. Radiocarbon analyses place the age of  Sungir-1 to  Sungir 4 date between 33,600-34,600 years ago. The homogeneity in morphological traits (e.g., metopism) among the remains, as well as signs of possible congenital pathologies in SIII, have been interpreted as evidence of inbreeding. Other Upper Paleolithic individuals with reported congenital or degenerative pathologies (e.g., at Barma Grande and Dolní Věstonice) reinforce the view that Upper Paleolithic groups were small and susceptible to inbreeding, possibly as extensive as what has been reported for the Altai Neandertal. However, genomic data available for some of those individuals were of insufficient coverage to infer population sizes or inbreeding levels.” ref, ref

    “There where at least three different forms of burials were practiced at Sunghir. While an adult femur shaft was found in the grave with the two youngsters, another femur bone was discovered isolated near the graves, with indications that the body had been abandoned on the surface without receiving any formal treatment. A cranium, was found with artifacts just above the adult’s lavish grave. This cranium represents only one part of the skeleton, it appears to have been deposited there in the context of a funerary ritual.” ref

    “Sungir may thus be considered as the earliest modern human burial site in Europe with evidence of a social structure that would not have solely depended on people’s acquired status. And as can be indicative to a general shamanism thinking about body difference being special, both the juvenile and the adolescent appear to have suffered from physical abnormalities and likely their disabilities would have been visible to others. Their difference may have been part of the reason they were given an extravagant burial.” ref

    “Analyses of mtDNA genomes from Sungir1 to Sungir 4 put them in haplogroup U, consistent with West Eurasian and Siberian Paleolithic and Mesolithic genomes. Sungir1 belongs to haplogroup U8c; the sequences for the three individuals from the double burial ( Sungir 2 to Sungir 4) are identical and belong to haplogroup U2, which is closely related to the Upper Paleolithic Kostenki 12 and Kostenki 14 individuals. Phylogenetic analyses of the Y chromosome sequences place all  Sungir individuals in an early divergent lineage of haplogroup C1a2. Y chromosome haplogroup C1, which is rare among contemporary Eurasians, has been found in other early European individuals, including the ~36,000-year-old Kostenki 14.” ref

    “Haplogroup C1a2 (also known as Haplogroup C-V20): which has been discovered in the remains of Palaeolithic people in Czech Republic (30,000 years ago), Belgium (35,000 years ago), and the Sunghir archaeological site near Vladimir, Russia. Regarding more recent prehistory, Haplogroup C-V20 has been found in the remains of a male (died ca. 7,000 years ago) associated with a late group of the Alföld Linear Pottery culture at Kompolt-Kigyósér, Hungary whose mtDNA belonged to haplogroup J1c1, the remains of a male (died ca. 7,000 years ago) associated with the LBK Culture at Apc-Berekalja (I.), Hungary whose mtDNA belonged to haplogroup K1a3a3, and the remains of a male (died ca. 7,000 years ago) associated with Mesolithic culture at La Braña-Arintero, León, Spain whose mtDNA belonged to haplogroup U5b2c1. Haplogroup C-V20 Y-DNA also has been found in a small number of modern Europeans, Algerian Berbers,[6]Armenians, and Nepalis. It includes many Y-DNA samples associated with the oldest currently known population of anatomically modern humans in Europe (Cro-Magnons), and it is considered to be a carrier of the Upper Paleolithic Aurignacian culture that began 40,000 years ago.” ref

    “There is significant Totamistic-Shamanism activity from Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic, with triple burial three teenagers to larger males DV 13 and DV 14 side by side flanking a smaller handicap male DV 15 in the middle position of the burial, a single older woman shaman burial with a carved portrait, and a Venus of Dolní Věstonice, 27,000 and 25,000 years ago. The Dna of three inhabitants of Dolni Vestonice, lived 31,155 years ago and to have mitochondrial haplogroup U, and one inhabitant mitochondrial haplogroup U8.” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

    Early Gravettian – The Pavlovian

    “As the most important component of the Early Gravettian in Danubian Europe, the Pavlovian (30 – 25 ky) occupies a central location within the Lower Austrian – Moravian – South Polish geomorphological corridor (fig. 2a). Both the Pavlovian settlement archaeology and the resource analysis suggest a discontinuity compared to the previous Early Upper Paleolithic settlement strategies: the typical formation of the large open-air settlements in an axial manner, in lower altitudes and along the rivers; the long-distance transport of lithic raw materials; the intensive exploitation of mammoths supplemented by a variety of small animals; and, finally, aspects of ritual and style.” ref

    “The art production at this stage of the Gravettian is remarkably complex, and includes carvings and engravings, soft stone carvings, and especially the ceramic plastic production. A majority of the human skeletal remains are equally dated to this period (Predmostí, Dolní Vestonice – Pavlov, Krems). Some of the ritual burials are covered by ochre, and some are covered by mammoth shoulderblades. It should be underlined, however, that they are poorly equipped by additive artifacts (if any, so just a few pierced decorative objects. The earliest Pavlovian occupation is best documented at Willendorf II, layer 5 (around and after 30 ky BP), Krems, and Dolní Vestonice II (a complex occupation horizons dated to 27 ky). The industry is dominated by burins, backed implements, and endscrapers, where burins are about the twice as numerous as endscrapers. The number of microliths, and especially geometric microliths, is usually low. A variety of pointed blades (including the Jerzmanowice-type points) and pointed microblades (including the Krems or Font Yves points) occur as well.” ref

    Here are three figures. Seemingly the first holds an antler, the next a bull horn, and the last a possible ram horn but all are a type of horn, and as horns later are a ritualistic and potentially shamanistic reference to the heavens the moon, and stars, which is the place of ancestors this could express not just a fertility right but a connection to ancestors and the sky above as well as a link with totemistic animals.

    “The Moon is the only natural satellite of Earth. It is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. The Moon was called Selene and Artemis by the Greeks, Luna by the Romans.” ref

    “In mythology, a lunar deity is a god or goddess of the Moon, sometimes as a personification. These deities can have a variety of functions and traditions depending upon the culture, but they are often related. Some form of moon worship can be found in most ancient religions.” ref

    Moon in religion and mythology

    “Many cultures have implicitly linked the 29.5-day lunar cycle to women’s menstrual cycles, as evident in the shared linguistic roots of “menstruation” and “moon” words in multiple language families. This identification was not universal, as demonstrated by the fact that not all moon deities are female. Still, many well-known mythologies feature moon goddesses, including the Greek goddess Selene, the Roman goddess Luna, and the Chinese goddess Chang’e. Several goddesses including Artemis, Hecate, and Isis did not originally have lunar aspects, and only acquired them late in antiquity due to syncretism with the de facto Greco-Roman lunar deity Selene/Luna. In traditions with male gods, there is little evidence of such syncretism[citation needed], though the Greek Hermes has been equated with the male Egyptian lunar god Thoth. Nyx is the goddess of night.” ref

    “Male lunar gods are also common, such as Sin of the Mesopotamians, Mani of the Germanic tribes, Tsukuyomi of the Japanese, Igaluk/Alignak of the Inuit, and the Hindu god Chandra. The original Proto-Indo-European lunar deity appears to have been male, with many possible derivatives including the Homeric figure of Menelaus. Cultures with male moon gods often feature sun goddesses. An exception is Hinduism, featuring both male and female aspects of the solar divine. The ancient Egyptians had several moon gods including Khonsu and Thoth, although Thoth is a considerably more complex deity. Set represented the moon in the Egyptian Calendar of Lucky and Unlucky Days.” ref

    “Many cultures are oriented chronologically by the Moon, as opposed to the Sun. The Hindu calendar maintains the integrity of the lunar month and the moon god Chandra has religious significance during many Hindu festivals (e.g. Karwa Chauth, Sankashti Chaturthi, and during eclipses). The ancient Germanic tribes were also known to have a lunar calendar. The Moon features prominently in art and literature, often with a purported influence in human affairs. This belief remains as a pseudoscientific feature of astrology.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


    34,000 years ago Lunar Calendar Cave art around the Time Shift From Totemism to Early Shamanism?

    “The Oldest Lunar Calendars and Earliest Constellations have been identified in cave art found in France and Germany. The astronomer-priests of these late Upper Paleolithic Cultures understood mathematical sets, and the interplay between the moon annual cycle, ecliptic, solstice and seasonal changes on earth. The archaeological record’s earliest data that speaks to human awareness of the stars and ‘heavens’ dates to the Aurignacian Culture of Europe, around 34,000 years ago. Between 1964 and the early 1990s, Alexander Marshack published breakthrough research that documented the mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the Late Upper Paleolithic Cultures of Europe. Marshack deciphered sets of marks carved into animal bones, and occasionally on the walls of caves, as records of the lunar cycle. These marks are sets of crescents or lines. Artisans carefully controlled line thickness so that a correlation with lunar phases would be as easy as possible to perceive. Sets of marks were often laid out in a serpentine pattern that suggests a snake deity or streams and rivers. Many of these lunar calendars were made on small pieces of stone, bone or antler so that they could be easily carried. These small, portable, lightweight lunar calendars were easily carried on extended journeys such as long hunting trips and seasonal migrations.” ref

    “Hunting the largest animals was arduous, and might require hunters to follow herds of horses, bison, mammoth or ibex for many weeks. (Other big animals such as the auroch, cave bear and cave lion were well known but rarely hunted for food because they had a special status in the mythic realm. The Auroch is very important to the search for earliest constellations.) The phases of the moon depicted in these sets of marks are inexact. Precision was impossible unless all nights were perfectly clear which is an unrealistic expectation. The arithmetic counting skill implied by these small lunar calendars is obvious. The recognition that there are phases of the moon and seasons of the year that can be counted – that should be counted because they are important – is profound. “All animal activities are time factored, simply because time passes, the future is forever arriving. The reality of time factoring is objective physics and does not depend upon human awareness or consciousness. Until Marshack’s work, many archeologists believed the sets of marks he chose to study were nothing but the aimless doodles of bored toolmakers. What Marshack uncovered is the intuitive discovery of mathematical sets and the application of those sets to the construction of a calendar.” Bone is the preferred medium because it allows for easy transport and a long calendar lifetime. Mankind’s earliest astronomy brought the clan into the multi-dimensional universe of the gods. Objects used in the most potent rituals had the highest contextual, cultural value and were treated with great reverence.” ref

    “Regarding the Aurignacian, between 43,000 and 35,000 years ago, the archaeological record from habitations is relatively poor in the Ardèche (Abri des Pécheurs, Grotte du Figuier) while appearing more abundant in the Languedoc (La Salpétrière, La Balauzière, Esquicho-Grapaou, La Laouza etc.). The same applies to the sites of the early phases of the Gravettian. During climatic fluctuations, and unlike the deep caves such as Chauvet, the porch and shelter fills seem to have better recorded the cold episodes than the humid phases. To date, 20 decorated caves are indexed in the gorges of the Ardèche and nearby; in other words as far as the valley of the Gardon (Baume-Latrone). This group includes several important caves (Ebbou, Oulen, Émilie etc.) which are not precisely dated and were judged to be of secondary importance until the discovery of the Chauvet Cave.” ref

    “A 10,000-year-old engraved stone could be a lunar calendar. The rare pebble — found high up in the mountains near Rome, Italy, the hammer-stone was found on top of Monte Alta in the Alban Hills.  It’s believed that our early ancestors would’ve used the stone to keep track of the moon’s cycles. Notches were engraved “as if they were being used to count, calculate or store the record of some kind of information. And these notches — which total either 27 or 28 — suggest the stone’s engraver used the pebble to track lunar cycles.” ref

    “Archaeologists excavating in Scotland found a series of huge pits were dug by Mesolithic people to track the cycle of the Moon. They found a series of twelve huge, specially shaped pits designed to mimic the various phases of the Moon. The holes aligned perfectly on the midwinter solstice to help the hunter-gathers of Mesolithic Britain keep precise track of the passage of the seasons and the lunar cycle. The holes were dug in the shapes of various phases of the moon. “Waxing, waning, crescents, and gibbous, they’re all there and arranged in a 50-meter-long (164-foot) arc. The one representing the full moon is large and circular, approximately two meters (roughly seven feet) across, and placed right in the center. And this arc is arranged perfectly with a notch in the landscape where the sun would have risen on the day of the midwinter solstice about 10,000 years ago. Placing their calendar in the landscape the way they did would have let the people who built it to recalibrate the lunar months every winter to bring their lunar calendar in line with the solar year. This means that any effort to keep track of the seasons using the moon alone will slowly drift ever further from true. An observer needs to know when to add or subtract an extra month to make good the time or hit the reset button and start counting again.” ref

    “A moon-shaped calendar was found in Smederevska Palanka, Serbia that dates back 8,000 years, and is made from a wild boar’s tusk engraved with markings to denote a lunar cycle. Farmers may have used the device to plan when to plant crops. It is made from the tusk of a wild boar and is marked with engravings thought to denote a lunar cycle of 28 days, as well as the four phases of the moon.” ref

    “A lunisolar calendar was found at Warren Field in Scotland and has been dated to c. 8000 BCE, during the Mesolithic period. Some scholars argue for lunar calendars still earlier—Rappenglück in the marks on a c. 17,000-year-old cave painting at Lascaux and Marshack in the marks on a c. 27,000-year-old bone baton—but their findings remain controversial. Scholars have argued that ancient hunters conducted regular astronomical observations of the Moon back in the Upper Palaeolithic. Samuel L. Macey dates the earliest uses of the Moon as a time-measuring device back to 28,000–30,000 years ago.” ref

    “A lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon‘s phases (synodic monthslunations), in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly on the solar year. The most commonly used calendar, the Gregorian calendar, is a solar calendar system that originally evolved out of a lunar calendar system. A purely lunar calendar is also distinguished from a lunisolar calendar, whose lunar months are brought into alignment with the solar year through some process of intercalation. The details of when months begin varies from calendar to calendar, with some using newfull, or crescent moons and others employing detailed calculations.” ref

    “Since each lunation is approximately 29+12 days, it is common for the months of a lunar calendar to alternate between 29 and 30 days. Since the period of 12 such lunations, a lunar year, is 354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes, 34 seconds (354.36707 days), purely lunar calendars are 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year. In purely lunar calendars, which do not make use of intercalation, like the Islamic calendar, the lunar months cycle through all the seasons of a solar year over the course of a 33–34 lunar-year cycle.” ref

    “Although the Gregorian calendar is in common and legal use in most countries, traditional lunar and lunisolar calendars continue to be used throughout the world to determine religious festivals and national holidays. Such holidays include Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew calendar); Easter (the Computus); the ChineseKoreanVietnamese, and Mongolian New Year (ChineseKoreanVietnamese, and Mongolian calendars, respectively); the Nepali New Year (Nepali calendar); the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chuseok (Chinese and Korean calendars); Loi Krathong (Thai calendar); Sunuwar calendar; Vesak/Buddha’s Birthday (Buddhist calendar); Diwali (Hindu calendars); RamadanEid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha (Islamic calendar).” ref

    “The Japanese Calendar formerly used both the lunar and lunisolar calendar before it was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar during the Meiji government in 1872. Holidays such as the Japanese New Year were simply transposed on top as opposed to being calculated like other countries that use the lunisolar and Gregorian calendars together, for example, the Japanese New Year now falls on January 1, creating a month delay as opposed to other East Asian Countries. See customary issues in modern Japan.” ref

    “Most calendars referred to as “lunar” calendars are in fact lunisolar calendars. Their months are based on observations of the lunar cycle, with intercalation being used to bring them into general agreement with the solar year. The solar “civic calendar” that was used in ancient Egypt showed traces of its origin in the earlier lunar calendar, which continued to be used alongside it for religious and agricultural purposes. Present-day lunisolar calendars include the ChineseVietnameseHindu, and Thai calendars.” ref

    “Synodic months are 29 or 30 days in length, making a lunar year of 12 months about 11 to 12 days shorter than a solar year. Some lunar calendars do not use intercalation, for example, the lunar Hijri calendar used by most Muslims. For those that do, such as the Hebrew calendar, and Buddhist Calendars in Myanmar, the most common form of intercalation is to add an additional month every second or third year. Some lunisolar calendars are also calibrated by annual natural events which are affected by lunar cycles as well as the solar cycle. An example of this is the lunar calendar of the Banks Islands, which includes three months in which the edible palolo worms mass on the beaches. These events occur at the last quarter of the lunar month, as the reproductive cycle of the palolos is synchronized with the moon.” ref

    “Lunar and lunisolar calendars differ as to which day is the first day of the month. In some lunisolar calendars, such as the Chinese calendar, the first day of a month is the day when an astronomical new moon occurs in a particular time zone. In others, such as some Hindu calendars, each month begins on the day after the full moon. Others are based on the first sighting of the lunar crescent, such as the lunar Hijri calendar (and, historically, the Hebrew calendar).” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

    31,000-25,000 Dolni Vestonice,  Czech Republic Totemistic-Shamanism

    “A remarkable cluster of Pavlovian radiocarbon dates is recorded during the following two millenia, between 27 – 25 ky (Jöris & Weninger 2004). These dates were received from Willendorf II (layers 6-8), Aggsbach, Krems, Grub/Kranawetberg, Dolní Vestonice – Pavlov, Milovice (settlement), Borsice, Jarosov (settlement), Spytihnev, and Predmostí (the main occupation layer). An increase of microliths, including the geometric microliths (lunates, triangles, trapezes), is typical at this stage, especially within the Dolní Vestonice – Pavlov area (fig. 3). A variety of pointed blades and microblades continue to occur, but the typical leaf-points are absent at this stage. A few of the 14 C datings from sites like Dolní Vestonice, Milovice and Jarosov are later than 25 ky; so, for example, the mammoth bone deposits at Milovice and Jarosov are dated later than the related settlements. If these dates are correct, they would suggest a prolongation of occupation at these sites after the Pavlovian.” ref

    “The most typical example of another type of Early Gravettian, non-Pavlovian site, is Bodrogkeresztúr-Henye in eastern Hungary (Dobosi, ed. 2000). The site provided two dates, 28.7 ± 3 ky and 26.3 ± 0.4 ky that place it chronologically to the Early Gravettian. Contrary to the Pavlovian sites, however, the fauna is dominated by horse and elk, and the lithic industry, dominated by burins, retouched blades, endscrapers and sidescrapers, lacks the typical microliths. In addition, there are differences of rather functional nature. Nemsová, a workshop site with an Early Gravettian date in western Slovakia, is located near an important raw material source: the radiolarite. Two smaller cave sites, Slaninova Cave and Dzeravá skala Cave, yielded early Gravettian dates in association with fragments of the typical ivory points with circular section. This may be an evidence for periodical visits of Gravettian hunters in the karstic regions.” ref

    31,000-25,000 years old Dolni Vestonice, Czech Republic Totemistic-Shamanism

    “This Shaman hails from a place now called Dolni Vestonici, earning her the glamorous name “Dolni Vestonici 3” as the third burial found at the site. So I’ll call her Devee, the DV3 burial1.  Devee did take a major blow to the face but she recovered, the resulting disfigurement and Devee’s continued survival, despite this injury, is a key piece of evidence she was important to her tribe. Of course, she’d still need help from her friends to recover in the first place.” ref

    “Red powdery and crusty concentrations from the fill-up and bottom of a female burial DV3 from the Dolní Věstonice I site, representing Pavlovian culture. The burial floor and fill-up is composed of marly substrate mixed with bone powder, charcoal ash and red, rounded, relatively hard particles, composed of burnt iron bearing aluminosilicates.  Red crusts, present on it (maybe also within it), applied probably as suspension, are composed of unburnt  iron bearing aluminosilicates.  The raw material for powders is assumed to come from the site hearths red ash.  Red iron artifacts, macroscopically almost identical, occur on the site also as an assemblage of loose red lumps.  They are petrographically inhomogeneous and their sources are localized up to 94 miles away from the site.  Raw material similar to the one of some of red lumps may have been used for burial ceremony. The red ferruginous materials may have been exploited in areas of particular importance, away from hunting and flint (and other raw materials) trails.” ref

    “The DV3 burial was found in the cultural layer of the first settlement object.  The grave pit was dug into the Pleistocene marly silt mixed with limestone debris. The sediment was formed as a result of solifluxion of the nearby Tertiary sediments.  Grave pit with the flexed body of a middle aged woman was covered by red coloring agent, greyish marly fill-up and two mammoth scapulae contacting tightly one with the other. They are covered by a compacted layer of calcareous debris with an ash and “dye.”  This layer was present only in the burial pit and in the immediate vicinity of it. The upper part of the skeleton, especially the skull was covered with red material. Colouring continued in the vicinity of isolated bones. A woman’s body, probably was smeared with marly soil with immersed red powder.  Staining was visible also under the temporal bone. Perhaps, after the decomposition of soft body parts the red particles infiltrated to bone surfaces tinting them. Numerous red ferruginous pieces and lumps were present out of the DV3 grave. Points at the local sources (up to 1 km from the site) of red raw materials, e.g. Mn-Fe concretions from the Ždanice Middle Oligocene flysch, limonite concretions from Eocene sediments near Milovice and goethite from the vicinity of the Pavlovske Hills.” ref

    “Nevertheless, geology of the area in some dozen kilometers is much more complex and numerous other rocks may have been sources of red iron oxides, including, among others, terra rosa of unknown (but probably Eocene) age, variegated shales from Oligocene-Miocene and Paleocen-Middle Eocene flysh, red claystones (Ždanice-Hustopeče Formation), Cretaceous spongolite at the Dyje river, Inner Carpathian pyrite-pyrhotine with their red weathering crusts, neohercynian hematite veins and stockwerks (also along the Vah valley), red continental Lower Permian sediments and Visean flysh (culm) facies with variegated shales.  In 150 km radius Považsky Inovec and Jeseníky Mts. metamorphosed Devonian sedimentary-volcanogenic rocks of Lahn-Dill type were also available for Pavlovian societies. On the one hand there is interest in the diversity of petrographic origin and processing of red raw ferruginous red lumps found on the site beyond the grave DV3.  On the other hand, there is questions about the nature of red microartifacts associated with a sepulchral context: what is their composition and origin?  Were they intentionally processed? Is there one or more varieties of sediments in the burial?  Do the red powders of burial sediment (or sediments) have any relationship with red lumps from beyond the grave, or they are specific in origin and processing?  Could they be a deliberately burnt raw material?” ref

    The Upper Paleolithic triple burial of Dolní Vestonice: pathology and funerary behavior.

    “The Gravettian triple burial of young individuals at Dolní Vestonice includes a skeleton in the middle (DV 15) is pathological and very problematic to sex though first believed to be a female, currently thought to be a slender male; the other two (DV 13 and DV 14) are somewhat larger males and lie in an unusual position. The pathological condition of the (DV 15) skeleton in the middle include asymmetric shortening of the right femur and of left forearm bones, bowing of the right femur, right humerus, and left radius, elongation of fibulae, dysplasias of the vertebral column, and very marked enamel hypoplasias suggesting chondrodysplasia calcificans punctata (CCP) complicated by trauma and early fractures of the upper limbs leaving permanent deformities on affected bones.” ref

    “Among the different forms of CCP, the X-linked dominant form is that resulting in asymmetric shortening and is lethal during early infancy in males. Thus, survival of DV 15 until young adult age would require the specimen to be a female. Clinical findings often associated with the disease (erythemas, ichthyosis, alopecia, cataracts, and joint contractures, among others) would emphasize the singular aspect of this individual, pointing to a condition that should be carefully taken into account when speculating on the significance of that peculiar burial.” ref

    “Excavations at Dolní Věstonice II unearthed a structured settlement with a single male burial DV 16 and a number of stone and bone tools, decorative objects, as well as fragmented remains of associated human individuals making it one of the most important sites of the Central European Gravettian.” ref, ref

    “Dolní Věstonice I site, belongs to an assemblage of the Pavlovian sites (Early Gravettian) of the Southern Moravia (Czech Republic), together with the Dolní Věstonice II and III, Pavlov I-VI, Milovice I and IV and the Middle Moravia Basin sites.  Dolní Věstonice I as well as other Southern Moravian sites were located at the foothill of Pavlovske Vrchy, close (0.3 miles) from the Dyje river.” ref

    “The Dolní Věstonice – Pavlov cultural areas are similar in many ways to the Kostenki – Borshevo region beside the Don River in Russia. It was not just one site, it was many, spread over a fairly wide area, and was an open air site. Most open air sites do not give the wealth of data that these sites, both here at Dolní Věstonice and at Kostenki, have yielded, and both are from similar times. Both have Venus figures, both depended heavily on mammoths for their culture, and both used mammoth bones in the creation of shelters.” ref

    “In the Vestonice 13 sample, the Y chromosomal haplogroup CT (not IJK-L16) (CTS109+, CTS5318+, CTS6327+, CTS8243+, CTS9556+, Z17718+, Y1571+, M5831+) was determined, for the Vestonice 15 sample, the Y chromosome haplogroup BT (PF1178+), in the Vestonice 43 sample, the Y chromosome haplogroup F (not I) (P145+, P158+). In the Vestonice 16 sample, the Y chromosomal haplogroup C1a2 (V20+, V86+).” ref

    “None of the Sungir individuals were found to be closely related even though the SII to SIV individuals buried together share both mitochondrial and Y chromosome lineages. We then inferred genomic segments that were identical by descent and homozygous by descent from three higher-coverage Sungir genomes (Sungir 2 to Sungir 4) and a panel of ancient and contemporary humans. The distributions of homozygous by descent tracts were different between  early anatomically modern humans and archaic humans, indicating small effective population sizes and/or recent inbreeding in archaic individuals, particularly the Altai Neandertal.” ref

    “Only some of the Sungir individuals were interred with a rich material culture, including spears made of mammoth ivory, ivory beads and perforated fox teeth and red ochre, The remains material culture and lithic evidence, and the presence of ochre, a links them to a wider complex of human burials from Russia to Portugal. There is seeming late or final stage of ‘Streletskian’ lithic culture evidence, which is  speculated to be an outgrowth of the Mousterian, similar to the Châtelperronian, an industry with elements of both the Mousterian and the Aurignacian, and is contemporaneous with the Aurignacian.” ref, ref, ref, ref

    “The ‘Streletskian’ lithic culture found at Sungir is associated with and sometimes referred to as the Kostenki-Streletsk culture.” ref

    “The European Mousterian culture is the product of Neanderthals. It existed roughly from around 160,000-40,000 years ago, around when Neanderthals started the Châtelperronian culture (around 44,500 – 36,000 years ago) and besides a possible relation to the Modern human Aurignacian culture it is speculated that the due to things like the use of ivory at Châtelperronian sites which appear to be more frequent than that of the later Aurignacian may relate to the origins of the very similar Gravettian culture as well as other features found in the Szeletian culture. As well as  associated primarily with the earliest anatomically modern humans in West Asia and North Africa likely learned from Neanderthals.” ref, ref, ref, ref

    “Certain forms of bifacial points, numerous series of side-scrapers, and predominance of flakes in the manufacture of tools are the basis to include Sungir to the group of Streletskian sites. The characteristics of stone inventory, on the basis of which Sungir can be attributed to the Streletskian, at the same time, allow us to compare this site with final Szeletian of Central Europe. Now this conclusion is not refuted by the presence of Aurignacian types, because the same pattern is seen in some Szeletian sites of Central Europe. Moreover, a few sites were excavated in Eastern Europe in the last decades, toolkit of which is similar to streletskian and at the same time contains Aurignacian types. It is primarily the site of Garchi I, located in the North-East of European part of Russia, and the site of Vys, located in the Central part of Ukraine.” ref

    “The Szeletian culture seemingly seen at generally dates to around 38 000 – 28 000 years ago and was widespread from largely Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and southwestern Poland. However, its influence can also be seen at a number of places in Romania and Bulgaria. The Szeletian culture developed mainly from the local Mousterian culture and for a time was contemporaneous with the Aurignacian culture. It was succeeded by the Gravettian cultures.” ref

    “Sungir is thought to be a late stage of the Streletskian and characterized by a greater proportion of blades and fewer ‘leaf-points’, with more burins than at other sites. Russian colleagues place the site in a transitional phase related to the previous early Upper Palaeolithic (EUP).” ref

    “The ‘Streletskian’ lithic culture found at Sungir is associated with and sometimes referred to as the Kostenki-Streletsk culture.” ref

    “Streletskian points’ are documented in several assemblages from the Kostёnki complex of Upper Palaeolithic sites in south-western Russia. Some of these assemblages have been argued to evidence very early modern human occupation of Eastern Europe. However, Streletskian points are also recorded from younger contexts, notably at Kostёnki 11, where examples are attributed both to Layer V and the stratigraphically higher Layer III. The apparent relatively young age of Layer III has led some to view it as the latest manifestation of the Streletskian, although its assemblage has also been compared to the non-Streletskian Layer I of Kostёnki 8, with the two described together as the Anosovka-Tel’manskaya Culture. There is a 28,500–27,000 cal years ago date for a wolf burial associated with Layer III of Kostёnki 11 confirm the layer as younger than other Streletskian assemblages at Kostёnki. New radiocarbon dates for Kostёnki 8 Layer I show that the two layers are broadly contemporary, and that both are close in age to assemblages of Kostёnki’s (Late Gravettian) Kostёnki-Avdeevo Culture.” ref

    “The origin of Gravettian is seen as a more complex process than was thought before, involving an impact of industries with backed blades and bladelets from the eastern Mediterranean (Ahmarian, Lagaman, Dabba, beginning before 40 ky BP). After its establishment in Europe, the Danubian Gravettian is ordered into earlier Pavlovian stage (30-25 ky BP), concentrated in the Austrian-Moravian-South Polish corridor, and later Willendorf-Kostenkian stage (25-20 ky BP), widely dispersed over central and eastern Europe. The Epigravettian, termed Kasovian (after 20 ky BP), should be clearly separated from the earlier Gravettian stock.” ref

    “The Gravettian, as the most complex Upper Paleolithic cultural entity in the Danubian Europe. Such as, the Gravettian sites in Lower Austria, on the Danube or Moravia, at Dolní Vestonice and Predmostí and Middle Moravia Basin. Others such as Pavlov VI, Bohemia, Silesia, Slovakia, and Hungary. Specifically, sites of the Danubian Gravettian provided a relatively large series of modern human fossil remains, such as, the spectacular finds of newborn babies, ritually buried at Krems-Wachtberg. As well as the sites of Dolní Vestonice – Pavlov and Predmosti.” ref

    “A wolf burial being associated with Layer III of Kostёnki 11 demonstrate its association with the chronological group IV, hence confirming its recent age relative to Kostёnki-Borshchëvo’s Spitsynian, Aurignacian, Early Gravettian, and Gorodtsovian sites and layers. The dates are instead similar to new dates for Kostёnki 8 Layer I, with which the Kostёnki 11 Layer III lithic assemblage, which have previously been grouped as the ‘Anosovka-Tel’manskaya Culture’. These two assemblages are also chronologically close to Late Gravettian Kostёnki-Avdeevo Culture sites such as Kostёnki 1 Layer I and Kostёnki 18. A new study of the Kostёnki 11 Layer III lithic assemblage would enable meaningful comparison with Kostёnki 8 Layer I, and assessment of blade production at all of these sites should help to elucidate the relationships between them. A single Streletskian point from Layer III at Kostёnki 11 has previously been used to propose a cultural link with Streletskian sites and assemblages at Kostёnki and beyond.” ref

    “However, there is reason to question the association of this Streletskian point with other lithic material from Layer III. Stratigraphic uncertainties relating to Layer III remain unresolved, including those in the test-pit that yielded the Streletskian point. There is also currently no technological context for the Streletskian point in the remainder of the Kostёnki 11 Layer III lithic assemblage. The blank from which it was made is unusual for the layer, the secondary thinning technique used for its manufacture is not evident on any of the layer’s other artifacts, and no characteristic thinning flakes have been found, despite their presence at other Streletskian sites at Kostënki.” ref

    Kostenki – Offers Evidence for Early Human Migrations into Europe

    “The occupations at Kostenki include several Late Early Upper Paleolithic levels, dated between 42,000 to 30,000 calibrated years ago (cal BP).  Kostenki is located in the Pokrovsky Valley of Russia, on the west bank of the Don River, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Moscow and 40 km (25 mi) south of the city of Voronezh, Russia.”  ref

    • Cover layer: several stacked occupations dated to the Eastern Gravettian (such as Kostenki 1 at 29,000 years ago and Epi-Gravettian from Kostenki 11 at 14,000-19,000  years ago)
    • Upper layer: several stacked occupations, early and mid-Upper Paleolithic, including Initial Upper Paleolithic, Aurignacian, Gravettian, and local Gorodsovian
    • Whitish layer: volcanic ash dated 39,300 years ago.
    • Lower  layer: several stacked horizons, early and mid-Upper Paleolithic, including Initial Upper Paleolithic, Aurignacian, Gravettian, and local Gorodsovian. ref

    “Moreover, Excavators at Kostenki (Anikovich et al.) reported that they had identified occupation levels within and below the ash level. They found the remnants of the Early Upper Paleolithic culture called the “Aurignacian Dufour,” numerous small bladelets quite similar to lithic tools found in similarly dated sites in western Europe. Prior to Kostenki, the Aurignacian sequence was considered the oldest component associated with modern humans at archaeological sites in Europe, underlain by Mousterian-like deposits representing Neanderthals. At Kostenki, a sophisticated tool kit of prismatic blades, burins, bone antler, and ivory artifacts, and small perforated shell ornaments lies below the CI Tephra and Aurignacian Dufour assemblage: these were identified as an earlier presence of modern humans in Eurasia than previously recognized.” ref

    “There was found a genetic relationships between  Kostenki-14 (Markina Gora) who died more than 36,000 years ago and Neanderthals–more evidence that early modern humans and Neanderthals interbred–as well as genetic connections to the Mal’ta individual from Siberia and European Neolithic farmers. Further, they found a fairly distant relationship to Australo-Melanesian or eastern Asian populations.” ref

    “Moreover, DNA recovered from a 36,000 year old fossil skeleton found in Russia shows early divergence of Eurasians once they had left Africa, and the deep shared ancestry of Europeans. The new study, carried out by an international team of researchers, also reveals when Neanderthals and early modern humans out of Africa interbred – around 54,000 years ago, before the modern human population began to differentiate. The Kostenki 14 genome shows that once people had dispersed beyond the African homeland into Eurasia, they separated early – before 36,000 years ago – into at least three populations whose descendants would develop the unique features that reflect the core of the diversity of non-African peoples. What we can see from Kostenki and other ancient genomes is that for 30,000 years there was a single meta-population in Europe. These Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer groups split up, mixed, dispersed and changed, and through ancient genomes we can trace the genetic thread of their shared ancestry. For example, the genome reveals that the people from Kostenki contributed genes to the ancestors of the boy from Mal’ta, who lived in Siberia 26,000 years ago, and whose descendants spread as far as Europe and the Americas.” ref

    Gravettian culture

    “The Gravettian was an archaeological industry of the European Upper Paleolithic that succeeded the Aurignacian circa 33,022 years ago. It is archaeologically the last European culture many consider unified, and had mostly disappeared by c. 22,022 years ago, close to the Last Glacial Maximum, although some elements lasted until c. 17,022 years ago. In Spain and France, it was succeeded by the Solutrean, and developed into or continued as the Epigravettian in Italy, the Balkans, Ukraine, and Russia. The Gravettian culture is known for Venus figurines, which were typically carved from either ivory or limestone. The culture was first identified at the site of La Gravette in the southwestern French department of Dordogne.” ref 

    “The Gravettians were hunter-gatherers who lived in a bitterly cold period of European prehistory, and the Gravettian lifestyle was shaped by the climate. Pleniglacial environmental changes forced them to adapt. West and Central Europe were extremely cold during this period. Archaeologists usually describe two regional variants: the western Gravettian, known mainly from cave sites in France, Spain, and Britain, and the eastern Gravettian in Central Europe and Russia. The eastern Gravettians, which include the Pavlovian culture, were specialized mammoth hunters, whose remains are usually found not in caves but in open-air sites.” ref

    “Gravettian culture thrived on their ability to hunt animals. They utilized a variety of tools and hunting strategies. Compared to theorized hunting techniques of Neanderthals and earlier human groups, Gravettian hunting culture appears much more mobile and complex. They lived in caves or semi-subterranean or rounded dwellings which were typically arranged in small “villages”. Gravettians are thought to have been innovative in the development of tools such as blunted-back knives, tanged arrowheads, and boomerangs. Other innovations include the use of woven nets and oil lamps made of stone. Blades and bladelets were used to make decorations and bone tools from animal remains.” ref

    “Gravettian culture extends across a large geographic region, as far as Estremadura in Portugal. but is relatively homogeneous until about 27,022 years ago. They developed burial rites, which included the inclusion of simple, purpose-built offerings and/or personal ornaments owned by the deceased, placed within the grave or tomb. Surviving Gravettian art includes numerous cave paintings and small, portable Venus figurines made from clay or ivory, as well as jewelry objects. The fertility deities mostly date from the early period; there are over 100 known surviving examples. They conform to a very specific physical type, with large breasts, broad hips, and prominent posteriors. The statuettes tend to lack facial details, and their limbs are often broken off. During the post-glacial period, evidence of the culture begins to disappear from northern Europe but was continued in areas around the Mediterranean.” ref

    “Physical remains of people of the Gravettian have revealed that they were tall and relatively slender people. The male height of the Gravettian culture ranged between 179 and 188 centimeters (5 ft 10 in and 6 ft 2 in) tall with an average of 183.5 centimeters (6 ft 0.2 in), which is exceptionally tall not only for that period of prehistory but for all periods of history. They were fairly slender and normally weighed between 67–73 kilograms (148–161 lb), although they would likely have had a higher ratio of lean muscle mass compared to body fat in comparison to modern humans as a result of a very physically active and demanding lifestyle. The females of the Gravettian were much shorter, standing 158 centimeters (5 ft 2 in) on average, with an average weight of 54 kilograms (119 lb). Examinations of Gravettian skulls reveal that high cheekbones were common among them.” ref

    “Clubs, stones, and sticks were the primary hunting tools during the Upper Paleolithic period. Bone, antler, and ivory points have all been found at sites in France; but proper stone arrowheads and throwing spears did not appear until the Solutrean period (~20,000 years ago). Due to the primitive tools, many animals were hunted at close range. The typical artifact of the Gravettian tool industry, once considered diagnostic, is the small pointed blade with a straight blunt back. They are today known as the Gravette point, and were used to hunt big game. Gravettians used nets to hunt small game, and are credited with inventing the bow and arrow.” ref

    “Gravettian settlers tended towards the valleys that pooled migrating prey. Examples found through discoveries in Gr. La Gala, a site in Southern Italy, shows a strategic settlement based in a small valley. As the settlers became more aware of the migration patterns of animals like red deer, they learned that prey herd in valleys, thereby allowing the hunters to avoid traveling long distances for food. Specifically in Gr. La Gala, the glacial topography forced the deer to pass through the areas in the valley occupied by humans. Additional evidence of strategically positioned settlements include sites like Klithi in Greece, also placed to intercept migrating prey.” ref

    “Discoveries in the Czech Republic suggest that nets were used to capture large numbers of smaller prey, thus offering a quick and consistent food supply and thus an alternative to the feast/famine pattern of large game hunters. Evidence comes in the form of 4 mm (0.16 in) thick rope preserved on clay imprints. Research suggests that although no larger net imprints have been discovered, there would be little reason for them not to be made as no further knowledge would be required for their creation. The weaving of nets was likely a communal task, relying on the work of both women and children.” ref

    “The Gravettian era landscape is most closely related to the landscape of present-day Moravia. Pavlov I in southern Moravia is the most complete and complex Gravettian site to date, and a perfect model for a general understanding of Gravettian culture. In many instances, animal remains indicate both decorative and utilitarian purposes. In the case of, for example, Arctic foxes, incisors, and canines were used for decoration, while their humeri and radii bones were used as tools. Similarly, the skeletons of some red foxes contain decorative incisors and canines as well as ulnas used for awls and barbs.” ref

    “Some animal bones were only used to create tools. Due to their shape, the ribs, fibulas, and metapodia of horses were good for awl and barb creation. In addition, the ribs were also implemented to create different types of smoothers for pelt preparation. The shapes of hare bones are also unique, and as a result, the ulnas were commonly used as awls and barbs. Reindeer antlers, ulnas, ribs, tibias, and teeth were utilized in addition to a rare documented case of a phalanx. Mammoth remnants are among the most common bone remnants of the culture, while long bones and molars are also documented. Some mammoth bones were used for decorative purposes. Wolf remains were often used for tool production and decoration.” ref

    “In a genetic study published in Nature in May 2016, the remains of fourteen Gravettians were examined. The eight samples of Y-DNA analyzed were determined to be three samples of haplogroup CT, one sample of I, one sample of IJK, one sample of BT, one sample of C1a2, and one sample of F. Of the fourteen samples of mtDNA, there were thirteen samples of U and one sample of M. The majority of the sample of U belonged to the U5 and U2. In a genetic study published in Nature in November 2020, the remains of one adult male and two twin boys from a Gravettian site were examined. The Y-DNA analysis revealed that all 3 individuals belonged to haplogroup I. The 3 individuals had the same mtDNA, U5.” ref

    Shamanism (such as that seen in Siberia Gravettian culture: 30,000 years ago)

    • Gravettian culture (34,000–24,000 years ago; Western Gravettian,  mainly France, Spain, and Britain, as well as  Eastern Gravettian in Central Europe and Russia. The eastern Gravettians, which include the Pavlovian culture)
    • Pavlovian culture (31,000 – 25,000 years ago such as in Austria and Poland)

    Here are Shaman Headdresses from Siberia, Africa, and Mongolia showing the covering of the eyes and may thus, to me relate to why the Venus of Willendorf has a hat that covers the face, meaning I speculate that this hat, also seen in the possible shaman burials in Italy all are related to shamanism.

    Venus of Willendorf: Shamanism Headdresses that Cover the Eyes?

    “Venus figurines have been unearthed in Europe, Siberia, and much of Eurasia. 
    Most date from the Gravettian period but start in the Aurignacian era, and lasts to the Magdalenian time.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art 


    “Woman of Caviglione cave/Cavillon cave, Liguria, (Italy) involved evidence of a ceremonial burial of an adult female wearing a cap of more than 200 shells with a border of deer’s teeth, red ochre around the face and a bone awl at the side. The lady Cavillon was first believed to be a man so was dubbed “The Man of Menton”. In this cave, the tomb of the Lady of Cavillon, who died aged thirty-seven 24,000 years ago, was discovered.  Interestingly, this woman was adorned with a funerary headpiece, which suggests that the people of this time might have believed in life after death.” RefRefRefRef 

    Gravettian burial of Caviglione Woman, (shaman?) dated to around 24,000 years ago

    The Gravettian culture (Europe) shared ritual ideas and The Ancient North Eurasian culture (Asia) 24,000 years ago

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


    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.

    Seeming Connections: Totem poles, Ceremonial poles, Spirit poles, Sacred poles, Deity poles, Deities with poles, Pole star, Axis Mundi, Sacred trees, World tree, Maypole, Sun Dance with poles, etc.

    Mal’ta–Buret’ culture

    The Mal’ta–Buret’ culture (also Maltinsko-buretskaya culture) is an archaeological culture of the Upper Paleolithic (generally dated to 24,000-15,000 years ago). It is located roughly northwest of Lake Baikal, about 90km to the northwest of Irkutsk, on the banks of the upper Angara River. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal’ta (Мальта́), Usolsky District and Buret’ (Буре́ть), Bokhansky District (both in Irkutsk Oblast).” ref

    “A boy whose remains were found near Mal’ta is usually known by the abbreviation MA-1 (or MA1) dated to 24,000 years ago. According to research published since 2013, MA-1 belonged to the population of Ancient North Eurasians, who were genetically “intermediate between modern western Eurasians and Native Americans, but distant from east Asians”, and partial genetic ancestors of Siberians, American Indians, and Bronze Age Yamnaya and Botai people of the Eurasian steppe. In particular, modern-day Native Americans, Kets, Mansi, and Selkup have been found to harbor a significant amount of ancestry related to MA-1. MA-1 is the only known example of basal Y-DNA R* (R-M207*) – that is, the only member of haplogroup R* that did not belong to haplogroups R1R2, or secondary subclades of these. The mitochondrial DNA of MA-1 belonged to an unresolved subclade of haplogroup U.” ref

    Mal’ta consists of semi-subterranean houses that were built using large animal bones to assemble the walls, and reindeer antlers covered with animal skins to construct a roof that would protect the inhabitants from the harsh elements of the Siberian weather. These dwellings built from mammoth bones were similar to those found in Upper Paleolithic Western Eurasia, such as in the areas of FranceCzechoslovakia, and Ukraine. Evidence seems to indicate that Mal’ta is the most ancient known site in eastern Siberia, with the nearby site of Buret’.” ref 

    “However, relative dating illustrates some irregularities. The use of flint flaking and the absence of pressure flaking used in the manufacture of tools, as well as the continued use of earlier forms of tools, seem to confirm the fact that the site belongs to the early Upper Paleolithic. Yet it lacks typical skreblos (large side scrapers) that are common in other Siberian Paleolithic sites. Additionally, other common characteristics such as pebble cores, wedge-shaped cores, burins, and composite tools have never been found. The lack of these features, combined with an art style found in only one other nearby site (the Venus of Buret’), make Mal’ta culture unique in Siberia.” ref

    There were two main types of art during the Upper Paleolithic: mural art, which was concentrated in Western Europe, and portable art. Portable art, typically some type of carving in ivory tusk or antler, spans the distance across Western Europe into Northern and Central Asia. Artistic remains of expertly carved bone, ivory, and antler objects depicting birds and human females are the most commonly found; these objects are, collectively, the primary source of Mal’ta’s acclaim.” ref

    “In addition to the female statuettes there are bird sculptures depicting swans, geese, and ducks. Through ethnographic analogy comparing the ivory objects and burials at Mal’ta with objects used by 19th and 20th-century Siberian shamans, it has been suggested that they are evidence of a fully developed shamanism. Also, there are engraved representations on slabs of mammoth tusk. One is the figure of a mammoth, easily recognizable by the trunk, tusks, and thick legs. Wool also seems to be etched, by the placement of straight lines along the body. Another drawing depicts three snakes with their heads puffed up and turned to the side. It is believed that they were similar to cobras.” ref

    “Perhaps the best example of Paleolithic portable art is something referred to as “Venus figurines“. The Mal’ta boy (dated 24,000 years ago) was buried with various artifacts and a Venus figurine. Until they were discovered in Mal’ta, “Venus figurines” were previously found only in Europe. Carved from the ivory tusk of a mammoth, these images were typically highly stylized, and often involved embellished and disproportionate characteristics (typically the breasts or buttocks). It is widely believed that these emphasized features were meant to be symbols of fertility. Around thirty female statuettes of varying shapes have been found in Mal’ta. The wide variety of forms, combined with the realism of the sculptures and the lack of repetitiveness in detail, are definite signs of developed, albeit early, art.” ref

    “At first glance, what is obvious is that the Mal’ta Venus figurines are of two types: full-figured women with exaggerated forms, and women with a thin, delicate form. Some of the figures are nude, while others have etchings that seem to indicate fur or clothing. Conversely, unlike those found in Europe, some of the Venus figurines from Mal’ta were sculpted with faces. Most of the figurines were tapered at the bottom, and it is believed that this was done to enable them to be stuck into the ground or otherwise placed upright. Placed upright, they could have symbolized the spirits of the dead, akin to “spirit dolls” used nearly worldwide, including in Siberia, among contemporary people.” ref

    “The Mal’ta figurines garner interest in the western world because they seem to be of the same basic form as European female figurines of roughly the same time period, suggestion some cultural and cultic connection. This similarity between Mal’ta and Upper Paleolithic Europe coincides with other suggested similarities between the two, such as in their tools and dwelling structures. A 2016 genomic study shows that the Mal’ta people have no genetic connections to the Dolní Věstonice people from the Gravettian culture. The researchers conclude that the similarity between the figurines may be either due to cultural diffusion or to a coincidence, but not to common ancestry between the populations.” ref

    “Discussing this easternmost outpost of paleolithic culture, Joseph Campbell finishes by commenting on the symbolic forms of the artifacts found there:

    We are clearly in apaleolithicprovince where theserpent,labyrinth, and rebirth themes already constitute a symbolic constellation, joined with the imagery of the sunbird andshamanflight, with the goddess in her classic role ofprotectress of the hearth, mother of man’s second birth, andlady of wild thingsand of the food supply.” ref

    “The term Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) has been given in genetic literature to an ancestral component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture and the closely related population of Afontova Gora. A people similar to MA1 and Afontova Gora were important genetic contributors to Native Americans, Siberians, Europeans, Caucasians, Central Asians, with smaller contributions to Middle Easterners and some East Asians. Lazaridis et al. (2016) notes “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” The “ANE-cline”, as observed among Paleolithic Siberian populations and their direct descendants, developed from a sister lineage of Europeans with significant admixture from early East Asians. MA1 is also related to two older Upper Paleolithic Siberian individuals found at the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site called Ancient North Siberians (ANS).” ref

    Afontova Gora

    Afontova Gora is a Late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic 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’. The complex was first excavated in 1884 by Ivan Savenkov. Afontova Gora is a complex, consisting of multiple stratigraphic layers, of five or more campsites. The campsites shows evidence of mammoth hunting and were likely the result of an eastward expansion of mammoth hunters. The human fossils discovered at Afontova Gora, a male and a girl dated to 17,000~15,000 years ago.” ref

    Afontova Gora I is situated on the western bank of the Enisei River and has yielded the remains from horse, mammoth, reindeer, steppe bison, and large canids. A canid tibia has been dated 16,900 years old and the skull has been taxonomically described as being that of a dog, but it is now lost. Its description falls outside of the range of Pleistocene or modern northern wolves. (The name Afontova Gora 1 refers to the remains of a canid.)” ref

    “Afontova Gora II is the site human fossil remains were found, and remains of mammoth, Arctic fox, Arctic hare, reindeer, bison, and horse were discovered at the site. 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 artifacts and is the layer where the human fossil remains were discovered. Over 20,000 artifacts were discovered at layer 3: this layer produced over 450 tools and over 250 osseous artifacts (bone, antler, ivory). The fossils of two distinct individuals were discovered in the initial excavations: the upper premolar of an 11-15-year-old child and the left radius, ulna, humerus, phalanx, and frontal bone of an adult.” ref

    “The bodies of two individuals, known as Afontova Gora 2 (AG2). The human fossil remains of Afontova Gora 2 were dated to around 17,000 years ago. DNA from the humerus of Afontova Gora 2, despite significant contamination, DNA analysis confirmed that the individual was male. The individual showed close genetic affinities to Mal’ta 1 (Mal’ta boy). Afontova Gora 2 also showed a greater genetic affinity for the Karitiana people than for the Han Chinese. Around 1.9-2.7% of the genome was Neanderthal in origin. More human fossil remains were discovered at Afontova Gora II, The remains belonged to two different females: the atlas of an adult female and the mandible and five lower teeth of a teenage girl (Afontova Gora 3) estimated to be around 14–15 years old. Initially, the new findings were presumed to be roughly contemporaneous with Afontova Gora 2.” ref 

    “Afontova Gora III is a site that consists of 3 layers. Afontova Gora 3 (AG3) was discovered within the complex. Direct AMS dating revealed that Afontova Gora 3 is dated to around 16,090 cal BCE or around 18,090 years ago). Researchers analyzing the dental morphology of Afontova Gora 3 concluded that the teeth showed distinct characteristics with most similarities to another fossil (the Listvenka child) from the Altai-Sayan region and were neither western nor eastern. Afontova Gora 3 and Listvenka showed distinct dental characteristics that were also different from other Siberian fossils, including those from Mal’ta.” ref

    “DNA was extracted from one of the teeth of Afontova Gora 3 and analyzed. Compared to Afontova Gora 2, researchers were able to obtain higher coverage genomes from Afontova Gora 3. DNA analysis confirmed that the individual was female. mtDNA analysis revealed that Afontova Gora 3 belonged to the mitochondrial Haplogroup R1b. Around 2.9-3.7% of the genome was Neanderthal in origin. Researchers determined that Afontova Gora 2, Afontova Gora 3, and Mal’ta 1 (Mal’ta boy) shared common descent and were clustered together in a Mal’ta cluster. Genetically, Afontova Gora 3 is not closer to Afontova Gora 2 when compared to Mal’ta 1. When compared to Mal’ta 1, the Afontova Gora 3 lineage apparently contributed more to modern humans and is genetically closer to Native Americans.” ref

    Phenotypic analysis shows that Afontova Gora 3 carries the derived rs12821256 allele associated with, and likely causal for, blond hair color, making Afontova Gora 3 the earliest individual known to carry this derived allele. The allele was found in three later members of the largely ANE-derived Eastern Hunter-Gatherers populations from Samara, Motala and Ukraine c. 10,000 years ago, suggesting that it originated in the Ancient North Eurasian population before spreading to western Eurasia. The hundreds of millions of copies of this mutated alelle (a single-nucleotide polymorphism) are at the root of the classic European blond hair mutation, as massive population migrations from the Eurasian steppe, by a people who had substantial Ancient North Eurasian ancestry, entered continental Europe.” ref

    “A genetic study on the Tarim mummies found that they were primarily descended from a population represented by the Afontova Gora 3 specimen (AG3), genetically displaying “high affinity” with it. The genetic profile of the Afontova Gora 3 individual represented about 72% of the ancestry of the Tarim mummies, while the remaining 28% of their ancestry was derived from Baikal EBA (Early Bronze Age Baikal populations). The Tarim mummies are thus one of the rare Holocene populations who derive most of their ancestry from the Ancient North Eurasians (ANE, specifically the Mal’ta and Afontova Gora populations), despite their distance in time (around 14,000 years). More than any other ancient populations, they can be considered as “the best representatives” of the Ancient North Eurasians.” ref

    “Afontova Gora V is the site where remains of hare, pika, cave lion, horse, reindeer, bison, and partridge were discovered at the site.” ref

    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:

    Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

    “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 AmericansEuropeansCentral AsiansSouth 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

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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    Ancient North Eurasian

    A 2016 study found that the global maximum of Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) ancestry occurs in modern-day KetsMansiNative Americans, and Selkups. ANE ancestry has spread throughout Eurasia and the Americas in various migrations since the Upper Paleolithic, and more than half of the world’s population today derives between 5 and 42% of their genomes from the Ancient North Eurasians. Significant ANE ancestry can be found in Native Americans, as well as in regions of northern EuropeSouth AsiaCentral Asia, and Siberia. It has been suggested that their mythology may have featured narratives shared by both Indo-European and some Native American cultures, such as the existence of a metaphysical world tree and a fable in which a dog guards the path to the afterlife.” ref

    Ancient Northern East Asian/ later became Ancient Northeast Asian
    Ancient Paleo-Siberian
    Mal’ta–Buret’ culture (Mal’ta boy MA-1)

    The Kolyma Shaitans: Legends and Reality (I only use just a small part)

    “A unique “shaitan” burial was discovered on the bank of Omuk-Kuel Lake in the Middle-Kolyma ulus in Yakutia. According to the legends, buried in it are mummified remains of a shaman woman who died during a devastating smallpox epidemics in the 18th c. In an attempt to overcome the deadly disease, the shaman’s relatives used her remains as an emeget fetish. The author believes that these legends reflect the real events of those far-away years. The Arabic word “shaitan” came to the Russian language from Turkic languages. According to Islamic tradition, a shaitan is a genie, an evil spirit, a demon. During Russian colonization and Christianization of Siberia, all sacred things used by the aborigines as fetishes, patron spirits of the family, and the tribe, grew to be called “shaitans.” There are various facts, dating to the 18th and 19th cc., confirming that this word also referred to the mummified remains of outstanding shamans.” ref

    “In the 1740s, a member of the Second Kamchatka Expedition Yakov Lindenau wrote, “Meat is scratched off the [shaman’s] bones and the bones are put together to form a skeleton, which is dressed in human’s clothes and worshipped as a deity. The Yukagirs place such dressed bones…in their yurts, their number can sometimes reach 10 or 15. If somebody commits even a minor sacrilege with respect to these bones, he stirs up rancor on the part of the Yukagirs… While traveling and hunting, the Yukagirs carry these bones in their sledges, and moreover, in their best sledges pulled by their best deer. When the Yukagirs are going to undertake something really important, they tell fortune using these skeletons: lift a skeleton up, and if it seems light, it means that their enterprise will have a favorable outcome. The Yukagirs call these skeletons stariks (old men), endow them with their best furs, and sit them on beds covered with deer hides, in a circle, as though they are alive.” (Lindenau, 1983, p. 155)” ref

    “In the late 19th c., a famous explorer of aboriginal culture V. I. Jochelson noted the changes that occurred in the ritual in the last century and a half. So, the Yukagirs divided among themselves the shaman’s meat dried in the sun and then put it in separate tents. The dead bodies of killed dogs were left there as well. “After that,” V. I. Jochelson writes, “they would divide the shaman’s bones, dry them and wrap in clothes. The skull was an object of worshipping. It was put on top of a trunk (body) cut out of wood. A caftan and two hats – a winter and a summer one – were sewn for the idol. The caftan was all embroidered. On the skull, a special mask was put, with holes for the eyes and the mouth… The figure was placed in the front corner of the home. Before a meal, a piece of food was thrown into the fire and the idol was held above it. This feeding of the idol… was committed before each meal.” (V. I. Jochelson, 2005, pp. 236—237)” ref

    “The idol was kept by the children of the dead shaman. One of them was inducted into the shamanism mysteries while his father was still alive. The idol was carried in a wooden box. Sometimes, in line with the air burial ritual, the box was erected on poles or trees, and the idol was taken out only before hunting or a long journey so that the outcome of the enterprise planned could be predicted. With time, the Yukagirs began using wooden idols as charms. V. I. Jochelson notes that by the late 19th c. the Yukagirs had developed a skeptical attitude towards idols and referred to them as “shaitans.” In this way, under the influence of Christianity, the worshipped ancestor’s spirit turned into its opposite – an evil spirit, a devil, a Satan.” ref

    Ancestral Native AmericanAncient Beringian

    14,000-year-old Ust-Kyakhta-3 (UKY) individual found near Lake Baikal

    Amur River Region

    Chertovy Vorota Cave/Devil’s Gate Cave

    Afanasievo culture

    Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex

    People may have first seen the Shaman Rock with the natural brown rock formation resembling a dragon between 30,000 to 25,000 years ago.

    Shaman Rock, on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, Siberia, with a natural rock image that resembles a dragon. And is one of the “Nine Holy Sites of Asia.”

    People reached Lake Baikal Siberia around 25,000 years ago. They (to Damien) were likely Animistic Shamanists who were also heavily totemistic as well. Being animistic thinkers they likely viewed amazing things in nature as a part of or related to something supernatural/spiritual (not just natural as explained by science): spirit-filled, a sprit-being relates to or with it, it is a sprit-being, it is a supernatural/spiritual creature, or it is a great spirit/tutelary deity/goddess-god. From there comes mythology and faith in things not seen but are believed to somehow relate or interact with this “real world” we know exists.

    Both areas of Lake Baikal, one on the west side with Ancient North Eurasian culture and one on the east side with Ancient Northern East Asian culture (later to become: Ancient Northeast Asian culture) areas are the connected areas that (to Damien) are the origin ancestry religion area for many mythologies and religious ideas of the world by means of a few main migrations and many smaller ones leading to a distribution of religious ideas that even though are vast in distance are commonly related to and centering on Lake Baikal and its surrounding areas like the Amur region and Altai Mountains region.

    To an Animistic Thinker: “Things are not just as they seem, they may have a spirit, or spirit energy relates to them”
    To a Totemistic Thinker: “Things are not just as they seem, they may have a spirit, or spirit energy relates to them; they may have religio-cultural importance.”

    “Lakes are often mysterious bodies of water, especially if they are very deep or surrounded by mountains. No wonder legends and mysteries thrive about them, including monsters that supposedly lurk in their bottomless depths.” ref

    Lake Baikal

    Lake Baikal is a rift lake in Russia. It is situated in southern Siberia, between the federal subjects of Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Republic of Buryatia to the southeast. At 31,722 km2 (12,248 sq mi)—slightly larger than Belgium—Lake Baikal is the world’s seventh-largest lake by surface area, as well as the second largest lake in Eurasia after the Caspian Sea. However, because it is also the deepest lake, with a maximum depth of 1,642 metres (5,387 feet; 898 fathoms), Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume, containing 23,615.39 km3 (5,670 cu mi) of water or 22–23% of the world’s fresh surface water, more than all of the North American Great Lakes combined. It is also the world’s oldest lake at 25–30 million years, and among the clearest. Lake Baikal is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of them endemic to the region. It is also home to Buryat tribes, who raise goats, camels, cattle, sheep, and horses on the eastern side of the lake, where the mean temperature varies from a winter minimum of −19 °C (−2 °F) to a summer maximum of 14 °C (57 °F). The region to the east of Lake Baikal is referred to as Transbaikalia or as the Transbaikal, and the loosely defined region around the lake itself is sometimes known as Baikalia.” ref

    Baikal is one of the clearest lakes in the world. During the winter, the water transparency in open sections can be as much as 30–40 m (100–130 ft), but during the summer it is typically 5–8 m (15–25 ft). Baikal is rich in oxygen, even in deep sections, which separates it from distinctly stratified bodies of water such as Lake Tanganyika and the Black Sea.  Lake Baikal is rich in biodiversity. It hosts more than 1,000 species of plants and 2,500 species of animals based on current knowledge, but the actual figures for both groups are believed to be significantly higher. More than 80% of the animals are endemic. There are 236 species of birds that inhabit Lake Baikal, 29 of which are waterfowl. Although named after the lake, both the Baikal teal and Baikal bush warbler are widespread in eastern Asia. Fewer than 65 native fish species occur in the lake basin, but more than half of these are endemic. 

    “The families Abyssocottidae (deep-water sculpins), Comephoridae (golomyankas or Baikal oilfish), and Cottocomephoridae (Baikal sculpins) are entirely restricted to the lake basin. The golomyankas are the primary prey of the Baikal seal and represent the largest fish biomass in the lake. Beyond members of Cottoidea, there are few endemic fish species in the lake basin. The lake hosts a rich endemic fauna of invertebrates. The copepod Epischura baikalensis is endemic to Lake Baikal and the dominating zooplankton species there, making up 80 to 90% of the total biomass. It is estimated that they filter as much as a thousand cubic kilometers of water a year, or the lake’s entire volume every twenty-three years. Among the most diverse invertebrate groups are the amphipod and ostracod crustaceans, freshwater snails, annelid worms, and turbellarian worms. More than 350 species and subspecies of amphipods are endemic to the lake. At least 18 species of sponges occur in the lake, including about 15 species from the endemic family Lubomirskiidae (the remaining are from the nonendemic family Spongillidae), which colonized the lake about 3.4 million years ago. ref

    “The Baikal area, sometimes known as Baikalia, has a long history of human habitation. Near the village of Mal’ta, some 160 km northwest of the lake, remains of a young human male known as MA-1 or “Mal’ta Boy” are indications of local habitation by the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture ca. 24,000 years ago. An early known tribe in the area was the Kurykans. Located in the former northern territory of the Xiongnu confederation, Lake Baikal is one site of the Han–Xiongnu War, where the armies of the Han dynasty pursued and defeated the Xiongnu forces from the second century BC to the first century AD. They recorded that the lake was a “huge sea” (hanhai) and designated it the North Sea (Běihǎi) of the semimythical Four Seas. The Kurykans, a Siberian tribe who inhabited the area in the sixth century, gave it a name that translates to “much water”. Later on, it was called “natural lake” (Baygal nuur) by the Buryats and “rich lake” (Bay göl) by the Yakuts.” ref 

    “Little was known to Europeans about the lake until Russia expanded into the area in the 17th century. The first Russian explorer to reach Lake Baikal was Kurbat Ivanov in 1643. Lake Baikal was under the Anbei Protectorate of the Tang dynasty from 647 CE to 682 CE. Russian expansion into the Buryat area around Lake Baikal in 1628–58 was part of the Russian conquest of Siberia. It was done first by following the Angara River upstream from Yeniseysk (founded 1619) and later by moving south from the Lena River. Russians first heard of the Buryats in 1609 at Tomsk. According to folktales related a century after the fact, in 1623, Demid Pyanda, who may have been the first Russian to reach the Lena, crossed from the upper Lena to the Angara and arrived at Yeniseysk.” ref

    “In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient Northern East Asian (ANEA), also known as Northern East Asian (NEA), is used to summarize the related ancestral components that represent the Ancient Northern East Asian peoples, extending from the Baikal region to the Yellow River and the Qinling-Huaihe Line in present-day central China. They are inferred to have diverged from Ancient Southern East Asians (ASEA) around 20,000 to 26,000 BCE.” ref 

    “Siberian mythology and religion reflected a world in which humans depended on and respected animals, believing that the animals had spirits and could change form.” ref 

    Siberian Spirits 

    “The master-spirit of water is usually an ancient man who watches over the fish and lives in the waters. The Tungus have territorial master-spirits known as Territory Mothers (Dunne Enin). There are also master-spirits of the lower world who are shaman ancestors (See Siberian Shamans/Shamanism in Siberia).” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

    Earth diver, Axis Mundi, and World Turtle Mythology

    “The earth-diver is a common character in various traditional creation myths. In these stories, a supreme being usually sends an animal (most often a type of bird, but also crustaceans, insects, and fish in some narratives) into the primal waters to find bits of sand or mud with which to build habitable land.” ref 

    Axis Mundi Mythology– cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, center of the world, mound/mountain of creation, or “World/Cosmic tree,” or “Eagle and Serpent tree.” ref, ref

    “The World Turtle, also called the Cosmic Turtle or the World-bearing Turtle, is a mytheme of a giant turtle (or tortoise) supporting or containing the world. It occurs in Hindu mythology, Chinese mythology, and the mythologies of some of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.” ref

    “Chucalissa, Mississippian culture Mounds in Memphis, art shows all the elements involved in the Path of Souls death journey, a widely held belief system among the mound builders of America.” ref

    “Interpretation of southeastern Native cosmology, showing the tripartite division of the world. The axis mundi is depicted as a tree or post connecting the fire symbol of this world, the sun symbol of the upper world, and the ‘swastika’ symbol of the lower world.” ref

    “It should be remembered that the Mississippian culture that built Cahokia may have considered a cedar tree or a striped cedar pole to be a symbol of the Axis Mundi (also called the cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, the center of the world, or world tree – has been greatly extended to refer to any mythological concept representing “the connection between Heaven and Earth” or the “higher and lower realms), the pillar connecting the above, middle, & below worlds, & around which the cosmos turns An American Yggdrasil (Norse tree of life). Some work has gone into reconstructing the woodhenge, and it is one of the sites around Cahokia that you can visit today. (The Solar Calendar of Woodhenge in Cahokia | Native America: Cities of the Sky).” – Vulpine Outlaw @Rad_Sherwoodism

    “Items adduced as examples of the axis mundi by comparative mythologists include plants (notably a tree but also other types of plants such as a vine or stalk), a mountain, a column of smoke or fire, or a product of human manufacture (such as a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagodatemple mountminaretchurch) or secular (obelisklighthouserocketskyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced “urban centers.” ref

    Do we know what the symbols represent?

     “Yes. It’s a bit more than I’d want to post on TwiX right now. It’s showing the 3-part universe, an upper, lower, and middle world, & the Milky Way is shown as well as Orion the Hand Constellation, Scorpius the ruler of the underworld, and Cygnus, the Judge. Also the main powers of the upper & lower worlds.” – Gregory L Little, Ed.D. @DrGregLittle2

    Gregory L Little, Ed.D. BA/MS Psychology, Ed.D. Counseling/Ed. Psych Author since ’84 (70+ books/workbooks). Mound Builder Society: Be Kind; Respect Everything; Honor the Ancient Ones.




    “According to the myth about the origin of man recorded among the people of Eastern Europe and Siberia, the creator set a dog to guard the half-made human figures, but the antagonist bribed the guard and spoiled the creation, making humans vulnerable to disease. The creator told the dog to become the servant of man. Texts recorded in India (mostly among the Munda-speaking groups), the Dards of the Hindu Kush and the Abkhasians, though partly similar to the Northern Eurasian ones, do not share some important details: the antagonist is a horse, it tried to destroy man but a dog drove it away. In the Mongolian (more precisely, the Oirat) version, a cow acts instead of a horse, but in other respects, this variant is similar to the Abkhasian ones. Negative associations related to the horse are rather widespread
    in Europe and Central Asia. Stories about the creation of man recorded in northern and southern Eurasia stemmed from the anthropogenic myth that was known to the Indo-Europeans of the Bronze Age. South Asia and the European–Siberian zone also share other tales, in particular the Earth-diver myth. Their analysis opens possibilities for reconstructing the early mythology of the inhabitants of the Eurasian steppe.” ref

    Comparative Mythology

    Since the term ‘Ancient North Eurasian’ refers to a genetic bridge of connected mating networks, scholars of comparative mythology have argued that they probably shared myths and beliefs that could be reconstructed via the comparison of stories attested within cultures that were not in contact for millennia and stretched from the Pontic–Caspian steppe to the American continent. The mytheme of the dog guarding the Otherworld possibly stems from an older Ancient North Eurasian belief, as suggested by similar motifs found in Indo-European, Native American and Siberian mythology. In Siouan, Algonquian, Iroquoian, and in Central and South American beliefs, a fierce guard dog was located in the Milky Way, perceived as the path of souls in the afterlife, and getting past it was a test.” ref

    “The Siberian Chukchi and Tungus believed in a guardian-of-the-afterlife dog and a spirit dog that would absorb the dead man’s soul and act as a guide in the afterlife. In Indo-European myths, the figure of the dog is embodied by Cerberus, Sarvarā, and Garmr. In Zoroastrianism, two four-eyed dogs guard the bridge to the afterlife called Chinvat Bridge. Anthony and Brown note that it might be one of the oldest mythemes recoverable through comparative mythology.” ref

    “A second canid-related series of beliefs, myths and rituals connected dogs with healing rather than death. For instance, Ancient Near Eastern and TurkicKipchaq myths are prone to associate dogs with healing and generally categorised dogs as impure. A similar myth-pattern is assumed for the Eneolithic site of Botai in Kazakhstan, dated to 3500 BC, which might represent the dog as absorber of illness and guardian of the household against disease and evil. In Mesopotamia, the goddess Nintinugga, associated with healing, was accompanied or symbolized by dogs. Similar absorbent-puppy healing and sacrifice rituals were practiced in Greece and Italy, among the Hittites, again possibly influenced by Near Eastern traditions.” ref

    Earth-diver myth

    (creation myth or cosmogonic myth, which is a type of cosmogony, 

    symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it.)

    “The earth-diver is a common character in various traditional creation myths. In these stories, a supreme being usually sends an animal (most often a type of bird, but also crustaceans, insects, and fish in some narratives) into the primal waters to find bits of sand or mud with which to build habitable land. Some scholars interpret these myths psychologically while others interpret them cosmogonically. In both cases, emphasis is placed on beginnings emanating from the depths.” ref

    According to Gudmund Hatt and Tristram P. Coffin, Earth-diver myths are common in Native American folklore, among the following populations: ShoshoneMeskwakiBlackfootChipewyanNewetteeYokuts of California, MandanHidatsaCheyenneArapahoOjibweYuchi, and Cherokee. American anthropologist Gladys Reichard located the distribution of the motif across “all parts of North America”, save for “the extreme north, northeast, and southwest.” ref 

    “In a 1977 study, anthropologist Victor Barnouw surmised that the earth-diver motif appeared in “hunting-gathering societies“, mainly among northerly groups such as the HareDogribKaskaBeaverCarrierChipewyanSarsiCree, and Montagnais. Similar tales are also found among the Chukchi and Yukaghir, the Tatars, and many Finno-Ugric traditions, as well as among the Buryat and the Samoyed. In addition, the earth-diver motif also exists in narratives from Eastern Europe, namely Romani, Romanian, Slavic (namely, Bulgarian, Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian), and Lithuanian mythological traditions.” ref

    “The pattern of distribution of these stories suggest they have a common origin in the eastern Asiatic coastal region, spreading as peoples migrated west into Siberia and east to the North American continent. However, there are examples of this mytheme found well outside of this boreal distribution pattern, for example the West African Yoruba creation myth of Ọbatala and OduduwaCharacteristic of many Native American myths, earth-diver creation stories begin as beings and potential forms linger asleep or suspended in the primordial realm. The earth-diver is among the first of them to awaken and lay the necessary groundwork by building suitable lands where the coming creation will be able to live. In many cases, these stories will describe a series of failed attempts to make land before the solution is found.” ref

    “Among the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the earth-diver cosmogony is attested in Iroquois mythology: a female sky deity falls from the heavens, and certain animals, the beaver, the otter, the duck, and the muskrat dive in the waters to fetch mud to construct an island. In a similar story from the Seneca, people lived in a sky realm. One day, the chief’s daughter was afflicted with a mysterious illness, and the only cure recommended for her (revealed in a dream) was to lie beside a tree and to have it be dug up. The people do so, but a man complains that the tree was their livelihood, and kicks the girl through the hole. She ends up falling from the sky to a world of only water, but is rescued by waterfowl.” ref

    “A turtle offers to bear her on its shell, but asked where would be a definitive dwelling place for her. They decide to create land, and the toad dives into the depths of the primal sea to get pieces of soil. The toad puts it on the turtle’s back, which grows larger with every deposit of soil. In another version from the Wyandot, the Wyandot lived in heaven. The daughter of the Big Chief (or Mighty Ruler) was sick, so the medicine man recommends that they dig up the wild apple tree that stands next to the Lodge of the Mighty Ruler, because the remedy is to be found on its roots.” ref

    “However, as the tree has been dug out, the ground begins to sink away, and the treetops catch and carry down the sick daughter with it. As the girl falls from the skies, two swans rescue her on their backs. The birds decide to summon all the Swimmers and the Water Tribes. Many volunteer to dive into the Great Water to fetch bits of earth from the bottom of the sea, but only the toad (female, in the story) is the one successful.” ref


    Earth-Diver is one of the most widely-distributed and well-studied cosmological myths. Found in mostly Uralic-speaking Eastern Europe, in Siberia, in Munda-speaking Northeast India and North America, its action is set in post-diluvial times when a demiurge sends various creatures to bring a piece of mud from the bottom of the ocean. The first creature fails, but the second one succeeds. Importantly, it’s the least likely creature that succeeds, while the more obvious favorite fails. A loon is a much better diver than a duck but it’s the duck that succeeds. In the end, the demiurge blows the earth out of the tiny piece of mud and restores life on it. Depending on the region, the diving creatures are different – in Eurasia it’s waterfowl birds – loon and duck, in North America it’s amphibians such as turtle or frog, animals such as otter or beaver or waterbirds, in Northeast India and the American Southwest – it’s arthropods.” ref

    The Initial Stages of Evolution of Uralic-Speakers: Evidence from a Mythological Reconstruction (Proto-Uralic Cosmogonic Myth) have suggested that the Earth-Diver motif is the folkloric manifestation of a more comprehensive system of beliefs related to the experiences of a shamanic flight in Northern Eurasian and Amerindian cultures. Siberian shamans liken themselves to waterfowl birds flying between worlds in search of the soul of their patient and they manipulate waterfowl figurines during their shamanic seances. Remarkably, very similar figurines are found at the 24,000-year-old Mal’ta archaeological site in South Siberia (see one on the left made out of a mammoth tusk), and Napol’skikh, in his 1991 book as well as in a recent talk (see video in Russian, roughly from 11:40 on) proposed that the Mal’ta people possessed the “cult of a waterfowl” and told the Earth-Diver myth. This means that the Earth-Diver motif may go back to pre-LGM times.” ref

    “Mal’ta has recently made headlines thanks to the sequencing of the genome of a 4-year-old boy found at this site. The DNA sample fell in-between West Eurasians and Amerindians, without any special connection to East Asians, and showed typical West Eurasian mtDNA and Y-DNA haplogroups, namely U and R, respectively. They are sister lineages of widely distributed in the Americas hg B (mtDNA) and hg Q (Y-DNA). It appears that, in pre-LGM times, Amerindians and West Eurasians formed a genetic continuum and that modern East Asians did not yet emerge as a distinct population. This finding may put the distribution of the Earth-Diver myth into a new perspective. Per Davidski’s request  adduce the map of the distribution of the Earth-Diver motif in Eurasia and North America (see the shaded areas on the left).” ref

    “One should not expect a perfect fit between the distribution of myths and genes but the Earth-Diver distribution is rather clearly demarcated on a worldwide scale and does show continuity between West Eurasia and North America. The motif is notably absent from Western Europe – precisely the area that was covered with the glacier from 25,000 to 14,000 years ago – and from Beringia (Paleoasiatic peoples such as Chukchees and Koryaks as well as Eskimos don’t tell earth-diver stories), which may have been blocked by ice as well. Its presence in the Balkans is a due to relatively recent events such as Turkic and Avar migrations across the southern European steppe.” ref

    “According to Napol’skikh’s motif phylogeny (on the left), the Earth-Diver myth has gone through 3 evolutionary stages – MNP-0, MNP-1 and MNP-2. At MNP-0, any creature (and any number of creatures) could become the demiurge’s helper as long as the least likely creature succeeded. At MNP-1, the plot crystallized around a pair of waterfowls in Siberia and Western North America and a pair of animals in Eastern North America. At MNP-3, one of the creatures dropped off and the demiurge used the help of only one helper. The “cladistics” of the myth is, therefore, rather simple: the dynamic and variable ancestral forms crystallize into progressively fewer characters.” ref

    “As the detailed maps of motif and submotif distribution show, North America and Northern Eurasia share MNP-2 but then the rest of the variation is continent-specific. Eurasia has a number of clearly derived variants that are missing from the Americas, while America has a number variants not seen in Eurasia.  Napol’skikh observes that stage MNP-0 is better represented in North America – the region that tends to have more archaic versions of the motif and more basal motif diversity (not just waterfowls, but animals, too; not just two creatures but many, etc.). Remarkably, the use of arthropods by the demiurge is a trait shared by Munda-speaking Northeast Indians (see the Berezkin map of Eurasia above) and the Muskogean-speaking Amerindians from the Southeast, both areas being the southernmost extremes of the Earth-Diver distribution. As the Mal’ta boy is re-writing the prehistory of Eurasia, opportunities are growing for cross-disciplinary integration that would tie together genes and culture into a coherent story.” ref

    Folklore Parallels Between Siberia And South Asia And The Mythology Of The Eurasian Steppes

    According to the myth about the origin of man recorded among the people of Eastern Europe and Siberia, the creator set a dog to guard the half-made human figures, but the antagonist bribed the guard and spoiled the creation, making humans vulnerable to disease. The creator told the dog to become the servant of man. Texts recorded in India (mostly among the Munda-speaking groups), the Dards of the Hindu Kush and the Abkhasians, though partly similar to the Northern Eurasian ones, do not share some important details: the antagonist is a horse, it tried to destroy man but a dog drove it away. In the Mongolian (more precisely, the Oirat) version, a cow acts instead of a horse, but in other respects this variant is similar to the Abkhasian ones. Negative associations related to the horse are rather widespread in Europe and Central Asia. Stories about the creation of man recorded in northern and southern Eurasia stemmed from the anthropogenic myth that was known to the Indo-Europeans of the Bronze Age. South Asia and the European–Siberian zone also share other tales, in particular the Earth-diver myth. Their analysis opens possibilities for reconstructing the early mythology of the inhabitants of the Eurasian steppe.” ref


    “Scientific evidence has shown that at one point parts of the earth that are now dry were covered by water. Many myths allude to this fact by imagining a world once covered by water. Many myths, called diver-myths (Long 188), consisted of a being diving into the water that covers the earth to retrieve some earth. The earth brought to the surface became the land we know today. Other stories had the mud brought to the surface in a different way, but many had the common element of some earth being brought to the surface of the water and growing until it became the Earth.” ref

    “According to the Iroquois Native Americans water animals inhabited the Earth before there was land. When a Sky Woman fell from her home above they caught her and dove into the seas to bring up mud. This mud they spread onto the back of Big Turtle. There it began to grow until it became North America.” ref

    “The Japanese creation myth painted a picture of a muddy ocean which covered the world at the beginning of time. A god and goddess, Izanagi and Izanami, became curious about what was beneath the ocean. Izanagi took his staff and threw it into the ocean. As he lifted it back up some lumps of earth fell off into the water. These became the islands of Japan. No being dove beneath the waters to find mud, but the element of earth being covered by water and a being bringing the earth up is there.” ref

    “The creation myth of Christians and Jews does not tell of God diving into the water to bring up mud, but Genesis 1:2 says Òthe Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.Ó Therefore according to the Torah and Bible the Earth was once covered entirely by water.” ref

    Power of Myths

    “The most obvious function of myths is the explanation of facts, whether natural or cultural. One North American Indian (Abenaki) myth, for example, explains the origin of corn (maize): a lonely man meets a beautiful woman with long, fair hair; she promises to remain with him if he follows her instructions; she tells him in detail how to make a fire and, after he has done so, she orders him to drag her over the burned ground; as a result of these actions, he will see her silken hair (viz., the cornstalk) reappear, and thereafter he will have corn seeds for his use. Henceforth, whenever Abenaki Indians see corn (the woman’s hair), they know that she remembers them.” ref

    “Obviously, a myth such as this one functions as an explanation, but the narrative form distinguishes it from a straightforward answer to an intellectual question about causes. The function of explanation and the narrative form go together, since the imaginative power of the myth lends credibility to the explanation and crystallizes it into a memorable and enduring form. Hence myths play an important part in many traditional systems of education. Many myths explain ritual and cultic customs. According to myths from the island of Ceram (in Indonesia), in the beginning life was not complete, or not yet “human”: vegetation and animals did not exist, and there was neither death nor sexuality. In a mysterious manner Hainuwele, a girl with extraordinary gift-bestowing powers, appeared.” ref

    “The people killed her at the end of their great annual celebration, and her dismembered body was planted in the earth. Among the species that sprang up after this act of planting were tubers—the staple diet of the people telling the myth. With a certain circularity frequent in mythology, the myth validates the very cultic celebration mentioned in the myth. The cult can be understood as a commemoration of those first events. Hence, the myth can be said to validate life itself together with the cultic celebration. Comparable myths are told in a number of societies where the main means of food production is the cultivation of root crops; the myths reflect the fact that tubers must be cut up and buried in the earth for propagation to take place.” ref

    “Ritual sacrifices are typical of traditional peasant cultures. In most cases such customs are related to mythical events. Among important themes are the necessity of death (e.g., the grain “dies” and is buried, only to yield a subsequent harvest), a society’s cyclic renewal of itself (e.g., New Year’s celebrations), and the significance of women and sexuality. New Year’s celebrations, often accompanied by a temporary abandonment of all rules, may be related to or justified by mythical themes concerning a return to chaos and a return of the dead.” ref

    “In every mythological tradition one myth or cluster of myths tends to be central. The subject of the central mythology is often cosmogony (origin of the cosmos). In many of those ceremonies that each society has developed as a symbol of what is necessary to its well-being, references are made to the beginning of the world. Examples include the enthronements of kings, which in some traditions (as in Fiji or ancient India) are associated with a creation or re-creation of the world. Analogously, in ancient Mesopotamia the creation epic Enuma elish, which was read each New Year at Babylon, celebrated the progress of the cosmos from initial anarchy to government by the kingship of Marduk; hence the authority of earthly rulers, and of earthly monarchy in general, was implicitly supported and justified.” ref

    “Ruling families in ancient civilizations frequently justified their position by invoking myths—for example, that they had divine origins. Examples are known from imperial China, pharaonic Egypt, the Hittite empire, Polynesia, the Inca empire, and India. Elites have also based their claims to privilege on myths. The French historian of ancient religion Georges Dumézil was the pioneer in suggesting that the priestly, warrior, and producing classes in ancient Indo-European societies regarded themselves as having been ordained to particular tasks by virtue of their mythological origins. And in every known cultural tradition there exists some mythological foundation that is referred to when defending marriage and funerary customs.” ref

    “Creation myths play a significant role in healing the sick; they are recited (e.g., among the Navajo people of North America) when an individual’s world—that is to say, the person’s life—is in jeopardy. Thus, healing through recitation of a cosmogony is one example of the use of myth as a magical incantation. Another example is the case of Icelandic poets, who, in the singing of the episode in Old Norse mythology in which the god Odin wins for gods and humans the “mead of song” (a drink containing the power of poetic inspiration), can be said to be celebrating the origins of their own art and, hence, renewing it.” ref

    “Modern science did not evolve in its entirety as a rebellion against myth, nor at its birth did it suddenly throw off the shackles of myth. In ancient Greece the naturalists of Ionia (western Asia Minor), long regarded as the originators of science, developed views of the universe that were in fact very close to the creation myths of their time. Those who laid the foundations of modern science, such as Nicholas of CusaJohannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and Gottfried Leibniz, were absorbed by metaphysical problems of which the traditional, indeed mythological, character is evident. Among these problems were the nature of infinity and the question of the omnipotence of God. The influence of mythological views is seen in the English physician William Harvey’s association of the circulation of the blood with the planetary movements and Charles Darwin’s explanation of woman’s menstrual cycles by the tides of the ocean.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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    The Center of the World “Axis Mundi” and/or “Sacred Mountains” Mythology Could Relate to the Altai Mountains, Heart of the Steppe

    “Golden Mountains of Altai is the name of the Altai and Katun Natural Reserves, Lake Teletskoye, Belukha Mountain, and the Ukok Plateau. The region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia, from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, subalpine vegetation to alpine vegetation”. The Altai region is made up of four primary sites and landscapes: Mount Belukha, the Ukok Plateau, the Katun River, and the Karakol Valley. Mount Beluka is regarded as a sacred site to Buddhists and the Burkhanist. Their myths surrounding this portion of the mountain range lent credence to their claim that it was the location of Shangri-la (Shambala). The Ukok Plateau is an ancient burial site of the early Siberian people. Moreover, a number of myths are connected to this portion of the Golden Mountains. For example, the plateau was thought to have been the Elysian fields. The Katun River is an important religious location to the Altaians where they (during celebrations) utilize ancient ecological knowledge to restore and maintain the river. The Karakol Valley is home of three indigenous villages where tourism is greatly managed. While the Golden Mountains of Altai are listed on the World Heritage List under natural criteria, it holds information about the nomadic Scythian culture. The permafrost in these mountains has preserved Scythian burial mounds. These frozen tombs, or kurgans, hold metal objects, pieces of gold, mummified bodies, tattooed bodies, sacrificed horses, wood/leather objects, clothes, textiles, etc. However, the Ukok Plateau (in the Altai Mountains) is a sacred site to the Altai people, so archeologists and scholars who are looking to excavate the site for human remains raise controversy.” ref

    The Center of the World “Axis Mundi” and/or “Sacred Mountains” Mythology Could Relate to the Altai Mountains, Heart of the Steppe, as well as a hub for Shamanism

    Altai Mountains

    “The Altai Mountains (also spelled Altay Mountains), are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan come together, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters. The massif merges with the Sayan Mountains in the northeast, and gradually becomes lower in the southeast, where it merges into the high plateau of the Gobi Desert. It spans from about 45° to 52° N and from about 84° to 99° E. The region is inhabited by a sparse but ethnically diverse population, including Russians, Kazakhs, Altais, and Mongols. The local economy is based on bovine, sheep, and horse husbandry, agriculture, forestry, and mining. The controversial Altaic language family takes its name from this mountain range.” ref

    “The name comes from two words: al meaning “gold/reddish/yellowish” in Mongolic language, and -tai meaning “mountain” in Turkic languages too; thus, literally, the “Golden Mountain”. That matches their old Chinese name 金山, literally “Gold Mountain”. Also, the word altın/altun/al which means gold is a cognate word for Turkic and Mongolic languages. The mountains are called Altain nuruu (Алтайн нуруу) in Khalkha Mongolian, altai-yin niruɣu in Chakhar Mongolian, and Altay tuular (Алтай туулар) in the Altay language. They are also called Алтай таулары or التاي تاۋلارى‎ in Kazakh; Altay dağları in Turkish; Altajskije gory (Алтайские горы) in Russian; Altay Taghliri (ىالتاي تاغلىرى‎ or Алтай Тағлири) in Uyghur; ā’ěrtài shānmài in Chinese (阿尔泰山脉 simplified, 阿爾泰山脈 traditional, or اَعَرتَىْ شًامَىْ‎ in Xiao’erjing); and Arteː shanmeː (Артэ Шанмэ) in Dungan.” ref

    “In the north of the region is the Sailughem Mountains, also known as Kolyvan Altai, which stretch northeast from 49° N and 86° E towards the western extremity of the Sayan Mountains in 51° 60′ N and 89° E. Their mean elevation is 1,500 to 1,750 m. The snow-line runs at 2,000 m on the northern side and at 2,400 m on the southern, and above it the rugged peaks tower some 1,000 m higher. Mountain passes across the range are few and difficult, the chief being the Ulan-daban at 2,827 m (2,879 m according to Kozlov), and the Chapchan-daban, at 3,217 m, in the south and north respectively. On the east and southeast this range is flanked by the great plateau of Mongolia, the transition being affected gradually by means of several minor plateaus, such as Ukok (2,380 m) with Pazyryk Valley, Chuya (1,830 m), Kendykty (2,500 m), Kak (2,520 m), (2,590 m), and (2,410 m). This region is studded with large lakes, e.g. Uvs 720 m above sea level, Khyargas, Dorgon, and Khar 1,170 m, and traversed by various mountain ranges, of which the principal are the Tannu-Ola Mountains, running roughly parallel with the Sayan Mountains as far east as the Kosso-gol, and the Khan Khökhii mountains, also stretching west and east.” ref

    “The Altai mountains are home to a diverse fauna, because of its different habitats, like steppes, northern taigas, and alpine vegetation. Steep slopes are home to the Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), whereas the rare argali (Ovis ammon) is found on more gentle slopes. Deer are represented by five species: Altai wapiti (Cervus elaphus sibiricus), moose (Alces alces), forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus valentinae), Siberian musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), and Siberian roe deer (Capreolus pygargus). Moose and reindeer, however, are restricted to the northern parts of the mountain range. The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is found in the lower foothills and surrounding lowlands. Until recently, the Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa) was found in the Russian Altai mountains, more specifically in the Chuya River steppe close to the Mongolian border. Large predators are represented by snow leopards (Panthera uncia, syn. Uncia uncia), wolves (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx lynx), and brown bears (Ursus arctos), in the northern parts also by the wolverine (Gulo gulo). The Tien Shan dhole (Cuon alpinus hesperius) (a northwestern subspecies of the Asiatic wild dog) also lives there. And until the 20th century, the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) was found in the southern parts of the Altai mountains, where it reached Lake Zaisan and the Black Irtysh. Single individuals were also shot further north, for example, close to Barnaul. Closely related to the Caspian tiger is the extant Amur tiger, which has the taxonomic name Panthera tigris altaica. The wisent was present in the Altai mountains until the Middle Ages, perhaps even until the 18th century. Today, there is a small herd in a nursery in the Altai Republic.” ref

    “The Altai mountains have retained a remarkably stable climate-changing little since the last ice age. In addition, the mix of mammals has remained largely the same, with a few exceptions such as extinct mammoths, making it one of the few places on earth to retain an ice age fauna. The Altai mountains were home to the Denisovan branch of hominids who were contemporaries of Neanderthals and of Homo sapiens (modern humans), descended from Hominids who reached Asia earlier than modern humans. The Denisova hominin, dated to 40,000 years ago, was discovered in the Denisova Cave of the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Knowledge of the Denisovan humans derives primarily from DNA evidence and artifacts, as no complete skeletons have yet been recovered. DNA evidence has been unusually well preserved because of the low average temperature in the Denisova caves. Neanderthal bones and tools made by Homo sapiens have also been found in the Denisova Cave, making it the only place in the world where all three hominids are known to have lived.” ref

    A dog-like canid from 33,000 years ago was found in the Razboinichya Cave. DNA analysis published affirmed that it was more closely related to modern dogs than to wolves. The Altai Mountains have been identified as being the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon which arose during the Bronze Age around the start of the 2nd millennium BCE and led to a rapid and massive migration of peoples from the region into distant parts of Europe and Asia.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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    My Speculations are in Comparative Mythologies?

    For instance, the mytheme of an ancient belief that is seemingly shared though changed and adapted, a fundamental generic unit of narrative structure seems to be shared a common relation with mountains/ancestors/gods or sacred animals with Sacred Mounds, Mountains, Kurgans, and Pyramids

    “Israeli Archaeologists Find Earliest Evidence of War in Southern Levant. Industrial production of aerodynamically efficient slingstones almost 8,000 years ago in what is today’s Israel wasn’t done to hunt animals. Almost 8,000 years ago, people in the Galilee and Sharon plain were preparing for war. This postulation is based on the mass production of shaped slingstones at four sites in Israel, starting in the Late Pottery Neolithic – though who they were attacking, or defending against, and why the production of these stone bullets ceased after about a thousand years is anybody’s guess. The current thinking is they were fighting against other local peoples, not invading hordes. That would come later.” ref

    “The collections, most recently found at ‘En Esur and ‘En Tzippori but also at two other sites, are the earliest evidence of “formal” slingstones in the southern Levant, say Gil Haklay, Enno Bron, Dr. Dina Shalem, Dr. Ianir Milevski and Nimrod Getzov, archaeologists associated with the Israel Antiquities Authority, reporting in the journal ‘Atiqot. The slingstones were shaped to be biconical, meaning they were bullet-shaped if bullets had two tipped ends. Put otherwise, they look like very big olives, or eggs if there is something wrong with your bird. That double-cone shape is more aerodynamically efficient than just round stones, the archaeologists explain.” ref

    These weren’t the first slingstones in the world, just the earliest found in the southern Levant. Based on the archaeological evidence, the technique of shaping such projectiles emerged in Mesopotamia, spread to western Anatolia in today’s Turkey, from there to the Northern Levant and then to the southern Levant, Haklay explains to Haaretz by phone. Prehistoric contact between these regions has long been established, including through the discovery of obsidian from Turkey in Israel – including in a settlement by Jerusalem from 9,000 years ago.” ref

    “In the southern Levant we find it with the Wadi Rabah culture from about 7,800 to 7,600 years ago, and it peaks 7,200 years ago. In the northern Levant we see the slingstones centuries before that – they look the same but they were made of clay,” Haklay says. Not burned ceramic clay but sun-dried clay, he adds. It was in the southern Levant that the stone slingstones appear. “Slingstones used pretty much everywhere in different periods were found throughout prehistory,” Haklay says. “People apparently reached the same solution independently because it’s the optimal way.” ref

    “The Levantine biconical projectiles were quite uniform, averaging just over 5 centimeters (2 inches) in length and 60 grams (2 ounces) in weight. Made of local dolomite or limestone rock, or basalt, they are similar in shape to recognized slingstones from later times around the world. “Similar slingstones have been found at other sites in the country, mainly from the Hula Valley and the Galilee in the north to the northern Sharon, but this is the first time they have been found in excavations in such large concentrations,” the team said in a statement. This postulated evidence of warfare at ‘En Esur in the plain and ‘En Tzippori in the Lower Galilee is the earliest known in the whole of the southern Levant and certainly modern Israel, though not the world. The earliest known war zone is in Sudan and dates to about 13,000 years ago.” ref

    “The biconical slingstones produced in the southern Levant starting about 7,800 years ago would remain in use for about a thousand years. Then such items abruptly disappeared from the archaeological record, the team says. The legend of David and Goliath from the Iron Age, and giant “flint spheroids” weighing a quarter-kilo apiece found in biblical Lachish, are all well and good. However, respectable “formalized” slingstones would only reappear in the local archaeological record in the Hellenistic period, the authors explain. Come the Late Roman period, the technique would be perfected by the manufacture of “whistling” slingstones, carved to shriek as they traveled, the better to unnerve the enemy. But we digress. Does that mean the locals stopped lobbing stones at one another? It does not.” ref

    “The legend of David and Goliath from the Iron Age, and giant “flint spheroids” weighing a quarter-kilo apiece found in biblical Lachish, are all well and good. However, respectable “formalized” slingstones would only reappear in the local archaeological record in the Hellenistic period, the authors explain. Come the Late Roman period, the technique would be perfected by the manufacture of “whistling” slingstones, carved to shriek as they traveled, the better to unnerve the enemy. But we digress. The study discusses 424 slingstones found at ‘En Esur and ‘En Tzippori from the Late Neolithic-Early Chalcolithic. The logical inference of the amounts and circumstances support the thesis that these were weaponry, and the uniformity of the product suggests systematic production: formalization, standardization, and investment in the manufacture, the team explains.” ref

    “Of the 424 slingstones, most were complete, some were chinked. The sheer effort invested in the industrial production of slingstones with smoothed surfaces suggests a communal effort to produce ammunition, the archaeologists posit – a transition from individual to large-scale production. Note they are not saying these two sites were the only places where such bullets were discovered from the period. Two other major collections of slingstones from the same period have also been found in the region, and smaller numbers of the shaped stones have been found throughout central and northern Israel. ‘En Esur seems to be the southern “border” of the region in which slingshots were systematically used. But for what?” ref

    7,000 to 5,000 years ago because of violence genetics dropped to 1 man for every 17 women

    An abrupt population bottleneck specific to human males has been inferred across several Old World (Africa, Europe, Asia) populations 5000–7000 years ago. Previous studies also show trauma marks present on skulls clearly indicate the fighters used axes, clubs, and arrows to kill each other. Scientists from Stanford used mathematical models and computer simulations, in which men fought and died – allowing them to test their theory on the ‘Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck’. According to genetic patterns, researchers found the decline was only noticed in men – particularly on the Y chromosome, which is passed on from father to son. The war was so severe that it caused the male population to plummet to extremely low levels, reaching an astonishing one-twentieth of its original level. This results in the loss of Y chromosomes as they slowly deteriorate over time and eventually may get wiped out from the genome.” ref

    “Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction. Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same. Another member of the research team, a biological anthropologist, hypothesizes that somehow, only a few men accumulated lots of wealth and power, leaving nothing for others. These men could then pass their wealth on to their sons, perpetuating this pattern of elitist reproductive success. Then, as more thousands of years passed, the numbers of men reproducing, compared to women, rose again. In more recent history, as a global average, about four or five women reproduced for every one man.” ref

    “Violence in the ancient Middle East spiked with the formation of states and empires, battered skulls reveal.” ref

    “The Mandate of Heaven (Chinese天命pinyinTiānmìngWade–GilesT’ien-minglit. ‘Heaven’s command’) is a Chinese political ideology that was used in ancient and imperial China to legitimize the rule of the King or Emperor of China. According to this doctrine, heaven (天, Tian) bestows its mandate on a virtuous ruler. This ruler, the Son of Heaven, was the supreme universal monarch, who ruled Tianxia (天下; “all under heaven”, the world). If a ruler was overthrown, this was interpreted as an indication that the ruler was unworthy and had lost the mandate. The Chinese concept of the legitimacy of rulers is similar to Western culture’s Divine right of kings.” ref

    “In European Christianity, the divine right of kingsdivine right, or God’s mandation, is a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy of a monarchy. It is also known as the divine-right theory of kingship. Divine right has been a key element of the self-legitimisation of many absolute monarchies, connected with their authority and right to rule. Historically, many notions of rights have been authoritarian and hierarchical, with different people granted different rights and some having more rights than others. For instance, the right of a father to receive respect from his son did not indicate a right for the son to receive a return from that respect. Analogously, the divine right of kings, which permitted absolute power over subjects, provided few rights for the subjects themselves. The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified Roman emperors and some members of their families with the “divinely sanctioned” authority (auctoritas) of the Roman State. The official offer of cultus to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pious respect for traditional Republican deities and mores. Many of the rites, practices, and status distinctions that characterized the cult to emperors were perpetuated in the theology and politics of the Christianised Empire. The earliest references to kingship in Israel proclaim that “14 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.” ref

    Related concepts in other religions to the divine-right theory of kingship:


    8,000 years ago in Siberia, the World’s oldest known fortress (fortified structure) was constructed by hunter-gatherers.

    “Archaeologists have long associated fortresses with permanent agricultural settlements. However, this cluster of fortified structures reveals that prehistoric groups were constructing protective edifices much earlier than originally thought. Located along the Amnya River in western Siberia, remains of the Amnya fort include roughly 20 pit-house depressions scattered across the site, which is divided into two sections: Amnya I and Amnya II. “One of the Amnya fort’s most astonishing aspects is the discovery that approximately 8,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers in the Siberian Taiga built intricate defense structures,” Schreiber said. “This challenges traditional assumptions that monumental constructions were solely the work of agricultural communities.” It’s unknown what triggered the need for these fortified structures in the first place, but the strategic location overlooking the river would have not only been an ideal lookout point for potential threats but also allowed hunter-gatherers to keep tabs on their fishing and hunting grounds, the researchers noted.” ref

    “Hunter-gatherers built the oldest known fort in the world about 8,000 years ago in Siberia, a new study finds. “It remains uncertain whether these constructions were commissioned by those in authority or if the entire community collaborated in constructing them for the purpose of protecting people or valuables,” Schreiber said. “Ethnohistorical records offer a nuanced comprehension of these forts, disclosing various potential reasons for fortifying residences.” Ancient forts were built for a number of reasons, according to these records, “such as securing possessions or individuals, handling armed conflicts, addressing imbalances in attacker-defender ratios, thwarting raids and functioning as elaborate signals by influential chiefs,” Schreiber said.” ref

    So, this almost 8,000-year-old war evidence is just a little bit before the 7,000 to 5,000 years ago, time of clan violence and World War 0. When it went down to 14 women to 1 man in genetics due to wars.

    • 6200 – 6000 BCE or 8,200 to 8,000 years ago: The 8.2-kiloyear event, involved a rapid cooling, it was a sudden decrease of global temperatures, probably caused by the final collapse of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which led to drier conditions in East Africa and Mesopotamia. In West Asia, especially Mesopotamia, the 8.2-kiloyear event was a 300-year aridification and cooling episode, which may have provided the natural force for Mesopotamian irrigation agriculture and surplus production, which were essential for the earliest formation of classes and urban life. Lacustrine sediment records show that Western Siberia underwent humidification and the Tarim Basin shows a major dry spell during the 8.2 ka event.” refref
    • 6200 – 5600 BCE or 8,200 to 7,600 years ago: Sudden rise in sea level (Meltwater pulse 1C) by 6.5 m (21 ft) in less than 140 years; this concludes the early Holocene sea level rise and sea level remains largely stable throughout the Neolithic.” ref
    • 6100 BCE or 8,100 years ago: Great Britain had become an island.” ref
    • 6,000 BCE or 8,000 years ago: Approximately 8,000 years ago (c. 6000 BCE), a massive volcanic landslide off Mount EtnaSicily, caused a megatsunami that devastated the eastern Mediterranean coastline on the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe.” ref
    • 6,000 BCE or 8,000 years ago: Neolithic culture and technology had spread from the Near East and into Eastern Europe by 6000 BC. Its development in the Far East grew apace and there is increasing evidence through the millennium of its presence in prehistoric Egypt and the Far East. In much of the world, however, including Northern and Western Europe, people still lived in scattered Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer communities.” ref
    • 6,000 BCE or 8,000 years ago: The oldest fort is in Siberia around 6000 BCE.” ref
    • 5500 BCE or 7,500 years ago: Copper smelting in evidence in Pločnik and Belovode, Serbia.” ref

    “Four identified cultures starting around 5300 BCE or 7,300 years ago, were the Dnieper-Donets, the Narva (eastern Baltic), the Ertebølle (Denmark and northern Germany), and the Swifterbant (Low Countries). They were linked by a common pottery style that had spread westward from Asia: starting in south China, then the Lake Baikal area of Siberia, then west to Europe and is sometimes called “ceramic Mesolithic“, distinguishable by a point or knob base and flared rims.” refrefrefref

    The Baikal area, has a long history of human habitation. Some 160 km northwest of the lake, remains of a young human male known as MA-1 or “Mal’ta Boy” are indications of local habitation by the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture ca. 24,000 years old (who I think were involved in Shamanism and may have by their descendants or those with related DNA spread shamanism all over).” ref

    Siberian cultural identity is closely connected with the mythology and ancient religion of the indigenous peoples of Siberia – shamanism, whose rituals, images, symbols, and motifs are often manifested in the clients’ dreams.” ref

    “The earliest Indigenous peoples of Siberia were hunter-gatherers distantly related to modern Europeans, and diverged from a shared ancestral population around 38kya before populating Siberia. In Siberia, they received geneflow from an East-Eurasian population, most closely related to the 40kya old Tianyuan man (c. 22-50%), representing a deep sister lineage of contemporary East Asian people, giving rise to a distinct Siberian lineage known as Ancient North Eurasian (such as the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture), populations carrying Ancient North Eurasian-related ancestry were probably widely distributed across northeast Eurasia.” ref

    “The earliest known archaeological finds from Siberia date to the Lower Palaeolithic. In various places in West Siberia, the Baikal region and Yakutia, storage places from early Neolithic times have been found, which often remained in use for centuries. Alongside tent settlements which leave no traces in the ground, there were also huts, often dug slightly into the ground, whose walls and roofs were made of animal bone and reindeer antlers. Tools and weapons were mostly made from flint, slate, and bone, with few discernable differences between them despite their immense chronological and geographical scope. In some settlements, early artworks have been found, which consist of human, animal, and abstract sculptures and carvings. The Palaeolithic and Mesolithic inhabitants of Siberia were hunter-gatherers, whose prey consisted of mammoths and reindeer, and occasionally fish as well. In the 6th millennium BCE, pottery spread across the whole of Siberia, which scholars treat as the beginning of the Siberian Neolithic. Unlike Europe and the Near East, this event did not mark a major change in lifestyle, economy, or culture.” ref

    “The last historical population movement can be associated with the Neo-Siberian expansion outgoing from Northeast Asia (15,000 years ago), and contributed ancestry to Indigenous groups throughout Siberia as well as to Native Americans, associated with the expansion of Paleo-Eskimo, and Eskimo-Aleut groups. Modern Indigenous peoples of Siberia derive varying degrees of ancestry from these three layers, although the  Ancient North Eurasian-like ancestry has been largely replaced.” ref

    “The increase in cases of interpersonal violence from the Mesolithic period is most likely related to better preservation and the much higher number of burials and more complete skeletons. Violence is present not only in recent hunter-gatherers and nomadic groups but also among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.” ref 

    “From the Neolithic or early in the Chalcolithic, sedentary groups in which pastoralism played an important economic role developed in southwestern Siberia. The transition to the new economic system and to sedentarism was very smooth. Subsequently, it spread to the Baikal region, where the influence of northern China may also have played a role. All horse nomad cultures shared the burial of the dead in barrow graves which are known as kurgans.” ref

    Bridging the Boreal Forest: Siberian Archaeology and the Emergence of Pottery among Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of Northern Eurasia 

    “The Dnieper–Donets culture complex (DDCC) (ca. 5th—4th millennium BCE) was a Mesolithic and later Neolithic culture which flourished north of the Black Sea ca. 5000-4200 BCE or 7,000 to 6,200 years ago. It has many parallels with the Samara culture, and was succeeded by the Sredny Stog culture. Striking similarities with the Khvalynsk culture have also been detected. The Dnieper–Donets culture was originally a hunter-gatherer culture. David Anthony (2007: 155) dated the beginning of the Dnieper–Donets culture as roughly between 5800/5200 BCE or 7,800/7,200 to 6,200 years ago. It quickly expanded in all directions, eventually absorbing all other local Neolithic groups. According to David W. Anthony, the Indo-European languages were initially spoken by EHGs living in Eastern Europe, such as the Dnieper-Donets people. The precise role of the culture and its language to the derivation of the Pontic-Caspian cultures, such as Sredny Stog and Yamnaya culture, is open to debate, but the display of recurrent traits points to longstanding mutual contacts or to underlying genetic relations.” ref

    “The physical remains recovered from graves of the Dnieper–Donets culture have been classified as “Proto-Europoid“. The Dnieper–Donets culture produced no female figurines. By 5200 BCE or 7,200 years ago the Dnieper–Donets culture II followed, which ended between 4400/4200 BCE. From around 5200 BCE, the Dnieper-Donets people began keeping cattlesheep, and goats. Other domestic animals kept included pigshorses, and dogs. During the following centuries, domestic animals from the Dnieper further and further east towards the VolgaUral steppes, where they appeared ca. 4700-4600 BCE. Some scholars suggest that from about 4200 BCE, the Dnieper–Donets culture adopted agriculture.” ref

    Certain Dnieper-Donets burials are accompanied with copper, crystal or porphyry ornaments, shell beads, bird-stone tubes, polished stone maces or ornamental plaques made of boar’s tusk. The items, along with the presence of animal bones and sophisticated burial methods, appear to have been a symbol of power. Certain deceased children were buried with such items, which indicates that wealth was inherited in Dnieper-Donets society. Very similar boar-tusk plaques and copper ornaments have been found at contemporary graves of the Samara culture in the middle Volga area. Maces of a different type than those of Dnieper-Donets have also been found. The wide adoption of such a status symbol attests to the existence of the institute of power in the Dnieper–Donets culture complex.” ref 

    “The first archaeogenetic analysis involving the Dnieper–Donets culture complex individuals from the Mykilske (Nikols’skoye in Russian) and Yasynuvatka (Yasinovatka) cemeteries held the haplogroups of west Eurasian (H, U3, U5a1a) and east Eurasian (C, C4a) descent have been identified. The authors linked the appearance of east Eurasian haplogroups with potential influence from the northern Lake Baikal area.” ref

    C4a – China (Guangdong, Han from Beijing)

    • C4a1 – Mongol from Chifeng and Hulunbuir, Tashkurgan (Kyrgyz, Sarikoli, Wakhi), Czech Republic, Denmark
      • C4a1a – Korea, China, Uyghur, Buryat (South Siberia), Denmark, Sweden, France, Scotland, Canada.” ref

    “Mathieson et al. (2018) analyzed 32 individuals from three Eneolithic cemeteries at Deriivka, Vilnyanka, and Vovnigi, which Anthony (2019a) ascribed to the Dnieper–Donets culture. These individuals belonged exclusively to the paternal haplogroups R and I (mostly R1b and I2), and almost exclusively to the maternal haplogroup U (mostly U5, U4, and U2). This suggests that the Dnieper-Donets people were “distinct, locally derived population” of mostly of Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) descent, with Western Hunter-Gatherer (WHG) admixture. The WHG admixture appears to have increased in the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic. Unlike the Yamnaya culture, whose genetic cluster is known as Western Steppe Herder (WSH), in the Dnieper–Donets culture no Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) or Early European Farmer (EEF) ancestry has been detected. At the same time, several Eneolithic individuals from the Deriivka I cemetery carried Anatolian Neolithic Farmer (ANF) – derived, as well as WSH ancestry. At the Vilnyanka cemetery, all the males belong to the paternal haplogroup I, which is common among WHGs. David W. Anthony suggests that this influx of WHG ancestry might be the result of EEFs pushing WHGs out of their territories to the east, where WHG males might have mated with EHG females.” ref

    “Dnieper-Donets males and Yamnaya males carry the same paternal haplogroups (R1b and I2a), suggesting that the CHG and EEF admixture among the Yamnaya came through EHG and WHG males mixing with EEF and CHG females. According to Anthony, this suggests that the Indo-European languages were initially spoken by EHGs living in Eastern Europe.” ref

    The original homeland of the Indo Europeans’ ancestors in the Palaeolithic, the Northern and Eastern Siberian cultures did not have any agricultural introduction or even pastoralism in Siberia during the central European Neolithic. Its cultures are characterized by characteristic stone production techniques and the presence of pottery of Eastern origin via trade despite West Eurasian genetics. However, the Neolithic cultures of North Asia are distinguished from the preceding Mesolithic cultures and far more visible as a result of the introduction of pottery from Southwards. The Afanasevan population was a mix of people descended from a mother culture of Indo-Europeans in central Russia, and from people who migrated back c. 3700–3300 BCE across the Eurasian Steppe from the pre-Yamnaya Repin culture of the DonVolga region. Such migrations including early Uralic Eastern migrations, into North Asia from Eurasia started and occurred during the mid-5th millennium.” ref

    Swing of the Mace: the rise of Elite, Forced Authority, and Inequality begin to Emerge 8,500 years ago?


    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”:

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

    “These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

    I am still researching the “god‘s origins” all over the world. So you know, it is very complicated but I am smart and willing to look, DEEP, if necessary, which going very deep does seem to be needed here, when trying to actually understand the evolution of gods and goddesses. I am sure of a few things and less sure of others, but even in stuff I am not fully grasping I still am slowly figuring it out, to explain it to others. But as I research more I am understanding things a little better, though I am still working on understanding it all or something close and thus always figuring out more. 

    Sky Father/Sky God?

    “Egyptian: (Nut) Sky Mother and (Geb) Earth Father” (Egypt is different but similar)

    Turkic/Mongolic: (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) Sky Father and (Eje/Gazar Eej) Earth Mother *Transeurasian*

    Hawaiian: (Wākea) Sky Father and (Papahānaumoku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

    New Zealand/ Māori: (Ranginui) Sky Father and (Papatūānuku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

    Proto-Indo-European: (Dyḗus/Dyḗus ph₂tḗr) Sky Father and (Dʰéǵʰōm/Pleth₂wih₁) Earth Mother

    Indo-Aryan: (Dyaus Pita) Sky Father and (Prithvi Mata) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

    Italic: (Jupiter) Sky Father and (Juno) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

    Etruscan: (Tinia) Sky Father and (Uni) Sky Mother *Tyrsenian/Italy Pre–Indo-European*

    Hellenic/Greek: (Zeus) Sky Father and (Hera) Sky Mother who started as an “Earth Goddess” *Indo-European*

    Nordic: (Dagr) Sky Father and (Nótt) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

    Slavic: (Perun) Sky Father and (Mokosh) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

    Illyrian: (Deipaturos) Sky Father and (Messapic Damatura’s “earth-mother” maybe) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

    Albanian: (Zojz) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

    Baltic: (Perkūnas) Sky Father and (Saulė) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

    Germanic: (Týr) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

    Colombian-Muisca: (Bochica) Sky Father and (Huythaca) Sky Mother *Chibchan*

    Aztec: (Quetzalcoatl) Sky Father and (Xochiquetzal) Sky Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

    Incan: (Viracocha) Sky Father and (Mama Runtucaya) Sky Mother *Quechuan*

    China: (Tian/Shangdi) Sky Father and (Dì) Earth Mother *Sino-Tibetan*

    Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian: (An/Anu) Sky Father and (Ki) Earth Mother

    Finnish: (Ukko) Sky Father and (Akka) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

    Sami: (Horagalles) Sky Father and (Ravdna) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

    Puebloan-Zuni: (Ápoyan Ta’chu) Sky Father and (Áwitelin Tsíta) Earth Mother

    Puebloan-Hopi: (Tawa) Sky Father and (Kokyangwuti/Spider Woman/Grandmother) Earth Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

    Puebloan-Navajo: (Tsohanoai) Sky Father and (Estsanatlehi) Earth Mother *Na-Dene*

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

    Sky Father/Sky Mother “High Gods” or similar gods/goddesses of the sky more loosely connected, seeming arcane mythology across the earth seen in Siberia, China, Europe, Native Americans/First Nations People and Mesopotamia, etc.

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

    ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

    “These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

    “1 central Eurasian Neolithic individual from Tajikistan (around 8,000 years ago) and approximately 8,200 years ago Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov group from Karelia in western Russia formed by 19 genomes affinity to Villabruna ancestry than all the other Eastern Hunter-Gatherer groups” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-05726-0

    Eastern Hunter-Gatherer?

    “In archaeogenetics, the term Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG), sometimes East European Hunter-Gatherer, or Eastern European Hunter-Gatherer is the name given to a distinct ancestral component that represents descent from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Eastern EuropeThe Eastern Hunter Gatherer genetic profile can be modeled as an admixture between a Siberian Paleolithic population called Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) with European Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG), although the relationship between the ANE and EHG ancestral components is not yet well understood due to lack of samples that could bridge the spatiotemporal gap. During the Mesolithic, the EHGs inhabited an area stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Urals and downwards to the Pontic–Caspian steppe.” ref 

    “Along with Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers (SHG) and Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG), the EHGs constituted one of the three main genetic groups in the postglacial period of early Holocene Europe. The border between WHGs and EHGs ran roughly from the lower Danube, northward along the western forests of the Dnieper towards the western Baltic SeaDuring the Neolithic and early Eneolithic, likely during the 4th millennium BC EHGs on the Pontic–Caspian steppe mixed with Caucasus hunter-gatherers (CHGs) with the resulting population, almost half-EHG and half-CHG, forming the genetic cluster known as Western Steppe Herder (WSH). WSH populations closely related to the people of the Yamnaya culture are supposed to have embarked on a massive migration leading to the spread of Indo-European languages throughout large parts of Eurasia.” ref

    “Haak et al. (2015) identified the Eastern Hunter-Gatherers (EHG) as a distinct genetic cluster in two males only. The EHG male of Samara (dated to ca. 5650-5550 BCE) carried Y-haplogroup R1b1a1a* and mt-haplogroup U5a1d. The other EHG male, buried in Karelia (dated to ca. 5500-5000 BCE) carried Y-haplogroup R1a1 and mt-haplogoup C1g. The authors of the study also identified a Western Hunter-Gatherer (WHG) cluster and a Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG) cluster, intermediate between WHG and EHG. Also, Lazaridis et al. (2016) confirmed SHGs to be a mix of EHGs and WHGs. They suggested that EHGs harbored mixed ancestry from Ancient North Eurasians (ANEs) and WHGs. The people of the Yamnaya culture were found to be a mix of EHG and a “Near Eastern related population”. During the 3rd millennium BC, the Yamnaya people embarked on a massive expansion throughout Europe, which significantly altered the genetic landscape of the continent. The expansion gave rise to cultures such as Corded Ware, and was possibly the source of the distribution of Indo-European languages in Europe.” ref

    “EHGs may have mixed with “an Armenian-like Near Eastern source”, which formed the Yamnaya culture, as early as the Eneolithic (5200-4000 BCE). Researchers have found that EHGs may have derived different amounts of their ancestry from WHGs and ANEs. Their relationship to the WHG and ANE is not well clarified. The people of the Mesolithic Kunda culture and the Narva culture of the eastern Baltic were a mix of WHG and EHG, showing the closest affinity with WHG. Samples from the Ukrainian Mesolithic and Neolithic were found to cluster tightly together between WHG and EHG, suggesting genetic continuity in the Dnieper Rapids for a period of 4,000 years. The Ukrainian samples belonged exclusively to the maternal haplogroup U, which is found in around 80% of all European hunter-gatherer samples.” ref

    “The people of the Pit–Comb Ware culture (PCW/CCC) of the eastern Baltic bear 65% EHG ancestry. This is in contrast to earlier hunter-gatherers in the area, who were more closely related to WHG. This was demonstrated using a sample of Y-DNA extracted from a Pit–Comb Ware individual. This belonged to R1a15-YP172. The four samples of mtDNA extracted constituted two samples of U5b1d1, one sample of U5a2d, and one sample of U4aGünther et al. (2018) analyzed 13 SHGs and found all of them to be of EHG ancestry. Generally, SHGs from western and northern Scandinavia had more EHG ancestry (ca 49%) than individuals from eastern Scandinavia (ca. 38%). The authors suggested that the SHGs were a mix of WHGs who had migrated into Scandinavia from the south, and EHGs who had later migrated into Scandinavia from the northeast along the Norwegian coast. SHGs displayed higher frequencies of genetic variants that cause light skin (SLC45A2 and SLC24A5), and light eyes (OCA/Herc2), than WHGs and EHGs.” ref

    “Members of the Kunda culture and Narva culture were also found to be more closely related with WHG, while the Pit–Comb Ware culture was more closely related to EHG. Northern and eastern areas of the eastern Baltic were found to be more closely related to EHG than southern areas. The study noted that EHGs, like SHGs and Baltic hunter-gatherers, carried high frequencies of the derived alleles for SLC24A5 and SLC45A2, which are codings for light skinMathieson et al. (2018) analyzed the genetics of a large number of skeletons of prehistoric Eastern Europe. Thirty-seven samples were from Mesolithic and Neolithic Ukraine (9500-6000 BC). These were classified as intermediate between EHG and SHG. The males belonged exclusively to R haplotypes (particularly subclades of R1b1 and R1a) and I haplotypes (particularly subclades of I2). Mitochondrial DNA belonged almost exclusively to U (particularly subclades of U5 and U4).” ref

    “A large number of individuals from the Zvejnieki burial ground, which mostly belonged to the Kunda culture and Narva culture in the eastern Baltic, were analyzed. These individuals were mostly of WHG descent in the earlier phases, but over time EHG ancestry became predominant. The Y-DNA of this site belonged almost exclusively to haplotypes of haplogroup R1b1a1a and I2a1. The mtDNA belonged exclusively to haplogroup U (particularly subclades of U2, U4 and U5). Forty individuals from three sites of the Iron Gates Mesolithic in the Balkans were estimated to be of 85% WHG and 15% EHG descent. The males at these sites carried exclusively R1b1a and I (mostly subclades of I2a) haplotypes. mtDNA belonged mostly to U (particularly subclades of U5 and U4).” ref

    “People of the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture were found to harbor about 20% hunter-gatherer ancestry, which was intermediate between EHG and WHG. Narasimshan et al. (2019) coined a new ancestral component, West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (WSHG). WSHGs contained about 30% EHG ancestry, 50% ANE ancestry, and 20% East Asian ancestry. Unlike the Yamnaya culture, in the Dnieper–Donets culture no Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) or Early European Farmer (EEF) ancestry has been detected. Dnieper-Donets males and Yamnaya males carry the same paternal haplogroups (R1b and I2a), suggesting that the CHG and EEF admixture among the Yamnaya came through EHG males mixing with EEF and CHG females. According to David W. Anthony, this suggests that the Indo-European languages were initially spoken by EHGs living in Eastern Europe. ref

    Yamnaya Western Steppe Herders

    “According to Jones et al. (2015) and Haak et al. (2015), autosomal tests indicate that the Yamnaya people were the result of a genetic admixture between two different hunter-gatherer populations: distinctive “Eastern Hunter-Gatherers” (EHG), from Eastern Europe, with high affinity to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture or other, closely related people from Siberia and a population of “Caucasus hunter-gatherers” (CHG) who probably arrived from the Caucasus or Iran. Each of those two populations contributed about half the Yamnaya DNA. This admixture is referred to in archaeogenetics as Western Steppe Herder (WSH) ancestry. Admixture between EHGs and CHGs is believed to have occurred on the eastern Pontic-Caspian steppe starting around 5,000 BCE, while admixture with Early European Farmers (EEF) happened in the southern parts of the Pontic-Caspian steppe sometime later. More recent genetic studies have found that the Yamnaya were a mixture of EHGs, CHGs, and to a lesser degree Anatolian farmers and Levantine farmers, but not EEFs from Europe due to lack of WHG DNA in the Yamnaya. This occurred in two distinct admixture events from West Asia into the Pontic-Caspian steppe.” ref

    Haplogroup R1b, especially subclades of R1b-M269, is the most common Y-DNA haplogroup found among both the Yamnaya and modern-day Western Europeans. Additionally, a minority are found to belong to haplogroup I2. They are found to belong to a wider variety of mtDNA haplogroups, including U, T, and haplogroups associated with Caucasus Hunter-Gatherers and Early European FarmersPeople of the Yamnaya culture are believed to have had mostly brown eye colour, light to intermediate skin, and brown hair colour, with some variation. A 022 study by Lazaridis et al. found that the typical phenotype among the Yamnaya population was brown eyes, brown hair, and intermediate skin color. None of the Yamnaya samples were predicted to have either blue eyes or blonde hair. Some individuals are believed to have carried a mutation to the KITLG gene associated with blond hair, as several individuals with Steppe ancestry are later found to carry this mutation. The Ancient North Eurasian population, who contributed significant ancestry to Western Steppe Herders, are believed to be the source of this mutation. A study in 2015 found that Yamnaya had the highest ever calculated genetic selection for height of any of the ancient populations tested. It has been hypothesized that an allele associated with lactase persistence (conferring lactose tolerance into adulthood) was brought to Europe from the steppe by Yamnaya-related migrations.” ref

    “The geneticist David Reich has argued that the genetic data supports the likelihood that the people of the Yamnaya culture were a “single, genetically coherent group” who were responsible for spreading many Indo-European languages. Reich’s group recently suggested that the source of Anatolian and Indo-European subfamilies of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language was in west Asia and the Yamna were responsible for the dissemination of the latter. Reich also argues that the genetic evidence shows that Yamnaya society was an oligarchy dominated by a small number of elite males. The genetic evidence for the extent of the role of the Yamnaya culture in the spread of Indo-European languages has however been questioned by Russian archaeologist Leo Klejn and Balanovsky et al., who note a lack of male haplogroup continuity between the people of the Yamnaya culture and the contemporary populations of Europe. Klejn has also suggested that the autosomal evidence does not support a Yamnaya migration, arguing that Western Steppe Herder ancestry in both contemporary and Bronze Age samples is lowest around the Danube in Hungary, near the western limits of the Yamnaya culture, and highest in Northern Europe, which Klejn argues is the opposite of what would be expected if the geneticists’ hypothesis is correct.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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    Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük

    “The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük) is a baked-clay, nude female form, seated between feline-headed arm-rests. It is generally thought to depict a corpulent and fertile Mother goddess in the process of giving birth while seated on her throne, which has two hand rests in the form of feline (lioness, leopard, or panther) heads in a Mistress of Animals motif. The statuette, one of several iconographically similar ones found at the site, is associated to other corpulent prehistoric goddess figures, of which the most famous is the Venus of Willendorf. It is a neolithic sculpture shaped by an unknown artist, and was completed in approximately 6000 BCE.” ref


    “Kubaba is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500–2330 BCE) of Sumerian history. A connection between her and a goddess known from HurroHittite and later Luwian sources cannot be established on the account of spatial and temporal differences. Kubaba is one of very few women to have ever ruled in their own right in Mesopotamian history. Most versions of the king list place her alone in her own dynasty, the 3rd Dynasty of Kish, following the defeat of Sharrumiter of Mari, but other versions combine her with the 4th dynasty, that followed the primacy of the king of Akshak. Before becoming monarch, the king list says she was an alewife, brewess or brewster, terms for a woman who brewed alcohol.” ref

    “Kubaba was a Syrian goddess associated particularly closely with Alalakh and Carchemish. She was adopted into the Hurrian and Hittite pantheons as well. After the fall of the Hittite empire, she continued to be venerated by Luwians. A connection between her and the similarly named legendary Sumerian queen Kubaba of Kish, while commonly proposed, cannot be established due to spatial and temporal differences. Emmanuel Laroche proposed in 1960 that Kubaba and Cybele were one and the same. This view is supported by Mark Munn, who argues that the Phrygian name Kybele developed from Lydian adjective kuvavli, first changed into kubabli and then simplified into kuballi, and finally kubelli. However, such an adjective is a purely speculative construction.” ref


    “Cybele (Phrygian: “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible forerunner in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations. Phrygia‘s only known goddess, she was probably its national deity. Greek colonists in Asia Minor adopted and adapted her Phrygian cult and spread it to mainland Greece and to the more distant western Greek colonies around the 6th century BCE. In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She became partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, of her possibly Minoan equivalent Rhea, and of the harvest–mother goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following.” ref

    “Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a eunuch mendicant priesthood. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele became associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions. In Rome, Cybele became known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of her cult after the Sibylline oracle in 205 BCE recommended her conscription as a key religious ally in Rome’s second war against Carthage (218 to 201 BCE). Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. As Rome eventually established hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanized forms of Cybele’s cults spread throughout Rome’s empire. Greek and Roman writers debated and disputed the meaning and morality of her cults and priesthoods, which remain controversial subjects in modern scholarship.” ref

    “Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion believed to help the dead enter the afterlife. She was usually portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom (3,550–3,070 years ago), as she took on traits that originally belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor’s headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow. Likewise, the expression of moon disks headdress: a moon disk between the horns of a cow. Her reputed magical power was greater than that of all other gods, and she was said to protect the kingdom from its enemies, govern the skies and the natural world, and have power over fate itself. Whereas some Egyptian deities appeared in the late Predynastic Period (before 5,100 years ago), neither Isis nor her husband Osiris were clearly mentioned before the Fifth Dynasty (4,494–4,345 years ago). The hieroglyphic writing of her name incorporates the sign for a throne, which Isis also wears on her head as a sign of her identity. Like other goddesses, such as Hathor, she also acted as a mother to the deceased, providing protection and nourishment. Thus, like Hathor, she sometimes took the form of Imentet, the goddess of the west, who welcomed the deceased soul into the afterlife as her child.” ref

    “Isis is treated as the mother of Horus even in the earliest copies of the Pyramid Texts. Yet there are signs that Hathor was originally regarded as his mother, and other traditions make an elder form of Horus the son of Nut.” ref

    Egyptian mythology, Nut was the goddess of the sky, she was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching over the earth, or as a cow. The ancient Egyptians believed that Nut swallowed the sun-god, Ra, every night and gave birth to him every morning. In direct contrast to most other mythologies which usually develop a sky father associated with an Earth mother (or Mother Nature), she personified the sky and he the Earth. Nut was Mistress of All or “She who Bore the Gods”: Originally, Nut was said to be lying on top of Geb (Earth) and continually having intercourse. Nut was the goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies, a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. According to the Egyptians, during the day, the heavenly bodies—such as the sun and moon—would make their way across her body. Then, at dusk, they would be swallowed, pass through her belly during the night, and be reborn at dawn. Nut is also the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in the world. She was pictured as a woman arched on her toes and fingertips over the earth; her body portrayed as a star-filled sky. Nut’s fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions of north, south, east, and west.” ref

    I think most represent a Goddess as well as it is possible, a some could relate to a Demigoddesses/Grandmother-Mother Ancestor Spirits.

     A demigoddess or demi-goddess is a minor deity, or a mortal or immortal who is the offspring of a god and a human, or a figure who has attained divine status after death.” ref

    Goddesses/Demigoddesses/Grandmother-Mother Ancestor Spirits from Catal Huyuk?

    Many figures were found in, under, or in the walls or foundations of houses.

    “A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in pagan religions as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, with examples including the Greek Hestia and Norse Frigg. The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism.” ref

    “These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownieand Slavic Domovoy. Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref 

    “Sumerian religion was the religion practiced and adhered to by the people of Sumer, the first literate civilization of ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerians regarded their divinities as responsible for all matters pertaining to the natural and social orders. Before the beginning of kingship in Sumer, the city-states were effectively ruled by theocratic priests and religious officials. Later, this role was supplanted by kings, but priests continued to exert great influence on Sumerian society. In early times, Sumerian temples were simple, one-room structures, sometimes built on elevated platforms.” ref

    “The Sumerians believed that the universe had come into being through a series of cosmic births. First, Mother Goddess Nammu, the primeval waters, gave birth to An (the sky) and Ki (the earth), who mated together and produced a son named Enlil. Enlil separated heaven from earth and claimed the earth as his domain. Humans were believed to have been created by Enki, the son of An and Nammu. Heaven was reserved exclusively for deities and, upon their deaths, all mortals’ spirits, regardless of their behavior while alive, were believed to go to Kur, a cold, dark cavern deep beneath the earth, which was ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal and where the only food available was dry dust. In later times, Ereshkigal was believed to rule alongside her husband Nergal, the god of death.” ref

    “Deities in ancient Mesopotamia were almost exclusively anthropomorphic, ( attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions). The Anunnaki were believed to be the offspring of An and his consort, the earth goddess Ki, has been identified with the Sumerian mother goddess Ninhursag, stating that they were originally the same figure. The oldest of the Anunnaki was Enlil, the god of air and chief god of the Sumerian pantheon. The deities typically wore melam, an ambiguous substance which “covered them in terrifying splendor”. Melam could also be worn by heroes, kings, giants, and even demons. The effect that seeing a deity’s melam has on a human is described as ni, a word for the physical tingling of the flesh. Deities were almost always depicted wearing horned caps, consisting of up to seven superimposed pairs of ox-horns.” ref

    “The ancient Mesopotamians believed that their deities lived in Heaven, but that a god’s statue was a physical embodiment of the god himself. As such, cult statues were given constant care and attention and a set of priests were assigned to tend to them. These priests would clothe the statues and place feasts before them so they could “eat”. A deity’s temple was believed to be that deity’s literal place of residence. The gods had boats, full-sized barges which were normally stored inside their temples and were used to transport their cult statues along waterways during various religious festivals.  Virtually every major deity in the Sumerian pantheon was regarded as the patron of a specific city and was expected to protect that city’s interests. The deity was believed to permanently reside within that city’s temple.” ref

    “One text mentions as many as fifty Anunnaki associated with the city of Eridu. In Inanna’s Descent into the Netherworld, there are only seven Anunnaki, who reside within the Underworld and serve as judges. Inanna stands trial before them for her attempt to take over the Underworld; they deem her guilty of hubris and condemn her to death. Major deities in Sumerian mythology were associated with specific celestial bodies. Inanna was believed to be the planet Venus. In the mythologies of the Hurrians and Hittites (which flourished in the mid to late second millennium BC in Turkey not that far from Catal Huyuk), the oldest generation of gods was believed to have been banished by the younger gods to the Underworld, where they were ruled by the goddess Lelwani. Hittite scribes identified these deities with the Anunnaki. In ancient Hurrian, the Anunnaki are referred to as karuileš šiuneš, which means “former ancient gods”, or kattereš šiuneš, which means “gods of the earth. The old gods had no identifiable cult in the Hurrio-Hittite religion; instead, the Hurrians and Hittites sought to communicate with the old godsthrough the ritual sacrifice of a piglet in a pit dug in the ground. The old gods were often invoked to perform ritual purifications. ”  ref

     Grandmother-Mother Ancestor Spirits

    “Ancestor worship is perhaps the world’s oldest religion. Some anthropologists theorize that it grew out of belief in some societies that dead people still exist in some form because they appear in dreams. Ancestor worship involves the belief that the dead live on as spirits and that it is the responsibility of their family members and descendants to make sure that are well taken care of. If they are not they may come back and cause trouble to the family members and descendants that have ignored or disrespcted them. Unhappy dead ancestors are greatly feared and every effort is made to make sure they are comfortable in the afterlife. Accidents and illnesses are often attributed to deeds performed by the dead and cures are often attempts to placate them.” ref

    “In some societies, people go out of their way to be nice to one another, especially older people, out of fear of the nasty things they might do when they die. Ancestor worship is found in many forms in cultures throughout the world; veneration of ancestors is regarded as a means through which an individual can assure his or her own immortality. Children are valued because they could provide for the spirits of their parents after death. Family members who remained together and venerated their forebears with strict adherence to prescribed ritual find comfort in the belief that the souls of their ancestors are receiving proper spiritual nourishment and that they are ensuring their own soul’s nourishment after death.” ref

    Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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    Mistress of Wild Animals

    “The Mistress of Wild Animals is similar to the Master of Animals motif seen in ancient art commonly showing a human between and grasping two confronted animals. There are other versions of animal domination or companionship. It is very widespread in the art of the Ancient Near East and Egypt. The Mistress/Master figure is commonly shown as human or half-human, the animals may be realistic or fantastical, and the figure may have animal elements such as horns, or an animal’s upper body. Unless he is shown with specific divine attributes, he is typically described as a hero, although what the motif represented to the cultures which created the works probably varies greatly.” ref

    “The Mistress of the Wild Animals (Potnia theron) or Queen of the Wild Bees appears under many names. Her Minoan name was Britomartis or Sweet Virgin and she was related to Dictynna. The name Potnia is known from the Linear script B tablets and was used for the principal Mycenaean female deity. The type of goddess who — in iconography — was surrounded by animals, and who appeared in archaic Greek art, was usually called Potnia theron, or sometimes Artemis.” ref

    “The Potnia Theron (Ancient Greek: Ἡ Πότνια Θηρῶν, “The Animal Mistress”) or Mistress of Animals is a widespread motif in ancient art from the Mediterranean world and the ancient Near East, showing a central human, or human-like, female figure who grasps two animals, one to each side. Although the connections between images and concepts in the various ancient cultures concerned remain very unclear, such images are often referred to by the Greek term Potnia Theron regardless of the culture of origin. The term is first used once by Homer as a descriptor of Artemis and often used to describe female divinities associated with animals. The word Potnia, meaning mistress or lady, was a Mycenaean Greek word inherited by Classical Greek, with the same meaning, cognate to Sanskrit patnī. The oldest such depiction, the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük, is a clay sculpture from Çatalhöyük in modern Turkey, made c 6,000 BC. This motif is more common in later Near Eastern and Mesopotamian art with a male figure, called the Master of Animals.” ref

    “During the fifteenth century BCE, the Mycenaeans, heavily influenced by Minoan culture, presented the Mistress of Animals in a Minoan manner and with her usual sacred symbols. However, by the Late Mycenaean period, the old type of deity flanked by animals was forgotten. On wall-paintings, the goddess is sometimes accompanied by a griffin, but generally, new iconographical religious themes and types were applied. The Mistress of Animals, a counterpart of the Master of Animals, is usually described as a hunting deity, but some authors associate her not only with wild animals, snakes, and birds, but further with a sacred tree and pillar, with poppy and some lily, and eventually, she looked like a Mistress of Trees and Mountains. M.P. Nilsson believed that she was an earlier form of the Minoan Mother of Mountains. The Mycenaeans adopted the iconographical type of the Mistress of Animals and applied it to the goddess of nature, who was represented with vegetation — mainly palms and papyrus flowers. The archaic Greeks, following the tradition, used the old iconographical scheme with their own aesthetic program, but over time the name of Potnia Theron and her attributes and functions were integrated into Artemis.” ref

    “Minoan seal reliefs depict the Mistress of Animals in frontal position with raised hands, turning the lower part of her body, and dressed in a Minoan skirt. She is flanked by animals, a double ax, and snakes, which are evidence of her divinity. Her close relationship with nature and her domination over animals is illustrated on the relief — one of the griffins, accompanying the deity, is suckling her breast. Another representation on a golden ring shows the deity with a galloping griffin. The griffins, the same as the beasts, became followers of the divinity and also function as her guardians. Occasionally, the mythical animals and the wild animals are depicted on their own, or with some religious equipment (such as an altar or a column), which provides information about the presence of the deity or about her sacred places. In early archaic Greek art, the Mistress of Animals emerges again. The relief on the pithos of Thebes shows her in a frontal position with raised hands, accompanied by lions and two small human figures, while a Boeotian vase illustrates her domination over many kinds of animals. Necklace plaques, decorated with the Mistress of Animals, and dating from the second half of the seventh century BCE, present her with wings in a daedalic style, surrounded by lions, or with a body of bees without the company of animals. Finally, the vase by the François painter depicts the type of deity with wings again, holding a lion and a deer, but in this situation, she is sometimes Potnia Theron and sometimes Artemis.” ref

    “Homer’s mention of Potnia Theron refers to Artemis; Walter Burkert describes this mention as “a well-established formula”. An Artemis-type deity, a “Mistress of the Animals”, is often assumed to have existed in prehistoric religion and often referred to as Potnia Theron with some scholars positing a relationship between Artemis and goddesses depicted in Minoan art. An early example of Italian Potnia theròn is in the Museo civico archeologico di Monte Rinaldo in Italy: a plate illustrates a goddess that wears a long dress and holds hands with two lionesses. In the Aeneid, Virgil mentions that inside of Psychro’s Cave, in Crete, lived the goddess Cybele whose chariot was drawn by two lions.” ref

    “No contemporary text or myth survives to attest the original character and nature of Cybele’s Phrygian cult. She may have evolved from a statuary type found at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess. In Phrygian art of the 8th century BC, the cult attributes of the Phrygian mother-goddess include attendant lions, a bird of prey, and a small vase for her libations or other offerings. The inscription Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya at a Phrygian rock-cut shrine, dated to the first half of the 6th century BC, is usually read as “Mother of the mountain”, a reading supported by ancient classical sources, and consistent with Cybele as any of several similar tutelary goddesses, each known as “mother” and associated with specific Anatolian mountains or other localities: a goddess thus “born from stone”. She is ancient Phrygia’s only known goddess, the divine companion or consort of its mortal rulers, and was probably the highest deity of the Phrygian state. Her name, and the development of religious practices associated with her, may have been influenced by cult to the deified Sumerian queen Kubaba.” ref

    “In the 2nd century AD, the geographer Pausanias attests to a Magnesian (Lydian) cult to “the mother of the gods”, whose image was carved into a rock-spur of Mount Sipylus. This was believed to be the oldest image of the goddess, and was attributed to the legendary Broteas. At Pessinos in Phrygia, the mother goddess—identified by the Greeks as Cybele—took the form of an unshaped stone of black meteoric iron, and may have been associated with or identical to Agdistis, Pessinos’ mountain deity. This was the aniconic stone that was removed to Rome in 204 BC. Images and iconography in funerary contexts, and the ubiquity of her Phrygian name Matar (“Mother”), suggest that she was a mediator between the “boundaries of the known and unknown”: the civilized and the wild, the worlds of the living and the dead. Her association with hawks, lions, and the stone of the mountainous landscape of the Anatolian wilderness, seem to characterize her as mother of the land in its untrammeled natural state, with power to rule, moderate or soften its latent ferocity, and to control its potential threats to a settled, civilized life. Anatolian elites sought to harness her protective power to forms of ruler-cult; in Lydia, her cult had possible connections to the semi-legendary king Midas, as her sponsor, consort, or co-divinity. As protector of cities, or city states, she was sometimes shown wearing a mural crown, representing the city walls. At the same time, her power “transcended any purely political usage and spoke directly to the goddess’ followers from all walks of life”.” ref

    Some Phrygian shaft monuments are thought to have been used for libations and blood offerings to Cybele, perhaps anticipating by several centuries the pit used in her taurobolium and criobolium sacrifices during the Roman imperial era. Over time, her Phrygian cults and iconography were transformed, and eventually subsumed, by the influences and interpretations of her foreign devotees, at first Greek and later Roman. From around the 6th century BC, cults to the Anatolian mother-goddess were introduced from Phrygia into the ethnically Greek colonies of western Anatolia, mainland Greece, the Aegean islands, and the westerly colonies of Magna Graecia. The Greeks called her Mātēr or Mētēr (“Mother”), or from the early 5th century Kubelē; in Pindar, she is “Mistress Cybele the Mother”. In Homeric Hymn 14 she is “the Mother of all gods and all human beings.” Walter Burkert places her among the “foreign gods” of Greek religion, a complex figure combining the Minoan-Mycenaean tradition with the Phrygian cult imported directly from Asia Minor. In Greece, as in Phrygia, she was a “Mistress of animals” (Potnia Therōn), with her mastery of the natural world expressed by the lions that flank her, sit in her lap or draw her chariot. She was readily assimilated to the Minoan-Greek earth-mother Rhea, “Mother of the gods”, whose raucous, ecstatic rites she may have acquired. As an exemplar of devoted motherhood, she was partly assimilated to the grain-goddess Demeter, whose torchlight procession recalled her search for her lost daughter, Persephone; but she also remained a Phrygian and outsider, “Mother of the Mountains” as well as “Mother of all”.” ref

    “As with other deities viewed as foreign introductions, the spread of Cybele’s cult was attended by conflict and crisis. Herodotus says that when Anacharsis returned to Scythia after traveling and acquiring knowledge among the Greeks in the 6th century BC, his brother, the Scythian king, put him to death for joining the cult. In Athenian tradition, the city’s metroon was founded around 500 BC to placate Cybele, who had visited a plague on Athens when one of her wandering priests was killed for his attempt to introduce her cult. The account may have been a later invention to explain why a public building was dedicated to an imported deity, as the earliest source is the Hymn To The Mother Of The Gods (362 AD) by the Roman emperor Julian. Her cults most often were funded privately, rather than by the polis. Her “vivid and forceful character” and association with the wild set her apart from the Olympian gods. Cybele’s early Greek images are small votive representations of her monumental rock-cut images in the Phrygian highlands. She stands alone within a naiskos, which represents her temple or its doorway, and is crowned with a polos, a high, cylindrical hat. A long, flowing chiton covers her shoulders and back. She is sometimes shown with lion attendants. Around the 5th century BC, Agoracritos created a fully Hellenised and influential image of Cybele that was set up in the Athenian agora. It showed her enthroned, with a lion attendant, and a tympanon, the hand drum that was a Greek introduction to her cult and a salient feature in its later developments.” ref

    “For the Greeks, the tympanon was a marker of foreign cults, suitable for rites to Cybele, her close equivalent Rhea, and Dionysus; of these, only Cybele holds the tympanon herself. She appears with Dionysus, as a secondary deity in Euripides Bacchae, 64 – 186, and Pindar‘s Dithyramb II.6 – 9. In the Bibliotheca formerly attributed to Apollodorus, Cybele is said to have cured Dionysus of his madness. Their cults shared several characteristics: the foreigner-deity arrived in a chariot, drawn by exotic big cats (Dionysus by tigers, Cybele by lions), accompanied by wild music and an ecstatic entourage of exotic foreigners and people from the lower classes. At the end of the 1st century BC Strabo notes that Rhea-Cybele’s popular rites in Athens were sometimes held in conjunction with Dionysus’ procession. Both were regarded with caution by the Greeks, as having distinctly un-Hellenic temperaments, to be simultaneously embraced and “held at arm’s length”.” ref

    “In contrast to her public role as a protector of cities, Cybele was also the focus of mystery cult, private rites with a chthonic aspect connected to hero cult and exclusive to those who had undergone initiation, though it is unclear who Cybele’s initiates were. Reliefs show her alongside young female and male attendants with torches, and vessels for purification. Literary sources describe joyous abandonment to the loud, percussive music of tympanon, castanets, clashing cymbals and flutes, and to the frenzied “Phrygian dancing”, perhaps a form of circle-dancing by women, to the roar of “wise and healing music of the gods”. Conflation with Rhea led to Cybele’s association with various male demigods who served Rhea as attendants, or as guardians of her son, the infant Zeus, as he lay in the cave of his birth. In cult terms, they seem to have functioned as intercessors or intermediaries between goddess and mortal devotees, through dreams, waking trance, or ecstatic dance and song. They include the armed Kouretes, who danced around Zeus and clashed their shields to amuse him; their supposedly Phrygian equivalents, the youthful Corybantes, who provided similarly wild and martial music, dance, and song; and the dactyls and Telchines, magicians associated with metalworking.” ref

    Cybele’s major mythographic narratives attach to her relationship with Attis, who is described by ancient Greek and Roman sources and cults as her youthful consort, and as a Phrygian deity. In Phrygia, “Attis” was not a deity, but both a commonplace and priestly name, found alike in casual graffiti, the dedications of personal monuments and several of Cybele’s Phrygian shrines and monuments. His divinity may therefore have begun as a Greek invention based on what was known of Cybele’s Phrygian cult. His earliest certain image as deity appears on a 4th-century BC Greek stele from Piraeus, near Athens. It shows him as the Hellenised stereotype of a rustic, eastern barbarian; he sits at ease, sporting the Phrygian cap and shepherd’s crook of his later Greek and Roman cults. Before him stands a Phrygian goddess (identified by the inscription as Agdistis) who carries a tympanon in her left hand. With her right, she hands him a jug, as if to welcome him into her cult with a share of her own libation. Later images of Attis show him as a shepherd, in similar relaxed attitudes, holding or playing the syrinx (panpipes). In Demosthenes On the Crown (330 BC), attes is “a ritual cry shouted by followers of mystic rites”. Attis seems to have accompanied the diffusion of Cybele’s cult through Magna Graecia; there is evidence of their joint cult at the Greek colonies of Marseilles (Gaul) and Lokroi (southern Italy) from the 6th and 7th centuries BC. After Alexander the Great‘s conquests, “wandering devotees of the goddess became an increasingly common presence in Greek literature and social life; depictions of Attis have been found at numerous Greek sites”. When shown with Cybele, he is always the younger, lesser deity, or perhaps her priestly attendant; the difference is one of relative degree, rather than essence, as priests were sacred in their own right and were closely identified with their gods. In the mid 2nd century, letters from the king of Pergamum to Cybele’s shrine at Pessinos consistently address its chief priest as “Attis”.” ref

    Roman Cybele

    Romans knew Cybele as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”), or as Magna Mater deorum Idaea (“great Idaean mother of the gods”), equivalent to the Greek title Meter Theon Idaia (“Mother of the Gods, from Mount Ida”). Rome officially adopted her cult during the Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC), after dire prodigies, including a meteor shower, a failed harvest and famine, seemed to warn of Rome’s imminent defeat. The Roman Senate and its religious advisers consulted the Sibylline oracle and decided that Carthage might be defeated if Rome imported the Magna Mater (“Great Mother”) of Phrygian Pessinos. As this cult object belonged to a Roman ally, the Kingdom of Pergamum, the Roman Senate sent ambassadors to seek the king’s consent; en route, a consultation with the Greek oracle at Delphi confirmed that the goddess should be brought to Rome. The goddess arrived in Rome in the form of Pessinos’ black meteoric stone. Roman legend connects this voyage, or its end, to the matron Claudia Quinta, who was accused of unchastity but proved her innocence with a miraculous feat on behalf of the goddess. Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, supposedly the “best man” in Rome, was chosen to meet the goddess at Ostia; and Rome’s most virtuous matrons (including Claudia Quinta) conducted her to the temple of Victoria, to await the completion of her temple on the Palatine Hill. Pessinos’ stone was later used as the face of the goddess’ statue. In due course, the famine ended and Hannibal was defeated.” ref

    “Most modern scholarship agrees that Cybele’s consort,Attis, and her eunuch Phrygian priests (Galli) would have arrived with the goddess, along with at least some of the wild, ecstatic features of her Greek and Phrygian cults. The histories of her arrival deal with the piety, purity, and status of the Romans involved, the success of their religious stratagem, and the power of the goddess herself; she has no consort or priesthood, and seems fully Romanised from the first. Some modern scholars assume that Attis must have followed much later; or that the Galli, described in later sources as shockingly effeminate and flamboyantly “un-Roman”, must have been an unexpected consequence of bringing the goddess in blind obedience to the Sibyl; a case of “biting off more than one can chew”. Others note that Rome was well versed in the adoption (or sometimes, the “calling forth”, or seizure) of foreign deities, and the diplomats who negotiated Cybele’s move to Rome would have been well-educated, and well-informed. Romans believed that Cybele, considered a Phrygian outsider even within her Greek cults, was the mother-goddess of ancient Troy (Ilium). Some of Rome’s leading patrician families claimed Trojan ancestry; so the “return” of the Mother of all Gods to her once-exiled people would have been particularly welcome, even if her spouse and priesthood were not; its accomplishment would have reflected well on the principals involved and, in turn, on their descendants. The upper classes who sponsored the Magna Mater’s festivals delegated their organization to the plebeian aediles, and honored her and each other with lavish, private festival banquets from which her Galli would have been conspicuously absent. Whereas in most of her Greek cults she dwelt outside the polis, in Rome she was the city’s protector, contained within her Palatine precinct, along with her priesthood, at the geographical heart of Rome’s most ancient religious traditions. She was promoted as patrician property; a Roman matron – albeit a strange one, “with a stone for a face” – who acted for the clear benefit of the Roman state.” ref

    “Augustan ideology identified Magna Mater with Imperial order and Rome’s religious authority throughout the empire. Augustus claimed a Trojan ancestry through his adoption by Julius Caesar and the divine favor of Venus; in the iconography of Imperial cult, the empress Livia was Magna Mater’s earthly equivalent, Rome’s protector and symbolic “Great Mother”; the goddess is portrayed with Livia’s face on cameos and statuary. By this time, Rome had absorbed the goddess’s Greek and Phrygian homelands, and the Roman version of Cybele as Imperial Rome’s protector was introduced there. Imperial Magna Mater protected the empire’s cities and agriculture — Ovid “stresses the barrenness of the earth before the Mother’s arrival. Virgil’s Aeneid (written between 29 and 19 BC) embellishes her “Trojan” features; she is Berecyntian Cybele, mother of Jupiter himself, and protector of the Trojan prince Aeneas in his flight from the destruction of Troy. She gives the Trojans her sacred tree for shipbuilding, and begs Jupiter to make the ships indestructible. These ships become the means of escape for Aeneas and his men, guided towards Italy and a destiny as ancestors of the Roman people by Venus Genetrix. Once arrived in Italy, these ships have served their purpose and are transformed into sea nymphs. Stories of Magna Mater’s arrival were used to promote the fame of its principals, and thus their descendants. Claudia Quinta‘s role as Rome’s castissima femina (purest or most virtuous woman) became “increasingly glorified and fantastic”; she was shown in the costume of a Vestal Virgin, and Augustan ideology represented her as the ideal of virtuous Roman womanhood. The emperor Claudius claimed her among his ancestors. Claudius promoted Attis to the Roman pantheon and placed his cult under the supervision of the quindecimviri (one of Rome’s priestly colleges).” ref

    Kubaba Queen and (Goddess)

    “Kubaba, Sumerian: ????????????????, kug-Dba-u₂, is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500–2330 BC) of Sumerian history. In the early Hittite period, she was worshipped as a goddess. Kubaba is one of the very few women to have ever ruled in their own right in Mesopotamian history. Most versions of the king list place her alone in her own dynasty, the 3rd Dynasty of Kish, following the defeat of Sharrumiter of Mari, but other versions combine her with the 4th dynasty, which followed the primacy of the king of Akshak. Before becoming monarch, the king list says she was an alewife.” ref

    “The Weidner Chronicle is a propagandistic letter, attempting to date the shrine of Marduk at Babylon to an early period, and purporting to show that each of the kings who had neglected its proper rites had lost the primacy of Sumer. It contains a brief account of the rise of “the house of Kubaba” occurring in the reign of Puzur-Nirah of Akshak:

    “In the reign of Puzur-Nirah, king of Akšak, the freshwater fishermen of Esagila were catching fish for the meal of the great lord Marduk; the officers of the king took away the fish. The fisherman was fishing when 7 (or 8) days had passed […] in the house of Kubaba, the tavern-keeper […] they brought to Esagila. At that time BROKEN[4] anew for Esagila […] Kubaba gave bread to the fisherman and gave water, she made him offer the fish to Esagila. Marduk, the king, the prince of the Apsû, favored her and said: “Let it be so!” He entrusted to Kubaba, the tavern-keeper, sovereignty over the whole world.” ref

    “Her son Puzur-Suen and grandson Ur-Zababa followed her on the throne of Sumer as the fourth Kish dynasty on the king list, in some copies as her direct successors, in others with the Akshak dynasty intervening. Ur-Zababa is also known as the king said to be reigning in Sumer during the youth of Sargon the Great of Akkad, who militarily brought much of the Near East under his control shortly afterward. Shrines in honor of Kubaba spread throughout Mesopotamia. In the Hurrian area, she may be identified with Kebat, or Hepat, one title of the Hurrian Mother goddess Hannahannah (from Hurrian hannah, “mother”). Abdi-Heba was the palace mayor, ruling Jerusalem at the time of the Amarna letters (1350 BC).” ref

    “Kubaba became the tutelary goddess who protected the ancient city of Carchemish on the upper Euphrates, in the late Hurrian/early Hittite period. Relief carvings, now at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi), Ankara, show her seated, wearing a cylindrical headdress like the polos and holding probably a tympanum (hand drum) or possibly a mirror in one hand and a poppy capsule (or perhaps pomegranate) in the other. She plays a role in Luwian texts and a minor role in Hittite texts, mainly in Hurrian rituals. According to Emanuel Laroche, Maarten J. Vermaseren, and Mark Munn, her cult later spread, and her name was adapted for the main goddess of the Hittite successor kingdoms in Anatolia. This deity later developed into the Phrygian matar kubileya (“mother Cybele”), who was depicted in petroglyphs and mentioned in accompanying inscriptions. The Phrygian goddess otherwise bears little resemblance to Kubaba, who – according to Herodotus – was a sovereign deity at Sardis. Her Lydian name was Kuvav or Kufav which Ionian Greeks initially transcribed Kybêbê, rather than Kybele; Jan Bremmer notes in this context the 7th-century Semonides of Amorgos, who calls one of her Hellene followers a kybêbos. Bremmer observes that in the following century she was further Hellenized by Hipponax, as “Kybêbê, daughter of Zeus”.” ref

    Inanna (Goddess)

    “Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice, and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer under the name “Inanna”, and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the