Anthro Publications: The Impact of Fossils Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif The Graphics of Bilzingsleben Phi in the Acheulian
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Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif

By John Feliks (汉语版本这页) (A la versión española), FULL-TEXT HTML here

Feliks, J. 2006. Musings on the Palaeolithic fan motif. In P. Chenna Reddy (ed.), Exploring the mind of ancient man, 249-66. Research India Press, New Delhi.


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Fig. 1
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Fig. 2
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Fig. 3


Abstract: For much of the past century, human beings prior to 35,000 years BP have been generally regarded as greatly inferior to modern Homo sapiens. However, the early human chronicle is undergoing dramatic revision. A growing list of capabilities once attributed only to our species is now being traced as far back as Acheulian times and our ancient predecessor Homo erectus. A major breakthrough in this transition was Robert Bednarik’s theory that a graphic marking motif, essentially the “fan” motif, began to be developed by Homo erectus as early as 350,000 years ago. In this paper, I offer studies that support Bednarik’s theory and the linked ideas of language and self-awareness during the Lower Palaeolithic. The paper consists of seven figures. Figure 1 demonstrates hominid interest in the fan motif as evidenced in the archaeological record. Figures 2 through 5 suggest a greater number, quality and consistency of the earliest known fan motifs associated with Homo erectus at Bilzingsleben. Finally, Figures 6 and 7 link the fan motif to the outspread human hand. I suggest that early interest in the fan motif reflects both symbolism and human self-awareness prompted by familiarity with the hand.

               

       Musings is one of four papers offering a completely new perspective regarding early peoples such as Homo erectusHomo ergaster, Neanderthals, and Homo heidelbergensis. It was a requested paper first submitted for review on August 9, 2004. This webpage shows five of the paper's seven figures. Click on each thumbnail for an enlarged view. You can then click on that image for an even larger image showing more detail.





Here are a few important observations that were first presented in Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif:

1.) 'Straight edge theory.' The engraved bone artifacts of Bilzingsleben have long been known to feature straight linestn_musings-p254-feliks06.jpgUntil the proofs offered in Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif, however, no one had considered the possibility that these lines might have been created with a straight edge. This is because of the long-time working assumption in anthropology that the engravers, Homo erectus, were essentially ape-men unable even to speak, let alone use a straight edge. The proofs for straight edge use (Fig. 2, right, Fig. 3 below left, and Figs. 4 & 5, below right) are unambiguous and are characterized by perfectly-referenced and perfectly-straight radial lines.

        The figures for Straight edge theory were deliberately set up so that the reader could instantly test the radial lines for themselves right on the printed page, tn_musings-p258-feliks06.jpgthus bypassing the need to be either convinced or unconvinced by any scholarly argument or argument from authority. Prior to these studies, all writers in anthropology - without exception - have referred to the lines on Bilzingsleben Artifact 2 (far left artifact in Fig. 2), for instance, as "parallel" lines. The straight edge test shows that the lines are, in fact, "radial," referenced to a point well away from the artifact itself.tn_musings-p260-feliks06.jpg

        The straight edge engravings from Bilzingsleben are securely dated 320,000-412,000 years old and show that just because an engraved line is ancient we can no longer simply assume that it was necessarily done freehand. Resistance to straight edge theory, especially in this year of Darwin, is due in large part to the fact that use of a straight edge is proof of unambiguously sophisticated behavior. In and of itself, and without need of any other evidence except its already-established association with the remains of Homo erectus, use of a straight edge demonstrates completely modern intelligence 400,000 years ago. In other words, straight edge theory demonstrates that there has been no change whatsoever in human cognitive ability for at least 400,000 years.

        The final proofs of straight edge use by Homo erectus were presented at the XVth UISPP Congress in Lisbon, September 7, 2006 during the Pleistocene Palaeoart of the World session in a program called The Graphics of BilzingslebenCensorship of these uncontested final proofs began within one week of the Congress. The data, which has been studied by scientists in every field (archaeology, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics), as well as by engineers in Europe, the United States, and Australia, has been held back from the public for two and a half years while those who have had privileged access to the data have been quickly altering their publication course both online and in print without citing Musings on the Palaeolithic fan motif or its follow-up, The Graphics of Bilzingsleben.



How straight edge use by
Homo erectus proves early language and representation:

        Any line engraved with the aid of a straight edge is directly symbolic of the straight edge itself, being a "representation" of the edge.

        Additional support is offered by the two duplicated motifs discussed below. While apparently referring to each other visually, they each also refer to the exact same "external" object or concept, namely, the straight edge.



2.) 'The earliest motif duplicated on two separate artifacts.' These two duplicated radial motifs represent the first unambiguous geometric and linguistic proof of early language tn_musings-p258-feliks06.jpg(Fig. 3, left). Duplicated motifs such as written or spoken words or even agreed-upon symbols are the hallmark of language.

Prior to recognizing these two motifs as either duplicates or variations of eachtn_musings-p261-feliks06.jpg other, most proponents of early language used unrelated references to "infer" language in early peoples. For example, "If they could get from here to there then they must have had language," or "If they had the right vocal tract or the right genetic traits, they probably had a simple language." 

The geometric association between these two motifs and similar associations between other motifs at Bilzingsleben were fully demonstrated with final and unambiguous visual proofs at the XVth UISPP Congress in the program, The Graphics of Bilzingsleben, the dat of which has been held back from publication since 2006.

3.) 'Representation of angles theory.' Angles represented in the bone engravings from Bilzingsleben are shown to revolve around those tn_musings-p252-feliks06.jpgangles which, beyond any doubt, are most commonly observed by human beings both past and present, namely, those of the outstretched human hand (Fig. 6, right). The point is made that the engravings do not necessarily represent the human hand per se but rather an awareness of the abstract concept of angles inspired by constant exposure to the human hand. It is suggested that signs of abstraction in the archaeological record (such as an awareness of angles) may say more about the intellectual capabilities of early people than the more quickly-recognized forms of iconic representation or images that clearly represent other things by way of a visual likeness.

In the paper's Fig. 1, it was demonstrated by way of abundant physical evidence from the archaeological record that one of the first patterns to greatly interest early humans was the radial motif, otherwise known as the fan motif. The radial motif was not only engraved on bone and rock by early humans and painted on cave walls and ceilings but also collected ready-made in the form of fossils and shells. See also, The Impact of Fossils on the Development of Visual Representation.





RECENT MATHEMATICS PUBLICATIONS


Feliks, J. 2012. Five constants from an Acheulian compound line. Aplimat - Journal of Applied Mathematics 5 (1): 69-74.

Feliks, J. 2011. The golden flute of Geissenklosterle: Mathematical evidence for a continuity of human intelligence as opposed to evolutionary change through time. Aplimat - Journal of Applied Mathematics 4 (4): 157-62.


OTHER PUBLICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

Feliks, J. 2012. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 7: Who were the people of Bilzingsleben. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 4 (Issue 4): 12-14.

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Feliks, J. 2012. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 6: The Lower Paleolithic origins of advanced mathematics. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 4 (Issue 3): 12-13.

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Feliks, J. 2012. Four arguments for the elimination of televesion, Jerry Mander Pleistocene Coalition News (4)3:17, Issue #17.

Feliks, J. 2012. 12 Angry Men, starring Henry Fonda: A superb classic film for teaching critical thinking attitude and skills. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 4 (Issue 2): 17.

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Feliks, J. 2012. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 5: Gestalten. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 4 (Issue 2): 11-13.

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Feliks, J. 2012. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 4: 350,000 years before Bach. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 4 (Issue 1): 10-12.

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Feliks, J. 2011. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 3: Base grids of a suppressed Homo erectus knowledge system. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 3 (Issue 6): 12-14.

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Feliks, J. 2011. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 2: Censoring the world's oldest human language. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 3 (Issue 5): 12-14.

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Feliks, J. 2011. The graphics of Bilzingsleben series: Scientific misconduct over ancient artifact studies and why you should care: Part 1: Proof of straight edge use by Homo erectus. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 3 (Issue 4): 14-16.

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Feliks, J. 2010. The golden flute of Geissenklosterle: Preview of APLIMAT 2011 paper. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 2 (Issue 6): 10.

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Feliks, J. 2010. Phi-based conceptual units: Pushing math origins back to the Acheulian age. [Internet]. Available on SCIENAR at: http:/www.scienar.eu/network/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=170:phi-based-conceptual-units-pushing-math-origins
-back-to-the-acheulian-age&catid=4:general-contents&Itemid=62.

Feliks, J. 2010. Ardi: How to create a science myth. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 2 (Issue 1): 1-3.

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Feliks, J. 2010 (in press). The graphics of Bilzingsleben: Sophistication and subtlety in the mind of Homo erectus. Proceedings of the XV UISPP World Congress (Lisbon, 4-9 September 2006), BAR International Series, Oxford.*

Feliks, J. 2009. A Lot of Gold in the Mix: Review of Fragment from a Nonfiction Reader. Pre-publication review of the debut science thriller by Warren Fahy (see quotation on the author's review page under FRAGMENT: Reviews).

Feliks, J. 2009. The idea of protolanguage considered in the context of archaeological evidence. Comment on "From protolanguage to true language," by Blair Bolles. Babel's Dawn [Internet]. Available at: http://www.babelsdawn.com/babels_dawn/2009/04/from-protolanguage-to-true-language.html.

Feliks, J. 2009. The handaxe shape in microliths. Comment on "Is a hand ax really a hand ax," by Michael Balter. Origins: a history of beginnings [Internet]. Available at: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/origins/2009/02/is-a-handax-really-a-handax.html.

Feliks, J. 2006. Phi in the Acheulian: Lower Palaeolithic intuition and the natural origins of analogy. In Bednarik, R. G. and D. Hodgson (eds), Pleistocene palaeoart of the world, pp. 11-31. Proceedings of the XV UISPP World Congress (Lisbon, 4-9 September 2006), BAR International Series 1804, Oxford.*

Feliks, J. 1998. The impact of fossils on the development of visual representation. Rock Art Research 15: 109-34.

*(BAR is British Archaeological Reports.)





ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND THE WEBSITE'S PREMISE

        John Feliks is an interdisciplinary scholar and theorist researching early human cognition for the past 15 years. Along with the science, he offers an inside perspective based on an extensive background in the arts. Feliks's recent work involves language and mathematics capability in Homo erectus and other early peoples which he demonstrates empirically through openly-testable geometric analyses of engraved artifacts, artifact distributions, and stone tools. In all, the results of Feliks's research greatly contrast the long-accepted standard model of gradually-evolving intelligence in the genus Homo. They suggest instead that early peoples such as Homo erectus, ergaster, Neanderthals, and heidelbergensis were just as capable as anyone living in today's modern world.


ABOUT THE WEBSITES

       This Musings-only page is new and in the process of tweaking, so please be patient as it goes through changes in wording or layout. I am hoping to get the main site up and running soon. The site will offer several hundred systematic geometric studies produced over a fifteen-year period which demonstrate that early peoples such as Homo erectus and Neanderthals had artistic and intellectual capabilities equal to our own. It will also offer original color slides from the two programs presented at the XVth UISPP Congress in Lisbon, September 7, 2006.

E-mail: feliks (at) umich.edu
Last updated June 30, 2014. © John Feliks 2009