Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chogha Bonut and the Ziggurat Chogha Zanbil as Structures to the Sky to Mark the Pleiades in Ancient Land Survey by Astronomy in Mesopotamia

ČOḠĀ BONUT (CHOGHA BONUT viz. Choga Bonut), 32°13′20″ N, 48°30′18″ E, Susiana Plain, marks the Pleiades in the ancient prehistoric land survey of (Upper) Mesopotamia by astronomy. All the seven sisters of ancient myth and legend and their parents are included, even though this was maybe ca. 10,000 years ago.

We do not know the names of the Pleiads then, of course, so we use here the familiar names handed down to us by recorded classical antiquity, since their stars are well represented at Chogha Bonut. The parents were Atlas and Pleione. The seven sisters were Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Celaeno, Maia, Taygete, and Asterope (Sterope). Look at the map below. All are there.

In the map below,
the circular formations at Chogha Bonut
are based on a figure in an article by
Abbas Alizadeh,
ČOḠĀ BONUT: archeological site in lowland Susiana, in the present-day province of Ḵuzestān in southwestern Iran.

The star positions are from Starry Night Pro.
See http://astronomy.starrynight.com.

The decipherment is by Andis Kaulins, July, 2013.

DECIPHERMENT OF CHOGHA BONUT
as Marking the Stars of the Pleiades

The Blue Circles are circular formations
at Chogha Bonut,

while the black marks are stars
superimposed from Starry Night Pro,
 
and the Red Circles and middle red line

were added by Andis Kaulins
to show the correspondence of circular formations
at Chogha Bonut
to stars of the Pleiades.



ČOḠĀ BONUT (Chogha Bonut)  32°13′20″ N, 48°30′18″ E is deciphered in the map above as marking the stars of the Pleiades. The result is clear, even though there may be detail work to be done in the future since there are several levels of archaeological survey at Chogha Bonu, though most of the circular formations seem to be of the oldest provenance.

The above figure as I have drawn it consists of two halves, each separate from one another to the left and to the right of the middle red line.

These halves were moved somewhat apart from each other to adjust for scale differences between the superimposed star maps from Starry Night Pro and the circular formations as found at Chogha Bonut.

This was necessary because Chogha Bonut puts Pleione and Atlas closer together to Alcyone than is the actual case in the sky. Once Chogha locations are spread outward at the red line, one can easily see how Chogha Bonut marks the stars of the Pleiades.

Indeed, all we have done here is to paste the stars on both sides of the red line in transparent modus from Starry Night Pro, the parents on one side of the red line, and the daughters on the other si

We have made NO changes in either star positions or Chogha positions in the segments to the left of the red line and similarly we have made NO changes to the separate segments to the right of the red line, except to position those segments to better show how the major stars of the Pleiades were clearly marked at Chogha Bonut.

The basis for our map drawing of Chogha Bonut circular formations is a figure at Iranica Online found in an article by Abbas Alizadeh about ČOḠĀ BONUT: archeological site in lowland Susiana, in the present-day province of Ḵuzestān in southwestern Iran. See http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/coga-bonut-archaeological-site.

The star positions are taken from Starry Night Pro.
See http://astronomy.starrynight.com.

The decipherment is by Andis Kaulins, July, 2013.

Chogha Bonut is located only about 20 kilometers north of the Elamite Chogha Zanbil, viz. Tchogha Zanbil, a world heritage site of later provenance, whose Elamite name has been transcribed for better or worse by the mainstream scholars as Dur Untash.

I include Old Elamite symbols in my book on the origins of writing:
Ancient Signs. The mainstream scholars might want to look at that.

An ancient name for the Pleiades was in fact the similar term Turanya (Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names) and that in our opinion is the origin of the name Dur Untash i.e. durun-tash=Tur-an-ya, "the Pleiades".

Duruntash is a name up to now ascribed by mainstream scholars solely to the Elamite ruler who allegedly built it. Chogha Zanbil was thus not only possibly a temple to a king but almost surely a ziggurat erected to the Pleiades.

We might add that our previous research suggests that the king may not have built or completed the temple himself, but that his surviving wife may have built viz. completed it for him after his passage.


Ali Kosh Archaeological Site in Iran and Neighboring Prehistoric Locations as Marking the Stars of Taurus


This posting shows a map of Ali Kosh near Mousiyan, Iran and includes the surrounding prehistoric ancient sites as marking Aldebaran and the stars of Taurus in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".

The locations are based on an online map of the Deh Luran (Dehloran) plain (by Frank Hole at http://frankhole.commons.yale.edu/ali_kosh/ but the map redrawing, interpretation and astronomical decipherment are by Andis Kaulins, July, 2013. Star positions are from Starry Night Pro.
See http://astronomy.starrynight.com.


Ali Kosh marked Aldebaran, alpha Tauri. The name Kosh is similar to Akkadian Gish-da, Persian Ghav or Gau and Ughuz in Turkey for Taurus. See Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names.

In Indo-European, e.g. Latvian košs "bright" and the phonetically cognate related term gaišs mean "brilliant" viz. "bright" viz.  in various contexts related to "light" gaisma. One could venture an educated guess that the bright starry region of Taurus and the Hyades was named for "bright light".

The other stars marked are:
  • gamma Tauri by Tepe Musiyan (Mousiyan)
  • lambda Tauri by Tepe Khazineh
  • Xi and Omicron Tauri by Tepe Muradabad
  • Tepe Sefid by epsilon Tauri
  • Omicron Orion by Tepe Farukhabad
  • 97 Tauri by Tepe Sabz
  • iota Tauri by Ashrafabad
  • tau Tauri by Chogha Sefid
  • the triumvirate of stars at 11 Orionis, 15 Orionis and HIP21497 by Chagh Düzd.
We follow this posting with a surprise posting, not previously announced.

We originally looked for an ancient site minimally to the northeast of Ali Kosh in a direction where we would logically expect an ancient prehistoric site to mark The Pleiades. We have found that site a bit to the southeast, however, about 100 kilometers distant.

It is ČOḠĀ BONUT (CHOGHA BONUT viz. Choga Bonut) at 32°13′20″ N, 48°30′18″ E, Susiana Plain, located 20 kilometers southeast of Dezful and 5 kilometers west of Čoḡā Miš. Dezful is about 9 kilometers southeast of Andimeshk.

Chogha Bonut is located only about 20 kilometers north of the Elamite Chogha Zanbil, viz. Tchogha Zanbil, a world heritage site of later provenance, whose Elamite name has been transcribed for better or worse as Dur Untash.

An ancient name for the Pleiades was in fact the similar term Turanya (Richard Hinckley Allen) and that in our opinion is the origin of the name Dur Untash i.e. durun-tash=Tur-an-ya, a name up to now ascribed to the Elamite ruler. Chogha Zanbil was thus not only possibly a temple to a king but almost surely a ziggurat erected to the Pleiades. That follows in the next posting.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Ancient World Sites: Upper Mesopotamia 10th to 7th Millennium B.C. and their Astronomical Significance in Prehistoric Land Survey

Two significant maps are found on the inside front and back covers
of Klaus Schmidt's book about Göbekli Tepe,
Sie bauten die ersten Tempel
(extensive material in English at TempleStudy.com)
and both maps are useful
to demonstrate the land survey
of ancient Upper Mesopotamia
by astronomy.
See reviews of that book in English by Claus-Peter Wirth and Jona Lenderig.

We have redrawn those two maps below and have added our own labeling and astronomical identification of each geographic location as we think it served land survey purposes according to the hermetic teaching "as above, so below", i.e. where we think the pre-existing "map" of the heavens above was used to map the earth below.

In those days, you could not walk down to the store and buy a map of an area, but people still had to be oriented and get around, so the stars were a logical choice as a map model. We find that to be nearly self-evident.

Decipherment of the Ancient Sites of Upper Mesopotamia
as Land Survey by Astronomy

The Overall Decipherment Map:
  • (top of map below)
    Upper Mesopotamian locations 10h to 9th millennium B.C. as listed on Klaus Schmidt's map (this is our independent redrawing and labeling)
  • (bottom of map below)
    Upper Mesopotamian locations 10h to 7th millennium B.C. as listed on Klaus Schmidt's map (this is our independent redrawing and labeling)
Of course, the astronomical identifications are ours alone and have nothing to do with the archaeological content of Schmidt's book, which does not have the term astronomy in its index.

Archaeology is an "earth" science and archaeologists still do not recognise that the ancients used the stars to map their earthly locations. See megaliths.net for a detailed discussion of how ancient megaliths served land survey purposes via astronomy.

This posting and the map below will be followed by explanatory postings about some of the most important of these locations from an astronomical land survey point of view:

As one can see from the above map, we have, among others, made the following identities of ancient locations and stars of the heavens (please note that we do not like to use diacritical markings and do not use them here in this short list because various programs and browsers do not render these correctly, leading to unnecessary confusion and false textual representation. In general, we do not support diacritical markings online for languages or alphabets (see on the topic of the origins of writing our book,
Ancient Signs).

Ancient Sites, 10th to 9th Millennium B.C.


Cayonu - Lynx
Kilisik - Leo Minor
Gobekli Tepe (plus our discovered Gobekli Koyu, Asagi Gobekli), Urfa, and perhaps Sefer Tepe, Karahan, Hamzan Tepe - Cancer
Akarcay, Tell Abr, Djade, Jerf el Ahmar, Cheik Hassan, Mureybet (Regulus) - Leo Major
Hallan Cemi, Kortik Tepe, Demirci, Nemrik, Qermez Dere -Gemini

Ancient Sites, 10th to 7th Millennium B.C.


Ali Kosh - Taurus (Aldebaran)
Jarmo - Auriga
Hacilar (Alkaid), Suberde (Mizar), Catal Hoyuk (Alioth), Musular, Asikli Hoyuk, Kosk Koyuk - all mark the main stars of the Big Dipper of Ursa Major (note that Turkish Catal means "fork" - the Big Dipper then ?)
Gobekli Tepe - Cancer
El Kowm - Leo Major (Regulus)
Jericho, Ain Ghazal, Jawa - Virgo (Jawa marked the star ZaviJAVA)
Palmyra - Hydra (Alphard)
Beidha (near Petra and the Snake Monument), Ba'ja, Basta - Hydra the Serpent
Helwan - Antares in Scorpio the "red star" - Saqqara = Siqor

We post subsequently about some of these ancient sites and will show how they mark stars of the heavens. Those postings may not come immediately and may be sporadic, because it takes enormous amounts of time to write them up decently. For those who have an interest in looking at maps and materials online, Ali Kosh and surrounding locations (Taurus and Aldebaran) and El Kowm (Leo Major and Regulus) provide some nice examples. But it is now summer and time for golf, if the weather holds. God (and the stars) willing ;-).


Aşağı Göbekli II of II as the Third "Gobekli" in Sanliurfa Marking Stars of Cancer on the Ground in Hermetic Tradition, as Above, so Below: A Bull, a Horse and a Leaping Frog


This posting is the second posting relating to Aşağı Göbekli (second part), following the last posting on Aşağı Göbekli (first part) as an analysis of map locations at that site.

As already indicated in a previous posting, it complements our interpretation of the meaning of the better known Göbekli Tepe and the lesser known Göbekli Köyu as locations of ancient land survey by astronomy, marking stars of Cancer.

This posting will be followed by some related postings about ancient sites in Upper Mesopotamia that also fit into our inter-connected astronomical land survey analysis of the Fertile Crescent and of course we will have some interesting maps of not only the entire region, but also of selected ancient sites.

Here is our tracing of prominent lines and what appear to be mound formations on the original map at Google Earth:


Taking that drawing and reducing it only to the traced lines, here is our simple line drawing result for the traced Google Earth map of Aşağı Göbekli.


The brightest stars form a figure that looks a bit like a bull (stars via Starry Night Pro at http://astronomy.starrynight.com). The head of the horse appears to have been added later and the remnant of a bull's head can still be seen.

The second small figure above the heads of the horse and bull looks like it is a leaping frog or toad, kurbağa in Turkish, somewhat similar in sound to the later "crab" for Cancer. Perhaps there is a connection in development.

The following image shows very simply how the brightest stars in that area of the sky between delta Cancri and beta Cancri could be interpreted to give rise to men seeing the upper figures at Aşağı Göbekli:


Now let us look at the entire area of Aşağı Göbekli for our decipherment of the earthly locations as mirroring stars of the heavens, true to the hermetic principle, "as above, so below".

Our map of stars in more detail for the respectively applicable geographic locations gives the following correspondence of stars in Cancer to locations at Aşağı Göbekli. We view this to be the decipherment of Aşağı Göbekli:


We repeat here that we have never been to the actual geographic site in Turkey and that our analysis is based solely on online map materials. We do not know what the mound-like viz. barrow constructions on the ground are, that we equate with star locations, but they definitely fit the stellar analysis.

For those interested, here is a close-up of those mound or barrow formations in the area of the horse's head, and we presume they shine gold because the sun in shining upon them:


That completes our analysis of the "three Göbeklis" in the area of Sanliurfa.

Our next postings look at the broader landscape of Upper Mesopotamia.

Aşağı Göbekli I of II: the Third "Gobekli" in Sanliurfa Marking Stars of Cancer on the Ground in Hermetic Tradition: Anatolia and the Origin of the Jews

This posting on Aşağı Göbekli (spelling also as Asagi Gobekli I, avoiding diacritical marks), as already indicated in a previous posting, complements our interpretation of the meaning of Göbekli Tepe (Gobekli Tepe) and Göbekli Köyü (Gobekli Koyu) as representing ancient land survey by astronomy. Note that styles of ancient marking at each site vary somewhat, so that the chronological date of origin of all Göbekli sites may not be equivalent.

This posting will be followed by a further posting, Asagi Gobekli II, and by additional postings about ancient sites in Upper Mesopotamia that also fit into the same inter-connected astronomical land survey analysis, i.e. as part of one broad system of land survey by astronomy.

Here we look more closely at Aşağı Göbekli, a place name location in Sanliurfa so little known that Google Earth has no label for it and its precise location was found only at MapCarta.com, which does label it, even though it can not be found through MapCarta's own keyword search. But go to the site at this link that we were lucky to find in order to see the labeled location. It appears to be the lower village of two neighboring populated locations.

In our analysis below, we use the Google Earth map of the region, more out of habit than by any conscious preference of sources.

Aşağı Göbekli (Asagi Gobekli) is located near Sanliurfa, a city which was earlier named Urfa viz. "Ur" and according to legend was Biblical Patriarch Abraham's birthplace in Anatolia, which is today's Eastern Turkey.

Terah, Abraham's father, had his home in the Biblical town of Haran and that is surely the same as the modern city viz. province Harran.

Harran is only 20 km (12 miles) from Aşağı Göbekli. Coincidence?

Our work in this posting, however, is not to resolve some of the difficult outstanding questions about Biblical origins, but we note these matters for the record, as the history of the Göbekli sites may relate to the origin and ancient deeds of the Jews, who have strong DNA markers in common with Anatolian peoples, though this may not be their original location. 

The Atlas of the Human Journey-Genetic Markers-Haplogroup J2 (M172) wrote (Wikipedia): "The National Geographic Genographic Project linked haplogroup J2 to the site of Jericho, Tel el-Sultan, ca. 8500 BCE and indicated that in modern populations, haplogroup J2 is found in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe, with especially high distribution among present-day Jewish populations (30%), Southern Italians (20%), and lower frequencies in Southern Spain (10%).[11]".

At Haplogroup J-M172 (Y-DNA J2 M172) it is written at the Wikipedia:
"In human genetics, Haplogroup J-M172 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup which is a subclade (branch) of haplogroup J-P209. J-M172 can be classified as Mediterranean/Aegean (Di Giacomo, 2004), Greco-Anatolian, Mesopotamian and/or Caucasian and is linked to the earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia and the Aegean....

The precise region of origin for haplogroup J-M172 remains a topic of discussion. However, at least within a European context, Anatolia and the Aegean seem to be source regions, with Hg J2 having perhaps arisen in the Levant (Di Giacomo 2004) / Middle East (Semino 2004) with the development of agriculture....

In Europe, the frequency of Haplogroup J-M172 drops as one moves northward away from the Mediterranean. In Italy, J-M172 is found with regional frequencies ranging between 9% and 36% (Capelli 2007). In Greece, it is found with regional frequencies ranging between 10% and 48%. Approximately 24% of Turkish men are J-M172 according to a recent study, (Cinnioglu 2004) with regional frequencies ranging between 13% and 40% (Semino 2000). Combined with J-M267, up to half of the Turkish population belongs to Haplogroup J-P209.

It has been proposed that haplogroup subclade J-M410 was linked to populations on ancient Crete by examining the relationship between Anatolian, Cretan, and Greek populations from around early Neolithic sites in Crete. Haplogroup J-M12 was associated with Neolithic Greece (ca. 8500 - 4300 BCE) and was reported to be found in modern Crete (3.1%) and mainland Greece (Macedonia 7.0%, Thessaly 8.8%, Argolis 1.8%) (King 2008)."
See also at Facebook: Cultural Anthropology of Haplogroup J2.

For a scholarly view, see generally Aram Yardumian and Theodore G. Schurr, Who are the Anatolian Turks? Reappraisal of the Anthropological Genetic Evidence, Anthropology & Archaeology of Eurasia, Volume 50, pp. 6-42, 2011. See also Dienekes' Anthtropology Blog about that publication.

All three Göbekli locations appear to mark stars of what we today call the constellation of Cancer, though of course not identical to modern marking.

To recapitulate see the images at Göbekli Köyu I.

The 3 GOBEKLIS in Sanliurfa are:
  1. Göbekli Tepe, ca 35 kilometers distant from each of the other two
  2. Göbekli Köyü to the west of Şanliurfa (ancient Urfa), whereas Göbekli Tepe is to the northeast of Şanliurfa, ca. 35 kilometers distant from Göbekli Tepe and Aşağı Göbekli.
  3. Aşağı Göbekli which "Google Translate" renders as "down roundabout" but which seems to mean "lower Göbekli" and which is to the south of Şanliurfa, ca. 35 kilometers distant from Göbekli Tepe and Göbekli Köyü.
Obviously, if Göbekli Tepe marked Cancer, then these are the same two "lines" of Cancer that in today's astronomy are seen to run from delta Cancri (Asellus Australis) and the Beehive Cluster to alpha Cancri (Acubens) in one case and to run to beta Cancri (Altarf) in the other case.

The ca. 60° angle formed at Göbekli Tepe by the two lines running to Göbekli Köyü and Aşağı Göbekli appears to be virtually the same as the angle formed by the lines running from delta Cancri to alpha and beta Cancri.

At Sanliurfa, a line extended from Gobekli Tepe to Asagi Gobekli is of nearly equal length to a line extended to Gobekli Koyu. Stars on the same line to beta Cancri as we use today could have been used in prehistoric days, but the ancients may havealso  used stars closer to delta Cancri for making their land survey measurements by astronomy. Beta Cancri is somewhat more distant from delta Cancri than is alpha Cancri.

That analysis appears to hold true, although we can not be sure, because we have not been personally at the actual site, and can not know if the objects we suggest as potential prehistoric markings of stars are in fact ancient and not of modern provenance. For the record, here is what we see as possible:

Google Earth shows the following map image for Aşağı Göbekli which is rendered smaller here to fit on the page.

Is there anyone out there who is unable to see the outline of a bull-like animal with what is more likely a horse's head?

The upper body outline of the figure appears to be a road, perhaps following an ancient path so that the figure shape could be chance, but the head(s) probably not. Perhaps the horse's head replaced a previously existing bull's head figure.


In the next posting, we trace the relevant lines on that map to better identify what is being depicted, including mound-like formations on the ground which in our opinion represent stars of Cancer at and in the stellar area around beta Cancri.

Not having been at the site personally, however, we have no idea what those mound-like formations actually are, nor whether they are ancient or modern, or whether they are modern formations on top of ancient marks. That remains to be determined.

In any case, the next posting deciphers those mound locations as marking stars of Cancer.




Sunday, July 21, 2013

Göbekli Köyü and the Importance of Women in Prehistoric Human Society: The "Three" Gobeklis of Ancient Anatolia hermetically marked Stars of the Constellation today known as Cancer

This posting, Göbekli Köyü II, follows Göbekli Köyü I as an analysis of map locations at that site. As already indicated in a previous posting, it complements our interpretation of the meaning of Göbekli Tepe as a location of ancient land survey by astronomy, marking stars of Cancer.

This posting will be followed by a similar analysis of Aşağı Göbekli and then by some related postings about ancient sites in Upper Mesopotamia that also fit into the astronomical land survey analysis.

Here is our final line drawing result of the traced Google Earth map of Göbekli Köyü.


We have colored that line drawing to better show what it represents, although such a coloration admittedly makes the Göbekli Köyü map look quite a bit like naive art.

The image directly below was our first coloring attempt of the traced map and we were astonished to see hands apparently holding a watering vase, so we retraced the map lines again, trying to get more detail, as can be seen in the final colored version further below.


We retraced and recolored the 1st attempt above to be sure of what we had, and also narrowed the main area shown for purposes of interpretation. Otherwise, it would be too broad to display properly on many personal computers or laptops. Here is the retraced, recolored and narrowed version.


Disputable is whether the vase has a water spout, which looks a bit too modern for our taste, and maybe our original tracing of the water vase without a spout was the more accurate version, which would make more sense in view of the mice of the cat. This question of course can be resolved by examination of the original location.

More pressing is the question of the date for the origin of pottery in this region, as no pottery has thus far been found at Göbekli Tepe, so why would it be pictured at Göbekli Köyü?

George Hill writes persuasively in A History of Cyprus, Volume 1, Cambridge University Press, 2010, about the origins of pottery:
"Gjerstad ... in Antike, IX, 1933, p. 262 ... observes that the nearest parallels to Cypriote Stone Age pottery are to be found in East Anatolia and Syria, and it would seem that the Stone Age culture of North Syria, East Anatolia and Cyprus had a common origin. Schaeffer (Miss. pp. 22-3) notes the resemblance between the Cypriote "aeneolithic" pottery and that found in the lower layers of level IV at Ras Shamra (of the fourth millennium....)""
Speaking of Cyprus, we might note here that the figure we identify as "the Shaman" also looks very much like a map of the Peloponnese, the southernmost region of Greece, known since prehistoric times, and now one of the 12 districts (Diamerismata) of Greece. A tie here to Greece or Cyprus would perhaps be a political problem, and that is the reason we stick with "shaman" for now, wherever he might have been from, as a presumed "architect" of the Göbekli Köyü landscape.

A further clue might be offered by the clothing of the woman pouring water on the plant (or tree) at Göbekli Köyü, a plant or tree which appears to have one or two fruits. Could those be apples as an Anatolian forerunner of Eve? And even with a nearby serpent at Hydra. Both of these traced "fruit" circles are somewhat faint on the Google Earth map so they must be viewed as uncertain at the present time unless otherwise verified at the geographic location.

The garment of the watering woman is long dress-type garb, flanged at the top (a cape ?), plus "sunny" broad-brimmed headwear, all of which remind us of ancient clothing in Spain. We read, however, about ancient clothes at A Brief History of World Costume:
"The first evidence of woven linen (flax) cloth dates back to the early 6th millennium BC in Turkey, but Western Europe did not produce any known flaxen cloth until about 3000 BC. Also found in Turkey is evidence of some of the first known fiber-dying. Red-dyed thread from 6000 BC was found at Catal Huyuk."
E. J. W. (Elizabeth Wayland) Barber writes in Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean:
"The fact that the Aegean people, like the Anatolians, knew how to weave and were doing so is steadily attested, from the Middle Neolithic on, but the scraps are so tiny as to give us virtually no further information."
That book has a short synopsis at Amazon as follows:
"This pioneering work revises our notions of the origins and early development of textiles in Europe and the Near East. Using innovative linguistic techniques, along with methods from palaeobiology and other fields, it shows that spinning and pattern weaving began far earlier than has been supposed. "Prehistoric Textiles" made an unsurpassed leap in the social and cultural understanding of textiles in humankind's early history. Cloth making was an industry that consumed more time and effort, and was more culturally significant to prehistoric cultures, than anyone assumed before the book's publication. The textile industry is in fact older than pottery - and perhaps even older than agriculture and stockbreeding. It probably consumed far more hours of labor per year, in temperate climates, than did pottery and food production put together. And this work was done primarily by women."
Accordingly, it is entirely within the realm of probability that woven cloth of wool or linen was known in the already technologically advanced era of the three Göbeklis. The developing Göbekli decipherment, by the way, was one reason that we recently posted about the new "woven" 3D-printing Nike Flyknit shoes, which we now wear, as we were then looking into ancient weaving history.

It must be noted that the Ancient Greeks were allegedly the first in ancient Europe who had a wide-brimmed "sun hat", called a petasos, usually worn by people in agricultural pursuits, and often worn by women together with a type of cloak or cape called a peplos, but the date of origin of these is unknown. The female water-pouring map figure, by the way, need not necessarily be said to wear a wide-brimmed "hat" as such, for it could well have been some other kind of circularly furled protective headwear.

The following image shows the stars of the heavens represented by our traced drawing of the Göbekli Köyü Google Earth map, here applied to a star map from Starry Night Pro at http://astronomy.starrynight.com showing stars having a brightness magnitude better than 6 (i.e. less than 6, for the reason that, as explained at the Wikipedia: "the brighter the star, the smaller the magnitude: Bright "first magnitude" stars are "1st-class" stars, while stars barely visible to the naked eye are "sixth magnitude" or "6th-class"."

The match between the stars of Cancer and Göbekli Köyü is a pretty good one, especially if it was 9000 years ago, except for some difficulty matching the fingers of the watering woman's hands, the later "claws" of Cancer, as it were, whose Arabic name Acubens as "claws" applied only to the star alpha Cancri and not to the other stars of Cancer. This drawing shows why, because it originally applied only to hands envisioned at this star of Cancer.


Although we are fully convinced that the ancients were astronomers and that the three Gobeklis all related to stars of Cancer in the prehistoric era, our interpretation here must be regarded to be VERY SPECULATIVE since we have not ourselves been in person at the Göbekli Köyü geographic site and rely solely on the map at Google Earth, without any other site information.

To be sure, a woman in woven clothes and wide-brimmed headware watering a plant in 7400 B.C. with a spouted vase would be a sensation. We urge others to look at an unworked Google Earth map of Göbekli Köyü to see if you come up with similar (or better) line drawing results.

One should also recall that a date of 7400 B.C. may be way too early, and that the figure at Göbekli Köyü could derive from a much later date.

What is especially problematic is that we have no way of knowing whether the things we identify as stars "mirrored" on the ground are modern or ancient constructions on land.

Some of the lined-up objects look like they could be trees and may not represent stars at all, unless planted atop previously existing mounds.

So, caveat emptor, i.e. be careful and regard the ideas here as hypothesis, which may, or may not, be confirmed down the road..

Nevertheless, we thought it better to publish these ideas in spite of the readily apparent issues, which we note here in advance of the critics.

There are critics out there who would silence everyone who does not think as they do and who resent anyone who dares to publish things on the edge of current knowledge. We do not write for them. They always represent a closed-minded minority that in every era fades away eventually.

Thankfully, we live in an era where freedom is appreciated by many. We hope you enjoy our writings and appreciate that there is more to the three Göbekli locations near Sanliurfa than previously imagined.

If right, our ideas will ultimately be useful.
If not, very little is lost by raising these topics for discussion.


Göbekli Köyü and the "Three" Gobeklis of Ancient Anatolia: Stars of the Constellation today known as Cancer, based on Analysis of a Google Earth Map of that Site

This posting (Göbekli Köyü I), as already indicated in a previous posting, complements our interpretation of the meaning of Göbekli Tepe as being ancient land survey by astronomy.

It will be followed by Göbekli Köyü II, Aşağı Göbekli and some related postings about ancient sites in Upper Mesopotamia that also fit into the astronomical land survey analysis.

Here we look more closely at two virtually unknown Göbekli locations named "Gobekli" (more correctly "Göbekli"), in the general environs of Sanliurfa, a city which was earlier named Urfa viz. "Ur" and according to legend was Biblical Patriarch Abraham's birthplace in Anatolia, which is today's Turkey. Both of these Göbekli locations appear to mark stars in what we today call the constellation of Cancer, though of course not identically.

To recapitulate:
  • We first found that there was a land survey of the ancient world made by astronomy, a survey suggesting that Göbekli Tepe might have marked the stars of Cancer at the Vernal Equinox in ca. 7400 B.C. This will become more clear in a subsequent posting, which includes "Upper Mesopotamia".



  • We then found that the megaliths of Göbekli Tepe marked stars of Cancer and some stars in its vicinity, e.g. toward Leo on the ecliptic




  • we then found that there are "three" Gobeklis in Sanliurfa, not just one

These 3 GOBEKLIS are:
  1. Göbekli Tepe, ca 35 kilometers distant from each of the other two
  2. Göbekli Köyü to the west of Şanliurfa (ancient Urfa), whereas Göbekli Tepe is to the northeast of Şanliurfa, ca. 35 kilometers distant from Göbekli Tepe and Aşağı Göbekli.
  3. Aşağı Göbekli which "Google Translate" renders as "down roundabout" but which seems to mean "lower Göbekli" and which is to the south of Şanliurfa, ca. 35 kilometers distant from Göbekli Tepe and Göbekli Köyü.
Obviously, if Göbekli Tepe marked Cancer, then these are the same two "lines" of Cancer that in today's astronomy are seen to run from delta Cancri (Asellus Australis) and the Beehive Cluster to alpha Cancri (Acubens) in one case and to beta Cancri (Altarf) in the other case.

The ca. 60° angle formed at Göbekli Tepe by the two lines running to Göbekli Köyü and Aşağı Göbekli appears to be virtually the same as the angle formed by the lines running from delta Cancri to alpha and beta Cancri.

At Sanliurfa, a line extended from Gobekli Tepe to Asagi Gobekli is of nearly equal length to a line extended to Gobekli Koyu. Stars on the same line to beta Cancri as we use today could have been used in prehistoric days, but the ancients may have used stars closer to delta Cancri for making measurements. Beta Cancri is somewhat more distant from delta Cancri than alpha Cancri.

That analysis appears to hold true, although we can not be sure. We have not been at the actual site, and can not know if the objects we suggest as potential prehistoric markings of stars are in fact ancient and not of modern provenance. For the record, here is what we see as possible:

Google Earth shows the following map image for Göbekli Köyü:


We have traced the darkest lines on that map to better identify the objects depicted. Here is that same map with the darkest lines traced.


The next posting shows the result in color, which permits better representation of what is being depicted.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How are Discoveries and Inventions Made? Göbekli Tepe and Archaeology Raise Some Important Questions About the Scientific Method in Archaeological and other Inventive "Sciences"

Men on the Threshold is the title of the most recent op-ed at the New York Times by David Brooks. He applies lessons of John Ford's cinematic movie "The Searchers" to economics and unemployment in the USA.

We would also suggest to apply those lessons to the "sciences" of Archaeology, Egyptology, Assyriology, Biblical Studies, Classical Studies, Linguistics and related disciplines, where many are standing at the door to the modern technological age but have failed to step in.

NOTE: 
We have a coming posting on the "three" Gobeklis near Sanliurfa.

But read this below first.

Do you know the names of Joe Hin Tjio and Albert Levan?
Scientists. The odds are you never heard of them, right?
Their names are relevant to an anecdote which follows.

Look them up at those links and then take a look at the Scientific American Blog Network and a Grace Lindsay posting at their Guest Blog titled:

"I Don’t Know If I’m a Scientist": The Problem with Archetypes.

As a "whiz kid" in my earlier days in education, I was selected to attend a science fair and report to my school on the findings. The real sensation was a new electron microscope by which they had just discovered that humans had only 46 chromosomes (23 chromosome pairs) and not 48 chromosome (24 pairs) as then written in our school textbooks. The discoverers of that were Joe Hin Tjio and Albert Levan in 1956 via the technology of the electron microscope, which changed the name of the game in the biological sciences.

Excited by this new, fantastic knowledge, I gave a school speech and reported on the new findings, only to have the school authorities stand up in my presence, to my embarrassment, and inform the student audience that until this new finding was "officially" written into school textbooks, 24 pairs viz. 48 chromosomes would remain the correct answer on (the impending) examinations. This event was one of the events that initiated my skeptical view of mainstream science. Not what was true was important, but only that which was entered into the textbooks by the mainstream counted.

That indeed is the "state of the art" in much of science, even today. There is so-called "mainstream" textbook knowledge, and most "scientists" stick to that, thinking they are "practicing" science by doing so. In fact, they are often doing nothing other than parroting the majority opinion in their field -- a relatively safe and easy task, even though mainstream opinion is displaced down the road nevertheless by new discoveries, inventions and insights by a small minority of researchers who ignore the mainstream dictates.
 
In any case, prior to conducting any of my own research or writings, which came years later, and to get a better understanding of mainstream science, past, present and future, I ultimately read Henri Poincaré's Science and Hypothesis (La Science et l'hypothèse) and Science and Method (Science et méthode, as translated by Francis Maitland) from cover to cover.

I know of no other "scientist" in the field of archaeology or related disciplines (Egyptology, Assyriology, Biblical Studies, Anthropology, Classical Studies, Linguistics, etc.) who has read those books, though there may, or, should be some out there somewhere,
"in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic roll[ed] on under the night"
(F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby).

You may be out there, but I do not know you.
The people I run into in "science" know nothing of Poincaré.

This does not necessarily minimize my respect for sciences such as Archaeology, as long as the archaeologists are doing what they are good at, which is finding ancient sites, excavating them, and recording their findings.

Where our differences begin is in the interpretation of those findings, where the old paradigms are usually slavishly followed by mainstream academics and researchers, often ignoring evidence which points to new, untried paths.

The result is that persons blessed with analytical skills can find themselves wedged between the erring mainstream scholars on the one side and the equally erring esoterics on the other side.

Both of these camps are often so busy following their one-sided, and generally blindered, peer-tyrannical dogmas, that they have no time to examine things in their own field from a neutral, factual perspective, in part because they are all so busy telling the rest of the world how they think "it was".

In any case, many in science think to "practice" science, but do not.

For me, a study of Poincaré's Science and Method had a great impact.
As written at Google Books:
"Henri Poincare's Science and Method is an examination of the process scientists go through when determining which of the countless facts before them will be most useful in advancing scientific knowledge."
Those who have little idea about this creative process are often the critics of new ideas. Poincaré wrote in Science and Method as noted at Wikiquote:
  • C'est par la logique qu'on démontre, c'est par l'intuition qu'on invente.
Poincaré had little patience with critics. He focused on predictive results.

Many people in "science" still do not appreciate the wisdom of Poincaré's writings. As written about Poincaré by Mauro Murzi at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
"There is an objective criterion, independent of the scientist’s will, according to which it is possible to judge the soundness of the scientific theory, namely the accuracy of its predictions."
Prediction is the standard.

For years, for example, I argued, based on my analysis of the probative evidence, that Tutankhamun had to be the son of Akhenaten, and DNA evidence has proven exactly that, whereas, by contrast, the then President of the International Association of Egyptologists argued prior to the release of the DNA findings that Tutankhamun was more likely to be a son of the short-lived [alleged] king Smenkhkare. His prediction was wrong and his model was apparently not predictive. Time to retool and reassess the evidence?

Especially in studying man's ancient history and languages, one should always ask: what does the actual probative evidence tell us, and does the prevailing interpretation of that evidence (or even failing evidence) truly provide the predictive value that we are seeking, or are we following false idols?

It is precisely according to this standard that much of the dogma prevailing in Archaeology and related disciplines must be viewed with a very jaundiced eye, because the predictive value of Archaeology's dogmas has proven to be spectacularly unreliable. As I wrote previously at LexiLine:
"Göbekli Tepe is featured at Newsweek online in an article from the March 1, 2010 issue of Newsweek magazine. At History in the Remaking: A temple complex in Turkey that predates even the pyramids is rewriting the story of human evolution, Patrick Symmes writes: "
    "The new discoveries are finally beginning to reshape the slow-moving consensus of archeology. Göbekli Tepe is 'unbelievably big and amazing, at a ridiculously early date,' according to Ian Hodder, director of Stanford's archeology program. Enthusing over the 'huge great stones and fantastic, highly refined art' at Göbekli, Hodder -- "who has spent decades on rival Neolithic sites" -- says: 'Many people think that it changes everything…It overturns the whole apple cart. All our theories were wrong."
 "All our theories were wrong" is the quotation from mainstream science.
 
Question: What kind of "science" is that?
Answer: It is a science in great need of renovation and improvement, especially as to method. "Evidence-based archaeology and not "authority-based" archaeology is required. Obscure peer-review journals as the primary method of archaeological publication show that nothing has been learned.

That so many theories can be wrong is not surprising given the disturbing fact that archaeological "science" bases most of its ruling schoolbook dogmas on the "weight" of the "authority" of past researchers in the field, rather than on the probative evidence itself, which may tell a different story.

Errors are not corrected, e.g. the false chronology of Flinders Petrie. Rather, they are carried along as part of the baggage of academic travel in the discipline.

Another prime example: NO probative evidence of any kind supports the mainstream dating of Moses and Exodus. NONE. Not a single pot shard (potsherd).

But that has not kept the scholarly industry from sticking to the wrong era as lemmings to the sea. What explains that kind of stubborn attachment to theories that are not only wrong, but can never be right? What is it?

Is it the territorial imperative? -- such that the territorial stake in history is more important to than historical truth? As we have written previously:
"Similarly, not only established ways of doing things but also expressed opinions will be defended as a type of territory - as a vested interest, a territorial imperative, true to the motto that "new ideas do not prevail on their merits, rather, they prevail when their "old guard" opponents die out or fall into the minority. There is a lot of truth to that territorial wisdom: see e.g. Michael D. Coe's Breaking the Maya Code for a spectacular and also sad example of the territorial imperative in academia."
Gobekli Tepe reveals this critical "authority-based" methodological flaw. It should long ago have led the scholars who are making a living researching man's ancient past to review their prevailing and in part appalling methods from the bottom up. But that has not happened. Things go on as before.

It can hardly be claimed, as is being done -- for an archaeological site which no one yet fully understands, that Gobekli Tepe was the "world's first temple".

The size of the site and sophistication of the stone workmanship itself clearly indicate that the technology visible at Göbekli Tepe must have had precursors.

All things start small, they do not start big. Such sophisticated stone technology does not arise out of nothing suddenly. You have to have tools and methods, and these are a long time in the making. A "big temple" will never be the world's first, by any means, at best only a "small temple" can be.

One has not learned Poincare's message in Science and Hypothesis, as repeated by Mauro Murzi at the at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
"For Poincaré, the aim of the science is to prediction. To accomplish this task, science makes use of generalizations that go beyond the experience. In fact, scientific theories are hypotheses. But every hypothesis has to be continually tested. And when it fails in an empirical test, it must be given up. "
Göbekli Tepe and the flaws of mainstream archaeological science and method that it reveals also manifests a tangential connection to the whole field of discovery and invention per se.

Take a look at the 1946 review in Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. Volume 52, Number 3 (1946), 222-224, by Jacques Barzun of Jacques Hadamard, An essay on the psychology of invention in the mathematical field, Princeton University Press, 1945 (found online at Project Euclid), where Barzun writes:
"[A) question of extraordinary interest in the history of ideas:
How do great discoveries and inventions come about?

Hadmard's answer—limited, of course, to the mathematical field—is based on a variety of evidence: the testimony of contemporary mathematicians, the writings of previous psychologists, philosophers and scientists, the interpretation of certain characteristics (logical or intuitive) in the work of famous discoverers and, finally, the authors own minute introspection.


From a careful analysis and comparison of these diverse materials,

Professor Hadamard concludes that the general pattern of invention,
or, as it might also be put, of original work, is three-fold: conscious study, followed by unconscious maturing, which leads in turn to the moment of insight or illumination.
Thereupon another period of conscious work ensues, the purpose of which is to achieve a synthesis of several elements: the novel idea, its logically deduced consequences including proof, and the traditional knowledge to which the new item is added.

Hadamard's investigation, modest and tentative as are its results,

seems to me of capital importance in the realm of criticism and cultural history.
For what he has done is to show that the human mind tends to behave much the same way whenever it invents, whether in mathematical or in poetic form— a conclusion which does not deny differences of temperament."
Jacques Barzun passed away -- as the 20th century's preeminent historian of ideas -- in San Antonio, Texas, on October 25, 2012, at the age of 104.

The idea of some "scientific" disciplines that "science" in their discipline is their singular, protected territorial plot is simply greatly in error.

In closing, let us take a look at the "folk etymology" ascribed to the name Göbekli Tepe.

One can read everywhere that the name Göbekli Tepe comes from a folk etymology for the site calling it a "belly" or "navel", or "hill of the navel". For most people, and, in fact, for most "scientists", that is enough. They accept that explanation without blinking an eye, because some "authority" has passed it on to them. It saves them the trouble of thinking.

The first Western academic description of the site, however, reads as follows, mentioning multiple "knolls", a text cited in 2000 by Klaus Schmidt in Göbekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey: A Preliminary Report on the 1995-1999 Excavations, Paléorient, Volume 26, Issue 26-1, pp. 45-54:
"The mound of Göbekli Tepe, northeast of the town of Sanliurfa in Upper Mesopotamia, was first mentioned by Peter Benedict in his article "Survey Work in Southeastern Anatolia", which was included in the monograph resulting from the 1963-1972 work of the Joint Istanbul-Chicago Universities' Prehistoric Research in Southeastern Anatolia. Benedict reported about the site numbered as V 52/1:
"A complex of round-topped knolls of red earth with slight depressions between, located on a high limestone ridge trending SE. The ridge is otherwise barren of soil. The overall diameter of knolls is 150 m and the rocky red soil rises to 20 m above the limestone top. The two highest knolls have small cemeteries covering the top. The ridge lies at the end of a steep- sided grassy gully 2.5 km NE of village of Karaharabe [= Örencik]. The ridge-top site and grassy W slopes are littered with flint artifacts. No water in vicinity." [emphasis added]
There is no indication that the name Göbekli Tepe applied to only "one" mound and its folks-etymological alleged meaning of "belly", as we shall see below, may be wrong.

The nearest larger village to Göbekli Tepe is Örencik (ören apparently means "ruins" in Turkish), whose name does not help us much in the naming game, but the most significant challenge to the current interpretation of the meaning of the name Göbekli Tepe, comes from the fact that there are THREE Gobeklis in the Sanliurfa area, two of which are, as we shall see, equidistant villages from each other and also to Göbekli Tepe in a virtual equilateral triangle.

The 3 GOBEKLIS are:
  1. Göbekli Tepe, ca 35 kilometers distant from each of the other two
  2. Göbekli Köyü to the west of Şanliurfa (ancient Urfa), whereas Göbekli Tepe is to the northeast of Şanliurfa, ca. 35 kilometers distant from Göbekli Tepe and Aşağı Göbekli.
  3. Aşağı Göbekli which "Google Translate" renders as "down roundabout" but which seems to mean "lower Göbekli" and which is to the south of Şanliurfa, ca. 35 kilometers distant from Göbekli Tepe and Göbekli Köyü.


The name Göbekli now appears to be not only more complicated than "belly" in meaning, but also appears to be part of a larger land survey, which we allege in ancient days could only have been done by astronomy. Indeed, in our next posting we show that Göbekli Köyü and Aşağı Göbekli may be worth a closer archaeological look as marking stars of Cancer on the ground.

In fact, if anyone takes the time to plug the Turkish terms "Göbek" and "Göbekli" into the Google translator, there are various other possibilities among the meanings listed and we have highlighted those that interest us: i.e. not "belly, navel, belly button, paunch" but more so "core, heart, center, center-piece, omphalos, midpoint, branch". 

Although Turkish is an Altaic language, there were Indo-European tribes in this region in ancient days and Göbekli is a term that is very similar to Indo-European e.g. Latvian grābekli(s) meaning "rake" (German Harke), a shape that the stars of Cancer well represent, and which we think to be the stars portrayed at Göbekli Tepe. The "r" is weak and could have been easily lost with time (note that goba means "heap", "cluster" in Latvian), or, as in the case of Cancer, this figure later being seen as the "crab", which is also rooted in the idea of "scratch" as a rake does: The etymology of crab at Wiktionary:
"From Middle English crabbe, from Old English crabba, from Proto-Germanic *krabbô (cf. Dutch krab, Low German Krabb, Swedish krabba), from *krabbōnan 'to creep, crawl' (cf. East Frisian kraabje, Low German/Dutch krabben, German (Bavarian) krepsen), from Proto-Indo-European *grobʰ- 'to scratch, claw at', variant of *gerebʰ-."
At first, we thought our speculative etymology for Göbekli was very tenuous, until we saw these words of other languages for the stars of Cancer in which RAK was prominent, reminding of the "RAKE" meaning  of Latvian grābekli:
The explanation is perhaps found in the derived Hungarian term rákos meaning "reed", which shares the "branch(ed)" idea.

Göbekli thus may not originally have meant "belly", as the folk etymology today has been interpreted, but rather could have stood for the shape of the stars of Cancer, that have a "rake-like" form. Indeed, since all earth topography consists of flat area, valleys, or hilly area, naming a hill a "pot belly" is unlikely, unless over thousands of years time, an original term with a different more specific meaning was similar in phonetic sound.

Take a look at the photographs: by Solluh of Göbekli Tepe and at Michael Cope's blog a photograph of an approach to Göbekli Tepe. The name does not really match the topography.

We mention also, just for the record, but not because we think it to be necessarily relevant: in view of our placement of Göbekli Tepe at Cancer, the center of these stars is formed by the so-called "Beehive Cluster", visible to the naked eye, whose name origin as a concept is unknown in terms of time though traced back perhaps only to the 17th century, but who knows. The "Bumblebee" in Indo-European Latvian is gobene and goba means "cluster".

The next posting shows how the other two "Gobeklis" arguably mark stars of Cancer, though we have not been personally to these geographic locations and can thus not verify whether the "mounds" or other structures that appear to mark stars at those sites are anciently made or whether they are merely structures of modern civilization. It could be a stretch. It could be totally wrong. Only time will tell. We suggest they may be worth an examination.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Tech, Skype, and Estonia at The Economist and Schumpeter

Schumpeter raves for Estonia at The Economist in Estonia's technology cluster: Not only Skype. Here is a sample:

"IT TAKES just five minutes to register a firm in Estonia.... Estonia holds the world record in start-ups per person — a sizeable feat considering that the country has only 1.3m people.... Estonia may be too small to become anything like Europe’s Silicon Valley, but it certainly has a shot at being the EU’s Delaware, the state where most of America’s technology firms are incorporated."


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Minoans were Europeans According to mtDNA Evidence (Nature Magazine): So What Does the Close DNA Similarity to Macedonian Greece Say About the Phaistos Disk?

The scientific journal Nature has published an article on the results of mtDNA studies of ancient Crete titled A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete, by Jeffery R. Hughey, Peristera Paschou, Petros Drineas, Donald Mastropaolo, Dimitra M. Lotakis, Patrick A. Navas, Manolis Michalodimitrakis, John A. Stamatoyannopoulos & George Stamatoyannopoulos, doi:10.1038/ncomms2871
 
Look at Figure 6 in that article which shows unequivocally the close DNA relationship of the Minoans to Greece.


Stephanie Seiler at the University of Washington writes in DNA analysis unearths origins of Minoans, the first major European civilization:
"The analysis also showed a high degree of sharing with the current population of the Lassithi plateau and Greece. In fact, the maternal genetic information passed down through many generations of mitochondria is still present in modern-day residents of the Lassithi plateau."
We have more than a passing interest in Minoan DNA research and ask: Is there a Greek language decipherment of the Minoan Phaistos Disk (viz. Disc)?

There is.
Ours.
Published over 30 years ago.
Ignored by the academic community,
who think they know better.
Not.

Take a look online at
The Phaistos Disk: Hieroglyphic Greek with Euclidean Dimensions

And look also at my most recent book, Ancient Signs, which integrates my 30-year old decipherment of the Phaistos Disk as well as the derived Linear B signs into a coherent system of ancient syllabic signs that reflect the origins of writing and the later developed alphabets.

Ancient Signs
 Ancient Signs The Alphabet & The Origins of Writing, a print & ebook, shows modern alphabets follow ancient alphabets derived from syllabic scripts: Iraq viz. Sumer (Sumerian), Egypt (Hieroglyphs), Iran viz. Persia (Elam and Old Elamite), Anatolia (Luwian viz. Luvian), Crete (Phaistos Disk and Linear B), Cyprus (Cypriot Syllabary).



U.S. District Court Finds Apple, Inc. Guilty of E-Book Price-Fixing in Violation of American Antitrust Law

In United States of America v. Apple, Inc.,
Case 1:12-cv-02826-DLC, Document 326, filed July 10, 2013,
U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote found
that Apple engaged in e-book price-fixing
with major book publishers in violation of U.S. antitrust law,
concluding as follows
"Based on the trial record, and for the reasons stated herein, this Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that Apple conspired to restrain trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and relevant state statutes to the extent those laws are congruent with Section 1.  A scheduling order will follow regarding the Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief and damages."
At Forbes, Connie Guglielmo has the story in Apple Loses E-book Case After Judge Says It Played A 'Central Role' in Price-Fixing Conspiracy .

There is no real factual doubt that Apple engaged in price-fixing with a group of major book publishers in order to artificially raise e-book prices and avoid price competition -- precisely the thing that antitrust is supposed to prevent. As written in Judge Cote's decision:
"There is, at the end of the day, very little dispute about many of the most material facts in this case. Before Apple even met with the first Publisher Defendant in mid-December 2009, it knew that the “Big Six” of United States publishing…wanted to raise e-book prices, in particular above the $9.99 prevailing price charge by Amazon for many e-book versions of New York times bestselling books and other newly released hardcover books. Apple also knew that Publisher Defendants were already acting collectively to place pressure on Amazon to abandon its pricing strategy."
See the text of the court's decision at
United States of America v. Apple, Inc. et al., Case 1:12-cv-02826-DLC, Document 326, filed July 10, 2013.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Economic Reform in the European Union: Latvia as a Role Model: Does the Latvian Experience Hold Positive Lessons?

The English-language German Deutsche Welle carries the headline:
Can Latvia be a role model for reforms in Europe?

Take a look.

Frankly, we do not know the answer to that question.

The economies of the various European Union countries are structurally quite different, so that one shoe will not fit all.

On the other hand, some valuable lessons can be learned from Latvia, especially its successful reduction of spending in the government and public sector as a percentage of GDP, Gross Domestic Product.


Eurozone to Add 18th Euro Land with EU Member State Latvia on January 1, 2014

The beleaguered Euro is given a lift as Latvia gets formal OK to join the euro, hopes it will bring growth despite economic problems. Latvia will formally join the Eurozone on January 1, 2014 thus making it the 18th member, as reported by the AP via the Washington Post.

Recall, with newly added Croatia, that the European Union now has 28 members, of which 10, after Latvia, will still retain their own currency. It is no surprise that economic and monetary union in the EU is taking a slow pace. Given European history, the surprise is that it is working at all.

We live in Germany and fly to Latvia regularly and are always puzzled by the apparent bias of some news reports about the Baltic and the European Union that can be read in the USA and elsewhere.

Rather than celebrating the tremendous changes and improvements that have been made in Russia and the former Soviet Union nations, there are many commentators who seem to prefer an Armageddon stance on Europe.

Contrary to reports and articles during recent years by persons who should know better, the Euro is not disintegrating and Europe is still alive and kicking.

There are of course problems, so what is new about that?
Life is a constant stream of problems -- and, ideally, solutions.

At the same time, there are new frontiers out there for Western democracy and capitalism, and almost all of those frontiers are in the East.

The countries there are developing their own versions of more liberal government and economic models than they had before, and these are, in spite of difficulties, far better than what existed not too long ago behind the Iron Curtain.

The CHANGE is remarkable. A functioning capitalist system and a political democracy are not forged in a day. A vibrant economy is dependent on the achievement of many long-term objectives that are essential economic factors.

People need to exercise reasonable patience in the amount of improvement that can by expected.

In any case, the conversion to the Euro should boost Latvia economically.

See also: Euro get 18th Member: tiny Latvia, at CNN Money.

We cite particularly to that article because it shows how subtle some of the Stateside bias against Europe can be. Latvia is not "tiny". Rather, it encompasses an area of 24,938 square miles, which would rank it 40th among American states and just above West Virginia with 24,230 square miles, but more than twice as large OR MORE in terms of area than each of the States of Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, or Rhode Island. Hence, Latvia is small in comparison to larger States of the USA or as judged by the size of nations, but it is by no means "tiny". Correctly, as far as Latvia is concerned, "small" is beautiful.

Hat tip to C.Z.


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Welcome CROATIA to the European Union! Did Someone Say "Borders" ?

Welcome CROATIA to the European Union!

Did someone say borders?

The EU has something to do with reducing the importance of borders, which have been of importance to human society since ancient eras. Nevertheless, the borders of the Member States still stand, even if they are members of the EU.

Why do we seem to need some kinds of borders?

Our last two postings involved land survey by astronomy in ancient days.

Land ownership and land survey go hand in hand as a matter of law.

Land surveying plays an essential role in nation-building, and some understanding of land survey is essential to comprehend any ancient city-state or modern country or nation, or a union such as the EU, none of which could exist without some kind of land survey.

The measurement problems posed by land surveying on a large scale prior to the age of GPS follow us from early technological eras down to the present day, and this applies even to the borders of some States of the United States.

Ivars Peterson at the Mathematical Tourist in Rectangular States and Kinky Borders talks about the fact that some of the borders of U.S. States have land surveying anomalies and are not as perfectly straight as they are shown on maps. Take a look at at that short but informative piece.

See also:
  • The Mathematics of Surveying Part I by Tony Phillips of Stony Brook University.
     
  • The Mathematics of Surveying: Part II. The Planimeter by Bill Casselman, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

  • C.A. White, History of the Rectangular Survey System, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, Pdf Version modified from scans by NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE, SPRINGFIELD, VA 22161. The 46MB searchable PDF takes quite a bit of time to load.

    Bernard Hostrop, Surveyor General of the United States in 1983, writes there by way of introduction:

    "With its beginning more than two hundred years ago, the United States Rectangular Survey System is typically, and yet somewhat uniquely, a record of the American frontier spirit blended with the concept of government for the people."
Read all that and you will appreciate the land survey accomplishments of the ancients.

See my two previous postings about alleged Old World surveyors and ancient land surveying.

See also Three Mount Rushmore Presidents Were Land Surveyors: The Territorial Imperative: You Have to Understand the Importance of Property in Law, Politics and History: LAND not POTS ruled

Monday, July 01, 2013

Gobekli Tepe (Göbekli Tepe) Decipherment as Ancient Old World Land Survey by Astronomy, Marking the Stars of Cancer, Which Stood at the Vernal Equinox ca. 7400 B.C.

This posting presents the Decipherment of Gobekli Tepe (Göbekli Tepe) as Ancient Old World Land Survey by Astronomy, Marking the Stars of Cancer, Which Stood at the Vernal Equinox ca. 7400 B.C.

I am posting here two maps:

MAP 1 and MAP 2
of my decipherment of Gobekli Tepe
as marking the stars of Cancer,
which marked the Vernal Equinox in ca. 7400 B.C.

No text beyond that. It is not necessary, beyond the observation that M44, the Beehive Cluster, is marked by the two neighboring small "cloud shapes" at Göbekli Tepe. The "pillars" and "rooms" otherwise mark specific stars or star groups of Cancer.

MAP 1



MAP 2


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