The other day i have been writing about the Moon and its importance for our ancestors in ancient times and today i came across a very interesting article about an archaeological finding which comes to prove what i have writen, about our ancestors guiding their lifes through the phases of the Moon rather than the Sun as we do today.
We often hear the words Ancient Astronomy, and we quickly associate that with Stonehenge, or the ancient pyramids of Egypt or even the Mayan stone calendars, which isn’t incorrect, however a recent discovery in Scotland shows that these type of ancient calendars are from an early period when compared to these new discovery. In Aberdeenshire in Scotland it was found in 2004 ( however only recently after many years of research we know its true secrets ) a very sophisticated calendar construced by the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living around 10.000years ago, which consists in twelve pits dug into the earth perfeclty aligned with the lunar progression through the year, this enabled people to determine accurately the Moon’s progress by moving a marker post along the arc of the pits, interesting to see that the variable depths of these pits enabled people to measure the cycle of each lunar month, the pits themselves were arranged in a shallow arc, possibly trying to symbolize the movement of the Moon, those pits at one end starting small and shallow, then increasing in diameter and depth towards the middle of the arc, before deminishing in zise again at the other end. This arrangement divided each lunar month into three ten day weeks, representing the waxing moon, the period around the full moon, and the waning moon. There is also an alignment of the midsummer solstice, this might helped people “recalibrate” their lunar calendar. The calendar was still in use around 8.000 BC still in the Mesolithic era to around 4.000 BC the early Neolithic, this might had been the calendar that helped people gaining their knowledge to create other astronomical monuments in the late Neolithic era including Stonehenge.
This is a very interesting archeological finding, showing that in this period that was already an astonishing sophistication in these hunter-gatherers, and their everyday life was probably more nocturnal rather than a diurnal life, the opposite of us nowadays.
As I have writen on another post, to these people the nocturnal life would have been easier for them to hunt, or to move from one place to another without being seen by other rival tribes, the phases of the moon marked the time they spend from one place to another, or how many phases of the moon or how many moons whould have to pass to go from a neighboring village and back. As the moon also has an influence in the tides, by knowing its phases and how it moves across the sky, was vital for these people in relying on the sea for their food, people could predict when the tide would be out and when they should coordinate their gathering of crustaceans, seesnails, limpets, clams and other shellfish species, or they would also know when the ocean itself was far less tormented and could go out fishing.
Taking into account the size of this calendar, it was probably consulted by the entire community as it happens in Stonehenge, there might have been the existance of a spiritual leader, a shaman, with special knowledge about the spiritual world, designing and operating the calendar, these spiritual practitioners may have been women, as it was among the Norse/Germanic communities, with their menstrual cycles adhering to the cycle of the Moon.
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