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How Much Can We Really Know about the Past?

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posted on Jul, 9 2014 @ 01:11 AM
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originally posted by: SayonaraJupiter

The archeologists, the historians, the experts can still be wrong and many times they are dead wrong.


Sure they are often wrong but they have a success rate far beyond anyone else making stabs at understanding the world as it was. Science by its very nature self corrects. Not so fringe, stuff debunked decades ago still shows up constantly.




posted on Jul, 9 2014 @ 01:17 AM
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a reply to: mikegrouchy

Here is the cite for the Hittite info

Güterbock, Hans G. (1986). John Lawrence Angel; Machteld Johanna Mellink, eds. "Troy in Hittite Texts?". Troy and the Trojan War: a symposium held at Bryn Mawr College, October 1984. Bryn Mawr Archaeological Monographs. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-929524-59-7.

It would appear that the Hittites called Troy Wilusa, or so it is theorized



posted on Jul, 9 2014 @ 01:20 AM
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originally posted by: mikegrouchy


I was hoping someone could tell us. Maybe you. All we really have are a few words from Carter on it. He wrote...

"The design was certainly of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Could it be the tomb of a noble buried here by royal consent? Was it a royal cache, a hiding-place to which a mummy and its equipment had been removed for safety? Or was it actually the tomb of the king for whom I had spent so many years in search?"
- Howard Carter
- The Tomb
- Page 32

The key thing I take away from that quote is that he was prepared to fail, but hopeful to succeed. Either way, he seemed certain that the tomb had to exist, and had laid undisturbed for three thousand years. In those days, prior to him, everyone was certain that there was nothing new to be found in The Valley of The Kings.

My guess is that Carter understood Tut's erasure from history created a situation where it was unlikely it had been found by robbers over the centuries and millennia.


It had been found and plundered, but just a little bit, for unexplainable reasons it was never fully looted as most of the other tombs.

Here is a simplified history of that event



posted on Jul, 9 2014 @ 02:14 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax

But that doesn't address the question I am really asking, which is how accurately we can reconstruct the past based on the (paucity of) material that we have. Would you like to offer an answer to that?


I have been meditating on this nonstop since you asked it. About twenty six hours now. Here is my attempt at an answer. So many difficulties.



Revenge & Prediction


1. Revenge

In the seventies I heard a lot of talk from and with Professors. "One can measure the level of a mans' civilization by the tools he uses." These days I hear a lot of talk from forum posters. "That is just confirmation bias." And I notice that the second one criticizes the first one, but also erases the memory of the question itself.

The question being, how do we measure the level of a mans' civilization?
Feel free to substitute the word evolution for level.

I submit to you that the level of a man's civilization can be measured by how they handle revenge, culturally. If a man takes personal revenge, they are uncivilized. When they appeal to their family to take revenge on their behalf they are the most basic of levels. Filial. A man that takes revenge with the assistance of extended family has evolved to the civilized level of tribal. This process branches out in many directions until we reach the current epoch of corporate revenge. In this post-institutional era one does not appeal to the institution of law for revenge, but to a law firm. Which is a corporate entity. Our level of civilization, measured by how we take revenge, is corporate. This is reflected in the fact that even our prisons are beginning to be run by corporations.

So the first half of the answer is as follows: understanding the methods of revenge will yield a lot of useful information about the past.

For instance in the case of the parasite and the Ubaid theories, the presence civilization is considered post-irrigation, and we are studying a tiny piece of biology within the individual. Is the parasite pre or post irrigation?




2. Prediction

In the seventies I heard a lot of talk from and with Professors. "He was ahead of his time." These days I hear a lot of talk from forum posters. "that's just another example of male dominated society." And I notice that the second one criticizes the first one, but also erases the memory of the question itself.

If a great thinker is vindicated by the future, were they ahead of their day?
Feel free to substitute the word evolution for day.

I submit to you that a mans' day can be measure by how they handle prediction culturally. If a man makes predictions about the gods, they are behind their day. When they appeal to stars for their predictions they are living in the old days. Astrology. A man that takes predictions with the assistance of ancient texts is no more evolved than the days of prophecy. This process branches out in many directions until we reach the current epoch of personal predictions. In this post family era one does not appeal to the grand parents for a prediction but to the self. Which is an indivisible entity. Our level of prediction, measured by how seriously we take predictions, is personal. This is reflected in the fact that even our largest public gatherings are filled by people who are on time for the show, or not, according to their own clock.

So the second half of the answer is as follows: understanding the scope implied in predictions will yield a lot of useful information about the past.

For instance in the case of the parasite and the Ubaid theories it is implied that while irrigation may give a predictably higher crop yield it also has the unintended consequence of increasing the cases of parasitic infection. Astyanax makes this thread aksing "How much can we really know about the past." I answer by saying; Are there any ancient taboos against eating shelled creatures like snails. Wouldn't this imply that someone knew, or realized, they were linked to these types of diseases. And thus the consequence of irrigation was not, just the spread of disease, but the spread of dietary restrictions as well. Even possibly, the beginning of the rise of medicine in general.





In conclusion:
    Understanding the methods of revenge, and the scope implied in predictions, will yield a lot of useful information about the past.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 02:02 AM
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a reply to: mikegrouchy

Sounds like you've spent 26 hours trying to make your answer fit my question!

Is the premise of this thread really so hard to grasp?



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 03:09 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax




I regard Hanslune as an authority. I have no expertise in archaeology and although I do know a little (general) history, prehistory is not really my department. So if Hans says the discovery is significant in that way, I am prepared to accept what he says.


Isn't this an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy?



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 04:53 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: mikegrouchy

Sounds like you've spent 26 hours trying to make your answer fit my question!

Is the premise of this thread really so hard to grasp?


Perhaps. It could also be that this answer is too advanced for this days reader, and will only be recognized in hinesight. I never said it would be easy reading, or that it would reinforce any currently existing view.


Mike Grouchy
edit on 10-7-2014 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 06:44 AM
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originally posted by: VeritasAequitas
a reply to: Astyanax




I regard Hanslune as an authority. I have no expertise in archaeology and although I do know a little (general) history, prehistory is not really my department. So if Hans says the discovery is significant in that way, I am prepared to accept what he says.


Isn't this an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy?

No. The statements in question are not an argument.

Harte



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 08:07 AM
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David Cameron backs curbs on revenge pornography


David Cameron has backed proposals to make posting porn online for revenge illegal, acknowledging in the Commons it "clearly has criminal intent". The Prime Minister said it was “appalling” that men post explicit …

- Daily Telegraph
· 20 hours ago


Just type the word "revenge" into any news search engine.
The future view is coming, already.


Mike Grouchy
edit on 10-7-2014 by mikegrouchy because: format



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 11:02 AM
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Re-creating the past from archaeological evidence is a kind of detective work. Maybe it's better expressed the other way round: detective work is a special kind of archaeology. In both professions, circumstantial evidence is helpful but potentially false and misleading. That is why, whenever possible, detectives prefer to rely on direct evidence: ballistic evidence that directly links a bullet to the gun that fired it, a DNA match that proves a transfer of bodily fluids between an alleged rapist and his alleged victim. The Denisovan bone is evidence of this kind: proof of the existence of a hitherto unknown type of human, because it couldn't have come from anything else.

The trouble, for archaeologists and detectives alike, is that direct, unambiguous evidence is quite hard to come by, and is rarely enough, moreover, to settle a question on its own. Investigators have to develop exquisite interpretative skills to allow them to learn as much as possible out of a particular bit of evidence. Speculation is very much a part of this process; but it is also part of the process to test our speculations as strictly as possible before proclaiming them true.

Here, I think, is where we step on to shaky ground. When you have a hypothesis that looks really convincing (and maybe has some direct evidence to back it), it's very tempting to turn other pieces of evidence to fit that picture, even though they may not really add anything to it, or may indeed be evidence for something entirely different. In my admittedly inexpert opinion, the claim that a parasite egg is evidence for a theorized rise in infections due to urbanization falls into this second, circumstantial category.

*


I wonder whether folk who allege confabulations and conspiracies in science aren't seeing the point of this thread because they aren't used to making the distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence. In the absence of the first, conspiracy theories tend to depend very heavily on the second. Maybe it becomes a habit after a while, and people no longer notice the difference. But that difference is, in fact, the thread topic.


edit on 10/7/14 by Astyanax because: of too much clunky.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 11:25 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax


Re-creating the past from archaeological evidence is a kind of detective work. Maybe it's better expressed the other way round: detective work is a special kind of archaeology. In both professions, circumstantial evidence is helpful but potentially false and misleading. That is why, whenever possible, detectives prefer to rely on direct evidence: ballistic evidence that directly links a bullet to the gun that fired it, a DNA match that proves a transfer of bodily fluids between an alleged rapist and his alleged victim.





It is disturbing how frequently circumstantial evidence is used to set agendas, or passes as fact.

That single egg deserves to be questioned. Why didn't it hatch. What if it was deposited in the body after the person died. Perhaps the body was thrown into water. So many unknowns.

And as Astyanax has repeatedly emphasized, it may be the case that all of history is due for a reexamination.


Mike Grouchy


p.s. I apologize if my support of your thread is less than you would want, or migrates off point too often.

edit on 10-7-2014 by mikegrouchy because: format



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

All I am asking is: how well can we really know the things we claim to know?


If you note in my title box I consider myself a "Iconoclast". At minimum that means I turn my back on all organized Institutions. At most it can mean a call to destroy all "Institutions". I do not call for the complete destruction, but rather they be rebuilt, with the truth....

Now to your question, how does one distinguish fact from fiction concerning the past. You might think its as simple as going to collage and listening to someone explain it to you in a course you paid good money for. What you are doing is trusting this professor/ teacher/ institution in that they know more than you. To a degree, they do, but they have just as much command over their mind, as you. Decide for yourself.

Its not so much that the higher learning institutions plot to hide the truth of our past, its just that the information they gather is sieved through a very rigid protocol. One that generally does not accept differing views for debate. In fact, I would say the debate stage is small and quite controlled. A great deal of material is discarded because of personal prejudices, and in some cases, ignorance.

In truth where does one go to consolidate a highly compartmentalized education system? What is the name of this type of institution? Where does it reside, and who may enter? Imagine a institution that blended all courses together, at the top, so one could see the truth of our ancient past. The bits and pieces of our past put in its logical place, and time.

If there were such a School of the highest learning, where teachers didn't teach but rather informed, we would be able to see with some degree of clarity, our ancient past. And in knowing that, we would have a very clear picture of where we wish to go from there. IMHO



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: mikegrouchy


As Astyanax has repeatedly emphasized, it may be the case that all of history is due for a reexamination.

Hold on a minute. I didn't say anything like that at all. It's nonsense. History is under continuous re-examination all the time. Even as we have this discussion, thousands of historians around the world are working on thousands of different events and periods in history. Every one of them is hoping to publish some new facts or a new interpretation for facts already known. The same goes for archaeology: fragments dug up decades, even centuries ago are still being examined for what new data or insights they might reveal.



p.s. I apologize if my support of your thread is less than you would want, or migrates off point too often.

I'm not looking for support, just for a discussion. Post what you want, just don't spoil the conversation for others. And don't try to put words in my mouth.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: All Seeing Eye


If you note in my title box I consider myself a "Iconoclast". At minimum that means I turn my back on all organized Institutions. At most it can mean a call to destroy all "Institutions".

Actually, it means you break statues; metaphorically, that you break notions others consider sacred.


Its not so much that the higher learning institutions plot to hide the truth of our past, its just that the information they gather is sieved through a very rigid protocol. One that generally does not accept differing views for debate. In fact, I would say the debate stage is small and quite controlled. A great deal of material is discarded because of personal prejudices, and in some cases, ignorance.

I've been to university, and I can assure you from personal experience that this is not the case. What is the case is that work presented to the academy must meet certain fairly rigid standards of good scholarship: the reasoning must be logical and supported by data, the sources of data must be listed, basic objections must be anticipated and dealt with.

*


But I'm talking about cases in which all that can be taken for granted. Even when all the standards have been met, a doubt must always remain: we cannot know for sure. In this thread I'm asking how well-founded our picture of the past is. To what degree of accuracy do we — can we — know the things we say we know?

In particle physics, they have a scale of confidence, called sigma, on which findings can be graded. It would be nice to have a similar way of assessing statements by archaeologists and historians, but I'm afraid such a thing would not be practicable.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Actually, it means you break statues; metaphorically, that you break notions others consider sacred.
Def 2. But def 1 also applies. www.merriam-webster.com...


a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions
To me institutions of higher learning tend to follow what it preaches, religiously. IMO


the reasoning must be logical and supported by data
True, so true. My main point is that what is acceptable as logical and supported by data in one field/ discipline, may not be acceptable in another. It seems the standards are not applied equally. In the institution of Law, all that is needed is a preponderance of the evidence, to say something is true or false. Only 12 people are required to send a person to his death. But in Archeology how many peer reviewed papers are required to preponderate the evidence?

The levels of proof, to prove a theory concerning our ancient history, and, the fashion of logic seem to be excessively complicated, and I might go further in saying, artificially complicated. You pick up an item from the files of the "Forbidden Archeology" and it is self evident that the item not only defies present logic, but also represents a great technological civilization. How does this discovery play out in our present "Institutions"? Short answer, it doesn't.

You have admitted to being "Institutionalized". In the past the term was used to describe someone who did not fit into the stereotypical "Citizen" role, who might have been "Disturbed". I use the term to describe someone who has been indoctrinated into a narrow, closed minded, rigidly controlled viewpoint about any given subject. Anyone who has gone to "School", has been indoctrinated into the educational "Institution", who most generally has given up their (God Given) open mind for a nicely packaged paradigm .

I'm not against Education, far from it. But, I am for a education that is open minded and informative, and not limited to an overly rigid controlled standard. And as Albert Einstein said "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". So again, explain to me why every single "Institution has to be so complicated.

For the past, what so hard to understand about it. There have been highly advanced civilizations in our past who "presently" wish to remain unknown. And as I suspect, take an active hand in insuring they remain, unknown. And before anyone starts spouting off "Prove It", the only one you have to prove or disprove it to, is yourself.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 09:42 PM
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a reply to: All Seeing Eye


You have admitted to being "Institutionalized".

Another person trying to put words in my mouth. I said I went to university, I wasn't locked up in a prison or a lunatic asylum.


You pick up an item from the files of the "Forbidden Archeology" and it is self evident that the item not only defies present logic, but also represents a great technological civilization. How does this discovery play out in our present "Institutions"? Short answer, it doesn't.

Forbidden Archaeology is a work of imagination published by two members of the Hare Krishna cult, one of whom was previously a mathematician, neither of whom have any track record in archaeology whatsoever. Why should we give these people's claims more credence than we give the painstaking, peer-reviewed work of trained, well-informed archaeologists?


I use the term "Institutionalized" to describe someone who has been indoctrinated into a narrow, closed minded, rigidly controlled viewpoint about any given subject.

Thus you describe me. Have you noticed the title of this thread, which I started? Have you read the original post, which I wrote? Do they seem like the work of a narrow, closed mind with a rigidly controlled viewpoint? And is it apparent to you, even dimly, how very offensive you are being?


So again, explain to me why every single "Institution has to be so complicated.

I'm afraid the explanation is a bit too complicated for you. Besides, it's off topic. But thank you, all the same, for trying to make a contribution to the thread.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: AstyanaxHer is an example of what I'm speaking about

I don't believe there has been any concerted effort on the part of authoritative scholars or the 'powers that be' to suppress the truths of history
This mindset is actually one of the boarders/ walls within the paradigm/ Matrix, of the higher learning Institution. Though, you do go on and concede there have been instances where corruption has taken place.

You want to know "How can we Know" the ancient past. By breaking down the institutions control over peoples minds. Without you knowing (not you personally), when you go to school, you are not only loaded with a false history, but also taught to enforce those falsehoods to those that follow you. Maybe there really is a " concerted effort " to hide pertinent facts about ancient history. I "Imagine", there is such a conspiracy.

Albert Einstein was know to be a superior intellectual for some of the theories he presented, but after reviewing his total history, his greatest contributions were not his "Official" work, but his his greatness lays in his contributions in his quotes. In those, lay mankind's destiny. He tells us how to release ourselves from the "Paradigm", or "Matrix", if you will. And, I would personally say, this must be done first before one can "Imagine" the ancient past. And to that I will offer this first.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Imagine a world where the ancient past was common knowledge.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
Our ancient past does not need to be as complicated as it seems. History only happened one way, one time!
"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
Yes, to make things simple and understandable, then one knows the mystery of our past, and our place in it.
And again "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Albert Einstein had a wonderfully "Open Mind".
And this one that reminds me of my own personal limitations "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

To this end, it appears Albert and myself, do agree. His use of the word "Gods" exposes his knowledge of the subject. I do not know if Albert was "Taught" this truth, or figured it out on his own, is beyond me.

Albert also taught us to never give up in "seeing" those things that we "Think" we can not see. "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer" This too, we have in common.

Astyanax, I do apologize to you if you felt insulted by my terminology, it was not my intention. But I do stand on my representation of the current state of higher learning. Its a trap. A trap to keep the free thinking, open minded, controlled, and ignorant of those "Gods" Albert spoke of, and, of our ancient past.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 11:16 PM
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a reply to: All Seeing Eye

Very well. But let's see if we can't do a little better with regard to addressing the topic.

Earlier, I asked you this.


Forbidden Archaeology is a work of imagination published by two members of the Hare Krishna cult, one of whom was previously a mathematician, neither of whom have any track record in archaeology whatsoever. Why should we give these people's claims more credence than we give the painstaking, peer-reviewed work of trained, well-informed archaeologists?

Could you please answer this question as directly and simply as possible? Is there something about Forbidden Archaeology that makes it more credible than peer-reviewed archaeological research? If so, what is that something?



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax
S&F
Oh my! Astyanax!
This post will most likely be deleted as it is somewhat off topic but I honestly hope you see it before that happens.
Your OP summed up how I feel to a tee! I truly could not have said it better myself and if it is ok with you, I would love to use it as reference later.
I know on some topics we may not have seen eye to eye but on the issue of "how much we can truly know" I feel we are akin.
You see, your OP summed up exactly how I feel about evolution. Seriously!
I'm not talking about evolution in the short term but in the long term. I feel that scientists do the same thing you do and present their best guess on the evidence they have. I feel as you do and wonder how they can possibly know what happened 20,000 years ago, much less 560mya.
I just wanted to say thank you!
Quad


edit on 13-7-2014 by Quadrivium because: added S&F



posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 12:22 AM
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a reply to: Quadrivium

Sometimes it's easier to develop a theory around older data because there are no stories in place to murky the waters. Sure, there is perhaps a lot less to work with, but compare the field of geology to archaeology. In geology, you can focus on broad acting mechanisms, whereas in archaeology, it really comes down to the finest detail. In geology, you often have large sample sizes (large outcrops of rocks...) In archaeology, you often only have the one area of interest... and that's it.

See, I'm more confident in the history of the Earth millions of years ago than I am the history of the Earth 12,000 years ago...



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