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How Old are our Stories Really? The Tale of the Mesolithic Dragon.

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posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 04:58 AM
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Good stuff! S&F.

I have nothing to contribute, just enjoying reading it, thanks!




posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 05:32 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

You sneaky beggar! I missed this being posted.


I'm immersed in the role of narratives and our history as humans. The dragon story is a very classical and yet I really found your suggestion of its origins much more interesting.

To imagine ourselves in that time, we have to plug ourselves in to the urgency of the weather and seasons. We have to contemplate the reality of mortality and pitch it all across a society that was incredibly ignorant and superstitious by our standards.

The incredible noise levels of a subterranean slide could easily have conjured explanations of deep sea dragons stirring. After all, they would have centuries-worth of oral histories and the seas would always behave according to expectations. Sure, they'd sing of exceptional storms and frozen seas, but events like the Storegga landslide would generate myths. The absence of knowledge to explain the, literally, awesome noise and waves would demand the quick creation of supernature and liminal superbeasts.



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 05:44 AM
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Retreating glaciers had already caused sea levels to rise and it is thought that by 6100BC the Storegga Slide devastated the already partially submerged Doggerland.


Off topic I know but was it carbon emissions that caused the glaciers to retreat ?



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 06:30 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I creeped in last night and ran away.


That is exactly what I'm starting to think too, that it is events rather than beliefs that generate myth. It seems plausible to me that sea serpents arose from violent encounters with the sea; punkinworks has an ongoing hypothesis that dragons represent meteors and when you think of the flaming breath, ruined crops and widespread destruction that 'dragons' wreak, it makes a lot of sense.

When the sea - the usual provider of food - turns against you in an unimaginable fury and with ferocious might, without warning - stories would be born, I am certain.



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: onequestion

Rising levels of carbon dioxide has been suggested:

www.nature.com...

www.bbc.co.uk...


A new, detailed record of past climate change provides compelling evidence that the last ice age was ended by a rise in temperature driven by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The finding is based on a very broad range of data, including even the shells of ancient tiny ocean animals. A paper describing the researchappears in this week's edition of Nature.

The team behind the study says its work further strengthens ideas about global warming. "At the end of the last ice age, CO2 rose from about 180 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere to about 260; and today we're at 392," explained lead author Dr Jeremy Shakun. "So, in the last 100 years we've gone up about 100 ppm - about the same as at the end of the last ice age, which I think puts it into perspective because it's not a small amount. Rising CO2 at the end of the ice age had a huge effect on global climate."


That study is from 2012, so apologies if it has been discredited.



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 06:43 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

I'd say it's both. We record our experiences and we embroider them too. We also have the capacity to create massive narratives from thin air.

I'm trying to find a chapter by Andrew Lang that I reckon you'll like. He wrote about how small sub-cultures were assumed to be telling fairytale stories when it was later found they were describing their experiences in narrative form. It ties in with what you're thinking.

I read it years back and racking my brains to find the right book.


ETA - Here it is from Lang's The Making of Religion

His language is a bit colourful and of it's day. 'Savages' etc. Dear dear

edit on 4.30.2016 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 08:58 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

He has that skin-crawling pomposity of all the very best Victorians! Having said that, I find myself agreeing, albeit without labelling their theories 'childishly absurd'. I think that he misses the point a wee bit, in that what he is hearing may well have been watered down into tales to tell the children. His 'Northern Indians' may have happily used metaphors that went over his head - maybe not, though.
So many of our stories now are told to children just before bedtime, that the characters rather than than the event have come to be the focus. Not necessarily a problem, it just becomes harder to pick apart the possible original kernel from the tale. I've often thought that these type of things comprised the 'hidden knowledge' kept from the masses. The public, if you like, were fed the deer stories while the shamans knew the truth (or their contemporary version of it).

Thanks for linking that, and Aurora Borealis! Of course! That must have inspired many stories - it would be great to see in which tales it appears (I'll have to have a look). I remember seeing that on Hogmanay, 1992, and none of us were quite sure if it was 'real' or not.



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 05:56 PM
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Good post. S&F.

I have been fascinated by Doggerland since I first heard about it a couple of years ago. It truly is a kind of stone age Atlantis, although it probably submerged rather gradually as the ice melted. I bet there are som real archaeological treasures awaiting discovery down there, with a wealth of material not normally preserved in the archeological record.

I can only imagine the Storegga Slide must have been a traumatic event in human regional history. If one tries to envision he impact a tsunami of this scale must have had on settlements that were to a large degree located on the coast, it must have been truly horrific. And with no readily available explanation it could have been the source of all kinds of myths and legends.

I guess the whole quiestion is to what degree oral history transforms to myths and legends, and even religious beliefs, with the passing of time. I think this is rather poorly understood at present, but some ancient writers (like Snorri Sturluson who put a lot of the norse sagas into writing) promoted the idea that tribal events evolved into religion and myth. He thought that, among other things, the norse Gods were ancient chieftains of tribes that had been deified in later years. He also proposed the idea that the Æsir and Vanir, the two tribes of norse gods, actually reflected ancient tribal struggles.
Some modern scholar have also proposed similar ideas, even reaching as far back as the indoeuropean incursion into europe for the roots of some of this.

The wikipedia article about the norse gods is a good starting point for anyone interested in reading more about this subject matter. Wikipedia article

A lot of work have also been written about some of the more prevalent pan-european myths that seems to pop up all over europe in sligthly different guises, like the Nibelungenlied. A lot of interesting reading in this material. Dragons too ;-)

I find, however, that some theories that seeks to use variants of a tale as proof of its age seems to disregard the substantial body of evidence that exist for communication in the ancient world. It is fairly well established that people travelled widely even in pre-roman times, so that people brought home a good story from their travels shouldn't come as a big surprise. That a legend or tale is widespread might thus not mean that it is all that ancient, but might just as well mean that it is a good tale and popular.

The norse settlers, as well as travelling widely, tended to bring along a substantial population of thralls, of which quite a few were Irish and Scottish, so it's safe to assume that legends and beliefs might have been flowing back and forth also in this period.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there has been so much interaction between different groups of people in Europe for such a long time, that it is almost impossible to say if a story is homegrown or has been imported from somewhere else. So the fact that one finds the same story in different areas might not mean that they have preserved the same story independently, but just that the story have spread through various forms of contact.

I'm not saying that a tale such as the one you present might not point back to an ancient event as the one you refer to, but only that it is very difficult to discover where the tale might have originated in such a complex landscape of interaction. It might even have been imported from as far away as the middle east, from all we know. We know of at least two cases where this has happened in the past, after all.

But, hey, it might also be a recollection of such a traumatic event. It would certainly be suspicious if it was found only in the areas where this event happened, and nowhere else.

Fascinating reading in any case.

BeeTee



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: beansidhe

I give You a Star and the 37th Flag for this Fascinating Tale!
So vivid in it's telling!!
Thank You very much for Posting this Thread!!
The tale I had not even heard of until now.
Very cool!!!

Thank You again,

Syx...
...
edit on 30-4-2016 by SyxPak because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 07:29 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
a reply to: Byrd

This is different from the two or three I read before but the info seems about similar.


It actually depends on which text you get it from... Odin was a figure in Germanic mythology and the protagonist of a lot of stories.


I researched this when I found that the Queen of England says she is in the line of Odin. The whole genetic tree was in the article I read back a few years ago.


I have no idea why she'd say that (or if she did. Seems VERY odd and out of character. I know she's a Hapsburg, but that's hardly Odin.



www.cft-win.com...

I would take that with a lot of grains of salt.


Odin was never a god before, I do not know how he got god status. That is from reading some articles way more researched than that wikipedia article.

Maybe you're thinking of a different Odin? He's one of the earliest gods I learned about.


Here is another one. www.geni.com...


I'd take that with a bunch of salt. The Norse did NOT keep birth records until fairly recent times (church records are spotty before 1800...depending on the church. Those would have been kept since the Christianization of the area and the introduction of writing and parish record keeping)


Another one www.wilmer-t.net...


Even more salt. This writer is doing the "someone typed it as if it's spelled this way THEREFORE the two words in different languages are the same" type of merge.



posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 07:50 PM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: Byrd

Hello Byrd,
Assipattle has been suggested as a Cinderella character and so a later addition, but without any earlier sources it's all just guess work.


But the structure of the tale is very much a 15th century type "roman" (romance tale) ala Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (which also features dragons) and the name of the princess (Princess Gem-de-lovely) is very much in line with the naming of the women in the various Arthurian tales. It also has some echoes of the time that Thor went fishing for Jormungandur and, as folklorists have noted, the Worm of Linton.


It is the mixed heritage aspect that I'm interested in really, which is why I was wondering about a shared event.
You make a good point about Iceland; the edition that I have has the Stoorworm's eyes falling out and becoming the Corryvreckan whirlpool, by Jura. So in other words we see the West Coast trying to weave themselves into the tale too.


A good storyteller always tries to make some connection with the people and the place!

I'm not sure about the "mixed heritage" though. I don't know how to reliably separate the individual elements of the tale to find what contribution came from where.



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 01:13 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
When the sea - the usual provider of food - turns against you in an unimaginable fury and with ferocious might, without warning - stories would be born, I am certain.


Though I agree, I am more inclined to see the immediate problems of life. And life up there was and is quite hard, comparatively, and sea fishing, on the very best of days, can be fraught with dangers. All you need do is visit an old fishing village, the grave yard and other memorials that record the lives lost bringing in the catch. If you have a healthy respect for the sea, you can recognise that all those fishermen were met as heroes when they arrived safely back in port and mourned with equal vigour when they didn't.

There are definately elements of a creation myth in the story though, but I still lean towards it being a hero who navigated a safe route to the best fishing waters, or that kind of thing. That's just my personal preference though, and the themes I pick up one, but the primordial "dragon" split into pieces to make divisions of the land, is a popular theme in settled cultures I have been finding.

Really nice OP. Thanks for sharing.



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 01:17 AM
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originally posted by: Byrd
I know she's a Hapsburg, but that's hardly Odin.


Saxo-Coburg-Gotha, actually. The Hapsburg's bred themselves into endogamatic oblivion a century or three ago.



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 06:47 AM
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a reply to: beetee

Hi beetee, thank you for your response.




I guess what I'm trying to say is that there has been so much interaction between different groups of people in Europe for such a long time, that it is almost impossible to say if a story is homegrown or has been imported from somewhere else. So the fact that one finds the same story in different areas might not mean that they have preserved the same story independently, but just that the story have spread through various forms of contact.


I think that ultimately, you are right. It becomes an impossible quest because without written sources we can only guess. We know that Iron Age Picts had dragon/worm stories because of their stones, but before that it is impossible to know.






But, hey, it might also be a recollection of such a traumatic event. It would certainly be suspicious if it was found only in the areas where this event happened, and nowhere else.


It would and so I think that what I need to do next is have a look at other sea serpent stories to see if they transformed the landscape as well and that is therefore a common thing for sea serpents to do, or if this is unique behaviour for a sea serpent.

edit on 1-5-2016 by beansidhe because: caps



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 07:02 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

It does have an Arthurian flavour, I would agree with you there. I suppose what I'm striving for is an understanding of the origins of sea serpents; did a singular catastrophic event create the creature? Is it a vehicle for transmitting geophysical events through generations?
I'm reading it as a 'landscape' story or creation story which has similiar echoes of the Cailleach.


In Scotland, where she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter, she is credited with making numerous mountains and large hills, which are said to have been formed when she was striding across the land and accidentally dropped rocks from her creel or wicker basket. In other cases she is said to have built the mountains intentionally, to serve as her stepping stones. She carries a hammer for shaping the hills and valleys, and is said to be the mother of all the goddesses and gods.[14]


wiki link

In fact, yesterday was her last day - she'll have turned back to stone today! (Beltane)

I'll probably never know about the Stoorworm, but I'll start reading more sea serpent tales and see what transpires.

As an aside, my own particular copy has an excellent addition whereby the Princess tells her father, the King, in no uncertain terms that she'll decide who she marries and it has bog all to do with him. My daughter used to love that bit.

edit on 1-5-2016 by beansidhe because: add 'of'



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: Anaana

Hello there, thank you, I'm glad you dropped in!

I see the creation aspect too, although maybe that's the familiar part of Scottish folklore that I'm drawn to and therefore more comfortable with?
You raise a really good point about settled peoples describing the land being split or maybe apportioned (?) and the Mesolithic folk in the North are always described as nomadic. I don't think burial sites have ever been found for any of them.
But then, I suppose, it begs the question of who built the calendar found in Aberdeenshire from around 8000bc? (quite a nice video on that link). Were the people more settled than we think and the passage of time has obliterated most of the evidence? I have no idea, I'm just wondering out loud.



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

Finally got around to checking this out and I'm glad I did! This is awesome, and sure sound like a solid match for the actual event which became the legendary story.

I think a great many of the legendary stories are "true", but veiled in allegory symbolism. Gathering knowledge of actual events and matching them up is, in my opinion, one of the coolest ways of glimpsing the ancient past available to us.

Well done!



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 09:32 AM
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a reply to: dogstar23

Thank you dogstar, for reading and for your take on things. It is very much appreciated.

Burgerbuddy and Syx, that goes for you two, too.



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 10:34 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

Sounds an awful lot like the a metaphor for a meteor impact event to me, for instance,



Black smoked billowed from the monster's nostrils and in his agony his forked tongue shot out and caught hold of one of the horns of the moon. Fortunately it slipped from moon and fell with such a crash that it made a deep rift on the earth. The tide rushed into the rift and became the Baltic Sea

The Baltic see does resemble a forked tongue, is it possible it may have been a valley with lakes and such, at one time separated from the Atlantic by some land mass, And subsequently flooded my the melting of the glaciers at the end of the ice age? Not sure about that idea at all but it is curious.
And this:



Once the sky had cleared and the sun shone again,


What would that short passage have to do with a Tsunami event alone?

Such a cataclysmic event would have been felt around the entire world and there are dragon and flood legends from all over the world. Perhaps there is more to it than myths alone...



posted on May, 1 2016 @ 11:14 AM
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originally posted by: surfer_soul
a reply to: beansidhe

Sounds an awful lot like the a metaphor for a meteor impact event to me, for instance,



Black smoked billowed from the monster's nostrils and in his agony his forked tongue shot out and caught hold of one of the horns of the moon. Fortunately it slipped from moon and fell with such a crash that it made a deep rift on the earth. The tide rushed into the rift and became the Baltic Sea

The Baltic see does resemble a forked tongue, is it possible it may have been a valley with lakes and such, at one time separated from the Atlantic by some land mass, And subsequently flooded my the melting of the glaciers at the end of the ice age? Not sure about that idea at all but it is curious.
And this:



Once the sky had cleared and the sun shone again,


What would that short passage have to do with a Tsunami event alone?

Such a cataclysmic event would have been felt around the entire world and there are dragon and flood legends from all over the world. Perhaps there is more to it than myths alone...


Soul,
It was the billowing smoke reference that sealed the deal on an impact tale, for me, also the forked tongue and moon reference, as i mentioned earlier, has a parallel in another tale, i think its south american.
Think of the forked tongue image as describing the object breaking up into two large pieces that continue on, to impact in the ocean and beyond the horizon.

Bean,
Check out Mike Baillie's et al, new paper on the bronze age catastrophies.


Abstract
Much evidence exists for the major climate anomaly c2200-2000 BC. In this paper, we demonstrate that precisely dated Irish bog oaks record this climatic event, which appears to begin abruptly in 2206 BC and last until around 1900 BC. However, it might be unwise to ignore the precisely dated, abrupt environmental downturn that occurs some 150 years earlier. Irish and English oak tree rings draw attention to a notable decade-long growth downturn spanning 2354 BC to 2345 BC with hints of inundation. Interest in this apparently localized inundation led to the discovery that traditions from around the world specify dated stories within 10 years of 2350 BC. These stories involve the Chinese emperor Yao (traditional date 2357 BC), who presided over a series of catastrophes, including floods, in 2346 BC; Archbishop Ussher who used the dates 2349-2348 BC for the biblical Flood; and the ‘birth’ of three Mayan deities, GI, GII and GIII in the year 2360 BC. Why, one might ask, should people around the northern hemisphere have generated stories that appear to hark back to a two decade window between 2360 BC and 2340 BC? Furthermore, a smoothed growth response for North European trees suggests the existence of a 37 year cycle of reduced growth, hinting that the events around 2350 BC and 2200-2000 BC may be related. One possible scenario to account for these various observations is that something happened in the sky around this time with memorable consequences for those on the ground; a scenario highly compatible with controversial evidence for an anomalous dust deposition event observed at Tell Leilan in Syria. Overall, this unusual accumulation of evidence, including similarities in stories from widely separated areas, suggests that the scenario be treated seriously as a basis for further research.


Why we shouldn’t ignore the mid-24th century BC when discussing the 2200-2000 BC climate anomaly



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