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Europe's oldest civilisation unearthed

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posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:38 AM
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LONDON (AFP) - Europe's oldest civilisation has reportedly been discovered by archaelogists across the continent.

More than 150 large temples, constructed between 4800 BC and 4600 BC, have been unearthed in fields and cities in Germany, Austria and Slovakia, predating the pyramids in Egypt by some 2,000 years, The Independent newspaper revealed.

The network of temples, made of earth and wood, were constructed by a religious people whose economy appears to have been based on livestock farming, The Independent reported.

Excavations have taken place over the past three years but the discovery is so new that the civilisation has not yet been named.

The most complex centre discovered so far, beneath the city of Dresden in Saxony, eastern Germany, comprises a temple surrounded by four ditches, three earthen banks and two palisades.

"Our excavations have revealed the degree of monumental vision and sophistication used by these early farming communities to create Europe's first truly large scale earthwork complexes," said Harald Staeuble, from the Saxony state government's heritage department.

The temples, up to 150 metres (164 yards) in diameter, were made by a people who lived in long houses and villages, the newspaper said. Stone, bone, and wooden tools have been unearthed, along with ceramic figures of people and animals.

A village at Aythra, near Leipzig in eastern Germany, was home to some 300 people living in up to 20 large buildings around the temple.


This is pretty cool, outdates some of egyptian stuff. Its cool to see how stuff is being found close to home for some of our members, germanys not that far away from briton is it? I live in the US so im clueless...but anyhow, i thought it was a pretty good read.
EDIT: SOURCE-

news.yahoo.com.../afp/20050611/sc_afp/sciencebritain_050611223536

[edit on 6/12/2005 by Schmidt1989]




posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:56 AM
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Nice find

Wish the article had some kind of pictures though.
Also wished that it was a bit more indepth to how they are dating this like are they basing the date off of carbon dating? The reason that I ask this is that the date that these temples are supposedly built are at the very limits of carbon dating reliability



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:05 AM
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Nice find, interesting stuff. Its all a bit sketchy, but i am sure more will be said about it soon, 150m buildings of earth and wood sound very impressive for that time. Some pictures would have been nice too.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:15 AM
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yeah, the yahoo site didnt have any pictures but ill look for some. and i dont know if they carbon date rock. they could probably tell how old it is by other findings and by how deep into the earth's crust it was. its suprising that the wood held up that long unless its petrified. but wood, stone, and bone tools sound very primitive to me, could this have possibly been one of the fist civilisations ever? Or is the maya and inca stuff older?



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:44 AM
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Historians have long ignored the possibilities that there were a shattering of few ancient civilizations in Europe predating that of the ancient Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations.

Perhaps the little-known ancient European civilizations were glossed over in favor of the more astonishing Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by Schmidt1989

LONDON (AFP) - Europe's oldest civilisation has reportedly been discovered by archaelogists across the continent.

The network of temples, made of earth and wood, were constructed by a religious people whose economy appears to have been based on livestock farming, The Independent reported.




Agrarian cultures (broadly defined) would have more time to devote to developing a complex culture, so it makes sense that this society is both based on [livestock] farming and thinking about 'stuff' (evidenced by the suggested complexity ["network" of ritual spaces). The increased reliability of foodstuffs means that you move further from the need to just survive, into one in which you can devote time to something other than just surviving. Livestock would be an obvious first choice as domestication began to occur.


Originally posted by Schmidt1989
"Our excavations have revealed the degree of monumental vision and sophistication used by these early farming communities to create Europe's first truly large scale earthwork complexes," said Harald Staeuble, from the Saxony state government's heritage department.

The temples, up to 150 metres (164 yards) in diameter, were made by a people who lived in long houses and villages, the newspaper said. Stone, bone, and wooden tools have been unearthed, along with ceramic figures of people and animals.


... Some of those ceramic figures I think are mentioned here:Sex in the Stone Age along with, what I presume to be the same Harald Staeuble.

Good find - I expect that the prehistoric model of Europe will be redrawn a few more times yet as more like this comes to light. Some evidence of planned, direct arable farming this far back in Europe will be next I'm sure of it ... and arable farming is the key to real developments in thinking.

Maybe something like this: From a fairly limited, maybe even marginal application in Europe at the time, the idea is carried to the Fertile Crescent and maybe then onto the Indus valley societies, where it builds on the local knowledge of hunter/gatherer/early livestock farming societies, and crucially perhaps, where the conditions are more, or are becoming more suited maybe, and bang! off it goes, and we are away ... The Pyramids, Mohendro-daro, Mesopotamia ...



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 05:16 PM
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Here is link to The Independent´s story: Found: Europe's oldest civilisation

Wow,
"2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids".


"Their civilisation seems to have died out after about 200 years"



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 10:35 AM
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I'm surprised this story hasn't garnered more interest on ATS... simply because it hints at a variety of odd things that we like to speculate endlessly about:

1) These temples were, apparently, built according to an exact, mathematically determined plan. I believe the Independent articles mentions that each temple... even though some were hundreds of miles apart... made use of the same dimension to volume ratios. This implies that Europeans (or perhaps a group in europe that no living europeans are related to) had a knowledge of mathematics and its application to spatial reasoning that was perhaps equal to that of the Greeks... but two thousand years before the Pyramids were built.

2) This culture sprang up, suddenly, and then apparently vanished without clear indicators of what 'went wrong' or what became of their descendants. Usually... there's plenty of evidence to indicate what 'brought down' past civilizations.

3) These temples were deliberately destroyed by their own builders (or, at least, the immediate descendants of their builders).



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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Interesting point there OIMD. Im quite surprised actually, no aliens, reptillians or Bigfoots in sight..........must be a first!!


These people obviously had some sophisticated means of contact or trade if the temples were upto 150 miles apart and near enough the same.

Thumbs up for the ancients



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Zanzibar
Interesting point there OIMD. Im quite surprised actually, no aliens, reptillians or Bigfoots in sight..........must be a first!!


These people obviously had some sophisticated means of contact or trade if the temples were upto 150 miles apart and near enough the same.

Thumbs up for the ancients


Supposedly these things were built (and there were a lot of them) long before horses were domesticated. That means that the society had to have a reasonably strong degree of stability if trade and interaction like that was being conducted on foot...

...though it could also turn out that, without a way to move large quantities of food, their society rapidly overgrew its own local resources and collapsed (like the Maya).



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 02:53 PM
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Maybe they had a common language across their civilisation. Truly amazing stuff they acheived. Kinda shows how crappy we are, all we build is butt ugly towers.

Its things like this that makes me want a time machine. Go back and find out how they did stuff then.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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Goody, a promising bit of news. This further proves the point that many make in that there is much more for us to discover about the Earths (recent) history. Yet why must the majority depend on cold hard facts to make any resemblance of a truthful discovery. Logic is only part of existing, use your individual creative side to visualize what is already there for us all to decipher into truth. As more groundbreaking historical foundations reveal themselves, maybe then more of my fellow people will realize what is here for them to learn about the human past.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by Schmidt1989hose economy appears to have been based on livestock farming, The Independent reported.

Livestock in 6-7,000 BC? Thats pretty interesting.


Excavations have taken place over the past three years but the discovery is so new that the civilisation has not yet been named.

Nygdania, duh


could this have possibly been one of the fist civilisations ever?

Doubtful. Keep in mind that they aren't talking about a civilization like Egypt or Sumer, but rather collections of tribal villages that seem to share a culture, and apparently were involved in pastoralism and the like. There are lots of things like that that usually get called 'cultures', rather than civilizations, in the literature that I've read.

the_oleno
istorians have long ignored the possibilities that there were a shattering of few ancient civilizations in Europe predating that of the ancient Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations.

Uhmm, no they haven't. Infact, the only people that have demonstrated that there were pre-egyptian and sumerian civilizations are the researchers, just as in this exact case. And, again, we're not talking aboutnation states and kingdoms, we're talking about people smacking cattle with sticks and smoldering clay in coal pits.

0951
that this society is both based on [livestock] farming and thinking about 'stuff'

Livestock and running herds of goats or cattle doesn't necessarily mean that they were agriculturalists. Often we hear about tribes that have specialized in one or the other, rather than doing both. The plains latins in italy as agriculturalists, for example, and the hill people as the herders, who still have primitive settlements and temples and the like.

From a fairly limited, maybe even marginal application in Europe at the time, the idea is carried to the Fertile Crescent and maybe then onto the Indus valley societies

That would, of course, and I expect that that is what you arte getting at, be contrary to the usual direction agriculture was beleived to have taken.

kenshiro
are they basing the date off of carbon dating?

They probably had an initial age estimate just from the stratigraphy.



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