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Spare a thought for the Ancients, the first star gazers!

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posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:10 PM
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G'day ATS,

I usually post in this forum about archaeological discoveries or an ancient lost civilisation. Today however I'm inspired (by the stroll on the beach that I've just returned from) to talk about the Ancients, and to put ourselves in their shoes for a change.

I'm a stargazer, I find few things more fascinating than the night sky, looking for constellations or shooting stars, and I know what the lights in the sky are. I'm aware of our Sun and what it is, why the Moon is there, we all learn these things growing up.

Imagine a man, living 7 thousand years ago, growing up in Africa somewhere, waking up to this every day:



Imagine the relief he felt at seeing the warm sun again, rejoicing in the fact that the daylight had returned. We take this as a given, that the Sun will rise in the East daily, but our man had no idea that this was guaranteed. I think as he dozed off the night before, a small part of him would fear that the Sun would fail to appear the next day and he'd be forced to live a cold dark existence.

Even in daylight, imagine what our friend would make of an eclipse, the dread and fear that he and his family, village and so on would feel at the sight of this:



With no scientific explanation, well none that could possibly be anywhere close to the actual truth, occurrences that even today amaze us would be infinitely more so for our neolithic friend!

How would he explain meteors and shooting stars?



Gods falling from the sky?



The moon?



And of course the constellations?



What the Ancients must have thought when confronted with these phenomena is truly intriguing to me.

For millennia we have been staring up at these sights, neck craned and eyes keenly observing, and I feel that there is almost something innate within us compelling us to continue doing so.

Maybe it's just me, but when I look up into a cloudless star filled sky like tonight, I can't help but contemplate the countless others that have done the exact same thing over tens of thousands of years.

I encourage you to do the same ATS, and spare of a though for our mate from the Neolithic, I think I'll call him Tom.







posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:25 PM
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I feel the same way about the natural world. I imagine what it must have been like for Tom to stumble across Niagra Falls for the first time.

Or how about sitting in front of a camp fire late at night. This is where I can feel the neolithic connection with Tom. Fire gazing seems intrinsic to the human experience; the place where all the stories and legends began I'm sure.




posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by sparrowstail
I feel the same way about the natural world. I imagine what it must have been like for Tom to stumble across Niagra Falls for the first time.

Or how about sitting in front of a camp fire late at night. This is where I can feel the neolithic connection with Tom. Fire gazing seems intrinsic to the human experience; the place where all the stories and legends began I'm sure.



Exactly, that is precisely the same feeling isn't it?

No matter what is happening, the pull of the fire is immense, you just have to look at the flames dancing around! Also the warmth and security of the fire stirs up feelings felt for thousands of years.

Thanks for your post mate, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

All the best, KF



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:30 PM
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Nice post. I was talking about this the other day while looking up at the full moon.
I was thinking how amazing it was to think that every (almost) human to exist has looked up at the same moon, stars, and sun...and contemplated existence at least once.
We all share that in common!

When I tried to think of the vastness of that realization, I felt a bit overwhelmed.
It's beautiful, really.



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:35 PM
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I couldn't agree more. I just got my first telescope. I have always been a sky gazer(day and night). Words cannot begin to describe what a person sees.



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by bvproductions
Nice post. I was talking about this the other day while looking up at the full moon.
I was thinking how amazing it was to think that every (almost) human to exist has looked up at the same moon, stars, and sun...and contemplated existence at least once.
We all share that in common!

When I tried to think of the vastness of that realization, I felt a bit overwhelmed.
It's beautiful, really.


I agree, it's one thing to be blown away by something phenomenal in Nature or the Sky, but then when you come to the realisation that pretty much every human since there were humans has probably had the same thoughts and experience, Well I agree, beautiful and humbling.



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by cveng
I couldn't agree more. I just got my first telescope. I have always been a sky gazer(day and night). Words cannot begin to describe what a person sees.


I say it every year, that this is the year I'm going to buy a telescope, I never get around to it though.

It's such a good way of getting a little bit closer to the stars, maybe this will be the year.....



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 04:01 PM
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reply to post by kiwifoot
 



Imagine the relief he felt at seeing the warm sun again, rejoicing in the fact that the daylight had returned. We take this as a given, that the Sun will rise in the East daily, but our man had no idea that this was guaranteed. I think as he dozed off the night before, a small part of him would fear that the Sun would fail to appear the next day and he'd be forced to live a cold dark existence.


Hiya Kiwi, I share the sentiment and understand where you're coming from with this idea.

But....


Our ancestors weren't created in a day. They were part of the same continuity that we are. Their parents, grandparents and further back had lived the same days...woken, hunted, socialised, sang and slept.

I much prefer your idea of stargazing and wondering about the 'what ifs.' As a kid of 11-12, I used to lie back on the garage roof and look at the stars. Would get to wondering about someone out there looking back thinking the same things. I still do sometimes...me, you and millions of others.

Way back before light pollution. Before books, TV and visual media....when a dictionary would amount to a few pages...it must have been profound to some people. Looking at the sky without any pollution and with a mind uncluttered with all our modern crap...I can identify with that concept. It might have been beautiful.



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 04:11 PM
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I certainly share your fascination with the heavens. I just want to caution, although it sounds like you are writing an ode to the ancients and their ancient astronomy, I cannot help but notice a tone of patronization at the same time. An automatic assumption that our ancients were dumb savages that would interpret a meteorite falling out of the sky as some gods descending to Earth.

I take issue with modernist thinking, because it assumes by default that we are in everyway superior to our ancients and superior to all non-modernist societies in the world. In fact on the contrary I find much in the ancient world that shows they could teach us a lot. In many ways I think modern civilisation is actually more regressive than our ancients in several areas.

[edit on 5-2-2010 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by kiwifoot
 


reply to post by kiwifoot
 


You haven't gotten the little pun on Neo from the matrix yet? Neo Anderson....Neo Anderthal.

I think our ancestors were more aware of the stars then we are, at least in observing them. Watching the sky's meant life or death, but then again, who really knows?

Peace



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 04:20 PM
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Very fine post. S&F.

Most of us know nothing or next to nothing about the Heavens these days. were too busy looking down at our cellphones to even notice.

It's something i'm more into now than ever. It's great just sitting outside with a nice brew and looking up.

wow.


g.



posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


G'day mate, I was just about to write on your wall but I don't have to now!

I think we've all done that as children, laid back on a summers evening and thought the same thoughts, mankind has been doing it since we developed the brain power to contemplate such things.

My secondary point, which you highlighted was simply the uncertainty of those times millennia ago. Not to say they were unintelligent, not at all, just that they had no way of knowing what they were looking at for sure, and their imaginations must have gone crazy.

Take yourself for instance, if you hadn't had your parents or teachers to explain what the Sun is, that it would always be there etc, imagine how you would have felt without that knowledge looking up at the stars on your garage, what an added dimension to your thoughts that uncertainty would have added!

All the best friend, KF




posted on Feb, 5 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
I certainly share your fascination with the heavens. I just want to caution, although it sounds like you are writing an ode to the ancients and their ancient astronomy, I cannot help but notice a tone of patronization at the same time. An automatic assumption that our ancients were dumb savages that would interpret a meteorite falling out of the sky as some gods descending to Earth.

I take issue with modernist thinking, because it assumes by default that we are in everyway superior to our ancients and superior to all non-modernist societies in the world. In fact on the contrary I find much in the ancient world that shows they could teach us a lot. In many ways I think modern civilisation is actually more regressive than our ancients in several areas.

[edit on 5-2-2010 by Indigo_Child]


Hey Indigo, I welcome your word of caution, as it is definitely the truth, my intent was not to insult Tom, rather than to paint a picture of innocence and uncertainty that would make star gazing even more of an experience than it is for us!

I imagine looking up at the eclipse for instance, and I know that it is a fleeting phenomena that passes in seconds, but for an instant, imagine how Tom might have felt if he had neither seen nor heard of one before.

These people of thousands of years ago had knowledge and understanding that we could only dream about. Hundreds of years of "Modern Astronomy" and we are still amazed by their architecture and knowledge of the stars, so your caution is well founded and your issues valid.

ooops forgot my


[edit on 5-2-2010 by kiwifoot]






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