Skip to comments.'Genius existed on the prairies 5,000 years ago'[Canada]
Posted on 02/03/2009 12:19:57 PM PST by BGHater
An academic maverick is challenging conventional wisdom on Canadas prehistory by claiming an archeological site in southern Alberta is really a vast, open-air sun temple with a precise 5,000-year-old calendar predating Englands Stonehenge and Egypts pyramids.
Mainstream archeologists consider the rock-encircled cairn to be just another medicine wheel left behind by early aboriginals. But a new book by retired University of Alberta professor Gordon Freeman says it is in fact the centre of a 26-square-kilometre stone lacework that marks the changing seasons and the phases of the moon with greater accuracy than our current calendar.
Genius existed on the prairies 5,000 years ago, says Freeman,the widely published former head of the universitys physical and theoretical chemistry department.
Freemans fascination with prairie prehistory dates back to his Saskatchewan boyhood.He and his father would comb the short grasses of the plains in search of artifacts exposed by the scouring wind.That curiosity never left him and he returned to it as he prepared to retire from active teaching.
Looking for a hobby, he asked a friend with an interest in history to suggest a few intriguing sites to visit. On a warm late-August day in 1980, that list drew him to what he has come to call Canadas Stonehenge,which is also the title of his book.
A central cairn atop one of a series of low hills overlooking the Bow River, about 70 kilometres east of Calgary, had been partially excavated in 1971 and dated at about 5,000 years old. But as he approached it, Freeman strongly felt there was much more there than previously thought.
As we walked toward the hilltop,I saw all kinds of patterns in the rocks on the way up. As I walked around the hilltop, I could see patterns that I doubted very much were accidental.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnews.canoe.ca ...
See what was done before the couch potato!
Yeah,,,those indian genuises again. Sitting in the middle of a circle, but never invented the wheel.
Sitting in that circle,,, cant you hear the talk? “dude,,,theres got to be a better way to transport things than dragging it on 2 poles.”
Seems I’ve seen that sort of configuration before... but where? Hmmmmm......
Dear, come take a look....
Oh yeah! Now I’ve got it.
Yeh, but back then "genius" was a bow and arrow instead of a hand thrown, or stabbing, spear.
Did mankind know about seasons, phases of the moon, etc?
Sure they did, it was all around them. They marked the spring summer, fall, and winter equinoxes. It is pretty much a given that when the sun stops drifting in one direction and starts going in reverse that someone is going to notice.
Eventually someone will make the discovery that so many days after one of these events the plants start budding and growing, or so many days after another of these events it gets colder.
That's not genius, that's attention to detail.
stones marking the time, particularly the time for planting are apparently very common. No genius, just someone who figured out that it would be easier to find out beforehand when the next planting season begun.
I thought Dr. Gordon Freeman was an astrophysicist... HL Rules!
Mostly genius is good pattern detection.
It’s a beautiful ship & one like it might have carried the technology for wheeled toys from the orient to the “New World”.
The History Channel ran a show about chinese shipbuilding technology of the past. They understood how to make large (300 foot) oceangoing vessels that were strong enough to take the stresses of open ocean waves. They simply built double hulls and filled them with a form of concrete to stiffen them.
It’s easy for us to say someone else was stupid for not coming up with something we’ve lived our entire lives with (like wheels) But if we had never encountered that technology we might be a thousand years away from it now.
ROFLMAO... the answer was all around them. guess thats how it is when youre a genius.
Man’s been smart since God made him.
Ok well lately we’ve gone ‘round the bend and elected Obama.
I hate to say it, but I am not overly impressed.
I would never suggest it was stupidity. It's more likely that no one saw the need for a them. Just a few decades ago, almost nobody thought people needed a home computer — let alone one that fits in a shirt pocket.
Priorities drive invention. Most native Americans were at least semi nomadic which means they didn’t really make roads over time. I suspect the travois was just as effective over rough ground as wheels.
After all, I use a wheel barrel here in the yard just fine but I really don’t want to try pushing it through the woods.
Ever played DOD?
Strange the wheels of the toy on the left even seem to have a spoke detail the you might see on a full size wooden wagon wheels like they knew all the concepts... Hmm maybe the Mayans had some unknown odd taboo about wheels and their uses
No horses or decent draft animals was why no great carts. (Llamas are OK, but not exactly oxen.)
Plus, their territory was awfully mountainous, further limiting usefulness.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Zheng He’s fleet, and the ships in it, were on a scale that wasn’t matched until the 20th century. There are populations of Chinese ancestry on African islands from one of his ships that wrecked. His voyages put Marco Polo to shame, and some folks believe he even reached the New World.
The Ming government ordered his ships burned and his records destroyed in the belief that China had all the wisdom the world had to offer and all this running around was a waste of time. Which leads to an important point: The critical prerequisite for discovery is curiosity.
The world would be a very different place if China hadn’t managed to end up with some really ignorant egocentric rulers along the way.
The great First Emperor did major damage to China’s future when his paranoia drove him to destroy records of things rulers before himself had done.
My thoughts exactly!
China and Europe were on about an equal footing in 1000 A.D., with other civilizations not far behind. Europe had a few factors in it’s favor early in the second millenium — competition among peoples locally, a religion that encouraged finding new places to proselytize. Some scholars even posit that the Black Death, in giving Europe a drop in population and hence excess productive capacity, led to the free time needed to cook up the Renaissance.
MeanWestTexan offers a plausible explanation in post 25, above.
I think nearly everyone just takes their culture (including all the technology) for granted, and rolls (ahem) with it. In traditional societies everywhere, there wasn't a notion of "progress". People didn't ask “is there a better way". Even today, there are huge differences in inventiveness between cultures. Compare the U.S. to nearly anywhere. Or, more dramatically, Israel to everyone else in their neighbourhood.
More interesting to me besides the wheel (which, again, I view as a product of terrain and lack of draft animals) is the lack of pulley, block-and-pulley and the like.
This would have been of great use in mountainous terrain and for building their elaborate stone structures.
As in, “how do you get the rock to the top?”
It appears, they built earthworks around the structures and pushed and pulled (probably on logs, which are akin to wheels, and better since a double-axle cart would break), which is primarily what the Egyptians did.
But still -— a pulley is a force mutiplier extraordinaire.
I suppose that is a factor of lack of ships and sails, which is where our pulley thinking came about.
...but the moral to the story is that government intervention always eventually results in decay.
Bit overbroad, don't you think? A partial list of government-sponsored expeditions:
Lewis & Clark
While prairie looks flat, a lot of it is not, and is in fact punctuated by deep draws and badlands terrain. Wheels would not fare as well in such an environment as the travois did, and the travois had the added benefit of utilizing the lodgepoles for the 'house' en route, making something which would have been freight useful as part of the transport device.
YMMV, but crossing the countryside out here with wheels would have been far tougher (wheels need roads).
......that’s attention to detail.....
It is science..... the study of the heavens
Can’t blame them for not figuring stuff out.
I’d be eating mushrooms and raw meat in a cave for 100 years before I’d discover cooking.
Government was then a private organization (a royal family) seeking profit. Capitalistic gubmint.