8. Appendix 

 
Neolithic Beginnings

  

Section 8.3




 
World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, And Theories of Evolution
4th Edition
The Book
By  John Landon

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8.1 An Outline of History
8.2  Eonic Grid Coordinates
8.3  The Eonic Evolution of Civilization
       1. Neolithic Beginnings
       2. Egypt, Sumer, and the Rise of Civilization
       3. The Axial Interval
       4. The Modern Transition

 
  
        

    World History And The Eonic Effect: Fourth Edition

    8.3 The Eonic Evolution Of Civilization  Neolithic Beginnings

 

Just as we pass the world of the ziggurats and pyramids, at the ‘start’ of our pattern, we can flashback to the greater dawn of cultural history after the Ice Ages to consider the elements brought to the beginnings of civilization.[i] To start in this period without the experience of the later transitions is likely to be confusing, for what we must find is very specific and beyond the resolving power of current archeological data, and it must show correct periodization, without stretching dates. Further, we are liable to make the assumption that the pattern observed in the later eras logically requires an extension of identical structure to the previous periods. There is no a priori reason why it should. A long step-up from ca. -8000 or before to a higher take-off plateau of self-organization would seem more logical, but the evidence seems to be emerging for an extension to the cyclical version we see in historical times, starting after the end of the Ice Age. It is very hard to put such a long sequence of religious history in correct perspective. However, we know where to look for frontier effect antecedents to Sumer and right on schedule we find vague intimations of highland sources in the rough period, ca. -5500 to the North of the first visible transition.

Invisible transitions? Reflection on this long Neolithic era in relation to what we see later produces most devastating caution against Darwinian thinking. We are lucky to see ‘how religions work’, given the transitional data for ‘ET5, Israel’ for example. Yet such data is mostly absent even here, what to say of the Paleolithic. To generalize without being able to find the suspected invisible transitions would be misleading indeed.

As we look at the nature of our problem overall, and the emerging picture of the Near East from the earliest times, the broad rolls of at least two antecedent eonic cycles begin to become evident, but without the solid data for the transitional intervals themselves. Behind the first visible transition, then, so aptly symbolized by the unification of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of Egypt under the aegis of Pharaonic theocracy and the emergence of the Sumerian city-states, increasing historical research is beginning to fix for us the emergence of two, perhaps three earlier periods before the point that we egregiously call the emergence of civilization, not the transitions, but broad humps of cultural advance, the ‘emergence from ground’ in each period, finally leading up to the great breakthrough around -3000, which is then, in fact, no more than the midpoint of organized human community. More conclusively, we catch the Ubaid culture rising from -5500 in the period after -5000. This is about the period of the Roman Empire in the later stage six hundred years from a transitional period.

Thus, our examination of the eonic effect begins with Egypt and Sumer, for this is simply when our fulsome data becomes available, and this because of the invention of writing, in the same fashion as an older view of history finds this period to be the ‘beginning’ of civilization. This should make us suspicious, for our pattern suggests, not the beginning of civilization, but simply the ‘next’ eonic interval initiated in a broad transition driving two zones that are ready ‘over the top’; and this forces us to ask, transitions from what? Let us keep in mind that from -5500 to -3000, from North to Southern Mesopotamia, is a period as long and probably as complex as that between Ancient Israel, the Medieval Cathedrals and the Protestant Reformation, disregarding the tremendous expansion of scale.

? ‘ET1,…ET2,…:

The rough correlation of the onset of the Neolithic in the Levant is unmistakable, as is the appearance of a first ‘city’ very early in the site of Jericho . The broad correlation is so vague however that we can only wonder at the nature of any transitional phase in such primitive circumstances. This period is too speculative to be included in our full dataset. First, during the period -10000 to -8000, there is the slow passage from earlier nomadic, hunter-gatherer, existence to a mixed mode of proto-agricultural discovery and experimentation. Even this earlier stage is a discovery and a long learning process. And there is a strong suggestion that our ‘cultural integration’, that is the assembly into community, precedes and induces the Neolithic, rather than the other way around. Groups begin to settle down in communities, the harvesting of the wild grains and the domestication of animals precede the emergence of the Neolithic proper. This is the Natufian period with its traces in the Levant , when the exploration of seminal possibilities of agriculture is emerging.

During the period from -8000 to -5500, we enter the period of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, visible in the broad focal band of the Levant, Western Asia, then later in the very advanced culture arising in Çatal Hüyük, followed by the full emergence of pottery technologies, and the first beginnings of copper use, and remarkably, strong suggestions of a religious mode associated with it. It is remarkable that the centuries near -8000 and -5500, occur over and over again in the delineation of many studies. The carbon dating of the first Neolithic levels of Jericho, at which we find evidence of a shrine, are in precisely the right time frame.[ii] We must suspect a transition near -8000 starting in the Levant and the higher regions of Mesopotamia, slowly networking outward over the a period of two millennia into Northern Iraq, Egypt, South Europe, Crete, the Indus, creating a new type of Neolithic culture, village life, a characteristic religious mode, that will show lingering signs persisting during the following millennia in the transition of Goddess images that begins with civilization.

? ‘ET3,…:

We see the first instance of the frontier effect in the notable decline in the first area near the Levant, and the surge of a second stage of Neolithic further east in the Hassuna and Halaaf vicinity, and the rapid spread into southern Mesopotamia from this more northern source in the first third of the new period after ca. -5500. We can’t quite pinpoint a transitional area, but the broad pattern is there.

In general, over the whole period from ca. -8000, we see one and the same process of social and technological integration, village, town, city, to be occurring in sequential rhythm.[iii]

We would never claim anything but random slow evolution induced by demographic, climactic or material conditions for the developments of this period, if we had not the evidence otherwise from the later periods of cultural evolution. Even at the later stages when maturing historical awareness, and a more explicit creativity, effect the rate of change, we find the great periods of cultural foundation during the transitions. How much more likely this should be for the dispersed elements of hunter-gatherers groping during the early period moving toward the first techniques of agricultural existence.

It is interesting to consider the evidence of earlier eonic structure from the indications of a mideonic plateau effect. As James Mellaart notes, in a description that almost implicitly maps out the period ET3++:

At the end of the Early Chalcolithic period, then, let us say ca. 5000 BC., we find that throughout the greater part of the Near East all the requirements for the birth of civilization were present...Nevertheless, the expected birth of civilization did not take place. It was delayed for nearly another millennium and a half and when it did come it was not in the areas which had hitherto been most prominent, but in the dismally flat lands of S. Iraq and a little later in Egypt, areas which until then had been of little or no importance. Why was this so? [iv]

Does this sound familiar? Once again we see an arrest after the sudden burst of change, the eonic falloff and downturn, given an interesting interpretation by Childe, with a clear suggestion of a two-step rise to civilization. The real beginning of civilization then would seem to be as well the emerging Ubaid culture springing from a likely transition to the North of the next zone of advance in the South,  Sumer.

 

    Notes

   Web:  appndx3.htm

   

[i] After The Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000 to 5000 ( Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 2004), by Steven Mithen, Ascent of Civilization: The Archaeology of Early Humans (London: Collins, 1984), by John Gowlett. Patterns in Prehistory: Humankinds First Three Million Years (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), by R.J. Wenke, Farming in Prehistory (New York: St. Martin’s, 1975), by Barbara Bender, From Foraging to Agriculture (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvannia, 1989), by Donald Henry, James Mellaart, Earliest Civilizations of the Near East, and Catal Huyuk (New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 1965), James Mellaart, David Harris, The Origins and Spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Eurasia (1996), The Early History of the Ancient Near East 9000-2000 B.C.(Chicago: University of Chicago, 1988), Hans Nissen, The Old World: Early Man to the Development of Agriculture, ed. Robert Stigler, The Emergence of Civilization (New York: Routledge, 1990), by Charles Maisels, The Ancient Near East (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1971), by W. Hallo and W. Simpson, Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization, by J. Hawkes and L. Woolley, Charles Redman, The Rise of Civilization (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman,1978).

[ii] James Mellaart, “The Beginning of Village and Urban Life” in The Dawn of Civilization (New York: Dawn of Civilization, 1961), p.55, Jacquetta Hawkes, in History of Mankind, p. 222. Cf. Also, K. Kenyon, Digging up Jericho, J. Mellaart, Earliest Civilizations of the Near East, H. Nissen, The Early History of the Ancient Near East.

[iii] For a discussion of the term ‘civilization’ in relation to the sequence ‘village, town, city’, cf. Sir Leonard Woolley, “The Beginnings of Civilization”, p. 359, in History of Mankind, Volume I , Part II., 1963.

[iv] Dawn of Civilization (New York: F. Ungar Pub Co, 1968), Stuart Piggott, p. 62.

 

 
 


 

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Last modified: 10/02/2010