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Science & Education                   6,000 BC
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 The first evidence that Stone Age humans used gold is linked to sites that date from around 6000 BC. But gold is a soft, malleable metal that can be worked with simple tools. It can be found in pure nugget form, though even very early gold artifacts such as jewelry, bracelets, and rings are rarely pure; most contain significant silver content. The ancients called this alloy electrum. (69)

Copper also seems to have been in use in 6000 BC. Because it is a more practical metal than gold, its role in the development of civilization is more significant; it was the metal first used for tools and weapons. Copper existing in its native form was originally collected and worked, although "in the ancient Near East, the supply of native copper was quickly exhausted, and the miner had to turn to ores." (69)

At first anthropologists asserted that copper had probably been discovered by the chance dropping of malachite ore, which contains copper, into campfires. There is, however, a problem with this hypothesis: Campfire temperatures reach a maximum of 600-650°C, whereas copper reduction from malachite occurs at a minimum of 800°C. In other words, the extraction of copper requires a kiln that can reach this controlled high temperature. It is unlikely, then, if not impossible that Stone Age humans accidentally discovered copper in their campfires. They could not have envisioned its reduction from malachite or sulfide ore (which together hold 90 percent of all copper) until they invented the kiln. (69)

The full implication of Gurshtein's argument is that these constellations could have been recognized - very much as we see them today - as early as 6000 BC. If he is right, then the zodiac is not an invention of the Greeks and the Babylonians. They must have received it as a legacy from a far earlier source which, theoretically, could have influenced many other ancient cultures as well. (161)

Africa

 After studying the Libyan Desert glass, Dolphin suggested that for the ancient Phoenicians to have worked with temperatures equivalent to 6,000 degrees Celsius they may have known the secret of atomic power. He went on to suggest that the desert glass may have been formed when the atomic power got out of hand and caused an explosion. Dolphin wrote to Hapgood early in 1957, telling him about the Libyan Desert glass and his theory that it must have been produced by some kind of atomic fission; he asked whether there had ever been any water in the Libyan Desert. In reply, Hapgood assured him that there had been plenty of water in 6,000 BC in what is now the Sahara Desert. For several thousand years after the pole displacement the Sahara was green and there were many lakes in the area where the Libyan Desert glass was found. Some of the Saharan rock carvings and paintings depict cattle and herdsmen. Soon Hapgood was corresponding with Lord Rennell, too, but he expressed his doubts about Dolphin's notion of atomic power. To Charles B. Hitchcock, a fellow member of the American Geographical Society, Hapgood wrote on 1 January 1959: 'These two [Rennell and Dolphin] have provided me with practically indisputable evidence that some very ancient race (before 6,000 BC perhaps) could control temperature at 6,000 degrees C in the refining of metals and silicates. The very statement is enough to blow the head off the average archaeologist, but I see no way to explain away the evidence they sent me.' (123)

Southwest Asia

 In one of the earliest civilizations recognized by conventional archaeologists, 8,000-year-old Catal Huyuk in Turkey, they have no explanation for artifacts that could have been produced only by an advanced technology, including the existence of a perfectly polished mirror of obsidian (hard volcanic glass), stone beads with bored holes so small that only modern technology could duplicate the feat, and the smelting of copper and lead. (113)

6000 BC First use of copper in Middle East. (135)

Pressure-flaked obsidian spearheads [from Catal Huyuk], frequently found buried unused with the dead or offered in the shrines, have been designated "easily the most elegant in the Near East." Lead and copper beads and pendants were also present, and a lump of slag at Level VI suggests that copper was now being extracted from its ore. (115)

If, as Dechend further claims, the symbolism of the double-axe is to be associated with this phenomenon, its presence at Catal Huyuk's sixth level may mean that her estimation of c. 5000 BC as "Time Zero" is more than a millennium too late, in terms of calendar time. Catal VI is carbon-14 dated to around 5500 BC, and we are now close enough to the official calibration curve for archaeologists to presume from its trajectory that 800 to 1,000 years must be added to sixth millennium carbon-14 dates to bring them into accord with calendar time, which would put the true date of the double-axe painting--and possibly the recognition of the Precession of the Equinoxes--at around 65/6300 BC. (115)

It is also possible that the interaction of the Seven and the Twelve, the planets and the constellations, was the subject of a second painting at Catal Huyuk, this time from Level VII . As Mellaart described Shrine VII.8 (which had earlier housed a vulture mural): “The main panel in the southwest corner shows two rows of hands with the fingers pointing towards the right, framing a pattern of alternate red and black geometric "ladders and squiggles," not unlike some of the net pattern found on the goddess in Shrine VII.23 [the veiled goddess], and perhaps likewise of textile origin. Seven red hands line the bottom of the panel and twelve alternate red and black hands the top…” Moreover, the netlike pattern of weaving between these rows of seven and twelve hands at Catal Huyuk is itself a traditional symbol for the connections between the heavenly bodies. If a similar design appeared in first millennium Mesopotamia, there would be no question of its zodiacal connotations. (115)

Not only did the culture [of Catal Huyuk] practice one of the earliest recorded forms of primitive agriculture and metal-working, but it also appeared to have possessed advanced technical skills totally inexplicable to archaeologists. These perplexed Mellaart to such a degree that he had been forced to ask: "How, for example, did they polish a mirror of obsidian, a hard volcanic glass, without scratching it and how did they drill holes through stone beads (including obsidian), holes so small that no fine modern steel needle can penetrate. When and where did they learn to smelt copper and lead, metals attested at Catal Huyuk since Level IX, c. 6400 BC? (149)

Egypt

 Mallery made the even more astonishing claim that the British Museum had sent some iron tools from Egypt to a metallurgist and was 'astounded to find out that the ancient Egyptians were using powdered metallurgy', a process that involves heating the metal to a temperature where it vaporises, after which it condenses in the form of a powder. The Egyptians obtained these temperatures, Mallery contended, by 'the same processes that made our atomic bomb possible'--atomic fission--'so 5,000 years ago the Egyptians were using the same processes that we thought we had discovered today to make the atom bomb'. Mallery added that 'the timing of the process agrees with the timing of the ancient maps'--in other words, perhaps 6,000-7,000 BC. Mallery was also convinced that he had found gold that was 100 per cent pure. (123)

In The Dawn of Astronomy, Sir J. Norman Lockyer reported in his exhaustive study of the star temples of ancient Egypt that various temples are aligned to certain key stars as far back as 6400 BC. He also demonstrated that the "apertures in the pylons and separating walls of Egyptian temples exactly represent the diaphragms in the modern telescope." Robert Temple has subsequently demonstrated that the ancient Egyptians did have telescopes, so perhaps their temples were used like the large telescopes in modern observatories. (129)

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