- Mar 2022
There was a statue still present, not of Baal, but apparently of a god with the head of dog-eared baboon, the representative of the god Thoth, lending credence to the astronomical theory of the pool’s function, Nigro says.
The presence of a chimerical animal is a potential indicator of mnemonic techniques at work in Phoenician culture.
The constellations’ positions in the night sky on significant dates, such as solstices and equinoxes, are mirrored in the alignments of the main structures at the compound, he found. Steles were “carefully placed within the temenos to mark the rising, zenith, or setting of the stars over the horizon,” he writes.
Phoenicians use of steles and local environment in conjunction with their astronomy fits the pattern of other uses of Indigenous orality and memory.
Link this example to other examples delineated by Lynne Kelly and others I've found in the ancient Near East.
How does this example potentially fit into the broader framework provided by Lynne Kelly? Are there differences?
Her thesis fits into a few particular cultural time periods, but what sorts of evidence should we expect to see culturally, socially, and economically when the initial conditions she set forth evolve beyond their original context? What should we expect to see in these cases and how to they relate to examples I've been finding in the ancient Near East?
But crucially, he believes the pool at the center of the complex may have also served as a surface to observe and map the stars. The water surface would have mirrored the sky, as water does – none other than Leonardo da Vinci pointed out the attributes of inert standing water when studying the night sky. For one thing, the stars were adored by the Phoenicians, whether as gods or deceased ancestors; and the position of the constellations was of keen interest to the sailors among them for navigation purposes, Nigro points out.
Lorenzo Nigro indicates that the "kothon" of Motya in southern Sicily was a pool of Baal whose surface may have been used to observe and map the stars. He also indicates that the Phoenicians adored the stars potentially as gods or deceased ancestors. This is an example of a potentially false assumption often seen in archaeology of Western practitioners misconstruing Indigenous practices based on modern ideas of religion and culture.
I might posit that this sort of practice is more akin to that of the science of Indigenous peoples who used oral and mnemonic methods in combination with remembering their histories and ancestors.
Cross reference this with coming reading in The First Astronomers (to come) which may treat this in more depth.
Leonardo da Vinci documented the attributes of standing water for studying the night sky.
Where was this and what did it actually entail?
- kothon of Motya
- chimerical animals
- pool of Baal
- Lorenzo Nigro
- orality and memory
- standing water
- mnemonic techniques
- Indigenous science
- evolution of knowledge
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Feb 2014
the Phoenicians do not tell the same story about Io as the Persians
1.5. Herodotus claims that the Phoenicians have an alternate version of the story of Io, in which she eloped willingly with the ship's captain because she was pregnant. This is an example of one type of account that Fehling thinks Herodotus invented (the story according to national bias). It is also example of what Dewald describes as Herodotus' "narrative surface", where Herodotus highlights his own process of data collection.
they carried Egyptian and Assyrian merchandise
Hdt. 1.1 Egyptians and Phoenicians: negotiation. Direction?
Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians were the cause of the dispute
Hdt. 1.1 The Persians blame the Phoenicians for their dispute.