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A Roman Stately Home

17 April 2021

Although factually correct, it is odd the BBC describe it as a stately home rather than a villa. I suppose they consider it fit for a metropolitan elite family rather than a rustic. Villa estates were forerunners of Saxon manor estates, an almost seamless change that took place after the Romans left. The aristocracy survived the break up of the Roman world, via admixture with newcomers. Go to www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-56745840/ … the villa was found at Scarborough in North Yorkshire. It had an unusual layout it would seem [see image at link].

At www.china.org.cn/arts/2021-04/12/content_77397639.htm … discoveries at Sanxingdui in SW China are said to have similarities when compared with the Maya people of central America – according to the director of Chichen Itza, a famous Mayan site in Mexico. Gold, ivory and jade objects going back 3000 years were recently retrieved from sacrificial pits. On the other hand, the Maya civilisation is thought to have begun in around 200AD. Chicen Itza existed between AD700 and 1200. The similarity seems to involve the symbolism surrounding trees – a theme that is a commonality in various regions of the world. Trees, it is said, link heaven, earth and the underworld, an idea that pops up Yggdrasil in Europe. One would have to go into this subject in more detail in order to see where the director was coming from. It is interesting to note the Maya, like the Chinese, used gold and jade extensively, in a symbolical and religio-mythic way. Jade is a green stone and green was also prized for handaxes in Europe, so it is again a pretty universal similarity that was perhaps inspired by what was going on in the sky.

Our third visit is to Dibba, an ancient town in what is now Oman. It was known as a trading emporium with ties to India and China, for example. The Portuguese saw it as a strategic location close to the Stait of Hormuz. See www.omanobserver.om/findings-of-dibba-throw-light-on-ancient-graves/

Over at The Conversation – see https://theconversation.com/archaeology-in-west-africa-could-rewrite-the… … we begin with a bit of mainstream group think, as is the want of The Conversation, as they tell us that our species arose in Africa 300,000 years ago [all on the basis of the shape of some skulls found in North Africa]. This was the so called Middle Stone Age. It's material culture, we are told, is found across a wide sweep of Africa. These cultural assets include the bow and arrow, specialised stone tools, the use of pigments, water storage,m and rock art. They continue by saying the mainstream theory is that the Middle Stone Age cam to an end around 40,000 years ago. This may be so in Europe and Asia but why should it be the same in Africa. The date of 40,000 years ago coincides with the disappearance of Neanderthals and Denisovans, but they do not seem to have lived in Africa. At 40,000 years ago the Neanderthals and Denisovans were replaced, it is thought, by modern humans – and they are supposed to have an origin in Africa. In this article, which concerns discoveries in Senegal, the Middle Stone Age culture continued – unabated. Why change. It was successful. It is only the Out of Africa theory that is being  compromised. At a new site on the Gambia river, of the Middle Stone Age, a date of 24,000 years ago has popped up. Even worse, a nearby site has been dated as late as 11,000 years ago, and another at 12,000 years ago. Should we be surprised that mainstream assumptions have proved a hollow reed. Excuses by the authors are that Senegal was isolated south of the Sahara, an idea that conveniently ignores the greening of the Sahara, which was heavily populated, for thousands of years. More investigation is necessary, expanding research from Senegal to further afield.

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