Unearthed Artifacts Show Ancients Were Smarter Than Once Thought
By James Donahue
That series of television ads in which a
caveman objects to the suggestion that he is a simpleton and incapable of dealing with complex problems is designed to draw
a smile. But various archaeological discoveries suggest he was smarter than historians once thought.
In Germany, archaeologists have unearthed
a bronze star disk that suggests the site, located about 110 miles southwest of Berlin, may have been a solar observatory
used by people who lived in the area an estimated 3,600 years ago.
That dates back to what historians mark as
the Bronze Age, a period between the stone age and iron age when humans were just starting to learn how to work the metals,
grow crops and gather for community living.
The plate-like disk, with images of the sun,
moon, and 32 stars embossed in gold leaf, may be the earliest known astrological map in existence and part of what was a solar
observatory, probably used to help determine season changes and planting and harvesting times.
The writer of the story expresses some degree
of amazement that people barely out of the caves could achieve this degree of not only the craftsmanship to manufacture such
a chart, but the knowledge of the stars. Indeed, if the caveman in the television ad could speak of this, we are sure he would
let it be known that contemporary man has the historical record all wrong.
At the time the farmers were using this gold-plated
device to determine the time for planting and harvest, the Sumerians were building the first recorded world civilizations
along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in the area where war-torn Iraq now stands. That civilization was known as ancient
Mesopotamia. The first recorded king of Mesopotamia was recorded in the Book of Genesis as Nimrod. These were the people who
built the first pyramid-shaped structures, a crude block-shaped tower called ziggurats. The word means “mountain of
god,” which is the backdrop to the Tower of Babel story.
That kings like Nimrod were rising to power
and the first nation known as Mesopotamia came into existence during the so-called Bronze Age means that there was more going
on that just some simple-minded humanoids experimenting with heating tin and copper to make bronze. They were using the bronze
to make shields and helmets and weapons of warfare, and beginning to build empires.
The bronze age had its start about 5,000
years ago in the heart of the Golden Crescent, or where Iran and Iraq now exist. During this period the known world was divided
into thousands of warring tribes that eventually became small empires as the stronger tribes overpowered the rest. Nimrod
was among the first great rulers, or kings.
While the Sumerians were battling it out
for territory and power in the Middle East, it appears that the early German people were following a different path. They
were not only making star charts and studying movement of stars and planets, but they were busy building interesting monoliths
like Stonehenge, suggesting they were on a spiritual path.