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‘Represents the oldest currently known figurine’ [figure]
that predates the Late-Acheulian Berekhat Ram.
The dark African Palaeoart figure known as Tan-Tan from Morocco appears to be the earliest of the Afrocentric (dark mother) figures. Surrounding sediments indicate that the timeline is c. 500,000 to 300,000 BCE. In Bednarik’s archaeological report, “A Figurine from the African Acheulian 1,” the Tan-Tan female icon is c. 400,000 BCE * and represents the oldest known figure, therefore predating the Late-Acheulian Berekhat Ram. Even though both Tan-Tan and the Berekhat Ram show evidence of ocher (or ochre), the Tan-Tan figure is the first “known instance of pigment application, although older indirect evidence of such a practice does exist.” (FAA: 411.) In regard to calling the Tan-Tan figure an icon, he says “unmistakable traces of moderating the level of visual ambiguity of the Tan-Tan specimen define it as iconic.” (FAA: 411.)
* (500,000-300,000 BCE.)
This intentionally enhanced icon measures around six centimeters and was discovered by German archaeologist, Lutz Fiedler. Location of the find was in a river deposit on north side of the River Dra (or Draa) just south of the township of Tan-Tan. Painted with red ocher (symbolic blood), the figure is made from quartzite and suggests ritual or spiritual importance. As discussed by Francesco d’Errico and April Nowell, archaeological evidence consistently confirms, “Neanderthals produced and used symbolic objects.” (NLBR: 163.) The dating, engravings, location, female attributes, and use of ochre (iron oxide), mirror other African dark mothers or “Venus” (?) * carved statues. Additional examples in Re-Genesis are: the Berekhat Ram followed by Brassempouy; Willendorf; Laussel; Dolni Vestonice and Lespugue. (WKP: 11-26-05; EKP: 89-135.)
* “Venus”: Medieval Latin Uenus is a de-sacralized/de-sanctified term for goddess or ancestral matrix.
FURTHER RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS
Further keyword research on ancient African Dark Mothers and related trade routes:
3,000,000, Overview of Hominid Evolution Including Dark Mothers and Later Migrations; 280,000-250,000; The Berekhat Ram Figure; 70,000, Blombos Cave and V Shaped Engraving; 50,000, African Homo Sapiens Migrations and Matrilineal Motherline; 40,000, Har Karkom; 30,000-25,000, Aurignacian Age; 30,000-25,000, Goddess of Willendorf, Austria; 26,000, Grimaldi Caves; 25,000-20,000, Gravettian Age; 25,000, Caravanserai, Trade Routes, and Dark Mothers; 25,000-20,000, Goddess of Laussel; 24,000, Dolni Vestonice; 23,000, Austrian Goddess of Lespugue; 10,000, Grotta dell’Addaura; 7000, Jericho, Canaan/Palestine: Mesolithic to Neolithic; 7000, Hieros Gamos; 6000, Sicilians to Malta; 5200, Malta and Gozo; 4700, Dolmens; 2200, Nahariyah and Ashrath-Yam; 1900-1800, Dawning of the African Alphabet and the Aniconic Goddess Triangle; 1000, Ephesus, Anatolia; 800, Tanit; 800, Carthage, Africa, the Goddess Tanit and Sacrifice; 750-650, Cybele and King Midas, Anatolia; 664-525, Neith and the Black Virgin Mary Temple at Sais, Egypt; 600, Goddess Kaabou at Petra, Jordan plus Mecca, Saudi Arabia; 400, Cathedra Goddess Isis; and 370, Isis and Philae, Egypt. (RGS.)
For further keyword research on the production of hand axes, including pre-and-post the Acheulian, see keywords:
“hand axe” AND Oldowan OR “Olduvai Gorge” OR Mousterian OR Pleistocene OR Holocene “Homo Ergaster.” Additional searches might include: “hand axe” AND Saint-Acheul OR “Venerque France” OR Madrid OR “Moldavian Plateau.”
Further keyword research on ancient ochre: 285,000, Ochre at Kapthurin Formation plus Other Sites;
280,000-250,000, The Berekhat Ram Figure; 92,000, Qafzeh Cave and Ochre Symbolism; 70,000, Blombos Cave and V Shaped Engraving; 50,000, African Homo Sapiens Migrations and Matrilineal Motherline; 31,000, Chauvet Cave and Vulva Engravings; 10,000, Grotta dell’Addaura; 2600-2000, Early Bronze Age, Crete, Chthonian * Prepalatial/Early Minoan (EM I-III); and 1500, Lachish Ewer, Triangle, and Menorah. (RGS.)
* (Earth mother, Chthonia.)
ENTRY 4 GODDESS SITES AND ARTIFACT IMAGE COLLECTIONS
GSA TEXT REFERENCES
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50,000, African Homo Sapiens Migrations
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is female inherited from the mother only, female which means that these studies trace descent thorough the female line. (MSA: 4-5.) African Eves. Several partheno-genetrix (self-fertilizing)
’ brought forth life. The self-begetting generatrix was female: she was black from the sub–Saharan Africa.
African Homo sapiens were migrating out of Africa c. 1,500,000-1,000,000 BCE. (AEEA: 538-39; DS: A4.) Given recent tests of migrating African populations, evidence of DNA inheritance from the mother – line now supports findings that modern humans originated in subSaharan Africa – and – there were several African ‘Eves’ (DM: xxxv; HGHG.) According to Cavalli-Sforza, one of the differences between males and females is that DNA mitochondria are inherited only through the mother – line. (DM: 5, n. 10.) (PB; GE; GPL; GHD; HGHG; DEHE.) (RGS: 3,000,000, Overview of Hominid Evolution Including Dark Mothers and Later Migrations.)
In “The Middle Stone Age in East Africa and Modern Human Origins,” P. R. Willoughby adds to the DNA mother – line discussion along with further ‘Out of Africa’ dispersal – and – dating considerations.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited from the mother only, which means that these studies trace descent thorough the female line. Knowing the degree of difference between two living individuals, combined with a constant rate of mutation, produces a date of divergence for their last common ancestor, as well as a genealogy of relatedness. In the original studies, it was argued that African mtDNA was the most diverse, so Africans represent the founder populations for all living humans, and the last ‘common’ ancestor for all 147 individuals measured lived between 143,000 and 285,000 BP (before present). When combined with fossil data, it was proposed that early modern humans moved out of Africa into the middle East by 100,000 BP, and from there into Europe and the Far East by 35,000 BP, completely replacing archaic groups already living there. … The last common ancestor for all of them (or “Mitochondrial Eve”) lived in Africa 200,000 BP (MSA: 4-5).
Along with the ever – widening data and acceptance of the African DNA inheritance, increasing scholars such as Cavalli-Sforza support the theory “that deep religious and political beliefs of the offspring tend to resemble beliefs of the mother.” (DM: 5.) Emmanuel Anati says that by following the mother – line, the clear antecedent of religions and spiritual practices is female. (DM: 44; PB.)
[Wolfgang Wildgen adds that the predominance], of female statuettes and female symbols (vulvas) was interpreted as the consequence of a more ‘gendered’ society in the Upper Paleolithic. Eventually a more egalitarian society was replaced by a society with social differentiation and a divergence between female and male roles (PO: 146, n. 11).
Such beliefs are widely noted in corpulent females figures with full breasts found along the African migration paths including: Eastern Asia, Italy, Pyrenees, Çatalonia, Dordogne, Central and Eastern Europe, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, and Mexico, plus the Czech and Slovakian republics. (DM: 5-9.)
Birnbaum adds to the migration discussion and sanctuaries of black Madonnas. Sites of these figurines [figures] of the dark mother on paths of prehistoric [ancient] African migrations along the Mediterranean littoral of Europe often became, in the historic epoch, sanctuaries of black Madonnas. ... The harmony of ancient mother – centered civilization is shown in Paleolithic Africa [where] there was no division between sacred and profane and no division of self and other – the mother and her nurture of all life were one. The concept of the other seems to have emerged in Europe with the invasions of Indo–European speakers after 4300 BCE (DM: 6).
Additionally, confirmed DNA migration evidence currently maintains that the world’s richest ancient cave art is from central and South African caves. Extensive findings include: triangles, spirals, wavy lines, petals, and red ochre (or ochre), color of a “venerated woman.” (DM: xxxv.) Anati says that ancient art has “‘almost identical characteristics in the entire world,’ thereby implicitly confirming geneticist Cavalli-Sforza’s concept of demic migrations, wherein people take their beliefs with them when they migrate” (DM: xxxv).
In summary, several partheno – genetrix (self-fertilizing) African ‘Eves’ brought forth life. The self-begetting generatrix was female: she was black from the sub- Saharan Africa. These origins plus subsequent traditions and rituals are the antecedent or base line of most religions and spiritual practices including the one – and – the – many black venerated Madonnas.
Africans had strongly developed religious concepts in which the female deity played a tremendously important part. Indeed, in the earliest times, she had an all-encompassing influence and was universally acknowledged as the greatest and ultimate seat of power. She was both the giver and sustainer of life. These religious concepts, still powerful today, originated in the East/Central Africa, the continental cradleland. Here, in this primordial center, occurred the molding and forming of the religious and philosophical ideas that were to critically shape the world. The earliest humanity, undeniably Black, took these seminal ideas wherever they went, and in the course of their far-flung migrations carried them to the distant corners of the earth (BWA: 72).
ENTRY 10 GODDESS SITES AND ARTIFACT IMAGE COLLECTIONS
GSA IMAGE REFERENCES
IMAGE: AURIGNACIAN VULVA IN STONE: LA FERRASSIE, FRANCE. PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: INCISED AURIGNACIAN VULVA IN STONE, LA FERRASSIE, FRANCE. SLIDE LOCATION NEO. PAL. FRANCE, SHEET 2, ROW 4, SLEEVE 3, SLIDE #18, c. 34,000-28,000 BCE.
SHOT ON LOCATION: THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: NEW YORK, NY. NOTE 1: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1993. PHOTO NOTE: FOR AURIGNACIAN VULVA PHOTO RESEARCH, SEE THE NEW NATURAL MUSEUM OF PREHISTORY LES EYZIES IN THE VILLAGE OF LES EYZIES, FRANCE, DISTINGUISHED AS ONE THE FINEST ICE AGE AND MAGDALENIAN COLLECTIONS IN THE WORLD.
IMAGE: AURIGNACIAN VULVA FROM THE VALLEY OF VÉZÈRE: DORDOGNE, FRANCE. PHOTO: © GSA. DESCRIPTION: AURIGNACIAN INCISED VULVA IN STONE FROM CAVES IN THE VALLEY OF VÉZÈRE, DORDOGNE, FRANCE. SLIDE LOCATION NEO. PAL. FRANCE, SHEET 2, ROW 4, SLEEVE 4, SLIDE #19, c. 30,000 BCE.
SHOT ON LOCATION: HAUTE GARGONNE, FRANCE: MUSÉE DES ANTIQUITÉS NATIONALES. (SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, FRANCE IS JUST OUTSIDE OF PARIS.) NOTE 1: FIELDWORK PROJECT 1982-1989.