Acorns to Wheat:
A Chasseen Family Saga
May 9, 2017
Most of us think of prehistoric music as wooden drums and bone flutes; and for the most part, we would be correct. However, we should also ask: What was the music for? What function did it serve?
The beginnings of these two primitive musical instruments goes back to the original purpose of playing music. Music was designed to communicate with their gods, the creators of the earth and all things on the earth.
The drums were designed to replicate thunder - the warning sound of the gods. This is how they got your attention, so this is how you should get their attention. The drummers would start at about the pace of a resting heart-rate. Slowly, they increased to the speed of a runner's heart-rate. This was all to get the attention of the gods. Then the drums stopped.
The flute was designed to replicate bird songs. Since the gods were 'from above', and birds flew in 'the above', the birds must know how to communicate with the gods. So the flute was played to sound like bird songs, to please the gods. Once the people felt the gods were pleased, the flutes stopped.
The two musical instruments were not played together. The drum drew the attention of the gods, the flute placated and amused the gods. Once the musicians had the attention and had soothed the gods, the chants could begin. Chants asked for mercy, for long life and happiness or as thankful recipients of the god's indulgences.
Music was a ceremony performed as prayers to the gods.
January 15, 2017
It was not as hard as I thought it would be to find studies of prehistoric languages. I will let you explore how the research was done. I want to discuss the results.
Different languages in Europe evolved from a core language used by a scattered group of people from the mid-6000 B.C. era called the Cardium pottery makers. Their territory covered the Mediterranean coast from Barcelona to Monaco, all of Italy, the Balkan States, Greece and all the way east to India. Most Proto-Indo-European languages, from Celtic to Sanskrit and Germanic to Latin, derived from the shared ancient language of these people.
The evidence shows there are common root words in current European languages. The root words influenced all parts of each languages culture. The common root words for nature include: moon, day, night, wild animal, tree and honey. Common words to describe the body include: eye, chin, jaw, ear and tongue. Relationship words include: brother (meaning a male member of a clan, not just a family male member), sister, mother and father.
All of these words display the aspects of life that were fundamental to ancient peoples. Interestingly, there is no common word for wheel. The wheel was invented long after the Cardium pottery culture fell apart.
Religious words and phrases are: chief of the gods, to pledge oneself, holy forces, poet, poetry, punishment and immortality. Poetry began as a religious art form. One of the most ancient poems in all of Proto-Indo-European languages is "Protect, keep safe, man and cattle". The ancient meaning of cattle being livestock (not just cows).
Another aspect of ancient languages is how they sounded. To study the sound of ancient languages, most research relies on studying primitive cultures still functioning today. There are thousands of ancient niche languages. Unfortunately, a dozen or so become extinct every year. These niche languages are in expected, highly populated regions such as China and India, but also in North America and European countries.
One interesting finding is that ancient speaking sounded more bird-like. Our current whistling is a remnant of this sound. Whistling and other high-pitched sounds can carry long distances and that was an important feature to ancient people. Click HERE
to watch a youtube demonstration of an ancient whistling language. There are still remnants of other animal sounds like the rolling 'R' used by singers and the 'tsk, tsk, tsk' (with a shaking of the head) meaning disapproval.
November 2, 2016
|Invention of the Wheel
The first evidence of a wheeled vehicle in Europe is around 3200-3300bc in the present-day Poland-Germany area. There is more evidence of wheels being used in the furtile crescent before this, in 3500bc. This evidence suggests it would be another 1000 years before the wheel was brought to southern France. By that time, 2500bc, the Chasseen culture had given way to the Celts. There was never a wheeled vehicle during the time period of this book or during the culture of the Chasseen people in this book.
October 12, 2016
|Who were the Chasseen?
First and foremost, the Chasseen were people like us, but without the technology, organization and understanding that 6000 years of discovery has taught us. They were more familiar with and aware of the natural world than most of us.
The Chasseen (some archaeologists use Chasseens) were the first to rise from a singular hunter-gatherer life to a more diverse life as small family clans coalesced into farming communities. The clans shared with each other their own personal traits and family traditions while participating in a mutually beneficial work-load. Differing talents became an advantage.
Chasseen is the name given to a loose collection of nomadic hunter-gatherers transitioning to a more stable life-style. This is the beginning of communal life in Europe. However, these were still bands of diverse people with minimal organization. They did, however, intermingled on a regional basis during seasonal worship events.
Their culture covers about 1000 years, from 4500 to 3500bc. Their influence extended over several large groupings. In general, the groups were separated by the mountain ranges of Europe and were concentrated near river basins. One group covered most of the Iberian Peninsula around to the Italian coast. There was a group from the Paris basin to the Danube area and one other group located in Northern Europe. Each had their own trade routes, but maintained a similar culture. The two latter groups were eventually displaced by a pre-Celtic culture. The Iberian Peninsula group, because they were more scattered, maintained their culture much longer. They were probably intermingled with the Celts and later the Gauls.
The Chasseen were neolithic (neo-new + lithic-stone age). They already had grinding stones for acorns to make bread and used these same stones when they switched to growing wheat and barley for bread. They had no metal technology, but mastered the use of flint and obsidian. Originally, they used an atlatl for hunting but changed to bow and arrows. Bowls and cooking utensils for communal meals were made of clay and they used personal clay bowls with bone implements. Their cook-pots were unique for having three large lugs near the bottom of the pot to hang on a tree and drop in hot rocks for cooking.
Chasseen were the first in the region to herd goats (and later sheep) and trained their dogs to assist in herding. They cultivated wild peas, millet and harvested fruits such as apples, pears and plums.
This began as a matriarchal society. The women mastered the technique of moving wild grains to local fields, then turned the seeds into a gardening endeavor. This endeavor changed to full-fledged farming as the women taught themselves the techniques of crop rotation and multi-seasonal planting/harvesting. This continued until the workload of farming overcame their child-rearing and domestic responsibilities and the men took over. The men changed from hunters to farmers as the advantages of a continual and reliable food-source became apparent.
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