Last week I saw a couple of pics on Bookface which caught my attention, independently. But they pretty much do the same thing: juxtapose ancient images with something unexpected; visual metaphor as a means of speculating about the source of ancient knowledge.
The first of these is an artist's rendition of an aerial view of Teotihuacan, specifically the ceremonal axis of the Pyramid of the Sun, side by side with a detail of a printed circuit board (PCB). Pictured this way, there is indeed a similarity, but why shouldn't there be? I don't think that someone was looking at a PCB and exclaimed "Eureka" after noticing is was almost an exact re-creation of the temple complex. More likely is that the PCB detail, which isn't a photograph but an illustration, was created specifically to imitate the latter. So there's nothing amazing about it. A first view might lead to raised eyebrows and a murmured "wow," but really, any decent artist could make the image after making the visual connection. Would make great raw material for R.A.W. material....Pyramid of the Simon Moon? It's a striking visual metaphor, but certainly not "proof" that the Aztecs had some knowledge of computers or that their pyramids were landing sites for UFOs, as quite a few sites are claiming. Unfortunately I skimmed through these before I had a notion to do this post, and I'm feeling too lazy to go back and find the links. As the Buddha said, you can't eat the same tripe twice.
The History Channel logo at bottom right indicates that the image probably comes from the channel's Ancient Aliens series, which addresses the question:
"Is it possible that extraterrestrials with superior knowledge of science and engineering landed on Earth thousands of years ago, sharing their expertise with early civilizations?"
Well, yes, I suppose it is possible.
A fun question, sure, and one guaranteed to attract a decent-sized audience. Over the years I've heard lots of theories like this, it's a well-entrenched part of our shared pop mythology: certain Inca monuments are revealed to be giant animals only visible from the air; an image of a Mayan king from Palenque appears to be reclining and surrounded by "dials" indicating that the king was in fact an astronaut; the perfect cut and tight joints of the massive blocks forming the Egyptian pyramids could not have been effected by human, especially ancient human hands. All this was given wide circulation by Swiss author Erich von Däniken, whose bestseller Chariots of the Gods? (1968 in the US) litters my childhood memories. Däniken wasn't the first to espouse the theory that ancient civilizations were in contact with ET, but an industry has flourished under his inspiration since the 70s. All very neat, but it's harder to swallow when we learn the man himself has been arrested several times and convicted on charges linked to fraud, embezzlement, forgery....
By the by, I think it was Charles Fort in The Book of the Damned (1919) that first discussed this theory, without actually espousing it. This from a little digging about. Add another book to the wish list.
Some of course will simply see the arrests as efforts by "the Man" to supress Däniken's ideas. One could be generous and say he merely wanted to fund his travels and research in order to sustain his mission, at any cost, like an independent filmaker selling pot to fund his films. Less generous would be to say the man's a clever bullshit artist who wanted to live the life of a "playboy" (to use the words of the Swiss high court), funding his endeavours one paperback at a time. That along with "repeated and sustained" criminal activity linked to being a thief and a liar. Not to mention that on at least one occasion he has admitted to using fraudulent evidence...
Hell, I like Stargate as well as the next guy, but I'm sure it's a bit annoying to those Egyptians and various groups of Amerindians to read that their ancestors weren't clever enough to build great monuments and understand the movements of the stars....
|Origin of the image unknown. Apologies to its maker, but this one appears to have gon viral....|
A second image which caught my fancy compares the Eye of Horus, forerunner of the Eye of Providence used by Catholics, Freemasons and the Illuminati, to the structure of the human brain...I suppose this is more "objective" than our first image....one simply cannot redesign the Eye or the brain to make them match, but I haven't seen the proposition but forth by any professional Egyptologists. One site included this image in its "proofs" of ancient alien contact...how could the Egyptians have had such "astonishing " knowledge?
This isn't astonishing at all. I don't propose that the Eye of Horus is a diagram of the brain, but the Egyptians were certainly, perhaps above all other ancient civilizations, in a good position to have had this kind of knowledge. After all, their priests were also skilled morticians; removing human organs for preservation in canopic jars was an important part of the mummification process. Apparently, the brain was an exception; they pulled it out through the nose after mashing it into a liquid state with a special tool. They didn't consider the brain to be of the utmost importance, so using such an important symbol of divinity to represent it wouldn't have made much sense. So for us, this is a real no-brainer. Heh heh. One would have to imagine, however, that at some point during the millennia they practiced mummification, they'd have taken a good look at a human brain. So while I think they were knowledgeable enough to have modelled the Eye of Horus on the human brain, I don't think they would have. If anything, they would have modelled it on the heart, which they believed "to be the center of a person's being and intelligence."
What the image above doesn't show is the pineal gland, found just below the rear of corpus callosum. This gland is often referred to as the "third eye," by Blavatsky, among others. Indeed, the gland "produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions." Nifty metaphorical function aside ("waking up" as in "becoming aware" or even "enlightened"), isn't seratonin a major factor in the influence of mood whose level is affected by the use of mind-altering drugs, sex, meditation....? OK, I'm not a neurochemist, but isn't it interesting that the structure said to be represented by the Eye of Horus contains the third eye? Even if the Egyptians didn't see it that way?
Which is probably enough to show that I know just about fuck all when it comes to the human brain. Or the Eye of Horus. And I'm betting most of these people claiming that one represents the other are in the same boat. Which is really, all I wanted to say on this subject, admittedly interesting, fraught with the pitfalls of bad science, bad archeology and "bad" thinking....