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Old December 30th, 2016, 04:18 AM   #1
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'Vandals' and the history of writing - part 1


'Vandals' and the history of writing.http://samlib.ru/l/lisukow_w_i/vanda...fwriting.shtml

Psychology is a universal phenomenon, that does not depend on whether we belong to the world of science or enjoy the life as just an ordinary man.

Ask any more or less educated person and he will tell you that the savage, who invented pottery has a higher level of cultural development than the savage who is not familiar with pottery at all. Pottery is one of the main markers in archeology, which allows us to date the findings and connect them with this or that archeological culture. And if there is no pottery at all, can we speak about a level of development?

It might seem logical. But we should clearly understand that this approach is inefficient if we use it as a universal method of comparative evaluation of historical events. And we could get rather false conclusions.
For example, a nomad who does not know what hygiene is but who invented a wheel is not much more advanced than any Aztec priest. Although the latter one was not familiar with the wheel.

Not less demonstrative is the generally accepted practice of comparing the Bronze and the Iron Age in mankind’s history from the point of view of the level of cultural development of society.

Formal logic says that if iron replaced bronze, it means that humanity stepped into to a new cultural level. A warrior brandishing his iron sword deserves cultural Olympus in our eyes while another warrior in bronze amour is a miserable outsider.

It is well known that initially iron items were considerably inferior to bronze items in operational properties and in quality of manufacture. Only after crowds of barbarians smashed the cultural centres of the Bronze Age completely and new states appeared on their ruins, new masters of life got an opportunity to improve the technology of smelting and processing iron for several hundreds of years.

Only by the middle of the first millennium BC we can seriously talk about a new level of development of human society.

It is if we go into details. The formal assessment of events sounds like transition from something inferior to something superior; that's it. Accordingly, people who lived in the Bronze Age are considered to be carriers of a lower level of culture as compared with their descendants from the Iron Age.

Exactly this formal logic is the ground flour of the majority of researchers dealing with historical processes. One of the particular conclusion in this evaluation system can be formulated as follows: any level of the development of the art of manufacturing ceramic tableware is a lower level of the cultural development of a society than the evidence of the presence of writing. That is why the nation which demonstrates advanced skills in the field of literacy is recognized as a spiritual leader and a teacher of neighbouring nations.

Let us try to find out if everything is so evident and simple in this issue.
First of all we should pay attention to the fact that the author of the product and the author of the inscription on it is not necessarily the same person.

The author of the products and the author of the inscriptions on the objects below are not only different people but are the representatives of completely different cultures.

You will agree that the masters who made these jugs could do their best if concerns the quality of manufacture and the way of plotting signs on the surface of the article. (Pic.1,2).
Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.1 Phoenicia. Jug and the inscription on it. 8 BC

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Pic.2. Greece. The jug with the plotted prototype of the Greek alphabet. 8-7 BC.
I can't but draw your attention to the fact that the Phoenician master obviously has something to learn from the Greek one.
In the picture below, the object and the author of the inscription are worthy of each other. He took a shard (from the scientific point of view - 'ostracon') and painted it with writing signs. Well done! Pic.3

Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.3 'Ostracon'. Greece. 8 BC
But thousand years before this epoch-making event, something worthy to the 19 - 20 AD was created in the same land. Pic.4

Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.4 Cup. Greece. 1600 BC

The human history turned over centuries but the tradition of leaving signatures anywhere, high and low became popular. Below we can see quite a decent ceramic article decorated with 'the masterpiece of Etruscan writing'. Pic.5


Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.5 Etruscan inscription the second half of 6 BC.

And these are the first centuries AD. Literacy on the territory of Denmark is demonstrated by a Norwegian conqueror who chose a Roman masterpiece of blacksmith’s art as the object of violence. (Pic.6).

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.6. A Roman article and signature (210 – 260 AD).

If we look at the process as a whole we can get rather curious thing. I cannot imagine that a person in his right mind could order a beautiful thing and then roughly scratched a word or a phrase on it. Most likely, if he wanted it so much, he would ask the master to do that – as we can see it on the following examples (Pic.7, 8).


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Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.7 Vase. Greece. 5 BC.


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Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.8 Horn. Denmark.400-450 years AD.

And the style would have been saved. And this inscription would have looked more appropriate. And the examples above are evident illustrations of violence over the masterpieces.The real owners never behave in such a way with valuables. This can afford only the barbarians, for example, making a sacrifice to their god in order to immortalize themselves.
The most record - holder in the field of vandalism is the author of the inscription on the sarcophagus, called the 'sarcophagus of Ahiram.' Besides this savage desecrated the coffin of the deceased he misled the entire global scientific community to a few centuries ago.The idea of the oldest version of the Phoenician alphabet is based primarily on the inscription scratched on this sarcophagus by unknown craftsman (Pic. 9)

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Pic. 9 A fragment of the inscription on the sarcophagus of Ahiram.

Initially this text was dated 13-12 century BC. But then after the discovery of some objects of the 7th century BC in the cultural layer of the sarcophagus, it was decided to have a compromise and assume average figure date, ie 10 BC. How scientific this decision was, this argument we will leave to the experts of archeology. We will try to find arguments in favor of the fact that here is just the act of vandalism.
Firstly let's analyse some other examples. Below is the object, radically different from the previous one (Pic. 9).


Click the image to open in full size.
Pic. 9 King Kilamuva's Stella. 9 BC.

In this case, both the text and the images made clearly by one master. And as for the date -9 BC- there are no special disputies.
Here is another stele, even without people's images (Pic. 10).

Click the image to open in full size.
Pic. 10. Mesha Stele or Moabit Stone. 9th century BC.

Last edited by vlisukov; December 30th, 2016 at 05:13 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 04:22 AM   #2
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Compositionally, all made in the same style, and today we can give our respect to the level of the carver's skills. Here, too, there is little dispute on the dating of the 9th century BC.
Besides the set and character of the signs on both stelae are very similar in style (Pic. 11)


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Pic.11. Phoenician alphabet 9-8 BC made up of a modern design of Phoenician letters, signs on the Moabit Stone (Mesha Stele) and signs on the king Kilamuva's Stele ( from the left to the right).

As you can see some significant mismatches between the texts there are in three signs «Teth», «Samekh» and «Taw» and then, basically, with the official version (see drawing).
The situation is different with the sarcophagus of Ahiram. If all of the sarcophagus is covered with intricately carvings, forming the overall composition, the inscription does not fit well with the size of the signs or the style of the performing (Picture 12).


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Pic. 12. Ahiram's sarcophagus with the inscription on its cover.

Moreover, it is clear that for the application of the Phoenician signs the place had been cleared before.
Therefore, there is no doubt in heterogeneity of the inscription on the sarcophagus of Ahiram in the style and technique of carving on the rest of its surface. It was done by a master with a higher level, belonging to another culture.
As for the signs of this inscription, first of all, we should pay attention to the letter «Teth». This is not the Phoenician but the Greek style, where some signs were fitted into the circle. And it was formed in 7-6 BC, in the period of Greek dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean (Pic. 13).

Click the image to open in full size.
Pic. 13. The Greek inscription 6 BC with the letter "theta" in the form of direct cross fitted in a circle.
Greek colonies testify about this domination, based not only in the "wild lands" of the north, but also in the Phoenician and Egyptian territories.
No on Mesha stele or no on Kilamuva inscriptions there are no signs enclosed in a circle. And this is 9 or at the worst the beginning of 8 BC. And the dating of these objects is much more definit, because certain historical figures are mentioned in the text. And nobody knows who Ahira is.
An indirect confirmation of the absence of such a sign in the earliest Phoenician inscriptions are attempts of falsification, taken apparently on good reasons. It is immpossible that such a sign could be missed on the artifact that must be if it is used in the most ancient inscriptions.
That is, for example, the result of a complete recovery of the marks on the Mesha Stele. If you look carefully, you can see then on 10 and 11 lines the persence of blocks of letters Teth + Ayin:
Click the image to open in full size.
on 10 line and Click the image to open in full size.on 11 (pic. 15)


Click the image to open in full size.
Pic.15 'Full' restored signs on Mesha Stele (9-12 lines).

It seems to be all right. But the meticulous author of this article decided to compare writings of the 'restored' original text and the photo. Imagine my surprise when, on place of the seeking sign (at the tenth line), I found out not any controversial lines, which can be interpreted as anything but an empty space on the intact surface, which clearly indicates scientific misconduct of a specialist's 'recovery' ( pic. 16).


Click the image to open in full size.
Pic. 16. A fragment of Mesha Stele. 9-12 lines. Photo.
For the suspicious ones there are photos of the same stele section at a higher magnification (pic. 17).


Click the image to open in full size.
Pic. 17. As you can see between the «Resh» and «Ayin» nothing precisely is written!

Well, the author of 'full recovery' would like to prove the existence of what does not exist. And this can be interpreted as the evidence of the opposite thought: there was no such a sign in a given period and, therefore, its presence in the text refers the recording to later time. In our case, to 7-6 BC.
I think that a certain ruler Ahiram was buried somewhere between 7 and 6 BC in another sarcophagus, providing an appropriate inscription on the stone tomb.

Conclusions:
1.The author of the inscription on the ceramic or on the other object is not necessarily the same person who made this article.
2.The level of executing the inscription and the quality of manufacturing the article in a number of cases testify the fact that the creator and the graphomaniac belong to different cultures.
3.The cultural level of the manufacturer of ceramic can be higher than the cultural level of the representative of the most advanced form of writing.
4.The level of the development of writing is not always an absolute argument of the spiritual and cultural domination of its represantatives.
5.The contrast between the high skill of the creator of the object on which an inscription was plotted and the poor technique of the inscription itself points to foreignness of the text.

The author's opinion about the nature of this 'foreignness' will be published in the following articles.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 02:33 PM   #3

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I just read all the two posts trying to find a connection with the Vandals. It seems that I was catched like a fish.
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Old January 1st, 2017, 02:16 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulius View Post
I just read all the two posts trying to find a connection with the Vandals. It seems that I was catched like a fish.
Ah, I was hoping your post (the 2nd) would help me when I read the first!

Maybe it's to do with vandals as in hooligans smashing pots, not Vandals as in migrating Germanics?
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Old January 8th, 2017, 09:30 AM   #5
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Vandalism is any activity that is considered to be damaging or destroying something that was good.
Vandalism is "action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property".
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Old January 8th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlisukov View Post
Vandalism is any activity that is considered to be damaging or destroying something that was good.
Vandalism is "action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property".
When there is a thread with the word “Vandals” in a History Forum, in the Ancient sub-Forum, maybe that definition of “Vandalism” is not the first thing that comes to mind. Just my perspective!
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Old January 9th, 2017, 01:36 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulius View Post
When there is a thread with the word “Vandals” in a History Forum, in the Ancient sub-Forum, maybe that definition of “Vandalism” is not the first thing that comes to mind. Just my perspective!
See - your English isn't that limited!
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Old January 9th, 2017, 07:38 AM   #8
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The reason the word vandal became a pejorative term was because they wantonly smashed off the noses of numerous Roman sculptures. You can see the results if you visit the Bardo museum in Tunis.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 12:43 AM   #9

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The reason the word vandal became a pejorative term was because they wantonly smashed off the noses of numerous Roman sculptures. You can see the results if you visit the Bardo museum in Tunis.
I thought revisionist forces were now saying they got a bad press? To be honest knocking the heads off Roman statues or smashing them altogether was fairly commonplace. If they only did the noses they got off lightly
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Old January 10th, 2017, 02:03 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
See - your English isn't that limited!
Believe me, my English is very rusty compared with what it was some 10 or 20 years ago. And the internet doesn’t improve it much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fascinating View Post
The reason the word vandal became a pejorative term was because they wantonly smashed off the noses of numerous Roman sculptures. You can see the results if you visit the Bardo museum in Tunis.
Those guys were really “Barbarians”!

Probably the Romans called them both “Vandals” and “Barbarians”. Poor fellows the historiography was not much kind with them.
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