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Old February 26th, 2010, 04:20 AM   #1
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Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


You no doubt can recall physical artefacts that appeared in multiple places around the world before the birth of Christ. For instance: from a set of, say, 10 specific items, three may appear here, six there, five elsewhere - in each place, artefacts (e.g. a single row of barbs in a spearhead made of rock used in fishing) made of the same materials and technology during the same window of time.

Some may say it is a sign of a single culture toolkit beginning in a single place that through demic migration dispersed becoming worldwide? Others might say similarities only show people have a tendency to do the same things independent of each other?


Below is the example of dice and combs (our combs and dice come down from this period of time?):

Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.beforebc.de/Made.by.Human...12-100-10.html
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Old February 26th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #2

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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


I think this is normally called Parallel Evolution. The same objects appeared because they are the only ones that fulfill the purpose they are designed for.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 06:46 AM   #3

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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon of Akkad View Post
I think this is normally called Parallel Evolution. The same objects appeared because they are the only ones that fulfill the purpose they are designed for.
Seconded!
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Old February 26th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


As said parallel evolution, same thing applies to lots of technology which developed both in Asia and Europe at around the same time, it didn't traverse the entire of Eurasia to get there. Also, I can't help but notice you appear to have a huge range of dates with those objects with one being in 4000BC and another in AD1800 which is ridiculously wide to think of as one contempory culture. You should also note the differences in styles which are a major distinguisher between cultures, not so much the dice but definetly the combs.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #5

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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


paulmarcw could well right about something originating from a single cutlure and spreading.

However I don't know what website he found this image on but wherever it was the site is guilty of doctoring evidence to make it dice look like they originated a 1000 years later in a different part of the world than they actually did.

The oldest dice are from Meosopotamia, India and Persia and may be spread around the world from there.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/dec/1029.html

Combs are very old, it's doubful that the origins will ever be known, but again the site's evidence isn't true and combs are in European museums from the paleolithic era and a 7000 year old one in a southern Indian museum.

Last edited by Toltec; February 26th, 2010 at 04:10 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 06:56 AM   #6
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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


Toltec writes: I can't help but notice you appear to have a huge range of dates with those objects with one being in 4000BC and another in AD1800 which is ridiculously wide to think of as one contempory culture.

Marc writes: Well. I agree. It would have been better to omit the outlier (No. 6 – the New Zealand comb). I deleted the picture and substituted a Dacian comb (6) from 300 BC in Romania which also carries the same sun sign (encircled dot) as the Indus Valley comb (5) of 2,200 BC.

Toltec writes: I don't know what website he found this image on but wherever it was the site is guilty of doctoring evidence to make it dice look like they originated a 1000 years later in a different part of the world than they actually did.

Marc writes: That’s my site and a page I designed. To my knowledge, the dice images are authentic. But, you can check on these and arrive at an independent opinion.

Nubia (pic. 1): Torgny Säve Söderbergh, New Kingdom Pharonic sites: the Scandinavian Joint Expedition to Sudanese Nubia Publications, Vol. 5, Part III, (Almquist and Wiksell, Tryckeri, Upsala, 1991), plate 95.

Indus Valley (pic. 2): Bedrich Hrozny, Ancient history of Western Asia, India, Crete, (Artia, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1953), p. 166.

Mesopotomia (pic. 3): dice found by Leonard Wooley in an archeological dig of 1926 – 1927 and is widely circulated.

Toltec’s link to the Sistan-Baluchestan dice:

www.payvand.com/news/04/dec/1029.html


Marc writes: In removing the 1800 AD New Zealand comb, I had an extra cell so added the dice from the link you provided (darkened it up a bit).

Thanks for the information and image. I had not known about that.

Comments made that images shown on page show parallel evolution:

Marc writes: Cultural toolkits contain hundreds of things. Parallel evolution for things in common? Could be.

I tend to think, though, that if cultures have nothing or just a thing or two in common the commonalities could likely be from parallel evolution. But, the more things various cultures have in common, I believe the greater the likelihood that they have the same origins.

Cultural toolkits I have found regions (as opposed to specific tribes/ people/ cultures) have in common are all of the following: 1) Neolithic pottery burials, 2) dug-out canoes later followed by plank boats, 3) pyramids, 4) board games, 5) rock art, 6) spindles and whorls, 7) the circular ear ring, 8) wattle and daub homes. These but you could think of quite a few more.


Are these the result of parallel evolution? Good question.




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Old February 27th, 2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


It is indeed a very interesting point you've raised, all of these different cultures around the world sharing an incredibly similiar pattern of development and/or similiar material culture. However, it ultimately boils down to which is more likely, widespread parallel evolution or a single emitting culture, and even though we may lean towards parallel evolution I don't personally see how we can be 100% sure.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #8

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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


I think the best question is this: How else do you intend to get the knots out of your hair?
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #9

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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


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Originally Posted by Nikator View Post
...all of these different cultures around the world sharing an incredibly similiar pattern of development and/or similiar material culture...
It's far simpler than that. The purpose defines the form in such things as combs, dice and knives. Is there anyone who is stupid enough to suggest that the knife was invented in one specific place at one specific time?

The purpose defines the form....
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #10
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Re: Neolithic to Iron Age dice and combs found on 3 continents – sign of one culture?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Toltec View Post
paulmarcw could well right about something originating from a single cutlure and spreading.

However I don't know what website he found this image on but wherever it was the site is guilty of doctoring evidence to make it dice look like they originated a 1000 years later in a different part of the world than they actually did.

The oldest dice are from Meosopotamia, India and Persia and may be spread around the world from there.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/dec/1029.html

Combs are very old, it's doubful that the origins will ever be known, but again the site's evidence isn't true and combs are in European museums from the paleolithic era and a 7000 year old one in a southern Indian museum.
For what it's worth, some extracts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dice#History:
"Dice have been used throughout Asia since before recorded history.
The oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set, at Shahr-i Sokhta, the Burnt City, an archeological site in south-eastern Iran.
Excavations from ancient tombs in the Harappan civilization seem to further indicate a South Asian origin. Dicing is mentioned as an Idian game in the Rig Veda, Atharva Veda and Buddha games list. It also plays a critical role great Hindu epic, the Mahabaratta, where Yudhisthira plays a game of dice against the Kauravas for the northern kingdom of Hastinapura...
Dice were probably originally made from the ankle bones (specifically the talus or "astragalus") of hoofed animals (such as oxen), colloquially known as "knucklebones", which are approximately tetrahedral. Modern Mongolians still use such bones, known as shagai..."

The apparent absence of native dices out of the Euroastic-African Continent would indeed suggest a unique common origin.
Is anyone here aware of any examples out of this land mass?
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