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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Villages of Homo Erectus

Here's an interesting article I'd like to share with all my fellow prehistoria enthusiasts. It's called "Dig Yields trace of 500,000-year-old house" from The Japan Times in 2000. You can just imagine whole villages of the low rustic hovels, inhabited by the elfin homo erectus half a million years before mainstream education would have us believe that homo sapien finally created civilization.
500,000 Year Old House Found In Japan

Friday, July 27, 2007

Prosthetics for Cavemen

The more we find out about ancient civilizations, the more that the modern potrayal of them seems innacurate. Even in Neolithic times, there seem to have been nations, or at least city states, as "civilized" as our own. Cro-Magnons have been proven to have had fashion, neanderthals played music on flutes, there's even a case for brain surgery during the ice age. the civilizations of ancient times were far different from ours, and so was the technology. But the more we learn, the more we have to discard the old notions of loin cloths, empty rituals, ignorance of the universe, and the lack of sophisticated society when talking about ancient mankind.
A recent Discovery Channel program put forth the theory, with some good circumstancial evidence to prove it, that the pyramids were painted with advertisements like billboards. It may be that if we could walk into the ancient Egypt of 3000+ years ago, much of it would seem more like an alien metropolis than a primitive unsophisticated society.
Recently, they've even discovered that the ancient Egyptians used prosthetic toes! It's probable that they used prosthetic limbs as well. Here's an interesting article to check out:
Egypt Toe

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Origins of Communication

Ayur Vedic teaching speaks of primordial sound, which is an instinctive language that we all know subconsciously and can become able to tap into. The Bible speaks of the time before Babel, when there was but one language for all mankind. We have often speculated that spoken language was created in order to share ideas and to communicate, but it is not outrageous to theorize the opposite. What if spoken language was actually created to silence the sharing of thoughts?

The animals do not use sound alone to communicate, but instead use all of their senses, including a somewhat recently discovered sense that is enabled by the VSO organ and is the receptor for pheromones. But humans have shut down much of their ancestral communication and replaced it with spoken voculabulary. We no longer trust our sense of smell, and cover up our own scents with soaps and perfumes. We hide the visual biproducts of our emotions, and forget what instinctual gestures, postures, and expressions mean. We disbelieve our auras, though proven by Kirlian photography, so that only children and sensitives might see them. We ignore our subtle communicative feelings and emotions, and close ourselves off to intuition and insight. We have become dependent upon the spoken word, and haven't really been using our own VSO organs for thousands of years. They may not even work anymore.

The primordial spoken language, being a supplemental part of communication but not the whole of it, was quite probably instinctual and therefore may indeed have been shared at one time across the globe. Many theorizers and prehistoric fiction writers have speculated that the brain structures of archaic homo sapiens were indeed more inclined toward instinctual and universal thought than ours are today. Aule's neanderthals were psychic. Archaics and erectus had smaller frontal lobes, and the occipital bun housed an extended, instinctual, "reptilian" brain. The quelling of the ego and the enlargement of the primitive brain would be an ideal condition for the reception of a universal mind.

It has been suggested that the story of the Tower of Babel is a retelling of the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. While I don't buy this because of the obvious timeline problems and other reasons that make that theory unable to jive, the two stories do have interesting similarities. Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and they knew they were naked and hid their bodies. Man sought to achieve the status of God and built a great tower, but God cast it down and tangled their tongues. Perhaps in the humbling from the fall of the tower man realized that his thoughts were exposed, and hid them from his neighbor, and that is how God tangled his tongue. Therefore the old language was lost, and a plethora of new ones were created, so that men from different tribes could no longer understand each other.

Similarities in root words have been discovered by linguists in languages as seperated from each other by time and geography as Basque and Ainu. Could they all point to an ancient, primordial, instinctual language, before the fall of man?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Official Other Side of Yore Book Trailer!


From Amazon Fantasy Forums

J. Lyon Layden:
I dislike orcs in any work besides LOTR because the word was only used before J.R.R. as an adjective describing demonic things.
And before Dungeons and Dragons, Kobolds were simply farmhouse barn goblin-sprites, and never assembled in a large group. So I dislike Kobolds being used as anything but barnhouse fairies in any non-TSR work.

Ogres and goblins and trolls and dragons are OK to use, in my opinion, as long as they are used in an innovative way.

For instance, goblins are used in "Goblin Wars," but the story is told from the goblin's perspective.

In my own work, I do use the words like "ogre," "goblin," and "troll" but what I'm describing are the real creatures that actually lived 30,000 years ago from which the ogre and troll stories were probably derived.

Jason Pratt:{{ But they most likely held on for several thousand years past [the 27,000 year old strata] at least}}

Considering that Neanderthal DNA was just discovered to be 99.9% identical to human DNA, I'd be inclined to say they hung on a little longer than that. {g} (Their DNA differs from ours to about the same degree as yours differs from mine. Another study suggested that Europeans might be even closer than that: that 5% of them might still be 100% identical!)

It was the meganthropus or giganthropithecus I was thinking of, though. Er, which of them had a trait of occasionally having two rows of teeth or more than five fingers sometimes? Or was it another large anthropoid? (I've forgotten... one of them though. The point is that legends of giant humans going back several thousand years ago sometimes mention those traits. Kind of interesting.)

J. Lyon Layden:
To Brent: I have never been a fan of the animorphed creatures in serious fantasy. It's one of the things that turned me off to Everquest. I just ignored the existence of such creatures when DMing Dungeons and Dragons, because I found them silly. Just too cutesy and evolutionarilly implausible in my opinion.

Now in children's fantasy I have no problem with it. I better not, because my debut children's fantasy novella is dominated by animorphed amphibians. And I loved Watership Down and the Redwall series; that's somehow different to me.

To Jason: It wasn't meganthropus that had the double rows of teeth and extra digits. Those finds are usually attributed to homo sapien sapient, and come mostly from the Americas, from what I know of it. Scientist mostly pass it off as deformity. But it seems likely that there were homo sapien giants during the neolithic, perhaps with blood from more archaic forms of hominid, who were sort of a ruling class and "kept it in the family" so to speak, hence the deformities.

Meganthropus did, however, often display a double sagittal crest, and had the biggest set of teeth of any known hominid. It stood somewhere between 6 and 9 feet, and probably weighed over 400 pounds on average.

I use elves in my work, too, but try to only use the word as an adjective (as in elfin) and call them directly by more ancient names such as Avari and Sidhe, in order to avoid the stereotype and triteness. And these elves would be called homo erectus today (the Asian kind- the correct word for the European version of the hominid is Homo Antecedent, and the African variety is Homo Ergaster, despite the fact that many people tend to lump those three together).
But if ever there were a fossil of an elf, homo erectus it would be. They've even been depicted in certain scientific books with pointed ears. Incidentally,to this day, Asian people are the only race who suffer from the rare condition called "elf's ear," which results in pointed ears. 3 foot tall flores man is also of elfkind in my work, since he is a subgenre of homo erectus.

Joe Lyon Layden is a prehistoric fiction author and primitive musician. To receive a free copy of this entire novella "The Man from Parkho Khatune Bears Favor," as well as three free songs and monthly updates, freebies, and discounts on Joe's ongoing work, please sign up for the newsletter below.

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More On Magic

In my opinion the consensus that "there is no magic left in the world" is mostly due to how the media and academic societies have chosen to have us percieve it.

As a society we tend to ridicule those who fail to take the theories of mainstream science for granted.

My mother teaches Ayur Veda at a hospital, and I can tell you that some of the "mind over matter" healing that they do is no less fantastic or miraculous than the healing that elves perform in various fantasy books. Ayur Veda comes from the Rig Vedas, which are well over 5000 years old and also contain detailed flying instructions for the pilots of sun powered vimanas.

As a student of NLP and Huna, I have learned many technologies derived from ancient visualizations and word forms, but just because I know that these technologies are real doesn't mean that the mainstream has accepted them. Society tends to think that if there is no metal, there is no technology, but the technology of the ancients was not so crude that they needed such tools and materials.

To it's own detriment, I believe, modern man has also denied the existence of "spirits" and demons. Well, the Catholics still believe in them obviously, and I know a man who claims to have had one seated at the throne of his soul. This guy has an IQ of well over 160 and certainly has some skills that can be described as "uncanny" at the very least.

He got into demonology through fantasy....actually knows how to speak Tolkien elvin and deciphered the entire Black Language of Mordor with only the words and syllables found in the works.

He's now a Christian, and studies the Bible in ancient languages, of which he knows several (Ancient Hebrew, Latin, etc.) he says that God pulled him out of that life so quickly and forcibly that he could have no doubt as to who the one was who did it.

I say it's to the detriment of society that we no longer believe, because our leaders look to the problem of such things as college massacres with a psychological perspective when the psychological problems are obviously just side-effects of the possession. That's right- possession.

Part of the reason why I am writing a "prehistoric fiction novel that reads like fantasy" is to try and give the magic back to people. Man needs religion, and the unseen monster has done everything in its power to try and kill God with evolution.

That's ridiculous to me, as I find evolution perfectly complementary to the Bible. In no other ancient religious text besides Genesis do you find described the exact order of the appearance of animals on earth, perfectly in line with The Origin of Species.

I don't know why modern religious leaders fight against logic and reason, and insists that the phrase "created from the earth" means that God actually reached down and molded a little figurine like a sculptor. To the ancients, the word earth, or Gaia, meant the globe we live on as well as everything that populated it. To ancient man, the earth was a living breathing organism, or simbiotic colony, and the word evolution had not been invented yet. To me, the phrases "man evolved from apes" and "man was created from the earth" mean exactly the same thing.

But back to fantasy and changing lives:

I think that my father reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to me at a very early age changed my life. It helped me to develope my imagination and instilled a respect for magical beauty in me that has held on to this day. I meet kids nowadays who haven't had such an experience, often because their parents find such literature silly and worthless, and am often sad to find what a bleak, closed-minded view of the world those kids have. too many kids these days are deprived of the luxury of being kids, and their imaginations are squashed before they even have time to develope.

Other than that, I can't think of another specific fantasy that has really changed my life, but the fantasy genre as a whole has. I feel I'm more open-minded and creative thinking because of it.

And there have been a few fiction books from other genres that have changed my life. The Fountainhead changed it for a brief time, and almost had me livng the life of an Objectivist in my early college years. Since then I've learned many things that have changed my outlook, but several of the principles (especially the ones about personal integrity) have stuck with me over the years.

I recently read the fantasy book "Faerie Wars," and though it didn't change my life, I do think that it could change the life of a young adult, especially one who suffering the pains of a parental divorce. The book melds fact with fiction, and seems to be a very good medium for helping kids to think for themselves, keep an open mind, and not to accept everything that's taught in history or science books just because someone in authority said so.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Giant Ground Sloths Still Living in South America?

Here is an interesting story on Deborah's "Life in the Fast Lane" blog that I though fans of fantasy and prehistory might be interested in:

Fast Lane


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Children of Hurin

This has got to be the best fantasy novel that has come out in decades, as strange as it is that the author has been deceased for decades. It is rife with fantastic originality, thoroughly developed plot-lines, foreshadowing of myth, and intricate symbolism, all of which are often lacking in today's fantasy. the depth of character developement in such a short work is astounding, and the tragedy woven within is Shakespearean in complexity. Here we see a totally new side of Tolkien, much different than in all the works of the masterstoryteller that we've seen so far.
Though the comments of previous reviewers who have said that The Children of Hurin is somewhere in style between The Silmarillian and The Lord of the Rings are hitting close to the mark, I think a better comparison can be made. To me the book is closer in style to The Retrun of the King specifically; though it takes on a somewhat archaic feel like that of the later chapters of The Lord of the Rings, it is still brimming with rich dialogue, description, and character developement, all of which are lacking in The Silmarillion. Also, Tolkien gets dark in this book, and we really haven't seen that side of him until now. I used to wonder where the petty crime and neutral evil were in Middle Earth- and now I know. They just weren't important to the tale of the Ring. They are of great importance in The Children of Hurin, and here Tolkien takes on an almost Robert E. Howard feel, though admittedly via a much more scholarly writing style.
I had read the tale before in The Silmarillion, and remember thinking that it had a strong plot nearly as strong as LOTR itself, and wishing that Tolkien had lived long enough to see it done. Though it's been many years since then, and I had completely forgotten the details and names of the story, I was able to jump right into this book without consulting any Tolkien lore, due in part to the excellent introduction by Christopher.
I hope that Christopher can find it in himself to do the same with the tale of Beren. Even if he does have to employ some "invention," it would be well worth it, at least to this fan, and after seeing the great work he's done on this book I actually trust him with it!


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Megalania Poster

I know this might look like an old B movie poster or a Publish America book cover, but it's just something I threw together with Microsoft Paint to give Kenny an idea of what I wanted for the cover of my new short story "Megalania."

Just thought you all might like to see it!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

This is a VERY early draft of the map for the lands that many of my prehistoric fantasy stories will be taking place in.

Does it look familiar to anyone? How about the names?