Extremely Ancient knowledge of Precession of the Equinoxes

The above is part of the title of an 2018 paper  on the Athens Journal of History website, by Martin B. Sweatman and Alistair Coombs currently available here: 

Decoding European Palaeolithic Art: Extremely Ancient knowledge of Precession of the Equinoxes

This work concerns our understanding of the astronomical knowledge of ancient people. This knowledge, it seems, enabled them to record dates, using animal symbols to represent star constellations, in terms of precession of the equinoxes. Conventionally, Hipparchus of Ancient Greece is credited with discovering this astronomical phenomenon. We show here that this level of astronomical sophistication was known already within the last ice- age, and very likely by the time Homo sapiens entered western Europe around 40,000 years ago.

They go on to say “The evidence used to verify our hypothesis is accumulated from many of the most famous Palaeolithic cave art sites across Europe, representing dates up to 38,000 BC including;• Hohlenstein-Stadel cave, southern Germany circa 38,000 BC• Chauvet, northern Spain circa 33,000 BC• Lascaux, southern France circa 15,000 BC• Altamira, northern Spain circa 15,000 BC. Moreover, this system of representing dates is fully consistent with our interpretation of Neolithic sites in Anatolia, namely;• Göbekli Tepe, southern Turkey circa 10,000 BC• Çatalhöyük, southern Turkey circa 7,000 BC”

The question of ancient origins and precession was brought up well by de Santillana and von Deschend in Hamlet’s Mill (1969) and in Tilak’s The Orion (1893,) based largely upon mythic texts. A number of authors have previously found for star maps in stone age art, but this work appears to have crossed some scientific Rubicon and may find itself in Rome. There is a direct descendent of Hamlet’s Mill in The Spiritual Science of the Stars by Peter Stewart (who wrote it after decades of follow-up to that book).

My own book on Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness “harmonized the revelations of those great originals G.I. Gurdjieff, Alexander Thom and Ernest McClain, and the authors of Hamlet’s Mill – the kind of synthesis one has long hoped for.” Josylyn Godwin, author of Atlantis and the Cycles of Time: Prophesies, Traditions and Occult Revelations – documenting the impact of the notion of ancient knowledge deep within precessional time.

A book loosed upon the English-speaking world by Swami Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science, gave precession a spiritual significance. Whilst his time period and mechanics of precession might have been questionable scientifically. His idea was that the earth comes under the sway of a grand center every 24,000 years in which the mental virtue of humanity grows into a golden age in which the structure of reality can be directly intuited rather than known theoretically or not known at all.

In the context of the new paper from Sweatman and Coombes, this might account for high knowledge existing in the hands of stone age painters without access to a technical culture such as the megalithic or our own.

Alternatively, an Atlantean culture could have existed from a technical culture then coming from a region of precession close to ours. This idea then naturally proposes a cyclicity of human civilizations and cultures in which high knowledge is partially preserved, leading to the perceived anachronism’s seen then as occult or merely made-up through biased interpretations.

The new paper therefore, if it shows objective evidence of “Extremely Ancient knowledge of Precession of the Equinoxes”, will perhaps deepen our intellectual history and validate some of the efforts made outside of official science. For example, recording dates through presenting precessional configuration of the stars is a well developed theme of mythic texts from India to South America: it can happen by simply showing the angle of say the Great Bear in rock art. After all, Precession is a naturalistic equivalent of a Maya/Olmec Long Count.