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Re: VMs: Link between Phaistos Disk & VMs...!?

on 7/21/05 6:17 PM, John Grove at John@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> You've obviously been doing a lot of digging and have come up with
> evidence that convinces you that one could look more closely at the age of
> the VMS. On the other hand, I find that the images you provided show some
> triangular battlements but those are definitely not dovetail in
> construction. They lack the spacing and verticle sides that the ghibelline
> and VMS castle and walls have.

Hi John!

I agree with your point, the oldest Assyrian battlements while triangular
don't look like ghibelline with square and a notch...  Indeed, I may have
mentioned that the ones I found much more compelling were in Sicily,
possibly Erice I believe, but alas, no round towers.

 But there is another issue that keeps dogging me, and that is that the
sheer destructive effect of age alone vastly reduces items of evidence; and
while there is always a need for hard evidence, to demand or even expect
equivalent examples of evidence for events a millenia apart is not entirely
realistic either.  We of course have 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more
examples of dress and better depictions from the 15th century as we do for
the first century.  Thus, Elmar can point immediately to paintings of 15th
century garb as similar, and because the graphic examples  of true Gothic
-the Getae gothic/not the vampire gothic ;),-  dress are few, we might
naturally conclude the garb is modern when it may in fact be that there was
little change in dress in parts of Central Europe for 1000 years.  So if we
did have one clue, a reference to a very old writing that contained subject
matter that may be that depicted in the VMS, how do we "fairly" evaluate the
possibility adjusting for any lensing or magnification effect due to the
fact that we have many many physical and graphical examples from a time 1500
years later? 

We don't have color paintings of Dacian garb [except of course as depicted
in the VMS ;) ], and we have a scarce few depictions in stone, and so I
don't find it unreasonable to say "wait a minute I can't immediately dismiss
the possibility of the archer being 1000 years earlier."  It turns out there
were crossbows then, the garb to me is within the realm of that depicted on
Trajan's column, so while it certainly looks like 1480's, I would like that
little extra piece, that piece that says, not only that, but it couldn't
have been earlier than 1350 because that is when such and such hook fastener
was invented, before I jettison a subject matter piece that might otherwise
fit and tie loose ends together.  At one point, I thought the handwriting
style was that exclusionary piece, until I came across some early greek
miniscule, that while different in alphabet, caused me to again withhold
judgment about the kind of cursive look but individualized spacing that was
possible much earlier than 1400's.

  As another example of the destructive effect of the ages, as a subset of
my search for old battlements, I happened to do a search for the oldest
known European castle which still exists.  While I didn't dig deep enough to
find a definitive answer (Carcasonne comes to mind), there appeared to be a
rather slim number of examples much earlier than the 12th Century A.D.
While our modern idea of the castle was of course influenced by development
of weaponry, the Assyrian bas reliefs of the 800 B.C. time period showed
features that were not previously believed to date that far back.  Yet at
the same time, there were plenty of historical accounts of walled cities,
fortresses and what could be called castle precursors (Roman Caestrum?)  in
historical accounts, yet we don't have google images to look at for them to
truly know what subtle styles they may have possessed and only foundatiions
or mounds exist today.  And so, when looking into the issue from this
perspective, I have allowed a little more leeway before I completely rule
out the possibility.

While I don't suggest the burden isn't on he who suggests a much earlier
date to carry the fact, I do suggest that before being too quick to dismiss
it based only on the fact that it seems a closer match to walled cities in
the 15th Century, one should take into consideration that we simply don't
have many examples of extremely early battlements to look at, and yet we
know they were in fact in existence from other types of accounts.   The
invaluabe Trajan column shows examples of items and fortresses for which we
now have absolutely no other physical evidence.  The oldest European castles
are generally much later than the walled fortresses depicted therein, and
even then,they  have generally been built and rebuilt again from that later
inception date.

  I think the very best example of this absence of evidence causing narrow
conclusions or perhaps overly simple classifications is the fact that the
Codex Vaticanus is generally regarded as the oldest parchment manuscript,
and yet we know from multiple accounts of a parchment manuscript library at
Pergamum 700 years earlier, from wence 200,000 volumes were transferred to
Alexandria by Mark Antony, and yet no such earlier work has survived...  We
have no idea what range of writing styles or alphabets might have been in
play.  I would suspect that the range over 200,000 volumes would be vast
particularly since this is prior to the monastic tradition of manuscript
creation which again narrows and somewhat standardizes the remaining
examples.  Much of our classifications of writing styles are lensed through
a subset heavily weighted by the favor of particular religious philosophies
that set in motion the destruction of writings which might not have
furthered a cause. 

All I hope is to light off a bulb with some to be careful not to be too
exclusionary based on the filter of only what has physically survived the
ages, and maybe to goad a few more into attacking the Dacian herb list
captured by Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides.  Certainly the massive
contribution from the folks on this list working to date the manuscript is
entitled to substantial deference, but on the other hand, no scientific
dating of the physical media has been done, and while we have examples of
similar items, those examples may not be as exclusionary as thought.  I try
to remain willing to look at what we do know was done in the earlier ages
but which has not physically survived, and determine whether the
characterization within the VMS was within the capability of those who built
the battlements or walls depicted on Trajan's column, a culture which at one
point according to multiple ancient historians surpassed both the Greeks and
Romans.  If a conclusive pigment analysis was published, I could drop this
line of inquiry in a heartbeat.

Back to the main point about the square merlons with notch, in the searching
I did, I did find one example of a closer though shallower swallow tail that
was much more ancient than 13th century, but I can't find it immediately in
my notes now.   It may have been at Pris (sp? I think Yugoslavia) or it may
have been a synagogue in Jerusalem that showed evidence of earlier being a
fortress with slightly notched square crenallations...  It isn't jumping out
from my now scattered collection of stuff related to the VMS, but should I
dig it out again soon, I will post the link or scan it and post it and link
to it depending on the form.  It wasn't particularly important to me at the
time, because I had satisfied myself that while there may have been a
political decree at a certain point to use only such and such a style;
contrary to popular belief, that didn't necessarily mark the invention or
inception of the style.  Once I had reached that point, it wasn't important,
other than I had personally decided that what was in the VMS wasn't
completely outside the realm of that shown to be Dacian fortresses on
Trajan's column....

I hope someday it is solved, but I understand Stojke's fear that if it is a
language most folks simply don't know (and a lost language certainly fits
that bill), then there may never likely be an acceptance, correct or not.  I
have also now seen enough examples of botched historical translations to
realize that the process is often more of a political accomplishment than a
technical one.  So the proper mindset I think is to simply take pleasure
from it as a personal challenge alone, and anything else that should come
about is just gravy...

Thanks again John, and best wishes on your VMS journey!


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