The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Bodrogkeresztúr culture

Razib points to a network of the Chalcolithic / arsenical-bronze-age copper trade. The network covers - depending on your field of archaeology - Macedonia, Moesia, Wallachia. This is 6000 to 3000 BC, so, before the Egyptians, east-Semites, Sumerians, and Elamites were writing much. As of the last two "periods" in the study, 4100-3200 BC, those languages were at least in place. I'm pondering who was in place in the southern Balkans in the fourth millennium BC.

Inside the network the map implies three nations. "Module 0" was eastern Serbian, geographically; copper mineral-only artefacts. "Module 1" - later - based itself in roughly the same region, with a western colony: Gornja Tuzia. "Module 2" had a few towns in Macedonia but its main base was the southern Danube foothills, Moesia. These networks may even have spoken their own languages.

In 4100, "Module 2" collapsed. Period 6 begins with the Bodrogkeresztúr culture. This was apparently a revival of "Module 0". This looks like a distributed culture of mostly-equal towns. It projected some colonies of its own, mostly to the south, like Prizren and Harampijska-dupka (damned if I can pronounce that).

This lasted until 3700-3200 BC, currently a dark-age in the archaeology. I'll leave this to future research.

As I look at the non-affected parts of this map, I think it safe to set Anatolians - maybe even proto-Palaic - at the Dardanelles. At the mouth of the Danube, some late-stage Indo-European people will be driving about; I would guess at something Aryan, like (very) old Kurdish, Mitannic, or Ossetic. The Greek mainland will be Pelasgian at this point which means, we don't know, but it'll contribute to the Greek language later. This leaves the area of the networks; and Dacia / Transylvania.

Given that: behind the fall of Module 2 in 4100 BC, I see an Indo-European invasion. Before the "Sons Of Aryas" the Danube plain was likely full of peaceful farmers, living symbiotically with the Moesian miners. Once charioteers and horsemen were charging across those plains instead, that's less demand for copper farming-tools. Copper production moved back to where it was safer - the west.

The Bodrogkeresztúr possibly adopted an Indo-European language itself. If so it did so on its own terms, like the Germans.

To me it looks like Bodrogkeresztúr were the ancestors to the Phrygians, Armenians, and Greeks. I'd like to see a non-IE loanword comparison between what survives of each.

posted by Zimri on 10:12 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I got Matthew Kressel's King of Shards in the mail last Saturday and I am still working through it. I posted a placeholder partial review at Ace's / Muse's book thread. Since then I've read more into the book, and looked up some interviews that Kressel has given - the one to Dudycz Lupescu being a standout.

Basically the Shard multiverse isn't the Jewish Narnia; it is a Jewish-Liberal Narnia. Which is no Narnia at all.

Part of what keeps the demiplanes ("shards") mired in the Middle Bronze Age, says Kressel, is that such planes accept slavery and despotism. I am on board with the former; in our world, machines do much of our work, such that slavery isn't even needed, and those machines were developed in states without a tradition of slavery. However the book relates another tale in which a city slaughtered a group of agitators who dindunuffins except ask for democracy. Kressel missed a fine opportunity to illustrate how a democracy might be corrupted in a corrupted Shard.

That is, if you're a non-liberal cynic, that's a miss. Kressel himself is a stolid idealist; his protagonist, Daniel, starts out working a homeless shelter in Manhattan. So Kressel won't have Daniel challenge his companion - fine. But Kressel cannot even imagine what the many more-cynical characters in his book might say. (Perhaps he should have consulted Lydon.) Guh! Democracy good! TIKKUN OLAM, BITCHEZ

[UPDATE 10/6: Here is what really would have improved the lives of the Gehinnomites: an industrial-revolution. But that, like, takes - math, and stuff.]

And then there's Daniel himself, the lamedvavnik who serves as the epic hero. Judaism does allow for a heroic / epic fantasy about a devoted, wise minority keeping the cosmos alive. In fact, we already have at least one of these tales, in the genre of apocalyptic / dystopian science fiction: Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. (The Lamed-Vav thesis even has some sociological support, in the Pareto Principle.) But the lamedvavnik in Kressel's narrative doesn't support the worlds in any way except by the Content Of His Character. He's a fine fellow, and I'm sure that his shelter is wonderful, but this ain't Rearden Metal. Kressel has failed to convince me that Daniel is a Secret King.

Add to this, as I noted in my pre-review at the HQ, that I'd already docked some points against Kressel for mistakes elsewhere here. I was wondering if Kressel was just a standard-issue nitwit. After pondering for awhile I retract that. Instead I must impute these authorial slips to moral incuriosity. Kressel is not of the Thirty Six himself, and he isn't wise enough to recognise such a one if he sees one, and he doesn't have the work ethic even to fake it.

All this means the book's whole premise is broken. I recommend that Jews look elsewhere for their CS Lewis.

posted by Zimri on 19:39 | link | 0 comments

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