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bob b
March 1st, 2006, 09:22 AM
Were ancient Minoans centuries ahead of their time?
Unprecedented mathematical knowledge found in Bronze Age wall paintings.
Philip Ball

Did the Minoans understand the Archimedes' spiral more than 1,000 years before him?

A geometrical figure commonly attributed to Archimedes in 300 BC has been identified in Minoan wall paintings dated to over 1,000 years earlier.

The mathematical features of the paintings suggest that the Minoans of the Late Bronze Age, around 1650 BC, had a much more advanced working knowledge of geometry than has previously been recognized, says computer scientist Constantin Papaodysseus of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and his colleagues.

The paintings appear in a building that is still being excavated and restored in the ancient Minoan town of Akrotiri on the island of Thera. A catastrophic eruption of the volcano on Thera, now known as Santorini, around 1650 BC, is thought to have dealt a fatal blow to the Minoan culture. The blast covered Akrotiri, on the island's southern coast, in a thick layer of ash that preserved many buildings and artefacts.

More at http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060227/full/060227-3.html

Aimiel
March 1st, 2006, 09:56 AM
Interesting. :think:

The Mayan calendar amazes me. A pyramid with 365 steps (91 per side and the top platform).

sentientsynth
March 1st, 2006, 09:59 AM
Bob B,

I couldn't access the link. Could you make sure you've got the correct address?


SS

allsmiles
March 1st, 2006, 10:13 AM
bob, i find it hard to believe that this is something you're just now recognizing... there's been years of research and archaeology that demonstrates many ancient cultures had incredibly advanced knowledge of the workings of the universe... this doesn't surprise me at all.

Aimiel
March 1st, 2006, 10:17 AM
Bob B,

I couldn't access the link. Could you make sure you've got the correct address?


SSIt worked fine for me. Try going to the website, at Nature.COM and then looking up the specific article there. Maybe your server has that website blocked, or maybe you just encountered traffic which returned an error.

Lucky
March 1st, 2006, 10:53 AM
bob, i find it hard to believe that this is something you're just now recognizing... there's been years of research and archaeology that demonstrates many ancient cultures had incredibly advanced knowledge of the workings of the universe... this doesn't surprise me at all.
What in his post makes you think up until now he has not been aware of ancient cultures' advanced knowledge? His post is an article excerpt and the thread title was a rhetorical question, though a pothead like you might have trouble picking up on that.

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 11:09 AM
bob, i find it hard to believe that this is something you're just now recognizing... there's been years of research and archaeology that demonstrates many ancient cultures had incredibly advanced knowledge of the workings of the universe... this doesn't surprise me at all.

What makes you think I have just recognized this? Try 50 years ago.

However, I do love it when Nature or Science finally recognizes something. Only then will some others concede that such things are true.

(What crazy creationist article did you get that crazy idea from, Bob? :devil: )

SUTG
March 1st, 2006, 11:55 AM
Bob B,

I couldn't access the link. Could you make sure you've got the correct address?


SS


Here you go, SS...


Were ancient Minoans centuries ahead of their time?
Unprecedented mathematical knowledge found in Bronze Age wall paintings.
Philip Ball







Did the Minoans understand the Archimedes' spiral more than 1,000 years before him?


A geometrical figure commonly attributed to Archimedes in 300 BC has been identified in Minoan wall paintings dated to over 1,000 years earlier.

The mathematical features of the paintings suggest that the Minoans of the Late Bronze Age, around 1650 BC, had a much more advanced working knowledge of geometry than has previously been recognized, says computer scientist Constantin Papaodysseus of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and his colleagues.

The paintings appear in a building that is still being excavated and restored in the ancient Minoan town of Akrotiri on the island of Thera. A catastrophic eruption of the volcano on Thera, now known as Santorini, around 1650 BC, is thought to have dealt a fatal blow to the Minoan culture. The blast covered Akrotiri, on the island's southern coast, in a thick layer of ash that preserved many buildings and artefacts.

Unnatural design

Ten or so buildings have been excavated in Akrotiri so far, including a large one known as Xeste 3, which stands close to the ancient quay. Judging from its large size and extensive wall decorations, Xeste 3 appears to have been some kind of public building, such as a temple or a place for ritual ceremonies.

The most impressive feature of the paintings found in Xeste 3 is a series of spirals, each about 32 centimetres in diameter and embellished with dots. Papaodysseus and his team have shown that these are near-perfect Archimedes' spirals: shapes tightly defined by a simple mathematical formula, in which the distance between the windings is constant.

Some spirals, such as the ones found on snail shells, are common in nature. And others can be easily made by unwinding a thread around a central peg. But the Archimedes' spiral is not like either of these. "Seemingly it does not exist in nature," the researchers say.

"This is the earliest time that such advanced geometric figures have been spotted," says Papaodysseus. "The next such figures appear only 1,300 years later." The team report their work in the journal Archaeometry1.

A feeling for maths

Papaodysseus and his co-workers admit that they cannot know how much the Theran artists actually understood about the geometric principles they used for the paintings, because no written documents from this period are known to exist.

Experiments with geometry must lie behind the construction of these paintings.

Constantin Papaodysseus,
National Technical University of Athens, Greece.



But he says that, at the very least, "experimentation with geometric tools must lie behind the construction of these wall paintings, as well as an impressive feeling for geometry."

Spiral designs in Xeste 3 were first noticed years ago by archaeologists working at the site. But Papaodysseus says that most people previously assumed that the shapes were painted freehand.

His studies suggest that the curves are just too accurate for that: the edges deviate from their strict mathematical form by typically less than a third of a millimetre. Papaodysseus thinks that this precision was probably achieved by the use of stencils, which appear to have been broken up into six parts to make them easier to transport and the paintings easier to fit to a given space.

The key question is how the stencil itself was made.

Splitting a circle

The researchers point out one relatively simple way of constructing such a spiral, without knowing the precise mathematical formula for it. One could divide up a circle using a large number of radial lines with equal angles between them, and a large number of concentric circles. A series of dots moving out one radial line and one concentric circle at a time could be joined together into an Archimedes' spiral. But dividing a circle into more than a dozen equal sections is not a trivial task; try it yourself.

Papaodysseus and his colleagues find that the dots decorating the spirals seem to be positioned almost exactly on the radial lines of circles that are divided into 48 sections.

The wall paintings don't in themselves prove that the Therans knew enough geometry to bisect angles. But it certainly looks that way, says Papaodysseus.

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 12:09 PM
People readily accept that there were "Dark Ages" in various parts of the world that temporarily caused a decline in knowledge.

A global flood would certainly have led to "Dark Ages", even though some knowledge might have been preserved on the Ark.

There are persistent stories about the early Egyptians "leaping ahead" from a primitive society to a more advanced one in technology, law, literature, etc. This was attributed to a single foreigner who came and taught them all these things.

Perhaps the pre-Flood people were more advanced than usually assumed.

Our own "modernization" has occurred within the past several hundred years.

There would have been 1700-2700 years for such a process to have occurred prior to the Flood, particularly if the early peoples were not scattered widely throughout the globe (The Theory of "Critical Mass").

ThePhy
March 1st, 2006, 02:32 PM
From bob b:
A global flood would certainly have led to "Dark Ages", even though some knowledge might have been preserved on the Ark. Why? I doubt that within your belief system you think Noah was an uneducated man. Post-flood every descendant would have been a very close direct descendant of what likely would have been the most educated man on earth. And unless you are going to postulate that some significant pre-flood records survived by means other than Noah, then the entire population of the earth was close to the “very best library”. Sounds like a situation in which anything but a dark age should have occurred.

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 02:50 PM
From bob b: Why? I doubt that within your belief system you think Noah was an uneducated man. Post-flood every descendant would have been a very close direct descendant of what likely would have been the most educated man on earth. And unless you are going to postulate that some significant pre-flood records survived by means other than Noah, then the entire population of the earth was close to the “very best library”. Sounds like a situation in which anything but a dark age should have occurred.

Yes, Noah was undoubtedly an educated man, but on the other hand there might not have been much time to spend on education what with the difficult conditions for survival in the aftermath of the global flood.

BTW, could that foreigner, who revealed much of the relatively advanced technology, law and literature to the early Egyptians, have been Shem? He did live for a while after the Flood, didn't he? And the legends say that the foreigner had red hair.

paulpeterson83
March 1st, 2006, 02:56 PM
Why do people asume that people were not aware/had knowledge of higher maths and the like?

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 03:04 PM
Why do people asume that people were not aware/had knowledge of higher maths and the like?

In my opinion it is because it conflicts somewhat with the "slow and gradual improvement" as well as the "caveman" view of evolutionary theory. Besides, it makes them proud to believe that they are more highly "evolved" than the rest of the "rabble".

GuySmiley
March 1st, 2006, 03:21 PM
BTW, could that foreigner, who revealed much of the relatively advanced technology, law and literature to the early Egyptians, have been Shem? He did live for a while after the Flood, didn't he? And the legends say that the foreigner had red hair.I actually heard from Knight that early descriptions of the foreigner are frighteningly similar to descriptions of Sam Donaldson. :think:

allsmiles
March 1st, 2006, 03:42 PM
okay okay okay... shoot first and ask questions later doesn't work as well as i thought :doh: