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The Graphics of Bilzingsleben

By John Feliks, (Les Espaniola), FULL-TEXT HTML

Figures for this page on hold. Data held back from the public since 2006; AUTHOR'S REPLY

Feliks, J. 2010 (in press; currently in the hands of Professor Dr. Luiz Oosterbeek, Director, Polytechnic Institute of Tomar
). The graphics of Bilzingsleben: Sophistication and subtlety in the mind of Homo erectus. Proceedings of the XV UISPP World Congress (Lisbon, 4-9 September 2006), BAR International Series, Oxford.


     “Absolutely outstanding and stunning. You have single-handedly demonstrated that the cognition and intellect of these hominins may have been of an order entirely unexpected by all of us ...breathtaking.

- Robert G. Bednarik, session chair, Pleistocene Palaeoart of the World


        The Graphics of Bilzingsleben is Part I of a two-part visual thesis offering a completely new perspective on the intelligence of early peoples such as Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Neanderthals, and Homo heidelbergensis. It contains the first unequivocal geometric and linguistic proof of early language. The Graphics of Bilzingsleben was presented during the Pleistocene Palaeoart of the World session at the XVth UISPP Congress in Lisbon, on September 7, 2006. Censorship of the data began immediately within one week of the Congress.

        For the past 150 years, early humans have been regarded as inferior to us, unable to create art, think abstractly, or even to speak. In these two papers (the other is listed below), I demonstrate that this picture is not at all accurate and that early people such as Homo erectus were just as intelligent as we are in today's modern world.

        The evidence, provided by way of geometry in the Graphics of Bilzingsleben, shows that early people had highly-developed language and mathematical ability 400,000 years ago. If the public is willing to accept the scientific claim that Homo erectus had only a "half-way-there" level of intelligence implied by slightly-modified naturally-shaped stones such as the Berekhat Ram object or by other "indirect" evidence then it certainly has a right to know that there already exists unambiguous geometric evidence proving the exact opposite. It is this evidence in the form of rigorous and readily-understood geometric studies that is being held back from publication.

        The geometric studies are of several bone engravings dated 320,000-412,000 years old which are from the site of Bilzingsleben in central Germany. Bilzingsleben is an exquisitely-preserved Homo erectus habitation site. Dating of the site is secure. It contains the remains of three dwelling structures with campfires just outside each entrance as well as thousands of stone, bone, antler, and wood artifacts. It also contains the remains of at least two Homo erectus individuals. Contrary to the standard view of early peoples, The Graphics of Bilzingsleben, which includes the first geometric proof of a complex visual motif duplicated on two separate artifacts, clearly proves that early people such as Homo erectus were doing work of extreme precision representing creative ability which is comparable to what people are capable of today.

      Archaeologists will try every trick in the book to reject your interpretation of the engravings. It is entirely unacceptable to them that they were completely wrong about the cognitive abilities of these people… you do have science on your side... a proposition that is utterly falsifiable. Everyone can repeat your experiment, and the engravings are fixed in time and space. If your calculations are correct… the archaeologists will be stumped.”

- Renowned international authority, 2007, approximately 5 months after Graphics & Phi were presented (emphasis added)


        The accolades on this page are included so that the reader may understand why there has been a flood of bold statements from the scientific community regarding the intelligence or language capabilities of Homo erectus or Neanderthal people. These statements are being made despite the fact that the scholars making them are often doing so with evidence no more related to intelligence than quasi-language genes (e.g., FOXP2) or pecked holes in rock. Even where involving more direct language-related evidence such as prehistoric personal ornaments or the use of ocher (possible paint), the "up-graded" public statements of these researchers are being made with little more evidence than what they had five, ten, even 20 years ago. So, wherefrom the influx of confidence? This is where the accolades come in. From the accolades the reader can readily discern that a convincing addition to the evidence regarding early human intelligence began with The Graphics of Bilzingsleben.

        The Graphics of Bilzingsleben data has been circulating among scholars behind-the-scenes in Europe, Australia, and the United States while being held back from public scrutiny. I.e. the scholars making bolder and bolder claims are aware of it; the general public is not. If it weren't for the fact that the influence of Graphics and its Part II, Phi in the Acheulian, have been showing up in the publications of other researchers both online and in academic journals without citation (including by those with privileged access to the data), I would have simply cherished these accolades privately. However, the matter has gone far past that now. In order to protect the primacy of my work from competitive researchers publishing material informed by Graphics and Phi without citing them, I have decided to share these accolades openly while at the same time taking on the cause of demonstrating to the public why it should question the integrity of various scientific institutions such as peer-review. 


        The accolades are from international scholars in every field who have seen the data. Ironically, as one can readily deduce from the accolades, no scholars in any scientific discipline, including those who have studied the Bilzingsleben artifacts for more than 20 years, had ever made any of the observations that were presented in The Graphics of Bilzingsleben. The reason for this is clear enough: Most scientists are pre-committed to a standard Darwinian template and have been stuck in the obligatory mode of regarding Homo erectus as an "ape-man."

        For scientists to do other than regard Homo erectus as an ape-man would be too great a departure from the simplistic notion that everything, including human cognition, evolves gradually over time. The idea that human cognitive ability evolves gradually comes straight from Darwin's 1859 proclamation that each mental capability will be shown to have been necessarily acquired by "gradation" (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, page 488; a pivotal quotation in The Graphics of Bilzingsleben). Why would any scientifically-educated person question that statement? This is the whole point, they can't.

        The author, who has provided alternative explanations for early human intelligence for over 15 years has never published any material which adheres to the standard paradigm. However, since Homo erectus as an ape-man is a central premise in modern science, those who have long-adhered to this belief had no time to assimilate the new data presented in Graphics and could only respond by censorship while quickly scrambling to somehow alter their own publication course without citing either Graphics or Phi. Anyone in anthropology would like themselves to have made these discoveries, but that does not justify either blocking the original author's work from publication or assimilating and using it without reference to their source. Hence, the accolades are provided not only as a proper and deserving credit for The Graphics of Bilzingsleben but also as a springboard in bringing to public awareness a scientific institution in need of reform.

"A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones),
we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish,
to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable."

- Carl Sagan -

        Darwin is in trouble not because of his theories but because the public is going to become aware that the once-trusted scientific community "representing" Darwin has consciously and deliberately blocked any data that might cause someone to question the simplistic notions it has been promoting to the public for over 100 years. This is especially critical in matters as important to many people as human origins. And no doubt the public has noticed that this promotion of simplistic and narrow-minded thinking is being done in an increasingly discourteous manner. Statements regarding the "ignorance" of religious people, for instance, or the acts of calling those who are expressing doubts about the standard paradigm names such as "pig-ignorant" or commenting on the physical appearance of such persons - each, by-the-way, attributable to renowned biologist Richard Dawkins - are going to come back to them by way of a massive challenge to the long-accepted axiom (definition 3) of "cognitive evolution." With spokespersons such as Dawkins representing his legacy, Darwin is quickly losing respect among those who realize that life is never quite that simple; everything is always something else on a different level. And it is difficult to imagine how someone with easy access to all recorded knowledge, such as is the case with Dawkins, would be so lacking in imaginative scope or sense of variety in human experience or circumstance as to simultaneously campaign against the world's collective cultural heritage. But you see, this kind of campaign is often all that specialists or those with a single focus are capable of doing. Give them a few sticks, and they're bonking religious people over the head; however, give them empirical geometric data contrary to their own belief system, and they run like rabbits. It is not the kind of science I loved and aspired to as a child. 


     “Brilliant insights of a kind more conventional researchers would not dream of.”

- Neuroscience author attending The Graphics of Bilzingsleben in 2006, quote arrived early 2007

     “Brilliant insights that scientists are often barred from, through the nature of their method.”

- Quote of the same neuroscience author as above arriving a mere two days later, early 2007

     “I find the data you presented in Lisbon of outstanding importance and believe that they must be published prominently.”

- Renowned international authority, engineer, early 2007


        Although The Graphics of Bilzingsleben was written (by request made to the author) for a scientific venue and for experts already familiar with the material, I hope that the visual geometric studies eventually offered on this page will enable anyone who is interested in the subject of human origins to see that the picture of early peoples so long promoted by the scientific community is false. In order to examine this material intelligently and with objective critical thinking, it is necessary for the reader to bypass entirely the agenda of a predisposed and practically unconscious scientific community. This is the community that blocks conflicting data from publication by means of a system known as "anonymous peer-review."

        The only form of peer-review acceptable for a paradigm which can never be tested in real time (e.g., over hundreds of thousands or millions of years) yet involves promotion of ideas as important to many as those regarding human origins is "open peer-review." In open peer review, reviewers, editors, and journals alike are held accountable for what they do or do not publish. It is well-known that those who block material from publication via "anonymous" peer review are often competitive researchers with their own agendas. These researchers often double as editors. The agendas are usually associated with standard popular views, trends, or fads regardless of logic or data. Open peer review assures that any agendas can be readily observed by the public. Exposure of an "agenda" would encourage the general public to reassess objectivity in what are touted as scientific journals and to reassess the degree of trust it should place in any proclemations issued from the scientific community.

        Open peer review is also a means by which the general public can examine the work quality and ethics of the reviewers or editors themselves and determine whether or not they are actually qualified to block important data from publication. For example, a standard-school physical anthropologist (such as the editor of a human evolution journal) is likely to know very little about the human creative process, and, therefore, may be inclined to block data demonstrating intelligence in early people as such data goes squarely against the tenets by which they had been trained. Open peer review also provides assurance that data initially blocked by a reviewer does not later show up in the work of that very reviewer without citation, especially if they were responsible for holding the data back while studying it for nearly five months, because a public reference already exists.

        Open peer review is a true self-correcting system that should be the mainstay of science. Open peer review encourages trust in science and this is especially needed in a field such as anthropology which has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted with anonymous peer review as an honor system. Open peer review also does not foster the corruption already well known to exist in anonymous peer review in all fields of science. In a modern era where distrust of science is increasing (and for more reasons than anthropology), open peer review in matters as important as human origins will help to rekindle public trust in science. The public deserves better than a scientific community which they often financially support unwittingly which by secret means (e.g., behind-the-scenes censorship) as well as openly-political means takes away from the world's citizens the right of critical thinking, especially when large and influential organizations in this community claim non-profit status; but this is exactly what science does when it withholds evidence from the public in order to promote a pre-agreed upon ideological agenda.


        The underlying premise of The Graphics of Bilzingsleben is that there has been no change whatsoever in human cognitive ability for at least 400,000 years. This statement is quite easily extended back at least 1.4 to 1.8 million years, and, in fact, to whatever point in time we choose to assign the first appearance of the genus Homo. The Graphics of Bilzingsleben fully counters any popular science claims such as the "Flynn Effect," etc., that human intelligence as relates to the genus as a whole has ever increased gradually over time. As noted above, the idea of cognitive evolution is a central axiom (definition 3) of modern anthropology so it influences in a very important way everything issued forth not only from anthropology but from any fields associated with anthropology such as genetics, psychology, or neuroscience.

        This leads to one more major problem regarding the effects of censorship. When objective data is censored in any scientific discipline, it is not only the general public that is kept in the dark regarding its existence, but leading scholars in other disciplines as well. By censoring empirical data regarding early humans, the field of anthropology misleads not only the general public, but researchers in scientific disciplines outside of anthropology who have trusted that proclemations they thought confirmed their own belief systems (be they in biology, genetics, linguistics, psychology) had already been properly evaluated by anthropology and that they did not need to look into the data themselves. They were mistaken. The error is that of assuming that the most up-to-date evidence has been published and not censored by anthropology.

        Why is this error of assumption so important? It is important because the general idea of gradual evolution is increasingly being regarded as an "across-the-board axiom" applicable to almost anything in science. The Graphics of Bilzingsleben, however, by empirical means has demonstrated that at least one idea, the idea of gradual evolution as specifically regards human cognition, is false. Only scientists predisposed to a single simplistic view of reality would ignore falsifications produced in a field outside their specialty, for to do so means to ignore an important tempering device. Had Richard Dawkins the benefit of such tempering he would likely have made fewer statements about the ignorance of other people. So, in one sense, Dawkins' intolerance and lack of scope (we are talking about using biology as a means of devaluing important aspects of the world's "cultural" heritage, i.e. its color) is not really his own fault but the fault of those who have blocked publication of data which could perhaps, at least, have tempered the effects of something resembling fanaticism. In case the point is not clear, some of the most derogatory statements toward other people ever made by a scientist might likely not have been made were conflicting data available to expand Dawkins' template base.

        Darwinism has offered such an easy template that no one seems to believe innovative thinking is necessary in science anymore. An increasingly standard procedure in sciences such as anthropology is to simply apply the Darwinian template to whatever it is one is working on; and like use of the 2-4 drum beat in popular music this has the effect of automatically doubling one's opportunity to publish in the popular science paradigm. (No problem with the 2-4 beat, by the way, unless it somehow blocks from public awareness the fact that innumerable other beats exist, simultaneously, which bring color and variety to the world of music.) The question is, how could something like this have happened within a claimed "scientific" paradigm involving millions of years that can, admitted by everyone and all adherents alike, never be tested in real-time except by analogy? 

     “You show pretty unambiguously that those engravings [which are 400,000 years old]
are in no sense archaic.”

- International authority in the history of art and philosophy, 2006

Here is the abstract "in press" version. The original published abstract can be seen in the pre-Conference XVth UISPP Book of Abstracts at (pp 18-19):*

Abstract: In 1988, Dietrich and Ursula Mania published images of unmistakably deliberate engravings on bone artifacts dated between 320,000-412,000 years BP, found near the village of Bilzingsleben in central Germany. Contrary to traditional notions of early peoples, Mania and Manias’ preliminary interpretations suggested that these markings implied the existence of advanced human traits, which included abstract thinking, language, and a “concept of the world.” In this presentation, I will demonstrate that the Bilzingsleben markings go well beyond these already stunning assertions, and document a very large number of graphic innovations and highly advanced intellectual traits in Homo erectus, innovations and traits that have long been regarded the exclusive domain of Homo sapiens. In fact, the artifacts contain so much information that, collectively, they constitute nothing less than a detailed and expansive map directly into the extraordinary mind of this early ancestor. I will demonstrate that the markings reflect graphic skills far more advanced than those of the average modern Homo sapiens. A new list of qualities, abilities, and innovations which must now be credited to Homo erectus, and which are directly indicated by the markings includes: abstract and numeric thinking; rhythmic thinking; ability to duplicate not only complex, but also, subtle motifs; iconic and abstract representation; exactly duplicated subtle angles; exactly duplicated measured lines; innovative artistic variation of motifs including compound construction, doubling, diminution, and augmentation; understanding of radial and fractal symmetries; impeccably referenced multiple adjacent angles; and absolute graphic precision by high standard and, practically, without error. Each of these will be demonstrated visually. Hence, the following advanced cognitive qualities may be quite easily assumed for the species Homo erectus by way of geometric analogy: interrelationship sensitivity and complex organizational skill; language; use of metaphor and hidden meaning; philosophy; mysticism or other “spiritual” perspectives; and a general ability to discern, appreciate, and create the most subtle nuance within any area of intellectual endeavor.

Keywords: Cognitive Archaeology - Bilzingsleben - Bach - Linguistics - Cartography

Feliks, J. 2009 (in press). The graphics of Bilzingsleben: Sophistication and subtlety in the mind of Homo erectus. Proceedings of the XV UISPP World Congress (Lisbon, 4-9 September 2006), BAR International Series, Oxford.

*SPECIAL NOTE: If one notices in the XVth UISPP Book of Abstracts the abstract below The Graphics of Bilzingsleben called Legends of the Sea, please be aware of the following: That was a space-holding rough draft not intended for publication because the program Phi in the Acheulian was presented instead. The unusual nature of the Legends of the Sea abstract is due to the fact that Legends of the Sea is an anthropology-based opera-like program similar to Sojournus Antiquitus. Since this information was not included with the abstract, the reader has no way of knowing the reason for its unusual focus on human emotions or other human qualities.

     Utterly brilliant.”

Here is the quote in context: “I have consulted various people… there is complete agreement that your innovative evaluation of the Bilzingsleben engravings is utterly brilliant.”

Collective conclusion of many scholars with backgrounds in linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, archaeology, and engineering, 2007, five months after presentation. Scholars had copy of 8-page thumbnails handout with all 112 slides.


1.) Introduction
2.) Presentation of Material
3.) Influences and Position in a Larger System
4.) Disclaimers and Nomenclature

a.) FIGURE 1: Artifacts 1-3
b.) FIGURE 2: Artifacts 3-6
c.) FIGURE 3: Proposed Early Straight Edge
d.) FIGURE 4: Straight Edge Theory and the "Realm of Ideas"
- Significance of Straight Edge Theory -

a.) FIGURE 5: Duplication of size and angles in totally different contexts
b.) FIGURE 6: Interpreting two-dimensional motifs in three dimensions
c.) FIGURE 7: Final proofs of duplication via superimposition
- Significance of the Earliest Motif Duplicated on Two Separate Artifacts -

a.) FIGURE 8: 350,000 years before Bach
- Significance of 350,000 Years before Bach -

a.) FIGURE 9: Fractal angle symmetry
b.) FIGURE 10: Numbering system for the radial motif of Artifact 2
c.) FIGURE 11: Three-level self-similarity fractal characterized by parallels in thirds
d.) FIGURE 12: The earliest completely abstract 2-dimensional shape
e.) FIGURE 13: Proof of association between a complex graphic and an abstract point
f.) FIGURE 14: Proof of association between an abstract point and infinity
- Significance of Toward the Realm of Ideas -

a.) FIGURE 15: Putting a face on the Lower Palaeolithic
- Significance of Who Were the People of Bilzingsleben?

a.) FIGURE 16: When a map is a 3D fractal
- Significance of When a Map is a 3D Fractal


     “This is very exciting! I think the only thing you might have to fight is the erectus-heidelbergensis issue. But in comparison to what you have demonstrated here, that is not important at all.” 

- Physical anthropology expert and author attending The Graphics of Bilzingsleben
, paraphrase of direct comment


This information is being posted only because the Graphics presentation and/or thesis paper have been held back from publication for several years while changing hands numerous times and going between Europe, Australia, and the United States. Unfortunately, some of this material or motivation and confidence derived from the author's work (Graphics & Phi) has already shown up on the web and in academic journals without citation of the original sources. This, of course, is part of the reason that international copyright exists. Scholars need to have confidence that material being considered for publication remains in confidential trust and that once it is published any work which is based on that material or inspired by it will cite the original source:

Registered 2006: [Txu 1-323-001: Two Visual Thesis Programs (112 slides, Thumbnails Handout): 1.) The Graphics of Bilzingsleben, 2.) Phi in the Acheulian. U. S. Copyright Office]

Registered 2007: [Txu 1-350-724: Publication Materials for the Lisbon Programs: 1.) The Graphics of Bilzingsleben (in thesis form), 2.) Phi in the Acheulian (in thesis form), 3.) Publication Addendum, 4.) Copy of the original Thumbnails Handout. U. S. Copyright Office]


Feliks, J. 2011. A prehistory of hiking - Neanderthal storytelling. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 3 (Issue 2): 1-2. 

PDF version
HTML version

Feliks, J. 2010. Phi-based conceptual units: Pushing math origins back to the Acheulian age. [Internet]. Available on SCIENAR at: http:/

Feliks, J. 2010. Ardi: How to create a science myth. Pleistocene Coalition News Vol. 2 (Issue 1): 1-3.

PDF version
HTML version

Feliks, J. 2009. The handaxe shape in microliths. Comment on "Is a hand ax really a hand ax," by Michael Balter. Origins: a history of beginnings [Internet]. Available at:

Feliks, J. 2009. A Lot of Gold in the Mix: Review of Fragment from a Nonfiction Reader. Pre-publication review of the debut science thriller by Warren Fahy (see quotation on the author's review page under FRAGMENT: Reviews).

Feliks, J. 2008. Phi in the Acheulian: Lower Palaeolithic intuition and the natural origins of analogy. In Bednarik, R. G. and D. Hodgson (eds), Pleistocene palaeoart of the world, pp. 11-31. Proceedings of the XV UISPP World Congress (Lisbon, 4-9 September 2006), BAR International Series 1804, Oxford.*

Feliks, J. 2006. Musings on the Palaeolithic fan motif. In P. Chenna Reddy (ed.), Exploring the mind of ancient man: Festschrift to Robert G. Bednarik, 249-66. Research India Press, New Delhi.

Feliks, J. 1998. The impact of fossils on the development of visual representation. Rock Art Research 15: 109-34.

*(BAR is British Archaeological Reports.)


        John Feliks is an interdisciplinary scholar and theorist researching early human cognition for the past 15 years. Along with the science, he offers an inside perspective based on an extensive background in the arts. Feliks' recent work involves language and mathematics capability in Homo erectus and other early peoples which he demonstrates empirically through openly-testable geometric analyses of engraved artifacts, artifact distributions, and stone tools. In all, the results of Feliks' research greatly contrast the long-accepted standard model of gradually-evolving intelligence in the genus Homo. They suggest instead that early peoples such as Homo erectus, ergaster, Neanderthals, and heidelbergensis were just as capable as anyone living in today's modern world.


        This Graphics-only page is new and in the process of tweaking, so please be patient as it goes through changes in wording or layout. I am hoping to get the main site up and running soon. The site will offer several hundred systematic geometric studies produced over a fifteen-year period which demonstrate that early peoples such as Homo erectus and Neanderthals had artistic and intellectual capabilities equal to our own. It will also offer original color slides from the two programs presented at the XVth UISPP Congress in Lisbon, September 7, 2006.


        The image at the top of this page is the original work of John Feliks which was created for a multimedia program about Homo erectus people. It was later used just as it appears here as the header for the Graphics of Bilzingsleben "Thumbnails Handout" which was circulated at the XVth UISPP Congress and to the scholars whose quotations are seen on this page. The published version of the paper, however, which consists primarily of geometric studies, will not contain images such as this.

E-mail: feliks (at)
Last updated April 15, 2011.  John Feliks 2009