Publicaciones de anthro: El impacto de fósiles Reflexiones en el motif radial Paleolítico Los gráficos de Bilzingsleben Phi en el Acheulian
Publicaciones, pelicula & Programas artisticos Épocas de la antigüedad Coalición Pleistoceno

Reflexiones en el motif radial Paleolítico

John Feliks (Vuelva al inglés - Return to EnglishHTML con texto completo aquí


Fig. 1

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Fig. 3

Abstract: For much of the past century, human beings prior to 35,000 years BP have been generally regarded as greatly inferior to modern Homo sapiens. However, the early human chronicle is undergoing dramatic revision. A growing list of capabilities once attributed only to our species is now being traced as far back as Acheulian times and our ancient predecessor Homo erectus. A major breakthrough in this transition was Robert Bednarik’s theory that a graphic marking motif, essentially the “fan” motif, began to be developed by Homo erectus as early as 350,000 years ago. In this paper, I offer studies that support Bednarik’s theory and the linked ideas of language and self-awareness during the Lower Palaeolithic. The paper consists of seven figures. Figure 1 demonstrates hominid interest in the fan motif as evidenced in the archaeological record. Figures 2 through 5 suggest a greater number, quality and consistency of the earliest known fan motifs associated with Homo erectus at Bilzingsleben. Finally, Figures 6 and 7 link the fan motif to the outspread human hand. I suggest that early interest in the fan motif reflects both symbolism and human self-awareness prompted by familiarity with the hand.


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.

tn_musings-p260-feliks06.jpg       *Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif is one of four thesis papers offering a completely new perspective regarding early peoples such as Homo erectusHomo ergaster, Neanderthals, and Homo heidelbergensis. It was a "requested" paper first submitted for review and publication on August 9, 2004. This page shows five of the paper's seven figures. Click on each thumbnail for an enlarged view. You can then click on that image for an even larger image showing more detail.

       Here are a few important discoveries that were first presented in Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif:

1.) 'Straight edge theory.' The engraved bone artifacts of Bilzingsleben have long been known to feature straight lines. Until the proofs offered in Musings on the Palaeolithic Fan Motif, however, no one had considered the possibility that these lines might have been created with a straight edge. This is because of the long-time working assumption in anthropology that the engravers, Homo erectus, were essentially ape-men unable even to speak, let alone use a straight edge. The proofs for straight edge use (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 above, and Figs. 4 & 5 just above to the right) are unambiguous and are characterized by perfectly-referenced and perfectly-straight radial lines.

        The figures for Straight edge theory were deliberately set up so that the reader could instantly test the radial lines for themselves right on the printed page, thus bypassing the need to be either convinced or unconvinced by any scholarly argument or argument from authority. Prior to these studies, all writers in anthropology - without exception - have referred to the lines on Bilzingsleben Artifact 2, for instance, as "parallel" lines. The straight edge test shows that the lines are, in fact, "radial" lines referenced to a point well away from the artifact itself (Fig. 2 above).

        The straight edge engravings from Bilzingsleben are securely dated 320,000-412,000 years old and show that just because an engraved line is ancient we can no longer simply assume that it was necessarily done freehand. Resistance to straight edge theory, especially in this year of Darwin, is due in large part to the fact that use of a straight edge is proof of unambiguously sophisticated behavior. In and of itself, and without need of any other evidence except its already-established association with the remains of Homo erectus, use of a straight edge demonstrates completely modern intelligence 400,000 years ago. In other words, straight edge theory demonstrates that there has been no change whatsoever in human cognitive ability for at least 400,000 years.

        The final proofs of straight edge use in these artifacts were presented at the XVth UISPP Congress in Lisbon, September 7, 2006 during the Pleistocene Palaeoart of the World session in a program called The Graphics of BilzingslebenCensorship of these uncontested final proofs began within one week of the Congress. The data, which has been studied by scientists in every field (archaeology, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics), as well as by engineers in Europe, the United States, and Australia, has been held back from the public for two and a half years while those who have had privileged access to the data have been quickly altering their publication course both online and in print without citing Musings on the Palaeolithic fan motif or its follow-up, The Graphics of Bilzingsleben.

How straight edge use by Homo erectus proves early language and representation:

        Any line engraved with the aid of a straight edge is directly symbolic of the straight edge itself, being a "representation" of the edge.

2.) 'The earliest motif duplicated on two separate artifacts.' This is the first unambiguous geometric and linguistic proof of early language (Fig. 3 above). tn_musings-p261-feliks06.jpgDuplicated motifs (such as written or spoken words) are the hallmark of language. Prior to recognizing these two motifs as either duplicates or variations of each other, most proponents of early language used unrelated references to "infer" language in early peoples, e.g., "If they could get from here to there then they must have had language," or "If they had the right vocal tract or the right genetic traits, they probably had a simple language." The association between these two motifs and similar associations between other motifs at Bilzingsleben were fully demonstrated with final and unambiguous proofs in the censored data presented in The Graphics of Bilzingsleben.

3.) 'Representation of angles theory.' Angles represented in the bone engravings from Bilzingsleben are shown to revolve around those angles most commonly observed by everyone both past and present, namely, those of the outstretched human hand (Fig. 6 at right). The point is made that the engravings do not necessarily represent the human hand per se but rather an awareness of the abstract concept of angles. The case is made that signs of abstraction in the early archaeological record may say more about the intellectual capabilities of early people than the more quickly-understood forms of iconic representation. 


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

Feliks, J. 2006. 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. 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. 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.

(BAR es British Archaeological Reports.)


        John Feliks es un erudito independiente que investiga la cognición humana temprana por los últimos 15 años. Junto con la ciencia, él ofrece una perspectiva interior basada en una experiencia extensa de la vida y una experiencia profesional en los artes. El trabajo reciente de Feliks implica capacidad de la lengua y de las matemáticas en el erectus del homo y la otra gente temprana. Él demuestra estas capacidades con análisis geométricos abierto-comprobables de los grabados del artefacto, de la distribución de artefactos, y de las herramientas de la piedra. En todos, los resultados de la investigación de Feliks desafían grandemente el modelo estándar largo-aceptado de la inteligencia de gradual-desarrollo en el género homo. Sugieren en lugar de otro que la gente temprana tal como erectus, ergaster, Neanderthals, y heidelbergensis del homo fuera apenas tan capaz como cualquier persona viviendo en el mundo moderno de hoy.


       Esta página de los Fósiles-solamente es nueva y en curso de pellizcar, satisface tan sea paciente pues pasa a través de cambios en la fraseología o la disposición. Estoy esperando conseguir el sitio principal en servicio pronto. El sitio ofrecerá varios cientos de estudios geométricos sistemáticos producidos durante un período del quince-año que demuestren que la gente temprana tal como erectus del homo y los Neanderthals tenían capacidades artísticas e intelectuales iguales nuestros las propias. También ofrecerá diapositivas de color originales de los dos programas presentados en el congreso en Lisboa, 7 de septiembre de 2006 de XVth UISPP.

Email: feliks (at)
Pasado actualizado el 7 de diciembre de 2009. © John Feliks 2009