Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home
Muzeum, Linka C, DPP, Dopravní podnik hlavního města Prahy, Prague Metro, Prague, Prag, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Tracers of human & geologic history (LAPC)

Above/featured: Muzeum station, Prague metro line C – 8 Nov 2016 (HL).

The Oxford Dictionary defines history as:

•   study of past events, particularly in human affairs;
•   whole series of past events connected with a particular person or thing;
•   a continuous chronological record of key or public events or of a particular trend or institution.

I provide the following examples of tangible traces of past societies and signs of present-day activity. I tried here to avoid elements of or imprints by historic architectural or building styles which was presented here in a previous LAPC.

  1. Canada: Vancouver
  2. Czech Republic: Prague
  3. Germany: Berlin
  4. Germany: Blaubeuren
  5. Germany: Frankfurt am Main
  6. Germany: Leipzig
  7. Germany: Worms (Warmaisa)
  8. México: Ciudad de México
  9. New Zealand: Wellington
  10. USA: Albuquerque, NM
  11. USA: Grand Canyon, AZ


Canada: Vancouver

Inhabiting the lands of western North America for thousands of years, indigenous First Nations people have long expressed their culture through

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Red cedar creations, by Bill Reid. The stern of the "tluu" (canoe) is shown at left in this picture. The 1994 Haida canoe 🛶 is by Bill Reid (maker), Beau Dick (technician), Simon Dick (technician), and Gary Edenshaw (technician). The dimensions are 1.0 metre (3.3 feet) high, 1.0 metre (3.3 feet) wide, and 7.25 metres (23.8 feet) long. Created in 1963 by Bill Reid, the Haida bear 🐻at right was carved from a single block of wood. The sculpture measures 1.3 metres (4.3 feet) high, 1.2 metres (3.9 feet) wide, and 2.5 metres (8.3 feet) long. Constructed with red cedar found in great abundance within British Columbia, both pieces are part of the holdings on display at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Vancouver, 🇨🇦 – 5 May 2017 (© HL). @moa_ubc @aboriginalbc @aboriginalcanada – More: www.donsmaps.com/canoesnwc.html || www.rrncommunity.org/items/27797 || www.rrncommunity.org/items/17962

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Czech Republic: Prague

This is a well-known and well-photographed sight inside a commercial passage in central Prague; TESLA is an acronym for a Czech electronics company founded in 1921.


Germany: Berlin

9 November 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Germany: Blaubeuren

Just west of Ulm in the town of Blaubeuren is a “40-thousand year old Venus.”

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I’m your 40-thousand year old Venus. In the southeast corner of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, the Swabian Jura (Swabian Alb) mountains hosts a number of caves which contains important archaeological discoveries. About 40 to 50 thousand years ago, the area was at the edge of the extended Alpine glaciation (Würm period), and was home to early humans living in caves and surrounding river valleys, including an early version of the Danube. The above picture is of the “Venus” figure discovered in 2008 in the Hohle Fels cave near the town of Blaubeuren. The sculpture is 6 centimetres (2.4 inches) tall and is a female figure dating back to about 40-thousand years. The figure is representative with a ring for the head. The prominent breasts and broad hips suggest a symbol for fertility; surface abrasions imply the figure was worn as charm or pendant. My thanks to the Urgeschichtliches Museum (urmu) Blaubeuren for their kind support and permitting me to photograph (for hours!) within the museum. The Ice Age caves in the Swabian Alb were inscribed to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in June 2017. Blaubeuren, BW, 🇩🇪 – 26 Sep 2017 (© HL).

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Germany: Frankfurt am Main

What will people of the future make of us and what we leave behind?


Germany: Halle

Hunting is depicted in this shard of ceramic dated to 5400 BC/BCE; human beings have always found need and ways to express themselves.

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The State Museum for Prehistory in Halle is home of the Nebra sky disk, which is the oldest depiction of the night sky dating to about 1600 BC/BCE. However, the museum’s collection also includes other important archaeological finds including one shown in the picture. Found near Salzmünde in the Saalekreis area around Halle, this shard of ceramic pottery is dated to 5400-5100 BC/BCE. The depiction is of a deer hunt, given similar depictions on other pieces of ceramic in separate finds and the proximity of buried antlers with human remains in some burial sites. I’ve added line segments to emphasize the discovered etches and grooves in the ceramic (*). Even when sustenance and survival remained primary concerns, significant events or occasions clearly merited a kind of “cultural momento” for the time. Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Halle (Saale), 🇩🇪 – 2 Nov 2016 (SP SaxonyAnhalt / © HL). Thanks to J. Kruse and the Museum for access and their permission to photograph, and to Stadtmarketing Halle and IMG Sachsen-Anhalt for their support. (*) T. Schunke, “Die Salzmünder Kultur – eine außergewöhnliche Steinzeitkultur in Mitteleuropa.” In: H. Meller (Hrsg.), “3300 BC – mysteriöse Steinzeittote und ihre Welt,” Halle 2013, pp. 246-256.

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Germany: Leipzig

Behind the front altar at Lepizig’s St. Thomas Church is the final resting place for choir director and composer Johann Sebastian Bach.


Germany: Worms (Warmaisa)

In western Europe’s oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, these two graves are dated between 1058 and 1077. Worms formed one part of the ShUM, a medieval federation of three Jewish towns along the Rhine river.

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Two gravestones from mid- to late-11th century. Dated to 1076-1077 AD/CE, gravestone ‘A’ for Jaakow (Jacob) Habachur was thought to be the oldest gravestone in the Jewish ‘Holy Sand’ cemetery in Worms. With continuing technological improvements, gravestone ‘B’ has recently been dated to 1058-1059 AD/CE. It’s apparent the markings on both stones (especially ‘B’) have suffered the long-term effects of weathering. The ’Holy Sand’ is considered the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe. Other important graves include Rabbi Nathan ben Issak (died 1333), Rabbi Jakob ben Moses halevi, called MaHaRil (died 1427), Rabbi Meir ben Isaak (died 1511) and Elia Loanz, called Baal-Schem who died in 1636. Worms was once known as Warmaisa in a larger medieval Jewish community along the Rhine river which included Jewish Speyer (Spira, Sh) and Jewish Mainz (Magenza, M). The league of Jewish communities was called “ShUM”, an acronym created with the first letters of the three cities in Hebrew. Heiliger Sand (Holy Sand), Worms, 🇩🇪 – 21 Nov 2015 (© HL).

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México: Ciudad de México

Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec forest) is the largest park in México and in North America; Chapultepec in native Nahuatl means “grasshopper hill”. As precursor to Mexico City, Tenochtitlán was established by the Mexica Nahuatl-speaking people in 1325 AD/CE.


New Zealand: Wellington

In Wellington, modern “pou whenua” carved posts in the traditional Maori style are found at the summit of Mount Victoria or “Tangi-te-keo.”

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Pou whenua at Tangi-te-keo. The pou whenua are traditional carved posts indicating places of geographical and spiritual significance to local Maori tribes (iwi). This place here at the summit of Mount Victoria is called Tangi-te-keo after the soul of the taniwha creature Whataitai. Taniwha are supernatural creatures in Māori tradition, similar to serpents and dragons in other cultures, which hide in the ocean, rivers, lakes or caves. After death, Whataitai's spirit took on the shape of a bird (keo), flew to the top of this hill, and cried farewell before its departure. This hill has two names: Tangi-te-keo, meaning cry of the bird or wind, and Matai-rangi, meaning gazing towards heaven. From Mount Victoria after sunrise, south towards Lyall Bay and beyond to Cook Strait: Wellington, 🇳🇿 – 12 Jul 2012 (© HL). 6 February is Waitangi Day in New Zealand (3/3).

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USA: Albuquerque

In Albuquerque’s Rinconada Canyon, petroglyphs highlight the presence in the area of ancestral Puebloans as far back as 1000 AD/CE.

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Rinconada Canyon is one of three locations in the Petroglyph National Monument where visitors can see petroglyphs in Albuquerque. Located 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the Visitor Center, guests can see up to 500 petroglyphs in the rocks along a sandy dirt trail which is 2.5 miles (4 km) roundtrip. The path takes visitors into a narrow valley with sand dunes and surrounded by a volcanic escarpment created by an eruption about 200-thousand years ago. Archaeologists believe indigenous ancestral Puebloans created most of the 1200 petroglyphs known in the canyon from about 1000 to 1700 AD; Spanish settlers began making theirs by the 1600s. Pueblo elders believe petroglyph choose when and to whom they reveal themselves. Not all petroglyphs are visible in a single visit, because visibility depends on sun angle (time of day), cloud cover, and shadow. Petroglyph images include anthropomorphs (human-like figures), concentric circles and spirals, animal figures, and geometric designs. These images are used by Puebloan elders to teach children about their history, culture, and spiritual beliefs. Petroglyphs can teach us about how past human inhabitants lived and interacted with nature and thought about their relationship with nature; about the symbols’ relevance and importance to cultural and religious beliefs for Southwest Indians, Spanish, and Mexican peoples; and about how the symbols can hold different meanings for different people. Albuquerque, NM, 🇺🇸 – 6 Oct 2018 (HL, c6d img tags 94796, 94696, 94812, 94852).

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USA: Grand Canyon

The Colorado River began carving the Grand Canyon about 5 to 6 million years ago. The oldest “basement” rock in the canyon is dated to an age of 1700 million or 1.7 billion years. The most ancient rocks found on Earth are 4.5 billion years old.

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(5/9) From @grandcanyonnps Lipan Point, this view west reaches out to Granite Gorge, Hance Rapid, and the very bottom of the continent carved out by the Colorado River with “Vishnu basement” rock. Swipe left for closeup and labeled features. The Colorado River began carving into the rock about 5 to 6 million years ago, and the Vishnu basement rock in the Grand Canyon is over 1.7 billion years old ; the oldest rocks on Earth are dated 4.5 billion years old. For a rough comparison, if a person celebrated their 50th birthday today at an age of 18262.5 days, the equivalence of the basement rock forming occurred about 19 years ago, and the Colorado River taking effect began only 24 days prior to their 50th birthday. 26 February marks the 100th birthday of the Grand Canyon National Park. On 26 February 1919, U.S. Congress passed legislation “An Act to Establish the Grand Canyon National Park in the State of Arizona”. With official designation, the national park encompasses over 1-million acres (almost 405-thousand hectares) and several thousand years of history of habitation in the area by indigenous peoples including the Havasupai, Hualapai, Hopi, Navajo, Paiute, and the Zuni. UNESCO inscribed the Grand Canyon National Park as World Heritage Site in 1979. Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ, 🇺🇸 – 14 Oct 2018 (HL, 6d1 img tag 95976).

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I made all pictures above between 2009 and 2018; alle Fotoaufnahmen sind mit Wasserzeichen versehen worden. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-dvi.

11 Responses to “Tracers of human & geologic history (LAPC)”

    • fotoeins

      Hi and thanks! You’ll likely have seen that the Petroglyph National Monument has multiple locations to view petroglyphs. We only went to Rinconada Canyon, but I would be curious to know what the other locations are like to visit and for the variety of petroglyphs on view.

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  1. pattimoed

    Fabulous, Henry! This is a great overview of some great historical sites/monuments/artifacts. I love the Venus statue. It is slightly different from others I’ve seen. From what I’ve read, the explanation for the distorted shape is it simulates the perspective of a small child looking up at a grown up woman. That’s why the head is so small. Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • fotoeins

      Hi and thanks, Patti. As far as I know, there are many early representations of women at a similar time to the Venus statue. The Prehistory Museum in Blaubeuren (near Ulm) had many more examples, but this “Venus” was a particularly special find. What I didn’t know was that the small head and distorted shape were from the perspective of a small child looking up. Thanks again for stopping by and for your comment!

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