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Corrections for the first book of general ignorance.

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kowari
878390.  Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:53 pm Reply with quote

While reading an otherwise very interesting book, I thought I may comment on a few things that are not quite correct.
Firstly, the entry about the biggest rock in the world. Yes, you are quite right, it is Mt Augustus in Western Australia. However, the information about Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Attila is not really correct. Uluru and Kata Tjuta do have the same origin but are not joined. They were both created from separate alluvial fans that washed away from the Peterman Ranges hundreds of millions of years ago and are composed of different rock. Uluru is composed of arkose sandstone (sand) and Kata Tjuta is composed of conglomerate (water worn rocks). Attila (Mt Connor) is also not connected and is 200-300 million years older than the other two.
The entry about boomerangs is also not completely correct. In my years of working with aboriginal people I have never come across a boomerang that returned! In the central deserts, boomerangs don't return and ARE used for breaking an animals legs. After an animal has been speared, the boomerang is used to take down the fleeing wounded animal and they never come back to the thrower. The weapon is heavy and each side is of a different length and are used as throwing clubs.
The entry on rock art also relates to the statement "more recent cave paintings" in Australia. Northern Australia (Arnhem Land) has the oldest tradition of rock art in the world, some sites have been dated between 40000-60000 years old. Lascaux and Altamira in Europe date to 17000 and 11000-35000 years respectively. They also were not just the work of shamans in Australia. Paintings were done for various reasons by various people, as a teaching aid for children, to ensure a successful hunt, to leave a mark (signature) so other people would know who had been to that site (hand stencils), to leave a recorded history for future people and to tell stories.
I hope this clarifies these subjects. I have lived in and been a guide around the rock and Arnhem Land for many years and hope my information is useful.
Thanks again for a great read (2nd book is also a great read) and hope there is more to follow

 
Jenny
878492.  Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:49 am Reply with quote

Thank you kowari - we do love knowledgeable corrections here. Welcome to the QI forums :-)

 
Sadurian Mike
878563.  Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:50 am Reply with quote

What's your take on the supposed Egyptian inscriptions? It has been discussed on this forum in some depth (http://qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19479&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0), but I'd be interested in the opinion of someone who evidently takes an interest in Australian history and pre-white culture.

 
Arcane
878649.  Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:28 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for drawing it to my attention; as an Aussie I really should learn more about our native people. Will look into that forthwith.

 
kowari
878681.  Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:18 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Jenny.
Mike, I've just read the thread on Egyptian carvings. Sounds like a crock! There is ample evidence of Cheng Ho visiting Australia during the 15th century but his fleet is the earliest I have heard about. There are some interesting theories on the Bradshaw paintings in the Kimberley if you want to be mystified. The heiroglyphs sound like fakes. I used to visit an art site in western Arnhemland that had rock art that was fake. The paintings in white ochre were the work of an early settler, stationhand or buffalo hunter and were clearly different from the authentic art surrounding them.
Arcane, they are an amazing, generous people who will never cease to amaze you. Having been out hunting and exploring with my friends around Uluru and Kings Canyon many times over the years they still amaze me sometimes. I have friends at the rock who I reckon could track a bird flying through the air!!

 
kowari
878682.  Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:24 pm Reply with quote

Oh, and all my friends in the centre joke about returning boomerangs and say they are a white mans invention! They say whats the use of a boomerang that returns, it means you haven't hit anything!
The comment about shamans is not really correct either. In aboriginal culture they didn't have shamans as such, as other cultures do. In the western desert, the closest you could probably come to a shaman is a nungkiri which was a person with healing knowledge. All elders have the knowledge and ability to converse with the spirit world.

 
soup
878699.  Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:22 am Reply with quote

kowari wrote:
! They say whats the use of a boomerang that returns, it means you haven't hit anything!


PMI but isn't that the point? If you throw a 'stick' at an animal and it misses it 'flies' back so you can try again. At least that is what I was taught at primary school, mind you this was 40 years ago so theories may well have changed in that time or it might be a case of "lies to children".

 
Zebra57
878717.  Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:12 am Reply with quote

Hi kowari

I often wondered about the logic of a returning boomerang.

The "Egyptian carvings" if you believe the pro-side were "heavily restored" by students c1960 to prevent them from vanishing, hence their presentation. I find strange the lack of "discovery" prior to 1960 or written /photographic evidence but that does not necessarily close the door on the subject.

 
Sadurian Mike
878746.  Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:36 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
The "Egyptian carvings" if you believe the pro-side were "heavily restored" by students c1960 to prevent them from vanishing, hence their presentation. I find strange the lack of "discovery" prior to 1960 or written /photographic evidence but that does not necessarily close the door on the subject.

Which does, of course, completely miss the point about the 'grammar' and actual heiroglyphs being completely wrong for the supposed age (and culture) of the writing. As well as ignoring the practical considerations of a culture reaching a far-distant sea-locked continent when they hadn't mastered ocean-going vessels.

As well as pretty much all the other practical hindrances to the theory.

I've bumped the relevant thread in Quite Interesting if you are interested in reopening old wounds.

 
Zebra57
878771.  Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:11 am Reply with quote

Not at all Mike, I admit I am strongly inclined towards scepticism having read the thread and other published material on the subject. As I said before, in my opinion the Chinese were the more likely ancient visitors than the Egyptians, as they were technologically more advanced in many ways. There are also question marks about the carvings, however, I never say never.

 

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