Saturday, February 26, 2005

Recapping the Timeline IV

The motif of the erupting volcano or volcanoes linked with a war or conflict is very widespread, and I have suggested that geographical clues all point to a specific location.

The timing of the epoch that I believe is related to this event, based on various traditions, is around a few centuries before the third millennium BC. This dating may have passed directly or indirectly to a number of cultures ranging from Egypt to Central America as a particular astronomical configuration.

Later, as these cultures independently developed their own calendar systems, they back-dated the astronomical legend but using different methods. Thus, they arrived at differing but still rather close start points. Of particular importance in the suggested configuration are Venus and/or Sirius which appear in many cultures to be interlinked.

The dated eruption that I have identified is that of Mt. Pinatubo (15.13 North, 120.35 East) around 3,500 BC, although there is a margin of error here of about 500 years. There was also an apparently Neolithic eruption of near-by Mt. Arayat (15.16 North, 120.76 East) on virtually the same latitude as Pinatubo, but this event has not been dated by radiometric means.

Legend suggests these volcanoes may have erupted simultaneously or at least close enough in time to allow for natural mixing of the volcanic deposits. The story also suggests this took place during the ceramic period corresponding with the first introduction of rice agriculture into the region.

At that time, the Nusantao trade network was established over vast regions. They appear to have been trading mostly in fragrant woods, jade, nephrite, obsidian, shells (including tortoise shell), glass and shell beads and possibly some metals such as gold. In some regions, the rice and sugarcane trade likely continued to flourish.

Just prior to the volcanic eruptions there appears to have been a union of important clan networks among the Nusantao. The two leading clans had the dragon and bird totem respectively. The legends suggest these came from the traditional camp which at the time was secondary in power to the exclusive ideology clans. The alliance however threatened the existing status quo.

This new confederacy was formed in the region of the volcanoes itself. Tradition suggests that the eruptions coincided with the outbreak of hostilities between the newly-formed alliance and the established elite-oriented clans.

In the naturalistic and dualistic minds of the Nusantao, the volcanic events must have been of cosmic significance, for both sides. The eruptions became etched in their worldview and the model of the great erupting mountain was carried far and wide on their journeys and trade missions. In the ensuing battle for the mountains of Sun and Moon, the old guard -- the fallen angels -- were expelled from "Eden."

The conflict is recorded in traditions, oral and literate, throughout the geographic expanse of the old Nusantao trading network. Indeed, the battle itself was brought in one form or another to many of these places.

Paul Kekai Manansala