Superpsychology's Rosetta Stone of Postures cracks the Body Language Code of the Upper-Palaeolithic Early Modern Humans

by superpsychologist Raymond Lane

There has always been a question mark over how Upper-Palaeolithic early modern humans (or Cro-Magnons) in Europe lived their lives.  This is because they passed through that developmental stage without leaving much archaeological or anthropological evidence of their activities.  So it is a mystery as to how and why that society witnessed the explosion of art, religion, technology, and cognition that has become the hallmark of what is considered uniquely human.  That lifestyle led on to the development of agriculture, civilisation, empires, and a European-dominated modern world.  Inroads into unlocking the mysteries of that period have been slow in coming, and in some cases scholars have given up hope of ever finding suitable answers.  But now a new discovery of a Rosetta Stone of Postures - related to Venus figurines - has cracked the body language code of the Upper-Palaeolithic early modern humans.  And new answers to some previous conundrums are now emerging.   The discovery was made by this author using the new science of superpsychology - a combination of an individual and social psychology, based on two laws of pain that help to explain human behaviours.  This article describes the Rosetta Stone of Postures, how it helps to explain what caused the emergence of early modern humans, and what it means for future understanding of the Upper-Palaeolithic.  

The Recognition of Purposeful Figurine Postures

The Upper-Palaeolithic period is noted for its explosion of art, religion, and technology - and its Venus figurines in particular.  More than a hundred of them have been found from France to Siberia, covering a time period from about 30,000-10,000 years ago (readers need to take into account a new Venus discovery pushing that time back to anywhere from 35-40,000 years ago, and the fact that varieties of female figurines were made right up to the time of pottery-making and after.)  So prominent were they that scholars have surmised that society was ruled by females covering that 20,000-year period.  And numerous theories have been devised to explain their purpose, with the most prominent being that they were fertility objects and that they were part of a Mother Goddess or Goddesses religion.  They were not often placed in gravesights, but are thought to have been placed on display.  Venus figurines originally displayed obese women, with some being pregnant, but later they portrayed less full figures.  There have also been a few male figurines found.  Some of the Venus figurines possess unusual postures - one of which is the subject of this study (along with a related posture from the Sumerian Empire).  Figures with this particular type of posture are either sitting or standing with their hands placed across their chests - at the top of the breasts - with elbows by their sides.  These include two of the most famous: the Venus of Willendorf and the Venus of Laspugue.  It appears to be a purposeful posture that portrays some sort of meaning.  But up till now no one has identified what that posture represents - nor has it even been mentioned as being significant.  

There are also figurines from many millennia later at Sumer, at the beginning of civilised life.  They were found in funerary temples.  Those figurines also show an unusual, purposeful posture.  They are either sitting or standing with their hands joined in front of them, with elbows held away from their sides.  Anthropologists believe that this was a worshiping posture and so these figures are said to represent worshipers.  The posture was, for example, characteristic of the priests of the time.  But priests' roles during history included scholarly disciplines aside from worshiping, including scribe, archivist, doctor, therapist, scientist, teacher, etc.  And there were nobles who also used a similar posture, such as the kings Entemena and Gudea of Lagash in at least one figurine each - and kings were the primary opinionators, spokespeople, and lawgivers for their respective societies.  In fact, there were two hand-related postures employed in Sumer: the first one has one hand cupped behind the other (which is the worshiping posture); while the second one has both hands clasped together (which is more of a learned posture).  Sumer was one of the earliest civilisations - known for its token-based accounting system, invention of writing, and law codes - particularly the codes of Ur-Nammu and Hummarabi.  So in Sumer there appears to not only have been a drive to be religious, but to also be wise and lawful - hence the profusion of these hand-related postures.  This author recognised that this second, hand-clasped, Sumerian posture is sometimes employed by learned people right up to modern times, like a teacher, lecturer, professor, or lawyer.  For example, the human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson QC, once had a television program called Hypothetical.  In that program he would often clasp his hands together when describing a hypothetical legal puzzle to a panel of experts. And a celebrity chef and a health official have also been observed employing this same posture when speaking in public.  This hands-clasped posture is a body language that expresses speaking from a wisened or knowledgeable point of view.  In fact, today's supreme court judge's traditional uniform includes a cover for the joined hands.  

There is another posture that is favoured by learned people - especially the legal fraternity.  It is standing with one's hands clasping the edge of one's coat or robe at the chest area, with elbows by the side.  This posture was, for example, displayed by the Rumpole (barrister) character in the British television (law) program Rumpole of the Bailey.  Additionally, the Romans used a gesture of grasping the edge of their togas at the chest area with their left hand when they wanted to add impact to their oratory.  Holding the hand/s to the chest area helps to expand the lungs to provide a calm, deep voice in circumstances that require the expression of an authoritative point of view.  And this hands-to-chest type of posture is remarkably similar to the posture displayed by the Upper-Palaeolithic Venus figurines.  

The clasped-hands and hands-to-chest postures help to add extra import (via body language) to public verbal addresses.  They have become associated with certain (mostly learned) occupations due to their repeated usage throughout history (they are moreso repeatedly used amongst a small number of people, rather than commonly used amongst a lot of people).  Humans evolved from apes, and apes display similar behaviours: gorillas beat their chests to assert their authority, while chimpanzees often display similar hand postures to humans, like clapping and soliciting with hand outstretched.  The human postures in this discussion employ subtler adaptations of their respective ape posture counterparts.  So, in short, there were two purposeful postures displayed by our ancestors: Venus hands-to-chest and Sumerian clasped hands; and two similar postures displayed by present-day people: Rumpole-type hands-to-chest and Robertson-type clasped hands.  Although this author wondered whether the Venus figurines were employing this Rumpole-type posture - just like some Sumerians seemed to be employing a Robertson-type posture - there wasn't really enough evidence to make a solid association between them all.  It was necessary to wait for some more clues to emerge before being able to understand the entirety of what was going on.

Sumerian figurines with cupped-hands (worshiping) posture [1, 2, 3]
Sumerian figurine groups with cupped-hands (worshiping) posture [1, 2, 3]
Sumerian figurines with clasped-hands (wisened) posture [1, 2]
King Gudea of Lagash
King Entemena of Lagash
Geoffrey Robertson QC with typical clasped-hands posture

Venus of Willendorf with hands-to-chest posture
Venus of Gagarino with hands-to-chest posture
Venus of Lespugue with hands-to-chest posture
Venus of Savignano with hands-to-chest posture
Rumpole of Rumpole of the Bailey with characteristic hands-to-chest posture

Gobekli Tepe's Rosetta Stone of Postures puts Male and Female Roles into Perspective

The final clue to this mystery came from the Upper-Palaeolithic site of Gobekli Tepe, located in Turkey, and dated to approximately 11,500 years ago.  This is a funerary temple complex - displaying advanced art, stone masonry, and philosophy for its time period.  The site's name means "hill with a navel" - so the Mother Goddess was probably still the ruling deity of the time - along with female social control.  But this temple site displays "maleness" overall: much of the artwork is of male animals, phalli-displaying artifacts have been found, and stone pillars with hands carved at their sides are also thought to represent emerging male deities (their T-shaped design also appears somewhat phallic).  Within this site was found a life-sized male statue and a Venus figurine that now put all of these postures into perspective.  The statue is of a standing man who has a prominent chevron displayed across his chest (a symbol traditionally associated with females) and his hands placed across his pubic and genital areas; while the Venus figurine has the usual hands-to-chest posture - except that in this case her hands are covering the front of her breasts (i.e., her nipples - the significance of which will be explained later).  Given that at that time that society would have been living at the cusp of social change - when control was slowly changing from female to male hands - this author recognised that these figures were displaying that change literally, and that the control primarily related to providing the law.   This is because the male's posture clearly mimics or mocks (according to sex lines) the posture portrayed in the Venus figurine (and its predecessors).  This meant that Venus figurines with the hands-to-chest posture did indeed represent the Rumpole-type law provider, as this author had suspected.  The statue is essentially conveying the message that "this temple is a male domain, where males provide the law"; while the female's posture of covering her breasts with her hands - altered from the usual hands at the top of the breasts - conveys a sense of having been made to "keep quiet".  This accurately reflects the expected social environment of the time of males trying to assert their authority in a female-run society.  Such figures would have been important icons to remind people of just who was giving the law and, hence, who was in charge of society.  So all of these postured figures - some of the clasped-hands Sumerian figures, but especially the hands-to-chest Venus figurines - most likely portrayed "law providers".  These two Gobekli Tepe figures represent the core of the Rosetta Stone of Postures, in that they eloquently display the male and female versions of the same occupation - which has posture connections with the modern-day legal profession.  

Gobekli Tepe's core Rosetta Stone of Postures: a male figure with hands-to-genitals posture, and a female figurine with hands-covering-breasts posture


A new view of Life during the Upper-Palaeolithic

Since the discovery of the Rosetta Stone of Postures was made in superpsychology, there clearly are significant psychoemotional elements involved in the development of the human species.  These elements have until now been hidden from view and other sciences have been unable to identify them.  So it is now possible for superpsychology to provide a new overview of how early modern humans lived their lives during the Upper-Palaeolithic.  This is by no means complete and will be refined in the future as further discoveries are made in the human sciences.  

Female Proto-empires and Male Revolutionary Change

No explanation has been given for the existence of the Gobekli Tepe temple complex where the two Rosetta Stone of Postures figures were found.  It has, instead, been largely seen as an oddity.  Klaus Schmidt, the site's lead archaeologist, has described this unusually advanced hunter-gatherer site as a "supernova" and possibly representing the Biblical "Garden-of-Eden".  And a lack of explanation for it has fueled those mystical/spiritual "lost advanced empire" theories.  But superpsychology's laws of pain can provide a suitable explanation.  According to these laws, human evolution has passed through four levels of social consciousness:  the preliminary level, equating to prehistory; the first level, equating to antiquity; the second level, equating to the Middle Ages, and the third level, equating to modernity.  The latter stage of the first and second level eras saw the development of a series of empires, culminating in the largest one at the end of each era (Rome and Great Britain respectively.  See Recurring Revolutionary Cycle for details.)  The development of the largest empires also saw a cycle of revolutions that sped up the advancement of art, science, philosophy, and technology.  These revolutions were necessary to disprove prevailing knowledge (largely based on religion) and overthrow that era's Establishment (a regime that required the worship of certain god/s, a certain philosophic and scientific view of the world, certain approaches to medicinal and therapeutic practices, and a certain type of social control, including law) that had become conservative, oppressive, and corrupt in parts.  And, so, following these laws back in time, there must have also been a similar series of empires - or more likely proto-empires - during the latter part of the preliminary level of social consciousness - or prehistory (i.e., during the Upper Palaeolithic)

As with other empires, abundant resources and trade is what would have allowed Upper-Palaeolithic proto-empires to grow.  This was no doubt aided by the advent of net fishing that provided an expanded and easily obtainable food supply.  But the difference back then was that due to lower populations, and a predominantly hunter-gatherer lifestyle, those proto-empires were likely to have been on a lower scale than later full empires (hence the proto delineation).  And the slow development of knowledge and technology meant that each proto-empire lasted for thousands of years before being succeeded.  Their peoples would have been ruled by "Mother-women" - equivalent to proto-queens - (aided by other female and possibly some male officials) and reverenced a Mother Goddess deity (or deities) - who was at the centre of a fertility and Mother Earth-based religion.  The Venus figurines with hands-to-chest postures may have been put on display, carried, or worn as a pendant to signify a local representative of the law - in much the same way as a wooden hammer displays a modern-day judge's law-administering rights.  Towards the end of the prehistoric era of the female-centric religious regime - when its rules and laws had become oppressive, and its rituals and controls stifling - it would, again, have taken thousands of years for males (with, no doubt, some supporting females) to scientifically disprove and overthrow it.  Gobekli Tepe - with its overt expression of maleness - was most likely a part of the cycle of revolutions trying to overthrow that oppressive regime.  It was probably the intellective high point of the Palaeolithic - equivalent to the intellective high point of antiquity (Greek philosophy), and of - in superpsychology terms - the Late Middle Ages (the European Enlightenment).  For that site and time period either of several possible scenarios were applicable: males were desperately trying to assert their philosophy, religion, and law within an oppressive female-run society (and, hence, mimicking or mocking the Venus figurine); males were trying to establish a male-led democracy whereby males gave the law, but females could also provide some law (hence the existence of both types of legal figures); or males had already taken over social control and were "crowing" about their success (hence, again, mimicking or mocking the figurine).  The fact that the sight was deliberately buried not long after its construction suggests one of the first two scenarios (I favour the first one, along with the male figure mocking the figurine) - it may have taken a further few thousand years before males could totally take over social control from females.   

Schmidt believes that the Gobekli people may have been the ones who first invented farming.  And having denuded the landscape of trees for this purpose, they inadvertently created a dustbowl that may have eventually forced them to bury their temple complex and move on.  The overt expression of maleness in the temple complex certainly suggests that they either discovered or developed something that allowed them to foresee that female-run society was destined to be overthrown in the near future.  Perhaps they were the very people who first discovered key attributes of fertility and other natural phenomena.  Such attributes would have included celestial cycles linked to Earthly events: lunar to menstruation, gestation, and tides, and solar to seasons, animal behaviours, and years; creation of animal zodiac signs; identification of seeds as "foetal" plants; the finding that plants needed the sun to grow and not the moon (with the sun traditionally being associated with maleness, and the moon to femaleness) - which could be easily shown by experimentation; a suspicion that there are male and female sex organs in plants; a suspicion that pollen and semen were the male counterparts to fertility; and the identification of insect/bird/animal pollinators of plants.  Overall, these factors would have shown that men played an equal role to women in fertility - thus negating the power of the female as the sole source of new life (via her ability to give birth), and, therefore, her social control.  And all this could have been achieved through the initial experimentations in agriculture.  However, the achievement of such advanced knowledge would have been limited to a small group - the bulk of society would still have had to have been convinced of the new knowledge and that would have taken considerable time and effort to achieve - particularly against a regime favouring traditional beliefs and philosophies.  And even then some of their suspicions would not have been provable without the use of scientific equipment, such as microscopes and telescopes.  

The End of the Upper-Palaeolithic: Gobekli Tepe as part of a Peak-era Proto-empire

So, while no one is able to explain Gobekli Tepe's unusual sophistication, the laws of pain indicate that this attribute was due to it being part of a peak-era proto-empire - that is, the last, and biggest, proto-empire of the Upper-Palaeolithic era.  And there are several signs that support this.  Firstly, one stone pillar has what is clearly a three-tiered cosmology carved into its face.  On the bottom layer are scorpions and large birds, representing the biting, stinging, and running animals of the land.  On the second level are vultures, representing the sky realm.  One of the vultures cradles the sun in an outstretched wing - a human-like gesture.  This suggests that although these people undoubtedly reverenced the Mother Goddess - traditionally associated with the vulture - they were beginning to recognise the prominence of the sun as a (male-oriented) deity.  And the top layer shows the temple complex with bodies in niches for excarnation and, hence, passage to the afterlife.  The concept of a three-tiered cosmology is most likely a reflection of living within a three-tiered society - with proto-royalty on top, an administration in the middle, and a workforce on the bottom - which is characteristic of empires. 

Secondly, peak-era empires are usually "culture-collectors" - that is, they tend to put on display the "best-of-the-best" in terms of artwork, knowledge, religion, technology, etc.  In doing so they "sum-up" the achievements of their respective eras (and predecessor empires) as a way of expressing their dominance.  And we certainly see quality work at Gobekli Tepe.  Schmidt has noted the fine stone masonry that is better than similar masonry of later times.  And as a further example, there is one stone pillar whose edges have been carved into thin columns - showing both fine carving skills and a lively imagination.  

Thirdly, the Gobekli Tepe temple complex is roughly two or three times the age of similar stone henge structures such as those found at Stonehenge and Avebury in England.  This clearly shows that the Gobekli society was way ahead of its time in terms of knowledge and technology - again indicative of a peak-era empire that is undergoing revolutionary advancement.   

Fourthly, the knowledge and skills achieved by the Gobekli people were evidently lost or suppressed, and did not make a significant return until the emergence of agriculture and civilisation several thousands years later.  This was probably due to a dark age that commonly occurs after the collapse of a peak-era empire.

Fifthly, the religion evident within Gobekli's three-tiered cosmology forms the basis of some of today's religions.  Their religion was based on reverencing the vulture - and other scavenger animals - for providing passage to the afterlife (or rebirth) for humans via excarnation.  This theme is found unchanged in the early settlements of Catal Hoyuk and Zawi Chemi.  The theology and rituals of primitive times, including excarnation, and reverence for the vulture, sun, and fire were also carried on in later societies like the Median Empire.  This society was later absorbed into the much-admired Persian Empire - within which the primitive theology crystalised further into the state religion of Zoroastrianism.  In the mix of cultures during antiquity, changes to the core excarnation religion occurred in order to update it to suit more advanced, troubled, and complicated times.  Those new concepts - or respective equivalents - that were introduced into Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity included the duality of good versus evil (reflecting an increasing level of psychological struggle), resurrection (a more sanitised and meaningful replacement for excarnation), and an afterlife divided into heaven and hell (reflecting the growing peaceful-violent split in human nature).
Overall, the quality of the imagery, masonry, and artwork of the Gobekli Tepe site suggests a society that involved wealth, leisure time, and teaching.  This suggests social organisation with a central authority, specialisation of work, and a legal system to keep it all together.

Gobekli Tepe temple complex and artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone of Postures figures shown side-by-side
Gobekli Tepe stone pillar with three-tiered cosmology
Gobekli Tepe stone pillar with edges carved into thin columns

The Beginning of the Upper-Palaeolithic: The Venus of Hohle Fels

While Gobekli Tepe has an unusual Venus figurine that helps to explain what was happening in early modern human society towards the end of the Upper-Palaeolithic, a new discovery of an equally unusual Venus figurine from Hohle Fels cave in Germany can shed some light on what was happening at the other end of the Upper-Palaeolithic - that is, at its beginning.  Discovered by archaeologist Nicholas Conard, this figurine is dated to the period 35-40,000 years ago.  An archaeologist commenting on the find has noted that this sculpting is a prototype for later Venus figurines, as it contains much the same stylised features.   It has the following attributes (most identified by Conard, but a few new ones added by this author):
Now, compare this Hohle Fels figurine at the beginning of the Upper-Palaeolithic to the figures at Gobekli Tepe at the end of the Upper-Palaeolithic.  The Gobekli figurine was found in an overtly male domain, has been identified as being a law provider, and with her nipples covered as if she had been made to "keep quiet".  In contrast, the Hohle Fels figurine was made at a time before the profusion of Venus figurines - and therefore before female rule, and when males were likely to have been in charge.  And it has the opposite stature of giant breasts-nipples projecting forward.  In fact, this figurine displays similar attributes to the male figure at Gobekli Tepe. Where the male figure is displaying an overexaggerated "maleness" as a sign of desperately wanting to take over social control, this figurine is displaying an overexaggerated "femaleness" that suggests a desperation to at least have mothers receive greater social recognition.  And unlike the nipple-covered Gobekli figurine, she is not being quiet, but her giant breasts-nipples indicate that she is screaming.   Why would she be screaming?  What I think this figurine is portraying is related to the aforementioned hidden psychoemotional elements that were the underlying cause of the creation of modern humans.   

Venus of Hohle Fels

What was the Phenomenon that created Modern Humans?

There are numerous theories for the unique development of modern humans: genetic adaptations within the brain; Darwinian Theory favouring certain intellective and social traits; the spread of ideas and memes; demographic theory of critical population levels; violence and warfare; altruism; guns, germs, and steel; urbanisation; and others.  All of these theories are well thought out, well researched, and provide valuable information.  But each only represents a single factor in modern human development - not the underlying cause.  And the fact that there are so many competing theories indicates that the penultimate answer has not yet been found.  In contrast, superpsychology recognises that anthropological and archaeological evidence - as well as changes in social behaviour - indicate that the early modern humans of the Upper-Palaeolithic were enduring significant psychoemotional suffering.  The factors that indicate this are the wearing of headbands made out of precious materials, vulva art, belief in goddess/es, distorted features of Venus figurines, and social problems between the sexes.  

Psychoemotional suffering comes from painful experiences in life that are unresolved.  These nervopains are buried in the brain and nervous system according to the time that they occurred in life (a phenomenon not unlike archaeology and anthropology themselves).  And the earlier they occur the stronger their effects - with pain caused to babies at birth being especially strong because babies are small and defenseless.  Nervopains can produce any of a myriad of acting out behaviours, like habits, obsessions and compulsions, meekness or aggression, or an exaggerated sense of oneself (importance or worthlessness).  They can also produce uncomfortable internal states, like anxieties, phobias, depressions, emotional dependencies, or violent impulses.  Nervopains can also generate various types of symbolism, like superstitions, excessive ideation, exotic beliefs, or language embellishments.  This kind of suffering has been difficult to solve because symptoms may not appear immediately, when they do appear they may wax and wane, or they can take on different forms.  So throughout history, human society has not been able to recognise psychoemotional suffering because of its subtlety, obscurity, shifting states, and seeming lack of original cause.  

Therapeutic experience in superpsychology indicates that birth is a major source of a variety of nervopains - with one of the most prominent being crowning.  When unresolved, crowning creates periodic sensations of tightness around the skull, and it can also impart a psychological constraint on one's perceptions (but once resolved, there is an absence of the tight sensations, a calmer disposition, and a restoration of natural perceptions).  Being a birth-related occurrence, this was one of the strongest nervopains that the people of the Upper-Palaeolithic were suffering from.  There were several contributing factors involved in increased birthing difficulties: encephalisation in the foetal skull, the female pelvis' limitation in coping with the increasing rotundness of that skull, and the female reproductive system becoming increasingly sluggish due to mothers' own unresolved psychoemotional pain.  Birthing difficulties would have increased the incidence of certain health and behavioural problems in mothers' offspring, like headaches, migraines, hypertension, delinquency, autism, epilepsy, and mental illness.  And there is corresponding anthropological and archaeological evidence to show that crowning, at least, was present at that time.  This evidence involves the wearing of headbands.  Anthropological evidence shows that headbands are almost universally worn by primitive peoples - some of whom still live life at a Stone Aged level.  The wearing of headbands - without any functional role (i.e., for symbolic reasons) - indicates having suffered various degrees of pain to the head from crowning at birth (the headband serves to ameliorate the waxing and waning nervotension so produced - without conscious awareness of where that irritation originates).  The first archaeological evidence of headbands made of valuable materials, like beads and shells, appear in gravesites from about 30,000 years ago - at around the same time that women take over social control.  Such newer headbands reflect an upsurge in the intensity of crowning pain at birth (compared to the wearing of unadorned headbands, no doubt for many thousands of years beforehand).  The more elaborate headbands symbolise authority in primitive peoples - and in the case of the Upper-Palaeolithic they would most likely have been worn by proto-royalty.  Additionally, archaeological evidence shows that the vulva is one of the first subjects of realistic art.  This was because their pain from birth - which they were unconscious of - drove a fascination with the vulva (the source of their pain), and created a "mystery" surrounding fertility, gestation, birth, and life - all of which then became the focus of intense study.  

The increasing level of psychoemotional pain also helps to explain why early modern humans suddenly began believing in a goddess.  Basically, the god/goddess' role is to symbolise (i.e., encapsulate) aspects of human suffering - when such suffering is not being socially recognised or able to be resolved.  Additionally, the god/goddess serves as a protector for humans from future suffering.  The best example to illustrate this is the god Jesus.  Jesus represents at least two types of suffering.  The first is oppression and persecution by authorities for your beliefs - that most people experience to a degree at some stage in life - which is symbolised by Jesus' crucifixion by the Roman authorities.  The second is the universal burden of periodic, inexplicable tension, pressure, and pain that occurs to the head - again, that most people experience in life to some degree - which is symbolised by Jesus' punishment of having to wear the Crown of Thorns.  The concept of a god, with its associated religious doctrine, also helps people to cope with their suffering by providing them with some meaning to human problems (usually attributed to forces of evil) and guidance via therapeutic treatments (usually involving attempts to expel evil).  Armed with this knowledge, then, the Mother Goddess of the Upper-Palaeolithic appears to represent at least two types of suffering.  The first is a lopsided and distorted psychophysiology, symbolised by the head eyelet over the left shoulder, longer right leg, and more fingers on the right hand compared to the left.  The second is an uncomfortable physical state symbolised by obesity.  And in terms of preventing future suffering, it represents a need for protection for mother and baby as a result of difficult births, symbolised by the figure's hands on the pregnant abdomen.  Gods do not create humans in their own image, but humans create gods in their own image - and that image usually reflects psychoemotional suffering.  

The Hohle Fels Venus figurine's lopsided features are not an isolated case.  Some later figurines also show lopsided bodily features - usually longer or larger right-sided features.  Additionally, in one site the Venus figurines were believed to have been put on display in only the left side of an abode.  These factors suggest that these people were strongly right-sided in the body - which would have been obvious to them - and strongly left brain dominant - which they appear to have had an inkling of due to the left-sided placement of the eyelet (i.e., at times they would have felt "stuck" in the left side of their heads).  Further still, those people had lost their natural ambilaterality (equal use of both sides of the brain) and ambidexterity (equal use of appendages on both sides of the body), and they were afflicted with superstitions related to sidedness.   These were clearly pronounced phenomena for them to be recorded in the goddess figurines.  They may have been interpreted as features endowed in humans by the Mother Goddess - but paradoxically, also a niggling kind of handicap (compared to the more ambilateral animals).  The fact that the Mother Goddess figurine has a protective hands-to-abdomen posture suggests that mothers' instincts were telling them that the increase in health and behavioural problems of offspring were originating inside the womb at gestation and/or birth.  (Today, mothers have lost that same instinct to knowledge from medical science, which, curiously, attributes few health and behavioural problems to gestation-birth.)  So pain to the head at birth had "pushed" most of the early modern humans into their left brains and caused them to favour their right-side appendages.  This is consistent with the original split-brain research of the 1950s that concluded from an array of tests on brain-separated patients that Western people (who originate from Europe) are left-brain dominant.  So we can now establish that this skewed psychophysiological state goes right back to at least European origins.  
Social roles were also changing between the sexes.  At 40,000 years ago, Modern humans had only relatively recently moved into Europe where there was a new environment with plentiful resources - only the Neandertals were occupants.  At that time humans were mammoth hunters, and probably lived in male-oriented chiefdoms - a system undoubtedly brought with them from Africa.  The chiefdom system had most likely outlasted its usefulness - with the regime becoming restrictive in what people could do - especially for females.  Strong pain coming from a mother at birth would have led to religious superstitions in adult men related to females, menstruation, blood, and birth - that prompted men to keep females away from their rituals and decision-making, and themselves away from mother and infant care (in other words, having an aversion to cosexual social activities).  Men also probably had become complacent - just satisfying their own needs and interests of making tools, hunting, creating art, and studying nature.  All this would have generated a strong and painful feeling in the females of not being heard or respected, and of being alienated. This would have added to their own pain from birth of being blocked or held back.  (As a corollary to this, in the BBC anthropology series, Tribe, women did most of the work in a number of African tribes - and in one case even complained about the men doing nothing.)  The lack of care shown by fathers in girls, mothers having to work, and men's studious interest in female anatomy would have contributed to the problem of obesity in females (which is essentially seeking comfort in food due to a lack of - and/or misplaced - interest shown in them).  The men may also have been hunting mammoth indiscriminately - for food delicacies, rights of passage, acts of bravery, etc - and some of those kills would have been pregnant mothers.  Mammoths - who are related to elephants - would have had some traits that are reminiscent of humans, such as knees, tears, a playfulness in childhood, and a quiet maturity in adulthood.  So the death of mammoth mothers - with developing foetuses inside - may have strongly resonated with human mothers.  It was resonating because mothers were already suffering psychoemotional pain, both from lack of care at birth and lack of support and respect from men. So mammoth mother deaths may have been causing them to scream out for more respect and better treatment for mothers and babies in general.  (The modern-day equivalent to indiscriminent mammoth hunting is indiscriminent whale hunting - mainly by the Japanese.  Japanese figures show that one third of their take are mothers - most of whom are pregnant with foetuses.  And both mothers and their removed foetuses are dismembered alike without regard on board ship.  This occurs despite international opposition from people experiencing a resonance with the plight of whales - who they feel a sentient kinship with.)  Whoever was wearing the Hohle Fels Venus figurine pendant 35-40,000 years ago may have been drumming up support for a religion - and, hence, social control - based on the "Mother Goddess of the mammoths and humans".  This would not only explain that Venus figurine's desperation in character, but also its apparent dual state of being a Mother Goddess to both species.  And just several thousand years later, the Venus figurines are comfortably displaying the legal hands-to-chest posture that suggests that women had taken over social control.  In fact, by becoming a matriarchy the early modern humans appear to have modeled their society on the mammoth society, because mammoths lived in matriarchies, while the males lived in loose groups.  This would have reflected what was slowly happening to human society as its social structure was being distorted by early psychoemotional pain.  (Modeling human society on other species' social structures is a recurring theme of human evolution.  This is not generally recognised because it is a psychologically-related phenomenon newly discovered in superpsychology.)  

Venus of Mal'ta, with enlarged right side bodily features
A 28,000 year old (Sungir) burial showing the prominence of decoration in a band around the head (on headware since eroded)


Venus figurines are a form of art that can be interpreted to a deeper level with superpsychology's laws of pain, when interpretations from archaeology and anthropology have reached an impasse.  (Indeed, one archaeologist has said that they would probably never know what the purpose of the Venus figurines were.)  The Venus figurine depicts several things.  It tells the story of the struggle for social control between the sexes - particularly at the beginning and towards the end of the Upper-Palaeolithic.  It also represented important social roles, such as law provider, and possibly midwife/medicine person - as the Mother Goddess' respective human representatives.  It also encapsulated human suffering - via its representation of the Mother Goddess - when psychoemotional suffering was not socially recognisable or resolvable.  And the figurine also depicts the relationship of the people to the creatures that they most depended upon for their survival.  This is because the figurine also represented the Mother Goddess - or caring deity - of those creatures.  For example, the Hohle Fels figurine was carved from a mammoth tusk and had mammoth-like features.  Later, when the people switched to reindeer hunting, some Venus figurines were carved from antler - suggesting that they may have represented the "Mother of the reindeer".  Much later, at early post-Upper-Palaeolithic settlements, female figurines and female-faced pottery are depicted with elongated or diamond-shaped insect-like eyes, along with zigzag painted bodies/faces, that suggest that they represented the "Mother of the bees".  This was at a time when humans began keeping bees nearby to aid in farming (via crop pollination) and to make mead (an intoxicating drink).  The overt sexual representations of Upper-Palaeolithic artwork, like the Venus figurines, were not pornographic in nature - as many people have assumed - but are part of the body language code that augmented spoken language.  Enlarged sexual features portray attributes like shouting, strength, ascendency, control, or dominance; whilst subdued sexual features portray attributes like quietness, weakness, descendency, followers, or subordinates.  Meanwhile, hands were also an important aspect of body language.  Hands placed over certain parts of the body signified an authority in a particular field - as the Rosetta Stone of Postures shows for law.  And Dean Snow, of Pennsylvania University, has recently discovered that the many handprints in cave art belonged mostly to females - and were mostly of the left hand.  Interestingly, a number of handprints have a finger or part of a finger missing - just like the Venus of Hohle Fels. 

The Upper-Palaeolithic was a battle royale for social control between the sexes.  At first females ruled for 20,000 years, then males took over for the next 10,000 years up to the present time.  So how has progress compared under rule by each of the sexes?  When suffering from psychoemotional pain males are more aggressive than females and so when they gained power they created larger empires, more intense revolutions, and more violent fighting.  As a result, knowledge and technological advancement - which are byproducts of these phenomena (especially from the pain they cause) - have developed twice as fast under their rule.  Males were also able to build upon female-led social structure in a bigger and bolder way, and their leaders have preferred statues, portraits, and billboards of themselves placed on display throughout society to show who is in control - instead of simple figurines.  And despite the beneficial advent of democracy, men are still in firm control of society: most people worship a male god, men make and administer most of the laws; most professionals and national leaders are men; and it is mostly men who make, and participate in, war and terrorism - the scourge of our species.  In today's nations surrounding the Gobekli Tepe site, men still feel the need to emphasise their "maleness" via the adornment of facial hair.  Correspondingly, "femaleness" is suppressed by law via the requirement to cover the body with a robe and the face with a veil.  All of this shows how social and religious behaviours have roots going deep into history and are not easily changed.  

While modern humans have achieved high-level cognition, and the human species a "social conscience" - that allow the voicing of concerns over social problems - they are only surface phenomena.  Below the surface there is still a lot of unresolved suffering in the species that at times twists and warps our behaviours, and, so, weakens that social conscience.  Humans today - with all of our advanced knowledge - can no more stop wars, whale hunts, the extinction of species, or pain caused to babies at birth, than the Upper-Palaeolithic early modern humans could stop their disputes, their mammoth hunts, the extinction of megafauna and the Neandertals, or pain caused to their babies at birth.  But there is now a means of effective change with superpsychology's discovery of the Rosetta Stone of Postures, and its opening-up of a new doorway into the understanding of the Upper-Palaeolithic and the lifestyle of our early modern ancestors.  Superpsychology explains that the advent of the unique human qualities of religion, art, technology, and cognition were primarily caused by strong, unresolved pain occurring to the head at birth and not to an innate intelligence, special adaptive or genetic attributes, or divine creation.  The laws of pain system also explains why humans are chronically unable to change, but that resolving past psychoemotional pains can heal suffering and change us back to our normal, less aggressive, less driven, and more peaceful selves.  

More Excavations and Discoveries to Come

Geophysical results suggest that there are about 20 temple structures at Gobekli Tepe, with only four excavated so far.  So more excavations at Gobekli - and other sights in the Turkish region, like Korpiktepe- will be needed to uncover more details about this time period.  Such excavations will provide more findings, more interpretations of such findings from archaeology and anthropology, and further interpretations from superpsychology (its laws add the essential psychoemotional content that up till now has been missing from the study of human evolution).  Eventually, it should be possible to work out with reasonable detail what happened in our ancestors' society throughout the Upper-Palaeolithic - and from there, further consolidate the underlying cause that made humans such a unique species. 


Addendum: Encephalisation and Pain at Birth

One of the defining anatomical features of the human species is encephalisation - or enlargement of the brain.  In superpsychology this is seen as a result of generations of accumulated unresolved psychoemotional pain that is believed to create extraneous wiring of the brain.  And, as mentioned earlier, the foetal skull reached its most bulbous state from about 400,000 years ago to present - with the emergence of the modern subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens.  Meanwhile, the female pelvis and reproductive system reached their limit in being able to cope with foetal (skull) delivery.  And more pain began to be caused to the baby at birth as a consequence of these converging anatomical problems.  The recognition of pain at birth causing anxiety and tension has been proffered by a few psychotherapists since the early Twentieth Century.  In the second half of that century several therapies explored the reexperiencing of such pain, and highlighted some of the sources involved.  The evolutionary significance of pain to the head has only recently been discovered in superpsychology.  Accordingly, several years ago this author informed politicians of the fact that healing results in therapy indicate that pain to the head at birth is the cause of numerous health and behavioural problems, and is also likely to be the driving force behind empire-building, warfare, and terrorism.  And, further, that such social problems could be reduced with improved birthing practices and post-birth care.  It was, unfortunately, to no avail.  (In fact, birthing has become so troublesome that one-third of Western births are now caesarian sections - thus avoiding the difficulties of natural birth altogether.  This, however, is not a natural, or pain-free, solution.)  If any media service is interested, more details and evidence of such pain can be provided for the edification of society - and maybe parents can take it upon themselves to bring about the much-needed improvements to birthing practices and post-birth care to help avoid or resolve this type of pain.  


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August 2009


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