Friday, July 17, 2009

Bronze Age Credit Cards

Bronze Age Credit Cards
Andre Willers

17 Jul 2009

Synopsis :

Extensive trade and travel during the Bronze Age was facilitated by credit arrangements administered and enforced by the religious system (ie the Priests and Priestesses) . Any transgression was punished as a religious offence (like Contempt of Court today) .

Discussion :

Tokens :

See Bessarat on the origins of writing .

Tokens were geometrical forms (usually of baked clay or stone) like cubes , trapezoids , hexagons , etc . Each represented ownership of a good (say a cow , or ten cows , land , wheat , etc) . In other words , wealth . Credit .

These tokens are found all over the Middle East and Bronze Age Europe .

These tokens were assembled in two distinct ways .

In clay envelopes (leading to writing as Bessarat described)
On a string , the ends which are sealed by a sigil of the priesthood as a mark of authenticity . This was worn by the traveler . He furthermore had tattoos which acted as a PIN . The priesthood learned the corrects codes during their initiation rites . It was one of the primary sources of their wealth and power , and was jealously guarded .

This was a Bronze Age Credit Card . But if you cheated on the card , it was you that got cut in half , not the card .

The traveler simply applied to the nearest temple or fain and his bona-fides and credit status was attested and guaranteed by the local bank (priesthood cum temple) . This enormously facilitated all commerce , where payments might be very slow .

(Note that Roman temples still acted as banks even into late classical times : eg Venus Moneta , from where our term money comes from .)

Carrying large amounts of cash (gold , silver) led to heavy scrutiny by local authorities .

(Ever tried to spend a gold Kruger rand at the local supermarket ?

Possession of unwrought gold will earn you a session with the cops and Revenue in our Enlightened Times .

It got you hung in most of history .)

Using the credit facilities was encouraged with a heavy hand . Fraudsters could thus be easily tracked . Remember , this was a low-population density society . They kept as good (if not better) track than modern computerized ones .

Tourism then , as now , was a big industry (though usually camouflaged as a pilgrimage , fulfillment of a vow to a god , obeying a dream , you name it . Monkey curiosity . The same thing that keeps the Airbus 380 in the air .)

It was a peaceful , prosperous society with the rule of Law exercised by the local priesthood .

For this to work , they needed a general set of measures of weights , volumes and lengths . Which they had . The well-known Bronze Age set of standards . Found all over Europe . (Megalithic Yard , etc . Google it)

Oetzi .

This is speculative , but fits the known facts .

1.He was a well-heeled traveler , with PIN tattoos . Well-fed , with expensive accoutrements .

2.He fled well-organized pursuit away from the safe lowlands into the mountains at dangerous time of the year . Away from civil authority that may have been sympathetic .

3.He was not buried . A big no-no in those societies .

4.This was not a lawless society . It was probably safer than the present one . The pursuers and executioners had legal sanction .

This all indicates that he had run afoul of the religious authorities . He and his goods (except the necklace) were anathema and left unburied .

He was simply hunted down and left as a sacrifice to the Mother (pour le encourages les autres ) . Since his goods were tainted as well , they were not looted . He was deliberately left . Except the necklace of tokens , which would have been returned to the local priesthood .

This could not have been very common .

He must have been an important fugitive , especially given the fact that his body was not looted in the years afterwards . The locals knew to a centimeter where he fell . Yet they refrained .

This tells us that greater attention should be paid to the tattoos on his body . These must denote markings signifying a person quite high up in the ancient priesthood . Pay special attention to the scalp , the scrotum and the back along the spinal chord (Chakra's) . There should be tattoos under the hair (ancient Egyptian priests had shaven scalps . Cultural diffusion.) . Also look for scars where tattoos had been cut away .

There is also a high probability that he was hunted as a renegade . Hence the uncommon restraint of the locals as far as looting the body is concerned . The priesthood kept a beady eye on the affair for a long time afterwards .

Oetzi must have really got up their collective noses .

Like , eloping with a high-priestess .

An old tale of love , pursuit and revenge .

All we need is a beautiful princess cum priestess , the two being synonymous in the matriarchal society of the time .

The probability is low , but there might be another mummified corpse near where Oetzi was found .

A human female , about 23 , tattooed , with jewelry .

Oetzi's love has outlasted 5 000 years .

If he keeps true to form , the two will at long last be reunited .

Beats Aida .


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