Archaeologists in Scotland have found one of the first lunar calendars in Aberdeenshire, which comprises of 12 pits that were meant for different phases of the moon.
Now when I say “old school” I mean fricking “old school”, like Mesolithic era around 10,000 years ago.
Along with evidence that the pits are different shapes and sizes leads the research team to conclude that they were made for the different shapes of the moon. This is one of the most amazing finds of actual time-keeping in the Metholithic period, as it is the oldest one found yet, and creates an intriguing question as to how ancient people kept time, and if they had a dating system not yet found.
We know now that the lunar calendar could never work due to changes in the moon’s phase, and we now use a solar calendar to document time. The last lunar calendar fell out of use around 4,000 years ago.
The site was originally discovered in 2004 when aerial cameras picked it up, but the site was only excavated now with the remote-sensing technology that have resources to.
“What we are looking at here is a very important step in humanity’s earliest formal construction of time, even the start of history itself,” said Vincent Gaffney, professor of landscape archaeology at Birmingham University.
What I’ve always wondered and would like to see, is what kind of dates they had in ancient times before our Gregorian calendar… I mean we count backwards to the birth of Christ, but the actual people before then didn’t count backwards..right? I may be over-thinking this quite a bit, but I’ve always thought about it. Any ideas?
Source: National Geographic