Read Here: Facinating history and origin of Lunar Calander

The history of counting and timekeeping goes back to early humans in Africa, around 35,000 years ago. Archaeologists think humans used straight-line notches (tally marks) to record different moon phases and count the number of days passing.

The history of counting and timekeeping goes back to early humans in Africa, around 35,000 years ago. The lunar calendar were one of the earliest known methods of timekeeping. Archaeologists think humans used straight-line notches (tally marks) to record different moon phases and count the number of days passing.

Further, They noticed that the moon’s shape cycles from a sliver to a full moon and back to a fraction. This was crucial for the survival of hunter-gatherers, so they could track patterns concerning the movement of herds of animals over time and even start to predict when certain fruits would become ripe and ready to eat. This is how the early innovators created the lunar calendar. The evidence:

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Africa and Lunar Calendar:

The Lebombo Bone is a small but incredibly important archaeological discovery found in Border Cave near the Lebombo Mountains, on the border between South Africa and Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland). It might not look like much at first glance. It is only a simple piece of baboon fibula. However, it carries immense historical and scientific significance.

This ancient bone dates back to around 35,000 BCE. This is when the early human ancestors, living during the Later Stone Age, roamed the African landscape. The series of 29 notches carved into it makes the Lebombo Bone so remarkable. These notches were not random markings; the innovators arranged them carefully to represent different moon phases. It was accordingly considered among the early known Lunar Calendar

Renowned South African archaeologist Alexander Marshack proposed that the Lebombo Bone must serve as a lunar calendar. His groundbreaking research was published in 1972. It shed light on the bone’s purpose and significance.

Imagine this small bone in the hands of our ancient ancestors. They observed the moon’s changing appearance each night and realized its cyclical pattern. Meanwhile, By carefully carving notches on the bone, they could keep track of the moon’s phases over time. It was like their own timekeeping tool. Further, it allowed them to predict the lunar cycle and understand the passing of days and nights.

Marshack’s research brought attention to these ancient African people’s advanced cognitive abilities and astronomical knowledge. Using the Lebombo Bone as lunar calendars showcases their early attempts at recording time and celestial events. This early form of timekeeping is a testament to their curiosity, intelligence, and connection to the natural world.

The Lebombo Bone stands as a fascinating glimpse into the minds of our distant ancestors, revealing their fascination with the skies and their desire to understand the passage of time. This small piece of baboon bone holds the key to our ancient past, reminding us of the ingenuity and curiosity that has driven human beings to explore and understand the world around them for thousands of years.

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Levant:

The earliest evidence of a lunar calendar in the Levant comes from the Raqefet Cave site on Mount Carmel in present-day Israel. Archaeological excavations at the site have uncovered a well-preserved burial of a Natufian woman, dating back around 13,000 years ago, to the Natufian period.

Archaeologists discovered a grave goods assemblage inside the burial that included 29 or 30 limestone and gazelle horn notches. These notches represent lunar calendars, with each aperture corresponding to a day in a lunar month. This discovery indicates that the Natufian people in the Levant used a lunar calendar system as early as around 13,000 years ago. Accordingly, the statistic makes it one of the earliest known instances of calendrical systems in human history, after the Lebombo bone.

The Natufian culture was a pre-agricultural society that thrived in the Levant during the Late Epipaleolithic period. Further, and their use of a lunar calendar highlights their advanced understanding of celestial cycles and their development of timekeeping systems.

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