Category Archives: primary orality

Orality – why it is so important for prehistoric archaeologists

Primary orality is what you have when you don’t have literacy. It is often commented that prehistoric cultures didn’t leave a written record. What is almost never mentioned is that cultures which had no contact with writing did have an alternative. They had … Continue reading

Posted in archaeologists, archaeology, Australian Aboriginal, indigenous memory systems, lukasa, memory, Memory Spaces, mnemonics, mythology, orality, prehistory, primary orality, Yolngu | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Archaeological interpretation needs to include knowledge systems

I am not denying that ancient people, like many modern people, believed in lots of superstitions. What I am arguing as loudly as I can is that they wouldn’t have survived without a massive store of practical information. All my … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, cult sites, indigenous memory systems, Israel, Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies, Memory Spaces, orality, primary orality, ritual sites | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

That wonderful moment when the book is real

It is the moment that I see a book’s cover that I know it is real and all the work has been worth it. I don’t have an advance copy yet, but Cambridge University Press have put it on Amazon … Continue reading

Posted in Cambridge University Press, Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies, primary orality, Stonehenge | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on That wonderful moment when the book is real

Primary orality – what is it?

‘Primary orality’ is all about the way societies communicate and store information when they have no contact whatsoever with writing. If they don’t have literacy, they do have orality. Orality is an information technology, a tool which increases the ability of humans to store … Continue reading

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Singing the knowledge – Yanyuwa kujika

A wonderful collaboration between the Yanyuwa people and Monash University is online and enables us to glimpse the singing tracks of their culture. The Yanyuwa live 0n the Gulf Carpentaria in Northern Australia. Animations of the songs can be seen at the … Continue reading

Posted in art of memory, Australian Aboriginal, kajika, Memory Spaces, method of loci, mnemonics, orality, primary orality, Yanuwa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adding the Dowitcher – a comparison of memory aids

A small wading bird landed in a lake and started a twitch unlike any before in Australia. Social media went into overdrive, as bird watchers scrambled to travel for hours in the hope of a glimpse of the one long-billed dowitcher … Continue reading

Posted in art of memory, memory, Memory Spaces, method of loci, mnemonics, orality, primary orality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arts Victoria grant for Ancient Memory Spaces

Some days are just so significant they become milestones in your life. I have no doubt last  Wednesday will be one. An email arrived headed Arts Victoria funding outcome, and I could see the opening words “I am pleased to advise … Continue reading

Posted in Arts Victoria, Memory Spaces, primary orality, Stonehenge, writing non-fiction | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Arts Victoria grant for Ancient Memory Spaces

Why rituals and belief? Why not knowledge?

I guess this is going to be my hobby horse over the next few years: Why are enigmatic objects always associated with ‘beliefs’ and nebulous ‘rituals’? Why not knowledge? Past Horizons is an archaeological journal often reporting very interesting finds. … Continue reading

Posted in archaeoastronomy, archaeology, Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies, primary orality | 2 Comments

Post and stone circles – everywhere

These barrels mark the places where a massive timber circle once stood. Just like timber and stone circles all over the UK, Ireland and Western Europe. But where is it? So where is the plaza with this familiar form of … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, art of memory, indigenous memory systems, memory, Memory Spaces, method of loci, mnemonics, orality, post circles, Poverty Point, primary orality, timber circles | 4 Comments