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Before the Presocratics:


Corroborating the world-wide antecedents of Western philosophy, while pinpointing the rupture which Empedocles and his contemporaries constituted
van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., 2012, Before the Presocratics: Cyclicity, transformation, and element cosmology: The case of transcontinental pre- or protohistoric cosmological substrates linking Africa, Eurasia and North America, special issue, !E"T: An African #ournal of Philosophy$%e&ue Africaine de Philosophie, Vol. XXIII-XXIV, No. 1-2, 2009-2010, pp. 1- 9! "e##ec$ive %a$e o# publica$ion &pril 201 ', boo( version) *aarlem) +,i(an%a, I+BN - .&N 9/!-90-/! !2-10-/1 9! pp, 0! #igures, 1/ $ables, bibliograp,2, in%e3 o# au$,ors ci$e%, e3plana$or2 in%e3 o# proper names o$,er $,an au$,ors ci$e%, 10 3 20 cm, re$ail price .456 7!0, or%er #rom ,$$p)--888.9ues$-:ournal.ne$-bac(;copies.,$m Hegemony and counter-hegemony In .arl2 Mo%ern $imes, Wes$ern .urope<s mili$ar2, economic an% poli$ical po8er began e##ec$ivel2 $o e3$en% $o man2 par$s o# $,e 8orl%. =,is culmina$e% in $,e 19$, c. >. in $,e &ge o# >olonialism. =,e in$ellec$ual si%e o# $,is process 8as $,e vie8 $,a$ .uropean "an% soon, general Nor$, &$lan$ic' cul$ure, ar$ an% science "$,en mainl2 vie8e% as $,e legac2 o# &ncien$ ?reece', religion "mainl2 >,ris$iani$2', languages "mainl2 @&r2an<, i.e. In%o-.uropean' an% even bo%il2 c,arac$eris$ics "@>aucasian<', 8ere consi%ere% incomparabl2 superior $o $,ose in $,e res$ o# $,e 8orl%, an% 8i$,ou$ ,is$orical %eb$s $o o$,er con$inen$s. =o%a2, $,is hegemonic perspec$ive is obsole$e. In suc, #iel%s as arc,aeolog2, ancien$ ,is$or2, cul$ural ,is$or2, an$,ropolog2, .urocen$ric vie8s ,ave gra%uall2 been %iscar%e% in $,e course o# $,e 20$, cen$ur2 >. A un%er $,e impac$ o# $,e %ecoloniBa$ion o# &sia an% &#rica1 $,e e3plosion o# $ranscon$inen$al $ravelling an% migra$ion1 $,e emergence 8orl%8i%e o# $,e mul$icul$ural socie$2 8i$, an eclec$icall2 globaliBing cul$ure1 coun$er-,egemonic in$ellec$ual movemen$s suc, as E' (riente )u' "8,ic, recogniBe% .urope<s in%eb$e%ness $o $,e &ncien$ Near .as$', Cos$mo%ernism, &#rocen$rici$2 "inclu%ing $,e Black Athena $,esis', Cos$colonial =,eor2 an% i$s &#rican varian$ as represen$e% b2 e.g. Valen$in Mu%imbe, an% In$ercul$ural C,ilosop,21 an%, #inall2, in $,e las$ #e8 %eca%es, $,e %ecline o# Wes$ern ,egemon2 in $,e mili$ar2, economic, scien$i#ic, ar$is$ic, an% religious #iel%s. *o8ever, in $,e specialis$ #iel% o# $,e ,is$or2 o# p,ilosop,2 $,e cons$ruc$ion o# Wes$ern uni9ueness ,as largel2 persis$e% unaba$e%. *ere $,e emergence o# p,ilosop,2 an% science ,as con$inue% $o be a$$ribu$e% $o $,e Presocratic philosophers in $,e .as$ern an% Wes$ern #ringes o# $,e &ncien$ ?ree( 8orl% "Ionia i*e* +ou$,-8es$ern =ur(e2, an% ?raecia Magna i*e* +ou$, I$al2' A %espi$e occasional, an% generall2 %ismisse%, c,allenges $o $,e con$rar2 b2 $,e above coun$er-,egemonic movemen$s. The author and his quest for intercultural counter-hegemony Wim van Binsbergen "19D/' s$ar$e% ou$ as an an$,ropologis$ o# Nor$, &#rican popular Islam, an% o# ecs$a$ic religion an% ,ealing in +ou$, >en$ral &#rica. +everal #ac$ors) ,is o8n e3$ensive e$,no,is$orical an% e$,nograp,ic #iel%8or(, an% a$$en%ing language ac9uisi$ion, in several par$s o# &#rica1 ,is %eca%es o# supervising o$,ers in &#ricanis$ researc, mainl2 in $,e con$e3$ o# $,e #amous &#rican +$u%ies >en$re, Eei%en, $,e Ne$,erlan%s1 an% "in $,e las$ $en 2ears' ,is sus$aine% inves$iga$ions o# 8orl% m2$,olog2 an% e3$ensive $ravelling in +ou$,, +ou$, .as$ an% .as$ &sia an% in 6ceania, ma%e ,im a8are o# $,e %eep-sea$e% cul$ural con$inui$ies 8i$,in &#rica, an% be$8een &#rica an% o$,er con$inen$s. =,ese apparen$ con$inui$ies ,ave subse9uen$l2 been corrobora$e% b2 e3$ensive librar2 researc,, $ravelling an% inci%en$al #iel% researc, in &sia, Nor$, &merica an% Nor$, &merica, an% an in$erna$ional con#erence "Eei%en

=,e au$,or "Cara,2angan 4niversi$2, Ban%ung, In%onesia, 200/'

Valen$in Mu%imbe

$,e au$,or "s9ua$$ing, le#$' in $,e #inal s$ages o# ,is ini$ia$ion $o %iviner-,ealer, Bo$s8ana, 1991

$,e au$,or "#oregroun%, rig,$' %uring #iel%8or( in Wes$ Java, In%onesia, 200/

2012' no8 in $,e press. +elec$ivel2 giving up ,is pro#essional anal2$ical %is$ance in #iel%8or( enable% ,im $o en$er &#rican li#e as a prac$icing %iviner-,ealer in Bo$s8ana, an% as a sub-c,ie# in Fambia. =,ese roles ,ave cons$i$u$e% e3ercises in coun$er-,egemon2. W,en an$,ropologis$s an% o$,er Wes$erners re:ec$ &#rican cosmologies an% epis$emologies as a priori invali%, are $,e2 no$ overloo(ing $,e essen$ial con$inui$2 be$8een &#rican an% Wes$ern mo%es o# $,oug,$, an% %o $,e2 no$ un%eres$ima$e $,e 8orl%-crea$ing, $ru$,-pro%ucing po$en$ial o# non-Wes$ern cosmologiesG Is i$ a$ all possible $o pro%uce vali% in$ercul$ural (no8le%ge A $,e proclaime% aim o# an$,ropolog2G 6r is per,aps $,e ver2 no$ion o# a plurali$2 o# cul$ures, a ,egemonic illusionG *o8 s,oul% 8e re8ri$e &#rican ,is$or2, an% global cul$ural ,is$or2, 8,en $r2ing $o coun$erac$ $,e m2s$i#2ing e##ec$s o# an ,egemonic Wes$ern perspec$iveG From philosophical conceptual analysis to empirical historical research *aving es$ablis,e% ,imsel# as a specialis$ in $,e ,is$or2, e$,nograp,2 an% compara$ive s$u%2 o# &#rican religion, aroun% 19!0, $,ese are $,e 9ues$ions $,a$ ,ave increasingl2 %omina$e% Wim van Binsbergen<s researc, an% 8ri$ing. &#$er occup2ing a se9uence o# pro#essorial c,airs in an$,ropolog2 "inclu%ing Eei%en, Manc,es$er, an% &ms$er%am', in combina$ion 8i$, ,is senior appoin$men$ a$ $,e Eei%en &#rican +$u%ies >en$re, in 199H ,e 8as o##ere% $,e c,air o# in$ercul$ural p,ilosop,2, .rasmus 4niversi$2 5o$$er%am, 8,ic, prove% a s$imula$ing con$e3$ $o pursue $,ese 9ues$ions #rom a %i##eren$ angle. Mean8,ile ,e ,a% ini$ia$e%, 8i$, Ce$er ?esc,iere, $,e e3$ensive researc, programme @?lobaliBa$ion an% $,e cons$ruc$ion o# communal i%en$i$ies< "199D-1999', in 8,ic, %oBens o# researc,ers par$icipa$e% bo$, na$ionall2 an% in$erna$ionall2. In ,is emerging p,ilosop,2 o# in$ercul$urali$2, an% grea$l2 inspire% b2 ,is coun$er-,egemonic roles in $,e #iel%, $,e premise o# $,e #un%amen$al uni$2 o# ,uman(in% came $o occup2 a cen$ral place, bu$ ,e ,a% $o a%mi$ $,a$ $,e empirical un%erpinning o# $,a$ premise le#$ a lo$ $o be %esire%. &roun% 19 0, $,e rise o# classic, #iel%8or(-base% s$ruc$ural-#unc$ionalis$ an$,ropolog2 ,a% mean$ $,e en% o# $,e prior para%igm o# naIve %i##usionism. &#$er 1990, globalisa$ion s$u%ies mean$ rene8e% an% no8 more sop,is$ica$e% a$$en$ion #or cul$ural $ransmission $,roug, space an% $ime, bu$ b2 $,en $,e main ,eri$age o# classic an$,ropolog2 consis$e% in $,e para%igm o# a $o$all2 #ragmen$e% pa$c,8or( o# cul$ures, 8,ose irre%ucible separa$e i%en$i$2 ,a% $o be c,eris,e% #or poli$ical correc$ness, an% 8,ose ,is$orical connec$ions $,us remaine% ou$ o# scope. Wim van Binsbergen<s in$ercul$ural-p,ilosop,ical #ocus %rove ,im increasingl2, no$ so muc, $o concep$ual $,eorising, bu$ $o empirical ,is$orical e3plora$ion in 8i%er an% 8i%er s$re$c,es o# space an% $ime. .ver since ,is pre-%oc$ora$e researc, on Nor$, &#rican popular Islam "1!00-19H!', an% ,is %oc$ora$e on %eligious change in +ambia "1000-19HD1 bo$, cum laude', ,is main researc, passion ,a% been $o crea$e ,is$or2 8,ere previousl2 $,ere ,a% been none A li(e in regar% o# $,e e##ec$ivel2 sub-li$era$e segmen$ar2 socie$2 o# $,e eas$ernmos$ &$las Moun$ains, or in regar% o# illi$era$e, pre-colonial +ou$, >en$ral &#rica. &n% ever since ,is #irs$ Nor$, &#rican an% Fambian researc,es, personal #iel% observa$ions 8oul% provi%e "in combina$ion 8i$, compara$ive %is$ribu$ional anal2ses' $,e ma:or inspira$ion an% subs$an$ia$ion #or ,is ,is$orical ,2po$,eses A $,is is $,e reason 8,2 Before the Presocratics, al$,oug, reac,ing #ar be2on% #iel%8or( e$,nograp,2 an% e$,no,is$or2, is %e%ica$e% $o $,e memor2 o# Jou8e Jongmans "1922-2011', $,e au$,or<s $eac,er o# #iel% me$,o%s. Challenges of method and interdisciplinary data +ee(ing $o empiricall2 un%erpin $,e premise o# $,e #un%amen$al uni$2 o# ,uman(in%, mean$ ma:or me$,o%ological c,allenges, an% re9uire% access $o a muc, 8i%er #iel% o# %a$a an% specialis$ researc, $,an ,abi$uall2 available $o an &#ricanis$ an$,ropologis$. & %ecisive par$ o# $,a$ $ra:ec$or2 8as alrea%2 being covere% 8,en, #rom 1990 on8ar%, Wim van Binsbergen engage% in $,e compara$ive $ranscon$inen$al s$u%2 o# %ivina$or2 "oracular, soo$,-sa2ing' s2s$ems, see(ing $o illumina$e $,e s$ri(ing similari$ies $,a$ became mani#es$ be$8een $,e %ivina$ion s2s$em ,e ,a% learne% as a %iviner in Bo$s8ana, on $,e one ,an%, an% on $,e o$,er ,an% o$,er +ou$,ern &#rican %ivina$ion s2s$ems1 $,e ,fa an% "i'teen Co-ries s2s$ems o# Wes$ &#rica an% $,e Ne8 Worl%1 "ikidy o# Ma%agascar an% $,e >omoro Islan%s1 $,e cilm al-raml "@+an% +cience<' %ivina$ion s2s$em recor%e% #or +ou$,ern Ira9 c. 1000 >. an% subse9uen$l2 sprea% all

N(o2a sub-c,ie#s inclu%ing $,e au$,or sea$e% on $,e groun% be#ore $,e $,rone o# King Mu$on%o, Fambia, 2011

Jou8e Jongmans

over $,e Islamic 8orl% o# +ou$, an% +ou$,-Wes$ &sia as 8ell as Nor$, .as$ an% .as$ &#rica "8i$, rami#ica$ions in$o me%ieval an% 5enaissance .uropean specialis$ magic an% even in$o .arl2-Mo%ern peasan$ prac$ices'1 an% be2on% $,a$ even, puBBlingl2 similar in no$a$ional s2s$em an% %ivina$or2 s2mbolism, $,e >,inese 8is%om s2s$em o# , Ching, 8i$, i$s enormous impac$ on .as$ &sian cul$ural ,is$or2. +ince Varro an% +$ Isi%ore, suc, s2s$ems ,ave been (no8n un%er $,e ,ea%ing o# geomancy, i.e. @%ivina$ion b2 ear$,< "an% no$ b2 ,eaven, as in as$rolog2', ear$, or san% pla2ing a role in some o# $,e manipula$ions b2 8,ic, ran%om numbers are genera$e% in or%er $o i%en$i#2 $,e suppose%l2 superna$urall2 c,osen en$ries in $,e %iviner<s oral or 8ri$$en in$erpre$a$ive ca$alogue. +pen%ing a 2ear 8i$, $,e Ne$,erlan%s Ins$i$u$e #or &%vance% +$u%2<s 5esearc, ?roup on 5eligion an% Magic in $,e &ncien$ Near .as$ "199D1990', broug,$ 8i$,in Wim van Binsbergen<s reac, $,e specialis$s< (no8le%ge, vas$ librar2 resources an% inspira$ion 8i$, 8,ic, ,e coul% la2 a soli% in$er%isciplinar2 #oun%a$ion #or ,is unboun%e% researc, ambi$ions. Lur$,er ma:or s$eps 8i%ene% an% %eepene% $,is #oun%a$ion. *e :oine% $,e Black Athena %eba$e $,a$ ,a% been ini$ia$e% in 19!/ b2 $,e +inologis$ an% in$ellec$ual ,is$orian Mar$in Bernal "8i$,ou$ $urning a blin% e2e $o $,e la$$er<s s,or$comings, van Binsbergen largel2 %e#en%e% Bernal agains$ implici$l2 ,egemonic cri$icism'. &lso Wim van Binsbergen 8as co-op$e% in$o $,e *arvar%-#ocuse% rise o# a ne8, sop,is$ica$e% compara$ive m2$,olog2 un%er $,e ini$ia$ive o# +ans(ri$is$ Mic,ael Wi$Bel #rom c. 2000 on8ar%. &ll $,is a##or%e% our au$,or a s$imula$ing con$e3$ in 8,ic, ma:or me$,o%ological c,allenges coul% begin $o be me$1 8,ere ,e coul% blen% in 8i$, numerous specialis$s in suc, in%ispensable ancillar2 %isciplines as arc,aeolog2, linguis$ics, gene$ics, compara$ive m2$,olog2, classics, &ncien$ ,is$or2, 6l% =es$amen$ s$u%ies, +ans(ri$ s$u%ies, +inolog21 an% 8,ere ,e coul% a%op$ a number o# e3is$ing $,eore$ical mo%els $,a$ 8ere $o gui%e ,is subse9uen$ speci#ic empirical ,is$orical researc,) gene$icis$s< no8 8i%el2 accep$e% @6u$-o#-&#rica< mo%el1 $,e s$a$e-o#-$,e-ar$ @Bac(-in$o-&#rica< mo%el, covering more recen$ movemen$ #rom &sia in$o &#rica #rom c. 10 (a BC on1 +$aros$in an% Lleming<s MBorean ,2po$,esis i%en$i#2ing, in nearl2 all ma:or linguis$ic groups "macrophyla' $o%a2, $races o# a recons$ruc$e% paren$ language suppose% $o ,ave been spo(en in &sia in $,e 4pper Calaeoli$,ic1 an% +$ep,en 6ppen,eimer<s +un%a ,2po$,esis claiming %ecisive in#luence upon Wes$ern .urasia "an%, b2 implica$ion, &#rica' #rom #loo%ing +ou$, .as$ &sia #rom $,e onse$ o# $,e earl2 *olocene "10 (a BC' on8ar%s. Illumina$ing $,oug, $,ese e3is$ing mo%els 8ere, Wim van Binsbergen 2e$ #el$ $,e nee% $o %evelop a%%i$ional mo%els o# ,is o8n) $,e &ggrega$ive Jiac,ronic Mo%el o# Worl% M2$,olog21 $,e Celasgian *2po$,esis, claiming ma:or cul$ural innova$ion in Neoli$,ic Wes$ &sia #ollo8e% b2 e3pansion in$o $,e BronBe &ge Me%i$erranean an%, #rom $,ere, cul$ural $ransmission in$o $,e #our %irec$ions o# $,e .cross model/) Nor$, in$o Nor$,-8es$ern .urasia, Wes$ in$o Wes$ern .urope, .as$ in$o .urasia all $,e 8a2 $o In%ia, >,ina, +ou$, .as$ &sia an% even 6ceania1 an% +ou$, in$o sub-+a,aran &#rica1 $,e *2po$,esis claiming a consi%erable MBorean componen$ #or $,e Niger>ongo macrop,2lum $,a$ $o%a2 covers a large par$ o# sub-+a,aran &#rica an% $,a$ inclu%es $,e 8i%esprea% Ban$u p,2lum $o 8,ic, e.g. N(o2a an% Fulu belong1 a 8orl%-8i%e iconograp,ic an% linguis$ic anal2sis o# leopar%-s(in s2mbolism as revolving on $,e concep$ual an% cosmological con$ras$ be$8een granula$ion an% smoo$,ness1 a mo%el #or $,e evolu$ion o# ,uman logical capabili$ies #rom $,e 4pper Calaeoli$,ic on, #rom @range seman$ics< via $rans#orma$ional c2clici$2 $o, #inall2, $,e s$an%ar% logic o# $,e E'cluded Third as %e#ine% b2 &ris$o$le1 an% a mo%el #or $,e speci#ic succession o# $2pes o# cosmogonic m2$,s an% Lloo% m2$,s in $,e .urasian 4pper Calaeoli$,ic. =,ese mo%els an% $,eir empirical an% bibliograp,ical subs$an$ia$ion are no8 gra%uall2 being publis,e% "#or %e$ails, see $,e bibliograp,2 in $,e presen$ boo(', an% $,e2 ,ave mean8,ile spa8ne% a number o# s$u%ies on suc, speci#ic $opics as $,e rela$ions,ip be$8een &ncien$ ?ree( *ep,aes$us an% &ncien$ .g2p$ian C$a1 a s$a$is$ical

Mar$in Bernal

Mic,ael Wi$Bel

anal2sis suppor$ing $,e @Ban$u as MBorean< *2po$,esis1 a s$a$is$ical con$en$s anal2sis o# Lloo% m2$,s 8orl%-8i%e as a surprisingl2 clear 8in%o8 on $,e %eepes$ long-range ,is$or2 o# m2$,olog21 a massive boo( Ethnicity in 0editerranean Protohistory "8i$, Wou%,uiBen, 2011'1 an e%i$e% collec$ion Black Athena Comes of Age "2011', e$c.
nto the !editerranean " West #sian $ron%e #ge, and then the transcontinental &ump into cyclicity and transformation

&s long as $,e relevan$ language s(ills 8ere mas$ere% or re#res,e%, an% $,e relevan$ librar2 resources i%en$i#ie% an% peruse%, $,e geoman$ic researc,<s progress in$o $,e o$,er par$s o# &#rica, $,e Islamic an% Je8is, Mi%%le &ges, Wes$ern .urope, even >,ina, prove% rela$ivel2 e##or$less $,oug, $ime-consuming. ?iven $,e au$,or<s numerous publica$ions on $,is $opic $,ere is no nee% #or an elabora$e summar2 ,ere. In $,e boo(, geomanc2 in $,e #irs$ place serves $o %rive ,ome $,e un%eniable empirical reali$2 o# massive cul$ural con$inui$ies $,roug, space an% $ime, on a $ranscon$inen$al scale, an% pro#oun%l2 involving &#rica. *o8ever, $,e compara$ive %ivina$ion pro:ec$ s$agna$e% in $,e Ea$e-&n$i9ui$2 .as$ern Me%i$erranean. Jespi$e $,e longs$an%ing consensus $,a$ &ncien$ ?reece ,a% signi#ican$l2 in#orme% $,e Islamic an% Je8is, Mi%%le &ges an% 8ell as +ou$, &sia, an% $,e more recen$ insig,$ "popularise% b2 Mar$in Bernal' $,a$ &ncien$ ?reece in i$s $urn ,a% been in#orme% b2 &ncien$ .g2p$ "per,aps as a c,il% o# &#rica' an% Mesopo$amia, no$,ing ol%er $,an B2Ban$ine sources coul% be #oun% in $,e 8a2 o# pro$o-geomanc2. 6ne s$ri(ing #ac$ ,o8ever cap$ure% $,e a$$en$ion. 1oursomes "no$abl2, #our bro(en or unbro(en lines superimpose% upon eac, o$,er ' ma(e up $,e s$an%ar% geoman$ic con#igura$ions open #or %ivina$or2 in$erpre$a$ion. No8, parallel $o $,is Wim van Binsbergen no$e% $,e abun%ance an% cen$ral signi#icance o# #oursomes in $,e .as$ern Me%i$erranean Iron &ge an% BronBe &ge ma$erial A H$,-c. B>. .mpe%ocles< #our-elemen$ %oc$rine "Lire, &ir, .ar$, an% Wa$er, personi#ie% in $,e %ei$ies Feus, *era, &i%oneus an% Nes$is' as $,e allege% origin o# mo%ern na$ural science1 C2$,agoras< tetractys buil$ up ou$ o# lines o# #our, $,ree, $,ree an% one %o$s1 $,e &ncien$ Israeli$e tetragrammaton, A 8i$, a s$ri(ing parallel in $,e eig,$ >,inese $rigrams lea%ing $o $,e HD con#igura$ions o# $,e >,inese , Ching oracleN Was $,ere some un%erl2ing, pre- or pro$o,is$orical $ranscon$inen$al s2s$em ,ereG

$,e au$,or engage% in %eba$e 8i$, .g2p$ologis$s an% p,ilosop,ers, 4niversi$R >a$,oli9ue %e l<&#ri9ue >en$rale, Saoun%e, >ameroon, 2000

C2$,agoras< tetractys "see belo8, >,ap$er 0' an% $,e &ncien$ Israeli$e tetragrammaton OPOQ are s,o8n as earl2 e3pressions o# a #our-elemen$ s2s$em #ores,a%o8ing pro$o-geomancies in Me%i$erranean Ea$e &n$i9ui$2

1ig* 2*34* Comparing geomantic notational systems -orld-ide "p. H!' =,ree %escrip$ive cases #rom $,ree con$inen$s ,elpe% $o ar$icula$e $,is ,unc,, an% began $o reveal $,e con$ours o# 8,a$, at least initially, appeare% $o be an almos$ 8orl%8i%e cosmolog2 or 8orl%vie8 ,inging on $,e i%ea o# @elemen$<, i*e* a ,an%#ul o# basic ca$egories in$o 8,ic, reali$2 8as $,oug,$ $o be %ivi%e%. "1' >,arac$eris$ic o# $,e .as$ &sian cosmological s2s$em is $,e no$ion o# c2clical $rans#orma$ion, an% 8,ile 8ell %ocumen$e% #or =aoism an% $,roug,ou$ >,inese cul$ural ,is$or2, i$ 8as par$icularl2 %ra8n 8i$,in $,e orbi$ o# Wim van Binsbergen<s researc, 8,en in 2009 ,e 8as $o give a paper on Japanese m2$,olog2 a$ $,e Ko(uga(uin +,in$o 4niversi$2 in =o(2o, Japan. *ere $,e #o-

cus 8as on IBanami, $,e primal Japanese go%%ess as %escribe% in Japan<s 5o6iki classic "earl2 9$, c. >.'. Lrom ,er 8omb, IBanami pro%uce% $,e 8,ole 8orl% 8i$,ou$ %i##icul$2, bu$ 8,en i$ came $o giving bir$, $o Kagu$suc,i, @Lire<, ,er repro%uc$ive organs 8ere #a$all2 burne% an% s,e %ie%. &gains$ an elabora$e =aois$ #ive-elemen$ cosmological bac(groun% "5o6iki 8as s$ill 8ri$$en in classical >,inese' IBanami<s %ea$, ma2 be in$erpre$e% as :us$ a narra$ive elabora$ion o# $,e logic o# $,e $rans#orma$ive c2cle o# elemen$s) element A destroys $ kills B under the catalytic influence of C 8,ic, ,as as i$s coun$erpar$) element A produces $ furthers 7 under the catalytic influence of E, an% so on #or all #ive elemen$s .ar$,, Wa$er, Lire, Woo% an% Me$al.
Nava,o san% pain$ing, Nor$, &merica, sugges$ive o# a #our-elemen$ cosmolog2

1ig* 4*2* The Taoist fi&e-element transformation cycle according to Needham -ith )ing* "p. 121' "2' =,e secon% %escrip$ive case comes #rom Fambia, +ou$, >en$ral &#rica, 8,ere Wim van Binsbergen ,as been a$ ,ome since 19/2. =,e N(o2a people possess an elabora$e clan s2s$em $,a$ ,o8ever is so con$ra%ic$or2 an% inconsis$en$, $,a$ one is incline% $o see i$s presen$-%a2 #ea$ures as remnan$s, no longer un%ers$oo% b2 con$emporar2 local ac$ors, o# 8,a$ 8as once consis$en$ an% s2s$emic. 6ver a %oBen ca$egories "$o$emic animals suc, as .lep,an$, BuBBar%, an% ?oa$, an% #ur$,er Woo%, +mo(e, Bell, e$c.' #ea$ure in $,is s2s$em in %aBBling arra2s o# combina$ion an% %issocia$ion, o# (illing an% pro%ucing A an% $,us in#orm clan :o(ing, #unerar2 responsibili$ies, an% eligibili$2 $o $,e (ings,ip. &#$er 2ears o# puBBling $,e solu$ion comes 8i$,in reac, once 8e consi%er $,ese posi$ions as superimpose% $,reesomes "o#$en s2non2mous', involve% in a cons$an$ c2cle o# $rans#orma$ion %is$inguis,ing si3 elemen$s A 8i$, a seven$,, ro2al elemen$ a%%e% #or $,e sa(e o# %2nas$ic ,is$or2. " ' =,e #inal ,euris$ic case %erives #rom Nor$, &merican Lloo% m2$,s. W,ile suc, m2$,s ma2 be sai% $o be o# all places an% o# all $imes, as muc, as ,al# o# our presen$ 8orl%8i%e corpus o# recor%e% Lloo% m2$,s speci#icall2 comes #rom Nor$, &merica, an% in man2 o# $,ese 8e see a $,inl2-%isguise% pla2 on c2clical $rans#orma$ions be$8een a ,an%#ul o# elemen$s A Wa$er "$,e Lloo%T' %es$ro2ing Lire bu$ being in i$s $urn coun$ere% b2 8,imsical o$,er #orces, especiall2 .ar$, broug,$ up b2 a m2$,ical .ar$,-Jiver in $,e #orm o# a ro%en$. Whence cyclicity and transformation' >ompara$ive linguis$ic an% gene$ic researc, "MBorean ,2po$,esis an% 6u$-o#-&#rica an% Bac(-in$o-&#rica ,2po$,eses combine%' s,o8s $,a$ onl2 in $,e 4pper Calaeoli$,ic, a$ leas$ 12,000 2ears ago, s$ran%s con$ribu$ing $o $,e cul$ures o# .as$ &sia, +ou$, >en$ral &#rica, an% Nor$, &merica coul% ,ave s,are% a common geograp,2, in &sia. >oul% $,is mean $,e %iscover2 o# an 4pper Calaeoli$,ic, substrate elemen$ cosmolog2 spanning $,ree con$inen$sG Is $,is 8,ere $,e #oursomes o# geomanc2 came #romG &n% $,e #ivesomes o# =aoismG &n% $,e eig,$somes o# , ChingG &n% per,aps

%ra8ing b2 $,e Fulu lig,$ning 8iBar% Ma%ela, +ou$, &#rica, mi%-20$, cen$ur2 >., sugges$ive o# a #our-elemen$ cosmolog2

even $,e #amous, allege%l2 seminal #oursome o# .mpe%oclesG Ji% $,e pu$a$ive 4pper Calaeoli$,ic cosmolog2 merel2 %is$inguis, a ,an%#ul o# simple elemen$s e3is$ing an% persis$ing si%e b2 si%e as immu$able an% irre%ucible on$ological givens "as in $,e .mpe%ocles recep$ion, ini$ia$e% b2 Cla$o an% &ris$o$le'G 6r %i% $,e pu$a$ive 4pper Calaeoli$,ic s2s$em alrea%2 ,ave $,e i%ea o# c2clical $rans#orma$ion $,a$ is a$ $,e ,ear$ o# $,e =aois$ an% N(o2a mo%el, an% $,a$ reveals an on$olog2 o# ep,emeral sur#ace %iversi$2 un%er 8,ic, $,e #un%amen$al uni$2, no$ o# ,uman(in%, bu$ even o# Being i$sel# lur(sG W,en an% 8,ere %i% $,e pu$a$ive s2s$em ac9uire i$s #ea$ures o# c2clici$2 an% $rans#orma$ionG &n% i# $,ese #ea$ures are cer$ainl2 no$ generall2 recognised $o be par$ o# $,e .mpe%ocles s2s$em, is i$ because $,e2 cons$i$u$e a la$er innova$ion long a#$er .mpe%oclesG 6r, on $,e con$rar2, because $,e more original s2s$em o# c2clical $rans#orma$ions -as misunderstood and adulterated 8,en appropria$e% b2 $,e Cresocra$ics in $,e rela$ive bac(8a$ers $,a$ Ionia an% ?raecia Magna 8ere a$ $,e $ime A as compare% $o $,e grea$ cen$res o# civilisa$ion $,a$ ,a% alrea%2 $,rive% #or millennia ".g2p$, Mesopo$amia, >,ina'1 a%ul$era$e% A an% subse9uen$l2 "%evoi% o# i$s originall2 cen$ral $rans#orma$ive c2clical #ea$ures ,ence on$ological uni$2 o# Being' ,an%e% %o8n in $,e .mpe%ocles recep$ion "8,ic, cer$ainl2 e3$en%e% $o +ou$, &sia, Me%ieval Islamic an% Je8is, magic', $o en% up as a ma:or s$epping-s$one #or mo%ern scienceG 6r are all $,ese "implici$l2 coun$er-,egemonic, an$i-.urocen$ric' long-range perspec$ives mere pro%uc$s o# 8is,#ul $,in(ing an% poli$ical correc$ness, an% s,oul% 8e ins$ea% in$erpre$ $,e available %a$a, in $,e bes$ ,egemonic an% .urocen$ric $ra%i$ion, as $,e gra%ual $ranscon$inen$al spilling, in $,e course o# over $8o millennia, o# .mpe%oclean $o$all2 original #our-elemen$ %oc$rine over $,ree con$inen$s, 8i$, $rans#orma$ional c2clici$2 spuriousl2 a%%e% in $,e process as #ar as .as$ &sia an% +ou$, >en$ral &#rica are concerne%G Transcontinental continuity in the $ron%e #ge ontology of the cyclical transformati(e unity of $eing, and the )resocratics* rupture Before the Presocratics see(s $o o##er provisional ans8ers $o $,ese momen$ous 9ues$ions in a 8a2 $,a$ is me$,o%ologicall2 sop,is$ica$e% an% $,a$ is pains$a(ingl2 un%erpinne% b2 ,ig,-9uali$2 empirical %a$a. =,e boo( cons$i$u$es a ra%ical %epar$ure #rom $,e s$ill reigning di&ide-and-rule para%igm o# compar$men$alise% cul$ures, regions, con$inen$s, an% regional specialisa$ions. Nee%less $o sa2, $,e boo( %oes no$ claim $o clinc,, once #or all, $,e case #or $,e #un%amen$al uni$2 o# presen$-%a2 ,uman(in%. Bu$ i$ %oes o##er a mo%el o# $,oug,$ ,inging on $,e plausibili$2, no$ $o sa2 #ac$uali$2, o# massive $ranscon$inen$al con$inui$2 o# cul$ure an% language #rom a$ leas$ $,e 4pper Calaeoli$,ic on. Lor &#rica, more an% more marginalise% in $,e las$ cen$uries an% onl2 in $,e las$ %eca%e beginning $o ma(e a comebac(, $,ese #in%ings ,ig,lig,$ $,e grea$ e3$en$ $o 8,ic, $,a$ con$inen$ an% i$s in,abi$an$s ,ave al8a2s been par$ o# global cul$ural ,is$or2 A an% no$ :us$ since $,e &rabian, In%ian, >,inese an% $rans&$lan$ic slave $ra%e, $,e arrival o# >,ris$iani$2 an% .uropean rule A in o$,er 8or%s, no$ :us$ because o# o$,er con$inen$s< inroa%s in$o &#rica. Lor .mpe%ocles an% cer$ain o$,er Cresocra$ics $,is $,ro8s an ironic lig,$ on $,eir proclaime% originali$2 A al$,oug, a%mi$$e%l2 $,ere is unmis$a(able, %es$ruc$ive, aliena$ing bu$ per,aps A consi%ering $,e ,is$or2 o# science A ul$ima$el2 re8ar%ing originali$2 in $,e %ropping o# $rans#orma$ive c2clici$2 an% in re:ec$ing $,e s$an%ar% s2s$em<s implie% on$ological uni$2 o# Being. Before the Presocratics $,us on $,e one ,an% rein#orces $,e eminen$l2 coun$er-,egemonic an% coun$er-.urocen$ric posi$ion $o $,e e##ec$ $,a$ p,ilosop,2 an% science ,ave been $,e pro%uc$s o# all con$inen$s, an% cons$i$u$e $,e common ,eri$age o# all ,uman(in%. 6n $,e o$,er ,an%, ,o8ever, $,e boo( %oes a%mi$ $,a$ $,e Cresocra$ics ma%e a %i##erence, an% enables us $o pinpoin$ 8,a$ $,a$ %i##erence consis$e% in. W,en various Cresocra$ics, in succession, propose "p. 1D9' Wa$er, Lire, &ir an% .ar$, as $,e ul$ima$e primal ma$$er, $,is can onl2 mean $,a$ $,e2 8ere #un%amen$all2 ou$ o# $ouc, bu$ s$ill remo$el2 conversan$ 8i$, $,e s$an%ar% BronBe &ge cosmolog2 o# c2clical $rans#orma$ion o# elemen$s. Wi$, $,e e3cep$ion o# Carmeni%es "8,o con$inue% $o s$ress $,e uni$2 an% immu$abili$2 o# Being', $,e Cresocra$ics ,a% begun $o re:ec$ $,e BronBe &ge s$an%ar% on$olog2 "#or 8,ic, $,e .g2p$ologis$ *ornung coine% $,e p,rase 7er Eine und die 8ielen') the fundamental unity of Being, o# 8,ic, $,e speci#ic #orms in 8,ic, $,e 8orl% presen$e% i$sel# $o $,e senses "as an2 o# $,e elemen$s' 8ere onl2 ep,emeral an% $ransi$or2. .mpe%ocles, an% $,e .mpe%oclean passages in Cla$o an% &ris$o$le, ma2 ">,ap$er 0' s$ill be rea% as $es$imonies o# $,e

&ncien$ .g2p$ian >anopian vessels $o con$ain a mummi#ie% person<s viscera A sugges$ive o# a #our-elemen$ cosmolog2

=,e .urocen$ric m2$, o# $,e Cresocra$ics) .arl2 Mo%ern or more recen$ represen$a$ion o# .mpe%ocles brea(ing $,roug, $,e sp,ere o# *eaven

s$an%ar% BronBe &ge elemen$ cosmolog2 o# c2clical $rans#orma$ion. Bu$ especiall2 in $,e subse9uen$ recep$ion, as ?ree( science an% p,ilosop,2 8ere #irml2 es$ablis,ing $,emselves, an on$olog2 o# #ragmen$e%, parallel %isuni$2 o# Being, o# stable and immutable elemen$s, eclipse% $,is ol%er, more ,armonious an% ,eal$,2 insig,$. =,is opene% $,e 8a2 $o8ar%s Man<s no$ :us$ linguis$ic an% re#le3ive, but collecti&ely institutionalised and scientifically underpinned separa$ion #rom $,e 8orl%, in *ellenism, $,e #irs$-millennium &rabs an% In%ians, an% $,e emergence o# mo%ern science in Ea$e Me%iaeval an% .arl2 Mo%ern .urope. In $,e las$ anal2sis, $,a$ A #rom a #ragmen$e%, Mo%ern scien$i#ic posi$ion o# en$renc,e% parallel posi$ions o# i%en$i$2 A 8e nee% $o argue $,e #un%amen$al uni$2 o# ,uman(in%, ,as par$ o# i$s roo$s ,ere, in $,e Cresocra$ic<s ini$ia$ing on$ologicall2 es$range% science. &cross i$s nine c,ap$ers, Before the Presocratics $es$s Wor(ing *2po$,esis "1') "1' @a $rans#orma$ive c2cle o# elemen$s "as a$$es$e% in .as$ &sia an% >en$ral &#rica' ,as cons$i$u$e% a global subs$ra$e since $,e 4pper Calaeoli$,ic "over 12,000 2ears ago', in#orming 9but not from a Pelasgian source, as the book/s blurb states by a slip of the pen : the original Pelasgian conte't is the ;est Asian Neolithic and not the !pper Palaeolithic' .urasian, &#rican an% Nor$, &merican cosmologies<. &n &l$erna$ive Wor(ing *2po$,esis posi$s "2') "2' @$,e $rans#orma$ive c2cle o# elemen$s onl2 %a$es #rom $,e Wes$ &sian BronBe &ge< "0,000- ,000 2ears ago', per,aps #rom a @@Celasgian<<, propose%l2 pro$o-&#rican source, an% 8as subse9uen$l2 $ransmi$$e% $ranscon$inen$all2 on $,e 8ings o# $,e Celasgian @cross mo%el<1 i$ 8as in $,is 8a2 $,a$ i$ en%e% up in .as$ &sia We also e3amine " ' " ' @$,e possibili$2 o# $,is s2s$em<s occasional $ranscon$inen$al $ransmission in ,is$orical $imes<, i*e* in $,e las$ #e8 millennia A e.g. $o $,e N(o2a, an% par$s o# Nor$, &merica. Cains$a(ingl2, "2' an% " ' are empiricall2 vin%ica$e% in $,e boo(. In$erme%ia$e elemen$ cosmologies lac(ing $,e #ull $rans#orma$ive c2cle are i%en$i#ie% in sub+a,aran &#rica an% "as claime% %eca%es ago b2 $,e &#rocen$ris$ ,is$orian an% p,2sicis$ >,ei(, &n$a Jiop' in &ncien$ .g2p$, up $o $8o millennia be#ore .mpe%ocles. =,e occurrences, in ,is$orical $imes, o# $,e $rans#orma$ive c2clical elemen$ cosmolog2 in .as$ &sia, $,e Ne8 Worl%, an% +ou$, >en$ral &#rica "$,e la$$er mos$ probabl2 via a ,i$,er$o unrecognise% demic diffusion #rom .as$ &sia A a rela$ivel2 recen$ even$ in ,is$orical $imes' are argue% $o be ul$ima$el2 %epen%en$ upon $,is Wes$ &sian BronBe &ge inven$ion. =,is %elibera$el2 revives, 8i$, s$a$e-o#-$,e-ar$ linguis$ic ma$erial, =errien %e Eacouperie<s no$orious, la$e-19$, c. >. claim $o $,e e##ec$ $,a$ , Ching ,aile% #rom Wes$ &sia. +ee(ing $o ,ig,lig,$ $,e emergence o# $,e $rans#orma$ive c2cle in $,e Wes$ &sian BronBe &ge, an% i$s "proclaime%' subse9uen$ $ransmission $o .as$ &sia, a pe$ &#rocen$ris$ i%ea "e.g. 5. 5as,i%i' is a%op$e%) $,e presence "#or 8,ic, ne8 arc,aeological an% linguis$ic in%ica$ions are a%%uce%', in Wes$ &#rica %uring $,e Neoli$,ic an% BronBe &ges, o# a rela$ivel2 pigmen$e%, Celasgian-li(e, Ban$oi%spea(ing popula$ion associa$e% 8i$, me$allurg2 as a science of transformations. =,e original Wor(ing *2po$,esis "1', mean8,ile, canno$ be sus$aine%) muc, evi%ence ">,ap$er H' o# 4pper Calaeoli$,ic elemen$ cosmologies is #oun% "#or ins$ance $,roug, a linguis$ic rea%ing o# $,e #amous @%ea%-man< scene in $,e Eascau3 >ave', an% even in%ica$ions #or pro$o-elemen$s are argue% $o e3is$ among $,e ol%es$ m2$,ologies in $,e Mi%%le Calaeoli$,ic, bu$ 8i$,ou$ c2clici$2, $rans#orma$ion, an% ca$al2sis. Conclusion >onsi%ering $,e immense s(ills, resources an% collec$ive e##or$s $,a$ a sa$is#ac$or2 $rea$men$ o# $,e cen$ral 9ues$ions -ould ,ave re9uire%, $,ere can be no %oub$ as $o Before the Presocratics/ immense s,or$comings. &n% consi%ering $,e geopoli$icall2 rein#orce% para%igm con#ron$e% in $,is boo( $,e au$,or ,as no illusions abou$ $,e %ismissive recep$ion a8ai$ing ,is boo( in man2 sc,olarl2 circles) "as ,appene% $o Mar$in Bernal' inevi$able $rans%isciplinar2 errors o# #ac$ an% presen$a$ion 8ill serve as pre$e3$s for an a priori re6ection on paradigmatic grounds. Se$ $,e $rain o# innova$ive an% libera$ing re$,in(ing $,e argumen$ ,as s$ar$e% rolling, canno$ be s$oppe%.

=,e #amous @%ea%-man< scene, Eascau3, Lrance, 4pper Calaeoli$,ic

.longa$e% labia minora %epic$e% a$ ?Ube(li =epe. Cre-Co$$er2 Neoli$,ic B. &na$olia "!!00-!000 B>.', sugges$ive o# pro$o&#rican presence A :us$ li(e $,e Biblical 8a$er name #abbok, i*e. @#or%able s$ream< in pro$o-Ban$u

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