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Ancient Signs

Ancient Signs

The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing

My new print & ebook
shows that modern alphabets are based on ancient alphabets rooted in syllabic scripts of the ancient world (Sumer, Egypt, Iran, Anatolia, Crete, Cyprus)

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Hydra - See the figure inside?

Measures LexiLine? Logo Numbers
LexiLine - A Renaissance in Learning

see also Linguistic Origins of Numbers and Counting

Worldwide Connections in terms for Measure

Terms for measure show worldwide connections.
For example, as found in Dominic Olivastro, Ancient Puzzles,
the Bakairi in central Brazil say MERA for "many".

In Indo-European we find German MEHR "more",
English MORE
and Latvian MĒR- "to measure"
whence Pharaonic MERKHET "measuring instrument"
and Latvian MĒRĶĒT "aim" (also in the sense of "plumb" a line).

Two Major Ancient Number Systems

There were presumably TWO major number systems in ancient times.
These were the decimal system and the dozen system.
One group originally counted to FIVE, starting with the thumb (or little finger)
and used all the four fingers of the hand oplus thumb for counting,
whereas the other group initially counted only to THREE,
starting with the index finger and not using the thumb).
The little finger then meant ALL or MANY.
These systems were then combine
 into the sexagesimal system (5 x12 = 60)
as in Sumer and Babylon.

Ancient Number Systems Still Exist

These two number systems still exist in modern times
as the competing metric vs. inches-and-feet systems.

Horses in Great Britain , for example,
are still measured by four-finger hands,
so and so many hands high to the shoulders.

Three four-finger hands, placed alongside, were a foot,
three feet heel to toe were a yard, and so on.
Man was his own measure.
But there were TWO systems.
A meter in turn was a grown man's step,
equivalent to one turn of the plow
(later the distance between plowed rows = Latvian MET-.)

The Cardinal Numbers in Indo-European


We see evidence of the two systems above.
There is a break at FOUR in English.
Similarly VIER in German equals FOUR
(VIEL in German equals MANYand compare German "voll" meaning FULL)
cognate with Latvian VAIRums "many"
but in the sense of "growth" or "increase" or "filling",
not merely "counting".

Words of the type QUATTRO for "four"
find their comparable in Latvian KATRI(S) "each, every, all",
and CHETRI "four",
originally perhaps as in Latvian IKI "each" plus TRIS "three plus one, hand".

Index Finger and Thumb

The dozen counters did not use the thumb in counting
but started out with the index FINGER
which is at the ancient root of human counting for the concept "one".
The thumb was not seen as one of the fingers as such,
but was the thumb.
Of course, that must have been a very long time ago.
In the meantime, the West Europeans then added the concept of FIVE,
German Fnf, similar to PENTA-, as in Latvian PIECI,
seemingly derived from a term like Latvian VISI = "ALL" (the fingers).
The higher numbers were simply "many, much",
until one learned to count beyond 3 or 5.

Our "ten" is Germanic "zehn"
which is seemingly related to German "Zehen" ("toes", i.e. "tens").
With time, "fives" and "tens" were marked, viz. notched off on wood
and stones were set or placed down or marked
(e.g. the tokens of Schmandt-Besserat).
The "dozen" system advanced to three hands for a foot
and three feet to a yard, etc.

Counting, Personal Pronouns, Zuni, Baltic

We see an ancient comparison
when we compare Zuni and Baltic counting systems.

The cardinal numbers in Indo-European in the chart above
indicate that they derive primarily from the personal pronouns
(he, she, they).
The personal pronouns themselves derive from original words or sounds
which defined space relations apart from the observer
(i.e. here, there, nearby).
Put more simply, man probably pointed the index finger
in a given direction at someone or somewhere in ancient times
and uttered a sound to accompany this pointing.

Latvian Personal Pronouns compared to English

Compare the pronouns
in the very ancient Latvian language with English:
Latvian TU
Old English THOU
English THAT Latvian TĀD(s)
English THEY Latvian TIE
English YOU Latvian JŪS "pronounced yous"

The Pharaonic Egyptian Cubit or "Ruler"
To "rule" was "to rule" - measurers were kings as it were


A Chart of the Suggested Original
Two Systems of Linear Measure


see also Linguistic Origins of Numbers and Counting

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