[Humanist] 22.373 an ancient GIS
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Dec 5 10:05:04 CET 2008
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 373.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 22:02:10 +0000
From: Israel Cohen <cohen.izzy at gmail.com>
Subject: anthropomorphic maps - an ancient GIS
I learned about anthropomorphic maps from the linguist Dan Moonhawk Alford
(deceased) and the anthropologist Stan Knowlton. They described the
maps of Napi, the creator of the Blackfoot Indians (aka The Old Man)
and his wife (The Old Woman) in Alberta, Canada. I "found" similar
Phoenician maps of a male body (Hermes ?) in west Asia and a female
body (Aphrodite) in north Africa.
Anthropomorphic maps were generated by configuring the body of a god
or goddess over the area to be mapped. The name of each part of that
body became the name of the area under that part. This produced a
scale 1:1 map-without-paper on which each place name automatically
indicated its approximate location and direction with respect to every
other place on the same map whose name was produced in this way.
You are cordially invited to join the BPMaps discussion group on this
topic, a very quiet list that averages less than 2 messages per month.
The URL is:http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/BPMaps/
The Challenge: To produce computer software that will find additional
body-part maps elsewhere in the world. Available inputs:(1) geographic
databases with ancient place names (e.g., the Perseus project).
(2) body-part names on Swadesh lists. Unfortunately, the navel is not included.
*Attributes of Anthropomorphic Maps*
(1) The navel is the center of the body, the center of the map, and
usually the center of the map's language community.
(2) Place names (toponyms) may be reversed, metathesized, misspelled
or euphemized for various reasons:
(a) The same part in the same language exists on another map of a
different body. Cranium > Mo[n]rocco because Ukraine existed?
Aphrodite is looking backwards over her right shoulder. She is bent at
her waist (Misr/Mitzraim = MoSNaiM).
(b) The left (sinister) part is altered in names for left-right pairs
(arms, legs, eyes, ears). DoFeN = side reversed to Nafud in north
Arabia. SHvK = thigh with a T-sound for the letter shin = TvK reversed
to Kuwait. BeReKH = knee metathesized to Bahrain.
(c) Names that represent taboo body parts or functions are reversed or
Semitic PoS (female pudenda) reverses to yam SooF = sea of reeds (Red Sea).
Mare Rubrum (Latin for Red Sea) represented Aphrodite's menstruation
CaNa3an (3 = aiyin with a G-sound as in 3aZa = Gaza) is a reversal
of Greek gyneco-
. Gaza (3aZa) is a reversal of the sounds in ZooG = couple, as in copulation
NeGeV (compare NaKeV = slit, aperture, hole, perforation and
N'KeiVaH = female) reverses to vagina
Sinai = "snatch" is spelled SiNi in Hebrew. The aleph=CHS is
ZaYiN = weapon (a euphemism for male member) is in Sinai as the
desert of Zin.
(3) Names may be loan-translated due to conquest or language-change.
(a) Roxolania (Semitic Ro[chs]SH = head) => Rus *( Ro at SH) => Ukraine (Greek
* Caused by a change in the sound of the aleph from CHS to a glottal stop.
(b) Libya (Semitic LeB = heart) => Cyrenaica (Latin cor = heart,
compare coronary) => Libya
(4) Rivers and bodies of water may be named after bodily excretions:
(a) Milk River in Alberta.
(b) Red Sea (Latin Mare Rubrum) is Aphrodite's menstruation.
(c) Gulf of Aqaba (Semitic QaVaH = digestion/defecation)
(5) Internal body parts may represent subdivisions of external parts.
(a) Arabic Misr / Hebrew Mitzraim (< TSaR = narrow) = waist (Hebrew
MoSNaim). Egypt (< Greek hepato- = liver). Goshen (with a T-sound shin
< Semitic QiTN = bean) = bean-shaped kidney. Goshen exported Arabic
QuTN = cotton => Latin Gossypium (English gossamer = cotton-like)
(b) Atlas mountains < atlas = first cervical vertebra that supports the cranium.
(6) Islands near a body's hands may be named for weapons.
(a) Trinacria = trident (< Gk tri = three + Semitic NaKaR = to pierce)
=> Sicily (< VL *sicila < Latin secula = sickle to harvest wheat;
compare Semitic SaKiN = knife). The trident was in Neptune /
Poseidon's right hand (Italy, like Anatolia < N'TiLas yad = arm being
washed by the seas).
(b) Greece = reversal of Semitic S'RoG = (weighted) net, held in his left hand.
(c) Crete = reversal of targe = small shield (compare English target)
also in his left hand.
The map of Aphrodite is in north Africa. Her face [PaNim] was lost
during the 3rd Punic war. The rest of her is still there. She is
looking backwards over her right shoulder, so her CRaniuM is reversed
at Morocco. It still has a Fez. Her chin [SaNTir] is reversed at
Tunisia. The Atlas (anatomy: first cervical vertebra) mountains
support her head. Her hair [Sa3aRa] is the Sahara desert. Her backbone
[amood SHiDRa] is the Gulf of Sidra. Her heart [LeB] is Libya. Her
breast [SHaD] is Chad. Her narrow [TZaR] waist is Misr / Mitzraim. Her
liver (Greek hepato-) is Egypt. Cotton (Arabic QuTN, Latin Gossypium)
was exported from Goshen, her [QiTNit = bean]-shaped kidney. Her side
[TZaD] is Sudan. Her other side [DoFeN] is Dafur. Her left [SMoL] leg
[NeGeV] is a reversal of vagina and may be related to [NeKeV] =
aperture. [CaNa3aN] was her Latin cunnus (and a reversal of Greek
gyneco-). Its name changed to [YiSRa at eL] at the time when [Ya3aKoV] /
Jacob "fought with god and men" [Gen 32:29]. This represented a change
in sovereignty from Africa to Asia minor. [ YiSRa at eL] is that body
part that gives [@oSHeR] = delight to [@eL] = god when it is [YaSHaR]
= straight, upright. Changing Jacob's name from [Ya3aKoV] = "ankle;
curved, bent" to [YiSRa at eL] = "straight, upright + god" represents an
interesting physiological process.
The body-part map of Hermes is in Asia minor. kHermes [kHoR = hole +
MoSnaim = waist] lived at Mt. kHermon before he moved Mt. Olympus
(Greek omphalos = navel). Later his name was reversed to become Latin
Mercury. Compare Amerigo Vespucci and America. Compare the biblical
king kHiram of Lebanon.
His head [Ro at SH] was at Roxolania/Rus, south of Belarus. Its name
changed to the Ukraine (Gk kranion = cranium, *not *Slavic u kraina =
to/at the border). His throat [GaRGeret] is Georgia. His left shoulder
[KaSaF] is the Caspian sea. His right shoulder [@aTZiL] was Euxinus,
now the Black Sea. His right arm/hand is being washed [NaTiLat] at
Anatolia. His upper arm (Sanskrit irma) at Armenia, biceps (Greek
pontiki = muscle) at Pontus, elbow
[KiFooF yaD] at Cappadocia, wrist [m'FaReK] at Phrygia, and thumb [BoHeN] at
Bithynia were in Anatolia. His heart (Greek cardia) became Kurdistan.
His narrow [TZaR] waist is Syria and his navel (Sanskrit nabhila)
reverses to LeBaNon.
South of Lebanon is the male member (Greek phallus) named Philistina.
See [CaNa3aN / YiSRa at eL] above. His buttocks [YeReKH] is Iraq. His
thigh [shin-vav-kuf] sounded like TvK and reversed to Kuwait. His knee
[BeReKH] is partially reversed in Bahrain. His right [Y'MiN] foot is
These two bodies are connected, literally, at Sinai (with an aleph
that is not written in Hebrew, compare "snatch", a reversal of
[K'NiSah] = entrance), a part of her body that contains the desert of
Zin, his "zaiyin".
*Aphrodite as an Anthropomorphic Map*
The goddess we call Aphrodite
Is not just an old Grecian deity.
The Phoenicians did make
Her a map. It's not fake.
Her body is cartograffiti.
The Punic war destroyed her face,
The Romans left nary a trace.
But her hair is still there,
In Sahara, that's where.
And her chin's a Tunisian place.
Mt. Atlas is her first verTebra.
Her backbone is now Gulf of Sidra.
Her heart is in Libya,
Her left leg, Somalia.
Her breast is in Chad wearing no bra.
The Greeks called her liver Egypt, an'
Her kidney was Biblical Goshen.
She's bent at her waist,
Now Misr-ably placed.
The Red Sea was her menstruation.
As a kid I did think the Red Sea
Was an English map typo: lost E,
From Reed Sea in Hebrew.
But that could not be true,
Mare Rubrum 'twas Latin, B.C.
Aphrodite with Hermes did sin,
We know this is true 'cause within
Her "snatch" we call Sinai
His "zaiyin" does still lie.
It's known as the desert of Zin.
Israel "izzy" Cohen
cohen.izzy at gmail.com
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