Giant, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.
In the mythologies of many cultures appear beings with a human appearance but of incredible stature and strength; with a term originally of Greek mythology, they are generically called giants.
In many Indy-European traditions, giants are creatures associated with the very origin of the cosmos, and represent the primordial chaos to which the gods oppose.
Generally, the giants are represented as beings of great strength, extremely long-lived, and often also custodians of a great knowledge, and yet immoral and destructive.
The Bible also reports the famous fight between David and the giant Goliath, although Goliath is not described as a “Nephilim”, but simply as a sample about 2.90 m tall. In Greek mythology, the Giants were immortal beings like gods, and as Hesiod remembered they were the sons of Uranus and Gaia (ie, of heaven and earth).
These creatures gave rise to a war with the gods of Olympus, the Gigantically, which ended thanks to the intervention of Hercules. According to the Greeks, some giants (for example Enceladus) had been buried in the depths of the Earth since; the earthquakes were interpreted as jerks of these buried creatures.
Other gigantic creatures of Greek mythology, the Cyclops.
In the Germanic mythologies – and in particular in the Norse one, on which we have more information – the giants are among the predominant figures, starting from the same cosmogony. The giants in fact exist from before the world, which originated from the body of a giant, Ymir, often related to Yama of Indian mythology. As in other Indy-European mythologies, the giants of Norse mythology represent the ancestral chaos that continually threatens the rational and orderly world of the gods. Many of the most terrible monsters that inhabit the earth are giants or giant progeny. The Norse mythological tradition predicts that at the time of Ragnarok, the “twilight of the gods” that will end the world, the giants will attack the divine city of Asgard, emerging victorious from the clash.
In many parts of Europe, popular tradition refers to giants of various kinds, in many cases to explain natural phenomena (such as the earthquake) or large buildings of ancient civilizations. More closely related to mythology in the strict sense are the numerous stories (popular especially in Wales and Ireland) on the fight of heroes with giants.
The skeletons of individuals much higher than today’s average (and that of the Neolithic) open questions about living conditions and food in the province of Shandong, 5,000 years ago.
Extremely high, not absolute but for the average of 5,000 years ago: the skeletons of some men of 1.8 meters – at least in one case – 1.9 meters were found during archaeological excavations in the village of Jiaojia, in the province of Shandong (southeast of China).
STILL MORE HIGH
The measures only concern the bone structure, as explained by the archaeologists of Shandong University, authors of the discovery. When alive, these individuals had to easily exceed 1.9 meters: real spilungones by Neolithic standards, but also outsize for today’s ones. In 2015, the average height of an 18-year-old in the same region was 1,753 meters, close enough to the national average, of 1.72 meters. Despite the comforts of modernity and proper nutrition, the modern inhabitants of the area are decidedly lower than those of 5,000 years ago. What is the ancient stature for?
What were the European standard measures? In this preliminary phase of the excavations – which brought to light 205 tombs, 20 sacrificial wells and the remains of 104 dwellings – and without a scientific study still published on the discoveries, it is difficult to establish it.
The average height for a man of our continent, in the same period, was about 1.65 meters. Certainly the Longshan culture to which the skeletons belonged enjoyed a varied diet, thanks to agriculture, but the bones and pigs found next to the finds, along with the remains of pottery, suggest that the population was also engaged in breeding and he had no problems in supplying meat. In addition, the highest individuals have come to light in the larger graves, a detail that indicates a higher social rank – and therefore a more comfortable existence and better health. The ruins of the village of Jiaojia testify to the past presence of houses with separate rooms and kitchens, another sign of a high quality of life. However, these elements do not seem to answer all the questions about record height: further excavations will perhaps provide the missing information.
THE SECRET OF THE EIGHTEEN GIANT SKELETONS OF WISCONSIN
In May 1912, a team of archaeologists from Beloit College, in an excavation at Lake Delavan, in Wisconsin, unearthed over two hundred burial mounds that were considered as a classic example of the Woodland culture, an American prehistoric culture believed to be go back to the first millennium BC.
But what amazed the researchers was the discovery of eighteen skeletons of enormous size and with elongated skulls, discovery that did not fit at all the classical notions contained in textbooks.
The skeletons were really huge and, although they had human features, they could not belong to normal human beings. The news echoed and caused a stir, so much so that the New York Times reported the news in its pages. Perhaps, in those days, there was more freedom and less fear than discoveries that could change the consolidated scientific beliefs based only on theories. This is how the New York Times columnist writes in the article published May 4, 1912:
The description of the skulls provided by the New York Times, very reminiscent of the shape of those belonging to the skeletons discovered recently in an ancient burial in Mexico, with the difference that here we are dealing with individuals more than three meters tall. Who were they, and why is there no trace in the official chronology that they taught us at school? Are they giant humans living on our planet, and anyway belonging to the human race? Could it be an ancient settlement of Ancient Humans, survivors of the tragedy of Atlantis?
Or are they beings coming from other worlds, discovery that would corrode the Theory of the Ancient Astronauts?
Difficult to say. Incredible, the skeletons of the Delevan giants were not new in the American archaeological scene. Digging through the local newspapers, it appears that the discovery of the Wisconsin is just one of the dozens of similar discoveries reported by local newspapers.
Giant, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.
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