As noted the Natufian seems like a starting point, but we have little evidence in the Paleolithic. As man disperses globally the macro process would have to stop
since it can’t operate over such a large totality: to effect a whole it must do what we see in history: proceed in an eonic sequence and it took ten millennia for it to globalize,
so I am skeptical of any earlier anything in the Paleolithic, the Natufian being a exception that proves the rule. It makes eminent sense that man spend a cycle in the Levant
moving very slowly into agriculture, first as a seed gatherer, viz. emmer wheat.
It is here the idea of diffusion fields enters: the transitions we see each create a field of influence. Look at the influence of Greece in classical times, and the way
it spread a new set of ideas and culture. Diffusion means the spread of ideas and innovations, or cultural forms. Look at the spread of English culture via its diffusion field,
and the way English became a global koine.
The idea of a connected sequence is simply that a given transition, say, the Egptian spreads its influence into a neighboring area, and then in that field of diffusion, a new start
might happen: indeed it did: the Israelite shows the obvious influence of Egypt, and Mesopotamia. That is the frontier effect. The new is connected to the previous.
the term Axial Age is tricky: it springs from Jaspers but I change its meaning slightly in terms of its dates: from ca. 900 to 400 BC. The term should only be used for the parallel
transitions in that era: Greece, Israel/Persia, India, China: each had transitions. The usage of Jaspers may be unhelpful. In WHEE a new and exact terminology is created and the term
Axial Age disappears. The usage with Greece of the term is simply convenience: the Greek example is the easiest to talk about. But the ‘Axial Age’ in my extended sense refers to the transitions
in Greece, Israel/Persia, India, China. And only in the designated dates. I gave a modern example: Martin Luther noted the onset of a new era. The philosophes sensed the same. Many noticed the rise of the modern. With the Israelites the process is the same, but stronger in their case. The noticed that their history seemed to be undergoing a strange transformation in the birth of a new religion. By the time of the Exile and after they could look backward and see how much they have suddenly transformed. The Israelites adopted writing about the time of the Greeks,and began to record their history. Note that the incidents in Egypt are before the transition, the time of Moses being way before 900 BCE. The Israelites began to record that in the centuries just before the Exile.
Their history in Egypt was the object of legend and remains so.
I am wary of Graham Hancock: I can try to read his books if I can a hold of them. The eonic sequence of transitions doesn’t preclude other histories but the evidence is rarely good for all these
sensationalist books. i can’t say off hand and would have to study up on Hancock.
Absolutely right about Moses: he is not a part of the transition and his history is hard to separate from legend. Study the stream and sequence idea: Moses is part of a the larger stream of history. He is like Achilles in the Iliad: a real man, a myth? And just as you say the writings are much later, i.e. aftr 900 BCE, in the transition. In fact the early writings are themselves revised later, e.g after the Exile, so we are often uncertain. But you a right about Moses: he is a mythical figure with some historical facts, like the heroes in the Iliad and Odyssey. So Spinoza is ‘right on’.
The Bible Unearthed by Finkelstein and Silberman is a good history by secularists.
And some book on Greece in the Archaic and classical period, India and China: a huge study.
The text of WHEE has a lot of references.
Thantks for your good questions: I will answer them still further as possible.
You help me to see how people react or interpret my ideas. Many people simply freeze and say they can’t understand a word of the book.
A lot more could be said here, but enough for the moment.
Note that this is an empirical study: I often can’t answer because I don’t know the facts. I mentioned the Natufian in WHEE but now it is even clearer to me.
However the whole study is strange: until 3000/3300 BCE there is not writing and we can’t say too much about the Neolithic. But knowledge is increasing slowly.
+What is the unique starting point of the eonic sequence? I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “diffusion fields.” When you say “connected sequence” are you referring to it spreading from culture to culture in an era or across time from one Axial Age to another (I assumed the “Axial Age” referred to transition periods but I’ve also noticed that you often use the term Axial age to refer to the evolution in Ancient Greece era specifically).
You speak of the Israelites noticing the eonic effect but I am kind of lost there. How exactly did they notice the eonic effect? And was there no precursor to the subject of history since the Israelites would have needed some kind of source for the Old Testament history pre-Egyptian slavery? If there was a disaster (there is currently a lot of debate about the discovery of the traces of a large meteor hitting the ice sheets in North America and creating a disaster, I don’t know if you are familiar with Graham Hancock who seems to be more and more vindicated in his archeological journalism with the discovery of megalithic sites at Gobleki tepe that push the dates of the emergence of such structures further back in time when people were supposedly only hunter gatherers) and this disaster could’ve initiated a “preservation mentality” 10,000 years ago to prepare in case something similar happened again, with recordings carved in stone at places were disasters were less likely to strike (such as at Giza, Egypt).
Also, the Old Testament itself was not written until much later was it not? Spinoza got a lot of heat in his day for pointing out that Moses was not the source of the Old Testament but he was later vindicated. I don’t know the full story though.