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The World Axis as an Atmospheric Phenomenon

ByMarinus Anthony van der Sluijs

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Cultural anthropologists often use the term 'axis mundi' in a looser sense than the strict astronomical one. Yet the objects they identify as ‘axis mundi’ in mythological and early cosmological sources do not correspond to the present state of the axis of the earth. The association of these objects with the axis of the earth does not appear to have been made explicitly and unambiguously before the 1st millennium BCE. By contrast, the mythological phenomenon loosely identified as the axis mundi dates back to the earliest stages of civilisation and is described by the most diverse cultures in remarkably similar terms. It can be explained by reference to a once visible entity in the sky, with a complex, evolving morphology and a possible link to the zenith or the pole. The prototype may have been the zodiacal light or, as recent insights in plasma physics indicate, an enhanced aurora formed in prehistoric times.

Details

Publication Date
Oct 13, 2007
Language
English
ISBN
9780955665516
Category
Reference
Copyright
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
Contributors
By (author): Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs

Specifications

Pages
87
Binding
Paperback
Interior Color
Black & White
Dimensions
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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