the world’s oldest and most popular Story

Astronomers say global myths about ‘seven sisters’ stars may reach back 100,000 years.

People both modern and ancient have long known of the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, a small collection of stars in the constellation Taurus. But this famous assembly could point the way to the world’s oldest story, one told by our ancestors in Africa nearly 100,000 years ago, a speculative new study has proposed. To make this case, the paper’s authors drew on similarities between Greek and Indigenous Australian myths about the constellation.  

What is the oldest known piece of literature?

The world’s oldest myth was written 5,000 years ago, the epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest recorded story in the world, making the Sumerian culture hero Gilgamesh Joseph Campbell’s very first Hero with a Thousand Faces. He represents the emerging consciousness of humankind as it emerged from the Neolithic era.

Constellation of Orion was known to other civilizations and their myths – in Sumerian, he was linked to the story of Gilgamesh hero who fought the bull of heaven (Taurus constellation), They called the Orion URU AN-NA which could be translated to ‘the light of heaven’ and he fought ‘the bull of heaven’ represented by GUD AN-NA, or Taurus constellation in the night sky. Read more about the World’s oldest joke traced back to 1900 BC, a saying of the Sumerians.

The Orion constellations

This group of stars is named for a famous hunter in stories from Greek mythology. But the Greeks were not only one of many civilizations to take note. In fact astronomers say global myths about ‘seven sisters’ stars may reach back 100,000 years. We talk more about ancient myths and their archetypes here.

The Orion constellations look like a hunter with a line of three bright stars for a belt. Or so our ancestor thought. The hunter-gatherer human looked at the sky and saw its own reflection. Orion is the most prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible around the world. Its favorable location has made it the most popular group of stars in the sky throughout human history.

The Orion constellations

Orion is a member of the Orion family of constellations along with Canis Minor, Canis Major, Lepus and Monoceros constellations.

Orion is the 26th constellation in size, and it lies in the first quadrant of the northern hemisphere. This constellation is located on the celestial equator, and due to its brightness could be easily seen from both hemispheres at latitudes between +85° and -75°. It could not be seen only at the poles, and the best time to look for it from the northern hemisphere is in late fall or early spring, during culmination. In the southern one, you can see it best at 9 pm rising over the eastern horizon, during late fall or early winter times. Orion is located nearby Eridanus, Taurus, Gemini, Lepus and Monoceros constellations.

The Pleiades

In many drawings of the constellation Orion, the Hunter looks to be battling his neighbor, Taurus the Bull. Yet there is no such story in the mythology of Orion. Some stories have Orion pursuing the seven sisters of the Pleiades, which is a star cluster in the constellation Taurus. On the other side of Orion are his hunting dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. (Not to be confused with Canes Venatici, a different constellation with the actual nickname of the Hunting Dogs.)

The Pleiades are also important as an element of Aboriginal calendars and astronomy, and for several groups their first rising at dawn marks the start of winter. Similar “Pleiad” stories are found in European, African, Asian, Indonesian, Native American and Aboriginal Australian cultures.

Greek Mythology says Orion let his hubris get the best of him when he boosted he would hunt and kill all of Gaia’s offspring. For that Gaia sent a scorpion to kill Orion; that’s why Orion is on one side of the sky while Scorpius the Scorpion is on the opposite side. As Scorpius is about to rise in the east, Orion makes a hurried exit from the sky in the west.


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