In the past the elders had encyclopaedic memories. They could name all the animals and plants across the landscape and the stars in the sky, too. Yet most of us struggle to memorise more than a short poem.
Using traditional Aboriginal Australian songlines as the key, Lynne Kelly has identified the powerful memory technique used by indigenous people around the world. She has discovered that this ancient memory technique is the secret behind the great stone monuments like Stonehenge, which have for so long puzzled archaeologists.
The stone circles across Britain and Northern Europe, the elaborate stone houses of New Mexico, huge animal shapes in Peru, and the statues of Easter Island all serve as the most effective memory system ever invented by humans. They allowed people in nonliterate cultures to memorise the vast amounts of practical information they needed to survive.
In her fascinating audiobook, The Memory Code, Lynne Kelly shows us how we can use this ancient technique to train our memories today.
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Yes. Makes you look at things very differently in terms of pre-history.
Maybe because I've just finished it, but Ancient Wonderings includes speculation about how neolithic people in the UK would pass on information about landscapes and routes.
Very good indeed.
She places her research in the context of her own world and life, but doesn't stray too far from her essential purpose of enlightening people about how ancient knowledge held by communities was (and in some cases still is) passed on through challenging memory feats via stories, landmarks and objects.