2 When I read the first sentence of Henry Glassie's contribution to the latest Berkeley Review (TDSR I/II 1990 :9) I immediately felt the need to reverse his 'grand theory' ("all architecture"!, "cultural norms"!) into its opposite. The motto is the result of this. His text: "All architecture is the embodiment of cultural norms that preexist individual buildings." On first sight an absolutely valid statement if we look at the synchronic relation 'man makes architecture'. Of course everyone knows: to make a building needs a concept. But there is another side to the medal: 'architecture makes man', and this implies a diachronic perspective, because the grades of change only reveal their effective character in larger temporal units in the frame of an anthropology of architecture.
3 B. Dumezil: Les Dieux des Germains, Paris 1959, C. Levy-Strauss: Anthropologie Structurale, Paris 1958, J. Haekel: Die Dualsysteme in Afrika. In: Anthropos 45, 1950.
4 R. Hertz: Death and the Right Hand. The Free Press, Glencoe 1960/11909; E. Leach: Genesis as Myth. In: J. Middleton (ed.): Myth and Cosmos. New York, Nat. History Press 1967; E. Leach: Magical Hair. In: J. Middleton (ed.): Myth and Cosmos. New York, Nat. History Press 1967; E. Ohnuki-Tierney: Concepts of Time among the Ainu of the Northwest Coast of Sakhalin. In: American Anthropologist 71, 1969, E. Ohnuki-Tierney: Spatial Concepts of the Ainu of the Northwest Coast of Southern Sakhalin. In: American Anthropologist 74, 1972.
5 See e.g. Cunningham: Order in the Adoni-House. Bijdragen tot de Taal-Land-en Volkenkunde von Neederlandsch Indie, 120:34-68
6 H. Schmidt/ G. Schischkoff: Philosophisches Wrterbuch, Krner, Stuttgart 1969
7 H. Schmidt/ G. Schischkoff, op. cit.
8 With similar terms, A. J. Bahm works globally on a >Philosophy of Interdependence< against Western analytical reasoning. Bahm combines essentially various types of systems theory with a comparative history of philosophical and religious ideas. See A. J. Bahm: Polarity, Dialectic and Organicity. Albuquerque 3/1988, 1/1970; J. Bahm: Organicism: The Philosophy of Interdependence, in: International Philosophical Quarterly vol. 8, No. 2, June 1967; J. Bahm: Comparing Civilizations as Systems, in: Systems Research vol. 5 No. 1, :35-47
9 We use all three terms in a synonymous sense.
10 But these world-views are not independent of each other, they are genetically related. The transition from a polar and harmonious to a dual and analytical world-view can be seen clearly in the field of pre-socratic thought, namely between Heraclitus (higher and lower sounds form a melody; war [the tension of opposites] is the beginning of all things) and Aristotle's >Doctrine of categories< and his >Organon<. It is remarkable that Greek philosophy begins at the Ionian coast, at the end of the Persian road. Many pre-socratic texts seem to dicuss structures given by oriental rites (is our world a pillar?). Thus European thought would have arisen from a universal substrate of basically harmonious thought. By the way, this is an approach with far-reaching consequences See N. Egenter: East and West - Philosophical Foundations for an Anthropology of Cognition and World-View. In: Philosophy and the Future of Humanity, Oct. 1990 (Djakarta)
11 If the First World - Third World complex is simply taken as a phenomenon, it remains exposed to functional explanations and one-sided value judgments. If we characterize it in terms of cultural history, or, better, >structural history<, we might understand differences from different structural systems of culture (see: Karl R. Wernhart: Kulturgeschichte und Ethnohistorie als Strukturgeschichte, in: Schmied/ Kowarzik/ Stagl: Grundfragen der Ethnologie, Berlin 1981). And, after all, these problems are not new. Around the time of Moses (~ 1300 B.C.) there were similar tensions between the 'First World' of the Egyptian Pharaohs and their high technology (pyramids) and the Hebrew population, mainly farmers and herdsmen of the 'Third World' corridor between Egypt and Mesopotamia. In this context the Old Testament is an interesting source. And further: global typologies of cultures are quite advanced in the Cambridge school of archaeology. In this sense the basic data of Fig. 1 are similar to those used in Chapter 63, >Comparative Chronologies< (entire world and major regions) in: Andrew Sherratt (ed.) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology, Cambridge Univ. Press 1980, :432ff.
12 More precisely, this implies theoretical concepts interpreting the windbreaks and huts we find in ethnology as primitive constructions and precursors of human domestic constructions. In this concept early man had to protect himself against negative influences like rain, wind, the heat of the sun etc. and would have invented corresponding devices. This is a type of teleological retro-projection which is often too promptly to hand in various disciplines. From the point of view of transformation, building cannot just be invented in terms of functional responses to certain needs. Each phase or stage of a transformational process presupposes constructive abilities, formal concepts and capacities of spatial perception.
13 Yerkes: The Great Apes. 1929:564.
14 Zoologists interpreted it as being conditioned by instinct and considered it analogous to the bird's nest, but overlooked the technical fact that the bird's nest is made with the beak, the ape's nest with the hand. Another reason: when social interests became dominant in primate research, nestbuilding was interpreted as a marginal aspect of social behaviour (See N. Egenter: Affen Architekten, op. cit.)
15 With one exception: Sabater Pi (Etologia de la Vivienda Humana, Barcelona 1985) relates the nests of gorillas and chimpanzees to pigmy huts in Africa. His concept is influenced by palaeoanthropologists such as Leakey who - on the basis of limited findings (Lucy) - suggests the East African origin of man. On the other hand, the fact that the orangutans show the same behaviour in Indonesia implies a much wider angle: the whole of human ergology should theoretically be included in the frame of an architectural anthropology (see e.g. textiles < lat. tectum, roof). See: W. Hirschberg, A. Janata & Ch. Feest: Technologie und Ergologie in der Vlkerkunde. 2 vols., Berlin 1980/89
16 See N. Egenter: Affen Architekten (Ape architects; the nestbuilding traditions of the higher apes, an architectural-anthropological survey) In: 'Umriss' 2/1983:2-9, Vienna; N. Egenter: Kenchiku-jinruigaku o mezashite. Posuto-modan kenchiku to jinruien ni yoru suzukuri; Foundation for an Anthropological Theory of Architecture - What has the Nestbuilding Behavior ot the Higher Apes to do with Post-Modern Architecture? (Japanese and English). In: A+U (Architecture and Urbanism) Feb. 1987, No. 197 Tokyo; N. Egenter: L'architecte createur, fondements pour une theorie anthropologique d'architecture. In: "A propos de..."; Cahiers d'information - atelier de premiere annee - Departement d'architecture, EPFL, Lausanne 1988; N. Egenter: The nestbuilding Behaviour of Higher Apes; Foundation for an Architectural Anthropology. In: Int. Semiotic Spectrum Nr. 14, Toronto 1990
17 Babies raised in isolation from their mother show an inherited motor behaviour which consists in pulling any materials close to the body with jerky movements of the arms. They are incapable of weaving branches and twigs into a durable structure (I. S. Bernstein: Response to nesting materials of wildborn and captive born chimpanzees. In Animal Behaviour, 10, 1-6, 1962; I. S. Bernstein: A comparison of nesting patterns among the three great apes. In G. H. Bourne (ed.) The Chimpanzee, 1, 393-402, Karger, Basel 1969; J. Lethmate: Nestbauverhalten eines isoliert aufgezogenen jungen Orang-Utans. In Primates, 18, 3, 545-554, 1977). The process of learning is well described in the literature. Playing with small nest-models is important. The learning process lasts about 3-4 years.
18 This is suggested by the fact that chimpanzees and gorillas on one hand and the orangutan on the other live on different continents but show the same nestbuilding behaviour. Was nestbuilding developed by a common ancestor before continental separation took place? This would shed new light on the importance of tradition.
19 A good example: At >The World Archaeological Congress< in Southampton (Sept. 1986) W.C. McGrew read a paper on the material culture of the chimpanzees. In Africa he had observed chimpanzees in the wild, especially with regard to their ant-fishing behaviour. Ant-fishing designates the use of twigs stripped of leaves for poking into ant-hills. After the twig is pulled out the ants sticking to it are licked off and eaten. Protoculture! McGrew showed numerous slides with nicely prepared sticks of various lengths and forms. But to someone who knows about nestbuilding in all its existential aspects it is astonishing how a completely marginal behaviour can be studied in so much detail. There is no doubt that archaeology and its 'man-the-toolmaker' concept implies a relationship between the hand and tool-work which misguides researchers, whereas the nest is a quite different product: this shows direct relation between the hand and the resulting work. The hand is the first tool! See: W.C. McGrew: Chimpanzee Material Culture - What are its Limits and why? In: >The Pleistocene Perspective< vol. 1, >The World Archaeological Congress<, Southampton (Allen & Unwin) 1986.
20 If we were to speak of a 'primitive hut' we would now have to consider the groundnest of the higher apes. This shows important characteristics: its foundations are naturally rooted, and the knotting of the stalks of that which is made with bamboo shows a clear triangle structure. Geometry among the higher apes? But the animal does not live in its hut, it climbs up and rests on top of it. The construction must be very stable and should not break down under the weight of the heavy animal, thus illustrating a kind of professional ethics with which the architect is familiar.
21 Such priorities will become important in the search for the meaning of architecture: many forms of wood, earth or stone can be interpreted as metabolisms from an ephemeral to a durable stage (metabolism: material is changed, form remains the same!). Form and 'ornamentation' (!) were developed in the primary stage with fibrous plant materials, the durable form copied from its non durable precursor. Regarding 'metabolism', see G. Semper: >Der Stil in den Technischen und Tektonischen Knsten. 2 vols. Mnchen 1860/1863; and N. Egenter: Rivestimento - Incrostazione - Metabolismo della Forma nell'opera die Gottfried Semper e Applicazione della sua Tesi principale nella recente Ricerca anthropologica architetturale (Clothing - Incrustation - Metabolism of Form in the work of Gottfried Semper and the Application of his basic Theory in recent research into Architectural Anthropology; Paper read at the International Seminar >Architettura in pietra a secco<, 27-30 sept. 1987, University degli Studi di Bari, Italy. Semper was greatly influenced by evolutionists like Cuvier and Darwin! His books are outdated today in regard to the materials his theory is based on, but with new materials his theory is still valuable.
22 This concept has been worked out for European cultural history. see N. Egenter: Software for a soft prehistory; structural history and structural ergology as applied to a type of universally distributed 'soft industry': sacred territorial demarcation signs made of non durable organic materials. The World Archaeological Congress, >Archaeological 'Objectivity' in Interpretation<, vol. 2, Allen & Unwin, Southampton and London, 1986
23 The text describes the foundation of a settlement in ancient Babylonia. Semantic architecture made of reed serves as initial document of the foundation. The implication is that the later ritual will preserve the 'sacred seat of gods', and thus keep up the founder line's claim to the territory. The ancient text is: "The sacred house, the house of gods was not created on sacred place, reed not sprouted, tree not grown. Bricks not laid down, foundations not built, house not made, settlement not built, settlement not made, living together not possible. Nippur not created, Ekur not built, Uruk not created, Eanna not built, Eridu not created, Eridu not built, the place of the holy house, the place of the house of god not created. The lands all were [like] sea, The ground of the isles was waterflow. Marduk (Ea) joined reed-wickerwork together on the water, earth he made, put it on the wickerwork to provide a seat of comfort to the gods, humans he created, Aruru humans he created; animals of the field, living in the field he created, the green of the fields he created, the lands, the meadows and the reeds; the wild cow, her young, the calf, the sheep, its young the lamb of the pen, fruit tree gardens and groves...." (Winckler). Religion interprets this description as >creation myth<, but obviously 'create' does not mean the 'creation' of a cosmological creator. The reed milieu of the Euphrates and Tigris region is clearly indicated. Today the 'Marsh Arabs' still show us how it is possible to live on the 'chaotic waters'. All elements are evident: in the beginning, endless reed plains, like endless waters, no civilisation, primordial chaos (in regard to human settlements). The second part describes the act of foundation and the third part tells us of the results of this act. The initial planning is done, the surfaces are distributed: where peoples will live, where fruitgardens will be planted, where the pens for wild cows and sheep will be placed etc.. For the text see: H. Winckler: Die babylonische Weltschpfung. In: der Alte Orient und die Bibel, Leipzig, 1906.
24 We do not use the term "function" in its purely teleological sense, meaning >a conventional conception of a device for a certain purpose<, but rather in the sense of >a particular device handed down from time immemorial and used in a particular way according to the immanent characteristics of the object<. "Function" in our sense is highly variable. The same traditional device can be functionally interpreted in different ways, which keeps the evolutionary process going.
25 See N. Egenter: Software for a soft prehistory; op. cit.. This contains materials relevant for Europe.
26 Archaeology and the history of art show semantic architecture on paleolithic sources among the so-called 'tectiformes'. In the ancient high cultures as earliest scripts of the Sumerians, as well as on bones in ancient China. In the ancient Orient, semantic architecture is found in abundance as life-trees and related symbols on seals and other objects. Literature is enormous, in the following a short selection: C. Boetticher: Baumcultus der Hellenen. Berlin 1856; A. J. Evans: Mycenian Tree and Pillar Cult and its mediterranean relations. In: Journal of Hellenic Studies 21, London 1901; A. J. Evans: The Palace of Minos at Knossos, 6 vols. 1921-36; A. Falkenstein: Archaische Texte aus Uruk. Ausgrabungen der dtsch. Forschungemeinschaft in Uruk Warka Bd. II, Berlin 1936; H. Frankfort: Cylinder Seals. London 1939; H. Frankfort: Stratified Cylinder Seals from the Diyala region. Chicago 1964; U. Holmberg: Der Baum des Lebens. In: Annales Academiae Scien. Fennicae, Ser. B, vol. 16/ 1922; W. Mannhardt: Wald- und Feldkulte. vol. I: Der Baumkultus der Germanen und ihrer Nachbarstmme; vol. II: Antike Wald- und Feldkulte aus nordeuropischer berlieferung erlutert. Darmstadt 1875/77; A. Moortgat: Vorderasiat. Rollsiegel. Berlin 1940; N. Perrot: Les representation de l'arbre sacre sur les monuments de la Mesopotamie et l'Elam. In: Babyloniaca Tome 17,1937 Paris; E. Porada: Corpus of Ancient Near Eastern Seals in N-Am. Collections. 1-2, Bollingen Series, Washington 1948; W. H. Ward: Seal-Cylinders of Western Asia, Washington, 1910; O. Weber: Altorientalische Siegelbilder. In: Der Alte Orient 17-18, Bd. 1-2, Leipzig 1920; A. J. Wensinck: Tree and Bird as cosmological Symbols in Western Asia. Verhandelingen der koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen Te Amsterdam. Amsterdam 1921; G. Widengren: The King and the Tree of Life in Ancient Near Eastern Religion. Uppsala, Wiesbaden 1951. There are cultic huts of various types, column-types of signs related to Ishtar, the Goddes of Uruk. Later, similar symbols are found widely as stelae and pillars up to and including the Greek Ionian column (W. Andrae: Die ionische Sule, Bauform oder Symbol? Studien zur Bauforschung, Heft 5, Berlin 1933). Similarly in Ancient Egypt the Djed-pillar, in its original form as a bundled pillar of reeds. It is found throughout the dynastic period, paralleled by other primitive hutlike symbols and small temples (W. Andrae: Das Gotteshaus und die Urformen des Bauens im alten Orient. Studien zur Bauforschung, Heft 2, Berlin 1930). That such signs and symbols had a territorial semantic character is clearly evident from the various types of pillars, which in upper and lower Egypt - but also in newly conquered territories - were knotted with ropes. Certainly the various types of plant pillars in the Egyptian temples originally belonged to this kind of semantic architecture before they were later hewn in stone and made to carry loads. Numerous built signs are found on Greek coins, as 'Omphalos' on Greek vases etc. Similar coins are found in Roman times and in Rome there was a column dedicated to the Goddess Beldona at which spears were thrown on declaration of war. The Roman manipula signs also belonged to this class. But not only history and archaeology tell us about semantic architecture: ethnology also brings us a wealth of materials. In particular, since the 16th century Christian missions tell us worldwide of 'semantic architecture' in the frame of 'primitive creed and cult'. Primitive sanctuaries, spirit-huts, sacred poles, altars made of lianas, twigs and leaves, entrance markers of settlements etc. Of course, the theologically educated missionaries did not describe them as 'architecture', nor did they study them in detail, but conceived of them as fetishes, idols etc. in terms of primitive creeds. In our context, it is important that they provided us with a history of roughly 500 years of world-wide references and descriptions. Consequently, here too, literature is enormous. Mircea Eliade's >Die Religionen und das Heilige< (Traite d'Histoire des Religions), Salzburg 1954, provides an excellent classified bibliography. Similarly, European history and folklore provide us with many sources of such phenomena. One of the most important examples is the pillar of the Saxons, destroyed in 722 A.D. by Charlemagne, according to the report of Rudolf von Fulda. The so-called >lower mythology< of W. Mannhardt, popularized later by Sir G. Frazer (Golden Bough), showed that all European agrarian cultures had once had local customs around semantic architecture and had preserved them in fragmentary ways: e.g. decorated pillars, may poles, summer-huts and all kinds of plant-arrangements. To the present day survivals are described in the history of folk customs and recent folklore (see e.g. Gnther Kapfhammer: Brauchtum in den Alpenlndern. Ein lexikalischer Fhrer durch den Jahreslauf. Mnchen 1977). Often the pre-Christian territorial implications of such semantic architecture can be reconstructed (see N. Egenter: Software for a Soft Prehistory, op. cit.)
27 The close contacts between Japanese and German cultural scholars before and during the Second World War showed that Japanese agricultural society had traditions very similar to those of European rural societies. These insights gave a great impulse to Japanese folklore studies at that time and subsequently (see K. Yanagita: >Teihon Kunio Yanagita-shu< (collected texts of Kunio Yanagita) 31 vols., 5 special vols., Tokyo 1962-1971). This argument supports our reconstructions in Japan and the corresponding generalisations. Very important are also the works of the Japanese ethno-historian of Shinto religion Toshiaki Harada (See: N. Egenter: Shin no mi hashira, Editions Structura Mundi, Lausanne 1997; this study follows Harada in documenting the 'the venerable central pillar of the Japanese world' below the most important imperial sanctuaries at Ise)
28 According to the historical records, Buddhism came to Japan in the 8th century, but it probably arrived earlier, particularly in the south. Buddhism was very tolerant towards local cult-traditions. This is the main reason why Shinto, the autochthonous agrarian village cult tradition, still exists in its institutional form in Japan. In contrast to this, Christianity (and Islam) have fanatically wiped out all such traditions wherever they gained a foothold. Local traditions were vehemently related to 'primitive' creed and superstition and thus totally misunderstood! It is interesting to note here that the 'transcendence' of the five books of Moses is also based on 'semantic architecture'. One of the essential revelations of the Jewish state god is related to the 'eternally burning thornbush', obviously a primitive sanctuary of the type we are dealing with here, a point which becomes explosive if one realises that Moses's intention was not to found a religion but a state. A temporally deep-rooted cult system was prerequisite for Moises 'constitution' (See N. Egenter: The Eternally burning Thornbush - An Old Testament Revelation seen in an Ethno-Historical Perspective. Paper prepared for the 16th Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Rome, 3rd - 9th September 1990 (in: Architectural Anthropology, Research Series vol. 3). For the Egyptian model, see H. Kees: Der Gtter-Glaube im Alten Aegypten, Akademie, Berlin 1980. In opposition to 'mythological' schools of conventional egyptology Kees emphasised the territorial implications of predynastic village and district cults and their iconically represented gods of predynastic origins (agrarian, animalbreeders and hunting societies' influence) and reconstructed the pharaonic state cults in conitinuity with such predynastic local constitutions.
29 See N. Egenter: Bauform als Zeichen und Symbol (built form as sign and symbol; non domestic architecture built in Japanese folk cults; an architectural-ethnological survey, documented on 100 villages of Central Japan). ETH, Zrich 1980; N. Egenter: Semantic and Symbolic Architecture, Ed. Structura Mundi, Lausanne, 1994; and N. Egenter: Sacred Symbols of Reed and Bamboo; Annually built cult-torches as spatial signs and symbols. Swiss Asiatic Studies Monographs vol.4, Zrich 1982. For methodological aspects see N. Egenter: Matter, mind and spirit(s). Local Institution and traditional Philosophy of the Japanese agrarian Village. Structural Ergology and the Japanese Cult of the Village Deity (ujigami). Paper read at the International Conference of the Int. Assoc. of Philosophical Societies, Jakarta, Jan. 3rd -9th 1990.