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Fig. 1a, 1b Metabolism of architectural form. Metabolism of form in the case of the 'trulli': the stone form still carries the memory of its originally fibrous organic state through time. The roof top often painted in white implies symbolic meanings, particularly if it alludes to eternity or cosmic dynamics with a sphere. The double cone or hourglass form of the topmost stone can be explained on the basis of structural symbolism (s. Egenter 1987) as 'coincidence of opposites', as symbol of the harmony of heaven and earth. In prechristian times this symbol may have been of ontological significance. However, in Europe this meaning can only be reconstucted with difficulties, because, most of the ritual traditions from which such structural symbolisms could be derived, have been eradicated objectively and institutionally by christianisation (see Egenter 1988h: brilliant poles and pest candles in the region around Salzburg).

Fig. 2 Plant pillars of Ancient Egypt and the history of the art of building. The history of art classifies the plant pillars of ancient Egypt stylistically differentiating according to the plants expressed in their textures (Borchardt 1897) and considers them as ornamented supports in the sense of building technology (acc. to Koepf 1978).

Fig. 3 Petrified flowers according to Semper. Semper interpretes the capitals of the Egyptian plant pillars as clothing with plants. They are "ornamented with lotosflowers stuck into them like the ladies of the country used to do sticking these flowers into their hair or behind their ears to ornament their heads." Through 'metabolism', that is by "petrification" both practices have come down to our times. Semper's analogy is not as far-fetched as Rykwert (1983) quite complacently thinks: his narrow historical view evidently lacks any understanding of cultic practices of Ancient Egypt (see Fig. 4).

Fig. 4a, 4b Evolution from sacrifices and tectonic cultsigns The architectural anthropological interpretation is based on the concept of 'semantic architecture'. The Egyptian plant pillar shows a close affinity to a cult object of evidently wide diffusion in Ancient Egypt. There is a wealth of vertically used plant and flower arrangements in it iconology, also smaller or larger plant-bundlepillars which often carry many leaves, buds and flowers. They are often found in close relation to small temples, marking the front access to the cult figure, or they indicate the sacrifical place in front of the temple of a deity. On vehicles related to death they are found in front and behind the shrine of the mummy. That these plants are freshly bundeled can be seen very clearly in various examples. The Egyptian plant pillar thus appears as a petrified cult object, as metabolised sacred sign, a symbol which is primarily independent of monumental architecture (This interpretation is supported by field research of the author done in Egypt in 1985. Its purpose was to show the close relation of plant pillars to the cult system of Ancient Egypt. See Egenter 1988g).

Fig. 5 Exponential time scheme taken from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology. It shows geological periods, fossil records of paleoanthropology and archaeological periodisiations (Sherratt 1980) and forms the basis of the following interpretations (Fig. 6 - 8).

Fig. 6 The conventional periodisation of archaeology Materials are listed in the upper left corner of the scheme.

Fig. 7 The periodisation according to G. Semper. His classes of metals, ceramics are represented in the conventional sense as periods. In the period conventionally called stone age, the difference between 'tools' (punctuated) and 'constructing and building' is made. What Semper calls textiles are entered as industries using organic fibrous materials. They are based on the hypothesis: the hand was the first 'tool'. Hypothetically these fibroconstructive industries can be traced back throughout the 'hominisation phase' (K. Narr) in which there are no archaeological sources.

Fig. 8 Nestbuilding behavior of the great apes. This plate hypothetically shows the the enormous continuity of the nestbuilding behavior of the great apes. It can theoretically be dated back to Proconsul (approximately 22 Million years ago!).

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