Archetype in Tarot and crafts culture is subconscious Mindprint typology of sixteen visual archetypes

Tarot trumps re-express archetype, not Petrarch’s love poem

Tarot trumps and other sets of emblems or icons of trades, animals, birds, gods, chaps, letters, spheres or ‘elements’, express cycles of archetypal features, including at least the twelve to sixteen main types. Elaborate sets include four transitional or borderline fields, and four cosmology or ‘galactic’ markers, thus a maximum of 24 characters per cycle. This post offers evidence against Gertrude Moakley’s (1966) theory that Bembo and other designers merely copied and elaborated Petrarch’s six Triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time and Eternity, into 21 trumps.

Moakley’s conclusion on Tarot trumps origin, is no longer generally supported by Tarot researchers. Some agree that card games came to Europe from China, or via Arabia (Little 2003, citing Farley; Hurley on Pre-Gebelin; strings on LTarot@yahoogroups), and mixed with Crusader chivalry in the process. But apart from traceable stylisation, there is a common cause in myths, rituals, processions, talismans, and game sets. All cultural media express the same archetypal structure or ‘grammar’ of meaning. This post is an extract from the chapter on Tarot cards in the book Mindprint (Furter 2014,, 200 illustrations), adding some text and images.

Tarot decks are typically 56 or 60 or 72, plus about 22 numbered trumps picturing emblems and icons. These have parallels in episodes or situations in myths, seasons and constellations. Yet each cultural medium, including crafts such as games, calendar and divination, equally expresses archetypal inspiration.

Tarot and astrology are academic taboos

Books and esoteric applications based on the Tarot deck have proliferated over 600 years, yet most artists, iconographers, scientists, and even ‘depth’ psychologist Carl Jung, shied away from studying or publishing their findings about this deck. Academic assumptions of the supposed arbitrary and wishful nature of talismans and esoteric crafts, and the necessary admixture of charlatanism in crafts, raised conscious stigmas of talismans as arbitrary and illogical. Yet art, notably rock art and spiritual or religious art, contain and hinge on talismanic elements (Thackeray 2013).

The Tarot deck contains seasonal and decanal elements, like the ‘books of hours’ that once popularised myth cycles, similar to fables, cartoons and movies. The numbered cards and court suites are interchangeable minor cycles, similar to hour decans in calendars (Neugebauer and Parker 1966), but the trumps, triumphs, or exaltations are anchored in eternally recurrent mythical and archetypal clusters of meanings (see the list below).

Tarot books mis-identify seasons, constellations, or ‘signs’

Esotericists continue to graft Tarot trump emblems onto other sets of archetype, and onto zodiac signs, and sometimes on constellations. Yet surprisingly, even astrologers have variously misidentified the constellations that parallel the 22 trumps. One of the reasons for this symbolic confusion, is the quirks in archetype. The four major types could be single or doubled: types 1 and/or 2 Builder, 12 and/or 13 Heart (not relevant to the playing card suite of Hearts), 8 and/or 9 Healer, 5a and/or 5b Priest. And the archetypal number 5 is repeated at its first magnitude (for which the Tarot deck has only one trump, 5 Pope), but doubled at the higher magnitude in base 15/16, as 20 Judgement and 21 World. And only the first seven types are given higher magnitudes, or a second layer, in base15/16, as follows: 0:15, 1:16, 2:17, 3:18, 4:19, 5a:20, 5b:21 (see the typology list below). Thus camouflage of the archetypal identity of Tarot trumps is intrinsic and formidable, but once cracked, they reveal their parallels in myth, ritual, art, calendar, myths and constellations in all cultures.

Type 10 Teacher as Wheel of Life in a Book of Hours

A Wheel of Fortune miniature illustration in a Book of Hours demonstrates autumn or ‘Fall’. Trump 10, Wheel of Fortune, is analogous to constellation Libra, the archetypal host of the autumn equinox, or cosmic balance between the annual ecliptic earth orbit equator, and the daily celestial earth rotation. During Age Aries, autumn was in constellation Libra, up to about BC 80. But in astrology, ‘sign’ Libra always hosts the equinox, as ‘sign’ Aries precesses (moves backward against the seasonal direction) with the spring equinox, irrespective of background constellations. From about BC 80 to AD 2016, the spring equinox and thus ‘sign’ Aries moved backward through constellation Pisces, and recently entered the end of constellation Aquarius (defined by being 90 degrees from both static galactic ‘gates’).

Artworks, including miniatures, and rock art, subconsciously express the same set of archetypal structure in all ages, along with archetypal cosmology. Here is a list of the set of archetypes in a Book of Hours miniature of a Wheel of Fortune (noting some of the known archetypal features).

Wheel of Fortune miniature illustration in a Book of Hours (archetype labels and axial grid by E Furter). This emblem expresses some of the recurrent features of archetype 10 Teacher (balance, wheel, raised arms, staff, etc). It is one of the popular icons of autumn or ‘Fall’ in cycles of seasons, eras, or ‘triumphs’, also expressed in myths, rituals, ‘cartoon’ artworks, and craft sets such as Tarot trumps.

Type Label; Character (archetypal feature):

1 Builder; A king falling (twist, ruin).

3 Queen; A prince (royal) .

4 King; Noble (royal) praying (more typical of 5).

5 Priest; A knave falling (horizontal).

6 Exile; Princess on top.

And the central courtier, near the axial centre (ingress), directing the wheel (’tree’).

7 Child; A courtier.

8 Healer; A courtier.

10 Teacher; A king blessing (arm up).

11 Womb; A courtier, pregnant, her axis to her midriff (womb).

12 Heart; Priest (of 5 opposite 12), axis to his chest (heart).

13c Head; Written tract (weave, oracle).

14 Mixer; A king near the axial centre (ingress).

15 Maker; Fallen emperor (order), under another (double).

00 Axial centre; Unmarked, as usual.

Midsummer; Central courtier’s shoulder (limb-joint).

Midwinter; Central courtier’s jaw (limb-joint).

The ‘solstice’ axle is near the vertical plane, between axes 13-14, analogous to Leo-Cancer, implying spring and the time-frame in Age Taurus-Aries, long before the work as usual.

Tarot trump numbers are archetypal

Tarot numbering may have been a lucky conscious or subconscious guess that ‘felt right’, or may derive from a spiral divination cards layout format that proved its worth to psychics or artists. Numbering may have been simply recognised as implicit in the designs, or extracted from a complex artwork that contained the types, as usual.

The initial problem that led to this study, and to the book Mindprint, was to identify the designer of the Tarot trumps. That question was answered in the finding that all artists express the standard sequence and spatial structure. The question could now be rephrased into ‘who numbered or reconstructed the sequence and numbering of Tarot trumps’. It could be another poet like Petrarch (see below), an artist like Mantegna (who probably did not design the Tarocchini deck variant that bears his name), a printer in Basel or Marseilles or Germany, or an alchemist or esotericist in the iconographic hothouse of the early Renaissance. If the ‘source’ of the numbering were identified, the name and work would probably just add to very long list of everyone who subconsciously expressed, and still express, archetypal structure. No indication of conscious recognition of the sequence of archetypes could be found, despite diligent search among artworks, built sites, myths, legends, rituals, alphabets and craft sets of all cultures. Nor did any author ever list, or claim to have, a ‘Periodic table’ of archetypes that apply to nature and culture, before 2014.

Type 10 Teacher as Wheel of Life in a Durer engraving

Albrech Durer’s Wheel of Fortune miniature engraving with the angel of Time, a fox, and six iconic birds, demonstrates life cycles, and autumn or ‘Fall’, one of the popular icons associated with seasons and ‘triumph’ cycles. Artworks, including icons and miniature designs, subconsciously express the same set of archetypal structure in all ages, along with some subconscious spatial cosmology. Here is a list of the set of archetypes and cosmic junctures in Durer’s engraving of a Wheel of Fortune (noting some of the known archetypal features).

Albrecht Durer; Wheel of Fortune woodcut engraving print with six birds, turned by the angel of Time and a fox (archetype labels and axial grid by E Furter). Types 14 Mixer is analogous to Temperance, or Angel of Time, and to Cancer. In this miniature she also expresses type 15 Maker, or Gemini. The eagle opposite expresses their two axial opposites.

Type Label; Character (noting archetypal features):

2 Builder; Pheasant (bird, cluster), climbing (twist) on a turning wheel (build/ruin).

3 Queen; Magpie (neck bent), crowned (queen), on top (spring).

4 King; Jay-bird (bird).

5b Priest; Fox (hyperactive), turning (assembly) in reverse? (invert).

5c Basket Tail; Wheel (disc) rear handle (‘tail’, ‘tree’). C-types are off the axial grid, but between specific axes.

6 Exile; Eagle, also expressing 7 (‘double-head’).

7 Child; Eagle, left eye, invisible (‘eyeless’).

7g Gal.Centre; Eagle wing (limb-joint).

9 Healer; Peacock.

10 Teacher; Falcon (hunt-master), claws upward (‘arms’ up). The icon of a wheel, or carousel of animals, often with a canid, is part of the optional features of type 10 Teacher.

11 Womb; Midriff (womb) of Temperance. The features of this type include law (here of life cycles), and tomb (her implied death), and library (here written labels. The original German is translated by the author).

13 Heart; Chest (heart) of Temperance, a virtue (angel). The features of this type include death (here implied by Fate), rounded (wheel), invert (cycle).

14 Mixer; Time (time) angel (angel), turning fate (transform) as a wheel (‘tree’) with birds (bird). Her inner eye, while the outer expresses type 15.

15 Maker; Time turns (churn) fate (order), shown frontal (face), with a fox (canid). Her other eye (doubled) expresses type 14. Some types share an axis in some miniature artworks (Furter 2019; Stoneprint Journal 5; Archetypes in seals, stamps and miniatures).

15g Gal.Gate; ,,,, (juncture, limb joint).

00 Axial centre; Unmarked as usual.

4p Gal.S.Pole; Jay-bird’s foot (limb-joint).

11p Gal.Pole; Time angel’s elbow (limb-joint).

Summer; Pheasant’s wing (limb-joint).

Winter; Wheel hub (juncture).

These polar triangles place the summer marker between axes 15-2, analogous to Gemini-Taurus, thus spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Pisces-Aquarius. This transitional framework is somewhat ‘prophetic’ for the late Age Pisces artist, but a typical subconscious feature of works intended to perpetuate a legacy. Further study of Durer’s icons may reveal more about this work. Parallel features in other media, would in turn reveal more about icons and archetypes (see the global average percentage of known recurrent features in Mindprint 2014,

Structuralist features of expression are universal, and subconscious to artists, architects, builders, crafters and members of any culture.

Types by trumps, constellations, and functions

Archetypal sequence follows laws of energy and matter that differ from the neatly directional, sequential, cyclic and base10 world that our conscious minds believe us to live in. Here is a table of the set of archetypes, how Tarot trumps express it, and how constellation lore (not ‘signs’) express it (noting known archetypal features in brackets).

Type Label; Trump (archetypal features), Constellation (archetypal features):

1 Builder; Juggler (twist), Taurus Orion (hero)

1:16 Builder; Tower (ruin), Taurus Auriga

2 Builder; Priestess (rain), Taurus Pleiades (rain)

2:17 Builder; Star (rain), Taurus Perseus (twist,hero)

3 Queen; Empress (queen), Aries Andromeda (queen)

3:18 Queen; Moondogs (dragon), Aries Cetus (ovid, dragon, neck)

4 King; Emperor (king), Pisces Pegasus(rect.), Cepheus(king)

4:19 King; SunTwins(sun,twin), Pisces fish/birds (garden)

5 Priest; Pope (ritual), Aquarius (ritual, horizontal)

5a:20 Priest; Judgement(judge), Aquarius waterbearer (bless,judge)

5b:21 Priest; World (ascend), Aquarius Pegasus legs (equid)

6 Exile; Choice (sacrif.), Capricornus (caprid)

7 Child; Chariot (chariot), Sagittarius (centaur)

8 Healer; Strength (strong), Scorpius tail (bent, ‘heal’)

9 Healer; Hermit(trance,bent), Scorpius(strong), Ophiuchus(strong)

10 Teacher; Fortune(wheel,force), Sc.Claw(‘arm’), Bootes(arm), Serp.(snake)

11 Womb; Justice (law), Virgo (womb), star Spica (crops)

12 Heart; HangedMan (invert), Leo retro (felid, invert)

13 Heart; Death (death,weapon), Leo(felid,scythe shape), Regulus(heart)

14 Mixer; Temperance(time,mix), Cancer(carapace), Beehive(transform)

15 Maker; Devil (re-make,rope), Gemini (double)

15:0 Maker; Jester (bag), Gemini (double).

Moakly’s Tarot diffusion scheme

Bembo’s deck of trumps designed for the Sforza-Visconti couple, is the model for later Tarot decks. Gertrude Moakley (1966) saw Bembo’s 22 trumps as elaborated from a game of Triumphs with only six trumps, modelled on processions of religious festivals, and on naughty carnival procession mockery, and on knightly tournament processions, and on Petrarch’s poem of his unrequited love for noble Laura.

[Tarot?]   Petrarch’s triumphs:

[10/06?]   P1 Love as Cupid v gods and men.

[11/07?]   P2 Chastity v Love, as Laura’s ladylike rejection.

[12/08?]   P3 Death v Chastity, as Laura dies of Black Death.

[13/08?]   P4 Fame v Death, as Laura’s reputation lives on.

[14/09?]   P5 Time v Fame, [as Laura’s reputation wanes].

[15:0/10?] P6 Eternity v Time, as Laura’s love in afterlife.

Moakley proposed that Bembo, and the ‘Mantegna’ and Florentine Minchiate decks, had extracted these characters from Petrarch’s poem to become Tarot trumps (Tr):

Tr Character ‘from Petrarch’ (after Moakley 1966):

01 Juggler   of Love [money?] ‘Or carnival king’s meal’

02 Priestess of Love [spirituality?]

03 Empress of Love [domain?]

04 Emperor of Love [power?]

05 Pope    of Love [religion]

06 Lovers  of Love [body]

07 Chariot  of Chastity [unmotivated]

08 Justice  of Chastity [should be 11]

09 Hermit   of Time     [out of group sequence]

10 Wheel    of Chastity [contradiction]

11 Strength of Chastity [should be 08]

12 Hanged of Death

13 Death  of Death

14 Time   of Chastity, crutches [duplicates ‘9’]

15 Devil  of Death

16 Tower  of Death [but Time stars?]

17 Stars of Hermit [time]

18 Moon of Hermit [time]

19 Sun  of Hermit [time]

20 Fame of? (Minchiate only), trumpets [‘20’ assumed]

21 World of Hermit, eternal, four creatures [monastic?]

But critics (Little 2003; Hurst, and others) argue that Moakley’s conclusions are flawed, and that her scheme does not demonstrate the canonical sequence. Some commentators use the term ‘conflated’. Zodiac signs and four elements are not in Petrarch’s pattern. The ‘Mantegna’ deck has allegories from other texts. There seems no reason to assign [7] Chariot to Chastity. A Traitor, and Fire, find no parallel. Tarot trumps are not as ribald as Feast of Fools of Ship of Fools emblems (see the example below). Some Petrarch illustrators placed [8] Strength’s staff or club with [6] Cupid, or [14] Temperance’s cups with [6] Cupid, or cast the Pope and Papess as pagan Jupiter and Juno, or replace [7?] Chastity with her enemy [10] Fortune, or reduce [14/9] Time to attendant of [13] Death, or omit [5:20] Fame, or reduce [15:0] Eternity to a number, or show [13] Death as an old hag, not a skeleton.

Petrarch, whose cycle of poems on triumphs of phases of love was illustrated by ‘triumphal’ carts or icons, among the models for Tarot trump designers. Image after Laphams Quarterly.

There is now some consensus that Petrarch’s poem, and illustrators, and Tarot cards, were parallel expressions of early Renaissance mytho-poetic conventions. The present study (Furter 2014; 2016) demonstrates that all cultural conventions, including crafts sets, express archetype, and that the Tarot trumps do so in sequence, and by archetypal numbers, and with seven trumps overlapping the first seven numbers as their higher magnitudes in base 15/16 (as in the table above). Critics differ on whether Moakley’s book had any impact on Tarot users, who shared their esoteric fantasies about ‘ancient’ origins, even after evidence of medieval precursors became commonly available on the Internet (Little 2003).

And academic researchers keep their ‘developmental’ fantasies about ‘diffusion’ of ‘ideas’, even after J.G. Frazer demonstrated that all the detailed motifs of myths were present worldwide; and C.G. Jung demonstrated that dreams in all cultures repeat mythic themes; and Claued Levi-Strauss demonstrated underlying structures in behaviour; the Aarne-Thompson-Uther (ATU) catalogue numbered clusters of motifs in folk legends; and publication of the recurrent subconscious expression of archetypal structure in the art, rock art, built sites, icons and alphabets of all cultures, in two books, the anthropology journal Expression (see Sources below), four websites, and six magazine editions. The anthropology model is summarised in the recent paper Blueprint (Furter 2019, on

Wheel of Fortune miniature woodcut illustration in an edition of the first best-selling book, Ship of Fools, by the workshop of Michael Furter in Basel (archetypal axial grid by Edmond Furter). The axial grid is always between eyes, with a standard deviation to one heart and one womb, here both of the donkey-person on the left. Following the tradition of popular broadsides, the comics and ‘tabloids’ of their day, the book’s hilarious text and illustrations made humour of iconic conventions in expensive, exclusive, pious and didactic books in private collections.

Tarot trumps 8 Strength and 11 Justice were swopped

Popular archetypal sets typically contain some error, but are also typically revised, which often rectify ‘copyist’ errors. Among Tarot trumps, the sequence error concerns trumps 8 Strength and 11 Justice. In the Tarot Marseilles sequence, trump 8 Strength (type 8 Healer, trance, spiritual strength, or Scorpius), and trump 11 Justice (type 11 Womb, crops, or Virgo) became swopped in one variant. There is no inherent natural ambiguity between these two types (as there are between types 3, 4 and 6, particularly regarding the feature equid, or horse). There is also no ambiguity between their parallel myths or constellations. The variant is probably due to an ‘authoritative’ error in that became copied. Intuitive rectifying of this sequence error, is noted in a short article on Tarot trumps in Stoneprint Journal 4; London stoneprint tour (

Moakley, in her brief introduction to Papus: Tarot of the Bohemians, translated by Waite (Arcanum Books), noted her dismay at popular ‘occult’ fictions and ‘ancient origins’, but accepted modern myth as worthy of study: “Literal facts about the Tarot cards are probably quite different from the occultist account. But this brings us again to another veiled darkness: the unconscious motives of those who… use symbols only to add to the amusement and excitement of a Carnival game. We may then accept the occultist tradition as a valid myth, a solemn way of stating a truth symbolically with such imaginative force that even its authors at first always mistake it for the literal truth… [The Papus book is] useful to anyone who wants to study as a cultural phenomenon this modern instance of what Robert Graves has called ‘iconotropy’ [iconic chaos v conservation, or diffusion]… despite T.S. Eliot’s remarks about “wild-goose chases after Tarot cards.” Her remark is ironic. If icons were copied and re-copied as Graves and herself thought, then entropy or chaos would soon change them beyond recognition. The study of the cause of universal recurrence, and retention of the essential core content of cluster of meanings, was overdue since the Periodic table brought order to alchemy and chemistry. Natural and cultural sets are equally rooted in archetype.

Wheel of Fortune miniature illustration in a didactic or ‘teaching’ Book of Hours (image after Pre-Gebelin. Archetypal axial grid by E Furter). The axial grid is always between eyes, with a standard deviation to one heart and one womb, here of the wheel turner in the foreground. Three giant figures manipulate or guide the wheel turners and riders, like archetype sets bounds to nature, culture and behaviour, including myth, art, ritual and meaning itself.

Layers of expression

Spiritual, religious and cultural craft art is understood in academia to be based on hallucinations that are “construed in trance”, recalled and “no doubt formalised as they were painted.” (Lewis-Williams and Pearce 2012). However ‘formalisation’ of buck bags, sky ropes, flying people, falling buck, half humans, saurian antelope and such surreal features, does not require artists, or their clients or society, to understand these forms. These forms do not necessarily directly represent the implied hallucinations, but are filtered through perception and the media of re-expression. Inspiration may resemble lucid dreams, and may not even be primarily visual. Most healers are not artists, and most artists are not healers.

Archaeologists acknowledge that sacred art is ritualised, but persist, in the words of M Biesele, in explaining art and ritual in terms of “communally held beliefs” being “operationalised… adding to the store of people’s knowledge”, while some motifs in art “do not become the source of many more paintings.” This study could not find cumulative nor dead-end motifs. Mindprint implies the very opposite of these conclusions of random, incidental and vetoed expression. Our collective subconscious and nature, thus archetype, are the sources of the sets of features, their sequence, and axial spacing of the eyes of the characters that express them in art.

Art, rock art, and all cultural media, are not individual or cultural, nor trial and error, nor bounded by a “set of beliefs” built on a supposed store of spiritual “knowledge”. Artistic and mythic structure is not a function of knowledge, but sustained by perpetually renewed inspiration.

Lewis-Williams and Pierce see iconography as “the significance of images for their makers… impossible to study without an iconographic baseline and social context of the imagery.” They call for adducing ethnographic (mythic) and lexical (conscious) meanings, from neuro-psychological and other evidence to guide a theoretical and methodological framework to explain San rock art. Mindprint offers these meanings, frameworks and methods in sixteen limited sets of features, and a simplistic, standard geometric structure, with endless close affinities to nature and culture, and truly endless examples in the cultural record.

The book Mindprint demonstrates 200 in art and cork art, and lists 400 more in an appendix, since extended to built sites, alphabets and hieroglyphs (the last two media are demonstrated in Furter 2019; Blueprint, on; and on Academia; and on Researchgate; and on Academia). A dictionary of artistic and iconographic typology and structure is overdue, but no faith or set of “beliefs” are required.

This study is enabled by conceptual unity, as well as the principle of partial and imperfect expression. Where one sequence of icons, symbols, myths or gods may omit, underplay or overplay a type, others fill in, to specific average quotas worldwide. Culture itself functions by disunity, traceable by ‘tacks’ among its artefacts, as Wylie (1989) demonstrated to be valid in archaeology.

Culture is inherently standardised

The main ingredients of the most elusive aspects of culture, being aesthetics, beauty and inspiration, were thought to be indefinable, infinitely mutable, independently created, supported only by high culture, transfused, learned and fragile. They now appear to be highly standardised by subconscious impulse, unlearned, robust, and accessible to any prodigy or peasant anywhere. All it requires is an eye, mind, hand, canvas, and charcoal, or an episode to re-tell, or an occasion to ritualise, or a site to build on.

Cognitive archaeology denies archetypes in rock art, and does not gather or apply visual iconographic data, apart from conscious symbols provided by the available myths of the culture of the painters. Presuming that artists enter trance in expectation of certain experiences, and record largely culturally expected visions, cognitive archaeology expects healers to find what they consciously expect to find, and the science itself does not find what it believes the artists do not expect to find. “San religious beliefs and experience was constrained, or framed, by the individual image-maker’s intellectual and social milieu,” wrote cognitive archaeologist David Lewis-Williams (2012 p78). Science denies that people and cultures participate in a collective or universal subconscious. Yet conscious contact with the symbolic and collective subconscious realm is one of the causes, effects and aims of ritual, and particularly of art.

Popular anthropology fictions

Popular culture consumes spiritual experience as a type of adventure tourism or escapism. Most popular anthropology or ‘ancient mystery’ writers trade in archetypes, without addressing or even mentioning archetypes. Some popular writers start from the premise of an ancient super race (Malkowski 2010. Hancock opus). Some start on the super race or space ‘contact’ premise (Robert Temple; Sirius mystery), then migrate to an academic view (Robert Temple; Netherworld). Most academics start from the opposite premise, of an ancient primitive race blessed by evolution. Some academics migrate to an appreciation of the complexity of primitive cultures (Thackeray 2013). The middle ground where these mutable academic and popular paradigms should meet, remains elusive due to paradigmatic taboos.

Layers and haloes of meaning

Jung noted the formulaic nature of art in his approach of circumscription (finding relevant meanings or ‘signatures’ in dreams) to diagnose and prescribe appropriate myths, on the assumption that outer and inner experience and health determine their own spheres of meaning. Jung scoured peripheral meanings to reveal core meanings, confirmed in this study by the finding that each type includes a halo of related meanings.

Heidegger wrote that “a poet or thinker with his moral legein grants a world for a nation to live… by responding to the logos of earth, sky and gods… The framing-in of a world is a work of the founding physis, carried by mythos and spelled out by poetry… If we think we are interpreters, we steal from ourselves. Interpretations remain translations in different words, not revelations of truth and meaning.” This view applies to the meanings conventionally readable in Camoens, Picasso, Brink, Coetzee and all moralising (in the broad sense of the word) artists. This view is also relevant to the conventional meanings of spiritual texts. The arts translate the universe into a microcosm of the human subtext. The language of art, however, may well extend beyond interpretation, and thus reveal truth and ultimate meaning. The fault of occlusion is not in our art, books or eyes, but in our minds that we cannot understand the full meaning of what is in front of our eyes.

Compulsive inspiration

Subconscious expression in the service of spiritual inspiration is unerring, despite ardent search in this study for defective, contradictory or absent types, or misplaced geometric elements. We are hard-wired to see and express scenes in this way, and equally disposed to deny that we do so and to fancy ourselves thinkers of original thoughts and painters of original scenes. Art is our intimate hologram of infinitely varied scenes, populated by myths and legends, hidden in plain sight in galleries, museums and books, locked behind our equally hard-wired conscious paradigms of what history, myth, astronomy, archetypes and art should be.

An artwork is not done until all the figures of the inspiration are positioned in their allotted spaces, in addition to, or perhaps despite the less exacting function of making some immediate conscious sense to the artist and likely viewers. In the context of archetypal expression, the perpetual dictum of ‘art for art’s sake’ acquires new meaning. Whether other people would see it, or understand it, or use it in initiation, seems of lesser importance than its completion. Apparent chaotic overwork in some rock art and abstract art around the world indicates a predominant inspiration and expressive impulse, at the cost of recording or communication on a conscious level.

  • Order the book Mindprint by Edmond Furter (2014, 272 pages, 200 illustrations, A4, perfect bound, $16), from on:

  • Some Stoneprint Journal editions are also available on
  • Order the book Stoneprint, demonstrating collective subconscious expression of archetypal structure in buildings and built sites worldwide, on email from Four Equators Media, via edmondfurter at gmail dot com at $/e250 plus postage from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Some references

Allen, R.H. 1899 Star names and their meanings. Lost Library, Glastonbury

Boeyens, J.C.A; Thackeray JF. 2014 Number theory and the unity of science. S African J. Sc. 110

De Santillana G., Von Deschend H. 1969 Hamlet’s Mill: An essay on myth and the frame of time. Boston: Gambit

Edinger, E. 1991 Anatomy of the psyche: Alchemical symbolism in psychotherapy. Open Court

Finkel, I. 2007 Ancient Board Games in Perspective, Brit Museum Press

Furter, E. 2014 a. Mindprint, the subconscious art code.

Furter, E. 2014 b. More examples of structuralist art analysis.

Furter, E. 2015 a. Gobekli Tepe, between rock art and art. Expression 9, p21-25. Atelier Etno, Italy. Also in Expression book Rock art: Where, When, Why, to Whom,2015 Nov

Furter, E. 2015 b. Art is structural magic, not illustration. Expression 10, p15-21, Dec. Atelier Etno, Italy. Also in Expression book ,,,,,

Furter, E. 2015 d. Structuralist rock art analysis. Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists, ASAPA. In press 2019, University of Zimbabwe, Harare

Furter, E. 2015 e. Mindprint in mushroom, psiclocybin, peyote, mescalin, sugar, and chocolate art.

Furter, E. 2016 a. Abstract signs in art are shorthand for cultural structure. Expression 13, p42-53. Ed. Anati, E. Atelier Etno, Italy. Also in Anati, E; Meaning of abstract signs.

Furter, E. 2016 b. Colonial artists re-style the same characters. Expression 14, p38-47. Atelier Etno, Italy

Furter, E. 2016 c. Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities. Four Equators Media, Johannesburg

Furter, E. 2017 a. Pregnant is the most consistent typological gender. Expression 15, p19-24, Atelier Etno, Italy

Furter, E. 2017 b. Stoneprint Journal 1; Pictish beasts ‘zodiac’. July. Four Equators Media, Johannesburg

Furter, E. 2017 c. Stoneprint Journal 2; Crop circles are natural artworks. Four Equators Media, Johannesburg

Furter, E. 2017 d. Recurrent characters in rock art reveal objective meaning. Expression 16, June, p54-62. The message behind the image. Atelier Etno, Italy. Also in Expression book 25, 2019.

Furter, E. 2018 a. Stoneprint Journal 3; Paris stoneprint tour. Four Equators Media, Johannesburg

Furter, E. 2018 b. Stoneprint Journal 4; London stoneprint tour.

Furter, E. 2018 c. Stoneprint Journal 5; Culture code in seals and ring stamps.

Furter, E. 2019 a. Stoneprint Journal 6; Rennes le Chateau stoneprint tour.

Gombrich, E.H. 1960. Art and illusion: a study in the psychology of pictorial representation. Princeton. Princeton University Press.

Hurst, M.J. [Tarot history]. http://www.Pre-gebelin

Jung, C.G. 1912, 1953, 1979. Symbols of Transformation; IN Collected Works Vol. 5, transl R Hull, Editor Herbert Reed, M Fordham, G Adler; ed, McGuire. Bollingen Series XX. Baltimore. Routledge & Kegan Paul

Jung, C.G. 1934, 1954 Archetypes of the collective unconscious. CW

Jung, C.G. 1950 Synchronicity; an a-causal connecting principle, treatise

Jung. C.G. 1959. The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Translated by RFC Hull. Editor Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, & Gerhard Adler. New York. Pantheon Books

Leach, E. 1970 Claude Levi-Strauss. University of Chicago Press

Lewis-Williams, J.D., and Pearce, D.G. 2012. Framed Idiosyncrasy: method and evidence in the interpretation of San rock art. SA Archaeological Bulletin 67, pp 75-87. Johannesburg. SA Arch.Soc.

Little, T.T. 1999; 2003. Moakley 101. http://www.Luxlapis


Malkowski, E.F. 2010. Ancient Egypt 39 000 BC, Civilisation X

Moakley, Gertrude. 1966. Tarot cards painted by Bonifacie Bembo for the Visconti-Sforza bemily, an iconographic and historical study. New York Public Library /Emily Ellsworth Ford Skeel Fund /Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Neugebauer O., and Parker R. 1969. Egyptian astronomical texts 3; Decans, planets, constellations and zodiacs. Providence. Brown University Press

Temple, R. 2002. Netherworld. London. Century

Thackeray, J.F. 2013 Principle of sympathetic magic in the context of hunting, trance and S. African rock art. SA Arch.Soc, Digging stick, April. /Inst. for Human Evolution

Tresidder, Jack. 1997 /1999. Watkins dictionary of symbols. London. Watkins

Wylie, A. 1989. Archaeological cables and tacking: the implications of practice for Bernstein’s options, beyond objectivism and relativism. In: Philosophy of Social Sciences 19, March, vol 1, pp 1-18

Yates, Frances. 1972. Rosicrucian Enlightenment. London

culture is subconscious mindprint in modern art

Denver Airport Extinction art reveals our enviro bio-ruin

Artist Leo Tanguma’s large mural paintings at Denver Airport are themed on apocalyptic bio-warfare, destruction, and the struggle between Fascist and peaceful world orders. The Denver-based Chicano combines symbolism from history and mysticism, with American socio-political issues from his hybrid perspective, by 1900s Mexican political muralist techniques. This design was said to picture the 2001 9/11 terror attacks, but the airport had opened six years earlier. Archetypal features explain the similarity. One of the general themes in his Extinction artwork is revealed by extra features of type 2 Builder, typical of twisted postures (here of four characters), cluster (of plant and animal species), bird (four species), tower (city in the background), build (or cultures), ruin (fire and pollution), hero (preservation workers), book (Torah in coffin C), or spring (flowers).

Another general theme in Tanguma’s Extinction painting at Denver Airport is revealed by extra features of the four transitional types: 2c Basket v 9c Lid, and 5c Tail v 13c Head. Their fields (transitional types do not have their eyes on the axial grid, but are spaced between specific adjacent axes), are typical of woven texture (here 5c’s textile cloak), containers (glass boxes, coffins, carapace), hats (four headgear), arm-links (cradling animals or figurines), trees (here burning), or revelation (here of environmental extinction). The Denver Extinction of environment, animals and cultures panel, is juxtaposed by two panels on Peace and Harmony With Nature, dramatising bountiful and diverse life. Integration of these general themes, despite the relative minimalism of the design of only nine distinguishable characters, indicates the maturity of the artist. Below is the archetypal structuralist analysis of the work, in the universal standard caption format.

Leo Tanguma; Extinction painting, at Denver International Airport, Jeppesen Terminal Level Five (image after Travelgumbo. Archetypal labels and axial grid by E Furter). The display juxtaposes his panels on war, and children making world peace.







Type Label; Character (noting archetypal features):

2 Builder; Buffalo (bovid) head, stuffed.

2c Basket; Parrot (bird) in glass box (container), held by (arm-link) an African woman. And elephant tusks (weapon, cluster).

3 Queen; Girl with a squirrel.

4 King; Jewish girl in coffin (rectangle) holding Torah including Genesis.

5a Priest; White leopard (varicoloured, felid of 12 opposite), dead (horizontal), left eye.

5b Priest; White leopard (varicoloured, felid of 13 opposite), dead (horizontal), right eye.

5c Basket Tail; American Indian woman in woven cloak (weave) in coffin (container), her head on leaves (herb), with animal (tail) god figurine.

6 Exile; Geometric person image (small) on American Indian woman’s cloak, further from the centre (egress).

7 Child; African woman in coffin.

9 Healer; Turtle (disc) lying flat (bent forward).

9c Basket Lid; Turtle carapace (disc, lid, hump).

10 Teacher; Purple parrot in flight (arms up).

11 Womb; White woman’s midriff (womb). And pelican in glass box (interior). And Sperm whale (water).

12 Heart; White woman’s chest (heart).

13 Heart; Chinese boy.

13c Basket Head; White woman with glass box (lid).

14 Mixer; Asian girl, near the centre (ingress), warning of extinction (time), at burning trees (tree).

15 Maker; African girl holding glass box (bag?) with bird.

Axial centre; Unmarked as usual.

4p Gal.S.Pole; Leopard’s jaw (limb-joint).

11p Gal.Pole; White woman’s left hand (limb-joint).

Midsummer; Asian girl’s shoulder (limb-joint).

Midwinter; Leopard’s hip (limb-joint).

The solstice markers are on the vertical plane. These polar triangles place midsummer between Leo and Cancer, implying spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus-Aries.

Structuralist features of expression are universal, and subconscious to artists, architects, builders, crafters and members of any culture.

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Subconscious blueprint in Teotihuacan art and site plan

Structuralist analysis of Aztec murals, and the site plan of the ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’ pyramids and maze of buildings at Teotihuacan, reveals the usual five layers of subconscious structure at several levels of scale. Treasures found in the cave starting under the Rain god’s temple, add mythic and ritual features to the layers of archetypal structure.

Teotihuacan mountain stream mural

Structuralist analysis of an apparently random or chaotic Aztec mural at Teotihuacan, reveals the usual five layers of subconscious structure. Several types are expressed by two characters on the same axis, and by extra adjacent axes (notably types 5a and 5b, here labelled Aq5,20 and Aq5,21). The four Heart axes are in the mountain stream, a conical but watery hill with waterfall and cave. In the site map below, see type 2 Builder (here labelled Ta2 for Taurus2), as Feathered Serpent (bird) pyramid, over a cavern (cave) with many offerings (cluster). See the Underworld notes below. Types 11 Womb and 12/13 Heart (here Vi11, Le12, Le13) are in the centre of this watery caved hill. In the site map (below), type 11 Womb is at the centre of the ‘Moon’ pyramid, and types 13 Heart (Le13) are at the centre of the ‘Sun’ pyramid. As usual, structuralist correspondences are not consciously intended, but arise from archetype.

Water hill mural at Teotihuacan, in the Tepantitla, near type 5b or Aq5,21 on the map. After Wikimedia. Calendric labels with archetypal numbers (see the site map list for detail), and axial grid by E Furter.



Leo sun and Virgo moon on Teotihuacan pyramids avenue


Teotihuacan pyramid field (after Rene Miller. Calendric labels and archetypal numbers, and axial grid by E Furter). North is 15.5 degrees left of top. Most other maps of this site are inaccurate.

The sequence of archetypes in Teotihuacan pyramid field is (noting globally recurrent, archetypal features with analogous calendric labels):

1 Builder or Taurus1; Feathered Serpent (bird) temple’s east forecourt.

2 Builder or Taurus2; Feathered Serpent (bird) pyramid, over a cavern (cave) with many offerings (cluster. See Underworld notes below).

2c Basket; Feathered Serpent’s court.

3 Queen or Aries3; Feathered Serpent’s west temple.

4 King or Pisces4; Feathered Serpent’s west forecourts, four rectangles.

5a Priest or Aquarius5,20; Very large court (large).

5b Priest or Aquarius5,21; A temple or palace.

6 Exile or Capricornus6; Small pyramid, far from the centre (ingress /egress).

7 Child or Sagittarius7; A quartered cluster.

8 Healer or Scorpius8; North complex.

9 Healer or Scorpius9; Palace of Quetzalpapalotl annexe.

10 Teacher or Libra10; West temple of ‘Moon’ pyramid.

11 Womb or Virgo11; ‘Moon’ pyramid core (womb).

12 Heart or Leo12; Palace of Jaguars (felid).

13 Heart or Leo13; ‘Sun’ pyramid core (heart).

14 Mixer or Cancer14; ‘Sun’ pyramid south temple, near the invisible axial centre (ingress).

15 Maker or Gemini15; Double structure (doubled).

15g or Gate; Moat (path, water) or boundary.

Axial centre; On the central avenue edge (juncture), at the ‘Sun’ pyramid enclosure SW corner (juncture).

Galactic axle (pG and pGs); Diagonally across the middle part of the central avenue (which is 15.5 degrees east of north), at about 19.5 degrees east of north. These angles derive from tetrahedral and spherical geometry, involving the irrational fraction pi.

Midsummer or Celestial Pole, pC; On the ‘Sun’ pyramid corner (juncture), about due east-west (‘horizontal’) from the invisible axial centre. This polar marker places the structuralist abstract ‘summer’ between types 13-14, in the sector of the half-type 13c Basket Head, analogous to Leo-Cancer months (labelled Le13 and Cn14). Thus ‘spring’ and the time-frame is in Age Taurus-Aries (always 90 degrees before midsummer), indicating BC 1500, before the work as usual. This subconscious ‘dial’ at the fifth level of subconscious archetypal expression, is always approximate, particularly when expressing Age transitions. In Aztec myth, the Fifth Sun manifested at Teotihuacan. More study of site features, as they are revealed by excavation, could reveal or contradict some archetypal features.

Underworld in Teotihuacan’s Rain Bird cave

A tunnel under the Feathered Serpent pyramid (see type 2 Builder in the list above) has thousands of treasures left as ritual dedications about 17m underground (Chavez 2004). Items include crystal eyes, spiral shells, metal spheres, and a miniature mountain landscape model with tiny pools of liquid mercury representing lakes as a kind of underworld. The walls of the tunnel were rubbed with powdered pyrite (fool’s gold) to imitate galaxy stars. A cluster of items is typical of type 1 and/or 2 Builder, analogous to the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters in Taurus, due to the common archetypal origin of cultural media. The tunnel passes below the nearby great plaza, from type 2 Builder, which recurrent features include caves (see the Appendix. See the Seven Sleepers cave of Ephesus in the Europe chapter). The tunnel also runs under type 2c Basket of Mysteries, which is often expressed as a hidden container, a secret, or delayed revelation. One end of the tunnel has three chambers with many items (cluster), including four greenstone figurines carrying bundles of objects, pendants, and pyrite mirrors, probably calendar characters. Watermarks confirm that the plaza above was flooded to imitate the sea of re-creation, with pyramids as metaphorical mountains re-emerging. Some theories (see propose that surface ponds may have acted as quake and volcanic detectors, since earth tremors resonate best at latitudes north or south 19.5 degrees.

In the Feathered Serpent pyramid (type 2 Builder, or Ta2), above the surface, were remains of about 100 warriors, kneeling with hands bound behind their backs, probably sacrifices (type 2 features include twisted postures). In the tunnel are many fragments of Storm god figurines, typical of type 1 Builder or Ruiner (labelled Ta1), perhaps ritually smashed to imitate or to cancel his destructive element. His features include lightning and underground waters, perhaps including volcanic lava (while the adjacent type 2 Builder more often expresses rain and mud-brick or adobe building). These cultural features may support Mayan geology science theories of ponds used as seismographs.

Palace of the Jaguars (type 12 Leo or Heart on the map) includes this mural of a jaguar (felid, analogous to decan Ursa retro) blowing a conch shell trumpet (type 11g, analogous to the Galactic Pole). Rain god Tlaloc’s three ’stars’ express three poles; the galactic pole before the shell, ecliptic pole above the shell, and celestial pole over its back.
archetype art culture is subconscious mindprint in modern art

Poussin’s Arques tomb; Archetype lives also in Arcadia

Some of Nicholas Poussin’s works are part of the Rennes area mysteries. His father was uncle of Baron Arques, and financial advisor to Couiza’s Duke Anne (see another post; Joyeuse, palace of privilege, romance and tragedy). Poussin painted two scenes of shepherds at a tomb with Virgil’s Roman epitaph, citing the proverbial Greek Arcadia with its annual fires as metaphor for afterlife: “Mantua gave birth to me, Calabrians raped me, Parthenopa (Pozzuoli, Oracle of the Dead at Naples) comes back to me now. I have sung of pastures, country-sides and leaders, also in Arcadia I lived.” The last phrase became a popular epitaph, implying heaven and hell in life and afterlife.

To Spanish nobility, southern France was an underworld, south of the Pyrenees, towards infidels, illiterate backward Christians mustering forces, and Africa. Arcadia seems the opposite of cities, yet Delphi’s rural oracle became a densely built precinct of temples, embassies and treasuries. The Roman oracle of the Dead on the Bay of Naples became enclosed by Rome’s elite suburb (Paget 1967). The French arcadia in the Razes has a reputation for rebels, such as Spaniards, Cathars and Templars.

Nicholas Poussin: Et in Arcadia ego (after Electra2zeiss. Type labels and axial grid by E Furter). Poussin and Blake are among artists who expressed mindprint by fewer than eleven characters in some works, using limb joints instead of eyes (Stoneprint Journal 5; Seals). In minimalist or abstract works, limbs on the ‘galactic’ equators are near circular, as here, and in Boudet’s map (p16). Poussin’s landmarks are near Arques and the French meridian: left Bucharach; central 13 Blanchefort (see a photo of Blanchefort from a low angle, in another post, Rennes les Bains stoneprint tour).

Nostradamus visualised graves and treasure here (see Rennes les Bains 3; and, Rennes le Chateau 11 and 11p, in other posts). The Midi canal from Thau on the Mediterranean, via part of the Aude at Carcassonne, to the Garonne at Toulouse, for small cargo barges of wheat, wine and wool, was studied by Augustus, Nero, Charlemagne, François I (who paid Leonardo Da Vinci for a survey), Charles IX and Henry IV; built under Louis XIV and finance minister Colbert, whose colleague Fouquet, a friend of Poussin, hinted at his lucrative secret in a letter, perhaps a canal solution.

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In ‘Travels at Rennes le Bains’, Labouisse-Rochefort (1832) again saw an Arcadia here. Jules Verne referred to this area in some of his novel codes. The Two Rennes is now a theme park for treasure hunters, fakers, conspiracy theorists, and researchers trying to separate fact from fiction. The Two Rennes live out two lives; eking out a rural living, and amusing tourists with the promise of a few cracks in the wall of legends and codes.

Legends and spiritual passions outnumber physical remnants and history here. But history and legends now enable revelation of the standard layers of subconscious expression of archetypal structure, and thus conscious access to our collective behaviour. Semi-conscious symbols are part of innate, natural, archetypal culture.

Arques castle (Postcard scan: Belcaire Pyreness).

== Extract from STONEPRINT Journal Series. Supplement to Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities. $10 from

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Rennes le Chateau’s Sermon on the Mount mural is archetypal therapy

The back wall of St Magdalene church in Rennes le Chateau is dominated by a relief group of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, to newly chosen Apostles, and a crowd west of Galilee, perhaps at the Horns of Hattin, an east-west ridge near Capernaum. Abbe Berenger Sauniere chose this scene for the theme of spiritual healing and ascension.

The western direction, and flowers, indicate spring or autumn sunset, perhaps from Rennes hill, with Casteillas left, and Couiza right (see Rennes le Chateau map 6 and 11). Some authors see it as Bains (11) Mt Cardou; or the Rose Line meridian through Bains, just west of the Paris Meridian; or Violets Hill between the two Rennes (see Bains map 1); or Mt Bugarach; or Roziers Hill. The scene could also be Lavaldieu hill, on the south between the two Rennes, on axis 3 of both.

General subconscious themes in the mural include type 2c Basket, here expressed by Christ; and its opposite, type 9c Lid, here as the bread bag of St Germaine, a girl from a nearby village. She used miraculous flowers in midwinter to hide a bread she had stolen for a beggar, a miracle of physical and spiritual healing. Another general theme in the work is type 5 Priest, here expressed by boy A, perhaps a future priest, Sauniere himself, with the other boy as his brother Alfred, also a priest.

The inscription below reads, “Come to me all who suffer and are overwhelmed, I will comfort you,” from a sermon of Bernard of Clairveaux, after Mat11;28. The cure requires a small task; “Come to me all that labour and are heavy laden, I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you, learn of me, I am meek and lowly in heart, find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” If St Magdalene is the woman weeping over Christ’s feet, she is a model of cure and service, since Christ had cast seven devils from her (Luk7;37), enabling her to anoint with tears and ointment. She was present at his crucifixion, a global exorcism of sins. She anointed his body again at the tomb. She saw him risen on Easter Sunday. In local legend she continued the Judaic royal line in France. Magdalene and her ointment vase in art, often expresses type 1/ 2 Builder (see emblems, such as Tarot trump 2, Priestess, Wisdom under a veil between two pillars. See the Types, trumps and hour decans table, in another post). Here her head is under Christ’s cloak. The risen Christ’s hand is now her ‘vase’ (type 2c Basket, container). The sermon is on eight spiritual blessings.

Sauniere had contracted artists from Italy to paint the commercial casts of statues and Cross stations, dictating some background scenes and revisions (Smith 2018), apparently to transpose Biblical episodes into a localised landscape ‘sermon’.

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Update 2020: Copies of Stoneprint Journal 6; Rennes le Chateau stoneprint tour, 2019,, 20 pages, including eight pages in full colour, including a loose insert of an extract in French, is now also available on mail order from Amsterdam, inclusive at Eur/$15 via Paypal and email to Edmondfurter at gmail dot com

Rennes le Chateau church back wall relief group of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (photo after Massagot. Type labels and axial grid by E Furter). Abbe Sauniere had ordered ‘about twelve figures’ from Giscard of Toulouse. Each character expresses some archetypal features, confirmed by the positions of their eyes on an axial grid, as in all complex artworks.



Type label; Character (noting archetypal features):

[]1 Builder; St Magdalene (priestess), on one knee (twisted), weeping (rain).

[]2c Basket; Christ’s cloak (cover).

[]3 Queen; Christ (sacrifice, spring), preaching (school) spiritual blessings.

[]4 King; Mary (queen), kneeling to touch Christ’s garment. NO EYE.

[]5a Priest; Boy A. Perhaps St Germain and St Sulpice churches as ‘sons’ of St Vincent de Paul; or Sauniere himself and his brother Alfred, also a priest; or Bains and Rennes villages.

[]5b Priest; Boy A’s chest (heart, of 13 opposite). Transfer from a sketch to deep relief sculpture, may have moved this axis from the eyes of boy B and the father, to boy A (more reliefs should be tested).

[]5c Basket Head; Father of two boys (St Vincent de Paul?), with a crutch (leg posture).

[]6 Exile; Mother of a girl and a baby.

[]7 Child; Baby (juvenile) in swathing (bag), eye off the grid (common at 7).

[]8 Healer; St Germaine (see Rennes church floor 6, in another post), kneeling (bent forward), her apron with bread (healer) or gold (metal).

[]9c Basket Lid; Apron bag (container).

[]10 Teacher; Bread bag or gold (metal), torn (9c revelation). Wheat is more typical of 11. NO EYE.

[]11 Womb; Reclining wife’s midriff (womb) under her hands, probably pregnant.

[]12 Heart; Wife’s chest (heart).

[]13 Heart; Wife. And husband’s chest (heart).

[]14 Mixer; Husband, far out (egress).

[]15 Maker; Young man with an arm wound (more often leg wound; see Rennes church floor 15 St Rock statue, in another post). 

[]Axial centre; Christ’s right foot (limb-joint).

[]4p Gal.S.Pole; Unmarked, or displaced to Mary’s elbow (limb-joint). MOVED?

[]11p Gal.Pole; Wife’s elbow (limb-joint).

[]Midsummer; Christ’s left foot (limb-joint), horizontal (orientation) from the axial centre, on axis 14-15. This marker implies that spring and the cultural time-frame is on axis 3-4, analogous to Age Aries-Pisces, the era at the start of Christianity. Artworks and building sites usually reflect the time-frame prior to the work. Structural layers of expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

UPDATE: Structuralist art analyses of other Sermon on the Mount artworks, including Bloch and Dore

Sermon on the Mount print that may be the model for Giscard’s design (image after L’Independant. Axial grid and type labels by E Furter).

The mindprint in all artworks is structurally identical. The number of archetypal characters differ (usually twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen or twenty); the characters differ (although some of their features usually (60% average) include one or two of the archetypal features specific to the type they express in the work; the direction of rotation may be in either direction; and the orientation of the subconscious structure differs (the top central type, or the position of the seasonal markers).

Sermon on the Mount by Bloch, 1877 (image after Wikipedia. Typology numbers with cosmology or seasonal labels, and axial grid by E Furter).

Sermon on the Mount by Gustav Dore (image after Creationism. Typology numbers with cosmology or seasonal labels, and axial grid by E Furter).


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culture is subconscious Indian Harappan art archetype Mohenjo Daro art

Indian Harappan seals express archetype in characters and script

Typology features of characters in the Indian Parhupati seal, as in all cultures, demonstrate that the five structural layers of expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture. Early Indian seals compare well to Dilmun seals, partly due to stylistic exchange, but mainly due to universal archetype. General themes in the famous buffalo god Harappan seal include type 6 Exile or Capricornus; of ingress (here of the god), sacrifice, U-shaped (here of two letters, and of horns), volute (here of the podium bases), horned, and double-headed (here of two letters, and the main character).

India, Harappa, Parhupati seal (after Njasaryablog, bottom right character missing, assumed, and restored as antithetical. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter).

These characters express about 50% of the known recurrent features of the sixteen archetypes, in their sequence, and with their focal points on the axial grid, as usual (the average is 60%, but miniature artworks usually express fewer).

Type; Character (noting archetypal features):

2 Builder or Taurus; Fish (of 3? But see a type 2-4 swop in a Hellenic salt pan calendar, on ).

3 Queen or Aries; Two-headed dragon (long or bent neck, dragon, spring). Also typical of 6. Types 3 and 6 are inherently ambiguous in about 5% of their features.

4 King or Pisces; King? Sitting (squatting), with 4p (twins).

4p Gal.S.Pole; Shoulder (limb joint) of twin (of 4), squatting (of 4).

5a Priest or Aquarius; Man B’s midriff (should be chest, heart, opposite of 12, GRID ERROR, typical of miniature artworks) of officiant (priest, assembly).

5b Priest or Aquarius; Rhinoceros.

6 Exile or Capricornus; Buffalo (horned. Its double-headed feature is transferred to type 7).

7 Child or Sagittarius; Buffalo person (horned, of 6), three-faced (unfolding), near the axial centre (ingress, of 6).

7g Gal.Centre: Podium B (juncture).

9 Healer or Scorpius; Caprid (of 6), looking back (of 3 or 10) under podium (pillar).

9c Basket Lid; Podium.

10 Teacher or Libra; Caprid at podium (guard).

11 Womb or Virgo; Tiger’s midriff (womb).

11p Gal.Pole: Tiger’s jaw (limb).

12 Heart or Leo; Tiger (felid).

13 Heart or Leo; Man A’s chest (heart).

14 Mixer or Cancer; Elephant.

15 Maker or Gemini; V-shaped dragon A (doubled, churn).

15g Gal.Gate; V-shaped dragon B’s jaw (limb joint).

The axial centre or ‘ecliptic’ pole is unmarked, as usual. The celestial south pole is on horn B (usually a limb joint, which the horns here seem to express). The horizontal plane confirms ‘winter’ in Aquarius-Capricornus, thus ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus-Aries, confirmed by the two top central types.

The five structural layers of art and architecture, are subconscious. Some of the symbolic aspects of archetypal features are semi-conscious, thus semi-logical. The only design that hints at some conscious understanding of the axial grid by the artist, is the Cycladic salt pan bottom calendar, with radial divisions (see the link noted at type 2 above). However the calendar is understood as an abstract cycle, and most cultures and crafts do not inquire further into the underlying structure of time, space and character. Crafts such as astrology and alchemy use aspects of art, particularly emblems and icons, but tend to isolate their functions from common crafts such as art and myth.

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Indus seal, Mohenjo Daro. Pipal fig tree goddess and Seven Aswins or wives of sages (after Typology and axial grid by ED Furter).

Angel of time

General themes in this Indian seal of Mohenjo Daro, include type 13c Basket Head, typical of prediction or calendar feasts, here a head offering, a box, and two structurally ‘extra’ aswins, or wives of sages. The five structural layers of expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

2 Builder or Taurus; Ram.

2c Basket; A letter (woven texture).

3 Queen or Aries; : (in the damaged edge).

4 King or Pisces; Fish (fish, rare).

5a Priest or Aquarius; Man, its head in the damaged edge. Priest? (priest).

5c BasketTail; Letter, U-shape (of 6).

6 Exile or Capricornus; Wife G with cap (horned), far from the centre (egress).

7 Child or Sagittarius; Wife G, opposite two types, a regular device in minimalist works. Hair tassle (rope, juvenile).

7g Gal.Centre; Wife F.

9 Healer or Scorpius; Wife E.

10 Teacher or Libra; Wife D.

11 Womb or Virgo; Wife C’s midriff (womb).

11p Gal.Pole: King’s foot (limb joint).

12 Heart or Leo; Wife C’s chest (heart, palace), under stool with head.

13c BasketHead; Wives B, A. And stool, box (container), head on stool (of 13, death).

14 Mixer or Cancer; Goddess in papal fig (tree) gate (U-shape of 6 opposite), calendric feast (time), far (egress).

15 Maker or Gemini; King (order) offering a head (face, doubled), creeping forward (rampant).

The axial centre is unmarked as usual. The celestial south pole is on the ram shoulder (limb joint), placing ‘winter’ in Aquarius-Capricornus, thus ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus-Aries, confirmed by the two top central types.

The culture code model

An abstract chart of the labels, sequence, ocular (eye to eye) axial grid, polar points of pairs of opposite, and Age calibrator of the subconscious structure of cultural expression.

Mindprint model of the archetypal structure, or ‘grammar’ of natural and cultural expression (after Furter 2014, 2016). The typological set of sixteen clusters of optional features, applies to all media, including cosmology, calendar, ritual and myth. The five levels of typology, sequence, polar points, axial grid of eyes, and spatial orientation of eyes or focal points, are directly testable in complex artworks (including seals and jewel stamps) and in building sites.

STONEPRINT Journal 5; The culture code in seals and rings

This post is an extract from a supplement to Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities, Order on this link;

Consider including the book Mindprint, including 200 examples of structuralist analyses of art and rock art works.

Or book slide show talks, or contribute articles, by email to edmondfurter at gmail dot com, or call +27 (0)11 955 6732.

Four Equators Media, Johannesburg. ISBN 978-0-620-69863-4

Back editions at $/E 12:

1 Pictish beasts ‘zodiac’

2 Crop circles are natural artworks

3 Stoneprint tour of Paris

4 Stoneprint tour of London ($/E 18. Also on

5 Culture code in seals and ring stamps. on

6 Rennes le Chateau stoneprint tour. $10.

Archetype in Islamic art culture is subconscious Mindprint typology of sixteen visual archetypes

An early Islamic metal mirror with figurative art expresses archetypal structure

Lively characters in a roundel on the back of an early Islamic Turkish metal mirror cast found in Iran, expresses the universal subconscious set of character features, sequence, polar markers, and time-frame orientation. General themes in the design include type 5 Priest or Aquarius (assembly, varicoloured, hyperactive, priest, tailcoat-head); and type 6 Exile or Capricornus (polar, sacrifice, volute, horned, double-headed). The theme of ‘mirroring’ appears in a double-headed character (at 1); and in two antithetical staffs; and in subconscious doubling of four of the ‘single’ types; and in the practical purpose of the metal cast itself. Here is a list of how the artist expressed the universal subconscious typology.

Iranian or Turkish mirror back made for the Persian market, 1200s, early Islamic style (metal. After Pinterest. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter). (See another metal artefact made to order, in the Gundestrup Bowl made in Greece for the Celtic market, in Stoneprint Journal 1; Pictish Beasts).

Type; Character (archetypal features):

1 Builder or Taurus; Bauble A of bird-bull man (cluster), dancing (twisted).

3 Queen or AriesB; Two-headed staff (long or bent neck), antithetical (dragons).

4 King or Pisces; Eagle B (bird, twins) sitting (squatting) in a kiosk (rectangle).

5a Priest or Aquarius; Priest-king (assembly, varicoloured, priest).

5a Priest or AquariusB; Priest-king eye B (assembly, varicoloured, priest).

5b Priest or Aquarius; Eagle A (assembly, decan Aquila), looking back (inversion, of 12).

5c BasketTail; Two-headed staff dragon (heads, mirrored).

6 Exile or Capricornus; Dancer with cap (horned) presenting gift (sacrifice) at two-headed staff (volute).

6 Exile or CapricornusB; Dancer with cap (horned), presenting gift (sacrifice).

7 Child or Sagittarius; Centaur (rare), with bag.

9 Healer or Scorpius; Man-leopard?, arms back (bent forward, healer?).

10 Teacher or Libra; Tamer (guard, hunt master; or metallurgy), with bull-staff (staff).

10 Teacher or LibraB; Bull-staff (staff, carousel).

11 Womb or Virgo; Woman’s midriff (womb).

11p Gal.Pole: Woman’s knee (limb joint).

12 Heart or Leo; Lion (feline) chest (heart).

12 Heart or LeoB; Lion (feline) tamed (death).

13 Heart or Leo; Lion griffin (feline) chest (heart), broken hind leg (death; Ursa, foreleg).

13c BasketHead; Water snake (head, decan Hyda).

14 Mixer or Cancer; Dancer (dancer, not accounted here due to abundance).

14 Mixer or CancerB; Dancer B (dancer, not accounted here due to abundance).

15 Maker or Gemini; Gift (bag) of re-creator.

The midsummer or celestial pole marker is on the design centre (rare), or unmarked. The midwinter or celestial south pole marker is on a hand and knee, or a foot (limb joint). These options place ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus, confirmed by a bird-bull-man griffin as semi-conscious symbol of equinox, where two equators cross, and by the main character as an Aquarius winter ritual focal point). The time-frame is before the artist, as usual. An alternative time-frame of Age Aries-Pisces is indicated by a bird and two-headed staff near the top (see similar seasonal markers in Babylonian kudurru or boundary stones, in another post on Babylonian hour decans). This design elaborates several Age Taurus features (in contrast with the Age Aries Egyptian palettes, as demonstrated in another post, and in the book Mindprint). The artefact is of Age Pisces, an early Islamic medieval metalwork, before Islam banned figurative images. The transitional Aries-Pisces features express a transition between tradition and reform.

culture is subconscious mindprint in modern art Stoneprint buildings and cities

Structuralist art analysis of Cibber’s battle plaques on Nelson’s Column

Four bronze plaques by Cibber, on the four sides of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London, picture the four main battles of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Each plaque also expresses the standard, universal, subconscious structure of visual art, named mindprint (Furter 2014), as demonstrated below. The structure, still unknown to artists and art historians, includes the standard set of twelve to sixteen archetypal features; in the standard peripheral sequence; with their eyes or focal features on an axial grid; and with limb joints at certain polar points.
Comparison of structuralist analyses of the four sculpted and cast plaques, reveal the same minimalist level of design complexity, with one or two compromises towards the conscious programme in each panel.

Conscious and archetypal characterisation are also minimalist here, indicating that the four works are elements of one installation. Any structuralist assessment (or assessment of structuralist art analysis against what they revel of these plaques), should thus include all four.

The inherent time-frame of the four panels differ, indicating separate design phases. Apparent variety in design, even in works focussed on the same person, in four similar situations, demonstrate how conscious preoccupations camouflage the identical spatial structure and optional core content in artworks worldwide.
Cibber made a maximal expression of archetypal structure in his other major public commission in London, the Great Fire Monument west plaque, themed on rebuilding. Any structuralist assessment of Cibber (or assessment of structuralist art analyses against what they reveal of Cibber), should thus include the Fire plaque (see a separate post on that artwork).

This edition is available from (24 pages, $18), on this link: Students and lovers of art and rock art should order it with the book Mindprint (, 264 pages, 200 illustrations, about $29).

Battle of Trafalgar plaque

Battle of Trafalgar plaque on Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square, London (Cibber. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter). Here Nelson is type 6 Exile or Capricornus (sacrifice). His empty admiral’s cap is type 1 Builder or Taurus, a structurally weak point, but still making subconscious sense. The typology is listed adjacent.

Type label; Character (archetypal features):
1 Builder or Taurus; Capt Hardy’s grip on Nelson’s hat.
2c Basket; Nelson’s hat (container), emblem of a clover?
3 Queen or Aries; Capt Hardy looking back (bent neck).
4 King or Pisces; Sailor A.
4p Gal.S.Pole; Sailor A’s mouth (limb joint).
5a Priest or Aquarius; Sailor B in top hat (varicoloured) carrying Nelson.
5b Priest or Aquarius; Musketeer. Same axis as 5a.
5c BasketTail; Black (varicoloured, of 5) musket loader.
6 Exile or Capricornus; Nelson dying (sacrifice), near the centre (ingress), bullet in the spine, symbolised by the cannonball dent in the mast (tree) above him.
7 Child or Sagittarius; Sailor kneeling to carry Nelson.
8 Healer or Scorpius; Officer crouching (bent forward).
10 Teacher or Libra; Sailor dead (arm V-posture).
11 Womb or Virgo; Cannoneer ’s midriff (womb).
11p Galactic Pole: Captain’s hip (limb joint).
13 Heart or Leo; Cannoneer’s chest (heart, weapon).
13c Basket Head; Cannon.
14 Mixer or Cancer; Cannoneer, nearer the axial centre (ingress).
15 Maker or Gemini; Sailor raising a sail (bag) by rope (rope) with another (doubled).
15g Galactic Gate; Captain’s loudhailer.

The ecliptic pole is unmarked as usual. The celestial pole is on Capt Hardy’s shoulder (limb-joint). The celestial south pole is on a kneeling sailor’s mouth. These markers are off the horizontal plane, but place summer in Taurus, thus spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Aquarius, ahead of the era of the Age Pisces work, but consistent with London as a progressive city. Cibber’s other major public work is the Great Fire Monument plaque, expressing the usual conservative time-frame, but the conscious theme of rebirth and cosmic Ages. All five layers of structural expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

Battle of St Vincent plaque

Battle of St Vincent plaque (Cibber. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter). No females are present, so the types 11 Womb or Virgo are on the ‘wombs’ of the men who also express type 13 Heart or Leo’s heart. The typology is listed adjacent.

Type label; Character (archetypal features):
2 Builder or Taurus; Admiral Nelson.
2c Basket; sail cover (container, weave).
3 Queen or Aries; Sailor A, looking up (long neck).
4 King Pisces; Soldier with two swords (twins), also expressing type 5a Priest or Aquarius (varicoloured, hyperactive).
4p Gal.S.Pole; Nelson’s elbow (limb joint).
5c Basket Tail; Rope coil.
6 Exile or Capricornus; Sailor B holding a spar (tree).
7 Child or Sagittarius; Sailor B’s hand on a sail (bag).
7g Galactic Centre: Bloodied sail on a spar (juncture).
9 Healer or Scorpius; Sailor wounded by a spar.
10 Teacher or Libra; Doctor (arm V-posture).
11 Womb or Virgo; Noble’s midriff (womb).
11p Galactic Pole: Noble’s shoulder (limb joint).
12 Heart or Leo; Noble’s chest (heart), presenting a sword (weapon).
13c Basket Head; Sailor with a hook?
14 Mixer or Cancer; Sailor top left, far from the centre (egress).
15 Maker or Gemini; Captain (order) conferring with an officer (doubled).

The ecliptic pole is on Nelson’s hip (limb joint). The celestial pole is on the noble’s jaw (limb joint 50%). The celestial south pole is on Nelson’s hand (limb joint). The horizontal plane confirms summer in Leo-Cancer, thus spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus-Aries. All five layers of structural expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

Battle of Copenhagen plaque

Battle of Copenhagen plaque (Cibber. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter). Here Nelson expresses only polar types; his arm stump and left elbow as 11p and 4p ‘galactic poles’, his heart and hip as ‘celestial poles’. Type 7 as a pulley lacks an eye, but still holds a rope. The typology is listed adjacent.

Type label; Character (archetypal features):
1,2 Builder or Taurus; Sailor A. And Sailor B behind.
3 Queen or Aries; Captain, reading map and holding a flag.
4 King or Pisces; Officer reading map (twins).
4p Gal.S.Pole; Nelson’s elbow (limb joint).
5a Priest or Aquarius; Sailor holding a wounded boy (inversion of 12).
5c Basket Tail; Map and hourglass.
6 Exile or Capricornus; Wounded boy (sacrifice, small).
7 Child or Sagittarius; Cannon’s pulley (unfolding, rope). NO EYE.
7g Galactic Centre: Five feet (path).
9 Healer or Scorpius; Wounded sailor.
10 Teacher or Libra; Doctor (arm V-posture).
11 Womb or Virgo; Officer’s belly (womb).
11p Galactic Pole: Nelson’s arm stump (limb joint).
12 Heart or Leo; Officer’s chest (heart).
13c Basket Head; Copenhagen buildings.
14 Mixer or Cancer; Nelson’s shoulder ? NO EYE.
15 Maker or Gemini; Sailor brother (doubled), his brother with a rope (rope).
15g Gate; Nelson, and a noble behind him (usually no character).

The ecliptic pole is on Nelson’s missing hand (limb joint). The celestial pole is on Nelson’s chest (more typical of 12/13 Heart or Leo, but his eye is not characterised). The celestial south pole is on Nelson’s hip (limb joint). The vertical plane confirms summer in Gemini-Taurus, thus spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Pisces-Aquarius, ahead of the work by about 200 years, but typical of London’s progressive spirit since the Great Fire of 1666. All five layers of structural expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

Battle of the Nile plaque

Battle of the Nile plaque (Cibber. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter). Here Nelson’s eye is type 14 Mixer, and his heart is type 13 Heart. A youth is the ‘womb’ of the future. The typology is listed adjacent.

Type label; Character (archetypal features):
2 Builder or Taurus; Sailor A leaning over (twisted).
3 Queen or Aries; Captain, looking back (bent neck).
4 King or Pisces; Sailor D, carrying a casualty down stairs (squatting) with sailor C (twins).
4p Gal.S.Pole; Sailor C’s neck (limb joint, rarely a neck).
5b Priest or Aquarius; Casualty (horizontal).
6 Exile or Capricornus; Sailor C’s chest, EYE OFF GRID.
7 Child or Sagittarius; Sailor E.
7g Galactic Centre: (water 15%, gate, juncture).
9 Healer or Scorpius; Sailor F, wounded (bent forward), tended by a boy (typical of 7).
10 Teacher or Libra; Boy medic (arms up).
11 Womb or Virgo; Sailor G’s midriff (womb). And eye.
11p Galactic Pole: Nelson’s missing hand (limb joint 68%).
13 Heaert or Leo; Nelson’s chest (heart).
14 Mixer or Cancer; Nelson, near the axial centre (ingress).
15 Maker or Gemini; Sailor carrying Nelson.

The ecliptic pole is on the captain’s shoulder (limb joint). The celestial poles are uncertain, The horizontal plane indicates summer in Cancer, thus spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Aries /Pisces /Aquarius, confirmed by the top central position of type 3 Queen or Aries as the captain. All five layers of structural expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

Order the London archetypal tour guide here:

Many pillars on London’s axis 9, 9B, 9c

Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square expresses one of the type 9 Healer (typical of pillars) sites in London (see the map and some extracts from Stonepint Journal 4, on and on

On a larger scale, the mindprint structure is expressed in London, as in all cities and building sites, where it is named stoneprint (Furter 2016). Nelson’s column is the main expression of type 9 Healer or Scorpius in London. The currently known features of type 9 Healer or Scorpius, some with known average percentages of recurrence in samples of about 50 or more artworks or building sites, are: pillar 50%, bent forward 30%, healer 11%, strength 9%, ritual, lamp.
Nelson’s column expresses two of these features (pillar, strength). The admiral and national hero had led his last naval battle off Cape Trafalgar in the English Channel in 1805 on 21 October, beating France and Spain combined under Napoleon. Here he was shot by a sniper on his ship Victory, in the spinal cord (bent forward). He had lost and arm and an eye in earlier battles. His statue of 17ft, on a pillar of 185ft, was erected in 1829. The pillar’s shadow geometry is based on the Great Pyramid (see also the Great Fire Monument, Stoneprint Journal 4, p24.). The pillar base has four reliefs of victories; Nile, Copenhagen, Cape St Vincent, Trafalgar. Four bronze lions (strength, see trump 8, virtue over monster jaws) were added on the corners in 1868.
Among the other features on London’s axis 9 Healer or Scorpius, are the Royal College of Physicians (healing); and the Queen Eleanor Cross site at Trafalgar Square south, of marble (pillar), a former survey zero point (incidentally on the same latitude as the London stoneprint axial centre across the river). One of twelve pillars on her body’s route from Lincoln, by Edward1. It was moved to Charing Cross, removed by the Republic, but replaced by a Charles1 statue. A replica stands at Charing Cross station.
Among the features on London’s adjacent axis 9 Healer ScorpiusB, are Trafalgar Square north-west corner, the empty plinth (pillar) for the Duke of York (William4), since 1999 bearing alternating statues. In 2018 it carried ‘Heroic Woman’, with short arms and legs, sitting flat (bent forward). In the north-east corner stands a George4 statue (intended for axis 12 Marble Arch in 1847). On this axis are also the National Gallery south side; Royal Institution former site; Museum of Mankind (strength feats); and Faraday Museum, Albermarle Str, to a pioneer of electricity (lamp), and a former Royal Society site. Ten elements were discovered here by electricity (strength).
Between axis 9 Healer or Scorpius and axis 10 Teacher or Libra, lies a wedge named 9c Basket Lid, known for recurrent themes of revelation 15%, law enforcement 9%, disc /wheel /crown, or snake. This wedge usually contains some additional expressions of type 9 or 10. Here lies Cleopatra’s Needle (type 9, pillar), linked in legend to a suicide by snakebite (snake), raised here in 1878 on Sep 13 over a time capsule (lid, revelation). Sphinxes (strength) were added later. The 9c Basket Lid wedge also contains the London Coliseum theatre (9 strength feats, pillars. See Rome 9 Coliseum, canvas texture, on the cover); London Palladium (pillar), named after a protective stone (healer); Royal Institute of British Architects (9 pillar), with interior columns of black marble (9 pillar); Hanover Square St George church Corinthian portico (9 pillar); St Martin in the Fields Corinthian portico (9 pillar); and Ripley’s Believe it or Not curiosities (revelation).

STONEPRINT Journal series

This post is an extract from a supplement to Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities.

Or order the book Stoneprint (2016), or Mindprint (2014); or slide show talks; or to contribute articles, email or call +27 (0)11 955 6732. Four Equators Media, Johannesburg. ISBN 978-0-620-69863-4

Back editions of 16pp, at $/E 12 plus postage each:
1 Pictish beasts ‘zodiac’
2 Crop circles are natural artworks
3 The stoneprint tour of Paris
4 The stoneprint tour of London. This edition is available from (24 pages, $18),

5 Culture code in seals and ring stamps

6 Rennes le Chateau stoneprint tour., $10.

Students of anthropology, art history, psychology; and lovers of art and rock art should consider ordering editions with the book Mindprint (about 264 pages, 200 illustrations, $29).

culture is subconscious

Debate: Are cultural correspondences due to diffusion, or archetype?

Author Alistair Coombs posted a link to some Ice Age engravings in support of his correspondence theory of the diffusion of attributes of the Pleiades and Ursa asterisms (,1128408,1128408#msg-1128408). Mindprint author Edmond Furter demonstrates that correspondences run much deeper than a few hearsay tales. Here is an extract of part of the debate.
“Alistair, you affirm your view that “cultural diffusion routes… reflect DNA migration trails”, traceable in asterism personification variants.
But DNA is mixed, with few links to localised culture. The only inborn culture is universal.
You cite songlines “associated with astronomy at a national level” of scale in Australia.
But diffusion and standardisation of asterisms does not imply that incidental details of personification are developmental; nor that culture arises from diffusion.
You link my work to “David Lewis-Williams… mythic patterns neurologically generated rather than observed in culturally isolated traditions, which might account for similarities, like Jungian archetypes.”
But Lewis-Williams never uses any concepts or terms related to archetype or Jung. He summarised his recent position (2012) on ethnography as ‘individual idiosyncrasy, within a cultural framework’. He cites Megan Biesele on cultural motifs that may or may not ‘catch on’. This agrees with your paradigm of development and diffusion.
My research findings support and develop Plato, Jung and Levi-Strauss, not the cognitive trance dance rationalisation school.
You write that cognitive archaeology ignores astronomy.
But there is very little astronomy in cultural media. Babylonian, Sumerian, Indian, Chinese and Arabic decans and artworks, for example, are all mutating sets of calendric characters (Neugebauer and Parker 1996), useless for observational astronomy except as more or less arbitrary labels. Culture does not come from the sky, and is not sustained by the sky.
We agree that “zodiacal conceptions are not entirely neurologically generated,” but for different reasons. My research indicates that layers of archetypal meaning and structure are inherent in nature and in perception, with some inherent options allowing economic polities some differences, and a thick layer of stylisation (such as different sound strings in languages).
You doubt my finding of a “universal, subconscious, compulsive impulse” for “sounding elaborate”.
But the human sciences have fallen behind natural sciences partly due to populist simplification. I had found the ‘periodic table’ of culture, which simplifies the study of culture, by charting its quirks and structural complexities. Your diffusionist paradigm sounds like alchemical correspondence theory, before discovery and eventual acceptance of the periodic table. And it sounds generally true, meaning that it is not testable, in Popper’s definition of science.
You found that ‘the Pleiades came to be associated with flood… after being seven pursued maidens… more abstract parts of Taurus… both remain in cultural memory.’
But there is no secure way of dating the various attributes of this archetype. I listed about five or six attributes of type 2 Builder or Taurus, in my initial comment above. These attributes have always appeared at fixed average frequencies in artworks and building sites worldwide, anciently and in modern times, and will continue to do so. Archetypes are not man-made, and do not arise from major events. Events express archetype.
You found Taurus and Orion “less problematic than Ursa and the Pleiades, because Taurus [Hyades] reasonably resembles a bull or horned beast; and Orion resembles a man.”
But V-shaped buccrania are rare in art (see Gobekli Tepe images in the link I gave in my initial comment). Hyades and Orion-Auriga star lore is complex (Allen 1899).
You note that “Ursa and the Pleiades resemble each other in shape.”
But culture is more complex than visual gestalt (making wholes from suggestive parts based on relative proximity and magnitude). Egyptian myth links them since they are 90 degrees apart, former spring to former midsummer, equinox to celestial pole; and both have seven major stars. That common knowledge prompted conscious recognition of the archetypal motif of spring sacrifice, at the time of a bull foreleg, cast to the polar region as a severed foreleg-bull, and later a smaller one when the celestial pole and thus midsummer moved closer to Ursa Minor.
We agree that “Ursa does not suggest a bear, and Pleiades do not suggest a group of women.” But archetype prompts the rest of the picture, ritual, calendar, myth map, and compromises with peculiarities of diffused crafts, such as religion and legend.
You found that asterisms “came to represent different things to different cultures across time and space, which may not warrant input from an archetypal paradigm.”
But most star lore (Allen list all the known features from classical and modern sources) expresses almost all the elements of cultural structure, and few superfluous ones (which are often due to conscious correspondence theory ambiguation, or interference, and to a few inherent ambiguities, of which I have identified five, in Mindprint 2014). The archetypal paradigm confirms that asterisms and other cultural features do not “become”, and do not “represent things”. Star lore, myth, calendar, ritual and building sites did not start on blank canvases, and do not rest on idiosyncratic foundations (which do not eventually “become” cultural frameworks, as the current “scientific” paradigm assumes).
You note that ‘sevens might be archetypal, but also [arise from] language systems… meaningless [in the] Palaeolithic era.’
But language, which you probably equate with evolving cognition, does not dictate art, calendar, ritual or practical crafts. My research indicates that cultural media do not, and thus did not ‘evolve’. Paleolithic assemblages are complex and complete (textiles, needles, buttons, jewellery, cosmetics, fire, art, ritual, calendar, myth), lacking only metals, probably due to lack of population. Stone Age language was probably equal to any language, with stone, bone and mastic terminology instead of metallurgy.
You found that “The Pleaides came to represent a central role in the cosmologies of different cultures.”
But the function of every part of cosmology depends on the other parts. The Pleiades are meaningless without Sirius in Gemini, Hydra under Cancer, Regulus in Leo, Spica in Virgo, Antares in Scorpius, the three visible poles, three equators, and the rest of the ‘story’.
There is only one cosmology, with several different format options (ecliptic, celestial, galactic; months or hours; geometric or mythic; and so on).
Your partly agree with me, that “co-incidences of migration and trade routes with cultural elements, form a circular argument that reveals nothing about culture or humanity, unless it is studied in the archetypal paradigm,” but you remain in the conscious, developmental, diffusionist paradigm: “how ancient or extinct people storied their skies.” But our species is not extinct. Neanderthal, Denisovan, Flores and other mutational variants could re-appear.
You are working on “an early observational history… and genetic trail linking Siberia, North America, Melanesia and Australia… how such identities might remain in isolated groups for unexpectedly long periods… looking at the same constellations.”
But the same dots in the sky alone do not account for the correspondences, as you acknowledge. Nor does cultural contact. Archetypal expression of culture in various media is a simpler explanation.
We agree that the Seven Sisters and other characters “likely stem from very deep, archaic sources,” but you add the term “from observation”.
If our sky was as opaque as that of Venus, we would have used other canvases, such as long lines, geoglyphs, landmarks and building sites more extensively.
You do not see archetype at work in “what determines what we see in an asterism, other than resemblances.”
But Plato and many other philosophers found archetype to be inherent in nature. Your assumed detailed diffusion does not even explain all the visible correspondences between cultures separated in time and space. And you offer no explanation for the five layers and about 75 features of identical structural in 600 artworks and building sites, many of which I have posted a link to above.
For the Pleiades, you propose “a cosmic hunt theme, reformulated into a flood narrative, retaining earlier actors or depictions of space.”
But some Pleiades lore and images do not involve a hunt. And some flood stories do not single out the Pleiades.
On Ursa, you cite Asiatic-American parallels of Ursa as a bear “of immense antiquity”. Meaning Ice Age art.
But Ursa is not always a bear. And bear images do not all express Ursa. See the structuralist analysis of a doubled mindprint in the Trois Frere cave engraving, Mindprint p150-151, also via my link above, or in my GH AOM September 2015 article, where a bear frontal face, top left, subconsciously expresses type 15 Maker or Gemini.

Ice Age engraving in Trois Frere cave ‘sanctuary’ (After Donsmaps. Structuralist analysis by Edmond Furter).

Or see the structuralist analysis of the Trois Frere ‘Sanctuary’ engraving to which you posted a link, where a baby bear frontal face expresses an extra type 1 Builder or Taurus [here labelled 2Ta in error, it should be 1Ta, as the 1Ta elephant on the same axis], which the sky expresses as Auriga and Orion. Its outer eye expresses type 15g, which in the sky is the Galactic Gate and Polaris at the Ursa Minor (Small Bear) ‘hoof’. Art is not cosmology or astronomy of course, but all media express aspects of archetypal structure. The frontal face does not seem to be graffito, since this panel has some unusual false starts or later additions (mostly between types 8 and 9 Healer or Scorpius). [UPDATE; If it is graffiti, it does not disrupt any of the five layers of archetypal structure that artists and sometimes collaborators express.]
You warn researchers to ignore ethnographic sources of the last 100 years, to avoid contamination by “the information bubble”; and you cast suspicion that archetypal theories are contaminated by mass media, and thus diffusion mistaken as subconscious inspiration.
But standardisation had started in the Egyptian empire, and the Greek world, and the Chinese empires, and expanded in the Roman Empire; thus the last century is a random number. Notable recent ‘savage’ exceptions include the Picts in Scotland (see Stoneprint Journal 1; Pictish beasts, at, yet even there some Germanic, Scandinavian and Norse influences are visible.
The level of archetypal detail that I have isolated in cultural media, rises above diffusion and imitation. And in some examples, diffusion is entirely ruled out (as in the faint engraving in the recently opened Berriruata cave in Spain, sealed off for millennia, see my article in the anthropology journal Expression).
There is probably no diffusion between the Trois Frere examples and anybody anywhere, yet several artworks in that cave express mindprint in as much detail as any artwork anywhere, at any time. The list of archetypes that I give above, could be used to write a caption for the artwork (that you chose to support one of your points), by simply deleting the features that are not expressed; but are expressed in other Ice Age artworks. The same applies to Gobekli Tepe, Sumer, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Picts, and about ten artists whom I know personally. They were all astonished when I demonstrated to them the extent of their subconscious repertoire. But they remain calm and keep on ‘designing’ artworks. As I expect that correspondence theorists will keep calm and keep on calculating diffusion routes, until a hundred of them have seen a hundred examples of mindprint in their data.
The explanation for this over-determined set of correspondences, and the study of culture, and the implications for who we are, has to involve archetype.
Alistair, I believe our irreconcilable differences are all paradigmatic. We look at the same data from different perspectives.

culture is subconscious

California rock art confirms: culture is subconscious

California’s Painted Rock includes a very long rock art panel in a semi-geometric style typical of herder cultures generally, comparable to much of western North American art. Some of the features and styling are distinctive to this site. Despite the length, and apparent separation of the long panel into four separate groups, there are only about eighteen semi-naturalistic characters (people or animals) in the panel, inviting structural analysis of their attributes and relative spacing (Reconstruction from photographs and drawings by Campbell Grant. Type labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter. Colour inverted for clarity. Image length condensed to separate relative spacing).

[UPDATE 2016; See structural analyses of buildings, villages, temples, complexes, pyramid fields, geoglyphs and cities at My second book, Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities (400 pages, 130 illustrations), demonstrates that cultural grammar, or the periodic table of culture, is innate, and readable in all our works.]

Painted Rock, California (Campbell Grant. Mindprint labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter, 2016). This is a myth map, and subconscious expression of archetypal structure. It is not a star map, despite the inclusion of some constellations, such as Gemini on the right.
Painted Rock, California (Campbell Grant. Type labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter, 2016). This is a myth map, and subconscious expression of archetypal structure. It is not a star map, despite the inclusion of some constellations, such as Gemini on the right.

Some of the features of rock art, and noted in structural analysis as frequent in all art, seem cartoonish due to the styling. However all distinctive visual features, once reduced to their basic postures, or items, could be considered cartoons (see Maurice Cotterell’s demonstration of cartoon animation in Mayan art, by moving duplicate overlays around various polar points).

Campbell Grant, who meticulously reconstructed this magnificent and mysterious rock art panel, worked at Walt Disney. However styling is no indication of spiritual or cultural complexity or quality. Some San Bushmen, and Michelangelo, sculpted and painted much better than Lapp drum illustrators, yet they, and non-artists, are equally human, and get equal benefit from a good story or song or movie (see a European settler woman’s version of some of these characters, in a new mindprint, below).

Type label; Characters in California’s Painted Rock (noting archetypal features);

1 Builder or Taurus as a skin, perhaps of a buffalo (bovid).
2 Builder or Taurus as a burrower, or the hind paw of a large animal or skin in twisted posture (twisted). Some rock art express animals by their tracks or tail tufts (see Twyfelfontein engravings in Namibia, in Mindprint). The character over the animal or skin may have hoofs (bovid). The character under this could be a spider (of type 2c Basket, as it is on a Gobekli Tepe pillar, see an adjacent post).

2c Basket; Extra head of the lightning person
3 Queen or Aries as tall lightning person (neck long or bent). Lightning is more typical of type 2 adjacent, (see USA Cienega Mission turtle woman engraving, Mindprint p110).

4 King or Pisces; Peak or cliff, perhaps of Painted Rock itself. NO EYE.
4p Gal.S.Pole; Outline corner? (juncture).

5a Priest or Aquarius as a peak or cliff outside Painted Rock. NO EYE.
5b Priest or Aquarius as a shrimp or boat (varicoloured, hyperactive, horizontal).

4c Basket Tail as extra features?
6 Exile or Capricornus as a swimmer or fish (tail), with a proboscis or snorkel (see 6 as Pan with a flute or double flute, and 6 as Kokopelli or long-nosed characters, in Mindprint p160-163).
6 Exile or Capricornus B as a turtle, far from the centre (egress). Its opposite at 14 is more often a turtle, or two turtles. Splitting of this type into two is unusual, however 6 may be double-headed (Mindprint p161).
6 Exile or Capricornus EXTRA; A swimmer, more typical of 5 adjacent, OFF THE GRID

7 Child or Sagittarius as a baggy person (bag), in wavy outlines (rope).
7g Galactic Centre on large human with ‘pirate’ hat. This is the only naturalistic figure whose eyes are not on the grid, but it is pictured without eyes, with a lizard? over one eye, and with unnatural eyes on top of its head.

8 Healer or Scorpius; A skin person (common in rock art worldwide, usually at type 7), or jellyfish?
9 Healer or Scorpius; Two men, arms raised in dance (trance, ritual. This feature does not imply that artists are healers).

9c Basket Lid as a man in the dance row.
10 Teacher or Libra as the main dancer, arms in W posture (arms up).

11 Womb or Virgo as a double circle (interior), inside a plan or Painted Rock, which resembles a vagina and womb (womb).
11p Galactic Pole; Painted Rock entrance right side (juncture).

12 Heart or Leo; Axis to a chest (heart), of a man standing in the nearby mountain range. Compare this mountain, perhaps Sierra Madre (in light colour, here dark due to colour inversion), with Picasso’s light-bulb in his Guernica, in Mindprint p103. The likeness is coincidence, or archeitypal, not due to diffusion.
13 Heart or Leo; An animal climbing, axis on its heart (heart), perhaps felid (felid).

13c Basket Head; Lightning bolt, and a plant? (weave, herb).
14 Mixer or Cancer; Water woman with two containers (mix), between two snakes (water-snake, as in decan Hydra); between two trees (tree). See Tarot trump 14, Temperance, as the angel of Time with two jugs.

15 Maker or Gemini; Two people (doubled), arm in arm, on a shrimp resembling a quipo rope (rope), behind them a bag shape (bag). Two stars above them (doubled). This is probably a conscious expression of constellation Gemini, which also subconsciously express type 15 Maker, as a worldly re-creator. The only other figure here resembling a constellation, is type 10 Teacher or Libra resembling Bootes, which in the sky is north of Virgo (in the ecliptic grid). The design does not resemble a sky map in any projection. The mindprint model uses astronomical labels to tag relevant myths, seasons, and characteristics. Artists are not astronomers.

15g Gate; Two (doubled, of 15) rectangular shapes, one gridded by lines (grid. See the Coricancha mural in Peru, in Mindprint).

The axial centre is unmarked, as in most artworks. The celestial pole is on an inlet shape (juncture). The celestial south pole may be on Painted Rock interior wall (juncture). These markers, and horizontal plain of most of the figures (orientation), place ‘midsummer’ on or near Gemini, thus ‘spring’ and the cultural inspiration or formation in Age Pisces. The work as probably made about AD 1000 or later, about the middle of Age Pisces. However this aspect of subconscious expression is always approximate. All five levels of structuralist expression are subconscious to artists and members of all cultures.

The overall theme in this large panel could be type 14 Mixer or Cancer, of time and calendar; and its opposite, type 6 Exile or Capricornus, of scapegoat, Pan, music and dance.

Artworks test mindprint in turn

The informal mindprint analysis score is ….[see an update of the scoring formula in Stoneprint Journal, and in some other posts….] about 70%. The global average of structuralist tests of artworks worldwide, is about 60% of the 100 elements of the five layers of structure already isolated.

Scoring of all structural analyses may change as more elements of collective subconscious cultural expression are identified. Discovery of more high frequency features would raise the scores. Discovery of more low frequency features would lower the scores, by raising the number of non-expressions. No definitive scoring of art is possible. Scoring is an indication of the overall validity of the mindprint model, and demonstrates the high level of consistency in subconscious expressions globally.

Validity of the isolate features are already proven by statistical tests of the average frequencies of regular attributes; by about 700 examples of their sequence, and axial grids, polar structures, and temporal orientations; in various media; and by only three examples of artworks with more than 11 characters where the structure could not be found.

Long and narrow, but the structure is still there

Painted Rock is the longest, narrowest artwork among the first 556 works tested, to reveal a single mindprint set, in standard sequence, on the ocular (eye-to-eye) axial rid, with the polar structure, and its temporal ‘Age’ relative to the horizontal plane of its figures (see elongated axial grids in Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Mindprint p198; and in South Africa’s Mossel Bay rock art river scene, recorded by Jeremy Hollmann, where a mindprint test revealed a double imprint).

Painted Rock inspires myth and fantasy

Painted Rock in Californa is in San Luis Obispo county, on the Carrizo Plain. It is a free-standing marine sandstone outcrop near the Sierra Madre range, at the southern tip of the Great Central Valley. In the interior alcove of the horseshoe-shaped rock, are pictographs by Chumash, or Salinan, or Yokut Americans. Entrance to the horseshoe is on the north. The elevation profile from some angles resembles a turtle.

The main rock art panel is 250 feet across and 45 feet tall. The section analysed here is not the entire panel. The site is near Soda Lake, in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, west of Bakersfield, 70 miles (110 km) east of San Luis Obispo, 45 miles (72 km) west of Taft. The art is in red, black and white yucca pigments, and some yellow, green and blue, with rodent tail hair brushes, or finger painting. Yokut art often include large colorful figures and motifs. Some are made Chumash art of small elements, circular mandalas, and complex red, black and white panels. The Goodwin Education Center is near Painted Rock.

Fauna in the area include rattlesnake, burrowing kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat, San Joaquin antelope squirrel, marine turtles, shrimps.

Some other sites are also named ‘Painted Rock’. The name Piedra Pintada could be confused with Pedra Pintada in Brazil.

Some ink drawings of the pictographs were sketched in the 1870s by pioneer resident Mary Brumley Noyes. See structural analysis of one of her drawings in Furter 2014; Mindprint p138. Here is an extract;

California's Painted Rock panel in a partial copy. Mary Brumley Noyes, pen an ink on paper. Mindprint labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter. The copyist expressed some elements in a new structure, typical of 'traditional' art programmes, and of free hand copies
California’s Painted Rock panel in a partial copy. Mary Brumley Noyes, pen an ink on paper. Type labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter. The copyist expressed some elements in a new structure, typical of ‘traditional’ art programmes, and of free hand copies.




New world, new culture, same shapes
Types 5a and 5b Priest or Aquarius are expressed as a world spirit, in this free-hand copy of some of the characters in a large rock art panel in California (by Pioneer settler, Mary Brumley Noyes. Ink pen on paper. Type labels and axial grid by Edmond Furter). The main figure is a large, horizontal, active, composite, dappled, benedicting healer, river baptiser, or nature spirit, as type 5often is, partly in his occasional vesica piscis halo, here around his head, conflated with some type 6 Exile or Capricornus features (see an African antelope man-boat with mushrooms. See a lightning woman in another USA rock art image, in Mindprint).

11 Womb or Virgo as a shrimp or boat, and autumn marker (see the Egyptian Hierakonpolis disc as stylistic parallel, above).

7g Galactic Centre as a luminary (light or pool).

Some features are semi-geometric, and many are assumed to be ‘cultural and traditional’, such as the animal skins on the left.

10 Teacher or Libra as a kachina doll, a ritual pageant mascot, as of Hopi culture (Gary A David; Orion zone). The original work has some unique features, such as the bandy legs, localised stylistic elements.

Mindprint remains independent of conscious meanings, with enough symbolic overlap to make the subconscious typological sequence apparent. The axial pattern is never apparent, revealed only in the sequence, itself identified only when reduced from its cryptic cultural disguise to universal attributes, such as shape, gender, posture and function.

The original work, and the copy, are notable for elegance (simplicity), and for hovering between geometry and figures, between ‘abstract’ and figurative. Both versions demonstrate that provenance (time, place, source and cultural context) remain subordinate to universal and timeless structure, however seemingly conceptual in inspiration.

The ecliptic pole is on the main figure’s elbow.
Celestial poles on an extra elbow on the left, and the lightning bolt or water arm, provide a gauge through the preceding Ages up to the 15 Gemini axis,
midsummer to Age Pisces, confirmed by the horizontal plane.

A celestial polar marker in the southern hemisphere (here the lower triangle) on the upper hand or club, confirms the inspirational tag as Age Pisces.

Here is a structuralist analysis of the Hierakonpolis disc for comparison;

Hierakonpolis disc, Egypt. Mindprint labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter.
Hierakonpolis disc, Egypt. Type labels and axial grid added by Edmond Furter.

A romantic novel, The Painted Rock: A legend, by Myron Angel in 1910, was inspired by the Californian Painted Rock site. Many of Angel’s fictitious fancies have since become regarded as historical and ethnographical fact (Whitley, DS, 2007; National Historic Landmark Nomination).

See more art analysis examples, and text on the philosophy and psychology of archetype, and on structural anthropology, on

Comments are welcome on that blog, or this blog

See an article on structural rock art analysis in Expressions 9, at

Order the book Mindprint, by Edmond Furter (2014), with 200 art and rock art illustrations, a critique of cognitive archaeology and art history, references, and an index of 400 tested artworks, from