Memory Practice

Posted Jan. 10, 2020 by Theun Karelse

Lynne Kelly wrote two books on how pre-literate cultures stored information. I've been interested in early hominids in Europe for a long time. Her work is the first time that I really feel a door has been opened that gives a deeper insight into those societies.

Its remarkable. She's stumbled onto the subject by accident, but is rediscovering something central to our species for vast amounts of time: how cultures encoded (environmental) knowledge. And she has a hands-on approach (exploring songlines, mind-palaces, memory devices, narrative strategies, etc.) See her extensive description on techniques.

Since the new year I've started to try out things myself. I'm currently building up my first songline in our street (not literally a song) based on the history of the planet: the rise of the dinosaurs is at the old-ladies-hat-store, their demise at the cafe by the traffic light. Early hominids appear at the hear dresser around the corner and Lucy is found when I reach a small womens-fashion shop. It's a walk through time.


The first appearance of land-plants (flowershop) and the Cambrian explosion (daycare center) in our street and part of my prehistoric journey around 540 mya.

here is Lynne Kelly giving an introduction