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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Temple `On Dog'
The starting point for Robert Temple's famous work of scholarship is the very precise and detailed astronomical knowledge which two French anthropologists discovered to be possessed by the Dogon tribe in North-West Mali in the 1960s. It transpired that the Dogon knew a great deal about Sirius `The Dog Star', one of the brightest stars in the sky and one of Earth's nearest...
Published 19 months ago by The Guardian

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not what expected - most of narative was about Egypt not the actual tribe.Not recommended
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Temple `On Dog', 25 May 2013
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
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The starting point for Robert Temple's famous work of scholarship is the very precise and detailed astronomical knowledge which two French anthropologists discovered to be possessed by the Dogon tribe in North-West Mali in the 1960s. It transpired that the Dogon knew a great deal about Sirius `The Dog Star', one of the brightest stars in the sky and one of Earth's nearest stellar neighbours at only 2.6 parsecs' distance. Sirius is the most prominent star in the constellation Canis Major (the `Big Dog') and was frequently represented as a dog in Egyptian mythology, in which it held the highest importance. Curiously, Dogon anagrams easily to `On Dog' but this verbal exercise in English-language wordplay is nowhere near the weirdest thing about the Dogon's obsession with the Sirius system.

The astounding thing is that they also know of Sirius B, a white dwarf companion of the main star which is invisible to the naked human eye and wasn't even found by western astronomers until the 20th century. Furthermore, they know precise astronomical details of the orbit period of the binary system: 50 years, a number which Temple discovered to be central to not only the Dogon's sacred rituals but also to those of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Dogon know the white dwarf Sirius B to be of immense density, and describe that if an amount of the star's material the size of a small rock which can be held in the human hand were present on Earth, it would weigh "more than all the iron in the world together" and would be impossible for any human to lift from the ground.

It doesn't stop there. They also claim the system has a third star and can draw diagrams of how the three stars interact and orbit around one another. Astronomers have predicted that based on the behaviour of the now-known binary system there should indeed be a third massive body present somewhere to account for the visibly eccentric movements of the known two, though the third star has yet to be found. They also claim a planet in this triple-star system to be the origin of visitors to the human race millennia ago who imparted all the knowledge of civilisation and classical science to our ancestors, and moreover describe with diagrams very precisely the orbital period of this planet and its trajectory around the star system.

They also know about the four Galilean Moons of the planet Jupiter, and about the rings around Saturn, neither of which are visible without a telescope.

All this is integral to Dogon cosmology and sacred rituals, which they claim to be very ancient and to originate from these visitors from the Sirius system millennia ago.

From acknowledgment that these complex astronomical data have been factually known by the Dogon tribe in great detail for at least centuries, but with no possible `conventional' or `scientific' source available to them, Temple begins his enquiry. The reader is warned that the middle chapters of the book contain a mass of detail about the myths and cosmology of the ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks and Phoenicians which is often very hard going, but Temple does at least offer a small-print 2-page summary to close each chapter.

Temple concludes that the most likely explanation to fit the facts is something close to what the Dogon claim to be the truth. He finds all the astronomical knowledge held by the Dogon as sacred to also be present in other cosmologies from the classical world, where Sirius invariably plays a `starring' role. There is a great deal of evidence that the legendary visitors might have originated from an aquatic environment and been physiologically amphibious, repulsive and shocking to behold to our human ancestors and a long way from the beautiful angelic beings one might expect if the stories of enlightened godlike visitors from the stars had been just invented. Almost all the really ancient classical cultures make references to these beings, and their descriptions are all similar.

The sobering thing about `The Sirius Mystery' is that Temple is no flaky conspiracy-theorist or alternative historian (for example he doesn't believe UFO sightings to be evidence of latter-day extra-terrestrial visitation). He is a diligent and patient academic scholar who seeks out original documents and sources, often not available in the English language, and has obviously committed years to this study. To construct any convincing alternative narrative to that put forward by the author, you're going to have to do the same work he has done or else your arguments are going to look rather lame, and originating from ignorant ideological convictions.

I hold back from awarding 5 stars to `The Sirius Mystery' because it's a tough read; ultimately the author might have made his point more succinctly with better editing, offering a less prolix torrent of information for the reader and more careful selection of data. But his dedication to solving this mystery is genuine enough. Robert Temple's intelligent academic approach might even be seen by some as too conservative and, in the face of such astounding conclusions about the possible origins of human civilization founded on (apparently) persistently corroborated evidence, his restraint is commendable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone who thinks about the origins of man and myth., 27 May 2009
By 
Peter Buckley "peter15115" (Dyfed, Wales) - See all my reviews
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I have finally read 'The Sirius Mystery' after many years of reading about it secondhand. It appears most authors either love or loathe Robert Temple's theory. Although like the majority of readers, I will take a lot of convincing about alien contact, the effort of the author in trying to make sense of the beliefs of the Dogon in the light of better known Egyptian, Sumerian and Greek myth is impressive to say the least. I found myself checking sources and alternative explanations, reaching the conclusion that Robert Temple is a careful and honest scholar. Read the book and see for yourself!
PS..A comment passed on by Michael Palin was good: "How many people are there in an average Dogon Family? Five: Two adults, two children and a French Anthropologist!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting key to Mankind's ancestry, if a little long-winded, 24 Sep 2011
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The facts which Robert Temple analyzes are amazing and should be known to all - the survival of correct astronomical information in a primitive tribe that concerns bodies invisible to the naked eye deserves analysis. Be warned though that where the author tries to connect the Dogon tribe's ancestry with the Sumerians and Egyptians it is not light reading. To give just a taste of this to warn off the unwary buyer, I quote a typical passage: '...Aarti is a common name of both Isis and Nephthys, and Nephthys is more closely connected with the companion of Sirius. The appellation Aruru is thus closer to Sirius B, who is also represented by Enkidu, than another name for the goddess Sirius which was not specifically shared with Nephthys, the dark companion. This word also means 'uraei' and we have just seen that the other word for the 'uraei' is related to the horizon of Sirius B's orbit, as well as also being shared with Isis and Nephthys - obviously shared because the orbit described by one is described around the other, and as we have seen several times, the orbit was common to them both and divided their respective precincts...etc'. Yes, it's so obvious isn't it? The chapter the passage is taken from is around 50 pages long, and by the end of the Appendices, some of which can be left unread, you'll have covered 600 pages. It's not all heavy-going, other parts can be both fascinating and humorous, even if in the foreword he wants us to believe that the CIA and Nasa are on his back, after mentioning elsewhere the paranoia of some writers! As can be imagined, there is a lot of speculation and linguistic analysis in this book, some reasonable, some just too tenuous to be believable in my opinion. My tip to others so as not to waste as much time as I did: buy it and read the interesting parts, and don't be afraid to start skipping pages when you get bogged down in the analysis.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply, the best argument for alien contact ever written., 23 Dec 2001
A hugely impressive, deeply researched, and very detailed study of the beliefs and knowledge of the Dogon tribe of West Africa by a great polymath. Essential reading for anyone interested in the possibility of alien contact, it will also interest those who study ancient knowledge and prehistory. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece!!, 6 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sirius Mystery (Paperback)
The book itself is let's say an opulent spume of knowledge!! Mr. Temple deftly wrote his masterpiece and that is why I guess it looks so fecund for those of you who are voracious fans of all the space mysteries, aliens and stuff like that. The flux is shown as a really very ebullient thing itself and also it wakes up your hidden temptation to re-read the book repeatedly, again and again. I still have sort of a spiritual exaltation of mine and I suggest you to try it out and to read the book by Robert K. G. Temple called "the Sirius Mystery". Why not to open a new mystery for yourself??
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sirius Mystery, 16 Feb 2012
By 
M. L. Shannon (bristol england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sirius Mystery: Conclusive New Evidence of Alien Influence on the Origins of Humankind in the Traditions of an African Tribe (Hardcover)
One thing you cannot take away from Robert Temple and that is his extraordinary attention to his research which on the face is pretty meticulous, That said his book is padded out with other peoples writings to which he uses to enforce his argument. However i will say if you can get past his constant cross referencing his book stand up to the rigours of time, his findings on some of our ancient heritage has been passed down to the Dogon Tribe of Mali through word of mouth with much knowledge about the stars and information that came from "out there". The thing about this tribe who were relatively cut off from the rest of civilization but had knowledge far superior that what would be expected of such peoples. This book was the first one i ever read a few years ago on ancient astronaut theories and it was a springboard to other material. his sources for this book alone should provide you with enough to further your research.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and concise presentation of fact, 6 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Temple's book is a detailed and well-documented presentation of research results. He deals with a delicate and almost heretical topic in the eyes of many of his colleagues in a professional manner that is hard to dismiss. Highly Recommended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 26 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Sirius Mystery: Conclusive New Evidence of Alien Influence on the Origins of Humankind in the Traditions of an African Tribe (Hardcover)
Not what expected - most of narative was about Egypt not the actual tribe.Not recommended
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous and fascinating Read of possible human origin, 17 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sirius Mystery (Paperback)
If one takes the time to reason the immaculent impossibility that evolution could have achieved something as complex as the human speicies in such an apparent short space of time, while at the same time take millenia upon millenia to creat even the very basic of life forms on the planet seems almost, if not immpossible to believe. While I cannot say based on the assumptions that Robert Temple puts forth in his book the Sirius Mystery are all correct, what I can say is that when taken as whole, one can only logically draw one immutable conclusion - that the idea that life here began or at least has its roots someplace else off the planet, possibly in the Siruis star stystem,is as good as any other idea, or evolutionary speculation put forth by modern science - I think even better. The idea that even if evolution is true, and I do in fact believe that science has proven that living things do change and adapt to various changes in the invioronment over time, however, they don't mutate into entire different animal groups. By this I mean, plants are always plants, a bird is always a bird, a fish is always a fish, a reptile is always a reptile, a monkey is always a monkey, and a humanbeing is always a human being. Body styles may very, along with color and various adaptations suited to ones own environment and his ability to survive. It seems logical that we should be able to see the missing links in the fossil record between animal group to animal group concidering the amount of fossils we have at our disposal. All we can see, however, is the similarity between one animal group and another. Physical adaptations change again and again over time but the underlying animal type does not change over time. The Sirius Mystery causes one to question the current scientific dogma of our time which totally ignors the possibility of outside intervention from another scource, which on the face of things, is the only logical answer that can be given. The Sirius Mystery puts forth the very plausible notion that humanbeings are a cross between a type of ape now extinct and a devine being with human like qualities. The Bible as well as every other religeon with roots deep in the past seems to confirm this in one respect or another. There is a bond between us and our alien creator which is programmed into our DNA. This difference seperates us from all other speicies of animal life on the planet. We are programmed and therebye demonstrate by design, our God like ability to build civilizations, build rockets and start new colonies on other plannets just like our creators did millenia and millenia ago on this plannet called Earth using their own prevailing technowledgy. This is our God like nature right or wrong and our fullfilment/link to our allien past. Thank You for your book Robert Temple.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Dec 2014
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Another great read 😉
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