"Ancient Australian Aboriginal Memory Tool Superior to ‘Memory Palace’ Learning"

Sounds similar to my main memory palace… well actually, it’s a memory ranch. I use my parents ranch where I grew up as my main memory palace with different paths, barns, buildings, holding different subsections of information. I have a copy of my memory ranch which is just the version I remember from childhood (different buildings, different worn out paths etc.) My main memory palace really isn’t a palace at all, in fact I almost never store things in buildings unless they’re very important. I can set myself at the top of our driveway now and still see the old images my mom listed off a few weeks ago which I have yet to clean out: Tricycle, bicycle, seaweed, tire, couch, swastika, alien, paintbrush, Christmas, Door, Window, baby rattle, milk, clock. All right where I left em, mixed up with a couple of the items my wife left there when I did the same trick with her. I’d better clean out my driveway! Been avoiding using this memory ranch until I visit again. I can picture myself walking anywhere well enough but to be conscious as you’re ACTUALLY walking a specific path gives an indescribable amount of strength to one’s memory. This must be why the Aboriginnes could memorize so much more - their memory palaces were EXPANSIVE yet all in the same place-connected to eachother. I think about my memory palaces and they’re all scattered around MILES apart from eachother. Imagine if the entirety of your spacial memory was connected within walking distance? Your memory palace potential would be HUGE and finding information would be much quicker. This is fascinating, I might have to get spend some serious time at my memory ranch.


Sorry, Stefos. It Dr Kelly’s fault as all I can think about is her book Memory Code. Big recommendation on that one. Does depend on where you are on your journey though as I think I know just enough for this to be why is no one talking about these other techniques.

One of the points of the Memory Code is about Stonehenge being a replacement for walking through the actual space so agree you need to be in the space a bit however look at things like memory boards (Luba lukasa). There has been studies with athletes about practice vs mental practice were mental practice has been found to be better than more actual practice.
I am thinking of doing 3 print outs like the winter count only with my PAO so a spiral of my Person, Actions and Objects. Also thinking of having a border with images in so touch the football and run through the fa cups. Sort of making memory boards for remembering year based information. Also got that rosary idea which seems interesting.
I might have to get serous and start a journal…

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[quote=“LynneKelly, post:60, topic:63062, full:true”]
And so, straight into memory palaces - naming locations - knowledge stored in vivid stories linked to Country. People on memory forums will see that link in a way that most others won’t!
I glimpsed that in my brief scan of the Roman myths referencing the surrounding hills so often, but again, I think the significance of the original stories may be well lost. Another theme I’d love to follow up.
I’d love to hear your ideas further on this idea, Minotaur if you do any specific research and hypothesise. Tag me if you do![/quote]
Yeah this might be the kick I need to finally learn Gaelic. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I know more Norse than Celtic myths and legends.

I did have one other thought which is sort of tied into the Loki/Balder myth in that I wonder how many root stories you could find across the world. Loki/Balder, Achilles and I am sure there is a Native American story of a warrior who wanted to feel no pain and then brunt his hand off so 3 stories of super warriors coming to no good. I wonder how many more like that there are? The point being that there is information, values or lessons that were important across the board and I wonder what they actually were. If there are Aboriginal versions you might even be able to ask an Elder and find out.

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There are nearly 300 Aboriginal language groups (tribes) so asking ‘an elder’ is a difficult task. I am not familiar with a specific story like that, but there are so many thousands of them that it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. And it may be a restricted story, so I’d never hear of it anyway.

If I do come across something like this, I’ll let you know.



I think it would be the stories at the start of the system that would be the root stories that may go back to the people who worked these systems out. I do not think you would restrict the lessons everyone needs to learn like pain is a message listen to it and deal with. If you think about it these stories could go back to Africa and the beginning of us as Nomads.

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I don’t think the methods were worked out as much as evolved with the human brain. I suspect those who started using mnemonics survived and bred better than those who didn’t.

I have been pointed to this discovery of a Neanderthal cave many times, with archaeologists suggesting to me that it points to Neanderthal use of a memory palace. It would need more evidence to be convincing, but that would go back a very long time.


Has not that whole period of archelogy been changed by new dating methods in the last ten years? We did not wipe them out with war. We also co-existed for a much longer time?
I wonder if it is the journey that is hard wired and those that did not remember the journey died out. If you consider how we first hunted by running an animal down over a period of time, the journey back is survival. Everything else would seem to progress from there.
There is also a big theory that the reason we survived was that we could pass on knowledge and that archaeologists have been able to track this. The question then becomes how does a pre-writing possibly pre-language society do that and message sticks and memory boards suddenly become really interesting. Also the hunting dance of the kangaroo could be taught without language so movement becomes the dance.
Maybe your idea about Stonehenge is not a new method however it could be one of the oldest so we always built a “Memory Palace” for winter learning. The cave might be the Neanderthal version of that. Might also explain cave paintings.
You mention in your book a memory that might go back 100,000 and the cave is 175,000 old!
Maybe the question we should be asking is have you got any hunting dances that do not relate to animals you currently hunt? Then get an expert to look for the sabre-tooth tiger or mammoth dance :wink:

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So much fun to be had to investigate these ideas. I do hope someone does so - I can’t see when I would have the time, but it is so intriguing …

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Loving the book, just got to Chapter 7 Ireland which in chapter 6 made me think of the triple spiral which I think of as Celtic however it may pre-date them as it at Newgrange. Which there are even folk songs about however only one recording of people singing inside it that I could find of Beethoven of all things.
I am now stuck on the fact that are the Celts the farming invaders who brought the memory places or the beaker people who destroyed them. Or did the memory people become the beaker people as new ideas were brought in thus maybe explaining why there was this massive trading network which passed ideas from one side to the other.
The big problem is that the detail of your memory experiences has got me dying to read Memory Craft. How long is your morning dog walk that is the time line?

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So many things raised in this post!

My research led to so many threads I couldn’t do them properly. My list of what still needs to be done is so long and just gets longer every day! The Beaker people are actually high on that list. I knew I should research them thoroughly, but time and scope just gave way. There are researchers now taking my ideas back to the paleolithic and rock art, as well as all the Indigenous and education applications, so I can’t see me ever getting back to the Beaker people. I’d love to hear your ideas if you look into that further. You will fall into the rabbit hole where I am permanently trapped, if you aren’t careful!

The time line walk (the dog has unfortunately died of old age years ago now - but she is still with me in spirit) is one of my shortest. I do it in more detail in Memory Craft. It is between 1 and 2 km. That depends if you include prehistory. I tend to do history or prehistory (the terms are problematic and blurry!) when adding new information, and I go around the relevant block a few times while encoding.

Mostly, I do my longer walks at the moment - French or Chinese, but I want to do History and Prehistory and Countries and … too much fun out there!

I am starting to represent the Prehistory journey as a travel journal full of mnemonics, but only to make the geological eons, eras, periods and epochs (and which is what) memorable. There is a table for the Prehistory walk in Memory Craft. If only there were more hours in the day!

Have fun!



LOL Your fault, you had to go and solve the mystery of Stone henge which effects all history from some point of hunter gathers in Africa to at least the Dark Ages and maybe the present day.

Too late I think. Definition of a good book is that it makes you think. Really going to try and investigate Celts in Ireland as it my people.
The big advantage of being Dyslexic is that I am very good at forests however not so good with trees so no doubt the ideas will keep coming.

So sorry to hear about your dog, Epsilon-Pi.
I have discovered over lock down that I have a series of circular footpaths so can go for a short walk or longer and longer right up to at least 9 or 10 miles and was in the process of turning them into memory journeys so going to read Memory Craft and then do it better.
Really like that idea of the cards as famous people so going to create a new PAO of cards I think while it easy to do.
Going to do the same for chess and Sem cube system I think.
Got to think about the tarot as want to learn to read it so need to think about that. Not for mystic reason, John Sandford’s lead character in the Kidd series uses them as a thought exercise and it is really interesting to do.

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I look forward to the updates!

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Spanish agua is not from Mars, it from Venus also.
Only the article changes in singular, but the noun remains from Venus: “el agua clara”.

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60 | Lynne Kelly on Memory Palaces, Ancient and Modern – Sean Carroll (preposterousuniverse.com)

Interesting introduction to many things.


Thank you!


Yeah, don’t ask me how that happened… I think I was trying to ‘bridge’ from the German / Spanish point beforehand, going for an unnecessary neuter case in German that I didn’t need to make my point. So, let’s use milk instead:

  • la leche (es)
  • o leite (pt)

…et voila, Portuguese milk is from mars and Spanish milk is from Venus. The same holds for boy/girl trees.

Exactly, but I don’t really wanna get into it today. I find it quite annoying how everything has to be gender neutral now, when this whole idea comes from people who speak a language that doesn’t differentiate sexus and genus. Aside from the fact, that you could always counter the argument with “the plural article in German is always ‘die’ so all plural words are female” (which is complete nonsense), I just love how you get French emails these days that start:

"bonjour à toutes et à tous"
Hello, all and all

Basically, … you know what… if I don’t stop now, this will be 20 paragraphs.

Let me quickly finish by saying that the German language itself is not all-rainbow-gender-fluid just because the letter, the syllable, and the word are der Buchstabe (m), die Silbe (f), das Wort (n). Of course I didn’t ask every single word in the dictionary but I doubt that they’re all in some sort of identity crisis trying to find themself because they’re made up of all kinds of different boy/girl parts.


There is a really good episode of the Mr Iglesias show about this.

I have thought of a version of that technique in which a person walks in a road or a path and as he walks on the road he sees objects there which have been associated with information and he thinks of stories of those objects linked to that place and as he goes futher he finds futher objects and he repeats this process till the end of his journey.

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That’s really not possible seeing how it’s a US sitcom and English is the language I am referring to when it comes to messing up languages that (theoretically) know to distinguish sexus and genus. I’m not talking about how “everyone is offended by everything and how Latino/Latina should be LatinX, etc.” Let me give you an example of what I mean:

English: He is a waiter and she is a waitress
German: Er ist Kellner und sie ist Kellnerin

Good stuff, but English doesn’t always do that…

English: He is a teacher and she is a teacher
German: Er ist Lehrer und sie ist Lehrerin

Now, why English has waiter/waitress and actor/actress but not teacher/teachress, I can’t tell you; however, German doesn’t have that problem… so instead, they decide to create one for themselves.

English: The men are teachers and the women are teachers; they are teachers
German: Die Männer sind Lehrer und die Frauen sind Lehrerinnen; sie sind ???

So, much like in English the argument is then “well, now kids will perceive teacher as a job only for men;” in German, you can’t just say “Sie sind Lehrer” to mean a group that contains both male and female teachers, because “Lehrer” is the masculine plural. On the other hand, the article turns to die in the plural whether it’s der, die, or das in the singular. Does that mean that all plurals are feminin then? Also, since Latin some 2,00 years ago you’ve used the “masculine grammatical gender” (nothing to do with male dominance) for the plural, just like you do in Italian, French, Spanish, etc.

German: …; sie sind Lehrer*innen

Which you can optionally write with Lehrer:innen or Lehrer_innen but that’s not the best part, because you speak the word with a pause where you encounter the “gender star” (an actual word now). Somehow this is more inclusive because the “star” somehow also means all other… and here is where you wanna start banging you head against the wall if you only know the least bit of Latin.

German has one more case; however, the “neuter” case is not a third case ignoring whoever on whatever fluid spectrum. translated from Latin it means neither of the other, so everything that is not masculine and not feminine. Get out your Venn diagrams people… that means ALL the rest of them… there is not a third case and you are ignoring a possible forth, fifth, etc… that case is all the non-binary cases.

Gimme a call when English decides that “the men are waiters and the women are waitresses; they are waiterXs” becomes a thing. It gets even better with “students”… Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… that’s right, they are called “the studying” now.

English: He’s a student, she’s a student
The men are students, the women are students, they are students

German: Er ist Student, sie ist Studentin
Die Männer sind Studenten, die Frauen sind Studentinnen;…
…sie sind Studenten
…sie sind Student*innen
…sie sind Studierende

Basically a participle/adjective, as in…
give, gave, given… any given Sunday.
break, broke, broken… my broken spirit.
study, studied, studied… the studied person.

…except that they haven’t finished studying yet, so they’re Studierende rather than Studierte (studying instead of studied). Makes total sense doesn’t it???

Imagine a male dancer and a female dancer would be referred to as “the dancing persons” and now tell me the meaning of this sentence:

The dancing (persons) are having coffee.

Are these professional and gender neutral plurals that are sitting down for a coffee or some crazy folks that dance whilst having coffee. Equally, the “studying” suggests that these people are constantly multi-tasking… doing whatever and studying at the same time.

Let me ask you again… you think that covers the same issue? :wink:


Sort of. It basically points out the modern problem of these languages is that they need a grouping sex if you like because words are male or female so Latino actual means South American Males with Latin origins.
English does not have that. Gender is applied by Gender words and at a guess the -ress etc will just stop being used. As you pointed out they only exist in certain cases anyway.
“Waiter/waitress” I have a feeling it would be the time we started using it.
“Actor/actress” bet this would be really interesting to research and this is one of those odd ones because actor is the person acting on the stage and the group noun is actors. Originally they would have been male due to the law at the time however the word itself in English is not male. Actress on the other hand has a much darker history and it was used more as a slur than anything else.
“Teacher” I bet this is the same as “waiter” in that it when we started using it. 100 years ago would we have called someone a teacher or a school master/ma’am. The head master is called that because he is the head of all the masters.
The big problem with English is that applying rules from the languages it borrows from does not work because it is does not have a clear root. It is basically 2, 3, or 4 languages forced together and then it has never met a language it would not steal words from.