If we look at the zodiac circle, we can see that each of the seasons either starts or ends with a sign representing a large animal:
Spring ends with Aries (ram). In my post "Ram and Bull" I explained that the ram symbol marks the end of the lambing season of the wild Eurasian sheep in Europe.
Summer starts in Taurus (bull). In my post "Ram and Bull" I explained that the bull symbol marks the beginning of the calving season of the wild Eurasian cattle in Europe.
Autumn starts in Leo (lion). In my post "Entemena vase" I postulated that this symbol marked the beginning of the mating season of the Eurasian lions in Europe.
Winter ends in Capricorn (goat). In my post "Goat" I explained that the goat symbol marked the beginning of the mating season of the wild European Alpine ibex goat.
So these four animals are symbols of the four seasons
I wonder if this is the reason why the Achaemenids made their rhytons, ceremonial drinking, libation vessels, with the heads of these 4 animals?
Silver rhyton with horned ram head (Spring), Persia, Achaemenid Period, 538-331 BCE, Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington.
Silver rhyton with bull head (Summer), Persia, Achaemenid Period, 600 - 400 BC, Cincinnati Art Museum
Gold rhyton with lion head (Autumn), Persia, Achaemenid Period, 500 BC, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Silver rhyton wih goat head (Winter), Persia, Achaemenid Period, 400 - 100 BC, Met museum, New York
Now interestingly, three out of four of these animals are large wild Eurasian herbivores. There is one more large wild Eurasian herbivore, a deer. Is it possible that it somehow fits into this picture? Well it is. August, the beginning of autumn is the time when Persian fallow deer and European red deer start their mating season. Which is why we also find Achaemenids rhytons, ceremonial drinking, libation vessels with the heads of stags...
Silver Rhyton with stag's head (Autumn), Persia, Achaemenid Period, late 400 - 300 B.C. The George Ortiz Collection
What do you think about this?