Thursday, 4 March 2021

Monastirište




Are local legends true? And is Monastirište, a plateau in Crna Trava area of Eastern Serbia, which has always been treated by the local villagers as a sacred place, rally the location of an Early Christian monastery?

Well yes 🙂 The geophysical data showed the church walls at the depth of 2,8 meters and many other walled structures located even deeper... 

Short documentary in Serbian:

I just love the fact that archaeologists get "surprised" every time they find an ancient fortress at the place local villagers call "gradina" or "gradište" or "grad" (all meaning city, fort, place where city, fort once stood)...

Or when they find an ancient church or monastery at the place which local villagers call "crkvina", "crkvište" (both mean church, place where church once stood) or "manastir", "manastirište" (both mean monastery, place where monastery once stood)...

Pop = Djed?

The main column (stake) which supported the roof in old Serbian houses was once called "djed" (grandfather). I talked about this in my post "Baba the main beam that supports the house"...



What is interesting is that in some parts of Serbia (for instance Levče area) this column was also called "pop" (priest).

The word "pop" comes from Old Church Slavonic попъ (popŭ), which from Ancient Greek παπάς (papás) meaning father...Today this means "father of the congregation" but originally this literally meant "the father of the family"...

In Serbia even today it is the oldest man in the family that officiates all the family rituals, which are many. Basically he is playing the role of the family priest...

Now in Serbian the word "baba" (grandmother) also means mother, birth giver, any female ancestor... I talked about this in my post "Baba's day"...

I wonder if the word "djed" (grandfather), once also meant father, any male ancestor...Why? Well, because of an interesting fertility ritual recorded in the Levče area of Serbia.

There is a belief there that a woman which wants to give birth to a male child has to put a placenta from the last birth on the "pop" column, pillar and say "I put you on the priest (pop) so that the priest (pop) can ask god to give me a male child".

Serbian ethnographers and anthropologists believe that this (djed/pop) column once played the role of a house idol, the representation of Dabog, the ancestral deity of all the Serbs, the tribal "djed" (Great, Great, Great...grandfather) of all.

So after Christianisation, this "djed" (male ancestor) column became "pop" (father, male ancestor) column?

Possibly...

Or maybe this comes from the fact that in the Medieval time the local "heretical" Slavic priests from the Balkans were known as "djed" and "starac" (both meaning elder), and "pop" is the literal translation of this term?

The description of the ritual from "Srpski Mitoloski Recnik - Grupa Autora"


Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Double spiral

Here is something interesting. Bronze double-spiral pendant, found on Timpone della Motta, 8th c. BC.  Oenotrian settlement, Calabria, Italy...


Where does this type of pendant originate?

Well, you can find this kind of jewelry in Proto Villanovan Italy of late bronze (1300-750BC)...


I know that we find these pendants in Serbia around 1500BC. 

I wrote about them in my post about Kličevac idol. Does anyone know of any earlier examples from Europe? Here is why I'm asking:

Today I came across something very surprising...This:

These are the same double spiral pendants made by the people of the Fatyanovo–Balanovo culture, which was a Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age culture which flourished in the forests of Russia from c. 2900 to 2050 BC...

Who were these guys? Study from July 2020, examined 24 individuals of the Fatyanovo culture. All 14 samples belonged to Y-haplogroup R1a-M417. 

Six samples could be further specified to haplogroup R1a2-Z93, today prevalent in Central Asia and South Asia rather than in Europe...

But they originally came from Europe. From Central Europe to be more precise. As r1b Yamna people slowly migrated westward through the southern steppe and along Danube river, R1a Corded Ware people migrated eastward through northern forests...

Now double spiral pendant wearing Fatyanovo culture ended 500 years before we find the first double spiral pendant in the Balkans...What is the link? This is a very peculiar design...

Was there a back migration westward of the spiral making R1a people? Anyone knows anything about this? Any info would be greatly appreciated...I am working on something else, and don't have time to investigate this further myself...There are only so many hours in a day...

The invention of writing

The best retelling of any myth EVER, by @sigfig: "The Sumerian myth for the invention of writing is great. A king is trying to get a messenger to relay a long poetic insult, the messenger can't remember it, so the king invents writing, and when the other king receives the message, he just stares at the tablet like wtf is this?"

The original:  "Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta"


By the way, you might find this article about the etymology of the Sumerian words for tablet, writing and scribe interesting...

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Baal from Cornwall

Bronze figure of god Baal dated to 14th-12th c. BC,  found in Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit), located in today's Syria. 

In simple terms, bronze is the mixture of two metals: 

copper


and tin

When the Bronze Age arrived to the Eastern Mediterranean, the copper-rich region was able to quickly source copper at mines like Timna...

But where tin came from has been a lingering mystery for scholars. A new paper from an international team of researchers proposes a surprisingly faraway source,  Cornwall and Devon...


In a paper "Isotope systematics and chemical composition of tin ingots from Mochlos (Crete) and other Late Bronze Age sites in the eastern Mediterranean Sea: An ultimate key to tin provenance?" published in June , the authors analyze 27 tin ingots, or blocks, from five sites bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea. 


Now this is very interesting indeed. The strong connection between Eastern Mediterranean and British Isles during the 2nd millennium BC could bring back the cultural diffusion theory as the explanation for all the similarities between far flung Bronze Age cultures...

Like for instance why the "Celtic" (actually specifically Insular Celtic) year has two seasons: winter (Nov-Apr) and summer (May-Oct). Climatically this makes no sense in Ireland and Britain. But it makes a lot of sense in Levant, where the climatic year is divided into two seasons: winter, wet and cool season (Nov - Apr) and summer, dry and hot season (May - Oct)...


We shouldn't really be surprised that there was a maritime link between Britain and Eastern Mediterranean during the late early 2nd millennium BC....The Irish Annals, oral histories written down in early medieval time, talk about the first metalworkers arrived to Ireland during mid 3rd millennium BC, from Black Sea, via Mediterranean, by boat...

And opened the oldest copper mine in Ireland, Ross Island copper mine, the remains of which are still visible very near to the place where the Irish Annals say these foreign metalworkers landed...

I talked about this in my post "Ór - Ireland's Gold"...More about Eastern Mediterranean - Irish links during the early Copper Age can be found in these articles about "Montenegrian tumuluses"...

And we have even earlier evidence that Mediterranean seafaring mining prospectors, which mined, sailed and traded all over Mediterranean seas during Neolithic, also landed in Ireland, during the late 4th millennium BC...

So the maritime link between the British Isles and Mediterranean was in existence for thousands of years before the first tin mine was opened in Cornwall...The cultural exchange that happened along this trading route is very difficult to measure as yet...But it could account for a lot of "coincidental cultural similarities", "parallel independent cultural developments"...

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Pillar 43

While we are talking about Göbekli Tepe, I would like to just ask few questions about the "famous" pillar 43,   Otherwise known as "scorpion and vultures pillar". I would add "and bags, don't forget the bags"...

Is this a random collection of images or???

In my article about the "Four living creatures" I explained that scorpio is the only Zodiac sign which has its double: eagle (actually a vulture and you will see soon why).


I have shown in my articles about zodiac signs that they are actually all solar calendar markers, marking the part of the solar year when the animal in question has its mating or birthing season. An obvious annual event which you can't miss...

That this use of animals as solar calendar markers predates Greek Zodiac by thousands of years, and was ubiquitous all over Eurasia and North Africa, and used in the same way since Neolithic, I have shown in my articles about animal calendar markers...

Interestingly, both animals depicted on the pillar 43, vultures and scorpion, were used in Middle East and Central Asia as calendar markers to mark the beginning of the rain season. Why?

In the area of Gobekli tepe the solar year is divided into two seasons, dry season (end of May to start of October) and rain wet season (end of October to start of May). And in places with this kind of climate, the arrival of life giving rain is the most important calendar event.

Vultures begin their mating season when the first rains arrive, November. 

And you can't miss it, because they start their mad areal synchronised displays:



I talked about this in my article "Double headed eagle"...

Scorpions hide when the first rains arrive, November. And you can't miss this because they disappear from the fields, where it's cold and wet, and appear in your houses, where it's warm and dry

I talked about this in my post "Dilmun goats seal"...

So both scorpion and vultures being depicted on the pillar 43 could mean: when rains arrive...

Cool, I can hear people say, but maybe just a coincidence. How do you explain the bags?

Well, scorpion was used in Mesopotamia (just down the road from Gobekli tepe) as calendar marker to mark the beginning of the grain sowing season. 

Sowing of grains was done after the first rains, when the scorpions disappear. I talked about this in my articles "Sowing" and "7 stars of scorpio"...

After the furrow is made, the seeds are planted into the furrow. Now how did these early sowers bring the seeds to the field? Most likely in a basket...or a bag...with a handle...

Like this one carried by the sower walking next to the plow on this Mesopotamian seal.

Or like this one seen carried by the sower walking behind the plow on this Egyptian mural.

Or like this one carried by the sower on this European Medieval drawing.

I Mean this is the same thing, just the basket is replaced by a "bag" or a bib...

Or like this one carried by the sower on this Van Gough painting...

And so on and so forth...

I know others asked this question before, but here it is again: I wonder if the "basket" like objects found depicted all over Mesopotamia were possibly actually just baskets. Full of grain seeds used for planting new grain.

If you think about it, the mental jump from "eat all the seeds you collect" to "save some of these seeds to plant them so they will grow into plants that will produce more seeds next year" was huge. I mean this was a paradigm shift of the highest order...

The faith placed in these seeds was huge. The expectation from these seeds was huge. We know, from ethnographic records, that these seeds were treated in a special way, that special rituals were performed with them, that blood sacrifices were offered to them...

All in hope that these seeds will take, sprout, grow, ripen and eventually, after a whole solar year has passed, yield more seeds then were originally in the basket...That is a lot of anxious waiting and hoping and praying...So much, you could make a religion out of it 🙂

Considering all this, is it possible that the seed basket was also seen and treated in a special way? Is it possible that this basket of seeds for sowing became a symbol of the new "agri" culture? Not sure...

But it seems that since Gobekli Tepe, all the cultures in the region which descended from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture, to which the builders of Gobekli tepe belonged, sure liked depicting their handbags...

Anyway, I just find it interesting that we find all these symbols linked to grain sowing together on one stone in Gobekli tepe. By the way, is that a hand poking into the middle "bag" (basket)? Like as if to take something, I don't know, maybe seeds, out of it? It's not clear...

Until all this sh*t blows over

Bronze sickle, hollow axe and spearhead, late Bronze age – early Iron age, around 1200-900 years BC, part of hoard of metal objects found in Serbia. Collection of National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade...

Hoards of bronze objects are very common finds from the period of transition from Bronze to Iron age in the Balkans, and they contain variety of metal objects, weapons, tools and jewellery...

They are considered to be wealth deposits hidden from the dangers of war, hoards containing objects belonging to an entire community or votive hoards with objects pledged to a deity...But there is another explanation...

Balkans was a major metallurgical centre during the late Bronze Age. Metal was mined, smelted and cast into objects destined for the rich Mediterranean market...Which collapsed around 1200...

The metal hoards found in the Balkans almost all date to that period...All this merchandise and no customers...The best thing Balkan metalworkers could do with all this, now worthless stuff, was to burry it "until all this shit blows over"...

Which took few hundred years...By which time iron was all the rage...

BTW, here is an article about the evolution of sickles, from animal jawbones, through animal jawbones with stone teeth and wooden animal jawbone like thingies with stone teeth and stone animal jawbone like thingies to metal animal jawbone like thingies...