Saturday 2 March 2024

Boeotian solar pyxis

Boeotian clay pyxis depicting the "Mistress of the Animals and some animals"; Late 7th century BC. Currently in the Antikensammlung Berlin



But I can tell you few things about the decorations:

They are all solar symbols.

On the lid we see  two snakes.

Snake is a pure solar animal. It is in our world when sun is here (day, hot half of the year) and it is in the underworld when sun is there (night, cold half of the year)...I first talked about it in these posts: "The chthonic animal" and "Enemy of the sun", but have since then talked about "solar snakes" in many other posts, like "Letnitsa treasure", "Nude winged hero dominating snakes" "Mystery seal", "Snake god from Hatra", "Goat and snake from Kortik tepe", "Goat petroglyphs from Iran", "Pegasus and Chimera"...

Even more interestingly, two snakes have a specific meaning as a calendar marker for Apr/May, beginning of summer, domain of the sun. Why? Cause the mating season of the most common Eurasian snakes starts in Apr/May...


And which is why Hermes (who was born in Apr/May) was by Apollo (the sun god) given the Caduceus, staff with two entwined snakes...I talked about this in my post "Lyre of Apollo

Between the two snakes we see crosses...I talked about crosses as ancient solar symbols in my post "The cross of Shamash" about this beaker, Sialk South Mound, Kashan, Isfahan, Late Calcolithic period, Sialk III7 period, ca. 3750-3350 BC, the National Museum of Iran, Tehran, Iran


In short, the cross was since the earliest times in Mesopotamia used as the symbol for the sun (god)...

And on both sides of the two snakes we see swastikas, another ancient solar symbol. I talked about it in my post "Kolo-vrt", about this ancient (officially medieval???) standing stone, Bosnia. Depicting solar wheel (swastika) and solar dance (kolo)... Pic by Kemal Čolak...


Anyway, on the sides of our pyxis, we have more swastikas, crosses and horses...Why horses?

Horses are solar animals.

Roman silver coin of the Pyrrhic war (275-270 BC) Apollo wears a laurel- wreath & a galloping horse beneath the "star".  Thanks @HawkeJon for the pics.


The "star" is The Sun...Above The Solar Horse...Symbol of The Sun God Apollo...

And articles about solar horse (equid):

Mesopotamia "Shamash playing with the solar horse"

India "Hayagriva"

China "Longma"

Europe "Archaic rider"

The reason why equids are solar animals and the reason why they are linked with Sun gods, stems from the fact that horse fertility is governed by sunlight and their mating season peaks at the summer solstice...

Sun god in his horse drawn chariot...


So, we have an interesting situation where the mating season of the most common Eurasian snakes, vipers, and the mating season of the wild Eurasian horses, the two animals depicted on our pyxis, with crosses and swastikas, both start in Apr/May, beginning of summer, the time of the year dominated by the sun...

Finally, the "Mistress of the Animals" is Artemis, the "terrible" twin sister of the "terrible" sun god Apollo...This girl: Artemis, of the original, archaic type, before people forgot her real meaning...From the Temple of Artemis, Corfu

Definitely not moon goddess here with all these snakes. And lions (wink wink, notch notch)

On our pyxis, the Winged Archaic Artemis is holding two ducks or gees...Both migratory water birds...Spring bird migration in Greece peaks during late April-early May...

The "rosettes" are another symbol of the sun...Or Sirius...Which is in the sky with the sun, during the day, between Apr/May and Jul/Aug. At least it was during the time when our mythologies were made. Will write about this soon...

But it could also just mean "spring flowering season" which in Greece also peaks in Apr/May...

Soooo...Not only are all the symbols on this Larnax solar symbols, but they also all seem to point at the same time of the year, Apr/May, beginning of summer...

To read more about ancient animal and plant calendar markers, start here…then check the rest of the blog posts related to animal calendar markers I still didn't add to this page, and finally check my twitter threads I still didn't convert to blog post...I am 9 months behind now...

Dancing with deer and birds

Medieval "stećak" standing stone, Bosnia, with the depiction of the ritual circular solar dance "kolo", meaning wheel, solar wheel, solar year. There are also depictions of birds and deer...

I talked about "kolo", also known as "oro", in my post "Kolo-vrt". 

Kolo is a common motif on these standing stones. But, it is interesting that on this stone there are 9 dancers in both groups...

I wonder if this is deliberate? Here's why:

Deer are depicted during rut, Sep/Oct/Nov, the only time when bucks can be seen with fully grown antlers and their harems of does...

These are Croatian Slavic month names...Number 9 is...

So the birds could then depict migratory birds, which leave Bosnia in Sep/Oct/Nov...

All very interesting...


Kolo-vrt

Good morning! The sun is shining, time to get up and have some fun!

Ancient (officially medieval???) stećak standing stone, Bosnia. Depicting solar wheel (swastika) and solar dance (kolo)... Pic by Kemal Čolak...

The swastika represents spinning motion...Of what? Big Dipper around the Northern Star? Possibly...But also the ever spinning solar year, as one spin of the Big Dipper around the Northern Star marks one solar year...


These are Neujährchen (New Year sweet breads) from Rheinland. They are baked fresh on New Year's Eve and are given as presents to friends and family on New Year's morning. Apparently they represent solar year with 4 seasons...

Same curly swastika was found on solar bread from the Balkans. I talked about them in my post "Solar breads from Croatia"...

I talked about solar bread representing solar wheel in my article about Koloocheh, Persian ceremonial New Year cakes. In the article I talk about the origin of the name Koloocheh and about Slavic kolač (kolach) ceremonial wheel shaped cakes and breads...

The spiral on the Koloocheh also represents a spinning motion...

The word "kolač" comes "kolo" (wheel, spinning circle). Hence "kolo" also being the name for the Slavic ceremonial circular dance...

The depiction or the Serbian circular dance "kolo" or "oro" from the 14th century Serbian monastery Lesnovo which is located in today's Republic of Makedonija...It is danced "under the sun"...Or god...  

I talked about this in my posts "Oro" and "Shield of Achilles"...



Thursday 29 February 2024

Kassite seal with Apkallu

Kassite seal (18th-12th centuries BC) from Syria. National Museum of Damascus. Not 100% sure about provenance, so any confirmation would be welcome. But I am 110% sure about the meaning of the symbols we see depicted on this amazing seal...

In the centre we have a  male figure, wearing a long skirt and a horned hat (which identifies him as a god). Which god? Well, the same god depicted on this water basin from Assur: Ea/Enki. I talked about it in my post "Basalt water basin from Assur"


Enki is flanked by Apkallus, the holy carp (men) of Enki...I talked about them and what they represent in my post "Apkallu"...In short they are deified giant Mesopotamian carp, these monsters...Which every year, during the annual flood, swim upstream for spawning...Towards Abzu, the source of Tigris and Euphrates...And Enki, who is (in) Abzu...

On the water basing from Assur the water is pouring out of two jars in the sky, which represent rain clouds. On our seal, the water is instead pouring out of the two beaks of the two headed eagle which is depicted flying above the god...Why?

This is climate in Syria. 



You can see that in Syria, climatic year is divided into hot, dry and cool, wet half...The end of the dry half and the beginning of the wet half is marked by the arrival of first rains, in Oct/Nov...

Rains arrive exactly when old world vultures start their mating flying routines...

Which from the ground look like "double headed eagle"...Hence water pouring out the the beaks of the double headed eagle...It's an animal calendar marker for the beginning of the vulture mating season and the beginning of the rain season...


Another depiction of this areal eagle dance which brings rain

Eagle dance...

Montenegro 1963AD



Syria, 1800BC

Eagle (vulture) couples dance above the mountains at the beginning of their mating season, which coincides with the beginning of the rain season in Fertile Crescent...I talked about this in my post "Eagle dance"...

This is why the rain (god) was in Mesopotamia originally imagined as huge black eagle, then as an eagle man, then as a man with a pet two headed eagle...I talked about it in many posts, this one "Mysterious creature" is a good starting point...


The water flowing out of the eagle's beaks is followed by two prancing male Ibex goats. Why? Well, the beginning of the rain season in Mesopotamia also coincides with the beginning of the mating season of the Ibex goats which live in the North-Eastern mountains...


Mountains which are Abzu, the source of the two great rivers. Mountains which are Enki who is (in) Abzu...Majority of the water from Tigris and Euphrates comes from the snowmelt from these mountains...

I talked about this in my post "Problem with Abzu" and many other...

Hence mountain goats of (rain) water depicted on the shoulders (slopes) of Enki/Ea/Abzu...Actually some people suggest that this god is actually Assur, and not Enki/Ea...Actually, they are both the same deified source of fresh water, under different names. I talked about this in my post "Assur"...

Some say that this is also Assur...Sure 🙂 Assur, the great imposter...One of many...

Why did so many Mesopotamian "Supreme" gods have an attribute "The Great Mountain"? Cause they all wanted to be Enki...But there is only one Enki, who is (in) Abzu, "place that is a big mountain"...All the others are just imposters...I talked about this in my post "Great imposter"...

"Abzu, place that is a big mountain, princely crown of the heaven and earth. To the lord Nudimmud (Enki), (give) praise!"

Enki/Ea, the god of sweet water standing between two mountains, with trees and flowers...Enki is identifiable by the fact that he is holding two jars from which a water is pouring out, and which are symbols of the source of Tigris and Euphrates... 

Super important image...

So water flows through two great rivers from eagle / goat to fish...Here is why:  

Goatfish, the sacred animal of Enki, the Sumerian god of fresh water, is a complex animal calendar marker for the wet half of the year in Mesopotamia...Between the mating season of wild goats and the mating season of giant Mesopotamian carps...I talked about this in my post "Goatfish"...

And the water out of Enki/Ea/Abzu/Mountains and flows towards "the tree of life" which in Mesopotamia is a palm tree, which grows out of the jar representing a spring, a well, an irrigation channel...I talked about this in my post "When Utu steps up into heaven"...

A date palm is also a plant calendar marker for Jul/Aug, when Leo (symbol of autumn) kills Taurus (symbol of summer)...cause this is when date harvest starts in Mesopotamia...I talked about this in my post "Lion killing bull under palm tree"...


This is also when the annual Tigris and Euphrates flood ends, and the drought season starts...


So this seal is basically a hydrological calendar for Mesopotamia, where significant dates are depicted using animal and plant calendar markers...

To read more about ancient animal and plant calendar markers, start here…then check the rest of the blog posts related to animal calendar markers I still didn't add to this page, and finally check my twitter threads I still didn't convert to blog post...I am 9 months behind now...

Inana and Šukaletuda

The other day I came across this article: "Inana and Šukaletuda, a Sumerian Astral Myth" in which Jeff Cooley argues that "Inana and Šukaletuda" is "A Sumerian Astral Myth describing the annual movement of the planet Venus in the skies above Sumer"...



I would like to disagree...

I would like to propose that the myth "Inana and Šukaletuda" is indeed "A Sumerian Astral Myth". Describing "annual movement of the star Sirius in the skies above Sumer" and not the "annual movement of the planet Venus in the skies above Sumer"...

Here is Sirius, rising before the sun, pretending to be "the morning star"... Otherwise known as Inanna/Ishtar "The queen of heaven" and "Lioness of heaven"...The one that poses on the lion...In Leo...Girl which has some serious "conflicts of interest" with Nergal, Shamash, Sun in Leo...I first talked about this in my post "Ninshubur"... 

I would also disagree that "the only seasonal indicator in the story is that Šukaletuda was building wells near the plants, which is a summer activity"...There are a lot of seasonal indicators in the story, you just need to know a bit about agriculture and climate in the area...

The myth text can be found in the web archives here. The actual page with the myth text was down when I checked last...

Anyway, the myth's central theme is the rape of Inanna by Šukaletuda, and Inanna's subsequent search for her rapist and his eventual punishment...

Here are the most important bits:

Šukaletuda was to water garden plots and build the installation for a well among the plants, but not a single plant remained there, not even one: he had pulled them out by their roots and destroyed them...

Then what did the storm wind bring? It blew the dust of the mountains into his eyes...He raised his eyes to the highlands and saw the exalted gods of the land where the sun sets. He saw a solitary ghost. He recognised a solitary ghost (goddess) by her appearance...

In that plot there stood a single shady tree at that place. The shady tree was a Euphrates poplar with broad shade. After Inana had gone around the heavens, after she had gone around the earth, the mistress became so tired that when she arrived there she lay down by its roots...

Šukaletuda noticed her from beside his plot. Šukaletuda undid [Inanna's] loincloth of seven divine powers and got her to lie down in her resting place. He had intercourse with her, after which he went back to beside his plot...

When day had broken and Utu had risen, the woman inspected herself closely, holy Inana inspected herself closely...Then [Inanna] was considering what should be destroyed because of her genitals...

So Inanna is pretty pissed off. She wants is to punish her rapist, but she doesn't know who he is. So Inanna decides to punish the whole of Sumer until the culprit is found...

So she unleashes "three plagues":

1. She filled the wells of the Land with blood...

2. She mounted on a cloud, took her seat there and led a southerly storm flood cross the Land...the dust storm followed her...

3. She took...and blocked the highways of the Land with it...

But it was all in vain. Inanna could not find the man who had intercourse with her

Inanna then went to see her father Enki in Abzu. She demanded from Enki that "someone should pay for what was done to her". And Enki said: "All right!" to her.

With that holy Inana went out from the Abzu. She stretched herself like a rainbow across the sky and reached thereby as far as the earth. She let the south wind pass across, she let the north wind pass across...

From fear, Šukaletuda tried to make himself as tiny as possible, but [Inanna] had found him among the mountains. Holy Inana now spoke to Šukaletuda: "How ......? ...... dog ......! ...... ass ......! ...... pig ......! So! You shall die!" 🙂

The end...

Sooo...If you want to see why Jeff Cooley things all this points at planet Venus, you can read his paper. I will now try to explain why I think this could be all pointing at Sirius...

Here it goes:

Šukaletuda is portrayed as a terrible gardener, as when Inanna came down to rest under the lone Euphrates poplar tree on his plot, he was building the installation for a well in his garden, which was empty of plants, as everything was dead and uprooted...

As Jeff Cooley states, building/repair of the irrigation infrastructure is a summer job in Mesopotamia, performed after all the irrigated crops are harvested...I talked about this in my post "Canals" about Utu/Shamash in the canals... 

The main crops in Sumer which were planted and harvested yearly were: 


Grains (grown in fields) : barley and wheat. 

Legumes (grown in gardens): peas, beans, lentils

Vegetables (grown in gardens): onions, leeks, garlic, lettuce


These are harvest times for Sumerian crops:


Barley/Wheat harvests Apr/May/Jun

Peas harvest Apr/May

Broad beans harvest Apr/May

Lentils harvest Apr/May

Garlic harvest May

Onion harvest Feb/Mar/Apr/May

Lettuce harvest Jan/Feb

So we can see that by May, all the garden crops were already harvested and pulled out of the ground...The fact that Šukaletuda's garden had no plants in it, is not a sign that he was a bad gardener. It is one of those elusive "seasonal indicator" Jeff Cooley didn't spot...

So Šukaletuda raped Inanna at some stage after all the crops were harvested...But when? This depends how you interpret the description of the rape scene...There are two possible interpretations. I first leaned towards the first, but now I think the second fits the story better...

First possible interpretation:

After all the garden crops were harvested, storm wind blew the dust of the mountains into Šukaletuda's eyes...

Mountains are located in the East, North and (far) West of Mesopotamia. The mountains from which the storm wind could have blown dust into Šukaletuda's eyes, have to be the Northern mountains...

The only dusty wind that blows from the direction of any mountains in Mesopotamia is Shamal, the hot and dry, dusty wind which blows between May-Sep and Dec-Feb, from the north southwards towards the Arabian gulf. The wind causes great dust storms...

And so, fight on time, after all the garden crops are harvested, Šukaletuda is working on his irrigation system, and his eyes are full of mountain dust brought by the first Shamal wind. He looks to the west and sees shimmering (ghostly) Inanna/Sirius setting with the sun...


In 2500 BC Mesopotamia, Sirius set just before the sun (Inanna went to sleep) around the 1st of May...Until the 15th of May, Sirius set, up to an hour before the sun, which is the the time when you can just about see Sirius as faint (ghostly) star in the western sky...

Anyway, Inanna lies down to sleep under a solitary Euphrates poplar tree, with great shade...

I talked about this amazing tree in my post "Euphrates poplar", in which I talked about the golden leaves used to make the amazing diadem of the Sumerian Queen Puabi who was buried in the royal cemetery in Ur, Iraq, around 2600BC...




During Inanna's sleep (Sirius is in the sky during the day with the sun, and therefore invisible), she gets raped by Šukaletuda...Interestingly, Inanna says: 

"I poured out plants from my womb...I poured out grain before my womb...For my husband Dumuzi"...


I talkd about this in my post "Mother of grain"...

Could the fact that someone else took (out of her womb) what was meant only for Dumuzi be considered as rape? I think so...Which leads to the question: Was Šukaletuda's rape a real rape or just a symbol for something else?

Then sun (Utu) rises, and Inanna (Sirius) rises...In 2500 BC Mesopotamia, this happens in the middle of Leo, at the end of Jul beginning of Aug...When Sirius pretends to be the Morning star...This is why Inanna/Ishtar stands on a lion...

Inanna inspects herself and realised that she was violated...She gets mightily pissed off, and goes out looking for the perpetrator of this terrible crime...

Second possible interpretation:

Jeff Cooley believes that "Inana, spends some time on earth, sleeping under a poplar tree exhausted from her travels. The gardener rapes the goddess in the brief period after she disappears in the light of dawn and when the sun actually rises"...

Which would mean that if Inanna is indeed Sirius and not Venus, the raping of Inanna happens at the end of Jul beginning of Aug. Middle of Leo. When Sirius rises with the sun...

This is the time when ALL the annual crops planted in fields and gardens are definitely already harvested and or dead, and this is the best time when irrigation systems are built and repaired...I explain why in my post "Canals"...

End of Jul beginning of Aug is still the time when Northerly Shamal winds blow from the mountains bringing dust...So Šukaletuda's eyes can get filled with it...

Regardless of when Inanna "lied down to sleep", she definitely got up with the sun (Utu). Which is in the middle of Leo...

She inspects herself and realised that she was violated...She gets mightily pissed off, and goes out looking for the perpetrator of this terrible crime...

And so, Inanna unleash the collective punishment (the three "plagues") on the land of Sumer. Why? To punish the whole of Sumer for taking what wasn't meant to be theirs, the fruits of her womb, which were meant for Dumuzi only?

The tree "plagues" are actually depictions of natural events that (can) happen after Inanna wakes up with Utu (Sirius rises with the sun at the end of Jul beginning of Aug, in Leo...I will here map the plagues to these events...

1. Inanna filled the wells and canals of the Land with blood...There are two possible natural explanations for this "plague"...

First one is that the Shamal dust storms which blew during the summer, dumped a lot of orange/red dust into the wells which turned the water orange/red...Does this ever happen? Anyone from Iraq to confirm this or deny it?


We know that when orange/red desert dust clouds merge with rain clouds we get orangey, so called "blood" rain. And that when orange/red desert dust clouds merge with snow clouds we get orangey snow...So this is a possibility...But would need confirmation from Iraq...

The second explanation is red algal and bacterial bloom, which can occur in stagnant waters, like slow flowing rivers, swamps, lakes and wells, during extreme heat and when water is full of nutrients, like after Shamal dust storms dumped pile of dust into it...

Red lake Iraq

You can read about this in these articles about lakes in Iraq and Iran turning red in "Iraq lake bounces back" and "Red lake Urmia"...

And this article, "Ten plagues, Egypt", about Nile turning red. might be interesting too

2. Inanna mounted on a cloud and led a southerly storm flood cross the Land...the dust storm followed her...

Sharqi is the southern and southeasterly dry, dusty wind with occasional gusts of 80 kilometers per hour, which blows from Apr to Jun...and from Sep to Nov...

The second Sharqi period falls right after the driest and hottest part of the year, where we are most likely to see blood water...

And ends right when the first rains arrive in Oct/Nov. Rains which can sometimes be torrential and cause severe flooding.

Just when Sharqi stops blowing, in Nov, winter Shamal season (Dec to Feb) begins, bringing dust storms. Which can be devastating: "Oman corals suggest that a stronger winter shamal season caused the Akkadian Empire (Mesopotamia) collapse"... 

3. Inanna took...and blocked the highways of the Land with it...The bit telling us what Inanna used to block the roads is missing...But we know that Shamal winds cary so much dust and sand, that they always block the roads by sand/dust piles/dunes...

So here we have 3 naturally occurring (annual) events, which chronologically follow the rising of Sirius (Inanna) with the sun (Utu) in the exact order depicted in the myth: blood water (Jul/Aug/Sep), South wind (Sep/Oct/Nov), storm flood (Oct/Nov), dust storm (Dec/Jan/Feb)...

Neat, right? So what's left? Inanna then went to see her father Enki in Abzu. She demanded from Enki that "someone should pay for what was done to her". Jeff Cooley, like basically everyone else, takes that Abzu is underground water source...

I have, I think successfully argued that Abzu is actually the source of Tigris and Euphrates, the mountains located North-East of Mesopotamia...I talked about this in this in many of my posts. You can start here, in my post "Problems with Abzu"...

Now Enki is (the god of) Fresh flowing water, which is during the winter trapped in the snow and ice in the North-Eastern mountains...

Majority of the water from Tigris and Euphrates comes from the snowmelt from these mountains...

Snowmelt runoff

Tigris and Euphrates flow

It is in Jan/Feb that young spring sun (Utu/Shamash) starts climbing these mountains to release the waters (Enki/Ea) trapped in the ice and snow (Snowmelt starts)...

I talked about this in these posts: "Shamash young and old", "When Utu steps up into heaven", "Utu or Enki"...

So if Inanna wanted to catch Enki in Abzu, the best time would be during winter (Nov/Dec/Jan) and spring (Feb/Mar/Apr)...Which is what she did.

Interestingly, after meeting Enki, Inana "stretched herself like a rainbow across the sky, and reached thereby as far as the earth"...

This is the only time when you can see a rainbow stretched across the Iraqi sky is during rain season, winter/spring...This is also the only time when you can see Sirius rising in the East in the evening, traveling across the night sky, and setting in the West in the morning...

According to the myth, after Inanna "stretched like a rainbow across the sky", she let the south wind pass across, she let the north wind pass across. After which she found Šukaletuda...

Interestingly, during that time, when Inanna/Sirius is "stretched like a rainbow across the sky" and when real rainbows are stretched across the sky, first southerly winter Sharqi winds blow (Sep-Nov), and then northerly winter Shamal winds blow (Dec-Feb) below Inanna/Sirius...

Again, chronologically, this fits perfectly...That's it...

Jul/Aug - Inanna gets raped

Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec - three plagues

Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr - visiting Abzu, rainbow stunt, finding Šukaletuda 

Soooo...What do you think?


To read more about ancient animal and plant calendar markers, start here…then check the rest of the blog posts related to animal calendar markers I still didn't add to this page, and finally check my twitter threads I still didn't convert to blog post...I am 9 months behind now...