Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Two headed dragon

"Two headed dragon" 🙂 golden cup, 1000 BC, Iran.

This is just one of many amazing golden vessels discovered at Marlik, an elite burial ground located in the Gilan province of North Western Iran (https://iranicaonline.org/articles/marlik)


The "dragon" is actually two headed leopard with eagle wings and twisted eagle legs with huge talons. The legs are twisted in a spiral and the body is done in such a way as to resemble a female body..

The "dragon" has human hands with which it holds two Goitered gazelles. 

WTF?

Well, first leopard...


I talked about leopard as a symbol for winter, more precisely the symbol for the end of winter (Jan/Feb) in several articles. 

Asia: "Vessel from Tepe Hissar", "Ibex and leopard"


Europe: "Leopard and tiger", "Thyrsus", "Furious maenad", "Maenads and hare"...



In short, the leopard mating season in Eurasia coincides with the end of winter, beginning of spring...Two heads = mating...

What about the wings? The wings could be here just emphasize that we are dealing with heavenly things...Like on this artifact from Iran which I analyzed in my post "Goat bull man"...

But considering that the two headed leopard creature has eagle legs and talons, I believe that this is composite "leopard-vulture" calendar marker...For winter...

So why vulture?

Vultures are another symbol for the beginning of winter because their mating season in the area of Western Iran - Central Asia - Mesopotamia starts at the beginning of wither...

I talked about this in my article about this amazing "Double headed eagle axe" from Bactria, on which we can see double headed eagle separating autumn (lion) and winter (boar)...

What about goitered gazelle?

Goitered gazelles mating season starts in early winter (Oct/Nov)...At the same time as Ibex (Bezoar) goat. Our "Goat of Rain"... This is why both of these animals are the symbol of winter, more precisely the beginning of winter...

On some artifacts the gazelles are depicted together with Ibex (Bezoar) goats


I talked about this in my post "Pissing gazelles", "Diadem of queen Puabi"...

In Central Asia (Bactria) and Iran, the Goitered gazelle is even more prominent symbol of green winter than Ibex (Bezoar) goat. Most likely because it was the dominate horned animal which mates in winter in the Caspian steppe...

Because Goitered gazelle mating season coincides with the beginning of the rain season in Bactria, on some seals we find the clouds in a shape of "gods" with gazelle heads...

I talked about this in my post "Fluffy"...

So what does the image on the Marlik cup mean? Two headed dragon? Nah...The end of winter, beginning of spring...

Is this bird a migratory bird??? "Most of the waterfowl and shorebirds depart Caspian sea for northerly climes, beginning in late February"

Oh, and why is the "dragon" made to look like a woman? Because the rain season in Iran is a "feminine" yin (cool, dark, wet) part of the year...Which is why Iranians have a rain, water goddess.

I talked about her in my posts "Anahita" and "Jiroft flood vase"

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Griffin killing lizard

Griffin. 6th century mosaic, Great Palace Museum, Istanbul.

Leopard, tiger, eagle, goat. All symbols of winter, killing a lizard, symbol of summer...

In short all these animals were used as animal calendar markers, marking the time of the year when these animals either mate or give birth...

Articles which talk about Leopard and Tiger as symbols of winter in Europe: "Leopard and tiger", "Thyrsus", "Furious maenad", "Maenads and hare"...


Both tiger and leopard mate during winter...

Articles which talk about goat being symbol of winter in Europe: "Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir", "Krampus", "Pan - goat of rain", "Pan, Apollo and Midas", "Goats and partridges", "Goat riding thunder god"...


Wild goats mate during winter...

The symbolic linking between ibex and leopard and winter originated in Central Asia and Mesopotamia, where winter is the rain season and the season of the resurrection, rebirth of nature after long dry summer and autumn... 


I talked about it in my articles "A vessel from Tepe Hissar" and "Ibex and leopard"

The symbolic link between eagle and goat as symbols of winter is well known from Iran to Anatolia. For instance:

Iran (Article "Strider")

Central Asia (Article "Giant eagle dude with mouflons") 

I talked about the link between vultures and winter in several of my posts. Like these ones: "Eagle dude from Alepo", "Double headed eagle" "Giant eagle dude with mouflons" "Fluffy" and "Eagle calendar marker

Vultures mate during winter...

And lizards...Well they are cold blooded animals which are around during the summer...

Put all together, winter killing summer...

Now in all these lands from Anatolia to Iran, winter (Oct/Nov to Apr/May) is the wet, cool season, the season of resurrection of nature, after it died during the dry, hot summer (Apr/May - Oct/Nov)...So this is a positive symbol...

Eagle dude from Alepo

This eagle dude from a frieze from Aleppo dating to 900 B.C. (left) could have been a model for artists working 30 years later on the famous reliefs at the Assyrian city of Nimrud (right)...

You can read more about it in the article "Temple of the storm god" by Andrew Lawler

They are both holding baskets and pine cones...Why?

The vulture dude is a well known symbol used in Central Asia, Mesopotamia and Iran to represent wet part of the year (Nov-Apr)...Because vulture mating season in this part of the world starts in Oct-Nov and takes place during the wet part of the year...

I talked about these eagle dudes in several of my posts. Like these ones: "Double headed eagle" "Giant eagle dude with mouflons" "Fluffy" and "Eagle calendar marker", "Eagle dance", "The judgement of the birdman", "Mysterious creature"... 

This depiction is from an Akkadian seal dated to 2200BC...

These eagle dudes are found from Central Asia to Anatolia, with identical meaning. 

It is the rain (and snow) that falls during the mating season of vultures that is the source of life in this part of the world...Hence the association of the eagle dudes with the tree of life...

Interestingly, pine cone (pine nuts, seeds) harvest season in the northern hemisphere starts in Oct-Nov (when eagle dudes bring rain) and lasts over the wet part of the year...

So probably not a coincidence that the eagle dude is holding a pine cone...

As for the basket...Have you seen this article about the pillar 43 from Gobekli tepe?

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.

So Eagle dude with a pine cone and a bag = pine harvest, grain sawing time, when vultures mate...

One more interesting bit...The eagle dude is not the only dude with a handbag found in Aleppo temple...There is also the lion dude...

But the lion dude is not holding a pine cone...He is holding grain...Why?

Remember my article about this orthostat (engraved stone block) from Arslantepe, dated to 1200-700BC...



In it I talked about Hittite agricultural calendar. In Hittite Anatolia the harvest time was late July early August, End of summer...Leo, beginning of the main mating season of Eurasian lions...



So lion headed dude holding grain and a basket = grain harvest time. Time to refill the grain baskets and get them ready for the next sawing...

Interesting, right?

Dairy farming seal

Cylinder seal, c.3200-3000 B.C. Late Uruk-Jemdet Nasr period. Official description:

In the lower field of this seal appear three reed cattle byres (cow sheds). Each byre is surmounted by three reed pillars topped by rings, a motif that has been suggested as symbolizing a male god, perhaps Dumuzi... (question here: why?)

Within the huts calves or vessels appear alternately; from the sides come calves that drink out of a vessel between them. Above each pair of animals another small calf appears. A herd of enormous cattle moves in the upper field...

This is a very interesting seal. First I think that it is a calendar marker. The cattle are the wild eurasian cattle, aurochs, which start calving in Apr/May. This is what the original Taurus animal calendar marker marked...

I talked about this in my post "Ram and bull"...

This is a super important part of the year in Mesopotamia. The peak of the water levels of Tigris and Euphrates. The annual flood...Which was believed to be caused by Enki, the god of fresh water...

Water level charts:

Tigris

Euphrates

Which is why, in "Enki and the world order" we read: "...Father Enki...he stood up full of lust like a rampant bull, lifted his penis, ejaculated and filled the Tigris with flowing water. He was like a wild cow mooing for its young in the wild grass..." 

I talked about this in my post "Shamash young and old"...

The houses depicted on the seal are the houses of the so called Marsh Arabs...The annual flood which coincides with the beginning of the aurochs calving season used to turn the central Mesopotamia into this 

I talked about this in my post "Enki's little boat"...

You can see cattle, sheep and goats inside of pens, enclosures, located next to houses...Not inside of the houses...Which makes me doubt whether the buildings depicted on the seal are indeed cattle byres...

So what is depicted on this seal?

What is very interesting is that one of them is full of calves and the other one is full of ceramic vessels...What could this mean?

Is it possible that this is a very early depiction of butter production? Like humans, cows only produce milk after they have given birth...Almost all calves are separated from cows within hours or days of birth, so that they don't drink all the milk the cows produce...

So if you want to milk the cows, you would take the calves away from their mothers, and put them into a separate object, a calves shed. You would then milk the cows, take part of the milk for yourself and give part of it to the calves...

This would explain that only calves are depicted in the so called cattle byres. And this would also explain why the calves are drinking out of vessels...But what about the pots? Well, I think they could be butter churns and butter storage vessels...

Exactly that is depicted on the frieze from the temple at Ubaid, near Ur, in southern Mesopotamia. Dating from ca. 2,500 B.C., this frieze has been cited as "the earliest absolute evidence for the use of milk"...


Here is the same scene drawn, so you can see the details more clearly. The drawing is from this interesting paper: "Cows, milk and religion: the use of dairy produce in early societies"... 

Top row shows cows being milked with their calves tied around their necks...

Bottom row shows calves in their separate shed, separated from their mothers, who are now milked for their milk, which is then turned into butter, by the man in the middle...

Cows, milk and religion: "Milk quickly turned sour in the hot climate of Early Mesopotamia and as a consequence appears not to have been consumed to any great extent by adults. It was fed to young babies [and calves]...but was mainly processed to make butter and cheese"...

"The early texts indicate that Sumerian butter and cheese were made from soured milk...The fact that the early sources note that the butter was poured and stored in similar vessels to other liquids indicates that butter was clarified to form ghee"...

"Butter would first have been produced in solid form and then boiled in order to remove the water content. It is the water in solid butter that causes it to turn rancid but conversion to ghee increases its life for up to a year"...

"Ghee would have had similar uses to olive oil, the latter being little used in early Mesopotamia...Ghee also had non-culinary uses. One Ur III (2112-2004 BC) text indicates that it was used for sealing the hulls of boats"...

So that would explain the scene depicted on the original seal. In the left house we see amphoras for storing ghee on the left and butter churns on the right. And in the right house we see calves...Calves which drink from the same vessels...Indicating they are drinking milk...

This is super cool. Why? Cows, milk and religion: "The evidence for "dairying" in Mesopotamia...are virtually

absent from Uruk IV (3200-3100 BC) texts but become plentiful during the Uruk III (3100-3000BC). This may indicate an expansion in the use of dairy produce at this time"

The original seal is from 3200-3000 BC...So from the time of the sudden arrival of dairying to Mesopotamia...So this could actually be the oldest depiction of a dairying scene found in Mesopotamia, predating the Ubaid frieze by half a millennium...

Where did dairying arrive from so suddenly? In this article http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2021/02/milk-butter-cheese.html I talked about early butter churns from Neolithic Levant, Anatolia and Central Europe...Things that looked like this:

These vessels were filled with milk from the top, then hanged from a tree or a tripod and swung to shake the milk inside the vessel and separate butter from milk liquid...

These ceramic butter churns were clay versions of much older sheep (or goat) skin churns, like this one on the picture, which were still used by Beduins, Arabs, Kurds and Iranians until the 20th century...

Cows, milk and religion: "[according to the early textual and graphic depictions]...the butter was churned in earthenware vessels...the skin bags used for butter making are rarely mentioned in the early Sumerian texts"...

That is very interesting...The butter churn depicted on the Ubaid frieze looks very much like this: traditional Indian butter churn...

Why? Did dairying arrive to Mesopotamia from the east and not from the west?

Cows, milk and religion: "[After suddenly appearing during 3100-3000BC]...records of dairy produce tend to decline from the Old Babylonian period (2000-1600BC) onwards and are rare in Babylonian or Assyrian sources"...

Why? Is this sudden appearance and disappearance of the dairying records in some way linked to sudden appearance and disappearance of dairy liking people?

Cows, milk and religion: "Cattle, however, were not kept primarily for their milk and their main role appears to be the provision of traction. Old Babylonian texts record a price of 7 ⅔ shekels for a fully grown milking cow, compared with 12 shekels for a draft ox"...

But that was after the decline of dairying in Mesopotamia...Very strange...To me anyway...