Sunday, 19 September 2021

Spots and stripes

Asian Leopard. The real thing...


And depicted on  Neolithic pottery found in Iran, standing over the zig zag design depicting flowing water..




Leopard is the second most popular animal depicted on Neolithic Iranian pottery. The most popular being of course, Ibex. The Goat of Rain. I talked about the depictions of Ibexes on Iranian Neolithic pottery in my post "Iranian goat of rain"...

I Iran and Mesopotamia, Leopards and Ibexes are often depicted together, leopard chasing ibex...Like on this Late Uruk/Jemdet Nasr Period seal, dated to 3200-3000 BC. I talked about it in my post "Leopard and Ibex"


This could be because leopards naturally hunt ibexes. 

But also because they both have mating seasons during the local winter and rain season. 



Ibex at the beginning (Oct/Nov) and leopard at the end (Jan/Feb) of winter. Leopard naturally follows Ibex as the animal calendar marker.

Both animals are thus linked to rain and fertility...Their mating, semen, brings rain, heavenly semen, which fertilises the land...I talked about this in my post "Vessel from Tepe Hissar"...

This link between leopards, goats winter and fertility was in Europe preserved in Dionysus cult...I talked about this in my posts "Leopard", "Furious maenad", "Maenads with hare", "Thyrsus", "Woman and pitcher"...

Another animal which Dionysus uses as his mount (in later depictions) is Tiger. Another animal symbol for winter, because it too mates during the winter...I talked about this in my post "Leopard and tiger"...



Which is why tiger is found as symbol of winter from Europe to China. The earliest known depiction of Dragon - Tiger symbol, Yangshao culture burial...

I talked about tiger as a calendar marker in Neolithic China in my post "Tiger and dragon"...


Caspian/Siberian Tiger. The real thing

And depicted on Neolithic Iranian pottery. I just love how tiger has disappeared in the zig zag of the flowing water. And only its tail is still "realistic"...

Finally: "His face is that of a lion. When he looks at someone, it is the look of death. Humbaba's roar is a flood, his mouth is death and his breath is fire! He can hear a hundred leagues away any [rustling?] in his forest! Who would go down into his forest!"...

I wrote about this in my post "Humbaba"...


Saturday, 18 September 2021

Goat petroglyphs from Iran

Petroglyphs from Southern Iran. Dating:  Second millennium BC (??? - estimate, no real data)...





The Petroglyphs are from a site near Dehtel village, Hormozgan province... 

As you can see, the predominant motif on the Dehtel petroglyphs is Ibex goat...Which is not surprising when we know that almost 90 percent of Iran's rock art consists of the ibex depictions!!! 






The first ancient petroglyphs in Iran were discovered (recorded) in 2002 by Mohammed Naserifard in the hills outside the town of Khomein in central Iran.

He estimates that since the initial discovery in 2002 he travelled more than 700000 kilometres across two dozen Iranian provinces, unearthing some 50000 ancient paintings and engravings...Ibex after ibex after ibex...And few other things...



On the Bradshaw foundation site about Iran rock art we can read a short piece about Iranian ibex petroglyphs with a comment from Dr Mohammed Naserifard about their meaning...A very interesting comment indeed...About Ibex being linked to water...

Archaeological evidence shows that Ibex was hunted in Iran from the Middle Paleolithic period onwards. So pre people in the area knew the behavior and the lifecycle of this animal in detail...

They knew that the mating of Ibex goats happens every year at the same time...When the first rains arrive...In Oct/Nov...This is climatic chart for Western Iran...


So once the agriculture started in the region, the first farmers knew that the rains, needed for ploughing and sowing, arrive when Ibex goats start to mate...In Late Oct - Early Nov...




Which is why Ibex, with its curving horns and characteristic beard, went on to be incorporated into "decorative" friezes on painted pottery and they also appear on many stamp and cylinder seals from Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age Iran...

Except these were anything but decorative motifs...These were religious symbols, "magic" animal calendar markers....For the most important annual event, the beginning of the rain season...

I talked about this in my post "Iranian goat of rainTepe Hissar pottery, "Strider", "Winged bull with Ibex horns", "Goat in a tree", "Jumping goat"...And many more...

Did people believe that it was the goat which brought the rain? I thinks so...Otherwise we would not see things like these:

Ibex-headed figure, possibly a human wearing the horns of an ibex, appears "in the guise of the master of animals" 🙂 in Iran from 4000BC...(Spoiler: there is no such thing as master of animals)



Well they also appear in Syria and Iraq around that same time...

These two stamps, one from Arslan Tepe and one from Tepe Gawra, are very interesting. They both show Ibex, which we know was associated with the arrival of first autumn rains. But who is depicted with the Ibex goats? A man with an Ibex mask...Priest playing Ibex? Ibex god? Master of the animals?  🙂



Of course we know that this is not any "master of the animals". There is no such a thing...Just a deified Ibex (Goat of Rain) transitioning 🙂 into the Rain god whose sacred animal is Ibex...

Here is an Elamite figurine from around 3000BC, depicting a man with goat horns (or a goat horns helmet, cap)...


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

Here is the interesting bit from Dr Mohammad Naserifard's text. He says that

...the symbolic and/or religious significance of the ibex in pre-Islamic Iran is unclear, although some argue that it was integral to a pre-Islamic creation narrative...

According to the Zoroastrian cosmogony, Mashya and Mashyana were the first man and woman whose procreation gave rise to the human race. According to Mohammad Naserifard, it was the ibex that was chosen as the symbol of divine assistance....

Where Ibex "may have represented an over-riding belief in, and request for, the provision of water, the guarantee of fertility and birth, and a Divine Hu, blessing and protection"...

Ha! Of course no explanation why would Ibex symbolize "provision of water"...

Ibex goat mating season starts Oct/Nov, with Ibex males, which are normally solitary, gather to fight for females...And then the rains arrive, provided by the Divine The Goat of Rain...

Pic: Elamite (South Iranian) seal with two male Ibex goats and a cross...


Is this what this cross under the Ibex horn means? IMPORTANT!!!

Anyway, if anyone knows Dr Mohammad Naserifard, can they ask him why he thought that Ibex was the symbol of Divine provision of water?

Finally, here are two seals from Susa Iran, dated to 4000BC and depicting a "goat-man" holding snakes.





Snake is the symbol of sun, more precisely sun's heat. And dragon, the old snake, is the symbol of the destructive heat of the late summer sun...I talked about this in several of my articles, like "Enemy of the sun", "The chthonic animal", "Dragon who stole rain", "Bactrian snakes and dragons", "Seven headed dragon","Nude winged hero dominating snakes"...

Knowing this, on the above Susa seals we have goat, the symbol of rain, subduing snakes, symbols of sun's heat...Rains, brought by the goat of rain, end the drought, brought by the snake of the sun...

BTW, something just occurred to me. You know how in Levant, Mot, the god of death was equated with the sun, which is symbolised by a snake, dragon...And how Devil is all about fire...And has a pet snake...And likes dressing up as a dragon... 

Fun...

Bull god from Dusheti

Standard from the Treasure of Kazbek, Dusheti, Georgia 600-400 BC, Kremlin Museum...

The artifact was made at the time when thunder gods in the region loved riding on bulls while wielding axes...


I talked about this in my post "Kataibates"...But why?

This is climate graph for the Dusheti region. You can see that the maximum thunderstorm activity and the maximum rainfall for the Dusheti region is in Taurus...

An axe wielding thunder god arriving on a bull (in Taurus) brings rain which brings fertility...

Oh, btw, this Taurus has nothing to do with stars. It is an ancient animal calendar marker which marks the beginning of the calving season of the wild Eurasian cattle, Aurochs, which used to start in Apr/May...I talked about this in my post "Ram and bull", "Thunder poppies", "Dairy farming seas", "Butt chewing", "Killing of the bull of heaven", "Sacred fig goddess", "Calydonian boar", "Palla fish", "Holly cow"...

This symbol always means "Apr/May", no matter what age it is and at what location it is found in Eurasia and North Africa...

Oh and why bells? May, Taurus, is the time when people in the Dusheti region drive their flocks and herds up to the highland pastures...

One last thing? Ever thought why are lambs sacrificed at the end of April, beginning of May? Cause Aries has to end so Taurus can begin...I talked about this in my post "Aries must die"...

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Goat in European culture

For those wondering why is "oldeuropeanculture" account writing about Neolithic-Bronze Age goat worship in Iran like in this article "Iranian goat of rain"...


Meet Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir, the magic goats of Thor, the thunder god...I talked about Thor's goats in my post "Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir"...  


Why are Norse, Slavic and Baltic thunder gods riding on chariots pulled by goats? And why were goats sacred to Minoans? And Mycenaeans? And Greeks? I talked about this in my post "Goat riding thunder gods"...

Don't forget Pan, the "Old God", the goat, pardon me, the god 🙂 of vegetation who was obsessed with water nymphs...I talked about him in my post "Pan"...


Oh hey, don't forget about cornucopia, the horn of plenty. Originally cornucopia was an actual horn and was not called cornucopia. It was called Keras Amaltheias (Horn of Amalthea)...Who was Amalthea? Remember the Ibex goat that suckled infant Zeus on Crete...I talked about it in my post "Cornucopia"... 

Also meet Krampus, the Evil Goat Demon of Christmas. Why are people dressing up as ibex goats and prancing around Central Europe at the beginning of the mating season of Alpine ibexes? I talked about this in my post "Krampus"...


Also why is Capricorn where it is on the zodiac circle? Well because, just like all the other animal zodiac symbols, it is derived from a calendar marker for mating or birthing of the animal depicted...I talked about this in my posts "Goat" and "Zodiac"...

This zodiac was supposed to have been invented in Ptolemaic Egypt. But the oldest version of the Zodiac circle was discovered in Croatia and it predates the oldest example from Egypt. I talked about this in my post "Nakovana"...

And because animal zodiac symbols are all derived from animal calendar markers specific to Europe, European animals, European climate, this zodiac must have been developed in Europe...

But the idea to use animal lifecycle events as calendar markers is much much older...It probably existed before agriculture became the thing, but it became very important to early farmers...

So the idea for codified animal calendar markers probably dates to the Fertile Crescent and could be 15,000 years old...You need a way to pass agricultural knowledge to others. When do I sow seeds father? When Ibex goats start mating and rain starts to fall...

From here, these first farmers spread this idea as far as they had spread...Western Asia, Central Asia, North Africa, Arabia, Europe...

You can find a lot of articles about this animal calendar markers in various cultures on my blog...

I think that the idea for the animal calendar markers was also brought to Indian sub continent and China...The latest archaeological data confirms long distance contacts across Asia during Neolithic, in all directions...

So...Why am I writing about "non European cultures"? Everyone thinks they are special, but they are actually not. In order to understand Our European Culture, we need to realize that it is just a part of much wider cultural continuum...Both in time and space...

By the way the same goes for the "non European cultures"...They are not that special and unique either...

There I just offended everyone...Sorry...

Iranian goat of rain

I want to thank Gabriella Brusa-Zappellini, Great Italian Archaeologist, for posting excerpts from this book. 

The most prominent place on the cover was of course given to the virile "Goat of rain" standing between two zig zag lines symbolizing flowing water...

This goat was of course interpreted by archaeologists as "decorative design'...But in fact it is a calendar marker. The beginning of the mating season of the Ibex goats (Oct/Nov) announces the beginning of winter and the beginning of the rain season in Mesopotamia and Western Iran.

Iraq


Western Iran

I talked about this in my post about Tepe Hissar pottery, "Strider", "Winged bull with Ibex horns", "Goat in a tree", "Jumping goat"...And many more...

This symbol directly links Ibex goat fertility and nature fertility in general. Ibex goat's semen, and rain, heavenly semen...





Another guy with a flower under it's horns...


And two very stylized goats with flowers under their horns...


Here we see plants growing out of Ibex's horns...Why? Goat of rain...And rain is what makes plants grow in this part of the world...


Is this a field under the horns of the Goat of rain? These kind of things are usually interpreted as fields...Field which depends on rain that the magic goat brings every Oct/Nov...

While some Ibex designs are quite realistic

Others are abstract . This is Ibex coming out of the flowing water, river, which the rain it brings fills...

The cross under the goat's horns...A stylized flower...Or a marker on its own...Like on this Elamite seal about which I talked about in my post "Maltese cross seal from Elam"...

See, goats and cross...

Another cross under the Ibex horns...

This is a cool design...Again Ibex standing on top of flowing water...

What's better than one Ibex standing on top of flowing water? Two Ibexes standing on top of flowing water...

Eventually, we arrive to almost completely abstracted depiction of three ejaculating Ibexes

How about this. Four ibex goats...




Finally. Look at these Ibex horns

And then look at this


And then look at this. No head needed...


Remember, these are Neolithic and Early Bronze Age designs...Cool, right?