Animal calendar markers

This is a jump page to all the articles related to animal solar year markers.

Indus Valley

I came across this interesting Indus Valley civilisation bowl today. 

Intrigued by the bull riding chicken, I spent an hour digging around to see if I can find more about this artefact. What I found is another amazing example of what can be read from ancient artefacts if you understand the lifecycles of the animals depicted on them and the climate of the area where the artefact was made...

Indra, Hindu thunder god, arrives on Airavata, a white elephant, also called "Abhra-Matanga" (elephant of the clouds), "Naga-Malla" (the fighting elephant) and "Arkasodara" (brother of the sun)...

Why? Maybe because the mating season of the Asian elephant coincides with the monsoon season? More in:  

Is it possible that the "decorations" on this ceramic vase made by the people of the Indus Valley civilisation symbolically depict the fishing season of the palla fish, the most important fish in Indus River? 

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This amazing seal is one of many found in Dilmun, an ancient port located in today's Bahrein which was founded in the late 4th millenium BC and abandoned in the mid 1st millennium BC...

This article gives the analysis of the symbols depicted on seal:


After the analysis of the animal symbolism from the Nahal Mishmar hoard found in Israel and dated 4000-3500BC, I proposed that the people who made these objects came from Iran, or Central Asia...It turned out genetic data from the site confirms this 100%

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Arabian ostriches and snakes, depicted on a seal from Arslantepe, dated to the end of the 4th millennium BC...

Any reason behind the choice of animals depicted on this seal, or is this just random combination picked out of a hat? This article is trying to answer this question:

Terracotta lentoid flask, 11th century B.C. Levant. Both sides of the flask are decorated with goats, birds, and rudimentary foliage. 

Is the choice of the animals and the composition and grouping of animals random? I don't think so. Here is why: 

This is "Lid of a pyxis originally containing face powder. Made in Ugarit, Syria, under Mycenaean influence, end of 2nd millennium BC". Apparently depicting "Mistress of the animals feeding goats"...

I would like to disagree with this interpretation of the scene. Here is why: 

I came across this peculiar early 9th century BC Urartian artefact recently. 

Which opens an interesting question: Were Anatolian Thunder Gods the first Drug Lords? More in: 

"As I looked, a stormy wind came out of the north: a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually, and in the middle of the fire, something like gleaming amber. In the middle of it was something like four living creatures. This was their appearance: they were of human form. Each had four faces, and each of them had four wings...As for the appearance of their faces: the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle; such were their faces..." This is the vision that prophet Ezekiel had in the 6th century BC and prophet John had in the 1st century AD. This image gave birth to the Christian tetramorph, the union of the symbols of the Four Evangelists.

But what does this all mean? I believe that to understand the true meaning of this "vision" we need to look into the solar cult of Helios, the chariot and horses which Josiah removed from the Solomon's Temple, the Celtic and Serbian cross quarter days calendar and the stone circles built by the Bronze Age Irish...


Norse thunder god Thor, Slavic thunder god Perun and Baltic thunder god Perkūnas all rode the sky in a chariot drawn by goats...Why?

I think I have answered this question in this article. But the answer opens many many interesting questions about the possible origins of the North European mythology in Eastern Mediterranean...And it's all to do with climate...

This is the so called "Sanctuary Rhyton" from Minoan palace of Zakros, dated to 1550-1500 BC, called so because its decoration depicts a Minoan mountain peak sanctuary...

This article tries to fill a lot of holes in "our understanding" of this artefact...

Cornucopia is latin name for the symbol of abundance and nourishment, which in classical antiquity was commonly depicted as a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts...

Ever wondered why a horn is a symbol of plenty? The answer to this question can be found in Minoan Crete. And its climate...More in: 

Did Minoans paint chukar partridge eggs? In spring? As a fertility symbol? Partridges fresco from Knossos, ca. 1700-1500 B.C. 

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In the northern Sahara (Egypt) African wild cat breeding season runs from January to March. Gestation lasts for 56-68 days, meaning that kittens are usually born between March and May...Right on time for the grain harvest and the invasion of mice...Is this why the main festival of the Ancient Egyptian cat goddess Bastet was celebrated in April and May? 

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This is Ra, in a shape of a Great Cat, killing Apep, the Great Snake, the creator of chaos and the enemy of order...Behind Apep is a growing tree (of life)...

How should we understand Egyptian mythological role of snakes and particularly Apep?

Meet Khnum. Khnum was one of the earliest-known Egyptian deities, originally the God of the source of the Nile. In art, Khnum was usually depicted as a ram-headed man holding a jar from which flowed a stream of water.
Ever wandered why he has a ram's head? Is it possible that this has something to do with the actual lifecycle of wild goats? Discussion in:

Ahhh. I always wandered why the Egyptian "Dog days" were located on the solar year at the hottest part of the year, the end of July, beginning of August...

So I looked at the Ancient Egyptian dog breeds...And what I have found is actually quite interesting...Another proof that our ancestors used the reoccurring events from the reproductive cycle of animals they were familiar with, to create solar year calendar markers...More in: 
I apologise for not posting anything new in last few days. I have been wading through papyrus marshes of Egypt looking for the true identity of the Holy Cow...And I think I have found it. 

The result is in this article, which I hope you will enjoy reading:

This is "aegis" plate from an Ancient Egyptian "menat", a musical instrument/amulet which was sacred to the goddess Hathor. 

This is another interesting artefact that I came across recently which has a story to tell, if you know how to read it. Every symbol on this object is here for a reason and together they all point at the same moment in the Solar Year. More in: 

This article is trying to answer the question: why is this white calf standing between two sycamore trees under a red sun? 

For those interesting in how nature influences religions and religious symbolism...

Central Asia

This amazing object is a silver gilt cast shaft-hole axe head, made between 2500-1500 BC in the area along the Oxus and Murghab rivers in modern Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. 

This is one of my favourite ancient objects. Why? Because it made me realise what double headed eagle means...More in:

A one of a kind centaur: rhyton with a centaur holding a goat, currently in Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. 

Representing Sagittarius (The Hunter) catching Capricorn (The Goat) at the point of winter solstice??? 

Among many seals found in ancient 2nd millennium BC Bactria, the ones depicting snakes and dragons are the most prevalent...

To the point where Nadezhda Dubova from the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Science states that "...nowhere in the whole system of Ancient Near Eastern art had serpents played such an important role as in Bactria..." More in: 

In 2011, this beautiful object was sold for 97,000 pounds sterling...A Bactrian gold stamp seal, c. 2200-1900 BC... Official description: "...central figure of a winged giant, with muscular human torso and legs, the head and talons of an eagle, wearing a short open tunic with wide belt, and a pendant necklace, grasping in each hand an inverted ibex..." What the heck is the meaning of this scene?

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One of the coolest lions ever. Bactrian seal. From: "Sulla Via delle Oasi. Tesori dell’Oriente Antico" Ligabue and Salvatori 1989, fig. 46, p. 196). Lion with "sun's heat" rays coming out of his back. These are usually seen coming out of the shoulders of the Mesopotamia Sun God Utu (Shamash).

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Oriental Institute - University of Chicago posted this image on their facebook page the other day. OIM A32553; Late Uruk period, 3350-3100 BC; Iran, Chogha Mish...

Their answer: "This artefact is a clay seal impression with a “master of animals” scene...First introduced during the Uruk period, this motif undoubtedly reflects increasing concern with managing the production of animals in the new urban economies."

My answer: "Master of animals is modern invention, created by archaeologists who couldn't understand what all these images of people and animals meant". There was never any "Master of the animals" in any of the cultures of the ancient world...

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Another interesting seal. Akkadian, Tell Asmar. Description: "Sun god in a boat. On prow long-haired crowned figure with punting pole and human-headed lion, snake's head for stern, plow, vase and two objects above, fertility goddess beside boat, fish below" 

That's it??? Well no obviously...There are a lot of interesting details on this seal that definitely deserve some explanation...More in:

This is a very interesting shell seal from the Early Dynastic IIIa period, ca. 2550– 2400 BC, inscribed: "Lugal-shà-pà-da". Found in the dromos of the Queen Puabi’s Tomb. Kept in University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. 
The official description of the scene depicted on this Sumerian seal is kind of funny: "Nude Hero Grappling with Lions Attacking Horned Animals"...Ok, "lions attacking horned animals" part is kind of obvious. "Nude hero grappling with lions"...

Well that's not at all obviously...More in:

The official description of the seal is: "Man prodding ox with which he is plowing; before ox, plant--In sky, crescent, star, seven globes...The scene...may have a ritual significance; depicts a rural ritual, in this case connected with agriculture" 

O my god! That's it??? Let me see if I can decipher this image:

This is one of the two identical Sumerian figures excavated in Ur, in southern Iraq, dated to c. 2600–2400 BC...This amazing work of art, depicts a horned animal with wings (???) standing on his hind legs and nibbling leaves from a flowering tree. 

What is the meaning of all this? And what can this tell us about (one) possible origin of the Sumerian civilisation? To figure this out, we need to look at climate and nature of Middle East and Central Asia...More in:

"Cylinder seal with monster" 😞 ca. 11th–9th century B.C. Elamite (Iran) . From Met museum.  

In this post I will explain why I am soooo tired of academics with no imagination...

Another very interesting Akkadian cylinder seal from Tell Asmar, currently in the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. 

It depicts a very unusual ploughing scene...Which i would like to interpret because no one has done it so far...This seal basically a miniature farmer's calendar which uses well known, recurring annual events from the lifecycle of animals depicted on the seal as solar year calendar markers...More in:  

Vase of Entemena, made during the reign of the Lagash king Entemena (c 2400 BC), is the finest example of metal engraving in Sumer. 

This article is about these engravings, their meanings, and how can this vase point us to the true reason for Leo being where it is on Zodiac circle. 

Is there a reason behind the choice of the animals found on Achaemenid rhytons? Zodiac? I think so. 

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This is truly incredible object. Composite Lion and Bull, bronze, Iran, 1500-1000 BC. It is currently kept in the Cleveland Art Museum. The meaning of this object is unknown. It is presumed that it has served as an object of worship in a temple or shrine...

Worship of who?

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This is a seal from Tell Asmar, dated to 2200 BC. It depicts a seven headed dragon (beast with lion's body and seven snake heads) with sun's heat rays radiating out of its back, being speared by two gods (heroes)...
As Gary A. Rendsburg points out in his article "UT 68 and the Tell Asmar Seal" this is one of the most remarkable seals ever found and one of the most discussed... Why? Because the mythical theme of a hero (god) slaying multi headed dragon keeps popping up again and again in different cultures in Eurasia...

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This is one of the most amazing artefacts I have ever seen...Carved from a sperm whale tooth, it depicts two climbing Ibex goats...Found in Mas d’Azil cave (Ariège, France), Middle or Late Magdalenian (13000-10000BC), Piette collection, Musée D’Archéologie Nationale... What's so exciting about this depiction of two goats? Well this could be the earliest clear example of the use of Ibex goats as solar calendar markers...

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Bowls from Los Millares

Have you seen these Orion depictions on Los Millares culture (Spain) bowls dated to around 3000BC? 

And why were mating deer depicted next to it? More in:


The position of all animal zodiac signs on the solar year, correspond to the time of the major annual lifecycle events of the animals in question in Europe. More in:

The timing of the start of the natural mating season of horses explains why the Greek sea god Poseidon was also "god of horses" who was "worshiped as a stallion". 

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