Iconography

Iconography

A word like "Written Script" is too narrow concept in scientific descriptions for messages we get from ancestors some 30000 years back in history. Every figure and glyph are parts of the merged message. In time the strings of glyphs took over and figures were secondary to the message

Script, glyph, the Naked, high game animal, Big Man, Lepenski Vir, He-goat, renpet, Fishbeing, Follow Hor, Horus name, yearman, Elam, Persia, cultural interchange, little world, Culgi, fierce-looking lion, dragon, wild bull, Original Hill, Enki, Inanna, phase shift, entirety, ritual suite, space-time, World Order

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Shee Twohig has gathered these symbols from the South European caves

This is just a reminder that nor Egyptians neither other big ancient cultures were the first to develop script and glyphs. Long strings of scripts are no measure of the importance and quality of messages as cultural remains. Some of the symbols we find in later cultures. It seems obvious that many of the symbols are about fertility and preferably the vegetative wonder.

Unfortunately especially the caves is mostly like "forbidden area" for other scientist than the few permitted to visit them. In fact they nearly do not exist for the world. When analysing ideas we need the entire picture since making conclusions from fragments is bad science. Too often we only see the big animals or other motifs catching the eye immediately. Sometimes we get a catalogue of the small symbols hidden in the big wall painting. But we cannot draw conclusions without knowing the environment and what other motifs belong to the entire picture.

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Besides the many pictures of animals they show us from the Lascaux Cave in France we also get a few pictures showing that there is more than animals there

In my younger days I read about "hunter's magic paintings" in the caves and they explained that the hunters made these in order to catch the animals. Nowadays I say "Rubbish" since I cannot the read the mind of our ancestors and I have no crystal globe.

It is obvious they needed to know everything about their food and how to get it. They made paintings and discussed the best ways, season and means to catch them. For them the animals became their life. Some bison and mammoth hunters give us the impression that their whole world was the "bison-world". Other made huts of mammoth bones and lived in the mammoth.

But the rock carvings and the relief of the Naked tell us that people were using the vegetative environment and studied the circulation of water in nature. The moon horn in the hand of the lady symbolises rain and fertility connected to the moon. Naturally she also symbolises the woman and her nature. The relief is an urge for man to give her food and clothes

In Canchal Mahona, Spain they have painted the entire moon cycle and the general icon for "month" is the same as we meet much later in the Old World. Mostly we cannot sort out if some symbol/ icon in a certain place is influence or if the phenomenon as such could only be symbolised in one way. One example is the crescent, however it is painted vertical in north and horizontal in south.

Maybe some tribes from the cave areas later followed the Reindeer northwards when the ice melted in Scandinavia. Note I use capital letter since "thi Reindeer" is the "high game animal" to follow as concept that developed to tribes specialised on reindeer and almost domesticated them.

Other tribes followed the coast since they were used to be fishermen at least part of the year. Along the Norwegian coast there are old layers of rock carvings showing "big animals" but among them also big fishes and even some whale. It would be wrong to name them deities, but they were the high game and target and in a way they lead peoples' life. They learnt the natural cycles and arranged their life after them. After ca 4000 BC the style changes and the period with smaller images mixed with abstracted symbols begins. Among the elks and reindeers are ritual boats and astronomy motifs showing that they followed the fashion and culture in south.

Advanced symbolism from Kimberley Australia around 17000 years ago

These samples show the diversity of the special art of Gwion Gwion. The old Australians in the area do not recognise the art as their own, so it must have been just an occasional art. We see a mix of humanlike figures and they mirror surely the girls of those days. The small girl at left shows that the made perspective by different size of figures. But we see in the middle that they painted mankind as small figures. Not so clear here but we see it in other pictures also. That means the big figures must be some kind of deities /idols. The top of the headgear at left is vegetative.

The "Big Man" was often symbol for the leader as idea and even in societies they chose big persons to be the fore-fighter. However in long run they surely discovered that that capacity of thinking and making decisions were the qualities society needed. In Egyptian symbolism we see many times the "Big Man" as icon for the pharaoh and the megasize was also used for their deities/ idols that were icons for different processes in Egyptian society.

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Amulets from the Vinca culture in Tartania Balkan ca 4500 BC

We are forced to make big jumps when looking at the time before 4th millennium BC since we have no places of continuous culture. Balkan is an important place since they think metal culture was born there. We have also a lot of seemingly ritual symbolism in artefacts that tell us about their worldview.

In India the icon He-goat = Capricorn = seasons, He-goat-season, Leader of year since they began the year after Ramadan in late summer. They counted years in "harvests" so the New Year began after harvest time and that means inundation or monsoon time. In Egypt they used icons like renpet = palm leaf, hut, mountain for the time when they moved from the shores of the Nile to dry land. In Old Scandinavian language year = harvest.

The amulet in the middle could mean "four seasons" and even the third amulet shows advanced glyphs. We see ready glyphs and some of them were used for long in an area much bigger than Balkan. In Anatolia and for instance Catal Hüyük 7000 BC onward they have found many stamps (I have 32 pictures) that could have been used in trade and even the Minoan cultures used stamps as for instance the texts on the Phaistos disc.

Compare symbols logograms from Jemdet Nasr ca 3000 BC with the Vinca script from ca 4500 BC

It gives something to think about "oldest script in Europe" if we want to be local patriots. However I guess there is still discoveries to come and we need no preconceived ideas. At the same time it tells that there was a cultural flow along Danube to Mesopotamia connecting to the cultural circle around Arabia

In Lepenski Vir they have found a little statue of the Fishbeing. That make us associate to Oannes in Sumer and the same being on an amulet showing that it must be an early icon Orion + Oxen. In the legend they tell that the Fishbeing brought culture to the Sumerians and he was celebrate in Underworld with fish offer. In the oldest Sumerian town they have found the place.

It seems that in the beginning the "old leaders" were forced to create virtual beings to "lead the people" that stuck to the natural law that all people are equal. None should tell anyone what to do, but with growing populations some kind of suite and leadership were needed. There are many other signs in Sumerian literature that the leaders were forced to lure people to common work and organisation.

Later when the worldly leadership should motivate their role as leader for instance Sargon told that he was the orphan chosen to be leader = the first Moses. Other leaders or nobility told that they came from abroad. Usually science cannot prove such things. It is much like Heinrich syndrome that the legend tell about Troy, but there are many Troys once we begin to seek.

In Egypt they call the suite "Follow Hor" and these are vase paintings from 4th millennium BC.

This is the season of the Goat and Hut. In the end of the boat we see the palm-leaf that later became renpet-symbol meaning "year". In this picture the different parts of the pictures are icons that later became small symbols for later times see Egyptian season symbols.

In pictures like this we should concentrate on the figures and symbols as icons. They mix animals and humans in the same way as we see on the Animal Round. They are just icons we can translate to words for concepts in their life

A..B..C

The latest Egyptian finds are around 300 small labels from Abydos dated 3400 -- 3200 BC

According to above I think that the questions above "who was first" and "when is writing script" are just academic sensationalism that should get the interest from News Mediums. In my lifetime dating have been moving all the time and a date do not tell too much. Still we often need the chronology so that we see where we are in development.

They read the tablets

  1. oil of some kind and shows rational use of the script.
  2. "mountain of light or dawn in east" is the text the last two are icons and we should know about what they meant directly with the sentence, but also the metaphoric meanings.
  3. "mountain of darkness dawn in west" is the text note the Egyptians lived in a valley and saw mountains on both sides of the river.'

I am not an expert but I cannot stop the questions coming to my head. They tell that these amulets were found as labels on goods in the tombs and likewise. Why on earth would they write "mountain of darkness?"

They interpret the glyphs/ figures using late Egyptian transcription. Tablet B they read dj djw akh and maybe the syllables were those. But we have no possibility to check if we are right.

Season placket from the time of Horus Djet first dynasty

We can understand something from this placket without knowing about interpreting. In upper row from left we have the Horus name = Yearman in the rectangular enclose with the Falcon on top. They even made stelae in this shape. Under the Falcon is the symbol Djer and under that the Gateway that symbolise the inlet between worlds and years.

From next line we get from left the "spring crown" with the in-going spiral symbolising sowing. But it was also icon for the Delta-land in the united Two Lands. The other crown symbolises the corn "that should be" in end of season. The stairway at left we see in much later symbolism as "step down" but also as the sown corn on the Time River in Underworld.

Next line is inundation time and later we see the "blue Lady" in the zodiac in place of Pegasus-square enclosed like an embryo. It could be the pregnancy of the Earth but also of the domesticated animals. In Scandinavian symbolism we see two feet underground at that place in zodiac and we have also a boat or boat-lifter nearby. The boat seems to be of reed of the same kind as Ra from the experiment by Thor Heyerdahl. We can only speculate if they saw the inundation as "sailing time" or if this is time-ritual-symbolism in the same way as in Scandinavia. The inundation was festival time and maybe the Horus and his staff visited the towns along the Nile as we know from later times.

Fourth line has the head of Leo / Lion at right and that symbolises the "hot time" of summer and solstice in Leo.

At that time they tell the Sumerians were in the Delta and even in Sinai digging for metal and precious stones around 3400 BC. There are also finds of some kudurru = border stone that shows the Sumerian season of the Animal Round. That season icon and that of the Goatfish lived for long at the temple of Dendera at the Nile Creek. There is evidence from last millennium BC. We have to leave the possibility for Sumerian influence on Egyptian culture and even exchange of knowledge about writing and such things frequent at the time see also Original Hill.that is common in the Old World and it is a very old icon.

see the excellent site http://members.xoom.it/francescoraf/hesyra/tagcorpus.htm for the fragments of script from first dynasty.

 

 

Are these four cardinal animals from Susa, Elam ca 3000 BC?

The Greek sophists told that the world exist only when we talk about it. In main public sources of archaeology such as Discovery Channel and National Geographic mummies and pyramids and of course Middle Kingdom exist very much and hardly anything else. Modern archaeological atlases are a little better, but still thy have favourites and that is not ancient Persia and not much from India.

That is why I take a couple of illustrations from Elam or Persia of high age. It is essential to tie together the cultures from India to the Atlantis Ocean so that we see the cultural interchange in the beginning of what we call civilisation or the Ritual Age that began with the organised Animal Round from 4200 BC onward. We can expect to get more knowledge about East Asia in the years to come so we get existence to that part of the world too.

Maybe we in the tablet above should see the cardinal animals or asterisms Oxen and opposite Scorpio that in end of season is the killer at harvesting. We recognise the Leo on the crossing line and some odd animal. Observe also the Tree of Life rising from the Original Hill. The wavy line on top is maybe the heavenly ocean.

On this tablet we see that animals are humanised in the way we know from the great cultures in early civilisations. In Europe we see much animals and less humans from the cave art onward and in Scandinavia after the ice left. Shortly we can say that the animals were their world as the old saying "everything is mankind", since they felt both being a part and owning it with respect for other beings.

Naturally it is so even today that our labour and surroundings are "our small world". However there are not many animals in it anymore and if there are we try to humanise them. Since we manipulate most of our surroundings it is only natural that we only see pets in the "little world"

On the countryside in my childhood we were near this living with the domesticated animals as part of the family. Some of the animals were great personalities and all bigger animals were furnished with a name and there was a leader in the pack. The animals were used as reference for abstract qualities and it influenced everyday language. Sometimes it is wise to use "foreigners" as example for qualities. Amazingly some neighbours did all the foolish things I had to check it sometimes.

The examples were in front of you so it was easy to see what a chicken is or what a hen mother is. The fox was false and thief as if he was just a part of the family. I tried to look for it when they told that someone has a fox behind the ear ... Chicken and broiler are still valid in Swedish today.

But let us see how military commander Culgi, son of Ur-nammu ca 2000 BC praised himself in a cut from his "letter" to us. Note also that he call himself king of "four quarters of the Earth" meaning also the cardinal ditrections:

"I, the king, was a hero already in the womb; I, Culgi, was born to be a mighty man. I am a fierce-looking lion, begotten by a dragon. I am the king of the four regions; I am the herdsman and shepherd of the black-headed people. I am a respected one, the god of all the lands

I am the king, a wild bull of acknowledged strength, a lion with wide-open jaws! I am Culgi, a wild bull of acknowledged strength, a lion with wide-open jaws! I am a great storm let loose from heaven, sending its splendour far and wide! I am good stock, with brindled body, engendered by a breed-bull! I am a king born from a cow, resting amid butter and milk! I am the calf of a thick-necked white cow, reared in the cow-pen! Dressed in a ...... royal robe and holding out a sceptre, I am perfect for ....... I am also the good shepherd who takes joy in justice, the scourge and stick of all evil! Strength of lions, hero of battle -- I have no rivals! Handsome of limb, ferocious lion, I am perfection in warfare!

Grasping a lapis-lazuli mace and a battle-axe, with long fingers I sharpen a tin knife to untie knots. In the turbulent affray of battle, in the conflict,

I shoot out my tongue, a muchuc darting out its tongue at the foreign lands, a dragon raging (?) at men."

Sitting Bull at the Original Hill

The Original Hill is the concept of Earth in Egypt, Sumer, Elam and Indus Valley and surely in many cultures that do not "exist" in the world we normally talk about. In this case it is pictured in nearly the same way as in Sumer see Sargon's seal below. The Bull / Oxen sits in the same way as we know from India so it is just a little sign of cultural likeness so far.

From Sumer we know that at that time the Fishbeing now and then stepped upon the Original Hill. But in the first town he mostly dwelled in the temple undergrounds. They found a lot of fish offer there. On an amulet with three signs of the early Animal Round we see the Fishbeing at the place of Orion / Oxen. Nearly 3000 years later the Greek folklorists call him Oannes and tell he was the first to teach civilisation to people of Sumer. see Sumerian early zodiac.

There is a legend about the goddess that disappeared for 70 days a year. If it was symbolised with Aurigae being circumpolar around 1900 BC the legend must have been created more than 4000 years earlier than that. It is also understood that the principle was then to "Follow Her / Time" and that they saw an Underworld in the sky. Orion is lower than Aurigae so that asterism was permanently in Underworld in the beginning. That is maybe why the Fishbeing was worshipped underground.

This should be the seal of Sargon around 2300 BC and it shows the growing season with humanised deities from Utu = Gemini to the Hound.

Even in this seal every single element are icons in the World Order but there is also completing pure glyphs that are icons. The rich Sumerian literature from third millennium BC furnishes us with the myths. Unfortunately myth have no timeline so we have to figure out the origin if we need that. The myth tells that Enki was the first to step upon the Original Hill, so the Fishbeing is maybe his Grandpa.

In seals the Original Hill is often pictured in the above way and we see it also in Hittitian seals after they conquered Babylon around 1600 BC. In Egyptian seals the Original Hill is just a "round top" to distinct from the mountain symbol that is two or three peaks in much the same style in the Old World. Still we see that Egypt and Sumer have the Original Hill motif in common. "Thi Hill" = pyramid or ziggurat and also the "mountain" = Temple = Sumerian EKUR they have also in common. Such motifs are the basis of the culture compared with script/ writing that is only tools for description.

Later in history and myth Inanna went to Eridu and stole the wisdom of Enki and brought it to her town Uruk. We have not that kind of myths from Egypt. But we get help from them in seeing the "go-beneath"-ritual even in Egypt where they altered between the mountain and valley temple. In Scandinavia we see the mix of influence from the three big cultures in south.

Some star in Oxen could be used as fix-star of spring equinox in 4th millennium BC but Aldebaran is the bright star that fitted around 3050 BC. Naturally they needed to tie their World Order to something seemingly stable point and that is why the stable sitting Varuna / Vishnu looks like a Bull. The Bull became idol for male strength and the Pharaoh was called The Great Bull expected to be defender of Egypt. We should keep the tamed Oxen and the wild Bull, Taurus apart. In Sumer the idols wear quadruple bull horns and for instance on the Narmer palette there are four bull faces and in other cases they point in our directions. The symbolism simply tells that the Bull was icon in all four seasons or the entire year.

Our knowledge fade out much when we go back to around 4200 BC. Then the new world order was created and we can call it Ritual Age. It began with Utu / Shamash standing in the gateway to the new sun year. Ritually this was when spring equinox was in Toe of Gemini. From then on agriculture season was pictured with asterisms on the Animal Round see the Sumerian Animal Round that made one icon out five asterisms.

In Rigveda they often refer to Seven Sages as the earliest leading idols and makers of the World Order and Animal Round see Rigveda 1.164.05. The Collegium of Seven became an institution in Europe and maybe the source is the same. This should then have been before 4200 BC and for how long back is difficult to say. They also connect them to the asterism Ursa Major and if they used the normal vernal symbolism that would go back around 12000 years.

Ursa Major is also called the Big Dipper and in Rigveda the Ladle is the ritual dipper and the idea is water offer. That is symbolising the heavenly gods portioning rain to the earth. After Time as most important ritual concept Water was the second. The later Rigveda tell about the Sun as source of rain, but in early Vedic Age the moon Soma has surely been the source. Still they tell that the Moon is Soma and Soma is heavenly and earthly water there are some figures with a dipper even in Scandinavian rock carvings

Sunshine Mitra, Night Indra, World Order Varuna, Fire Agni, Wind Vayu are the most important concepts. "Mitra and Varuna, augmenters of water, dispensers of water, you connect this perfect rite with its true (reward)." Water circulation is often understood behind the hymn and offer and named Moon and Soma. In later tradition they tell about Soma as the "pressed elixir" but naturally there is water in most of the products we harvest.

All kinds of offering and libations are primarily "the sacrificed first time act" that should be repeated as beginning every year / season or whenever needed. Thanksgiving was not a normal act. In Rigveda the hymns are mostly about fire offer and horse offer but we see few horses in the Vedic symbolism at Indus. The Cauldron became naturally also an important ritual symbol and vessel for cooking the horsemeat. But as ever rituals were carried out by nobility while ordinary people did it in the normal way more or less according to their capacities.

The four horned idols on the Narmer palette ca 3000 BC implies that they followed the Bull the entire year. It was much like the old system of "Following Her", but now there was a phase shift from female lead to male lead. The time around 3000 BC as whole looks like a phase shift in the entire world. Something like that we see 1000 years later when they begin to shift between Ritual Age and Metal Age with worldly leaders or leader families showing that feudal world order began. Such thing is a long process and depends on local size of culture and population.

Maybe the reader need some definitions and help in navigation here. I have been researching for more than 20 years and writing on the topic for more than 10 years. All my writing is around the general topic "ancient ideas as roots to our society". Understanding figures and glyphs is tools for understanding and as much knowledge as possible about the myths and taught of those days is the source.

That means in text and real examples I give the reason why some idea /concept was developed. My technique use the Old World as source and to that belongs even European megalith culture as manifestations and Scandinavian rock carvings as pedagogic messages from the past.

There is no reason for creating special vocabulary and terminology for ancient times. Since it is about "sustainable ideas" we can naturally use precisely the same words as today in most cases. However there was naturally a big difference in culture in Ritual Age ca 4000 - 2000 BC approximately. In that period they used the ritual suite as general method of organising life and work in time and space see the sitemap at Indus 1 for the nearest general ideas.

That means also that we should not speak about a king but about "high priest" as leader and in some cultures that continued at least during Bronze Age. The Scandinavian cultures were depending on the ritual until the golden neck-rings disappeared around 500 AD.

Their general outlook was entirety and space-time and that means we should always consider the entire living and being in time and space. In our time and language we have fragmented it all with little interconnection with other aspect when working on some topic. That means we usually forget the surrounding and our affecting it with our processes.

The request for law and order is a function of growth of population, complexity of culture and the intensity of cultural exchange. It is in place to use the word World Order as the difference between anarchy and order. In our time we have seen gruesome disorder in Das Dritte Reich in Germany, Pol Pot in Kampuchea and Ruanda just to mention when the essentials of world order are omitted.

Agriculture made mankind less nomadic and creating cities gathered many people in one place. That was a treat to "free nomads and animal life". Agriculture and city-life demanded for rules in living together and sharing entirety of life. Equality is natural in a free assembly. But the demand for order and delegation of jobs create the need of a leader.