Bronze Age goddesses in wagon or boat
The girl with one braid seems to be the homespun lass on the rock-carvings. Motherhood usually was divided in three aspects and fourth was the elderly woman. We do not see many of them as images. But many of the big cupmarks are surely the Old Lady Earth.
Horse harness, Birkende gaard, harnessing, ritual suite, Herthum, Nerthus, New Moon Mare, Cybele, Tanit, Ashera, Serpent Lady, Tree of Life, Lion Lady, Astarte, El, Carthagenian, Phoenician, Handman, cauldron, Maidens Childbirth, Naked Nerthus, Etain Echraid, Snake Goddess, Irish legends, Wayland smith, Edda, Asa gods, Edda literature
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The heavenly horse Pegasus
Greek stater from ca 300 BC
TheHittites are known for being the first that really made the most of horses. They established stud and someone wrote the first manual for equestrians. But we could also say that The Horse "leads" nobility. Some verses in Indian Rigveda tell about the horse offer when the Goat leads the Stallion. The He-goat also symbolised time and probably they celebrated seasonal feast when they gormandised in horsemeat. The sun gods ride in a chariot drawn by two horses and with driver Pusan. Greek myths mirror that and in the beginning horse drive as well as the chair with footstool was only for the highest god or his stand-in at earth.
In second millennium we see the battle chariot in arts. It is the noble men that perhaps have competitions now and then. In the bigger cultures the male league was beginning to form thefeudal society. We see the invention of big spoked wheels in Tutankamuns tomb. They were suited for drive in bad terrain and later we find wagons of the Schytes with big wheels. But to Scandinavia we only got the ideas and some chariot model with 4-spoked bronze wheels. The Kivik tomb with picture stones was surely made for a rich merchant. On one of the stones we see a battle chariot just to show he was one of the league. We have a few rock-carvings with battle chariots from that time in middle second millennium
Reconstructed harness from Fogdarp
In last millennium BC horse and wagon became use also for the people at least at celebrations. We have many artefacts from 900 - 700 BC showing that at least in the places with artefacts the ritual was tied to luxurious carriage with horses. See the map showing finds of harness bows and eyes on the horse harness as guide for the reins … seeMap harness bows
The picture shows a simple harness but we have finds with 6 buckles to each horse. The finds fromEskelhem Gotland could be almost complete
Buckle from another find of 12 buckles for 2 horses Kirke-Hyllinge 18 km NW Roskilde and 20 km NWLejre
There is an eye inside the buckle for the straps.…http://www.guderoggrave.dk/ At the museum they show 14 finds. Text is in Danish but there are many more fine BA pictures. Click at GENSTANDE and see for instance HESTE OG VOGNE. I have to mention the find from the neighbourhood in my childhood naturally.
At Birkendegaard near Kalundborg Zealand they found a bronze bucket containing 2 bigger plus 4 smaller buckles. The big farm is also place for the "Scandinavian Avebury" supposed to big stone circle 320 meters diameter with 3 rings and in outer ring 100 stones in size 3 - 5 tons and total 250 stones… se alsoBirkendegaard at stone circles
The stone circle was situated on the height that dominates the landscape and could be seen from most of NW Zealand and preliminary dated to around 1000 BC. It was there at the time of the buckles and surely until the churches and castle builders needed stone. So we could speculate in processions there.
We could presume that the big stones were used for the nearby castle at Kalundborg now at the bottom of the fjord. Esbern Snare builds it in late 12th century at the same time as his brother bishop Absalon build Copenhagen castle on founded the town. As bishop the stool of Roskilde owned big estate Birkendgard and Loegtved in the Aars county. That same bishop was the one that as Knight Templars destroyed the temple at Arkona Rügen in 1169. The two brothers belonged to the mighty Hvide clan that gave land for 75 churches at Zealand.
Just a few kilometres away they have found 2 swords or maybe rather scimitars. On one of them there is a carved ship they date to around 1800 BC. In Greek art Kronos = Time was depicted as an old man holding an implement, probably originally a sickle or curved sword. It occurs in several cultures and also in Akkadian seals ca 2300 BC. So it is near to think about time ritual at Birkendegaard.
Danish Bronze Age finds show that the ritual culture seen in bronze items was very consistent for more than 1000 years. The use of ritual neckrings continued in Golden Age 200 - 500 AD. That indicates organised society and the law society needed and that goes back to at least 4th millennium. This counts for places with finds in exact meaning. … Up to my mind it is insolent backbiting when some bog archaeologists say the Danish Iron Age people were cruel and primitive when they practised dead penalty in certain cases. What about USA and other cultures practising dead penalty?
I compare this to my experience from childhood during WW2 when the youngsters rode with the Spring Bride in wagon with feast mountings and plumes. They were asking for seed to the bride and the ritual was similar when the bride and bridegroom rode around asking for things to the farm and inviting to wedding. It was much the same the wedding day. Here at Dal Sweden in my county it was much the same. I must see this as direct heritage among farmers from Bronze Age to our days.
Cut from the Gundestrup cauldron ca 300 BC
The harness with buckles was the same in cavalry as we see on the cauldron. Even the Roman cavalry used the same type with buckles at breast and back. The straps were drawn in the same manner in the reconstruction fromIllerup Bog however they use silver plates at the straps
The finds of harnessing are naturally the best evidence of some ritual suite at least at the places with finds. They cover a big area in South Baltic with ritual in common. It is much better than rumours from Tacitus in Rome and some experimental archaeologist waving hands at a bog. Early archaeologists and mythologists usually rely rather on written rumours from Rome than analyse the finds.
For long Tacitus mentioning about Herthum/ Nerthum (different versions) at lower Elbe have been made general example for entire Scandinavia. He tells about a goddess use as symbol on a wagon. It is a little confusing since he both ends on an island in the ocean and in a lake. They tell that the Nordic "Njord" is similar however as far as I know he was male and father of Frey and Freya. Nerthum and Njord have at least initial N in common but it is hard to see similarity with Nj. Anyway the important thing is that maybe they practised "round around the field". We know it from catholic times when they went with a relic or a cross around the place they wanted to sanctify. They practice similar ritual in some places today. From old time we know they used it when they bought real estate.
However we should leave it open for manifold variation in ritual use as we see it in early place names which often tell about the ritual in use. The main Goddess was surely New Moon goddess Eostre mentioned as NIUJAMARIR = New Moon Mare at the chape from Thorsbjerg. The bog goddess was called Owl-dewar on the same chape and could be compared to Greek Hecate, Mesopotamian Lilith and Morrigan in Celtic. All goddess of tree and night that was seen as idol of the Invisible like the Owl in the night. Maybe some warrior invoked her to be invisible at the battlefield, who knows. The bog was the hiding place for things devoted to eternity.
Even in Greece the Bull meant yearly feast and gormandising
The Taurobolium/ bull altar is from Roman times but the Hittitans were worshipping the Bull and we have the bull altars in Egypt too of course. Here we learn that Anatolian Cybele was in lead at the suite and Attis stand at the pine. Quite an exploit to harness the lions! Such thing happens only in world of fiction and myth. Maybe it is from this we got the idea that goddess Freya drive with cats, but that could very late addition to the myth.
The Gauls worshipped the horse goddess Epona and it looked so good that the Romans adopted her to Rome. It was maybe the same as Irish Etain in Echraidh. Her name is "food" and Echraid seem to be her wagon that also could associate to the corner EK of Perseus.
I think that ancient tales should be told in the way of Karl Kerenyi. He gives us variants from Argoli, Beotia, Sparta, Thessalia and so on just in the way we can expect it to be in a landscape with many independent cities. In the rest of Europe it was the same sparsely populated half wilderness where the individual tribes and folklands developed their own local culture.
Bronze razor from Vognsild near Aalborg N Jutland
There is a whole World Order on this. Up and down at left a hose-boat with the Sun tied to the head (There are another from Hvolris with better carvings). The Lady with the Snake associates immediately to Ashera, She who Treads on the Sea also called Serpent Lady. In the Time Boat ahead of her is her helpers and guards. We understand the seasons and the myth behind this. The boat with horse head is of the same type as on many razors and in rock-carvings in Southern Scandinavia from this period in middle and Late Bronze Age.
Lady with Asvins, helpers and defenders from Vitlycke Bohuislen
If we want a goddess on the wagon we have finds of idols such as sitting Tanit from Cartage, Lady with Snakes from Crete and 'Lady with big boobies' from Anatolia. But we could also set them on a boat. On frescoes at Crete we see processions carrying gifts to the altar and among them is a miniature boat. In Egyptian symbolism we see a lot of procession boats with idols for the season. Here is the reconstruction of the early archaeologist Glob and he sets the figurines on the Greek type boat
Finds from Grevensvaenge Naestved Zealand reconstruction
The Norse priest Marcus Schnabel sketched the find 1779 since then most of it is lost and left is only one guard and one dancer
The ships were the first symbols for following time by sailing on the Time River. They had a lot of it in Egypt too. The standing clothed Lady with Serpent and Asvins with goat-horns we can compare with the suite on Egyptian pots before 3000 BC. Here she is still going strong and the dancers associates also to Egypt. We have the same constellation on some razors, but then it is big young woman with shinguards and she is standing on a ship.
The axe type is original Nordic since they parted the double axe and the kidney shape is seen in many rock-carvings and artefacts. The thumb is pointing upward and that seem to be Carthaginian greeting of brotherhood… seeHandman for the use of Hand in calendarsymbolism and telling about the brotherhood. There are a few finds of the helmet but from an earlier period and could associate to cowboys and the goat as ritual idol.
Best boat of three called "Minstrels' Rock" at Haugsbyn. Did foreign merchants really visit or did someone draw this out of memory?
The long shirt on the standing figure associates to the Levant and Mesopotamia and to our rock-carvings with dancers/ acrobats as for instance at Haugsbyn. The cake-hat was also fashion in the Levant. Normally we think of Crete when we see a snake, but all around the Mediterranean including Egypt and Carthage theWatersnake was symbol of "womb of soil" and attribute to New Moon and Lady of Fertility.
Glob has used the Greek type of ship and it fits the time of these figurines. Maybe they came from the same factory and may be they are made in Denmark. They have found a workshop for bronze on Northwest Zealand from where are many finds and the most famous the Trundholm wagon with the moon and sun.
This reconstruction is on the figurines from Faardal Viborg at Jutyland
The sitting lady we can compare with the Phoenician Tanit from Cartage we know from stelae together with three other symbols of seasons … see photo below. The horses confirm this since The Horse was symbol of Cartage and originally it is Pegasus stars of spring equinox. Then we can place her on zodiac at the place of Libra. In Egypt they had a sitting couple at the place. The male had perhaps a dog head and was bear guard.
In the find from Faardal Viborg N Jutland the other artefacts show remains from a priestess maybe. There was on big and a smaller belt box that could be use mainly at the back I think since it is so big. The biggest are round and diameter 30 cm and deep 10 cm. Another smaller box with pointer 'bumper', 2 arm rings of plate, 2 spiral arm rings, arm ring with an eye, belt hanging ornament, small things and most importantneckring locked with spirals and ornamented plates. (one spiral broken at the sample) … … However see another rich find Fangel Odense
From other similar finds with that type of neckring we can add one oath ring (arm), 2 bronze axe, bronze sickles and the special bra in bronze. In Nordic they call them for some reason "eye glass bra" and the big belt box were called "tub for hanging" until they saw some illustrated example of a woman from Germany with a bucket on the back. The language of archaeology could be confusing and strange sometimes. We can conclude that the finds surely have been used in spring ritual about fertility.
Faardal is one of 5 with much artefacts out of 16 finds with the neckring with spirals and plates. The ornaments are of the same type as on bronze razors from 900 - 700 BC. Mostly 6 or 12 engraved circles (moons) and one or two ships symbolising the year/ half years and suitable for the Lady in Lead. There are 16 finds of this type and around 60 finds of normal neckrings. These finds are concentrated to around Viborg at Fyn and single finds from Ribe S. Jutland and Holbaek Zealand near Lejre. Maybe we should add those with rings with smaller head and spiral from Samsoe 1, Aarby near Birkendegaard 1 and 2 from a big find in Ubby farther away.
Torsbo, Bohuslen the picture invite to see it as a boat for procession with an idol of Watersnake. In some places on earth they still practise boats as vehicle in ritual suite
There are quite many finds of small idols and some of them were surely produced locally. Some of them have the flat face we know from the Cyclades. Some hold her hands under her breasts and that associates to the Levant
Ordinary peasants could not afford expensive idols. There are some finds of wooden idols but no so many that we could make it rule that they used such things everywhere. There is one idol of a "sitting" that associates to the Levant, but he has neckrings so that part is original Celtic design.
I think the normal case was like mentioned in my book about Dal 1600 to 1700, since a woman was at thing and got a warning against heathen behaviour. She had made an offer to the old godess in the river, a symbol of flow. Then of course an evil neighbouring woman had seen it ... it was the same in my childhood. Whenever I was doing forbidden things always some nosy people saw it.
Surely the most common offer was made the cupmarks on stones near the fields or on their graveyards. I think the normal was a little butter in the cupmark. Then a silent prayer to Old Goodie and asking for plenty of milk in the summer. Just to get butter in larder for next winter.
The sitting Tanit perhaps, with cow eyes as the Greeks say, is from the boat and there should seemingly be a snake in her hand. The other they have found more copies and she is the Levantine Ashera
The early engine in Levantine culture was Ugarit in Syria that has given us the earliest myth in scripts. It was destroyed round 1200 BC. The followers were the city states in present Libanon Byblos, Sidon and Tyre and inland Baalbek and Ebla we know too little about yet … see alsoKinahhu
Goddesses of the Levant is mostly very confusing chapter in last millennium. Partly it is because that every town created its own variant and partly because the original deities merged and got impression from Egypt and more from Mesopotamia. The original was the twin sisters of Mesopotamia Inanna and Ereshkigal and the Serpent representing the initial stage of fertility. In the temples of the cities agriculture faded out and the goddesses became more and more intellectual ideas.
Still Ashera has the surname She who Treads on the Sea since the traders got the income by seas. However she is sometimes Serpent Lady and Tree of Life and Lion Lady represented as a lady with lion head and that is surely influence from Egypt
Earliest mentioning in texts is from around 1750 but small idols are present in the Mediterranean much earlier. Mostly the idols are a torso with hands on the breasts or some with her sitting in a vessel with lifted arms. In late times they have found sitting idols and we are also in her incarnation Tanit from Cartage. Both have lifted arms with some plants. They are representing fertility and are like sister to other known like Astarte, She of the Womb and Anath
In early days the deities were archetypes storing the ideas of agriculture and other important functions in society. This alters with the urban society and we are now indoctrinated that it is a pantheon with families. They are not examples any more since in our imagination we should worship them and hope that they do the hard work. According to the prophets the women of Israel wanted to keep "dear old Ashera" and they have found thousands of small idols in Palestine, while there are no male figurines.
Elthe High (Sumerian An) from the Levant and his "brother" from Danish bog find
There are not many finds of male small idols in Scandinavia. But we have the "Sitting" that maybe is inspiration from the Levant. He symbolises Time and is mentioned only in a few texts. Maybe he was celebrated at midsummer. He has several names though another one is the Bull. That surely began when Taurus was fixstars of spring equinox and the use continued until Christianity just as symbol for time and spring equinox when season began
The neckrings reduce the area to Celtic areas but there is nothing that hinders Carthaginians to produce such things for sale. Near Braunston church in Leicestershire England is an ugly sitting lady. She has big eyes "boopis", big breasts and rings around her neck.
On this composition from Varlaus Bohuslen he sits at right and the whole picture surely symbolises the four seasons with Bigeater and consort in the middle. The chap on the sword date to Halstatt time 800 - 400 BC and reminds that we got culture that way too
We could ask if they practised long rituals and procession. Not necessary since it could have been only that they drive around to certain places. On the other hand the stone circles at Birkende maybe was site for rituals for the landscape. We have two main rituals. That is the Sumerian spring ritual with Inanna going beneath and rising again but leaving Dumuzi in Underworld and maybe th gGreek Demeter Kore was influenced by that. The Egyptian ritual sends Osiris to underworld and Isis mourns him. Other variants are Ishtar - Tammuz and Kybele - Attios/ Adon with mourning ritual. OurBalder- myth seems to have borrowed from both and was known in Bronze Age and in Golden Age and lastly just noticed in the Edda
Ordinary farmers had not much of the stuff we se among the nobility in Greek cities. There the house altar was like a centre and the snakes were symbols of larder. In the antique Greek time in many places they had a bird on a pole as symbol of spring and we see it in Egypt too. Our farmers would perhaps not work too much and get those expensive things. Some wooden idol would do when they made a train around the newly sown field.
In Middle Age the church carried a golden casket with relics and I suppose they do it still in some places. The symbol act of "round around the object" was also legal use when buying real estate. I doubt that gold and a certain religion has anything to do with the result. But I believe in sublimating the anxiousness in the growers' heart. In those days the climate was less favourable and the night frost was an evil. The question was "grow or not grow". The symbol act was confirming "Now we have done as before and can only wait and see what the Mights will give".
I do not think that they went on a round around the bog and waved their hands. The pragmatic farmers were concentrated on fertility and there is not much of that in the bog.
If we review the Sumerians animated the myth so that the male wheel symbolised the seed. The female was naturally the cultivator and in charge. The three-step process demanded for her sister in Underworld to be the womb and a third assisted at harvest. In another variant, which became normal in Babylon the son was the rising seed. And they did not animate the process under ground.
In Egypt the main rituals was in spring when Osiris was buried virtually as the seed. His son Horus, the time rose and fought against the Mights in shape of Seth. Rest of the year Isis, the seeking lady travelled around to get together Osiris. In Denmark there are some place names on the "asking theme". The southern cultures are reflected in Nordic place names, artefacts and monument of the times.
Anatolia had a variant which maybe was a mix of old Anatolia and Babylon in shape of Kubebe, with the breasts and her son lower Attis who cut of his ding ... we see it in a couple of carvings in Scandinavia too. Read the name KU BE BE = could be be and we understand it as growing. We are also near the Hittitians in language. A Frisian interpreter found that it was in cases near Frisian.
I chose this diffuse picture since it expresses the idea of Phoenian/ Carthagenian astronomy. We see the four cardinal signs of zodiac with Tanit/ Libra in the middle. The Whale/ Kaitos is instead of Perseus in other cultures and the Hand is Cancer. Left is the caducei with two snakes for Capricorn
In Cartage there are still graveyards left with tombstones that have the symbols of Tanit in centre. Some of them have many symbols and we she was goddess of fertility, new moon and Morning Star aspect of the underworld and there are also snakes.
The Phoenicians took over after the Minoans as "ruler of seven oceans". The Minoans probably visited Nordic waters. But The Phoenicians in some story they tell about amber and we know for sure that they have been in the Baltic seas. Their visits are indicated in rock-carvings in East Gautland as well as Bohuslen. TheHand was like their sign as well and we coudl call them Handman. I think they introduced "Traders League" with the symbolic gesture "thumb up"
Hardacnut rex dana and Alfward on Lunde magister (monetarian).
This coin from early 11th century shows that Pegasus was still going strong as fixstars of spring equinox standing in a Weoh as symbol of Time. It was still the noble men's pride and status. Later it became farmer's friend for around 900 years and now it is girl's best friend
In Western Europe all history begins with the Greeks. Maybe they came with a UFO? Still Christianity and the Greeks have their main roots in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Then I mean the patterns to create urban cultures.
There is a phase shift in urban culture about 600 BC when Ashurbanipal found a big library with Sumerian cuneiform tablets and took them to his own library. I think we can set it as the beginning of the Sumerian renaissance. The most evident novelty is the astrology we still use if we are president in America, Englishmen that believe more in astrology than in their politicians and many more serious or non serious followers of the stars.
Yes, they are just following the stars in the same way as the citizens in Sumer and Mesopotamia. But it is urban culture far from the rural pragmatic everyday astronomy. It may be natural that citizens saw the peasants "follow the stars" and got their harvest. Then the citizens believed they could follow stars too and priests and astronomers were eager to serve and earn offer to the stars. So a form of religion was created. It is selling the map without contact with the ground.
There were many more aspects and it was a slow process. In cities were no needs for fertility gods. But they needed a virtual reality to be a showcase for the problems in a city. When people live together near together there is always struggles about something. Often it begins at the laundry or washing place. Family relations are also a battlefield in many families. So families of gods were created. Gods needs not have the same moral as ordinary people. They shall just show the consequences of doing wrong or right.
Most of us are taught the most about the Greek and Roman pantheon ... Americans often mix Greek and Roman mythology an get wrong answers if we want to follow history. The heydays of the ancient cultures were not simultaneous.
I see no need for me to review the manners of the feudal nobility. It simply does not fit in the sparsely populated Scandinavia. They continued with their few main idols until Christianity.
The Sames in North were the last people to follow the old three Maidens of Childbirth and a fourth as lady of House. We find the three in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as the mothers of the royal family. Some finds of statues show the Maidens that later became one and in Danish they still call her "Jordmor", i.e. Earthmother. In Sameland they had three functions. One was watching one holds the delivering mother in an embrace and the third took the new-born and cut the string.
It is easy to say that these were the archetypes and seen everywhere, but with many names. Until World War II peasants inhabited most of Scandinavia with a minor part in cities. Slightly different season rituals were alive still in my childhood. However they disappeared with the tractor. Our Lent and wedding ritual originated from Bronze Age. But to the train horses were needed when they got tractors and slaughtered the horses they had no means for the old fashion.
They still have their fires at midsummer in Denmark, while we here in Sweden have the fires at the old Beltaine. In Sweden the midsummer uses the pole as symbol and the most original has four rings. Maybe they symbolise four quarters of a year. It is the Old World pillar showing a place to start from.
Since we have only a short description made by the Roman Tacitus it is told always about the naked Nerthus with rituals and she was coming from a secret island. This wagon is from Austria
Those who want to see our ancestors as primitive and barbarian mystics have much for their imagination there. The wagon in the picture may add more to that believe. It is not from the Danish side of the Baltic. However as I understand it from the map of Ptolemeus the Sidenes were living in Northern Germany at the time. The name tells they were the other part of the Dena. On the other hand there is much evidence of a similar culture there as in Southern Scandinavia.
On this wagon we see also antlers from the "King of woods" and symbol for the Stag on the night sky. The Lady is naked and wears only a girdle. The dish on her head is an old symbol we see as the "god table" = dolmen, the big dishes on foot in fourth millennium but also the cauldrons and kettles. It depends on what you want on table. Men prefer the cauldron filled with bear or other alcoholic juice. Then they tell about brave thing that could be done. But since there is plenty of bear the morning come with a bad taste in mouth and no wish for a battle.
On silhouettes it is difficult to see clearly if it is a horn altar or a tub made of wood.
In this case it is from the funeral at Kivik ca 1400 BC. Perhaps it is for the funeral beer. The horn altar was custom in Middle East and reached Rome too. In Greece we see the three-footed cauldron and this is from Val Camonica. Gille means more than just a feast. It is the league behind and of course the women never mentioned. In Southern Scandinavia is about a dozen finds of cauldrons and kettles and probably mainly belonging to the upper class.
Naturally the feast of seasons were also celebrated among people, since they were part of the ritual year. The most extravagant was surely the harvest feast Lugnasad among Celts. It was also the archetype of a Nordic "gille". Still in our days the have "sam-gille" meaning that everyone bring what they have. Another feast is after a common work or the Finnish "talkoo" when friends help the young builder for free. But there should also be a feast when they have finished the work.
Behind the feasts are the women and their gods whoever they are. In our rock carvings they are still there. There are few figures but many of the cupmarks are surely knocking and invoking Mother Earth. The bigger one 8 to 12 centimetres in diameter are surely meant for the out-giving lady beneath.
From Beowulf and other sources we know that at least among the nobility the Lady of House was the centre. To her they brought their earning and she gave some ring back. The rest was for the house. Among peasants it was perhaps as on Dal that the Lady was Mother House according to folk memory. The three Maidens were helpers when it was time.
The pantheon is a reflection of the society and rural people do not need many gods and they do not want high gods with high boots. I think we should have this in mind before we put too much in the relatively few finds from luxurious graves. Maybe the state wants to publish a golden history and profit from a falsification. But if we really want to understand normal life those days we should stay to facts.
Often tribes wanted to act exactly contrary to their neighbours. Maybe that is the reason why the Greeks invented the Mother and Girl. Anyhow in Nordic symbolism we have the little boy Hans but also the little girl Ger. That is perhaps the little girl with a braid we see on the rocks The latest I find her is on this cut from a picture stone on Gotland 700 to 900 BC. The male trousers we called "plus four" in Denmark and in Swedish it is difficult to translate, but they are good for young boys swiping apples. They were convenient in bicycling.
This dancing lady has a head we find in Minoan figurative art.
Who knows the face of a goddess? Most common on our carvings are birdheads like the flying thought in virtual reality. I think our Nordic culture has difficulties in seeing reality. While they in the Alps talk about "the step of man" on the rocks, many Scandinavians say "footprints of gods". I do not believe that gods make footprints. It is the same difference in attitude as when the Etruscans said "The clouds collide to send a message to us" ... while the Romans said "When the clouds collide we get thunder and rain"
It is not easy to always keep the virtual and real world apart. I am nearly hyper rational for the most. But I have had times when the two worlds were one. Once I was writing a fiction and the fictive roles lived around in me. It was spring and my sensibility was at highest level. Even I. Then I remember when TV came and elderly people had difficulties in knowing if the actors in the square were real or not. Some talked about as if they were neighbours. Let us go into our ancestors' world without shoes. It is not easy to picture abstract matters either.
The latest find is on this cut from a picture stone on Gotland 700 to 900 BC. The male trousers we called "plus four" in Denmark and in Swedish it is difficult to translate, but they are good for young boys swiping apples. They were convenient in bicycling.
Herodotos, the early Greek historian tells us that northern people sent young girl to the temple at Delos. People in north had heard about the mighty goddess. On the other hand the girls were treated like goddesses and their graves were worshipped ... this short cut give us a hint about the mutual respect present in some places.
He also tells about the "pater noster modell" in cultural exchange, when merchandises were distributed from place to place like in our time. Another was surely the trader in both directions. Especially the Greek influence is visible and much in places like Gotland, Bornholm and Viken Norway. The very visible influence begin at the Kivik grave from ca 1400 BC.
Folk memory and tales does not keep track of places. The scene may be next-door as well as far away and in another time. The essence is the wisdom in the tale or maybe some fun too ... although humorists are too few I think. The nobility rather borrows feathers and make their history shining. Slaughtering ancestors are preferred as long as they are generations away
These are general statements, but I think there is some sense in it. We have to be careful and always ask about sources. Who want to tell what and for what purpose. I am often contrary to the official story, since I want the real roots of our intellectual heritage. I do not think that truth hurts anybody and it is easier to work if the premises are right than when they are partly false.
So I think we can ask if the tales of Snorre Sturlasson are wandering tales. Just remembering him sitting most of the time on that cold island in the northern Atlantic. Maybe his rheumatic legs were talking? Still, we owe him many thanks.
We can also ask if the culture was wandering with people or without people by the mouth to mouth method. Or in other cases handicraft and art was sold from place to place. Many of the items were surely sold with a short tale about the use or myth behind.
Some of Snorre's tales reminds of the Irish legends. They tell about four immigrations of people that took power. Three of them came from Greece and one of them from Beotia. But for instance about the Goddess Dana and her people one variant tells they came from north and four cities ... no ruins after them. The cities were Falias, Gorias Finnias and Murias, however in another tale they were from Greece. From Falias they brought the crowning stone ... named footstool by Hittitians, Anglo-Saxons and in folk memory on Dal. From Gorias came the sword, from Finnias the spear and from Murias the cauldron of Dagda.
If there is any truth in it that could be a tribe came in a few ships. They had an organised culture and could formulate themselves and took power locally and kept their story in folk' mind. Rhetoric is often the winner. Their origin may be anywhere. The four symbols are typical for the symbolism at the time. There lies a local world order in it, when we follow the thread and learn how the items were used. We are used to mountains of information and IT. They used as few as possible words and symbols.
The example is just a tale how it could have been. There was plenty of space and few farmers. A new little group could always get a place. Of course those who had maybe muttered. I studied my own province and got some significant numbers. About year 1413 there were less than 300 farmers and perhaps 1000 to 2000 inhabitants if we count in our way. About year 1600 there was less than 10000 and it tripled to year 1700.
In about year 1850 it was at the highest just before the great emigration and then were 85000 inhabitants. Most astonishing is that the methods in agriculture had changed only a little on the bigger farms. Nowadays we are perhaps about 50000 and the number of farms is soon near the same as year 1600. We must have the proportions before we speculate in great chieftains and luxurious rituals in this landscape of many wildernesses.
About year 1650 "the idle people" in the woods annoyed some farmers. In the peasants' society everyone should belong to the community and have legally sufficient land to live on. If they inherited a piece of land they were thrown out if it was too small. There is always a hard side in rural people. I think that people in every time in pure self-defence has defended their claim. They did not want people to live nearby if they saw that the newcomers would not mange on their own. That is because they knew they would have to help them when bad days come.
Naturally we normally speak about wealthy people in the nobility when it comes to history. We are all equal and the nobility has to explain if they want more power and wealth than ordinary people. They can rule for the time being with the sword. But the optimal solution has to imply that a group is freely given more than to others and in a way that both parts benefit from it.
Many ruling classes had their story about how they come to power and to mention a few the Hittitians, Sumerians, Danes, and Greeks all come from some other place. It has been a kernel for archaeologists and the speculative mind. Maybe the new DNA technique can tell us something in future. Until that it is pure speculation. Another variant is that the leader tells his story about "the poor child that was set out in a basket for the wild animals to eat or take care of". It is good propaganda but when we hear it from several places our suspicion rises. This is the story about Horus, Moses, Sargon I, and Danish Skjold to mention.
In my time I have heard too much about the wandering people in the Jewish myth. The fundamentalists tell that Palestine is their land. It is convenient if we can stop the history as it pleases us. Then the Israeli and Yugoslavians should have right to ethnic cleansing as they say. But there was a time before the Jews ... no they take credit for the old culture in Jericho however it seems to be other tribes before the tribes of Juda. There was a time before 1381 and the Slavic fight too.
A right must naturally build on that everyone has a right to live where his family has lived for generations. The immigrants have natural right because the state has allowed them to come and be native. That kind of questions have to be decided by a bigger and objective collective and not by a smaller tribe fighting for land and prosperity. The general agreement must give peace for everyone. The other side is that the aggressive leave a bill for the neighbours to pay. Otherwise they have to bring the aggressor back to square one. This question is actual today Wednesday, 28 April 1999.
With modern technology our demands increases and we want proof and no speculations. Much of the early history and archaeology was partly speculation or hypothesis as they said earlier. Now we have enough evidence to build history on that. We can not believe in wandering people without genetic evidence. The blood is much alike in the entire Europe from Ural to the Atlantic with only small exceptions.
The Basques is one little corner where we see a difference in blood and language, but no so far that the cause is only isolation. On the opposite we have the Nile Delta with error in blood perhaps depending on the relatively short period with the Hyksos or that the Delta was a melt pot. They say the genetic difference between the apes and us is less than two percent. These mentioned differences are on a level of per thousand.
If we make our decisions from artefacts they can be merchandise as well as luggage with immigrants. Ideas and myths is more reliable evidence for cultural contact as long as the myth is near the original. But still was it adapted by trade in two or one direction or was brought with immigrants.
Language is a factor. But a language can diverge fast if isolated from others and in a climate with different technology. In Europe we have the main difference between the Celtic syllable order and the Latin and Anglo-Scandinavian. The other fact is the rationalisation and use of consonants versus vowels.
I am sceptic to the earlier genetic theories about languages. The shown words are two occasional to describe genetic origin. They normal tell us that the word for hundred shows the belonging to a family three. The deca-system is of late origin. In the Anglo-Scandinavian we have earlier used six and pair of six as base in calculating.
I am not a linguist but I have spent years in studying the morphology of our languages. I have been especially interested in the question "Did the Ritual Age use another language since they are supposed to have lived and worked in the name of deities?" That it what I call a theo-dative mainly seen in the oldest place names. We have to use the entire Europe for that kind of studies. The other question is about suffixes and prefixes in our existing word structure. Can we cut of ch, kh, dj, and still have the same meaning. Thirdly the already mentioned order of the morphemes/syllables in existing words.
I know five Anglo Scandinavian languages well. One of them is Finnish and I think we see the original structure in language in it. Once you have learnt it you see a clear logical structure and it is spoken as you write it. We can also se the structure in how words are put together of syllables. In the Anglo Scandinavian other languages we have these ch, kh, dj, tj sounds that I believe are remains from the ritual language.
Another thin is that I believe we can see the northern languages as partly isolates and with more original words than in southern languages. I see it when I translate to English. When I find ideas and concepts still in use in northern languages I have difficulties in finding similar in English. I think they have been in use but they are now totally out of normal dictionaries. Then I use easily understood words of today. If we study the words in old English and why not Irish and other dialects we find many similarities compared for instance to the old dialect in Vaestergautland.
This is a late picture in the life of Thor and later Wayland smith.
On this picture we see the hammers in the smithy. Wayland is flying in the guise of an eagle behind Bodvild. Picture-stone Ardre 700 to 900 AD. The shape of the eagle seems to have been standard between artist during a long time.
When Michael Barry in Australia put my homepage on his site I discovered a new aspect on what my total work is. His search words are "Edda on the rocks". It is just what it is that all my writing ends in this chapter and gives the roots to Edda gods more than to the Christian Scandinavian heritage. I dug deep in the ancestors and we may say to the isolated West Europeans during last ice period.
The word Edda is the name on the most famous books about Norse myths and they were written in 13th century. For convenience I include all writers from the time in this concept. Usually they are mostly interested in the Asa gods, which probably were the cattle-breeders' early gods. The cultivators' pantheon is called the Vanir however it is hard to see any distinction between them. In my writing they are all connected to the yearly round and normal myths about their world order.
They had the ice in north and icy Alps in south and were trapped there. In the French caves we see something of their thought mostly in animals but there are other symbols too. In the Edda they tell about Fimbulwinter while the Greek myths tell about people forced to caves. Our Northern heritage is the memory of this while in Mesopotamia it is the memory of the great Flood, which still is a threat as we know from Bangladesh.
The deep civilised roots are of course in the southern Old World from India to Egypt. Colin Renfrew believes much in influence as the mean of culture flow. I think he is right. Mostly we have to talk about the slow flowing trade and tourism at the time. Then we have obviously had immigration too. There is seldom one answer to the past.
The Kivik grave mentioned above is an example from about 1400 BC. The technique in building the passage graves may have been learnt in Mycenae. In the grave are eight pictured stones with northern themes as well as some from Greece I think. On each side of the altar above are four demons from Underworld. It make think about a Minoan ring with Potinia of Underworld and her demons. Originally maybe they came from east as we read in Babylonia about the scene in the cold Underworld.
There is two Omega symbols and the scene is like a Greek-Northern variant of the Egyptian Underworld when the feather of Truth decides if it should be an eternal life or not. The man in the grave got the same resurrection as Tuthankamun almost. His memory lives as long as the Kivik grave stand. Surely he was a trader.
There is also a man in a chariot and fighting horses, which the wealthiest could afford and other people enjoy. The lures, balta-axes ships and crossed circles are of northern origin. They are in pair and are a mix of Nordic pairhood and what we see in Hittitian symbolism. There is also a whale I think. It puzzled me a little, but it must have been the fix-star of spring at the time and then it is Kaitos in the sky. The Phoenicians brought it later with them in their symbolism.
We have nothing else like this in Scandinavia from the Bronze Age. However it gives us a picture of the international traders world. We can not generalise it to be common grave customs. Either can we say that this man was a chieftain ruling people with his sword. We must have better evidence. He had perhaps not time for this since he maybe spent his time as tourist and trader in Greece.
Mostly our evidence of origin is only a world or two or similarity in cultural items. I have made the Naked a symbol of European humanism, since she is the first natural figure we meet in the caves. She has a moon horn in her hand, which became symbol of fertility and rain. The clothed child is from that later passage graves and i sought the explanation in Sumerian literature telling about the unclothed Ninazu with her mother "sleeping in Underworld".
The Sumerians had a great heart for every being. A later picture is the herd with a lamb on her shoulder and from Babylon the mare fighting against a lion for here filly. Westerners use only one half of the brain and have forgot to look for the story behind the picture.
The bull as symbol is very old in Anatolia where we find a painting how they catch the animal with a net. Some of the people look very African and with hip skirt much like what we see on Egyptian palettes. In the Hititian temples a couple of Taurus was centre. Of course we know them from the Minotaurus too. But the Hittitian symbolism is easier to analyse. These cultures belong to the second millennium BC.
I think the Celtic culture is more visible in the last millennium BC. One of the oldest cycles of Celtic tales is Tain Bo Cuailinge and concerns the struggle between a brown and a white bull. The Goddess wants the brown bull and then the story goes on. In the end the bulls have a fight and kill each other. The story is sometimes in a likely reality but also in the past and deep in the graves showing how they partly lived in the past Otherworld. When a story is told in metaphors everyone can understand it in the wanted way.
In the Gundestrup cauldron the bull is Bull and in centre since it is lying in the bottom of the cauldron. It was natural if the farmers and the traders living on keeping cattle and a little growing had a bull as "high animal" Among people living on nature animals like Elk, rein and stag were the worshipped things. In the caves we find pictures of the mammoth as a house and they lived in houses made out of mammoth bones. The main animal became always "their hole world". In my youth cattle was very near the heart of the farmer. For a few it was the pigs.
In Edda the goddess Freja is also called Syr, the sow. Urbanised people mean that the sow is dirty, which she is not. To be fertile, as a sow is not "in" in urban culture: The usual is not more than a pair of children in the ordinary family. We meet the sow in stone carvings at Gavrini Brittany and in France are many place names with determining -viers and statues of pigs are also found.
I think it was more local customs and perhaps that they had oak woods for the pigs. During Middle Age and earlier I believe they were most common in East Sweden. It was a good thing to have the larder in the woods and it needed little guarding and was not always watching people like the goats. The remains are also in place names like Tutting meaning, she with the diddies and ornum, meaning working for the boar.
It is symptomatic that urban people do not allow the use the word diddies in print ... what a rubbish attitude. There is much to research yet. I just come to think about why did the chose the boar as a legal term. Were the "boars" the upper class in some places? We see the animal in the helmet of one of the riders on a plate from the Gundestrup cauldron. Observe it was made in the Balkan part of Europe.
We se from the carvings that a suite of seven idols for three summer moons was enough. Of course they had a few more like the Old Goodie beneath and rainy Moon Maid and shiny Old One in the sky. In cities and crowded places the peasants' gods were forgotten and the problem of living together became centre of the world.
The world is not big enough to avoid quarrel in the laundry room about washing time and other thing. Still there is plenty of space for everyone. Some mathematician has calculated that the entire population on earth could stand at the isle Gotland! Especially urban people seek the centre of the crowd for some reason.
Once mankind solved the problems of getting food the brain was trained and developed for thinking and they had time too. Then both halves of the brain needed to be filled with something. In one half is the daily life and its routines. In the other are myths and magic in life and spiritual things. Those with exceptional imagination see odd creatures everywhere and especially if they are sent to deep woods. On TV National Geographic and American TV is always talking about dangerous creatures and wild beasts. Maybe that is the reason why they root out those things everywhere?
The last millennium BC brought a new language whit accusative showing they were analysing cause and effect: They were not only following the gods, which in reality meant that former generations had figured out the rules for the life. It was a sort of fundamentalism with the ritual year as a string to follow and the organisation in a suite as work order. The process started in the Hittitian time when man cut out his living space and later gave at least the nobility the right to have a head.
Then the thinking process has accelerated to our days with western humankind wanting to leave the earth and become true gods. The adventures in space make man believe he is the master ... until a thunderstorm comes and the big Mights of environment show their muscles. The speculating man always forgets the surroundings when he is concentrating on the object he manipulates.
Increasing culture with population
We may say that the Europeans are slow thinkers. The American Indians discovered America some 50000 years ago, but the Europeans as late as the holy year 1492. We are not allowed to at least investigate if some others did it too and maybe earlier than Columbus. That is normal cultural imperialism in the same way as we Scandinavians are barbarians and the Romans have the only truth.
Another limit is that only written evidence counts. Then of course the early Greek text is the only evidence. The Greeks discovered some Celts in Middle Europe on the Danube trade and Hyperboreans they had heard about. On my homepages is a picture of us from their description. I did not recognise my type among them. The Romans learned about Germans and northern people at Elbe in the year 9 when Tiberius was at Elbe. Maybe they lost a ship in the Baltic about the same time since we have a find from Lauterhorn Gotland. They think the details are from a Roman commander's cabin at the time.
However in Scandinavia the last Ice Age set a limit for a culture. The land rises still and we are all immigrants in our roots. Some see it as a minus and of less value than the original culture. I see no sense in that kind of pseudo valuation. To me survival of mankind is the only measure ... thanks my forefathers. Without you I would not have jumped out to this world!
Once I defined culture as "add of value" to existing culture. Values are man made and I am not sure that all values are positive when compared to survival of mankind ad eternity?
Urban people see urban manners and taste as the only allowed, while I understand that innovation of tools and methods for agriculture has been the real thing in growth of population and the source of "high culture" too.
In history noble people normally want to hear about victories on the battlefield, golden things and mighty chieftain in our past. Maybe that is the reason why Scandinavian history starts at Viking Age and world history starts with the Greeks. If we want to get an answer to the question "Why did the Greeks behave and work in their way, we have to go further back in history. That seems be the natural method.
When we look at 7000 years we can not handle it in the same way as we in school learnt about the reign of our kings, some odd names and a few glorious details When it come to 250 generations of rulers that is simply impossible. If we want descriptive history about people and heroes the only way are the sagas and tales of Snorre, the Celts and other tellers. They save the important Details and stories connected with names as labels to remember. The sense moral was always the important thing in tales. The deeds do not need to be clever or have good moral and manners. The conclusions are drawn from what was the result and earning.
If we look on our TV series from a distance many of them are about the manners and morals among the noble and wealthy. I do not think they please the Christian moral. I am a practical man with a lot of experience and would not behave and act like they do in the series. That is because I know what would happen and I will not pay for stupid behaviour.
Another part of the series are those all games from childhood ... police and gangsters ... play doctor ... play fireman ... the rescue team ... the discover. Only a few themes are new and they are all made to fill the other part of the westerners brain. However there has always been a need for tales in the night waiting for the dawn. Now I think about Canterbury tales for some reason. In the Edda it is the dispute between Thor and Allvis in Allvismàl.
We can find three logic positions in observing history. Often we meet the tele-effect in studying ancient times. The effect is that what is near us we see and the perspective is lost since we do not feel the distance. That is the first position.
We can stand on side and see the past as a timeline or a train of events passing by. A happening needs knowledge, which means there must be a sequence and chronology picturing that. That is the second. Some use this position from above, but it may be nearly the same.
The third method is to set the observation point in the happening at the time. It is risky since we have to understand all. We have to know their background, but not later development. Speculation is always near, but it will be the most true if well done.
Natural biological growth is seen in jumps. A plant needs to gather the energy for the next jump and stand seemingly still. Then over night it has made a jump again. The mechanism depends on temperature and light shifts and also the moon and air pressure. The old corn farmers said it is good with a cold period in May. If it is to warn the corn will grow and grow but with no roots. During a colder time it creates the roots and chose the right formation of the straw to be stiff enough.
The historical process happens mostly in the same way. For us it seems blind since we are to far from the happenings and even in our days we cannot grasp it all and take a ride on the Holgersson's goose to get distance. The saga of Selma Lagerlauf was one of my favourites in childhood. I think I have learnt to alternate between the ground and if necessary take that express.
In small folklands there is no need for advanced rituals. There are not enough people for a train and if the ideas fly too high there is also that stupid little one shouting "The Emperor is naked" and then that illusion is blown out. In a big crowd no one hear him and he feel pressure and do not dare it.
The painting and relief in the caves in France and Spain show us that man could make naturalistic art if he wished to give an expression. Much of our rock art is pure symbolic. Then they wanted to write down the story in symbols and the principles were the main thing. They wrote in rock and we can expect that it were for eternity. They wanted it to be eternal law and moral. Sometimes in solemn high tales we also want that peace and agreements should be eternal.
We never know for sure if the pictures were mirroring real life at the time ... or was it something they had heard and brought home ... were they writing down their conclusions ...did they want to fool later coming people. We have always to find a compromise in the possibilities and connect it to other observations and remains.
I see my research only as a pre-research to line up the field, since I have seen no publication of this kind on my library or the literature lists I use. It is the old Epicurean question "Does the word exist if outside our personal experience and when we are not speaking about it". For those who stop in Greece, this is naturally not existing at all.
Edda: Snorri Sturluson Edda
Search on the machine gave 16 books with versions of the Edda. The Snorre Sturluson version gives much about the noble society of the Edda Age.