Dynastic race


Pontus

 

Hattians


Pontus

 
Haplogroup T1a - Haplogroup R1b1a2 (R-V88)

 

Influence on Egypt

There are certain elements in Egypt's Early Dynastic Period which seem to betray unmistakable Sumerian influence. Egyptian hieroglyphic writing may be one. Another is the so-called 'paneled-facade' type of architecture found in Egyptian tombs from the First to the Third The most remarkable evidence of cultural connection is that shown in the architecture of the Early Dynastic tombs of Egypt and Mesopotamian seal-impressions showing almost exactly similar buildings.

For the Sumerian region "intelligible written records begin at about 3000 BC. From these, and from archaeological research, it is evident that even at this early period there were large cities with splendid temples and elaborately planned houses. Stone-carving was well-developed, also metal-working and the fashioning of jewelry. Extensive foreign trade contributed lapis-lazuli from Afghanistan, shells from the Persian Gulf and rare stones such as calcite, obsidian and diorite, none of which are found in southern Mesopotamia. But in the early Dynastic Period there was no unified state of Sumer, unlike Egypt that had become unified by 3200 BC."

- Leonard Cottrell, The Quest for Sumer

 

Kura–Araxes culture

Proto-Hurrians


Kura–Araxes culture

 
Haplogroup G2a - Haplogroup I2a

 

Medzamor

Medzamor' - Black swamp' or 'Black quicksand'

Excavations began at Metsamor in 1965 and are still in progress, led by Professor Emma Khanzatian.  The most recent excavation work occurred in the summer of 1996, along the inner cyclopic wall.  Excavations have shown strata of occupancy going back to the Neolithic period (7,000-5,000 BC), but the most outstanding features of the site were constructed during the early, middle and late Bronze Ages (5000-2,000 BC).  Inscriptions found within the excavation go back as far as the Neolithic period , and a sophisticated pictograph form of writing was developed as early as 2000-1800 BC.

Metallurgy

The excavation has uncovered a large metal industry, including a foundry with 2 kinds of blast furnaces (brick and in-ground).  Metal processing at Metsamor was among the most sophisticated of its kind at that time:  the foundry extracted and processed high-grade gold, copper, several types of bronze, manganese, zinc, strychnine, mercury and iron. Metsamor’s processed metal was coveted by all nearby cultures, and found its way to Egypt, Central Asia and China.  The iron smelting process was not advanced in Metsamor, probably due to the vast quantities of pure bronze alloys at hand, and Metsamor primarily mined and sold iron ore to neighbouring cultures which took better advantage of its properties. 

The Foundry

The foundry dates from the Early Bronze Age (ca. 4,000 BC) though recent digs in the area uncovered signs of metal processing as early as 5,000 BC. The complex of smelting furnaces and moulds date from the mid Bronze to Early Iron Age (3,000-2,000 BC).  The complex becomes more astounding the more you walk through it.  Several huge underground caves were uncovered that are thought to have been storehouses for base metal, as well as a granaries for winter months.  Stretching just below and around the Upper Citadel, the foundries processed Copper, Bronze, Iron, Mercury, Manganese, Strychnine, Zinc and gold.  The first iron in the ancient world was probably forged here, though it was not considered as important as bronze, giving the jump on development to the Babylonians.


Copper smelter

Funerary remains

The discovery of thousands of people buried in simple graves and large burial mounds revealed a history of Metsamor’s burial rituals and a concern for hiding wealthy tombs.  Like the Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings, Metsamor’s rulers tried to thwart grave robbers by hiding  the locations of royal tombs.  Fortunately the grave robbers at Metsamor were not as lucky as those in Egypt, and the Mausoleums revealed intact and richly adorned burial vaults, giving us an excellent glimpse into the traditions for preparing the body for the afterlife.

Among the artefacts uncovered in the royal tombs were evidences of great wealth; Gold, silver and bronze jewellery and adornments were found over and next to the body, which was placed in a sitting foetal position in a large stone sarcophagus (early Metsamor) or lying in a casket (late Metsamor).  The bodies were laid out with their feet oriented towards the East, so they could greet the sun and follow it to the afterlife in the West.  Included in the vaults were the skeletal remains of horses, cattle, domesticated dogs and humans, presumed to be servants or slaves to the deceased.  The sacrifice of slaves and animals was a common feature of burial rituals during the Bronze and Early Iron Age, as they were considered necessary to assist their master in the next life.  In addition to jewellery, pottery and tools, excavators discovered pots filled with grape and pear piths, grains, wine and oil.  The fruit piths are a prominent part of the food offerings, and considered a necessary part of the funeral rites.

Other funeral objects discovered were rare amethyst bowls, ornamented wooden caskets with inlaid covers, glazed ceramic perfume bottles, and ornaments of gold, silver and semiprecious stones, and paste decorated with traditional mythological scenes typical of local art traditions.  Egyptian, Central Asian and Babylonian objects were also found at the site, indicating that from earliest of times Metsamor was on the crossroads of travel routes spanning the Ararat plain and linking Asia Minor with the North Caucasus and Central Asia.  By the early Iron Age Metsamor was one of the “royal” towns, an administrative-political and cultural centre in the Ararat Valley.

 

Dynastic race

First Dynasty of Egypt, c. 3100 - 2900 BC

 
The Narmer Palette, thought to mark the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.

By about 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. Shortly after 3600 BC, Egyptian society began to grow and increase in complexity. A new and distinctive pottery, which was related to the Levantine ceramics, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time. The Mesopotamian process of sun-drying adobe and architectural principles-including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect-became popular during this time.

Concurrent with these cultural advances, a process of unification of the societies and towns of the upper Nile River, or Upper Egypt, occurred. At the same time the societies of the Nile Delta, or Lower Egypt also underwent a unification process. Warfare between Upper and Lower Egypt occurred often. During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies on the Delta and merged both the Kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt under his single rule.


White & Red Crown

According to Manetho, the first monarch of the unified Upper and Lower Egypt was Menes, who is now identified with Narmer. Indeed, Narmer is the earliest recorded First Dynasty monarch: he appears first on the king lists of Den and Qa'a. This shows that Narmer was recognized by the first dynasty kings as an important founding figure. Narmer is also the earliest king associated to the symbols of power over the two lands (see in particular the Narmer Palette, a votive cosmetic palette showing Narmer wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt) and may therefore be the first king to achieve the unification. Consequently, the current consensus is that "Menes" and "Narmer" refer to the same person. Alternative theories hold that Narmer was the final king of the Naqada III period and Hor-Aha is to be identified with "Menes".

 

Egyptian crowns


The White Crown of Upper Egypt

  • The White Crown of Upper Egypt is also known as the Hedjet Crown. It looks a bit like a bishop's mitre and was probably made from cloth or felt.
  • The White crown was worn by the rulers of Upper Egypt before the unification with Lower Egypt. Like the Royal Vulture Crown, it had a special association with the goddess Nekhbet.
  • Horus, the falcon god, was usually shown wearing the White Crown.


The Red Crown of Lower Egypt

  • The Red Crown of Lower Egypt has a distinctive high crest at the back with a long rigid line that angles upwards towards the front. Sometimes this line is curled at the end.
  • It is also known as the Deshret Crown.
  • The Red Crown was the emblem of the goddess Neith, who was the patron of the city of Sais in Lower Egypt.
  • The terms Upper and Lower Egypt are confusing as they conflict with the way that we read maps today. Lower Egypt is in the north of the country around Cairo and Giza, while Upper Egypt is in the south around Luxor and Thebes.


The Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt

  • The Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt is also known as the Pschent Crown or 'sekhemti' which meant the 'Two Powerful Ones'. It was a combination of the Red Crown of Lower Egypt and the White Crown of Upper Egypt.
  • Sometimes you may find two animal symbols attached to the front of this crown. These are a cobra representing the goddess Wadjet of Lower Egypt and a vulture representing the goddess Nekhbet of Upper Egypt. Together they were known as 'The Two Ladies'.
  • King Menes of Memphis founded the First Egyptian Dynasty around 3100 BC and unified the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt.


The Blue Crown

  • The Blue Crown was also known as the 'war crown' or the Khepresh Crown.
  • It was probably made from cloth or leather, then painted blue. Sometimes it was decorated with golden discs and a twisting royal uraeus usually adorned the front.
  • It is a military helmet and is often worn during battles and hunting.
  • Ramesses II was depicted wearing this crown in a famous painting to celebrate his victory over the Hittites.

 

Egyptian Blue White & Red Crown

   
Blue Crown - White Crown - Red Crown


European flags (blue, white & red)

 

Narmer Palette


Narmer Palette

 

Mace - Buzdovan


Mace cannot really be used for anything except cracking heads

In ancient Ukraine, stone mace heads were first used nearly eight millennia ago. The others known were disc maces with oddly formed stones mounted perpendicularly to their handle. The Narmer Palette shows a king swinging a mace. See the articles on the Narmer Macehead and the Scorpion Macehead for examples of decorated maces inscribed with the names of kings.

Mace - Slavery

Mace, Pontic–Caspian Steppe

Polished stone maces were another steppe artifact type that appeared in Tripolye B1 villages. The cat, unlike an ax, can not really be used for anything except cracking heads. It was a new weapon type and symbol of power in Old Europe, but maces had appeared across the steppes centuries earlier in DDII, Khvalynsk, and Varfolomievka contexts.

 

Warfare

Since the rise of the state some 5,000 years ago, military activity has occurred over much of the globe.


Arrowheads from Narmer’s tomb, Petrie 1905, Royal Tombs II, pl. IV.14.

 

Human sacrifice

Ancient Egypt (first dynasti)

There may be evidence of retainer sacrifice in the early dynastic period at Abydos, when on the death of a King he would be accompanied with servants, and possibly high officials, who would continue to serve him in eternal life. The skeletons that were found had no obvious signs of trauma, leading to speculation that the giving up of life to serve the King may have been a voluntary act, possibly carried out in a drug induced state.

Retainer sacrifice was abandoned almost immediately after the end of the First Dynasty. - Ancient Egyptian retainer sacrifices

In Greek mythology Minos was the first King of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. Every nine years, he made King Aegeus pick seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to Daedalus's creation, the labyrinth, to be eaten by the Minotaur. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in the underworld.

Some scholars see a connection between Minos and the names of other ancient founder-kings, such as Menes of Egypt,

 

Ptah - Phater Yah


Ptah

Ptah (/pəˈtɑː/; Ancient Egyptian: ptḥ, probably vocalized as Pitaḥ in ancient Egyptian) is the demiurge of Memphis, god of craftsmen and architects. In the triad of Memphis, he is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum.

Ptah is the patron of craftsmanship, metalworking, carpenters, shipbuilders, and sculpture.

Like many deities of ancient Egypt he takes many forms, through one of his particular aspects or through syncretism of ancient deities of the Memphite region. Sometimes represented as a dwarf, naked and deformed, his popularity would continue to grow during the Late Period. Frequently associated with the god Bes, his worship then exceeded the borders of the country and was exported throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Through dissemination by the Phoenicians, we find figures of Ptah in Carthage.

Capital Thinis then Memphis. According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes.

The English name Egypt derives from an ancient Egyptian name for Memphis, Hikuptah, which means "Home of the Soul of Ptah". This word entered Ancient Greek as Αἴγυπτος (Aiguptos), which entered Latin as Aegyptus, and which developed into English as Egypt.

Hephaestus is probably associated with the Linear B (Mycenean Greek) inscription, A-pa-i-ti-jo, found at Knossos; the inscription indirectly attests his worship at that time because it is believed that it reads the theophoric name Haphaistios or Haphaistion. The name of the god in Greek (Hēphaistos) has a root which can be observed in names of places of Pre-Greek origin, like Phaistos (Pa-i-to in Linear B).

Hephaestus is described in mythological sources as "lame" (cholōs), and "halting" (ēpedanos). He was depicted with crippled feet and as misshapen, either from birth or as a result of his fall from Olympus. In vase paintings, Hephaestus is usually shown lame and bent over his anvil, hard at work on a metal creation, and sometimes with his feet back-to-front: Hephaistos amphigyēeis. He walked with the aid of a stick. The Argonaut Palaimonius, "son of Hephaestus" was also lame.

Korjen PT - Ptah (PT-ah) = Hephaestus (Pa-i-To)

  • Ptah / Pitaḥ = PT-Ah = Phater-Yah - Korjen PTY
    • Hephaestus (A-pa-i-ti-jo) - Korjen PTJ

 

The Memphite Theology


Ptah

The Memphite version of creation centered on Ptah, who was the patron god of craftsmen. As such, he represented the craftsman's ability to envision a finished product, and shape raw materials to create that product. The Memphite theology said that Ptah created the world in a similar way. This, unlike the other Egyptian creations, was not a physical but an intellectual creation by the Word and the Mind of God. The ideas developed within Ptah's heart were given form when he named them with his tongue. By speaking these names, Ptah produced the gods and all other things.

The Memphite creation myth coexisted with that of Heliopolis, as Ptah's creative thought and speech were believed to have caused the formation of Atum and the Ennead. Ptah was also associated with Tatjenen, the god who personified the pyramidal mound.

The Memphite religion was political, justifying the primary status of the new capital. Ptah, the principal god of Memphis, had to be shown to be the great creator-god, and a new legend about creation was coined.  But it was also important to organize the new cosmogony so that a direct breach with the priests of Heliopolis might be avoided. Ptah was the great creator-god, but eight other gods were held to be contained within him, including some of the Heliopolitan Ennead and the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. The Heliopolitan Atum held a central position, and the Hermopolitan Nun and Naunet were also included.

The Shabaka Text enumerates Ptah's eight hypostases or qualities as "the Neterw who have come into existence in Ptah". Ptah himself incarnates the primordial Eight, and then becomes Tatenenn, 'the earth which rises up', an evocation of the primordial hill. "He who manifested himself as heart, he who manifested himself as tongue, in the likeness of Atum, is Ptah, the very ancient, who gave life to all the Neterw." Tongue means speech, or in later philosophical idiom the logos. Ptah conceived the world intellectually before creating it 'by his own word'.  The heart and the tongue 'have power over' all the other members, since the tongue describes what the heart conceives. Thus Ptah re-creates the Great Ennead, and gives rise to all the qualities of things, through the Desire of his heart and the Word of his tongue.

Ptah's name means "Creator". He is depicted as a mummified man with only his hands free to grasp a sceptre composed of the symbols of life (ankh), power (was), and stability (djed). He is also typically shown wearing a skullcap and standing on the plinth-shaped hieroglyph that is part of the name for Ma'at, the goddess of fundamental truth.

The Memphite theology, like the Theban religion, is based on a primordial triad of deities. In this case we have Ptah who is accompanied by Sekhmet, the great lioness whose name means 'the powerful', and Nefertum, 'the accomplishment of Atum', thus making up the first causal triad.

The monotheistic element is here as well, in the Memphite Theology it is said of Ptah:

'He who made all and created the gods.' And he is Ta-tenen, who gave birth to the gods, and from whom every thing came forth, foods, provisions, divine offerings, all good things. Thus it is recognized and understood that he is the mightiest of the gods. Thus Ptah was satisfied after he had made all things and all divine words.
(Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdom translated by Miriam Lichtheim)

We have here a strongly developed theism, which gives the lie to the oft-asserted statement that Akhenaten was the first monotheist. Ptah constitutes a creator figure, in contrast to Atum is more of an Emanator. Yet this was still within the same overall tradition (albeit with a different deity). Emanationism is more prone to a philosophical based mysticism in which human growth is the key issue, while creation based is more on a creator who gives laws that you must follow. The Hermopolic creation story (in which everything emerges from the primordial Eight or the Nun) is more prone to left-hand path belief systems since there is no pre-existent God, and the Theban seems like it would be purely mystical, with it's abstract symbolism.

Ptah as the divine craftsman also recalls Judaeo-Christian themes of God fashioning the world, making Adam out of clay, etc.  I leave it to the reader to decide whether this similarity is due to diffusion (the Memphite ideas filtering through to the rest of the Mediterranean world) or archetypal convergence (the same symbol or motif reappearing)


Ogdoad with serpent and frog heads, Thoth & Ptah

 

Djed


Djed

Smith in 1922, suggested a parallel with the Assyrian "sacred tree" when he drew attention to the presence of the upper four bands of the djed pillar and the bands that are present in the center of the vertical portion of the tree. He also proposed a common origin between Osiris and the Assyrian god Assur with whom he said, the sacred tree might be associated.

The Bosnian Church was headed by a bishop, called djed ("grandfather"), and had a council of twelve men called strojnici. The monk missionaries were known as krstjani or kršćani ("adherents of the cross"). Some of the adherents resided in small monasteries, known as hiže (hiža, "house"), while others were wanderers, known as gosti (gost, "guest"). It is difficult to ascertain how the theology differed from that of the Orthodox and Catholic. The practices were however unacceptable to both.

The Church was mainly composed of monks in scattered monastic houses. It had no territorial organization and it did not deal with any secular matters other than attending people's burials. It did not involve itself in state issues very much.

 

Back to Africa,  c. 3100 BC

 
Haplogroup T1a - Haplogroup R1b1a2 (R-V88)

R1b1a2-V88, može se naći širom Europe u izuzetno malom postotku, s tim da je nešto značajnije zastupljena u južnoj Europi, prije svega na Apeninskom i Iberijskom poluotoku. Nešto značajniji postotak (do 4%) ova grana bilježi na Levantu, među Libancima, Druzima i Židovima, a najveće frekvencije dostiže među pojedinim narodima severne Afrike, sudanskim Koptima (15%), Berberima iz granične regije Egipta i Libije (23%), Hausa narodom iz Sudana (40%), Fulani narodima Nigera i Kameruna (54%), dok kod nekih čadskih plemena sjevernog Kameruna i Nigerije dostiže i nevjerovatnih 95%. Gotovo svi pripadnici grane V88 u Africi i Bliskom Istoku pripadaju podgrani Y7771, i visoki postotak među navedenim afrčkim narodima posljedica su naglog demografskog širenja ove podgrane u poslednjih 5000 godina. Grana V88 je među drevnim uzorcima do sada pronađena kod jednog mezolitskog lovca-sakupljača iz Ukrajine, i kod jednog neolitskog zemljoradnika iz Španije.

Copts - Ptah

Today 15% of the Sudanese Copts are R1b V88.


Land of Punt


Land of Punt

One of the key factors in pinpointing the location of the Land of Punt is its geographical proximity to ancient Egypt. In this regard, scholars have often indicated that the territory was situated to the south and east. But what exactly do they base this on?

In the 1850s, the Antiquities Service of Egypt discovered hieroglyphic texts in the vicinity of Thebes (Luxor) in Upper Egypt. These inscriptions identify Punt as a source of aromatics found to the east of Egypt. This, in turn, would prompt the Egyptologist Heinrich Karl Brugsch to postulate that the ancient land was located in the Arabian peninsula. A few years later, his colleague the archaeologist Auguste Mariette came upon geographical lists at the Karnak Temple, which had been left by the Pharaoh Thutmose III of the Eighteenth Dynasty (r. 1458–1425 BCE). These hieroglyphics include Punt among the territories that lay to the south of Egypt. The Egyptologist Abdel Monem A. H. Sayed explains:

The first lists of this kind, and the most comprehensive, are those of Thutmoses III, where the regional and site names are arranged in a manner coinciding with their geographical locations.

The list of toponyms of the African side of the Red Sea begins with the heading Kush, the Egyptian name for Upper Nubia. Under this heading are recorded 22 toponyms. Then comes the regional name Wawat or Lower Nubia, with 24 toponyms listed under it. After that, the list begins again from the south, recording regional and site names closer to the Red Sea shore. The regional name Punt is mentioned as a heading for 30 toponyms. After Punt comes Mejay as a heading of 17 toponyms. Lastly comes the regional name Khaskhet extending along the Red Sea shore of Egypt, with 22 toponyms listed (Schiaparelli 1916, 115-9).

This clear hieroglyphic account allows the following important deductions[…] The relation between Punt and the other regional names in the list (Kush, Wawat, Mejay and some of the toponyms under the heading Khaskhet), of which the African locations are agreed among Egyptologists, shows clearly that in the time of Thutmoses III Punt was the most southerly region and adjacent to the Red Sea coast. This is of great value for locating Punt during the New Kingdom in general, and the time of Queen Hatshepsut in particular.

A 26th Dynasty stela was also recovered from the ancient site of Dafnah (Daphnae) near the Delta, which contains an inscription stating that “when rain falls on the mountain of Punt, the Nile floods”. This is a clear allusion to the Ethiopian highlands, where the Blue Nile rises (cf. Sayed (1989)). Coupled with some of the floral and faunal evidence discussed below, Mariette’s discovery and the Dafnah tablet helped shift scholarly opinion as to where Punt was situated (including eventually that of Brugsch himself) away from a hypothesized Arabian location to the adjacent northern Horn of Africa.


The Palermo Stone contains the earliest hieroglyphic description of an ancient Egyptian expedition to the Land of Punt, during the Fifth Dynasty (Sci-News).

Cozzolino (1993) enumerates over 50 other hieroglyphic inscriptions relating to the Land of Punt, and a few additional engravings have subsequently been discovered. The earliest of these writings is the Palermo Stone. It informs us that an ancient Egyptian expedition to Punt brought back 80,000 measures of ‘ntiyw (a particular type of incense), among other items, during the thirteenth regnal year of Sahure (ca. 2445 BCE), the second Pharaoh of the Old Kingdom’s Fifth Dynasty. Unfortunately, the Palermo Stone does not specify where Punt itself was located. We do, however, have an idea of how Sahure’s men got there. In 2002, an inscribed block was found at the pyramid of Sahure in the Abusir necropolis, with two of its registers depicting the arrival of ancient Egyptian cargo vessels transporting goods from Punt. From this, we know that the Sahure expedition was carried out by sea rather than overland. Punt was therefore not a landlocked territory.

A Sixth Dynasty inscription provides an even clearer indication of the route that the ancient Egyptians took to get to Punt during the Old Kingdom. Phillips (1997) notes that Pharaoh Pepi II or Neferkare (2278/2269–2184/2175 BCE) dispatched one of his expedition leaders, Pepinakht, to retrieve the body of the official Anankhti, who had been killed by bedouins in the Eastern Desert (the “desert of the Asiatics”) while overseeing the construction of a ship intended for another commercial expedition to Punt. Thus, the particular water route that was favored by the ancient Egyptian rulers appears to have been via the Red Sea. This is confirmed by a later, Middle Kingdom rock inscription at Wadi Hammamat from the reign of Pharaoh Mentuhotep III or Senekhkere (r. 2004–1992 BCE) of the Eleventh Dynasty. According to the chief treasurer Henu, he was ordered by the king to build a vessel destined for Punt along the Red Sea littoral:

[My lord, life, prosperity] health[…] sent me to dispatch a ship to Punt to bring for him fresh myrrh from the sheiks over the Red Land, by reason of the fear of him in the highlands. Then I went forth from Koptos upon the road, which his majesty commanded me…

I went forth with an army of 3,000 men. I made the road a river, and the Red Land (desert) a stretch of field, for I gave a stretch of field, for I gave a leathern bottle, a carrying pole[…], 2 jars of water and 20 loaves to each one among them every day. The asses were laden with sandals[…]

Then I reached the (Red) Sea; then I made this ship, and I dispatched it with everything, when I had made for it a great oblation of cattle, bulls and ibexes.

Now, after my return from the (Red) Sea, I executed the command of his majesty, and I brought for him all the gifts, which I had found in the regions of God’s-Land. I returned through the ‘valley’ of Hammamat, I brought for him august blocks for statues belonging to the temple. Never was brought down the like thereof for the king’s court; never was done the like of this by any king’s-confidant sent out since the time of the god.

In 1971, the Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen demonstrated the feasibility of such ancient travel down the Red Sea coast by charting an actual itinerary to get to Punt. This maritime gazetteer includes 80 possible anchorage points, as well as the intervening distances between them. It stretches from the Port of Sudan to northern Eritrea, a broad region that Kitchen suggests was coextensive with the Land of Punt.

So we know from the existing hieroglyphic texts that the ancient Egyptians preferred to reach Punt by water, and through the Red Sea specifically. We also know that this navigation was doable. The question is, what actual port did the ancient Egyptians use for these trading expeditions once they had finished constructing their vessels? A stela that was discovered at Wadi Gawasis (Wadi Gasus) provides an answer. Erected by Khentkhetwer, an official under the Twelfth Dynasty Pharaoh Amenemhet II or Nubkaure (r. 1922–1878 BCE), it contains an engraving that explicitly identifies Saww as the port where Khentkhetwer and his men arrived after their voyage to Punt. The Khentkhetwer stela inscription reads:

Giving divine praise and laudation to Horus[…], to Min of Coptos, by the hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, the master of the judgement-hall Khentkhetwer[…] after his arrival in safety from Punt; his army being with him, prosperous and healthy and his ships having landed at Sewew (Saww). Year 28.


Wooden cargo boxes labeled “wonderful things of Punt”, which were discovered at Mersa Gawasis, the ancient Egyptian port of Saww (Traveltoeat).

In 2004, archaeological excavations led by the Egyptologists Kathryn Bard and Rodolfo Fattovich at Mersa Gawasis in Egypt identified this harbor as the old port of Saww, which the ancient Egyptians used during their expeditions to Punt. The diggers found a number of commodities at the site that may have been brought back from Punt, including fragments of carbonized ebony wood (Diospyros sp.) and obsidian. Since the latter volcanic glass does not occur naturally in Egypt, it was clearly imported from elsewhere. The researchers also discovered actual shipbuilding materials dating to the Middle Kingdom, such as anchors, timbers and huge steering oars, as well as 26 well-preserved coils of vessel-rigging rope that were lying on the floors of a cave. Most intriguingly, they came upon 43 cargo boxes from the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat IV (r. 1990–1800 BCE). Two of these boxes were engraved with a package label, which had been recorded by the scribe Djedy; it included inscriptions for his name, a cartouche of Amenemhat IV and regnal Year 8, and the phrase “wonderful things of Punt” in hieroglyphics. The cargo boxes were made of sycamore wood and were all empty since their contents, which are believed to have included frankincense, were apparently unloaded into containers or bags for later transport via caravan across the Eastern Desert. Additionally, Bard found a limestone stela with hieroglyphic text on it that commemorates two royal maritime expeditions to Punt and Bia-Punt (“Mine(s) of Punt”) during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhet III (r. 1831–1786 BCE).

That the ancient Egyptians journeyed to and from Punt through a Red Sea route, and via the old port of Saww in particular, has thus been confirmed. What we shall now see is that the main landing point of these trading expeditions, at least during the New Kingdom, was in northern Somalia. As such, Punt was located in a more expansive area between Cape Guardafui and the Port of Sudan.

Flora and fauna of Punt


Mural from Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s temple showing the Puntites and Egyptians transporting frankincense trees from inland to the shore (Sayed (1989)).

Besides the route taken to get there, another key aspect in situating the Land of Punt is the flora and fauna of the various proposed locations for the ancient territory. Specific plants and animals, which are said to have been native to Punt, are depicted on Egyptian temple walls and murals. Some of these “wonderful things of Punt” were also brought back to Egypt as gifts and offerings. Combined, this leaves us with invaluable information as to what kind of habitat the Puntites actually lived in.

Plants

In 1858, Mariette discovered a wall in the funerary temple of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut (r. 1479–1458 BCE) at Deir el-Bahri, which depicts an Egyptian expedition to Punt during the queen’s reign. The temple reliefs show in detail the flora and fauna of Punt, as well as the Puntites themselves. Among the clearly identifiable plants are doum palms (Hyphaene thebaica), tree species that were regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt. Kitchen argues that on the Somali coast, the doum palm is restricted to the southernmost areas, far from the suggested Puntite nucleus in the north. In actuality, the doum palm grows throughout the Somali territories. The traditional gourd used by Somali pastoralists (who historically expanded from the north) is, in fact, crafted in part from doum palm fibers.

Accordingly, the Plant Resources of Tropical Africa (PROTA) foundation describes the geographical distribution of Hyphaene thebaica as follows:

Hyphaene thebaica is distributed from Senegal and Gambia eastwards to Somalia, and is especially common between latitudes 8°N and 12°N. It also occurs in Libya, Egypt, Israel, the Arabian Peninsula and western India. Hyphaene thebaica is often planted. It was already cultivated in ancient Egypt, where it was considered sacred.

One of the main products that the ancient Egyptians traveled to Punt to obtain was ebony. Through hieroglyphic inscriptions, which indicate that the Egyptians themselves chopped down the plant while in Punt (“cutting ebony in great quantity”), ebony is known to have grown wild in the territory. The Puntites apparently did not import it from elsewhere for later resale to the Egyptians. Barnett (1999) notes that analyses of plant specimens found in tombs have confirmed that the particular variety of ebony that was used in ancient Egypt is Dalbergia melanoxylon. This species is endemic to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan alike, according to PROTA. In Somalia, ebony today has a limited distribution. Archaeological evidence, however, suggests that the plant was more abundant there too in Pharaonic times. On this likelihood, Ahmed Ibrahim Awale, a scholar who recently led excavations in northern Somalia (more on that below under Traces of ancient civilization), writes:

[Over] the past several millenia, so much has changed in the composition of vegetation in the Somali peninsula. The discovery of crocodile artifacts in Hargeisa valley suggest that a tropical riparian ecosystem existed in those areas. Therefore, it cannot be discounted that ebony, one of the chief exports from Punt, was sourced from the area. Diospyros spp., locally known as ‘Kolaati‘, is still found to a limited extent in riparian formations in Somalia.

Of all the items that were exported from the Land of Punt to ancient Egypt, frankincense was by far the most important. Sayed (1989) notes that the Deir el-Bahri murals record Pharaoh Hatshepsut as specifically commanding her party “to fetch (as the texts say) ‘fresh incense’, and ‘frankincense living trees’ from ‘the frankincense terraces of Punt’.” The main purpose of that Egyptian voyage to Punt — the largest sojourn of its kind to the ancient territory — was, therefore, to retrieve the prized aromatic resin. Indeed, the very reason why Hatshepsut organized such a massive expedition was because she wanted her men to bring back live frankincense trees for later transplantation in Egypt. Her temple reliefs show that each of the 31 heavy incense trees required 4 to 6 men to transport them to the cargo ships, or 124 to 186 Egyptian and Puntite carriers in total. Since there were around 150 crewmen on the expedition’s five vessels (30 per ship), this would mean that “the frankincense terraces of Punt” had to have been situated near the shore.

Sayed asserts that this incense-yielding locale, “the frankincense terraces of Punt”, was the northern Somali littoral. He bases this in part on historical texts, which hail this region as an early center of incense production and exportation. Chief among these old documents is the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei), a travelogue written in the 1st century CE by an Alexandrian merchant. It indicates that a top-grade libanos peratikos or “incense from beyond the straits” (Bab el-Mandeb straits) was exported from ancient city-states that dotted this part of the Red Sea area, including Malao, Mundus, Mosyllum and Akannai. The Periplus specifies that the laurel-grove of Akannai/Acannae is “where alone is produced the far-side frankincense, in great quantity and of the best grade”. Likewise, the historian and philosopher Arrian of Nicomedia testifies that the best frankincense of his day was exported from the same area around Ras Fiel/Ras Filuk (Cape Elephant/Cape Elephas), just off the Akannai harbor in present-day Alula.

Sayed (1989) remarks that the ancient Egyptians imported two types of frankincense: a lower grade variety called sntr, and a higher grade variety known as ‘ntiyw or nty. According to inscriptions from the Sixth Dynasty travelers Harkhuf and Sebni, the lower grade sntr type was obtained from the Nile Valley or in Punt and was transported overland to Egypt. The higher grade ‘ntiyw incense was, on the other hand, exclusively acquired from Punt and was typically imported by sea. F. Nigel Hepper of the Royal Botanical Gardens reports that botanists have identified this ‘ntiyw variety with Boswellia frereana. Along with Boswellia carteri, he indicates that these are the incense types that are prevalent on the northern Somali littoral (cf. Sayed (2002)). Both species of frankincense have also been found in actual ancient Egyptian tombs (Lucas (1945)). This is pivotal since, according to Hepper, northern Somalia is the only area where Boswellia frereana grows in close proximity to the seashore, and on the requisite rocky hills to boot. Although such “terrace” land formations also occur in other parts of the Red Sea region, in Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan, frankincense here grows instead at a minimum of 100 kilometers inland. The tree varieties that are found in this hinterland are likewise different from Boswellia frereana.

Animals

As with its flora, the fauna of Punt that is depicted on the Egyptian frescoes and described in hieroglyphic texts is native (though not entirely exclusive) to the Red Sea region. Among these animals is the giraffe, which today is only found in Africa. Superficially, this seems to rule out an Arabian location for the Land of Punt. A closer reading of the ancient testimonials, however, reveals that the giraffe was apparently also present in parts of the Arabian peninsula and Levant during the classical period. The ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus refers to the species as “camel-leopards”, and notes that it used to roam the area between northern Arabia and Syria (cf. Scott (2012)).

In an analogous vein, the representation of what may be a one-horned rhinoceros on the Hatsheptsut temple reliefs has been suggested as being indicative of an Indian location for Punt. This is because two-horned rhino species are today limited to Africa, whereas the one-horned rhino is restricted to the Eastern Himalayas. However, as Kitchen (1971) observes, the rhinoceros figure in question, unlike the other animals depicted at Deir el-Bahri, is badly damaged, and this makes its identification difficult. Going by a similar “one-horned” rhino representation that was discovered at Kerma in Sudan, the depiction thus appears to have been an error. Kitchen writes:

That the beast seems only to have one horn (not two, as has the African rhino) is simply an error, analogous with that of one of the two Kerma representations of Middle Kingdom date

Hilzheimer, ZÄS 67 (1931) 40), and with the stylized determinative of Louvre C. 14 accepted by Keimer (ASAÉ 48 [1948] 52 and fig. 5).

The archaeologist John Bimson also indicates that early Egyptian hieroglyphs included a pictogram of a one-horned rhinoceros. This, in turn, suggests that the species may have once inhabited the Nile Valley (cf. Sweeney (2006)). In short, the ultimate geographical origin of certain of the land-dwelling fauna of Punt is inconclusive.


Deir el-Bahri mural showing a Puntite village surrounded by Red Sea aquatic species, myrrh trees and other flora and fauna native to Northeast Africa (Edwards (1891)).

A rather different situation exists with the fish and other aquatic creatures that are illustrated on the same murals. Sayed (1989) points out that the Hatshepsut temple walls show marine species whose natural habitat is saltwater, including the lobster (palinurus). The body of water that is depicted therefore could not have been the freshwater Nile river, but instead more likely the Red Sea. Correspondingly, an analysis of the aquatic fauna on the Puntite temple reliefs by Eva Danelius and Heinz Steinitz found that the bulk of the specimens are indeed Red Sea varieties. As Kitchen (1971) notes, only a handful appear to be freshwater species, a fact which can be easily explained:

One factor largely discounted by Herzog (pp. 27, 55) is that of the fishes in the Deir el Bahri reliefs. These are, almost throughout, Red Sea/Indian Ocean fauna, with only two or perhaps three fresh-water species; see Eva Danelius and H. Steinitz, JEA 53 (1967) 15-24. If Hatshepsut’s expedition had reached Punt solely by travelling up the Nile, the overwhelming majority of Red Sea fishes is totally inexplicable. Why not solely Nile fauna, as in other Nile scenes? On the other hand, the Red Sea fauna fit a Red Sea route to Punt. The very few fresh-water fishes (a turtle; catfish, able to go in salt water, anyway; tilapia, dubious) could reflect the Nile part of the journey (Koptos-Thebes) or even fauna in Punt (River Baraka into Tokar Delta?), and pose an infinitely less problem.


A Puntite man walking a Papio hamadryas baboon (Edwards (1891)).

The most definitive faunal evidence regarding where Punt was located comes from baboons (Papio hamadryas). These are among the creatures that are depicted on the Hatshepsut temple walls at Deir el-Bahri, as well as on other ancient Egyptian murals. Baboon remains have also been found within actual tombs in the Valley of the Kings. In 2010, a research unit led by Salima Ikram of the Egyptian Museum and Nathaniel Dominy and Gillian Leigh Moritz of the University of California analyzed hairs from two such mummified baboons, which had been kept at the British Museum. To determine the place of origin of the specimens, the scientists compared the baboons’ oxygen isotopic values with those of living baboon specimens from various hypothesized Puntite locations, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. Although the isotope data of one of the baboons was distorted, initial results from analysis of the other specimen indicated that its oxygen isotopic values matched closest with those of modern baboons from Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia. This prompted Dominy to posit that “Punt is a sort of circumscribed region that includes eastern Ethiopia and all of Eritrea”. He also suggested that the port of Massawa in Eritrea may have been the landing point of the ancient Egyptians’ expeditions to Punt since a baboon specimen from that harbor matched well with their ancient baboon mummy.

In 2015, the same Egyptian and American researchers conducted a more comprehensive isotopic study to confirm their preliminary findings. This time they compared both hair and bone samples, which they had extracted from two New Kingdom baboon mummies, with those of living baboons from the primary hypothesized locations of the Land of Punt. Analyzing both oxygen and strontium values, the scientists found that the closest matches were with specimens endemic to eastern Somalia and the Eritrea-Ethiopia corridor. They thus concluded that this area was the likeliest source of the baboons that were exported from Punt to Ancient Egypt:

The tandem origins of maritime trade and international diplomacy have roots in the Red Sea region. Graphic and epigraphic accounts of this trade often provide specific place names, or toponyms, with unambiguous geographic locations. Yet the location of one crucial polity, Punt (or Pwnt), remains uncertain. Punt was a major emporium of gold, electrum, and biological materials such as myrrh, ebony, ivory, short-horned cattle, leopards, and baboons (Papio hamadryas). The importance of these materials is reflected in the 1200-year duration of trade between Ancient Egypt and Punt (Vth-XXth Dynasties; ca. 2458-1163 BC). The recovery of mummified baboons from several New Kingdom tombs, which was a period of thriving trade with Punt, raises the possibility of using stable isotope analysis to source their provenience. Here we report the oxygen and strontium stable isotope composition of two P. hamadryas mummies from XXth Dynasty tombs. We also analyzed the hair and bone of modern baboons in 106 habitats spanning five hypothesized locations of Punt: (1) Eritrea-Ethiopia; (2) Mozambique; (3) Somalia; (4) western Uganda; and, (5) Yemen. Isoscapes based on kriging interpolation of hair keratin δ18O values and bioapatite 86Sr/88Sr ratios were produced and an index of similarity was calculated based on the geometric mean of the two kriged maps. Our results reveal a high likelihood match with eastern Somalia and the Eritrea-Ethiopia corridor, suggesting that this region was the source of Papio hamadryas exported to Ancient Egypt.

Gold

In various hieroglyphic texts, the ancient Egyptians refer to Punt by another name: Bia-Punt. This roughly translates as “Mine(s) of Punt”, indicating the primacy of gold among the imports from the old territory. Punt, or at least some of the districts under its control, was thus a center of gold production. This fact is of considerable value in helping to narrow down its location since gold was and is only mined in select areas around the world.

The first mention of the new toponym comes from the Sixth Dynasty traveler Harkhuf (ca. 2250 BCE). In inscriptions recorded at Aswan, he asserts that he brought back products from “Bia-Punt”. Sayed (1989, 2002) notes that this is a clear allusion to gold, which Harkhuf had presumably imported overland through northern Sudan. In 1976-77, Sayed led a University of Alexandria expedition at Wadi Gawasis, where his archaeological team also found a Twelfth Dynasty stela “inscribed with a hieroglyphic text recording an order issued by King Sesostris I to his vizier Antefoḳer to build ships to be sent to the region of Bia-Punt” (cf. Sayed (1978)).

Hence, Bia-Punt could be accessed through a water route. This implies that the region in question may have been coextensive with the Atbai desert in Sudan, which has long been a hub of gold mining. Other possibilities in the interior include the gold mines of western Ethiopia, as suggested by Eric Robson in his 2007 monograph In Search of Punt: Queen Hatshepsut’s Land of Marvels. Furthermore, Ibrahim (2013) reports that geologists have identified a zone in northwestern Somalia as potentially containing gold reserves. The Nubian Gold Corporation signed an agreement to prospect there, and the site has gold-quartz deposits with an estimated 13.5 gold parts per million. Since gold in Northeast Africa is associated with old metamorphic rocks — Precambrian geological formations that are found in all of these areas — Bia-Punt could conceivably have been situated anywhere within this traditional Puntite sphere.

Berber connection


Hieroglyphic signs for brbrta, the ancient Egyptian ethnonym for the Puntites (AECR (1976)).

One of the most insightful clues as to the location of the Land of Punt involves the etymology of the word Berber. It has often been assumed — incorrectly — that the appellation originated with the ancient Greeks as a cognate of barbaros (“barbarian”). However, the first mention of the term actually dates earlier to the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1500 BCE), when it served as an ethnonym for the Puntites. Specifically, during the Hatshepsut expedition to Punt, the ancient Egyptians identified their Puntite counterparts as brbrta in hieroglyphic symbols. This is believed to have been an onomatopoeic imitation on the Egyptians’ part of the “bar” or “ber” sound that was apparently common in the Puntite language (cf. AECR (1976); Bowersock (2013)).

In light of these hieroglyphics, the Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaparelli suggests that the Puntites inhabited a region coinciding with northern Somalia, Eritrea, and the Atbara zone in northeastern Sudan. He bases this on the aforementioned Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a document which repeatedly alludes to “Berbers” living in these same areas. As a result, this territory was known to the ancient Greeks as “Barbara” or “Barbaria”, meaning the “land of the Berbers” (Huntingford (1980)). The Periplus indicates that there were Berber commercial settlements all along the Red Sea coast during the 1st century CE, with two such concentrations: one in the “Barbaria” in the Nile Valley around southern Egypt and northern Sudan, and the other in the “far-side” ports of the “other Barbaria” in the Horn (viz. “there are other Berber market-towns, known as the ‘far-side’ ports”). These Berbers/Puntites were therefore still trading in frankincense and other commodities in the southern part of their territory, just as they had over a millennium before in Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s time. This is confirmed by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who tells us that the Pharaoh Sesostris — a ruler that, as seen on the Wadi Gawasis stela, ordered at least one expedition to Punt during his reign — led his men to the “far-side” Berber port of Mossylon (Mossylum), which was a cinnamon emporium.

Another key aspect of the Barbaria connection is the form of governance that the territory’s denizens were said to have adhered to. The Periplus indicates that the Berbers were divided into tribal communities, each ruled by its own chief. These independent city-states in the greater Barbaria were, in turn, overseen by a learned king or paramount chief named Zoscales:

On the right-hand coast next below Berenice is the country of the Berbers. Along the shore are the Fish-Eaters, living in scattered caves in the narrow valleys. Further inland are the Berbers, and beyond them the Wild-flesh-Eaters and Calf-Eaters, each tribe governed by its chief; and behind them, further inland, in the country towards the west, there lies a city called Meroe.[…]

These places, from the Calf-Eaters to the other Berber country, are governed by Zoscales; who is miserly in his ways and always striving for more, but otherwise upright, and acquainted with Greek literature.[…]

The voyage to all these farside market-towns is made from Egypt about the month of July, that is Epiphi. And ships are also customarily fitted out from the places across this sea, from Ariaca and Barygaza, bringing to these far-side market-towns the products of their own places; wheat, rice, clarified butter, sesame oil, cotton cloth, (the monache and the sagmatogene), and girdles, and honey from the reed called sacchari. Some make the voyage especially to these market-towns, and others exchange their cargoes while sailing along the coast. This country is not subject to a King, but each market-town is ruled by its separate chief.

Like in the Berber period, the various Puntite districts were apparently governed by separate leaders. This is clear from Egyptian hieroglyphics, which Balanda (2005) notes repeatedly allude to the “chiefs” of Punt in the plural. For example, an inscription at Deir el-Bahri reads: “pitching tents for the king’s representative and his (the king’s) expedition to the myrrh terraces on both sides of the sea[…] in order to receive the chiefs of this land”. The loosely centralized governmental structure of the Berbers/Puntites, therefore, also appears to have remained essentially unchanged since the New Kingdom.

Morphology

As seen at Deir el-Bahri, among other archaeological sites, the ancient Egyptians consistently show the Puntites on their temple walls as being very similar to themselves in physical type — just as though these groups were sibling populations. The Puntites are depicted as moderately tall and of gracile build, with “Caucasoid” features and reddish-brown skin; they also frequently wear their hair long. John Desmond Clark writes:

The Puntites are depicted in several Eighteenth Dynasty scenes. Typically, the men have dark reddish skins and fine features; characteristic negroid types are not shown, although they occur amongst depictions of riverine southerners (of Wawat, Kush, Irem, etc.). Other Puntite features are also not found amongst other southerners. Long hairstyles are typical for Puntites until the reign of Amenhotep II; during his reign and earlier, in that of Tuthmosis III, an intermediate ‘bobbed’ hairstyle appears, and thereafter Puntites have close-cropped hair similar to that of the chief of Punt under Hatshepsut. A long or medium dressed goatee is found at all periods.

Such external morphological traits are relatively common among the Afro-Asiatic populations on either side of the Red Sea (see, for example, Billy (1988)’s anthropometric study on The Elongated African fallacy). For our purposes, then, the skeletal characteristics of these groups are more useful in locating Punt.

Accordingly, Kemp (2006) found that the ancient and modern Egyptians are craniometrically closest to other Afro-Asiatic speakers inhabiting Northeast Africa. They are also more distantly related to populations in the Near East, but share no significant affinities with the ancient and modern “Negroid” populations in Africa. Spradley (2006) compared the skulls of recent populations from northern Somalia and Egypt with those of various Subequatorial African groups and racially mixed African Diaspora populations, including African Americans. She similarly observed that the individuals from “Somalia and Egypt are closest to one another”. The biological ties between the Afro-Asiatic groups in Northeast Africa are, in fact, so well established that researchers have moved on to exploring which specific ancient “Hamitic” series in the region they share the most immediate affinities with (e.g. Batrawi (1946), Mukherjee (1955), Billy (1981b), Rösing (1990)). G. Billy (1975) summarizes these findings thusly:

In addition to the preceding, Egyptologists have noted a sporadic occurrence of blondism in the Land of Punt. This can serve as a helpful hint as to where the territory was situated, for blond individuals were relatively uncommon in the ancient world. The Hatshepsut expedition murals show the Egyptians being received by a chief of Punt, one Parahu/Perahu, who the Egyptologist Édouard Naville writes is depicted as “flaxen” or blond-haired. Sweeney (2006) argues that this precludes both the Horn and Southern Arabia as prospective locations for the Land of Punt since there are few blond individuals today among the Afro-Asiatic populations in these areas. He asserts that the blondism points instead to an Indo-European source centered in the Near East; either the Indo-Iranian mariyanna elites of the Levant, or the Phoenicians (whom he suggests may have acquired such an element through intermarriage in western Europe). However, ancient blond individuals did, in fact, exist in the Nile Valley itself. Archaeologists working in burial sites associated with the Meroitic culture have unearthed a number of clearly blond specimens. Janssen (1978) reports that “330 graves were excavated in cemetery 221 (Meroitic) and a proportion of blond individuals of Caucasoid type found”. Given these finds, the minor incidence of blondism among the Puntites more likely reflects a Meroitic strain in this population than an Indo-European one (for empirical evidence of such an influence, see Batrawi diagram above). This too is in agreement with a Northeast African locus for Punt.


A Deir el-Bahri temple mural depicting the Puntite chief Parahu (right) and his wife Ati


Puntite carriers, from a mural at Deir el-Bahri. Note the “Caucasoid” facial profile, lithe build, reddish-brown complexion, long wavy hair and chin-tuft typical of this ancient population

 

Puntites - Cretans - Hamitic Kushite


Foreign tributaries on the top three registers of the Grand Procession mural at Thebes.
Top row=Puntites (left), Nilotes (far right); Middle row=Cretans; Bottom row=Hamitic-type Nubians, Nilote (center-right)

 

Lend of Punt - Ancient traders


Hatshepsut's trading expedition to the Land of Punt

The Land of Punt, also called Pwenet or Pwene by the ancient Egyptians, was an ancient kingdom. A trading partner of Egypt, it was known for producing and exporting gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory, and wild animals. The region is known from ancient Egyptian records of trade expeditions to it.

At times Punt is referred to as Ta netjer, the "Land of the God". The exact location of Punt is still debated by historians. Most scholars today believe Punt was situated to the southeast of Egypt, most likely in the coastal region of modern Djibouti, Eritrea, northeast Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Red Sea littoral of Sudan. However, some scholars point instead to a range of ancient inscriptions that locate Punt in the Arabian Peninsula. It is also possible that the territory covered both the Horn of Africa and Southern Arabia. Puntland, the Somali administrative region situated at the extremity of the Horn of Africa, is named in reference to the Land of Punt.

We suggest;

Land of Punt / Pwene = po-ni-ki (Puni) - Phoiníkē (ancient traders)

Land of Punt / Pwenet = Eneti = Veneti

  • Hattians (T1a & R-V88)
    • Kreta Thalassokratía
      • Veneti Thalassokratía
      • Phoenicia Thalassokratía (Puni)
    • Land of Punt
      • Dilmun Thalassokratía
        • Mohendžo Daro
          • India Tamils Thalassokratía

 

Ancient Maritime & International Trade

Somalia - Lend of Punt


Silk route


Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime timeline

  • About 6,000 BC: earliest evidence of dugout canoes
  • 5th millennium BC: earliest known depiction of a sailing boat
  • About 2,000 BC: Hannu dispatches a fleet to the Land of Punt
  • About 2,000 BC: Austronesian people migrate from Taiwan to Indonesia, preceding the colonization of Polynesia
  • 1575-1520 BC: Dover Bronze Age Boat, oldest known plank vessel, was built
  • about 1175 BC: Battle of the Delta, one of the first recorded naval battles
  • 1194-1174 BC: supposed timespan for the events of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.
  • Around 600 BC: according to Herodotus, Necho II sends Phoenician expedition to circumnavigate Africa
  • 542 BC: first written record of a trireme
  • 5th century BC: Hanno the Navigator explores the coast of West Africa
  • 480 BC: Battle of Salamis, arguably the largest naval battle in ancient times
  • 247 BC: Lighthouse of Alexandria completed
  • 214 BC: Lingqu Canal built
  • 31 BC: Battle of Actium decides the Final War of the Roman Republic
  • About 200: Junks are developed in China

 

Phoenicians

Haplogroup T-L206

 
Haplogroup T-L206

Haplogroup T-L206, also known as haplogroup T1, is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. The SNP that defines the T1 clade is L206. The haplogroup is one two primary branches of T (T-M184), the other being T2 (T-PH110).

T1 is the most common descendant of the T-M184 haplogroup, being the lineage of more than 95% of all T-M184 members in America, Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe. T1 lineages are found at high frequencies among northern Somali clans and at least, T1* could have spread with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B culture (PPNB).

The rare basal paragroup T1* has been found in a Berber individual from Tunisia, a male in Syria, and one among ethnic Macedonians in Macedonia.

T-L206's sole primary branch, T1a (M70), is believed to have originated about 15,900 – 23,900 BP, in the Middle East. It appears that individuals bearing T-M70 later migrated south to Africa.

Structure

  • T1 (L206, L490) Found in Syria.
    • T1a (M70/Page46/PF5662, PAGES78) Found in Early Neolithic skeleton found in Karsdorf, Germany, 7200 years old. Also in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Ossetia, England, Italy and Portugal.
      • T1a1 (L162/Page21, L299, L453/PF5617, L454) Found in Eivissa, northern Anatolia and Germany.
        • T1a1a (L208/Page2, L905) Mostly found in Upper Egypt, Horn of Africa, western Europe, eastern Anatolia, Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. Some spots in western Morocco, Sahrawis and Canarias.
          • T1a1a1 (P77) Mostly found in Middle East, western Europe and Ashkenazi Jews.
          • T1a1a2 (P321) Found in Syria and Ashkenazi Jews.
            • T1a1a2a (P317) Found in Syria, Italian Jews and Ashkenazi Jews.
      • T1a2 (L131) Mostly found in northern Europe, eastern Europe, southeastern Europe and Anatolia. Also found in Xinjiang, Lemba, Tunisia, south and east Iberian Peninsula.
        • T1a2a (P322, P328) Found in Scandinavia, Denmark, Germany and Netherlands. Some spots in Yemenite Jews and Palestine(P327).
        • T1a2b (L446) Found in Northwest Europe and eastern Alps.
      • T1a3 (L1255) Found in Kuwait.

Subclade distribution

T1* (T-L206*)

This lineage could have arrived in the Levant through the PPNB expansion from northeastern Anatolia.

T1a (M70)

Mendez et al. (2011) points to an ancient presence for T1a-M70 in Europe may reflect early exiles between the ancient lands of Israel and Babylon. The subclade probably arrived with the very first farmers. This is supported by the recent findings of Haak et al. who discovered several T1a1-CTS880 members in a 7000 years old settlement in Karsdorf, Germany. Autosomal analysis of these skeletal remains show an unusual relationship with modern Southwest Asian populations, reaching close to 10%.

The T1a1 skeletal remains from this settlement were also found to belong to the H mtdna haplogroup, this settlement have the highest frequency of this mtDNA haplogroup 30.4% (7/23) that have been found in any early Neolithic Europe population until now.

T1a1 (L162; xL208)

T1a1 formed 17,400-14,600 BP, is the largest lineage downstream from T1a-M70 and became widespread across Eurasia and Africa before the modern era.

This extremely rare subclade has been found in Ibizan (Eivissan) islanders and Pontic Greeks from Giresun. The first Y-STR haplotype belonging to this lineage appeared in the paper of Tomas et al in 2006 among a sample of Eivissan individuals but is not until August 2009 when the first T1a1-L162(xL208) individual was reported in a 23andMe customer of Pontic Greek background and Metaxopoulos surname, thanks to the public Adriano Squecco's Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison Project.

Pontic Greeks from Giresun descend from Sinope colonists and Sinope was colonised by Ionians from Miletus. Is interesting to note that there exist an Ionian colony known as Pityussa just like the known Greek name for Eivissa Pityuses. In Eivissa, where is found the famous bust of Demeter that have been confused with the punic Tanit for decades, is known the cult to Demeter. The bust belonging to Demeter have been analysed and is found to contains black particles of volcanic sand origin from the Etna, is thought to be made in Sicily with red clays typical of the eastern Trinacria, which was colonized by the Ionians. The Ionians could be arrived to Eivissa c.2700 YBP. This lineage could be an Ionian marker. T1a1 formed 17,400-14,600 BP, is the largest lineage downstream from T1a-M70 and became widespread across Eurasia and Africa before the modern era.

This extremely rare subclade has been found in Ibizan (Eivissan) islanders and Pontic Greeks from Giresun. The first Y-STR haplotype belonging to this lineage appeared in the paper of Tomas et al in 2006 among a sample of Eivissan individuals but is not until August 2009 when the first T1a1-L162(xL208) individual was reported in a 23andMe customer of Pontic Greek background and Metaxopoulos surname, thanks to the public Adriano Squecco's Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison Project.

Pontic Greeks from Giresun descend from Sinope colonists and Sinope was colonised by Ionians from Miletus. Is interesting to note that there exist an Ionian colony known as Pityussa just like the known Greek name for Eivissa Pityuses. In Eivissa, where is found the famous bust of Demeter that have been confused with the punic Tanit for decades, is known the cult to Demeter. The bust belonging to Demeter have been analysed and is found to contains black particles of volcanic sand origin from the Etna, is thought to be made in Sicily with red clays typical of the eastern Trinacria, which was colonized by the Ionians. The Ionians could be arrived to Eivissa c.2700 YBP. This lineage could be an Ionian marker.

T1a1a (L208)

This lineage, formed 14,200-11,000 BP, is the largest branch downstream T1a1-L162. Firstly discovered and reported at August 2009 in a 23andMe customer of Iberian ancestry that participated in the public Squecco's Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison Project and appearing there as "Avilés" and as "AlpAstur" in 23andMe. Named as "L208" at November 2009.

 

Thomas Jefferson

Phylogenetic network analysis of its Y-STR (short tandem repeat) haplotype shows that it is most closely related to an Egyptian K2 [now T/K1a] haplotype, but the presence of scattered and diverse European haplotypes within the network is nonetheless consistent with Jefferson's patrilineage belonging to an ancient and rare indigenous European type. This is supported by the observation that two of 85 unrelated British men sharing the surname Jefferson also share the President's Y-STR haplotype within haplogroup K2. Turi E. King et al.,

A notable member of the T-M184 haplogroup is the third US President, Thomas Jefferson. He reportedly belongs to a subclade of T-M184 which is most commonly found in both the Iberian Peninsula (e.g. Spain) and Egypt. His most distant known ancestor is Samuel Jeffreason  [sic], born 11 October 1607 at Pettistree, Suffolk, England, although there is also a widespread belief that the President had Welsh ancestry. While all subclades of T-M184 are rare in Britain, some British males with the surname Jefferson have also reportedly been found to carry T-M184, reinforcing the idea that Thomas Jefferson's immediate paternal ancestry was British and may originate in Sephardic (Spanish) Jewish populations, who have their ultimate origins in the Middle East. Science Daily.

There was controversy for almost two centuries regarding allegations that Thomas Jefferson had fathered the children of his slave Sally Hemings. An oral tradition in the Hemings family and other historical evidence was countered in the early 19th century by some Jefferson's grandchildren, who asserted that a son of Thomas Jefferson's sister, by the name of Carr, had been the father of Hemings' children. However, a 1998 study of Jefferson male-line DNA found that it matched that of a descendant of Sally Hemings' youngest son, Eston Hemings. Most historians now believe that Jefferson had a relationship with Hemings for 38 years, and probably fathered her six known children, four of whom lived to adulthood. In addition, the testing conclusively disproved any connection between the Hemings descendant and the Carr male line.

Thomas Jefferson

Spencer Wells, the geneticist that heads the Genographic Project in search of the scientific "Adam"In the film, Spencer Wells indicated that Thomas Jefferson's Y-Chromosome was "Phoenician",

Read more: http://phoenicia.org/jefferson.html#ixzz4TYNwmee2 and the National Geographic study "Who were the Phoenicians," revealed that Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States belonged to Y-chromosome Haplogroup K2. The quote from Wells that follows is the scientific explanation of what was discovered in studying Jefferson's DNA.

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpibDIWKF5k


Puntites / Berbers


Somalia

 

Put

Sinovi su Hamovi: Kuš i Misrajim, Put i Kanaan.

Put

Put ili Phut se nalazio u staroj Libiji, predložena je i Zemlja Punt, poznata iz egipatskih anala.

Nahum - Jesi li tvrđa od Tebe Amonove koja sjedi na rukavima Rijeke? Njezino predziđe bilo je more, njezini bedemi bile su vode. Njezina snaga bila je Etiopija, Egipat; nije imala granica. Narodi Puta i Libije bili su joj pomoćnici.

 

Puntites - Berbers

 
Haplogroups E1b, & R-V88


Puntites - Cretans

Africans in ancient Greece and Crete

This electrum hekte, struck circa 560-545 BC, is from the ancient city of Phokaia in Ionia. It shows the head of an African man facing left with the civic badge of Phokaia, a seal, behind the head.  The reverse side is a simple quadripartite incuse square punch.  This is a near extremely fine, extremely rare coin.

Though Aethiopians - the Greek name for all Africans characterized by dark skin and short hair - feature regularly in Greek art, their depiction on coins is by contrast very infrequent. We know that the Greeks were well acquainted with black Africans, since they appear often in Greek literature as mythical or semi-mythical characters and warriors; it appears that they were known in the Greek world as early as the Minoan period, where they were employed by Minoan commanders as auxiliary troops. Indeed, if we may believe Quintus of Smyrna, the Greeks encountered black Africans in the army of Memnon at Troy. Black African contingents also formed a part of Xerxes’ army and according to some scholars fought at Marathon (see Frazer, J. G., 1913: Pausanias’ Description of Greece, II. Macmillan, London, p 434; and Graindor, P., 1908: Les Vases au Nègre. Musée Belge, p 29).

 
Black africans in Crete

Of the surviving art objects representing black Africans, many appear to be the work of artists who modeled from life. These depictions invariably display an astonishing degree of individuality, vitality, and energy, presenting scenes and designs that appealed to the craftsmen; one might surmise that the exotic appearance of such individuals presented the artist with a challenge to represent the distinctive features of blacks, whose aesthetic qualities are readily conveyed in pieces such as the present hekte.


GREEK COINS, ISLAND OF LESBOS
Twelfth, billon, about 520-480 B.C. Head of an African l. Rev. Four-part incuse square


Chief of Kheta - A man of Punt


Puntites / Cretans


Puntites - India

Mulungu - Murugan


Mulungu

I heard your prayers, and here I am. If you all line up and wait patiently, I will give each of you your own plumage. Then, when I am finished, you will all look different from one another.
―Mulungu to the birds

Mulungu is a male god of Africa.

When the birds of the earth appeal to him to make them colorful, Mulungu heeds their request. He paints many birds in different colors, but one bird named Che Mlanda impatiently cuts the line and demands that Mulungu paint him next. At first, Mulungu tells Che Mlanda to wait his turn, but when the bird continues to disrupt Mulungu's work, the god paints Che Mlanda a dull brown as punishment for his impertinence.

Biography

Long ago, all the birds were snow-white in color and longed to be as colorful as the flowers. They prayed to the great god Mulungu, who descended to earth with brushes and paints. He told the birds to form a line and wait their turn to be painted while he gave each their own colorful plumage. At first, the queue formed accordingly, and Mulungu began to give each bird its own plumage. Then an impatient bird named Che Mlanda cut the queue and demanded that Mulungu paint him next.  Initially, Mulungu instructed Che Mlanda to wait his turn, but when the bird continually disrupted Mulungu's work, the god agreed to paint him. However, as punishment for his impatience, Mulungu painted Che Mlanda a drab brown and released him to the air.

Personality and traits

Mulungu is gracious and kind, with a giving nature. He is willing to spend long hours painting the birds of the earth and is patient enough to put up with the pesky Che Mlanda. However, when his patience is tested, Mulungu will treat the perpetrator accordingly.

Appearances

At the dawn of time, all birds are snow-white and long to be as colorful as the flowers. They beg the god Mulungu to grant them beautiful, colored coats. Heeding their request, Mulungu approaches the birds and tells them that he will give each of them a unique, colorful design.

However, as the birds line up excitedly before Mulungu, a particularly pesky bird named Che Mlanda does not. Instead, he takes to flitting to the front of the line and hounding Mulungu to paint him next, despite Mulungu's constant appeals for the little bird to wait his turn. Finally, Mulungu's patience breaks, and he grabs Che Mlanda, painting him a dull brown. He then crossly releases the bird to the air and continues his work. However, even to this day, Che Mlanda can be heard flitting about the skies, calling out, "Paint me next!"

Trivia

Mulungu is a common name for the creator diety in a number of Bantu languages and cultures in East and Central Africa.

  • Murungu/Mulungu došao je do Indije pod imenom Murugan.

 
Murugan

 

எகிப்தில் கோலோச்சிய தமிழ் பரதவர்

Egipat bespomoćan tamilski paragon

தொல் பழங்குடிகளின் நாகரீகங்களில் சிந்து சமவெளி நாகரீகம் சிறப்பிடம் பெற்றுள்ளது. இங்கு வாழ்ந்தவர்கள் தமிழர்கள் என்பது நிருபிக்கப்பட்ட உண்மை எனினும், சிந்து சமவெளியில் ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்ட ஹிராஸ் பாதிரியார் தென் தமிழகத்தின் கடலோரப் பகுதிகளில் தற்போது வாழும் பரதவ இனத்தவரே இப்பகுதியில் வாழ்ந்தவர் என்பதை உறுதிபடக் கூறியுள்ளார்.

Civilizacija Indus Valley ima razliku od civilizacija plemenskih plemena. Međutim, činjenica da su ljudi koji žive ovdje bili tamili, nadahnuli su ih Hirasov svećenik koji je studirao u dolini Indus, koji je živio u obalnim područjima južnog Tamil Nadu.

சிந்து சமவெளி நாகரீகத்தின் சமகாலத்திய நாகரீகமே எகிப்து நாகரீகம் ஆகும். இவ்விரு நாகரீகத்திற்கும் குறிப்பிடத்தகுந்த பல்வேறு ஒற்றுமைகளும், இணைப்புகளும் காணப்படுகின்றன. இதன் காரணமாக தமிழர்கள் இங்கிருந்து எகிப்து சென்றனர் என்றும், எகிப்தியர் அங்கிருந்து இங்கு வந்தனர் என்றும் பல்வேறு கருத்துகள் நிலவி வருகின்றன. இது குறித்து அறிஞர் பலரும் பல்வேறு நூல்களை எழுதியுள்ளனர்.

Egipatska civilizacija je suvremena civilizacija civilizacije Indus Valley. Postoje značajne sličnosti i veze s dvije civilizacije. Postoje različita mišljenja o tome zašto su Tamili otišli odande do Egipta i Egipćana odande. Mnogi su znanstvenici napisali različite knjige o tome. 

இன்றும் எகிப்துக்கும் சிந்து சமவெளிக்கும் இடையேயுள்ள பலுசிஸ்தானில் பேசப்படும் பிராகி என்னும் மொழி தமிழ் மொழி என ஆய்வில் கண்டறியப்பட்டுள்ளது. மாவீரன் அலெக்ஸ்சாண்டரின் இந்தியப் படையெடுப்பின் போது அவரை எதிர்த்த போரஸ் என்னும் மாமன்னன் பரவனே என புராதன இந்தியா என்னும் நூலில் கிருஷ்ணமூர்த்தி ஐயங்காரும், பாரத நாட்டு சரித்திரம் என்னும் நூலில் திருநாராயண ஐயங்காரும் தெளிவுபட உரைத்துள்ளனர்.

Jezik Brahiki, koji je govorio u Baluchistanu između Egipta i Indusovih ravnica, pronađen je na tamnome jeziku.

இதே கருத்தினையே பண்டைய தமிழரும் ஆரியரும் என்ற நூலில் சுவாமி வேதாச்சலமும் வலியுறுத்திக் கூறுகிறார். பரவன் என்ற இந்த மன்னனின் பெயர்தான் புரூரவன், புரூரவஸ், பரவாஸ், போரஸ், புருசோத்தமன் எனப்பல பெயர்களில் பல்வேறு மொழிகளில் வழங்கப்படுகிறது எனலாம்.

Swamy Vedachalam ističe istu ideju u drevnom tamilskom i arijskom. Ime kralja, Paravan, dano je na raznim jezicima po imenima Brhuvan, Puravas, Paravas, Boras, Purusothaman.

காலம் கி.மு 4500 ஆம் காலக்கட்டத்தில் செழிப்புற்று இருந்த சிந்துகரையில் உள்ள "மினு"நாட்டை ஆண்ட தமிழ் நெய்தல் நில மக்களாகிய பரதவர் இவர்கள் ஆப்பிரிக்காவின் வடபகுதியில் நீல ஆறுபாயும் "வளமுடைய வெளி" என்னும் எகிப்து நாட்டையும் ஆண்டனர் இந்த பரதவர். எகிப்து குருவாகிய "மனேதா" என்பவர் எகிப்தை அரசுபுரிந்த பரதவர் முதலிய 330 அரசரின் புராதன வரலாற்றை எழுதி வைத்துள்ளார்.

Riječ je o Paramavaru koji je heroin Tamil Nadu iz zemlje "Minu" u Indu, koji je obogaćen tijekom 4500. godine prije Krista, a bili su i Plava rijeka na sjeveru Afrike i egipatski "plodni egzil". Egipatski mentor, "Mantha", napisao je drevnu povijest 330 knezova Egipta.

தமிழர் எகிப்திலிருந்தே வந்தனர் எனப் பல ஐரோப்பிய அறிஞர்கள் கூறுகின்றனர். இதையே தமிழுணர்ச்சி என்னும் நூலில் சச்சிதானந்த பாரதியாரும் கூறுகிறார். இது தொடர்பாக ஷில்பர்ட் ஷிலேட்டேர் என்னும் வரலாற்று அறிஞர் இக்கருத்தினை வலியுறுத்துவதுடன் எகிப்தினை ஆண்ட பாரவோன் என்னும் மன்னன் பரவனே எனவும் கூறுகிறார்.

Mnogi europski znanstvenici tvrde da su tamili došli iz Egipta. Satchidananda Bharatiyar također to kaže u Tamilnadu. S tim u vezi, povjesničar Schillert Shelterer ističe ovu točku i navodi da je Egipat kralj Parvon, Paravan.

பெயர் வினையிடந்து னளரய ஈற்றயல் ஆஓ வாதலும் செய்யுளில் உரித்தே என்னும் நன்னூல் விதிப்படி கிழவன் எனும் சொல் கிழவோன் என வருவது போல பரவன் என்னும் சொல்லே பாரவோன் என வருவதாக தமிழறிஞர்கள் கூறுகிறார்கள். பாரவோனை எகிப்தில் பாரோ என்று அழைகிறார்கள்.

Tamili kažu da je riječ Paravana kao ime starca, budući da je riječ "stara" riječ "nannu" Faraon se zove faraon u faraonu.

பர் என்ற சொல்லுக்கு வீடு என்றும் ரா என்ற சொல்லுக்கு பெரிய என்றும் பொருள் படும். எனவே பாரோன் என்றால் பெரிய வீட்டுக்காரன் எனப் பொருள் கொள்ளப்படுகிறது. இதனால் தான் எகிப்தினை நிலைநாட்டி ஆண்ட இனத்தவர் பரதரே என தமிழர் பெருமை என்னும் நூலில் பண்டித டி. சவேரியார் பிள்ளை எனும் அறிஞர் குறிப்பிடுகிறார்.

Riječ 'par' znači 'dom' i 'ra'. Zato Baron treba biti velika kućanica. Zato Panditha D. u Tamilskom ponosu kažu da je utrka egipatska. Glavni stup spominje.

 

Telmun - Tamils

Ancient Tamil grammatical works, Tolkappiyam; the ten anthologies, Pathupattu; and the eight anthologies, Ettuthogai shed light on early religion. Murugan was glorified as the red god seated on the blue peacock, who is ever young and resplendent, as the favored god of the Tamils. Sivan was also seen as the supreme God. Early iconography of Seyyon and Sivan and their association with native flora and fauna goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The Sangam landscape was classified into five categories, thinais, based on the mood, the season and the land. Tolkappiyam mentions that each of these thinai had an associated deity such as Seyyon in Kurinji-the hills, Thirumal in Mullai-the forests, Korravai in Marutham-the plains, and Wanji-ko in the Neithal-the coasts and the seas. Other gods mentioned were Mayyon and Vaali who are major deities in Hinduism today. Dravidian influence on early Vedic religion is evident; many of these features are already present in the oldest known Indo-Aryan language, the language of the Rigveda (c. 1500 BCE), which also includes over a dozen words borrowed from Dravidian. This represents an early religious and cultural fusion or synthesis between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans, which became more evident over time with sacred iconography, flora and fauna that went on to influence Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

  • Land of Punt > Dilmun, or Telmun > Indus Valley Civilization > Tamils (Y-DNA T1a, & R-V88)

 

Peacock

U Vatikanu oko češera su dva pauna. Paun je predstavljao Murugana, prema zapadu je pauna zamijeno feniks, ptica koja uskrsava iz vlastitog pepela nakon tri dana. U Perziji je on Simurgh, njega su kao poveznicu sa bogom preuzeli sufiji, islamski gnostici (armenski siramargh = paun, kod nas Simargl). Kod Židova je on Ziz, u mezopotamiji Anzu. Križ je također bio znak pauna, Murugan se označavao lingumom u obliku križa, tj. spojenim Šivinim falusom i Šaktinom yoni. Murrugan se zvao i Kumaran, očito je po njemu ime dobio Kumran gdje su nađeni svici sa Mrtvog mora.


Early Dynastic Period in Mesopotamia


Mesopotamia

 

Mari, c. 2900 - 1760 BC

East Semitic


Mari


East Semitic languages

The East Semitic languages are one of six divisions of the Semitic languages. The East Semitic group is attested by two distinct languages, Akkadian and Eblaite, both of which have been long extinct. They stand apart from other Semitic languages, traditionally called West Semitic, in a number of respects. Historically, it is believed that this linguistic situation came about as speakers of East Semitic languages wandered further east, settling in Mesopotamia during the third millennium BCE, as attested by Akkadian texts from this period. By the beginning of the second millennium BCE, East Semitic languages, in particular Akkadian, had come to dominate the region. They were influenced by the non-Semitic Sumerian language and adopted cuneiform writing. - East Semitic languages

 

Lugal of Kish

First Dynasty - Jushur, ca. 2550 BC, or legendary

The Sumerian king list states that Kish was the first city to have kings following the deluge, beginning with Jushur.

Jushur according to the Sumerian king list, was the first king of the first dynasty of Kish. It claims he reigned in Sumer for 1,200 years as the first post-diluvian king.

"After the flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kish."

No archaeological evidence corroborating his existence or identity has been found. If a historical figure, he may thus mark the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Sumer, corresponding very roughly to the Early Bronze Age II. - Kish

Zababa

Zababa is a war god who was the tutelary deity of the city of Kish in ancient Mesopotamia. He is connected with the god Ninurta, and the symbol of Zababa − the eagle-headed staff − was often depicted next to Ninurta's symbol. Inanna and Baba are variously described as his wife. His sanctuary was the E-meteursag.

Several ancient Mesopotamian kings were named in honor of Zababa, including Ur-Zababa of Kish (early patron of Sargon of Akkad, c. 2300 BCE) and Zababa-shuma-iddin (a 12th-century BCE Kassite king of Babylon).

Kish

 
Haplogroup G2a - Haplogroup R1b1a2 (R-V88)

 

Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia) c. 2900 - 2350 BC

Ensi - Lugal

Government

Before 3000 BC the political life of the city was headed by a priest-king (ensi) assisted by a council of elders and based on these temples.

The city-states of the Early Dynastic Period (ED Period) were ruled by kings (the Sumerian language term for "king" seems to have varied from one century to another, and even from one city-state to another.) For the ED III Period, three Sumerian terms stood out. The one Sumerian term for "king" that stood out the most seems to have been "lugal". Lugal ("lu" meaning "great", and "gal" meaning "man") was one of the three titles that a king of a Sumerian city-state could bear alongside both "ensi" and "en", the exact difference between the three terms being subject to debate. Lugal had no doubt a warlike, conquering connotation. This variety of terms seems to reflect a variety of political situations. In any case, in spite of these divergences there is a homogeneity around the fact that it was usually a single man who dominated these archaic states (at least during the ED III Period.) - Early Dynastic Period

 

Puabi, First Dynasty of Ur c. 2600 BC

She was also buried with 52 attendants - retainers who had been suspected by excavator Leonard Woolley to have poisoned themselves (or had been poisoned by others) to serve their mistress in the next world. Recent evidence derived from CAT scans through the University of Pennsylvania Museum suggests that some of the sacrifices were likely violent and caused by blunt force trauma. A pointed, weighted tool could explain the shatter patterns on the skulls that resulted in death, while a small hammer-like tool has also been found retrieved and catalogued by Woolley during his original excavation.

 
Puabi

 

Chariot & War


Relief of early war wagons on the Standard of Ur, c. 2600 BCE - "War" panel


Standard of Ur - "Peace" panel


Stele of the Vultures, 2600 - 2350 BC

 

Eanna District - Uruk IV

Y-DNA I2a & T1a


Building E

Buildings F G & H


Building C

 

Inanna

The goddess Inanna was the patron and special god/goddess of the ancient Sumerian city of Erech (Uruk), the City of Gilgamesh. As Queen of heaven, she was associated with the Evening Star (the planet Venus), and sometimes with the Moon. She may also have been associated the brightest stars in the heavens, as she is sometimes symbolized by an eight-pointed star, a seven-pointed star, or a four pointed star. In the earliest traditions, Inanna was the daughter of An, the Sky, Ki, the Earth (both of Uruk and Warka). In later Sumerian traditions, she is the daughter of Nanna (Narrar), the Moon God and Ningal, the Moon Goddess (both of Ur).

Mask of Warka

The Mask of Warka, also known as the 'Lady of Uruk', from Uruk and dating from 3100 BC, is one of the earliest representations of the human face. The carved marble female face is probably a depiction of Inanna. It is approximately 20 cm (8 inches) tall, and was probably incorporated in a larger wood cult image, though it is only a presumption that a deity is represented. It is without parallels in the period.

 

Inana - Nanna / Diana (Thana) / Danica (Venera)


Ashur, Anu, Nannar, Shala, Marduk, Enlil, & Adad symbols; Inanna riding horse symbol of her father Nannar, & Ninhursag cautions Inanna

D Nanna - D Inana - Di Ana - Diana (Thana) - Danica (Venera)

Inanna, Nanna (Norse deity)


Nannar, Ashur, Inanna, Anu, Adad, & Enlil symbols

 

Inanna - Ereshkigal

The House of Heaven

Uruk is identified as the cult center of An the god of Heaven but it was actually Inanna his great-granddaughter whose cult occupied his temple the E-Anna or House of Heaven. Eight hundred years after the Fara god-list was written the Epic of Gilgamesh tells how the “Gods of Heaven” ask An for help on the people of Uruk’s behalf and Inanna, when spurned by Gilgamesh, appealed to An for help. This is one of the few times An is actively involved in the region’s mythical politics. Around the same time as the Epic of Gilgamesh An is mentioned in the Enuma Elish creation story where he is only a background character who sits by while others take part in the action.

It is worth noting that An is the only god on the Fara god-list whose name is not preceded by the divine determinative, dingir, demonstrating a separation from the rest of the gods. It is possible that the writers of the Fara god-list identified An as the Primeval Heaven as the Sumerian word for heaven is An which would explain why symbols and images of the god are unknown until later periods. Since dingir can also be interpreted as “one of heaven” leaving off the prefix in the case of An makes perfect sense

Inanna’s cult, conversely to An’s, was widespread and variants of the goddess of love and war were found in several major cities. Given her popularity it is worth pondering why An was not simply overshadowed by her if he did not even have a proper cult of his own. To find an answer to the mysteries of Inanna it is crucial to remember her association with the planet Venus. Given the cosmology of the time Inanna was necessarily the daughter of the Moon/Nanna and the sister of the Sun/Utu. Due to Venus’s cycle which takes it below the horizon for part of the year Inanna was identified with a yearly descent into the underworld. This underworld myth cycle makes much of the fact that Inanna/Venus was the sister of Ereshkigal goddess of death and so Inanna was placed low on the divine family tree even though hers was among the most established cults.

Therefore it becomes possible to see An as the transition point between the primeval gods and the new gods. Before history began he had already handed over the scepter to his son Enlil but he maintained a place in the mythology because he was the ancestor of all of the gods at the time that the first of the god-lists was written. Also considering the importance of the Venus cycle and other stellar observations it becomes clear that there is no more fitting place for Venus to be worshiped than the House of Heaven since it was in heaven in which she was observed. So what we get in this instance is a prehistoric cosmology involving the birth of Inanna/Venus competing with the realpolitik of the dynastic struggles.

In the end this gives us a distant and removed god of Heaven who serves as a placeholder and a vibrant collection of myths about Inanna expressing her importance. These myths also emphasized her vixen-like nature as one of the younger generation of gods even though she was among the most ancient. By the end of the era no deity will have been as successful in the dynastic struggles as the goddess of love and war.

 
Inanna - Ereshkigal

 

Astarte

Astarte (Greek: Ἀστάρτη, Astártē) is the Hellenized form of the Middle Eastern goddess Astoreth (Northwest Semitic), a form of Ishtar (East Semitic), worshipped from the Bronze Age through classical antiquity. The name is particularly associated with her worship in the ancient Levant among the Canaanites and Phoenicians.

Astarte was connected with fertility, sexuality, and war. Her symbols were the lion, the horse, the sphinx, the dove, and a star within a circle indicating the planet Venus. Pictorial representations often show her naked. She has been known as the deified morning and/or evening star. The deity takes on many names and forms among different cultures and according to Canaanite mythology, is one and the same as the Assyro-Babylonian goddess Ištar, taken from the third millennium BC Sumerian goddess Inanna, the first primordial goddess of the planet Venus. Inanna was also known by the Aramaic people as the god Attar.

When the Canaanite merchants took the First papyrus from Byblos to Greece sometime before the 8th century by a Phoenician called Cadmus the first King of Thebes. Greeks in classical, Hellenistic, and Roman times occasionally equated Aphrodite with Astarte.

Major centers of Astarte's worship were the Phoenician city states of Sidon, Tyre, and Byblos. Other centers were Cythera, Malta, and Eryx in Sicily from which she became known to the Romans as Venus Erycina. A bilingual inscription on the Pyrgi Tablets dating to about 500 BC found near Caere in Etruria equates Astarte with Etruscan Uni-Astre, that is, Juno. At Carthage Astarte was worshipped alongside the goddess Tanit.

The Aramean goddess Atargatis (Semitic form ʻAtarʻatah) may originally have been equated with Astarte, but the first element of the name Atargatis appears to be related to the Ugaritic form of Asherah's name: Athirat.

Astarte arrived in ancient Egypt during the 18th dynasty along with other deities who were worshipped by northwest Semitic people. She was especially worshipped in her aspect as a warrior goddess, often paired with the goddess Anat.

Plutarch, in his On Isis and Osiris, indicates that the King and Queen of Byblos, who, unknowingly, have the body of Osiris in a pillar in their hall, are Melcarthus (i.e. Melqart) and Astarte (though he notes some instead call the Queen Saosis or Nemanūs, which Plutarch interprets as corresponding to the Greek name Athenais).

Queen of Heaven

The cult of Inanna-Ishtar may have been introduced to the Kingdom of Judah during the reign of King Manasseh and, although Inanna herself is not directly mentioned in the Bible by name, the Old Testament contains numerous allusions to her cult. Jeremiah 7:18 and Jeremiah 44:15-19 mention "the Queen of Heaven", who is probably a syncretism of Inanna-Ishtar and the West Semitic goddess Astarte. Jeremiah states that the Queen of Heaven was worshipped by women who baked cakes for her.

Djeca kupe drva, oci pale vatru, žene mijese tijesto da ispeku kolače 'kraljici neba' i lijevaju ljevanice tuđim bogovima da me pogrde.

"Riječi koje si u ime Jahvino nama objavio mi ne slušamo; naprotiv, i dalje ćemo se držati zadane riječi: kadit ćemo nebeskoj kraljici i lijevati ljevanice, kao što smo i mi i oci naši, naši kraljevi i knezovi činili u gradovima judejskim i po ulicama jeruzalemskim: tada imadosmo kruha izobila, bijasmo sretni i ne trpjesmo nikakvih nesreća. Ali otkako prestadosmo kaditi nebeskoj kraljici i lijevati joj ljevanice, u svemu smo oskudijevali i od mača i gladi pogibali." A žene rekoše: "Kad kadimo kraljici nebeskoj i lijevamo joj ljevanice, zar joj bez znanja svojih muževa pečemo kolače u obliku lika njezina i lijevamo ljevanice?"

'Vi žene, ono što vaša usta obećaju, to vaše ruke moraju i izvršiti. Rekoste: 'Mi ćemo se tvrdo držati zavjeta što ih učinismo: kaditi kraljici nebeskoj i lijevati joj ljevanice.' Držite se samo svojih zavjeta i lijevajte revno ljevanice! - Jeremija

The Song of Songs bears strong similarities to the Sumerian love poems involving Inanna and Dumuzid, particularly in its usage of natural symbolism to represent the lovers' physicality. Song of Songs 6:10 ("Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?") is almost certainly a reference to Inanna-Ishtar. Ezekiel 8:14 mentions Inanna's husband Dumuzid under his later East Semitic name Tammuz and describes a group of women mourning Tammuz's death while sitting near the north gate of the Temple in Jerusalem.

 

Atargatis - Anat


Nabataeans Atargatis

 

Aphrodite - Venus

 
Aphrodite

Aphrodite is the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus, which is named after the Roman goddess Venus, with whom Aphrodite was extensively syncretized. Aphrodite's major symbols include myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans.

The cult of Aphrodite was largely derived from that of the Phoenician goddess Astarte, a cognate of the East Semitic goddess Ishtar, whose cult was based on the Sumerian cult of Inanna. Aphrodite's main cult centers were Cythera, Cyprus, Corinth, and Athens.

Early artistic and literary portrayals of Aphrodite are extremely similar on Inanna-Ishtar. Aphrodite was also a warrior goddess; the second-century AD Greek geographer Pausanias records that, in Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as Aphrodite Areia, which means "warlike". He also mentions that Aphrodite's most ancient cult statues in Sparta and on Cythera showed her bearing arms. Modern scholars note that Aphrodite's warrior-goddess aspects appear in the oldest strata of her worship and see it as an indication of her Near Eastern origins. Aphrodite also absorbed Ishtar's association with doves and the Greek word for "dove" was peristerá, derived from the Semitic phrase peraḥ Ištar, meaning "bird of Ishtar". The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis is derived from the story of Inanna and Dumuzid.

Pausanias, in his Description of Greece, describes a temple in Mantineia as dedicated to Aphrodite Symmakhia; ‘ally (in love).’ He also describes a temple in Argos, that is dedicated to Aphrodite as ‘the bringer of victory’, or Nikêphoros. In Sparta, he describes a temple of Aphrodite Areia, ‘warlike.’ Korinthos has a temple of Aphrodite Hôplismenê ‘armed,’ and a temple of Aphrodite Melainis, or ‘the black.’

Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths and metalworking. Despite this, Aphrodite was frequently unfaithful to him and had many lovers; in the Odyssey, she is caught in the act of adultery with Ares, the god of war.

The cult of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia, which, in turn, was influenced by the cult of the Mesopotamian goddess known as "Ishtar" to the East Semitic peoples and as "Inanna" to the Sumerians. Pausanias states that the first to establish a cult of Aphrodite were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians, the Paphians of Cyprus, and then the Phoenicians at Ascalon. The Phoenicians, in turn, taught her worship to the people of Cythera.

Aphrodite took on Inanna-Ishtar's associations with sexuality and procreation. Furthermore, she was known as Ourania (Οὐρανία), which means "heavenly", a title corresponding to Inanna's role as the Queen of Heaven. Early artistic and literary portrayals of Aphrodite are extremely similar on Inanna-Ishtar. Like Inanna-Ishtar, Aphrodite was also a warrior goddess; the second-century AD Greek geographer Pausanias records that, in Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as Aphrodite Areia, which means "warlike". He also mentions that Aphrodite's most ancient cult statues in Sparta and on Cythera showed her bearing arms. Modern scholars note that Aphrodite's warrior-goddess aspects appear in the oldest strata of her worship and see it as an indication of her Near Eastern origins.

Aphrodite's most prominent avian symbol was the dove, which was originally an important symbol of her Near Eastern precursor Inanna-Ishtar. (In fact, the ancient Greek word for "dove" was peristerá, derived from the Semitic phrase peraḥ Ištar, meaning "bird of Ishtar".) Aphrodite frequently appears with doves in ancient Greek pottery and the temple of Aphrodite Pandemos on the southwest slope of the Athenian Acropolis was decorated with relief sculptures of doves with knotted fillets in their beaks. Votive offerings of small, white, marble doves were also discovered in the temple of Aphrodite at Daphni. In addition to her associations with doves, Aphrodite was also closely linked with sparrows and she is described riding in a chariot pulled by sparrows in Sappho's "Ode to Aphrodite".

Because of her connections to the sea, Aphrodite was associated with a number of different types of water fowl, including swans, geese, and ducks. Aphrodite's other symbols included the sea, conch shells, and roses. The rose and myrtle flowers were both sacred to Aphrodite. Her most important fruit emblem was the apple, but she was also associated with pomegranates, possibly because the red seeds suggested sexuality or because Greek women sometimes used pomegranates as a method of birth control. In Greek art, Aphrodite is often also accompanied by dolphins and Nereids.


Roman Goddess, Venus Holding Moon's Crescent Symbol of Her Father Nannar

The ancient Romans identified Aphrodite with their goddess Venus, who was originally a goddess of agricultural fertility, vegetation, and springtime. According to the Roman historian Livy, Aphrodite and Venus were officially identified in the third century BC when the cult of Venus Erycina was introduced to Rome from the Greek sanctuary of Aphrodite on Mount Eryx in Sicily. After this point, Romans adopted Aphrodite's iconography and myths and applied them to Venus. Because Aphrodite was the mother of the Trojan hero Aeneas in Greek mythology and Roman tradition claimed Aeneas as the founder of Rome, Venus became venerated as Venus Genetrix, the mother of the entire Roman nation. Julius Caesar claimed to be directly descended from Aeneas's son Iulus and became a strong proponent of the cult of Venus. This precedent was later followed by his nephew Augustus and the later emperors claiming succession from him.


Venus

Venus is associated principally with love, beauty and fertility; also motherhood and domesticity. She is identified with the Etruscan Turan, goddess of love and vitality (who is constantly paired with her young lover Atunis-or Adonis); with the Assyrian and Babylonian Ishtar, the goddess of sexuality, fertility, love, war and sex; and, finally, with the Sumerian Inanna, goddess of sexual love, fertility, childbirth, rain and storms.

 
The Greek myth of Aphrodite and Adonis, shown here on this altar from the Greek city of Taras in Magna Graecia, dating to c. 400-375 BC, is derived from the Mesopotamian myth of Inanna and Dumuzid.   An early nineteenth century drawing of a statuette of Hecate, with whom Ereshkigal was syncretized.

Hecate or Hekate is a goddess in ancient Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding a pair of torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery. She appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod's Theogony, where she is promoted strongly as a great goddess. The place of origin of her following is uncertain, but it is thought that she had popular followings in Thrace.

Hecate was generally represented as three-formed. This has been speculated as being connected with the appearance of the full moon, half moon, and new moon.

Hecate was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family. In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd–3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea, and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. Regarding the nature of her cult, it has been remarked, "she is more at home on the fringes than in the center of Greek polytheism.

R. S. P. Beekes rejected a Greek etymology and suggested a Pre-Greek origin. A possibility for foreign origin of the name may be Heqet, name of an Egyptian goddess of fertility and childbirth.


Hecate

Heqet (Egyptian ḥqt, also ḥqtyt "Heqtit") is an Egyptian goddess of fertility, identified with Hathor, represented in the form of a frog. To the Egyptians, the frog was an ancient symbol of fertility, related to the annual flooding of the Nile. Heqet was originally the female counterpart of Khnemu, or the wife of Khnemu by whom she became the mother of Heru-ur. It has been proposed that her name is the origin of the name of Hecate, the Greek goddess of witchcraft.

In the Osiris myth, it was Heqet who breathed life into the new body of Horus at birth, as she was a goddess of the last moments of birth. As the birth of Horus became more intimately associated with the resurrection of Osiris, so Heqet's role became one more closely associated with resurrection. Eventually, this association led to her amulets gaining the phrase I am the resurrection in the Christian era along with cross and lamb symbolism.

 

Kali

Kālī is the feminine form of kālam ("dark blue, dark coloured"). Kālī also shares the meaning of "time" or "the fullness of time" with the masculine noun "kāla"-and by extension, time as "changing aspect of nature that bring things to life or death." Other names include Kālarātri ("the deep blue night"), and Kālikā ("the deep blue one").

Chanda and Munda attack the goddess Durga. Durga responds with such anger that her face turns dark and Kali appears out of her forehead. Kali's appearance is dark blue, gaunt with sunken eyes, and wearing a tiger skin and a garland of human heads. She immediately defeats the two demons. Later in the same battle, the demon Raktabija is undefeated because of his ability to reproduce himself from every drop of his blood that reaches the ground. Countless Raktabija clones appear on the battlefield. Kali eventually defeats him by sucking his blood before it can reach the ground, and eating the numerous clones. Kinsley writes that Kali represents "Durga's personified wrath, her embodied fury."


Kali

The pose shows the conclusion of an episode in which Kali was rampaging out of control after destroying many demons. Shiva, fearing that Kali would not stop until she destroyed the world, could only think of one way to pacify her. He lay down on the battlefield so that she would have to step on him. Seeing her consort under her foot, Kali realized that she had gone too far, and calmed down.

 

Black Madonna


Our Lady of Bistrica, Queen of Croatia. (Marija Bistrica)

Annual Gypsy festival  celebrating Sara, the patron saint of Gypsies. Saint Sarah, also known as Sara-la-Kali ("Sara the Black", Romani: Sara e Kali).

A form of Kali worship might have been transmitted to the west already in Medieval times by the wandering Romani people. Some authors have drawn parallels between Kali worship and the ceremonies of the annual pilgrimage in honor of Saint Sarah, also known as Sara-la-Kali ("Sara the Black", Romani: Sara e Kali), held at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for Roma in the Camargue, in southern France. Ronald Lee (2001) states:

If we compare the ceremonies with those performed in France at the shrine of Sainte Sara (called Sara e Kali in Romani), we become aware that the worship of Kali/Durga/Sara has been transferred to a Christian figure... in France, to a non-existent "sainte" called Sara, who is actually part of the Kali/Durga/Sara worship among certain groups in India.

Ereshkigal, Aphrodite Melainis, Hecate, Black Madonna = Kali

 

       
Kali - Gorgone (Meduza) - Coat of arms of Dalmatia - Einstein - Rolling Stones

 

Medusa


Classical Greek depiction of Medusa from the fourth century BC

Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. The 2nd-century BCE novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion.

Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.

  • Ceto is a primordial sea goddess in Greek mythology, the daughter of Gaia and Pontus.

Mythology

The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or "Phorkys") and his sister Ceto (or "Keto"), chthonic monsters from an archaic world.

In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," but because Poseidon had raped her in Athena's temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. In Ovid's telling, Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Minerva (Athena) as just and well earned.

According to Ovid, in northwest Africa, Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him. In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. The blood of Medusa also spawned the Amphisbaena (a horned dragon-like creature with a snake-headed tail).

Gorgoneion

According to Marija Gimbutas, gorgoneia represent certain aspects of the Mother Goddess cult associated with "dynamic life energy" and asserts that the images may be related to a cultural continuity persisting since Neolithic examples. She defined the gorgoneion as a quintessentially European image. Jane Ellen Harrison, on the other hand, claims that many primitive cultures use similar ritual masks in order to scare the owner from doing something wrong, or, as she terms it, to make an ugly face at the owner: "The ritual object comes first; then the monster is begotten to account for it; then the hero is supplied to account for the slaying of the monster".

Gorgoneia appear frequently in Greek art at the turn of the eighth century BC. One of the earliest representations is on an electrum stater discovered during excavations at Parium. Other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns. Going further back into history, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, datable to the fifteenth century BC. Marija Gimbutas even argues that "the Gorgon extends back to at least 6000 BC, as a ceramic mask from the Sesklo culture illustrates", and in her book, Language of the Goddess, she also identifies the prototype of the Gorgoneion in Neolithic art motifs, especially in anthropomorphic vases and terracotta masks inlaid with gold.

In the sixth century, gorgoneia of a canonical "lion mask type" were ubiquitous on Greek temples, especially in and around Corinth. Pedimental gorgoneia were common in Sicily; probably the earliest occurrence being in the Temple of Apollo in Syracuse. Around 500 BC, they ceased to be used for the decoration of monumental buildings, but were still shown on antefixes of smaller structures throughout the next century.

Apart from temples, the Gorgon imagery is present on dress, dishes, weapons, and coins found across the Mediterranean region from Etruria to the Black Sea coast. The Gorgon coins were struck in 37 cities, making her image on coins second in numismatic ubiquity only to several principal Olympian gods. On mosaic floors, the gorgoneion usually was depicted next to the threshold, as if guarding it from hostile intruders. On Attic kilns, the gorgoneion over the kiln door protected from mishaps.

 
Gorgoneion on the Tondo of an Ancient Greek Attic black-figured cup - Winged Gorgoneion from Olympia

 

Bes & Beset

 
Bes

Bes (/bɛs/; also spelled as Bisu), together with his feminine counterpart Beset, is an Ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as a protector of households and, in particular, of mothers, children and childbirth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad.

Bes was a household protector, becoming responsible – throughout ancient Egyptian history – for such varied tasks as killing snakes, fighting off evil spirits, watching after children, and aiding women in labour by fighting off evil spirits, and thus present with Taweret at births.

Images of the deity, quite different from those of the other gods, were kept in homes. Normally Egyptian gods were shown in profile, but instead Bes appeared in full face portrait, ithyphallic, and sometimes in a soldier's tunic, so as to appear ready to launch an attack on any approaching evil. He scared away demons from houses, so his statue was put up as a protector.

Since he drove off evil, Bes also came to symbolize the good things in life – music, dance, and sexual pleasure. In the New Kingdom, tattoos of Bes could be found on the thighs of dancers, musicians and servant girls. Many instances of Bes masks and costumes from the New Kingdom and later have been uncovered. These show considerable wear, thought to be too great for occasional use at festivals, and are therefore thought to have been used by professional performers, or given out for rent.

Later, in the Ptolemaic period of Egyptian history, chambers were constructed, painted with images of Bes and his wife Beset, thought by Egyptologists to have been for the purpose of curing fertility problems or general healing rituals.

Like many Egyptian gods, the worship of Bes or Beset was exported overseas. While the female variant had been more popular in Minoan Crete, the male version would prove popular with the Phoenicians and the ancient Cypriots. The Balearic island of Ibiza derives its name from the god's name, brought along with the first Phoenician settlers in 654 BC. These settlers, amazed at the lack of any sort of venomous creatures on the island, thought it to be the island of Bes (<איבשם> ʔybšm, *ʔibošim, yibbōšīm "dedicated to Bes"). Later the Roman name Ebusus was derived from this designation.

At the end of the 6th century BC, images of Bes began to spread across the Achaemenid Empire, which Egypt belonged to at the time. Images of Bes have been found at the Persian capital of Susa, and as far away as central Asia. Over time, the image of Bes became more Persian in style, as he was depicted wearing Persian clothes and headdress.

  • Bes = Bijes

Elam Index The Mysteries