Assur

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

This was part of a wall relief was found inside a well within the courtyard of the temple of Assur at the city of Ashur, the capital city of the Assyrians…Gypsum. First half of the second millennium BCE. The Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
 
 

The central part of the relief depicts a male deity. He holds two long branches, and two ibex goats (standing on their hind legs) appear to eat from these branches. Two other identical branches seem to grow out the bottom half of his body…

Two smaller figures, identified as female deities, stand on each of his sides, holding two jars from which water flows out…

Official interpretation: Probably this bearded deity represents the god Assur, while the goddesses protect the plant and animal world in this city…I would not agree with this entirely…

I kind of agree with the main deity being identified as Assur. One of his epithets was „šadû rabû“ (great mountain) and if we look at his skirt, kilt, we can see that it is „decorated“ with the same design that Sumerians and Akkadians used to depict mountains…

The great mountain is not any one mountain in particular. It is the collective name for the northern mountains and highlands of Eastern Turkey, where we find the source of both Tigris and Euphrates…

The climatic year in this part of the world is divided into wet, cool season (Nov-Apr) and dry, hot season (May-Oct). 

The start of the wet season coincides with the start of the Ibex mating season characterised by fighting upright. Ibex is used here as a calendar marker…

The rain brought by the „dancing“ ibexes, revives the nature and makes everything in the lowlands green again after months of scorching heat and drought…Hence green branches growing out of the god’s body and held by the god. Munched by the ibexes…

This rain also feeds the two rivers, which are depicted by the two small „goddesses“ with jars overflowing in two flows. In Sumerian art this jar with two flows was always used to symbolise the two rivers, Tigris and Euphrates…

 

read more: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2020/12/assur.html

Pan – Goat of rain

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Pan is a great example of what happens when mythology based on a local climate gets exported to the place where climate is different…

The story of Pan starts on the Island of Crete, where the local climate is characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The rainy season starts in October and lasts till March or even April.

The beginning of the Cretan rain season coincides with the beginning of the mating season of the Cretan Ibex.

Which is why in Minoan Crete Ibex was venerated as the goat which brought rain…And life… Which is why Ibexes are depicted on this Minoan fresco from Knossos flanking „the tree of life“…

By the way, the „tree of life“ is olive. And olives are harvested from late October, early November, at the beginning of the rain season…

The flowers depicted all around are crocuses, which also bloom from Late October, early November, at the beginning of the rain season…

 

So this fresco depicts the beginning of the rain season, when ibexes fight and mate, crocuses bloom and olives are ripe…

We know that the Ibex cult existed in Mycenae, to where it was most likely brought from Minoan Crete. We can see this from seals found in Mycenaean sites.

 

read more: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2020/12/pan-goat-or-rain.html

 

Onager

Saturday, 7 November 2020

There is something very interesting about the story „How King Midas got to have donkey’s ears“:

Pan and Apollo have a musical competition. Tmolus, god of the mountain of the same name located in Lydia, Anatolia, judged the competition. When Tmolus declared Apollo to be the winner, Midas, follower of Pan, objected as he believed that Pan was better musician. Apollo was so furious that Midas couldn’t hear that his music was better than Pan’s, that he turned the king’s ears into those of a donkey…
Is this just random rubbish? Why donkey’s ears? You would expect that if Apollo wanted to punish Midas for choosing Pan instead of Him, he would have given Midas goat’s ears, just like Pan’s?
Maybe the choice of ears has something to do with climate in this part of Anatolia.

 

We can see from this chart that the climatic year in Lydia is divided into hot dry part, summer (Apr/May – Sep/Oct) and cool wet part, winter (Sep/Oct – Apr/May)…

Anahita?

This dish with „the dancer“ (as some people like to call it) is in the Cleveland museum of art: Official description: Dish: The Goddess Anahita, Iran, Sasanian, 5th-6th Century AD…


Anahita was the Zoroastrian goddess of water and fertility, whose epithet was „Arədvī“ thought to mean „moist“…

 
Which is why she is depicted like this:
 
 
As a goddess of water, she is depicted holding a bow, with wavy water line going through it and with vajra (symbol for lightning???) in the middle of it, most likely a symbolic depiction of a rain-bow…
 
As a fertility goddess she is depicted on this plate with plants (tree of life???) growing out of this bow, rainbow, rain, water…
 
Now remember that climate in Western Iran and Iraq, the centre of the Sasanian empire, consists of two seasons: dry season (May-Oct) and wet season (Nov-Apr). Here is average precipitation for Tehran and Bagdad…

Solar Ibex from Aeolis

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Solar Ibex from Aeolis

Pottery dinos with friezes of grazing wild goats (Ibex). Ancient Greece, Aeolis, 610BC-570BC (circa). Currently in British Museum.

Why Ibexes with swastikas and suns?

Ibex mating season starts in Oct-Nov and ends in Jan, basically spanning the winter season. Which is why Ibex is the symbol of winter.

You can read more about this in my post „Symbols of seasons„.

Right in the middle of the mating periods of both Alpine and Bezoar ibex is Winter Solstice, 21st of December. And the day after the winter solstice is the beginning of the Capricorn (goat) period, which last from December 22 – January 20…