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Edgar Cayce, Six-fingered Giants and the Supernatural Creation Gods of Atlantis: Part 1

Edgar Cayce, Six-fingered Giants and the Supernatural Creation Gods of Atlantis: Part 1

“The primitive mind does not invent myths, it experiences them.” — Carl Jung

For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

While only possessing an eighth-grade education (not me, HIM, but almost), Cayce would ultimately transmit not just a stunning volume of material (over 14,000 readings and some 25 million words) but also a remarkably detailed and complex body of work. A nonprofit organization, the  Association for Research and Enlightenment , was founded to facilitate the study of Cayce’s work.

Intellectual Giants on Human Origins

I have conducted a lengthy comparative analysis of the Cayce material, the literature of Rudolph Steiner, the Rosicrucian’s, the Freemasons, the Theosophists, Plato, as well as worldwide indigenous oral traditions, myths and legends. What came forth was as unexpected as it was bizarre.

Virtually all the sources claim that Homo sapiens were created in supernatural fashion long ago on the lost continent of Atlantis, which once existed in the Atlantic Ocean. A continent that had as part of its population giants and little people. Long-lived androgynous creator gods sometimes described as possessing six fingers or toes, are claimed to have birthed humanity. Atlantis was claimed to have been eventually destroyed by a great flood roughly 12,000 years ago and survivors were said to have brought the arts of civilization to Egypt, the Americas and several other locations in its aftermath. Cayce reveals the following in reading 364-11:

“Please give a few details regarding the physiognomy, habits, customs and costumes of the people of Atlantis during the period just before the first destruction.” These took on many sizes as to the stature, from that as may be called the midget to the GIANTS – for there were GIANTS IN THE EARTH IN THOSE DAYS, men as tall as (what would be termed today) ten to twelve feet in stature, and well-proportioned throughout. (1)

Rudolph Steiner also had the following to say regarding these inhabitants of Atlantis, “Everything that refers to ‘giants’ in legends is absolutely based on knowledge of the truth … [W]e feel it to be absolutely correct, from the spiritual scientific point of view, that the giants are stupid and the dwarfs very clever.” (2) Secret society literature, oral traditions and religious documents like the Bible all proclaim the existence of ancient giants as well.

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of Steiner School system of education

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of Steiner School system of education ( Public Domain )

On Creator Gods

As intriguing as all this was however, my investigative mind kept drawing me back to the mystery of androgynous creator gods – the first beings, who were considered the architects of humanity, who inhabited genderless androgynous forms back in deep antiquity. Let’s turn to Edgar Cayce scholar W. H. Church to help us understand what is meant by this.

“In what we may term it’s primitive or pre-Atlantean phase, before the emergence of its first mighty rulers, in the days of Poseidon and Atlas, or the enlightened reign of Amilius, at what was to become the all-time zenith of Atlantean civilization, the new continent was being busily colonized. Already it promised to become what Cayce would call the “Eden of the world”, and home to a most unusual race of androgynous soul beings…In Hindu mythology, the seed of our present human race were sons of God, who, during the root race associated with the Atlantean epoch, had devolved into semi-divine, androgynous beings, self-imprisoned in bodies, that had physiologically changed, becoming human in appearance. In this form, they began taking unto themselves wives who were indeed fully human in appearance and fair to gaze upon.” (3)

This description is very reminiscent of the Biblical story of the Nephilim who took on human wives. Indeed, the Bible clearly speaks of Giants, six fingers and toes, androgynous creator gods and a great flood.

Church continues,

 “In the early days of Amilius rule, the separation of the sexes had not yet begun to take place. Though male in their outward aspect, the androgynous sons of God embodied within themselves the nature of both male and female in one person. By turning to the creative forces, they could become channels to bring into being androgynous progeny after their own kind imbued with a double soul and a double sexed body. In this way, sexual intercourse was unnecessary as a means of propagation.”( 4)

A Herculean Effort: What Led to the 12 Labors of Hercules and How Did He Succeed?

A Herculean Effort: What Led to the 12 Labors of Hercules and How Did He Succeed?

Classical mythology is full of heroes but Hercules (known to the Greeks as Heracles) is undoubtedly the most celebrated of them all. Although his heroic life was packed with daring escapades from beginning to end, rescuing maidens in need, fighting immortals and even giants, he was the go to guy when it came to taking care of risky business. Probably his most famous legend is of The Twelve Labors of Hercules, tasks so difficult as to be considered impossible for mortal men and even a demi-god such as he. What were these feats and why was Hercules bound to achieve them?

Hercules is Assigned his 12 Labors

Many stories have been told about the feats performed by this demi-god around the Mediterranean. One of the most renowned of these tales is known as the 12 Labors of Hercules. In brief, these were a set of impossible tasks given to Hercules by Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns, who was also the hero’s cousin. These labors were undertaken by Hercules as he wanted to atone for a grievous sin he had committed.

Mosaic with the Labors of Hercules, 3rd century AD, found in Liria (Valencia), National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid

Mosaic with the Labors of Hercules, 3rd century AD, found in Liria (Valencia), National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

The story of the 12 Labors begins with the murder of Hercules’ wife, Megara, and their children by the hero himself! This occurred as a result of a temporary madness inflicted upon Hercules by the goddess Hera, who never liked the hero. When Hercules snapped out of his insanity, he was filled with remorse. He consulted the Oracle of Delphi to find out what he could do in order to atone for his crime. The hero was told to go to serve Eurystheus, Hercules’ cousin, and the king of Tiryns, for 12 years. As Hercules considered Eurystheus to be an inferior man to himself, he was not too happy with this arrangement. Still, he was desperate to atone for his heinous acts, and did as he had been directed, and traveled to Tiryns to do whatever was his cousin’s bidding.

Hercules brings Eurystheus the belt of the queen of the Amazons by Daniel Sarrabat

Hercules brings Eurystheus the belt of the queen of the Amazons by Daniel Sarrabat ( Public Domain )

It was Eurystheus who came up with the 12 labors. Initially, the king had decided to give Hercules a series of ten tasks. Later on, however, the king refused to recognise two of the tasks as being completed by the hero. Therefore, Eurystheus gave Hercules two more tasks to perform, hence constituting 12 labors in total. By completing these impossible tasks, Hercules would not only atone for his crime, but would also earn immortality and his rightful place amongst the Olympian gods.

Front panel from a sarcophagus with the Labours of Heracles: from left to right, the Nemean Lion, the Lernaean Hydra, the Erymanthian Boar, the Ceryneian Hind, the Stymphalian birds, the Girdle of Hippolyta, the Augean stables, the Cretan Bull and the Mares of Diomedes. Luni marble, Roman artwork from the middle 3rd century AD. National Museum of Rome

Front panel from a sarcophagus with the Labours of Heracles : from left to right, the Nemean Lion, the Lernaean Hydra, the Erymanthian Boar, the Ceryneian Hind, the Stymphalian birds, the Girdle of Hippolyta, the Augean stables, the Cretan Bull and the Mares of Diomedes. Luni marble, Roman artwork from the middle 3rd century AD. National Museum of Rome ( Public Domain )

The 12 Labors of Hercules

1. The Nemean Lion

2. The Lernaean Hydra

3. The Ceryneian Hind

4. The Erymanthian Boar

5. The Augean Stables

6. The Stymphalian Birds

7. The Cretan Bull

8. The Mares of Diomedes

9. The Belt of Hippolyta

10. The Cattle of Geryon

11. The Golden Apples of the Hesperides

12. The Capture of Cerberus

Roman sarcophagus depicting Labors of Hercules - defeat of Erymanthian Boar, Hind of Ceryneia and Birds of Stymphalus 240-250 AD

Roman sarcophagus depicting Labors of Hercules – defeat of Erymanthian Boar, Hind of Ceryneia and Birds of Stymphalus 240-250 AD (Mary Harrsch/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

Hercules the Killer

The tasks given to Hercules by Eurystheus varied in nature. Some, for instance, involved killing a deadly beast(s). This, for instance, can be seen in the slaying of the Nemean Lion, the Lernaean Hydra, and the Stymphalian Birds. These beasts were not ordinary. For example, Hercules was to bring the skin of the lion that had terrorized the region around Nemea. This was no ordinary lion, but a lion deemed invulnerable and Hercules arrows were ineffective against the beast. Mighty Hercules overcame this problem by tracking the lion to its cave and choking it with his bare hands.

Heracles and the Nemea Lion by Peter Paul Rubens

Heracles and the Nemea Lion by Peter Paul Rubens ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )

Hercules the Hunter

Others, on the other hand, required the hero to capture certain creatures alive. These include the Ceryneian Hind, the Erymanthian Boar, and Cerberus. These too might not seem such insurmountable tasks but of course they too had a twist. How hard can it be to catch a hind (a female deer)? Well, of course it was no ordinary deer – this one had golden horns and bronze hoofs for a start. Not much advantage with those one would guess, but a sign that all might not be normal. Indeed, the deer was sacred to the goddess of hunting Diana, someone whose pet you would be advised not to injure. As Hercules had already discovered, it was best not to get on the wrong side of a goddess. Hercules tracked the deer for a year without being able to trap it and eventually capitulated and shot and injured the deer. He escaped the wrath of Diana by telling her the truth about the labors he had been tasked with and she forgave him and healed the deer herself.

Hercules Captures the Golden Hind of Ceryneia by Adolf Schmidt

Hercules Captures the Golden Hind of Ceryneia by Adolf Schmidt ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Hercules Gets His Hands Dirty

One of the more bizarre tasks given to Hercules was the cleaning of the Augean Stables. This belonged to Augeus, the King of Elis, and housed huge herds of cattle and other livestock. In some versions of the story, the animals were immortal, and produced lots of dung. Moreover, the stables are said to have not been cleaned in the last 30 years. Hercules was given this task as it was humiliating, as well as impossible, since he was required to complete it in a day. Before undertaking this task, Hercules asked Augeus to give him a tenth of the animals as payment should he succeed. Believing that Hercules would not be able to keep his part of the deal, the king happily agreed. By diverting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus, Hercules cleaned the stables in several hours. At the end of the story, Augeus is killed by Hercules, as he refused to keep his promise. This was one of the labors that Eurystheus refused to recognise. According to one version, this was due to the fact that Hercules requested a payment for his work. According to another version, it was discounted as the task was completed by the rivers, rather than by the hero himself.

Hercules Enlists Help

The other task that Eurystheus refused to acknowledge as completed by Hercules was the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra. This was a ferocious serpent-like beast that had nine heads, one of which was immortal. Each time a head was cut off, three would grow in its place. In order to defeat this creature, Hercules sought the aid of his nephew, Iolaus. After the hero decapitated one of the beast’s heads, Iolaus would burn the neck, thus preventing the heads from growing anew. Finally, the immortal head was chopped off, and buried. As Hercules received help from Iolaus, Eurystheus declared that this labor did not count.

Hydria (ceramic water container) with Heracles and the Lernaean Hydra from Etruria, attributed to the Painter of Aquila, 530-500 BC

Hydria (ceramic water container) with Heracles and the Lernaean Hydra from Etruria, attributed to the Painter of Aquila, 530-500 BC ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Having completed the extra two tasks assigned to him by tricking Atlas out of apples and visiting the underworld. Thus, though some clever tactics, a little assistance and unhuman feats of strength Hercules was able to complete all 12 labors. This process of a virtuous struggle against the odds is an excellent example of the Greek idea of pathos which brought Hercules not only this everlasting fame but immortality.

It is without doubt that the myth of the 12 Labors of Hercules have entertained people over the centuries, as it still does today. These labors have been illustrated in countless instances on pottery, in paintings, sculptures and storytelling for way over two millennia. But these stories contain moral lessons as well. In the cleaning of the Augean Stables, for instance, one is reminded of the importance of keeping promises. Another example may be seen in the 8 th Labor, in which Hercules had to capture the Mares of Diomedes. Towards the end of the story, Diomedes is torn apart by his man-eating mares, a lesson in karma, perhaps, considering that he had enjoyed feeding strangers and prisoners to these creatures.

Top image: Hercules and the Leraean Hydra by John Singer Sargant ( Public Domain )

While life without sex doesn’t seem like much fun, it points to a supernatural origin for humanity, an idea shared by many ancient cultures worldwide. The “miraculous birth theme” or humans being made from clay or on a potter’s wheel recurs throughout world religions and mythologies. Examples are to be found in Genesis, the Qur’an, and Egyptian, Greek, Sumerian, Inca, Chinese and some Native American mythologies.

Androgynous beings Khnum and Thoth create humans on a potter’s wheel

Androgynous beings Khnum and Thoth create humans on a potter’s wheel ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Many of these creators are described as androgynous like the Egyptian god Khnum. Khnum is depicted on a relief at Esna creating humans on a potter’s wheel while the androgynous Thoth writes the years the humans will live behind him. Interestingly the Temple of Esna was dedicated to an anonymous androgynous creator god and androgynous Khnum is depicted with six fingers.

Six Fingered androgynous Khnum, Temple of Esna, Egypt. (Author provided)

Several professionals have been exploring this strange case as well. In the Israel Exploration Journal, Volume 57, 2007, Irit Ziffer explores the idea of androgynous creator deities in his thought-provoking paper, “The first Adam, Androgyny and the Ain Ghazal two-headed busts.” Ain Ghazal is an ancient site in Jordan dated to roughly 8250 BC where some of the world’s most ancient statues were unearthed several decades ago.

Androgynous two-headed statues from Ain Ghazal.

Androgynous two-headed statues from Ain Ghazal. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )

 Ziffer makes a strong case that the two-headed statues represent androgynous creator deities. Another curious twist is that some of the statues have six fingers and toes, famously associated with the Biblical giant of Gath.

Six toed foot from Ain Ghazal Statue. Source Richard D. Barnett, Polydactylism in the Ancient World, Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 1990.

Six toed foot from Ain Ghazal Statue. Source Richard D. Barnett, Polydactylism in the Ancient World, Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 1990.  (Author provided)

Ziffer explains, “Schmandt-Besserat  proposed that the Ain Ghazal statues represented deities, She accounted for the polydactilism (a rare genetic syndrome) of the statues as a divine attribute, and, based on cuneiform literature, identifies the two-headed busts as the likes of the gods Marduk (according to the Epic of Creation, ‘four were his eyes, four were his ears’; Dalley 1991: 236) and Ishtar (‘Ishtar of Nineveh is Tiamat… she has [4 eyes] and 4 ears’; Livingstone 1986: 223; Schmandt-Besserat 1998a: 10–15).

The four eyes and four ears may stand for a doubled face. Barnett WHO (1986: 116; 1986–87; 1990) explained the polydactilism of the ªAin Ghazal statues as a mark of supernatural entities, such as the biblical Rephaim, a race of giants: ‘There was a giant of a man, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all; he too was descended from the Rapha (single form of Rephaim). When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimei, killed him’ (2 Sam. 21:20–21).”

Thus, the prototype androgynous human, containing both sexes, was defined through the two-headed person, claims Ziffer. What we have here is quite stunning, some of the oldest statues ever discovered represent a worship cult of deities who were androgynous and possessed six fingers and toes. Remember, the statues of Ain Ghazal are over 8000 years older than the Bible.

In Part 2 we discover more ancient examples of androgyny and six-fingered giants and gods through history.

Hopefully, this information will strike the reader as profoundly as it has me and you will be open to entertain seemingly heretical notions about the past. Please join me at the Edgar Cayce Ancient Mysteries Conference on October 6th in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Origins conference on November 4th in London or at the Awake and Empowered Expo in Detroit on November 10-12 as I discuss the Lost World of Edgar Cayce.

Top image: Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)

By Jim Vieira

Resources:

  1. Edgar Cayce reading 364-11. The Edgar Cayce Foundation
  2. Rudolf Steiner, The Being of Man and His Future Evolution (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1981), p. 117.
  3. W.H. Church, Edgar Cayce’s Story of the Soul, ARE Press, page 87-89
  4. W.H. Church page 90.
  5. Joannes Richter, The Sky God Dyaeus, page 10.
  6. H. V. Hilprecht, The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A: Cuneiform Texts, Volume 29, Issue 1, 1911, pages 4-5.
  7. “Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study”, Guardian Newspaper August 24 th 2017.
  8. W.H. Church page 163.
  9. “The first Adam, Androgyny and the Ain Ghazal two-headed busts.”  Irit Ziffer, Israel Exploration Journal, Volume 57, 2007

Mysterious Bronze Disc Found at 2,000-year-old Antikythera Shipwreck Resembles Ancient ‘Computer’

Mysterious Bronze Disc Found at 2,000-year-old Antikythera Shipwreck Resembles Ancient ‘Computer’

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times

More than a century ago, a device now known as the Antikythera mechanism was found near a Roman shipwreck dating from the 1st century BC. It could calculate astronomical changes with precision. It has baffled archaeologists with its sophistication, far beyond anything expected from so long ago.

The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000-year-old mechanical device used to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and even the dates of the ancient Olympic Games.

The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000-year-old mechanical device used to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and even the dates of the ancient Olympic Games. ( CC BY 2.5 )

Marine archaeologists are now further exploring the wreck, off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea, and bringing up exciting artifacts. On Oct. 4, they announced the discovery of a bronze disc shaped like the Antikythera mechanism.

Hoping it might be part of the ancient “computer,” they examined it via x-ray. Instead of the hoped-for gears, however, under the hardened layer of sediment they found the likeness of a bull. The team will examine it in more detail in the weeks to come. It seems it was a decorative element.

  • The Antikythera Shipwreck – The Titanic of the Ancient World and its Sunken Historic Treasure
  • 115 Years Since Sensational Discovery of The World’s First Analogue Computer

An x-ray image of a bronze disc found at the Antikythera ship wreck.

An x-ray image of a bronze disc found at the Antikythera ship wreck.
(Screenshot/
YouTube/2017 Return to Antikythera Expedition )

Archaeologists Found Unique Statues They Also Found Human Remains

Other significant finds include parts of bronze statues. Bronze statues from the ancient world are rare, and most have been altered over the years. Studying these unaltered statues may yield great insights into the ancient culture that produced them.

Archaeologists may learn more about casting methods and the techniques of sculpting, but also about the social contexts that created the statues if they are able to identify whom the statues depict.

  • Unprecedented exploration of Antikythera wreck yields new treasures
  • Famous Antikythera Shipwreck Yields New Remarkable Discoveries

The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site.

The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)

They Also Found Human Remains

Last year, human remains were found at the site. Regarding DNA analysis of the remains, marine archaeologist Brendan Foley with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution  said in a press release: “Archaeologists study the human past through the objects our ancestors created. … With the Antikythera shipwreck, we can now connect directly with this person who sailed and died aboard the Antikythera ship.”

  • Ancient Antikythera shipwreck has more secrets to reveal
  • 2,000-Year-Old Human Remains Found on Famous Antikythera Shipwreck

Excavations in 2016 at the Antikythera Shipwreck produced a nearly intact skull, including the cranial parietal bones.

Excavations in 2016 at the Antikythera Shipwreck produced a nearly intact skull, including the cranial parietal bones. (Brett Seymour, EUA/WHOI/ARGO)

Top image: The X-rays of the bronze disc, and artist’s reconstruction of the bull. (Image: Left EUA, Right Alexander Tourtas.

The article ‘ Mysterious bronze disc found at 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck resembles ancient ‘computer’ was originally published on The Epoch Times and has been republished with permission.

Which Goddess Lost Her Legs in a Shipwreck? 2,700-Year-Old Terracotta Statue Discovered in Turkish Waters

Which Goddess Lost Her Legs in a Shipwreck? 2,700-Year-Old Terracotta Statue Discovered in Turkish Waters

A team of Turkish archaeologists have announced the fascinating underwater discovery of a large terracotta sculpture of a bare-footed woman wearing a long dress. Could these be Aphrodite’s legs hidden beneath the waters? They say that the statue they found hiding in the sand of the Aegean Sea is a Cypriot goddess and the biggest find in underwater history for their country to date.

The Sculpture Dates to the Archaic Period and is of Ancient Greek Origin

According to archaeologists from the Aegean Research and Application Center (EBAMER) of the Marine Science and Technology Institute at Dokuz Eylül University (DEU), the valuable 2,700-year-old terracotta statue was discovered at a shipwreck site under more than 140 feet (42.67 meters) of water off the coast of southwestern Turkey, and dates to the Archaic Period.

Harun Özdaş, the institute’s Deputy Director and the head of the excavations told Hurriyet Daily News ,

“We found such a big terra-cotta sculpture for the first time on the coasts of our country. Current researches [sic] show that the sea was the most important means of communication among Mediterranean civilizations in the ancient ages. In addition to the researches [sic] so far, the current ones made with the use of technological tools and methods show us that not only products but also opinions and philosophy were exchanged between the civilizations. Mediterranean civilizations progressed throughout ages by leaving traces on the sea. Now, using these traces, we study the civilizations that lived on the coast of our country.”

  • 4,000-year-old Minoan shipwreck discovered in Turkish waters
  • 22 Shipwrecks spanning Ancient Era to the Renaissance discovered at Aegean archipelago
  • Researchers Surprised by Rich and Rare Roman Plate Set Found Underwater in Turkey

Examining the sculpture’s legs underwater.

Examining the sculpture’s legs underwater. ( Dokuz Eylul University, Marine Science and Technology Institute )

The discovery eventually happened after many explorations in the wreckage, since the ceramic sculpture was “hiding” under piles of sand, as Özdaş said :

“When we cleaned its surroundings, we saw the toes of the sculpture. It made us very excited. Then we uncovered the lower part of the body. The goddess sculpture had a dress on it. We know that such sculptures were made of two pieces. This is why we believe that the upper part of the sculpture is in the same place.”

The Statue Represents an Ancient Greek Goddess from Cyprus – (Possibly Aphrodite?)

The ceramic sculpture belongs to a bare-footed woman wearing a long dress and it’s speculated that it depicts an ancient Greek goddess from Cyprus.

Even though it’s too early to say for certain, experts believe that the statue and the wreckage date back to the end of 7th century BC, an era when the ancient Greeks from Megara colonized the specific location and founded Byzantium. Later – during the Byzantine Empire – it became Constantinople, and today it is known as Istanbul.

  • Researchers in Turkey identify Bronze Age sea route and ancient shipwrecks
  • Ancient Greek amulet with strange palindrome inscription discovered in Cyprus
  • More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

If the early impressions expressed by Mr. Harun Özdaş, are correct and the statue indeed belongs to a Cypriot Goddess, then it wouldn’t be inaccurate to speculate that the statue belongs to Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty, which is undoubtedly the most famous Goddess hailing from the lands of Cyprus. According to most mythological accounts, Aphrodite is thought to have been born near her main center of worship, Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, which is why she is sometimes called “Cyprian”, especially in the poetic works of Sappho.

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, circa 1485.

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, circa 1485. ( Public Domain )

Aphrodite’s Rock, on the coast in Paphos, western Cyprus.

Aphrodite’s Rock, on the coast in Paphos, western Cyprus. ( CC BY SA 2.5 )

Valuable Archaeological Information About the Aegean Region

Lastly, Mr. Özdaş added that the conservation work of the statue and other artifacts was being carried out in the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum laboratory, and further research will follow in order to learn more about the new finds,

“The main load of the wreckage is plates. They scatter around a large field. There are also Cypriot amphoras [sic] in the wreckage. Both these finds and the sculpture indicate that the ship was a Cypriot one. The ship, which traveled from the Mediterranean to the Aegean in the archaic era, gives us important information about the relations between Mediterranean civilizations and the Aegean region.”

Amphora, Cyprus, 1st century BC. On display at the Landesmuseum Württemberg.

Amphora, Cyprus, 1st century BC. On display at the Landesmuseum Württemberg. ( CC BY SA 2.0 fr )

The team will return to the site, with the permission of Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and the support of the Development Ministry, to look for the rest of the goddess later this year.

Top Image: The legs of a goddess that were discovered underwater near the Turkish coast. Source: Dokuz Eylul University, Marine Science and Technology Institute

By Theodoros Karasavvas

3,500-Year-Old Tomb with Remains of 17 Elites and Precious Artifacts Found in Cyprus

3,500-Year-Old Tomb with Remains of 17 Elites and Precious Artifacts Found in Cyprus

Excavations in a Bronze Age city on Cyprus have revealed an industrious people whose community was burned twice in attacks, possibly during the upheaval caused by the Sea Peoples. The most recent discovery by Swedish archaeologists is of a tomb from years before the attacks in which they found remains of 17 high-status people buried with rich grave goods. The offerings, from around the Mediterranean, include gold jewelry, pearls, scarabs and beautiful pottery.

The tomb dates to about 1500 BC, at the end of the Late Bronze Age, and contains the bodies of nine adults and eight children. The items buried with the bodies were probably from Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), Mesopotamia and Egypt. Religious markings on the vessels show they were important symbolic offerings.

A ceramic bull-god figurine was found in 2014 at the site.

A ceramic bull-god figurine was found in 2014 at the site. ( Photo courtesy of Peter Fischer )

The tomb is in the harbor town of Hala Sultan Tekke. Lead archaeologist Peter Fischer’s website and his e-mails to Ancient Origins reveal a fascinating place that was occupied from at least the Bronze Age forward.

Around 1200 BC—about 300 years after this tomb was being used—the city was twice destroyed by fire, possibly caused by attacks, Dr. Fischer said.

Cylinder seals and figurines from the oldest stratum of the site; these items were not in the tomb recently discovered but were from the same time frame.

Cylinder seals and figurines from the oldest stratum of the site; these items were not in the tomb recently discovered but were from the same time frame. ( Photo courtesy of Peter Fischer )

Finds at the city have included an artificially deformed skull (see photo below) and many rich, interesting artifacts. They have found gold, silver and other types of jewelry, numerous stone tools and many other important objects around the ancient city.

The newly found tomb is large, measuring 3 by 4 meters (9.84 by 13.12 feet) and is the most elaborate and luxurious known from the late Bronze Age on Cyprus. The skeletons were scattered, apparently to make way for new bodies, Dr. Fischer said in e-mail. Nearby is an offering pit. There were no bodies in it, but the pit contains artifacts that the researchers think were meant to honor deceased ancestors.

Gold and silver jewelry from a home. The arrows point to a silver amulet and another gold object inside the molten silver

Gold and silver jewelry from a home. The arrows point to a silver amulet and another gold object inside the molten silver (Peter Fischer photo)

Dr. Fischer and his team of Swedish archaeologists expect the discovery will shed even more light on the early history of Cyprus. Dr. Fischer specializes in Cypriot and Near Eastern archaeology.

It appears Bronze Age peoples occupied Hala Sultan Tekke in three phases, the two most recent of which were destroyed by fires, Dr. Fischer said. Some of the town’s buildings are constructed of massive stone.

Dr. Fischer told Ancient Origins that it appears the town was burned both times in attacks by hostile forces. Archaeologists have found many sling bullets that they believe may have been used during the attacks. They also unearthed a defensive wall at the city.

Excavations have turned up these clay sling bullets, possibly used in an attack that destroyed the town.

Excavations have turned up these clay sling bullets, possibly used in an attack that destroyed the town. Credit: Peter Fischer

“There are a number of Cypriot sites which were destroyed at the end of the Late Bronze Age,” Dr. Fischer said in e-mail.”This … is also known as the ‘Crisis Years’ and often connected with the phenomenon called ‘the Sea Peoples,’ but there is no consensus about the importance and effect of south-eastward migration around 1200 BC. Look up Ramses III and the battle against the Sea Peoples—which is a much discussed topic.”

The archaeologists found evidence of textile manufacturing—spinning and weaving and. They found a basin in which cloth apparently was dyed, and crushed murex shells from which the ancient people probably extracted dye. They also found evidence of local pottery-making and metalworking. There was mining of copper at another place on Cyprus, but not at Hala Sultan Tekke, he said.

Dr. Fischer wrote in e-mail:

‘The island was very much depending on export. As regards Hala Sultan Tekke, refining of copper ore, the production of bronze objects together with purple-dyed textiles (maybe the most precious single group of items at that time, i.e. the Late Bronze Age), and the export of Cypriot pottery [were] the economic backbone of the [city]. Cypriot pottery was extremely popular in the Mediterranean and beyond. You can find it from southern Egypt over Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Greek mainland and islands, Italy and further west. Today, Cypriot pottery is used to establish synchronisation of various cultures, for instance, a certain Cypriot vessel type is found in Italy, the same in Egypt etc. which means one can establish a synchronisation of cultures.’

In 2014 the team discovered a skeleton that had an artificially deformed skull. The discovery, in a well, was not associated with the tomb and offering pit discovered this year.

Artificially deformed skull; X-rays of right mandible with tooth decay and infected bone

Artificially deformed skull; X-rays of right mandible with tooth decay and infected bone ( Photo courtesy of Peter Fischer )

“The artificial deformation of skulls became a fashion, especially during the Late Bronze Age,” Dr. Fischer wrote. “There were various types of deformations. However, not only in Cyprus but also, for instance, in Egypt. However, in the tomb from 2016 there is no evidence of artificial skull deformation. But remember, the skeletons were scattered.”

Apparently it wasn’t all hard work making textiles and pottery, metal-smithing, and fiery tragedy at the city. They had music, too. Dr. Fischer’s site states:

One of the finds from R30 is a complete very large violin bow fibula of bronze. It has been argued that this early type of fibulae is concentrated on the southern and eastern coast of Cyprus. It seems therefore that this object was mainly in use at urban sites connected to the sea trade. This observation supports the assumption that the fibula arrived in Cyprus through contacts with the Aegean and the western Mediterranean, or even central Europe.

Dr. Fischer’s website has many interesting articles, photos, drawings of artifacts and maps of the city and links to his scholarly articles.

Violin bow fibula

Violin bow fibula ( Photo courtesy of Peter Fischer )

Top image: Figurines from the oldest stratum of the site; these items were not in the tomb recently discovered but were from the same time frame. ( Photo courtesy of Peter Fischer )

By Mark Miller

Ancient Greek amulet with strange palindrome inscription discovered in Cyprus

Ancient Greek amulet with strange palindrome inscription discovered in Cyprus

Ancient Greek amulet with strange palindrome inscription discovered in Cyprus

 

Archaeologists in Cyprus have unearthed a 1,500-year-old amulet in the ancient city of Nea Paphos in Cyprus, which contains a curious palindrome inscription – a text that reads the same both backwards and forwards – as well as several images believed to represent Egyptian god Osiris, god of silence, Harpocrates, and a dog-headed mythical being.

Live Science reports that the discovery was made by archaeologists with the Paphos Agora Project , who have been excavating an ancient agora (gathering place) at Nea Paphos, the most famous and important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world.

“Paphos, which has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite’s legendary birthplace was on the island of Cyprus, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century BC and continued to be used until the Roman period,” writes UNESCO. “The site is a vast archaeological area, with remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs. These illustrate Paphos’ exceptional architectural and historic value and contribute extensively to our understanding of ancient architecture, ways of life, and thinking.”

Fourth century Roman ruins at Nea Paphos, Cyprus looking out to the Mediterranean Sea

Fourth century Roman ruins at Nea Paphos, Cyprus looking out to the Mediterranean Sea. Source: BigStockPhoto

Palindrome inscription

The amulet found at Nea Paphos, which measures 1.4 x 1.6 inches (3.5 x 4.1 cm), contains a 59-letter palindrome inscription on one side, and several images on the other side.

The inscription, written in Greek, reads ΙΑΕW ΒΑΦΡΕΝΕΜ ΟΥΝΟΘΙΛΑΡΙ ΚΝΙΦΙΑΕΥΕ ΑΙΦΙΝΚΙΡΑΛ ΙΘΟΝΥΟΜΕ ΝΕΡΦΑΒW ΕΑΙ (“Iahweh is the bearer of the secret name, the lion of Re secure in his shrine”).

The use of palindromes is believed to date back at least 2,000 years, and became popular during the Middle Ages. Byzantine Greeks often inscribed the palindrome, “Wash [the] sins, not only [the] face” (ΝΙΨΟΝ ΑΝΟΜΗΜΑΤΑ ΜΗ ΜΟΝΑΝ ΟΨΙΝ), on baptismal fonts. This practice was continued in many other churches throughout Europe, such as the font at St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham, o the font in the basilica of St. Sophia, Constantinople, the font of St. Stephen d’Egres, Paris.

Engravings of gods

On the other side of the amulet are several images, including a mummy lying on a boat, which is believed to represent the Egyptian god Osiris. According to Egyptian mythology, Osiris, god of the underworld, was killed by Set, god of storms, disorder and violence, who shut Osiris in a coffin and threw it in the Nile river. After his body was recovered by Isis, Set tore his body into pieces and threw them back into the river. Isis collected all the pieces and bandaged the body together. This form of Osiris traveled to the underworld in a boat and became god of the dead.

Symbology relating to this story has been seen on amulets before, including this talisman below, which depicts Osiris as a mummy, standing to front in a papyrus boat.

Talisman depicting Osiris as a mummy, standing in a boat

Talisman depicting Osiris as a mummy, standing in a boat. Credit: Genevra Kornbluth, University of Michigan, Special Collections Library .

Another image etched on the back of the amulet is of the god of silence, Harpocrates, who is shown sitting on a stool with his right hand to his lips.  Harpocrates was adapted by the Greeks from the Egyptian child god Horus. To the ancient Egyptians, Horus represented the newborn Sun, rising each day at dawn.

A statue of Harpocrates, god of silence, 1789, by Louis Philipe Mouchy

A statue of Harpocrates, god of silence, 1789, by Louis Philipe Mouchy ( Wikimedia Commons )

The final image found on the amulet was a cynocephalus, a mythical dog-headed creature, which is shown holding a paw up to its lips, as if mimicking Harpocrates’ gesture.  Cynocephaly was familiar to the Ancient Greeks from representations of the Egyptian gods Hapi (the son of Horus) and Anubis (the Egyptian god of the dead).

A cynocephalus. From the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493

A cynocephalus. From the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493. ( Wikimedia Commons )

Jagiellonian University professor Ewdoksia Papuci-Wladyka, who led the research, told Live Science that the features of the amulet suggest that the ancient people of Cyprus, were continuing to practice their traditional, polytheistic beliefs even after Christianity had become the official religion, and that such amulets were used for protection from harm and danger.

Christianity became the official religion in Cyprus in the 5 th century AD. “[A]s time went on, traditional polytheistic (also called pagan) practices came under tighter restrictions and bans,” writes Live Science. “Nevertheless, some people continued to practice the old beliefs, worshipping the traditional gods.”

Featured image: The amulet with the palindrome inscription found in Cyprus. Credit: Photo by Marcin Iwan, artifact from the excavations of Jagiellonian University in Krakow at Paphos Agora

2,400-Year-Old Aristocrat Family Tomb Uncovered in Cyprus Sheds Light on Ancient Soloi

The detailed golden ivy wreath from the rich tomb discovered in Soloi, Cyprus.

2,400-Year-Old Aristocrat Family Tomb Uncovered in Cyprus Sheds Light on Ancient Soloi

Details on the 2,400-year-old tomb belonging to a rich family that was excavated in Soloi (Soli), Northern Cyprus from 2005-2006 are being unveiled. Jewelry, weapons, human remains, figurines, and symposium vessels were awaiting the archaeologists that found the tomb and the early analysis of these artifacts is providing a glimpse into the social structure and trade practices of ancient Soloi.

The tomb complex consists of three burial chambers, one of which was looted. The others contained the aforementioned artifacts. Of these objects, one of the most impressive is a golden wreath in the shape of an ivy plant, complete with details such as berries.

These goods led the archaeologists to make the claim that the tomb belonged to an aristocratic family. In one of the chambers the remains of a man, woman, and young girl were found. There were also a woman and young girl present in another chamber. The looted chamber did not contain any human remains. The archaeologist who studied the Soloi tomb complex, Hazar Kaba, told Live Science that: “A DNA project is running on the bones to identify the degree of kinship between the deceased.”

Kaba also asserted that the artifacts further suggest that there was trade between Soloi and Athens 2,400 years ago:

“This tomb complex surely proves that Soloi was in direct relationship with Athens, who was the naval power of the period. Soloi was supplying Athens with its rich timber and copper sources, and in return, was obtaining luxurious goods such as symposium vessels.”

Symposium vessels of bronze, silver, and gold-silver from the tomb complex at Soloi, Cyprus.

Symposium vessels of bronze, silver, and gold-silver from the tomb complex at Soloi, Cyprus. ( Kadir Kaba )

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Kaba also believes that there were Athenian artists living in Soloi at the time who influenced the craftsmanship of the Soloi citizens. However, the Athenian artists were not the only ones who had an impact on Soloi. The archaeologist said that the golden wreath is similar to those placed in the tombs of wealthy  Macedonians. Furthermore, the symposium vessels and some of the jewelry appear comparable to the styles used in the contemporary Achaemenid Empire. Some of the symposium vessels also may have been from Ionia and Macedonia. This accumulation of imported high-class objects further supports the idea that the family was part of the elite class in Soloi.

A statue of Aphrodite and Eros found at the tomb complex in Soloi, Cyprus.

A statue of Aphrodite and Eros found at the tomb complex in Soloi, Cyprus. Kaba believes that the Soloi artisans were influenced by Athenian sculptors. ( Kadir Kaba )

Soloi was one of the most important cities in Cyprus and was first populated by Mycenaean settlers in the late Bronze Age. It was probably chosen as a good site for a city as the location was rich in copper, water, and had good quality soil. Soloi was prosperous for many years and did especially well throughout the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Early Christian periods.  Within the city, ruins have been found of a temple of Athena, a Hellenistic palace, a Nymphaeum, an Early Christian Basilica, and a Roman theater. All of these support the claim of a wealthy class of the ancient Soloi society as well. These ruins are also a draw for many tourists to visit Soloi today.

The Roman amphitheater and church in Soloi, Cyprus.

The Roman amphitheater and church in Soloi, Cyprus. (Whatson North Cyprus )

Kaba is currently publishing four articles on the analysis of the tomb complex and the artifacts (which continue to be conserved) that were contained within. Many of the artifacts from the 2005 excavation have already been put on display at the Guzelyurt Museum of Archaeology & Natural History in Cyprus.

Featured Image: The detailed golden ivy wreath from the rich tomb discovered in Soloi, Cyprus. ( Wikimedia Commons )

By Alicia McDermott

Ancient House Museum’s History of Thetford in 100 Objects

Ancient House Museum’s History of Thetford in 100 Objects

A carved stone which was once part of one of Thetford’s medieval buildings. Picture: Ancient House Museum

A carved stone which was once part of one of Thetford’s medieval buildings. Picture: Ancient House Museum

This month’s object is a carved stone. It once formed part of one of Thetford’s medieval buildings, possibly the Cluniac Priory by the river whose ruins are a popular attraction of the town.

Following the closing down of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, the building stone became a kind of quarry for helping to construct or extend Thetford houses.

A number of pieces of re-used dressed limestone can be seen during a stroll around the town in places such as King’s House or on the Market Place.

This particular example was built into the rear of the Ancient House, now the Museum.

The limestone was imported to Thetford, probably from Barnack in Lincolnshire.

It was found during building works in 2005-6 in a blocked doorway, now opened up, and clearly shows the marks of the stone-mason from some 800 years ago.

The museum is planning to use this piece in its forthcoming Handmade Exhibition which opens in December.

Visit the most famous ancient house in Dong Thap

Visit the most famous ancient house in Dong Thap
VietNamNet Bridge – Those who are familiar with the French author Marguerite Duras will remember her most celebrated novel awarded the Goncourt Prize in 1984, The Lover was inspired by her girlhood in the Mekong Delta Region in Vietnam. In a house in Sa Dec Town, Dong Thap Province, a love story was retold almost every day though nearly a century has passed since then.

The house is Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House, where the lover of the author lived. Duras had many memories of this place.

The former owner of the house is Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, who is believed to be the male character in the novel. It is located at 225A Nguyen Hue Str., Sa Dec Town, Dong Thap Province.

The house has a history of over 130 years, and is now a popular tourist destination in Mekong Delta for all literaturelovers.

In the past, Huynh’s is the most reputable family in Dong Thap. The house is well-built and the furniture is luxurious, some brought from France.

It is a low house with a Chinese-style ridged roof described in Duras’ novel as a “big villa” with “blue balustrades” and “tiers of terraces overlooking the Mekong”.

The busy facade combines Chinese and Classical elements, while the interior walls display photographs of both Le’s and Duras’ families, although the relationship was never condoned by either side.

The house was built in 1917, replacing a wooden home from in 1895. In 1972, the Le family departed the house and after the Vietnam War it became a police station.

In 2010, authorities declared it a historic site and ever since it became a popular tourist spot in Mekong River Delta tour.

People here can see the portrait and dwelling of the author’s lover. Here still remain all documents about the Huynh family and pictures recalling the old love story.

How Old Are the Most Ancient Houses in a Prominent Cypriot City?

How Old Are the Most Ancient Houses in a Prominent Cypriot City?

Polish archaeologists working on Cyprus have discovered the oldest-known homes in Nea Paphos, a prominent capital city and harbor of the ancient Greeks. The homes date back an impressive 2,400 years and shed new light on the earliest days of an important city.

Teams of Polish archaeologists have been working in the city since 1965 but have so far excavated just 10 percent of it, so they expect to excavate many more great finds.

The homes were in use for about 1,000 years, from 400 BC until about the 7 th century AD, says a press release about the find on the website Science & Scholarship in Poland, or PAP.

“During the last excavation season we managed to reach some of the first buildings erected in this ancient city,” Dr. Henryk Meyza of the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences told PAP. His team does research in the city’s residential district.

Another team also works in the vicinity—the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw, also headed by Dr. Meyza. Speaking on the discovery, Dr. Meyza said :

“From the beginning, they [the houses] were erected on a regular grid of streets, which cut the area into about 100 by 35 m [328 feet by 115 feet] lots. The houses were rebuilt and erected in a similar way in successive decades. This was also because the construction of this district was preceded by the construction of water drainage system in the stone substrate that was used throughout the history of the city.”

The remnants of a water tank in Nea Paphos; the founders of the town built a water system before building the homes.

The remnants of a water tank in Nea Paphos; the founders of the town built a water system before building the homes. (Photo: Dr. Henryk Meyza )

The city of Nea (New) Paphos was founded because Palea (Old) Paphos’ harbor was no longer accessible. Nea Paphos had a convenient harbor on which were built large piers. The last independent king of the state of Paphos founded the new city, Dr. Meyza said .

The capital called Nea Paphos would become the largest Greek fleet town after Alexandria in Egypt. Cyprus had much timber, mainly cedar, for the construction of ships back then. As such, it was a valuable asset to the Egyptians of the Ptolemy dynasty. They made the city bigger and more important. “However, the majority of visible relics come from later times,” said Dr. Meyza .

Excavations have been ongoing in the area since 1965.

Excavations have been ongoing in the area since 1965. (Photo: Dr. Henryk Meyza )

In recent years, the archaeologists have been working to excavate a house they call Hellenistic because it dates to the 4th century BC. It has a simple layout. Several homes are centered around three courtyards, the press release states. The central courtyard was a square with colonnades around it and a garden in the middle. As Dr. Meyza told PAP:

“The house has been researched since the 1980s, but because of its large stylistic heterogeneity it has always been a mystery to us. It was only in recent years that we learned how many redevelopments and changes in its layout had taken place. The central part housed pools of different sizes, and the largest, square pool had a side length of about 7 m. The last phase of development, with the garden, was built only in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD, already in the Roman period.”

The researchers try not to disturb later walls while also getting to the deepest layers to excavate the oldest buildings. These buildings date back to the city’s founding the 4th or 3rd century BC. Archaeologists have independent knowledge of when it was founded from ancient written sources.

Dr. Meyza added that the oldest houses are not that impressive aesthetically. They have clay floors, unlike the newer homes which had beautiful mosaic floors or stone slabs. But they do give insight into the way residences were constructed in that era.

To prevent the destruction of the ruins of the ancient city, the archaeologists dig only where they can look under the earth’s surface. This prevents them from damaging well-preserved relics of walls from more recent times. But even with this extra care, the archaeologists have been able to make some conclusions about the city’s importance.

Top image: A house and villa in Nea Paphos, a town of vital importance to Greek and Egyptian rulers for its harbor and nearby timber for ship construction. (Photo: Dr. Henryk Meyza )

By Mark Miller