Friday, April 29, 2016

Biblical Patterns Among the Dogon

Alice C. Linsley

Many of the peoples who live in central and west Africa migrated there from the Benue Trough, or Lake Chad, or the Nile Valley. This is true of the Dogon, whose origin appears to be the Nile. Biblical practices are observed among the Dogon because the point of origin of their ancestors is the same point of origin of Abraham's ancestors.

PBS filmed a special in which Michael Palin visited the Dogon of Tirelli on the Bandiagara Escarpment. The Dogon have kept themselves isolated, marrying endogamously, and keeping their religious practices secret. They acknowledge lineage by ba debu n, that is, the “father’s house” or the native village of ancestors. The ancestry of the mother is also important.

The Dogon now live in a dry land, but at one time their habitat was the lush elevated forests above the Nile. There the hunter found abundant prey. To this day the hunter is revered as a sacred caste. While with the Dogon, a hunter blew gunpowder in Palin's face from the hunter's old blunderbuss.

Bravery is acclaimed among the Dogon. The victorious warrior or hunter is said to have anankaji, bravery or heroism.

Found at Tel Gezer (dated 12th to mid-11th century BC)
The Egyptian word for phallus was khenen (hnn) related to khenty, meaning before or in front of

Another sacred caste within Dogon society is the village blacksmith. He fabricates the swords that are used in ceremonies and the ritual knives used to circumcise both males and females. The circumcision of females is called "Pharaonic circumcision" and it originated among the Dogon's Nilotic ancestors.

Anthropologist Janice Boddy has studied Pharaonic circummcision among people of Sudan. In an essay that appeared in American Ethnologist titled "Womb as Oasis: The symbolic context of Pharaonic circumcision in rural Northern Sudan" (Vol.9, pgs. 682-698), Boddy explains:
In this society women do not achieve social recognition by becoming like men, but by becoming less like men physically, sexually, and socially. Male as well as female circumcision rites stress this complementarity. Through their own operation, performed at roughly the same age as when girls are circumcised (between five and ten years), boys become less like women: while the female reproductive organs are covered, that of the male is uncovered. Circumcision, then, accomplishes the social definition of a child's sex by removing physical characteristics deemed appropriate to his or her opposite: the clitoris and other external genitalia, in the case of females, the prepuce of the penis, in the case of males. (Boddy, p. 688)

Female and male circumcision is regarded as necessary to achieve the proper role of wife/mother or husband/father.

Herodotus (BC 485-425) wrote concerning the origins of circumcision:
Egyptians and the Ethiopians have practiced circumcision since time immemorial. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine themselves admit that they learnt the practice from the Egyptians, while the Syrians in the river Thermodon and the Pathenoise region and their neighbours the Macrons say they learnt it recently from the Colchidians. These are the only races which practice circumcision, and it is observable that they do it in the same way with the Egyptians.

The Dogon chief has two wives who maintain separate households. Two wives is the rule rather than the exception among Nilotic rulers and the rulers named in the Genesis King Lists.

The Dogon recognized the binary star system of Sirius before it was known through modern astronomy. By 4245 BC, the priests of the Upper Nile had already established a calendar based on the appearance of the star Sirius that becomes visible to the naked eye once every 1,461 years.

Apparently, Nilotes had been tracking this star and connecting it to seasonal changes and agriculture for thousands of years. This is verified by the Priest Manetho who reported in his history (241 BC) that Nilotes had been “star-gazing” as early as 40,000 years ago. Plato, who studied in Egypt, claimed that the Africans had been tracking the heavens for 10,000 years.

Related reading:  The Origin of Circumcision; Circumcision and Binary Distinctions; No! You Can't Take another Wife; The Pattern of Two Wives; Mother's House and Father's House; Dogon Vocabulary

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Trapezoid in Ancient Architecture and Technology

Alice C. Linsley

Lepenski Vir is an important Mesolithic archaeological site including a series of Mesolithic villages on a high terrace on the Serbian bank of the Iron Gates Gorge of the Danube river, near Donji Milanovac. In this region there were at least six village occupations between 6400 and 4900 BC.

The trapezoid was an important architectural feature among the peoples living in Lepenski Vir. Their trapezoid houses were wooden with sandstone floors. Some of the floors were covered with limestone plaster and burnished with red and white pigments. The homes had a central hearth with a fish-roasting spit in each structure. Several of the houses held altars and sculptures formed of the sandstone rock. Many of the large sculptures combine human and fish features, similar to statues found at ancient Tyre and Sidon in modern Lebanon. Sidon, called Saida today, means "fishing" in Arabic. Fish images were common among river populations that depended on fishing.

Lepenski Vir dates to the same period as Catal Hoyuk. These sites provide a glimpse into Mesolithic daily life and rituals. Lepenski Vir is famous for its stone idols, some of which have a trapezoid shape like the one shown below.

In many houses at Catal Hoyuk the main room was decorated with plastered bull skulls (bucrania) set into the east or west walls. These reflect the religious sun symbolism of these archaic peoples. The bull with the sun resting on its horns represented the overshadowing or presence of the Creator. This image also represented the divine appointment of rulers, as in this image of a ruler found at Mohenjo-daro.

The same solar symbolism is found in Hittite religion. The architecture of the Hittites included trapezoidal doors such as the entrance to the chamber of Suppiluliuma II in Hattusa, modern Turkey (shown below).

The Mesolithic settlements at Lepenski Vir and Catal Hoyuk appear to be related to populations in Y-DNA Haplogroup I2, the most common paternal lineage in Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Sardinia, and a major lineage in most Slavic countries. It is found at a frequency of 5 to 10% in Germanic countries.

There is a close correspondence between the populations in Haplogroups 12 and R1b. These haplogroups are of special interest to Biblical Anthropologists.

The trapezoid shape appears to have been an important symbol among the peoples of this region. The pillars at Göbekli Tepe have a trapezoidal shape. Many of the pits at Blagotin (Serbia) have a trapezoid shape. Many ancient barrows and tombs in Gloucestershire and Scotland have a trapezoidal shape. About 330 royal cairns in central Ireland have trapezoidal features.

Throughout ancient Sardinia the doors of fortifications have a trapezoid shape as shown below.

The Nuraghe or "Su Nuraxi" of Barumini

The ancient nyraghe of Sardinia resemble the beehive sheep cotes found throughout the region populated by peoples of the haplogroups mentioned above. These sheep cotes were sacred places.

The shape of these doors resembles the trapezoidal doors of tombs and temples of ancient Egypt and the structures built aboriginal peoples (3500 BC) of the Andes.

The ancient Babylonians tracked the apparent decreasing velocity of Jupiter from the planet's first appearance along the horizon, to 60 days later, and then 120 days later. If drawn on a graph, this relationship is represented in the shape of two conjoined trapezoids. According to science historian Mathieu Ossendrijver, the area of each trapezoid describes Jupiter's total displacement (measured in degrees) along the ecliptic, or the path of the sun. Jupiter was regarded as the king planet and represented the Creator God. The sun was the emblem of the Creator. So the alignment of Jupiter and the Sun was of special interest to the ancient priest-astronomers.

Trapezoidal stone tools were found in Japan on Mount Takaharayama. The tools date to roughly 35,000 years ago and were used to mine raw stones from the mountain. Akira Ono, a professor of archaeology at Tokyo Metropolitan University, reports that these trapezoid tools are like those found in loam layers in the Kanto region that date back 35,000 to 40,000 years ago.

The oldest stone tools with a trapezoid shape have four sides, two of which are parallel. These were found in Southern Africa and date to 280,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Related reading: The Religion of Archaic Rulers; Haplogroup 12 Y-DNA; The Nile-Japan Ainu Connection; The Kushite-Kushan Connection; Some Marks of Prehistoric Religion

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Haplogroups of Interest to Biblical Anthropologists

Alice C. Linsley

Note that MTDNA L groups are extremely archaic. In human mitochondrial genetics, L is the mitochondrial DNA macro-haplogroup that is at the root of the human mtDNA phylogenetic tree. As such, it represents the most ancestral mitochondrial lineage of all currently living modern humans. All modern humans have ancestry that is traced to Africa.

It is evident from from the beginning there was great genetic diversity among human populations living in Africa, especially among peoples living along the Nile.

Even among people living in the same area. In ancient Nubia, for example, there were red and black Nubians as is evident from this detail found on an ancient Egyptian monument. The red and black Nubians represent a kinship moeity.

Detail from drawing by Ippolito Rosellini (The Franco-Tuscan Expedition of 1828)
YDNA R1b is found widely in Africa, Southern Europe, France, and the British Isles. This dispersion took place over thousands of years beginning about 20,000 to 18,000 years ago.

Haplogroup R1b, also known as haplogroup R-M343, is the most frequently occurring Y chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe, some parts of Russia (the Bashkir minority), Central Asia (e.g. Turkmenistan) and in the region of Lake Chad and along the Nile.

This is the Haplogroup of Abraham's Proto-Saharan ancestors who dispersed widely and are known my many different names in ancient history: Kushites, Kushan, Ainu, Saka, Hittites, etc. Among them was a caste of priests known in ancient texts as 'Apiru, Hapiru, Habiru or Hebrew.

The word "Hebrew" is the English equivalent of Habiru. The word appears in ancient Egyptian and Akkadian texts. The Habiru were already widely dispersed in the 14th-13th centuries B.C. Their spread was driven by their unique marriage and ascendancy pattern by which sons were sent away to established their own territories.

Anthropological study of the Habiru suggests that this is the oldest term for this select order of ruler-priests. The term"Israelite" comes later. It appears on the Merneptah Stele, dated to c. 1219 B.C. This stele set up by Pharaoh Merneptah is the earliest extrabiblical record of a people group called Israel.

Abraham's Habiru ancestors served at the Sun temples across the vast ancient Afro-Asiatic world. Some of the Habiru were Horites. The Horite priests were devotees of Horus, the son of Ra. The oldest site of Horus worship is Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) in Sudan (4000-3000 B.C.). Votive instruments at Nekhen were ten times larger than the mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine.

The dark red spot in the center of Africa is the region of Lake Chad, Noah's homeland. Noah and his descendants are in the R1b Haplogroup.

The Bible speaks of the R1b rulers as "the mighty men of old." They were kingdom builders who built cities, shrines and temples, and they controlled commerce on the major water systems and along the mountain ridges (the high places). They migrated out of the Upper Nile Valley in different directions, but the main movement was to the east.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Brentford Shard: Chi Rho or Solar Symbol?

The pottery shard was found in 1970 during excavations at Brentford High Street in London. The excavations discovered the route of the Roman road heading out from Londinium to the west of Britain. Volunteers at the Museum of London's Archaeological Archive decided that the symbol on the bottom is a monogram of chi (Χ) and rho (Ρ) - the first two letters of the Greek Khristos. That may be, as there were Celtic Christians and Hebrew Christians living throughout the Isles in Roman times. Joseph of Arimathea is an example. It is likely that the early Christians appropriated an archaic solar symbol to represent Jesus Christ.

There is no reason to doubt the historicity of Joseph Arimathea's connection to Cornwall in spite of the dubious legends from the Middle Ages. He was among those early followers of Jesus in Cornwall, where He had business as a metal tradesman and a mining expert. From the time of the earliest pharaohs mining and tomb construction were the work of ruler-priests. Joseph was likely engaged in both, even as he was responsible for the tomb where the Lord Jesus was laid to rest. As a high ranking priest of the Sanhedrin, he had authority to ordain priests. As a follower of Jesus Messiah, he is the key to understanding the continuity between the ancient priesthood of the Habiru/Hebrew and the priesthood of the Church.

If the symbol is a Chi-Rho, this isn't big news. Christians lived in Roman Britain. However, I have doubts that the mark is a Chi-Rho. The symbol more closely resembles the six-prong star found on archaic rock shelters dating to the oldest period of Vinča culture (6th-5th millennia BC).

The mark was found among the Hittites who buried great warriors in their chariots. It was found among the ancient peoples of Gaul, as shown on this anthropomorphic stele that dates to the late Copper Age and the Early Bronze Age. It was discovered during an archaeological excavation on the Rocher des Doms, Avignon.

The 6-prong solar symbol was one of the images found among the Celts of the northern Iberian Peninsula (northern Portugal, Galicia, western Asturias and north western León). It is seen here on these 9th century BC artefacts found at the archaic high places.

Threshing floors were sacred sites at "high places" where the wind could carry away the chaff. Araunah, a Jebusite ruler, sold David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar. The threshing floors also had a solar pattern, as is seen with the threshing floor below.

The 6-prong star or rosette symbol is a merkaba, or a solar chariot, associated with the Hebrew priests. It is found on the ossuaries of many of the priests and their family members. The symbol appeared on Jewish ossuaries, often inside a circle as shown on this 2000-year ossuary of Miriam, daughter of Yeshua.

The same image appears on this ossuary of Joseph Caiaphas, the high priest (shown below).

This was the solar chariot of the Creator, the merkaba, vehicle of Light to carry the dead to the place of rest from which they hoped to rise again. In the Ethiopian Church a replica of the Ark, called ta-bot, is decorated with this 6-pointed star inside a circle at the center of the ark. The very image appears in the grave chancel of St. Magnus in Kirkwall, Orkney.

This solar rosette is also found on this marker stone at Banias in Northern Israel (shown above). The mark is found on the Magdala Stone (shown below.)

When I asked Jodi Magness, who has been studying the iconography of early synagogues, about the solar imagery on the Magdala Stone, she responded that "at least 1-2 archaeologists have suggested that the imagery on it should be understood in connection with the idea of the divine chariot."

There is an ancient association of the merkaba with trees as shown on the Magdala Stone. This is a Messianic image. This 4th century Nativity image shows the Christ resting between two trees, a pine and an oak.

In Old Church Slavonic drievo refers to a tree or wood. The Serbian drvo is from the Proto-Indo-European drew-o, with the affix O being a solar symbol. The root deru- means to be firm or solid. The word druid is a compound of two words: drvo, dervo, derevo - tree in Slavic and vid, ved - to see, to know, to teach. In Old Irish the druid was a tree-seer. The word for "ancient, primeval" in Slavic languages is drevan. The word literally means as old as a tree.

Seers or judges sat under trees in the ancient world. Deborah sat under her tamar tree (Judges 4:4-6). A tamar is a date nut palm and was associated with the female principle. This was located between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim (a north-south axis). Genesis 12 that tells us that the moreh or prophet/seer consulted by Abraham sat under an oak between Bethel and Ai (an east-west axis). The oak was associated with the male principle. The oak leaf often appears on the tops of Serbian and Irish loaves, as shown below.

On this traditional Serbia cake the solar rosette is surrounded by oak leaves. The Giving God, sometimes called Hesus (the primitive Horus archetype) was crucified on an oak tree. The hope of his third-day resurrection was enacted by the sowing of grain in the fields. In antiquity, this annual ritual was overseen by Horite priests who led the people in procession to the fields, much as Anglican priests officiate at Rogation Day ceremonies.

The ancients Celts placed a similar mark on the tops of ceremonial bread loaves. The 6-prong rosette is found to this day on Irish Maslin bread (shown below).

Maslin bread is the oldest known bread eaten by the Celts. It was the bread of common folks, containing a blend of wheat and rye flours. The rosette is a solar symbol that speaks of the Creator whose emblem was the Sun. It spoke of hope of rising from the dead as the Sun rises each morning.

All this to say that even if the mark on the Brentford shard is a Chi-Rho, that symbol itself emerged from the solar imagery of the Proto-Gospel and reflects the dispersion of the R1b Horite Habiru priests throughout the ancient world. It appears that early Christians adapted an ancient solar symbol to represent Jesus Christ and it was very fitting that they should have done so.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Annu of On (Iunu)

This image of a Annu/Ainu priest shows him holding the staff and wearing a cap with a frontal piece typical of Ainu chiefs in Japan and Eastern Canada. Tera (Terah) means priest and neter (ntr/ntjr)refers to God. Het is a reference to the front of the temple which was east-facing. Akhet is the ancient Egyptian word for horizon.

The Nilotic Annu/Ainu priests were associated with the most prestigious shrine and temples of the ancient world, including Nekhen and Biblical On (Heliopolis). The shrine at Heliopolis was known as Iunu, place of pillars. Heliopolis was one of the places were the Habiru (Hebrew) Horites served as priests. Joseph married a daughter of the priest of Heliopolis.

Plato wrote "Tell me of the God of On, which was, is and shall be." Plato studied under a Horite priest of Heliopolis for thirteen years. Heliopolis was the geodetic center of Egypt. The pyramid triads at Giza, Abusir and Saqqara are aligned to the obelisk at On. Baalbek (Heliopolis) in Lebanon, also aligns to On as well.

The Nilotic origin of the Ainu has been well established. None is surprised that the Ainu can be traced genetically to the Nile Valley. Africa is the point of origin of humans. The Ainu dispersed along water ways and mountain ridges. They took with them their religion, rituals and expertize with metal work and stone work. It was their custom to build shrines near water and at high elevations near ancient rock shelters. Their priests performed rituals at these shrines. They also built circular monuments of standing stones called kar. Kar-nak along the Nile means stone monument where rituals are performed. In Exodus 25:11 Ki-kar refers to a circle; ki-kar za-hav ta-hork, means "circle of pure gold."

Haplogroup C-M217, also known as C2 (and previously as C3), is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is the most frequently occurring branch of the wider Haplogroup C (M130). M217 is found at high frequencies among Central Asian peoples, indigenous Siberians, and some Native peoples of North America.

Haplogroup C-M217 comprises more than ten percent of the total Y-chromosome diversity among the Manchus, Koreans, and the Ainu of Hokkaido and Okinawa. Recent DNA studies reveal that the Ainu of Hokkaido and the Ryukyuans of Okinawa have a closer genetic affinity than either group has to the Japanese. It is likely that these populations which practiced clan endogamy retain cultural and physical characteristics of the earlier Jomon who had dispersed throughout the various islands of Japan 14,000 years ago.

Traditional Ryukyuan family tomb called kamekōbaka.
These resemble the stone tombs of Horites living in other regions.

There are Ainu in Eastern Canada also. The grandson of an Ainu elder living in Eastern Canada reports that not all the native people of North America came via the land bridge from Siberia. His Miqmaq people came to North America via Scandinavia, a fact that has been confirmed by DNA studies (Haplogroup X2b5).

Haplogroup X is one of the five haplogroups found in the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It occurs at a frequency of about 3% for the total current indigenous population of the Americas. However, among the Algonquian peoples it comprises up to 25% of mtDNA types.

Y-SNP lineages C-M217 have been identified in South American populations. The study suggests a late introduction of C3 into South America no more than 6,000 years ago via coastal or ocean routes.
Related reading: The Nile-Japan Ainu Connection; Horned Altars and Horned Sacred Vessels; A Kindling of Ancient Memory; Solving the Ainu Mystery


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fertility Images Among Abraham's Ancestors

Alice C. Linsley

Iron was associated with the rulers of the archaic world. The iron beads that fell from the sky would have held special importance to them.  According to Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, “The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians.” Tyldesley goes on to say: “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

Diane Johnson says, "Iron was very strongly associated with royalty and power." Images from Nekhen, a 3,500 year old Horite shrine city, show ruler-priests carrying flails and crooks and wearing iron beads around their necks. Abraham's ancestors were among these archaic rulers. Their existence has been confirmed through scientific analysis of the Genesis King Lists.

Meteoric iron was prevalent on the Arabian Peninsula due to iron meteoroids which caused hypervelocity cratering. Iron meteoroids are able to pass through the atmosphere intact. The Wabar craters of the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia were caused by iron meteoroids. Fist-sized iron balls and smooth sand-blasted fragments at the site indicated a meteorite impact, as there are no iron deposits in the region.

R. F. Tylecote notes, "Around 4000 BC small items, such as the tips of spears and ornaments, were being fashioned from iron recovered from meteorites." (A History of Metallurgy, 2nd edition, 1992, p. 3)

Meteoric iron bits were viewed as seeds sown by the Creator. These iron seeds were often placed in graves as an expression of the hope of life after death. At a cemetery in Gerzeh, about 40 miles south of Cairo, archaeologist Wainwright found 3,300 year old meteoric iron beads. Gerzeh, el Badari, and Nekhen are prehistoric sites of the Naqada civilization. The meteoric iron beads found at Gerzeh are among the earliest known iron artifacts.

Iron beads were worn around the necks of by archaic chiefs. Such images have been found on prehistoric rock paintings in the Sudan. Likely the rulers believed that these iron beads provided them with powers from above. Wearing them would have been a sign of divine appointment.

Divine appointment included claims of authority as a ruler, a priest and a warrior.  For females it was expressed in the miraculous conception of rulers, priests and great warriors.

Sacred Pillars and Divine Insemination

Divine insemination also is portrayed by stone pillars or benben. Sometimes the pillar is upright and sometimes the pillar points down as in this fertility image. Hindu scholars regard this as evidence of the yoni and lingam among prehistoric peoples. The stone yoni (vagina) and stone lingam (phallus) are often shown united in Hindu temples and shrines. In Hinduism this symbol came to represent the "mother goddess" and rebirth.

Originally this symbol was a sacred pillar within the long horns of the cow. The pillar symbolizes the Creator's sun rays which were believed to inseminate the Earth. It is interesting that the yoni stone has never been found at locations where Abraham's ancestors lived. The evidence suggests that among Abraham's ancestors valleys were seen as vaginal and mountains as phallic. These were of God's creating, not objects fashioned by human hands. At a later time (1500-200 BC) the artifact with the closest symbolism to the Hindu yoni was the round grinding stone and circular threshing floors, both of which were also solar images.

Threshing floors were sacred places at high level elevations where the wind could carry away the chaff. Araunah, a Jebusite ruler, sold David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar. Threshing floors were places of worship in the ancient world.

Among the ancient Egyptians the pillar and yoni were represented by the sema sign (shown right). The sema sign of ancient Egyptian rulers is a type of benben, a pillar that expressed the hope of bodily resurrection. The term benben is formed by the reduplication of the root bn, meaning to arise or to swell forth as the sun swells on the eastern horizon. The ancient Egyptian word for the rising sun is wbn. Benben have been found from Nigeria to India. 

Recently discovered tombs of officials from the 4th Dynasty were surmounted by conical mounds or benben. These tombs, along with the royal tombs at Giza, indicate that the ancient rulers hoped to rise from the place of death, as the Sun rises each morning from the death of night.

Foreshadowing of the Incarnation of the Christ

Abraham's Habiru (Hebrew) ancestors were a caste of ruler-priests who were devotees of Ra, Horus and Hathor. This has been confirmed through many studies in Biblical Anthropology. The marriage and ascendancy pattern of these ruler speaks of the ascendancy of Christ to his eternal throne. The striking parallels between the Ra-Horus-Hathor narrative and the story of Jesus Christ are not coincidental.

Horus was regraded as the Seed of Ra, conceived by Hathor when she was overshadowed by the Sun. The Sun was the emblem of Ra, the supreme creator. For the prehistoric Nilotes, the Sun was the source of insemination and the iron beads were called beja (bija in Sanskrit), meaning seed or semen.

Hathor's totem was a cow and she is shown wearing the horns of the cattle raised by the ancient Nilo-Saharans. At some Nile shrines she is shown holding her infant in a cattle shed. Here we have elements of the Proto-Gospel, or a foreshadowing of the Christ in the Ra-Horus-Hathor narrative. It is evident then that Messianic expectation did not begin with the Jews. The antiquity of this belief is expressed in the first prophesy of the Bible based: the Edenic Promise (Gen. 3:15) made to Abraham's ancestors.

Aspects of this prehistoric solar symbolism are found in the Bible and in historical texts. Psalm 92:2 describes the Lord as “a sun and a shield.” The Victory Tablet of Amenhotep III describes Horus as “The Good God, Golden [Horus], Shining in the chariot, like the rising of the sun; great in strength, strong in might…” (Tablet of Victory of Amenhotep III, J.H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, p. 854).

The expectation arose among the Proto-Saharans (Haplogroup R1b peoples) that a Woman would conceive by divine overshadowing. This is portrayed in images of Hathor wearing the cow long horns as a sun cradle. The image portrays her as being divinely overshadowed. She is the mother of Horus, the "son" or "seed" of the Creator. Likewise, it is said of the Virgin Mary that she conceived by divine overshadowing (Luke 1:35). Jesus identified himself as the divine Seed when he foretold his death in Jerusalem. He said, "Unless a seed fall into the ground and die, it cannot give life." (John 12:24)

The worship of Horus was well established before the earliest Egyptian Dynasties. The oldest known temple (c. 5500 BC) to have association with Abraham's ancestors is the temple of Horus at Nekhen. Votive offerings at the Nekhen temple were ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine city.

Horite priests faced the east and placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress at dawn. Prayers were offered at dawn and dusk. Horus was said to rise in the morning as a lamb and to set in the evening as a ram. This maturity from lamb to ram is a Messianic idea that stands behind the narrative of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. Isaac asked where is the lamb for the sacrifice and Abraham responds that God will provide the sacrifice. On the "mountain of the Lord" a ram was provided.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ram Symbolism of the Ancient World

Alice C. Linsley

The ram is a powerful symbol in the Bible. The skins of rams dyed red made a covering for the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 26:14). The sacrificed ram was to be a covering for Moses as he came to meet with the LORD.

Ram at Jebel Barkal's Amun Temple in ancient Nubia

At Mount Barkal the rulers constructed a shrine city with a temple dedicated to the Creator Amun-Ra. Other Amun sanctuaries were constructed at Kawa (Gematen) and at Sanam.

Relief at temple of Amun at Kawa in ancient Nubia

The Roman nose on the ram in this image indicates it was patterned after the Sahelian Balami ram.

One of the oldest images of the Creator among the Nilo-Saharans was this image with a ram's head.

The image is Khnm, the source of the Nile waters (nm - waters). Not surprisingly, there are many dedications to Khnm at the river shrines of Elephantine Island and Esna. The ram was an imporatant symbol of divine power at the Siwa oasis visited by Alexander the Great in the Libyan desert. He went to the Siwa temple to consult the oracle of Amun-Ra. Alexander's coin shows him with the ram's horns. As a child he was told that he was descended from the gods and it appears that he took this as justification for his vast conquests.

Some speculate that the term Dhul-Qarnayn - "The Two-Horned One" - that appears
in the Qur'an is a reference to Alexander the Great.

At the Amun-Ra Temple at the foot of Jebel Naga/Naqa in Sudan, twelve ram statues set on pedestals line the approach to the temple (see image below). This shrine city was first mentioned in texts of the Meroitic period in the 3rd century B.C. This site was dedicated to Amun-Ra, Horus and Hathor. It is a typical example of a Horite shrine with many pillars like those found at Karnak and Heliopolis (Iunu).

Abraham's people were Horites, a caste of priests that dispersed widely in the ancient world. They served rulers at the high places and at river shrines and temples. In ancient texts they are often known as 'Apiru, Hapiru or Habiru. The word Hebrew is derived from the word Habiru. O'piru refers to a Sun temple.

The Horite religion was messianic in character. It involved the expectation of divine action through the agency of the Creator's son, Horus. It is associated with the descendants of Noah known as Kushites, but not limited to the Kushites. The rulers of Edom (Idumea) were Horites. The region of Edom is also where Abraham ruled between Hebron and Beersheba. He received a ram to sacrifice on the mountain. In Horite religion the Sun rose as a lamb in the east and died as a ram in the West. The solar arc spoke to them of the advance from young innocence to mature strength as a warrior.  Horus was called the Lamb in his weaker (kenotic) state and he was called the Ram in his glorified strength. Both are associated with the death and resurrection symbolism of the vernal equinox

The Horites were devotees of Ra, Horus and Hathor. Horus was regarded as the "Son" of Ra who Hathor conceived when she was overshadowed by the Sun, the Creator's symbol or emblem. Hathor's animal totem was the long-horn cow and she is often shown wearing the horned crown, a solar cradle, which represents her divine appointment. This is why Hathor is shown in some Nile temples with her newborn in a stable or manger.

Hathor conceived Horus by divine overshadowing of the Sun, the emblem of Ra.

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

Horite religion prevailed among the Nilo-Saharan rulers who kept cattle and sheep. The long horns of the cattle are often shown as a cradle for the overshadowing sun. Divine overshadowing meant appointment to rule. This is why many of the rulers of the Bible have names that begin with the Y horn symbol: Yitzak, Yishbak, Yaqtan, Yacob, Yeshua, etc.

The curved ram's horns represent the divine warrior defending his flock. The ram's horn, called shofar, was blown at the high places to sound the alarm and to call the warriors to arms. As such, the ram is often spoken of in terms of war, perhaps another reason Alexander found it a compelling image.

The Horite priests kept sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices. These were often kept in a stone sheep cote (naveh) that had a beehive shape. The sheep cotes were sacred places. With the exception of red heifers, rarely were the females sacrificed. The sacrifice of the red heifer was to be a perpetual sacrifice for Israel (Numbers 19:9). The sacrifice of rams and bulls was regarded as more potent, just as the sacrifice of the ram on Mt. Moriah was more potent than that of the lamb about which Isaac inquired as he ascended the mount with Abraham.

The ancient Egyptian word for ram is ba, the same word used to speak of flesh. This may be a reference to the incarnation of Horus, the only deity of the anceint world to be represented as a human male. A sacred ram was kept at the shrine city of Djedet (Mendes) also known as Pr-Banebdjedet. Ba-neb-djedet means "Ram Lord of Djedet" or Ram Lord of the Sacred Pillar (djedet refers to a pillar). Pr refers to a house, shrine or temple, as in O'piru , a Sun temple.

The ram was a symbol of the incarnation of Horus. Once the ram died it was mummified and buried in a necropolis. Mummification was an essential step in preserving the flesh or body (ba) in anticipation of the resurrection. As St. Augustine noted, "the Egyptians alone believe in the resurrection, as they carefully preserved their dead bodies." (Death, Burial, and Rebirth in the Religions of Antiquity, p. 27)

Horus's anthropomorphic form is either as a adult male or as a boy wearing the sidelock typical of royal Egyptian youth. Horus as a boy is often shown on cippi dominating crocodiles and serpents. Consider this in light of the Woman, the Child, and the Dragon in Revelation 12.

The spread of ram imagery in Africa

M. D. W. Jeffreys is an anthropologist who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written about the spread of the ram-head deity throughout Africa. He maintains that the point of origin was the
Among the Ibo of Southern Nigeria is a cult object known as Ikeŋga. It is associated with good fortune, success, ability and the strength of the right arm. It is represented by a carved wooden figure of a man with rams horns on his head and a machet in one hand and a human head in the other. Rams are sacrificed to it. The information of previous observers is summarized followed by my own field work. Then other instances in Africa of the ram‐headed god are discussed including that of Egypt whence it is concluded is derived the ram‐god cults of the rest of Africa. (From here.)

Related reading: The Ra-Horus-Hathor Narrative; Who Were the Horites?; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; Sheep Cotes as Sacred Spaces; Jesus: From Lamb to Ram; Monuments of the Ancient Kushites; Edom and the Horites; The Edomites and the Color Red