THE ONCE AND FUTURE SKY GOD? – From Göbekli Tepe to The Zodiac – and Beyond…

Michael B-C

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… perhaps humankind is involved in something greater than just the homeostasis of the planet in a “tightly coupled system of biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere.” Perhaps there are tightly coupled systems that include relationships between the Sun, the Earth-coupled biospheres and its neighbors and cosmic visitors? Perhaps the socio-political development of humankind is more intimately involved in cosmo-planetary events than has been previously supposed? Perhaps what happens ‘out there’ is a reflection of what is happening on Earth? Perhaps the ancients actually learned something in those interactions with comets when they formulated Judicial Astrology?

Comets and the Horns of Moses, Laura Knight-Jadczyk, P367-368

This series of posts is likely to jump about somewhat as I attempt to compress a great deal of research and thinking into a pared back, semi-digestible but hopefully still cohesive set of interconnected propositions. If I were to try to convey the whole gamut of data in detail it would take several volumes and an ocean of time, which I simply don’t have (nor the skill or inclination). More importantly there’s bound to be holes in my thinking – including some giant ones – as well as things I’ve got just plain wrong, so getting your feedback and input will be invaluable if I’m not to stray too far off the beaten path.

In essence, this is a try-out of a multi-layered, yet overarching theory of a type. For a decade or more I’ve been cogitating upon the original urge behind the creation of - as well as the inherent if veiled meanings buried within - the zodiac (and it has next to nothing to do with the form of personal astrology that we know of today, I’ll say that much up front!) and indeed of all the many associated asterisms still with us and dating back from late antiquity. I therefore admit to something of a lonely passion and one that has simply refused to leave me in peace. These initial few posts will not in essence touch on my ideas concerning the zodiac however - but if what I have to propose first stands up to scrutiny, I hope to get there anon. Most importantly, this convoluted road will lead me to propose the central importance of a radical new theory of precession which I have integrated – and which has nothing to do with a ‘wobble’ of the earth – one I think that may have immense implications if it proves to be at least in the ballpark of possibility, providing clues that relate to Laura’s proposition that we do indeed exist within a ‘tightly coupled system’.

After something of a hiatus, this latest phase in my exploration kick started upon digesting the implications of Laura’s masterpiece From Paul to Mark, followed by Pierre’s superb digest, Cometary Encounters, which both led me back via circuitous routes into another favourite chestnut – the origins and meaning behind the Roman ‘cult’ of Mithraism – and from there, once again back and back and back into the time out of time and the possible end of a last ‘Golden (or Silver?) Age’, which seems to have disintegrated into distant memory as a nightmare of fire and water. So it’s questions emerging from exploring 14-20,000 years or more of human interaction with the above and its relationship to the below that has me posting this starter for 10 today. Talk about ambitious (or maybe presumptuous)!

By way of prologue, I’m first going to explore a theory that has established a certain head of steam among the alternative history community, one that I think represents something of a hindrance to headway, namely the work of academic Martin Sweatman and his claims to have definitively deciphered the unique iconography at Göbekli Tepe in modern day Turkey, a site dating back to at least the 10th millennium BCE, the unearthing of which has shaken to its very foundations the presumptions of establishment history (whilst also becoming a source for wild online speculation) ever since it hit the headlines for real in the mid 2000’s.
 
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Michael B-C

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SECTION 1 – SWEATMAN & GÖBEKLI TEPE

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Martin Sweatman, an engineer from Edinburgh University with a specialist research field of statistical mechanics, has caused a storm to brew up between the hoary world of archaeology and the still youthful discipline of archaeoastronomy. In a series of peer reviewed papers as well as a celebrated book, PreHistory Decoded, Sweatman has repeatedly declared his case as proven, namely that engravings on some of the T-pillars at Göbekli Tepe represent a complete constellational map of the zodiac and critically, with regard to Pillar 43 (the so called Vulture Stone), depict specific solstice and equinox constellations, (as well as knowledge of precession), all combining to form a “date-stamp” for the summer solstice of 10,950 ± 250 BC and thereby serving as a near precise commemoration of the comet impact event associated with the Younger Dryas. All most enticing as a possibility.

For anyone unfamiliar with his work, it is covered to some degree on the following thread:

Prehistoric Astronomy and the Younger Dryas Catastrophe?

From the outset I was certainly open to Sweatman’s proposition because I’m not only in tune with the increasing evidence concerning the cometary nature of the YD event (and the ensuing repeat visits by the ‘gods’ down through the ages), but also because my own research – fundamentally shaped by the knowledge found on this forum and in particular the essential insights provided by Laura – points to a deduction that over the millennia the stars (heavens) represented a canvas of memory by which certain understandings of both the cosmos and reality itself was maintained, competed over, transferred and utilised, forming a long-term inspirational driving force behind the development of religion worldwide and even vital aspects of civilisation itself, with comets and asterisms being very much at the heart of the matter.

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That is why I had such high expectations when I began to read my own copy of PreHistory Decoded. However, at the time these hopes were to be sorely disappointed, for though I appreciated the scope of the book, no amount of wishful thinking on my part could persuade me as to his central argument that an identification of the constellations of the zodiac - which he determines as being evidentially and scientifically present in representations at Göbekli Tepe - was in fact a valid conclusion.

Over the intervening years I thought little more on the matter. I suspect this was partly because I was aware that his work has been generally well received here with his blog articles being regularly posted to SOTT of late, and so it perturbed me somewhat that I might be at odds with this concord. In other words, I must be missing something, or so I assumed. Therefore, as part of my current deep dive I decided to revisit my initial response by painstakingly re-reading PreHistory Decoded along with his more recent online writings to see if my initial response was merely a blind spot of the time and that a more measured digest might get me to change my mind. I would like to say that is what I discovered but unfortunately, no. Whilst still valuing his broad and perceptive synthesis of a wide range of sources to provide an alternative perspective on the ancient past that is broadly speaking in line with the research of this forum, as soon as he moved into his own specific theory, methodologies and conclusions, the roof fell in once more and I found myself back to the same visceral level of disagreement I experienced upon my first reading.

I can’t quite decide if I think he’s an opportunistic if sophisticated mountebank who knows full well his theory is BS but doesn’t care about the discord it spreads just so long as he can hold and keep the limelight, or if he’s actually a very sincere man who’s crucially so out of his depth where it most counts, and being blinded by his narrow view of ‘science’ and its irrefutable support for his case, ploughs on regardless as to the historical divides he is once again exacerbating. He is increasingly swaying minds towards his one-size fits all theory (whilst alienating many others) which he extrapolates back to the Palaeolithic to include just about all its significant symbolic imagery under the spell of his statistical analysis. He is also at risk of giving good reason to push catastrophism back to the time when it was easy to dismiss as a pseudo theory, and this is perhaps the most pressing reason to give his theory a thorough cross-examination.

I am not alone in holding these concerns. In the period since his theories first entered the public domain, a number of voices, principally from the field of archaeology, have come forward to seriously question his central hypothesis. Nothing seemingly dents his self-confidence however, and of late he has become regrettably ever more dogmatic, condescendingly dismissing all critiques with the repeatedly aloof claims that archaeologists are themselves blinkered gatekeepers (true in part but perhaps projection), that his statistical model is irrefutable scientific proof, that his adversaries are incapable of understanding the scientific method, (seemingly he alone does, like some divinely anointed high priest), and that therefore his hypothesis is irrefutable come what may. I admit to being no expert on statistical theory but upon first reading his book even I sensed we are witnessing essentially the same kind of problem faced whenever modelling is designed to serve a predetermined outcome – namely, garbage in-garbage out. Whether it is climate change or COVID modelling, we see the same sleight of hand and psychological manipulation of data via the apparent power of models and their ability to provide the required statistical proof. And to my mind, be it consciously or unconsciously, Sweatman is looking like just another left-brain champion of this misleading approach.

Critics better equipped in their field than I have done an excellent job in dismantling the biases and contradictions underpinning his central theory. In particular, I will link (see below) to PHD archaeologist Rebecca Bradley’s point by point rebuttals emerging from barbed online exchanges with Sweatman (and as some of her principle criticisms coincide with my own, I will summarize certain key takeaways also below). But first of all let me outline the key issue at stake that for me dismantles Sweatman’s theory before it even leaves the starting block, namely his flawed understanding of the origins of constellations, their likely identification and the difficulty in inferring one culture’s asterisms from another’s, especially over 10,000 plus years of complex history. This is no small matter, for above all else, the assumptions he makes at this primary stage shapes and determines every other aspect of his theory, including his statistical model, and without which the whole thing would collapse like a pack of cards.

In every case, and by making like for like comparison, Sweatman correlates directly back from the Greco-Roman system we are all familiar with to his postulated zodiac constellation symbols dating from circa 10,900BCE. Without the viability of this methodology, everything else that follows evaporates in a puff of smoke. It is my proposition that such a definitive interpretation is structurally untenable. Let us first hear why from the man himself.

In a long online post made by way of an attempt to refute Bradley’s detailed concerns, he states the following:

Now, of course, the difficulty we have is in identifying unambiguously an animal symbol with a constellation. This is where our ranking table comes in. In this table we rank the animal symbols against each constellation
Of course, there is some subjectivity here, as this pattern matching game is not so clear. Nevertheless, our view of the pattern matches would have to be completely wrong to render our statistical estimate meaningless.

In a nutshell, here you have my serious issue with his core methodology.

Now, of course, the difficulty we have is in identifying unambiguously an animal symbol with a constellation … Of course, there is some subjectivity here, as this pattern matching game is not so clear. Nevertheless, our view of the pattern matches would have to be completely wrong to render our statistical estimate meaningless.

I suggest they are indeed completely wrong and therefore meaningless for a number of good reasons.

When he speaks of ‘pattern matching’, (or pareidolia), essentially Sweatman falls into the oft repeated trap of someone who hasn’t spent nearly enough time studying and contemplating – and therefore most importantly, respecting - asterisms culture by culture, as well as their associated symbols, lores and myths, and thereby grasping the most fundamental issue of all – that specific areas of the sky were not chosen to become distinct constellations because they brought to mind and looked like this known animal or that imaginary figure (pattern matching) but rather a pertinent symbol was first generated in the mind’s eye (and/or from direct providential experience!) before then being superimposed on a distinctly meaningful area of the sky and thereby ‘made to fit’ alongside other meaningful symbols in their proximity - because that is where it belonged to fulfil a deeper purpose.

This is so obvious yet so foundational it beggars belief that someone like Sweatman still repeats the childish fallacy that if a certain group of stars happened to appear to form the shape of a bear or a bird or whatever, seeing as that’s what the ancients saw, they therefore arbitrarily imposed this or that image / idea here and there in the sky and for that reason alone. The most obvious support for this untruth is that out of the 88 systems known to us today, there is barely a handful of constellations that objectively even so much as suggest recognisable connection in shape and form to the symbolic figure that represents them. If you actually look up at the heavens as the ancients did, (not at photo-shopped images with outlines clearly given and patterns amplified), be it Aries the ram or Pisces the fishes, no amount of squinting will generate a eureka moment and make them identifiably fit their signature image if you didn’t first already know that’s what they have been determined to represent. Furthermore, even those constellations that can be argued to fit their image in some manner or other – such as perhaps Taurus the Bull or The Great Bear - have a history of either at one time or another being formed completely the other way round (Taurus) or seen to represent an entirely different though still semiotically consistent object (e.g. The Great Bear/The Wagon).

No, I’m sorry, these heavenly signs were not created by inebriated hunters, idle herdsmen or naïve farmers lying back of a night with nothing better to do than play eye-spy with patterns in the sky, but rather were the product of purposefully driven shamans/tribal elders/astronomer-priests/high initiates/philosophy schools and even secret societies with both exoteric and esoteric intent in mind. The highly symbolic patterns grew from accumulated understanding of the actions (seen and unseen) and meaning (revealed and veiled) of the cosmos of the ‘gods’ and how human life is but a perpetual reflection of our interaction with a divinely alive realm and that this knowledge was to be remembered, honoured (and feared!) most reverentially in the sky. It was a deeply portentous memory system and possibly an initiatory teaching device from the get go, not some repository for the vagaries of idle daydreams and childlike zoology! Yet Sweatman seemingly has no idea of this foundational purpose and is perfectly content to accept on face value the contradictory antithesis of juvenile thinkers and world-class astronomers!

There are even more root problems for him to overcome that he never even touches upon. For example, to possess any contextual meaning individual groupings of symbolic stars (i.e. constellations) should implicitly be sourced from a more fully realised body of constellations and associated relationships (i.e. some form of primer circular zodiac or cohesive parent system). This is how we today are able to recognise and give meaning to individual designs and groupings of constellations as derived from the Greco-Roman zodiac – because of their implied innate relationship and place within the source map as a whole. We take this for granted without even thinking about it – and I suspect that is what Sweatman has done as well. There is zero surviving physical evidence, however, for such a Rosetta stone – a form of standardised mapping of the imagined sky either pictorially or textually realised – prior to approximately 1000 BC. Yes, there is good evidence for the existence of constellations prior to this date, (perhaps millennia before), and I do have good reason to think there was indeed a series of stages of integrated and alternative constellational forms in use well before the zodiac itself finally began to take shape in Babylonia and then finally classical Greece. However, considering the fact that after 3,000 plus years of Egyptian history, the Dendera star map, (ca. 50 BCE), is the earliest surviving relief depiction we have anywhere containing a version of the zodiac as a whole, how can Sweatman so blithely source his chosen ancient constellations directly from the zodiac’s current assembly whilst ignoring the problematic fact that no such fully realised star map (in whatever form ‘fully realised’ meant to people of that time) has thus far been uncovered prior to this date of 50 BC?

3. Dendera Zodiac - Louvre.jpg

4. Dendera Zodiac - Louvre - repro.jpg

When looking at the 12-13,000-year-old images at Göbekli Tepe it therefore begs the question that if the carvings represent individual zodiacal constellations, (having at some critical juncture been shifted from oral to pictorial representation), where is the source from which they were taken? If there was one, it is of course possible that it was long held in a collective memory and only taught orally with the sky as its textbook, but we are aligning the goal posts to fit a predetermined theory and no such assumption can be made without actual evidence to support it. Anyway, at some point in time, surely that system would have been committed to rock or some such surface before being further translated to clay and then marble and eventually on to papyrus or whatever? Yet we have nothing the like of this in the 9,000 years or so between Göbekli Tepe and MUL.APIN in circa 1,000BCE. For Sweatman’s theory to be correct regarding the zodiac in particular, we have to accept on his say-so alone at least nine millennia’s worth of a blank page. Until such time as this missing Rosetta Stone from this or that period in between is uncovered, the question remains entirely moot that any zodiac existed at all prior to comparatively late antiquity, not withstanding the question of purposeful commemoration. For if the builders of Göbekli Tepe were so keen that what they carved would be handed down and interpreted in the future, why would they not also have sculpted the necessary source code (their original complete version of the ‘zodiac’) on site as they of all people apparently knew how easy it was for the past to be washed away?

Thus, to infer back from current to postulated extremely ancient constellations seeking like-for-like correlation and recognition is fraught with the high chance of significant error at the root level. Furthermore, locations in the sky, boundaries, orientation, iconography, etc. have all changed repeatedly, sometimes unrecognisably, even in the known period between 1,000BC and the Common Era. Literally dozens, perhaps hundreds of constellations have likely come and gone down through the millennia to be replaced by others with often quite different boundaries, shapes and totems. Still others have been chopped up, reconfigured and even moved. Further, extrapolating the sky we see today back to the vista of circa 10,900 BCE is standard uniformitarianism and is by itself a fundamental error of assumption. We now know that stars can ‘switch off’ and vanish literally without warning whilst others can suddenly appear. More importantly, other significant objects may well have inhabited – even dominated – the sky at different stages, making distant twinkles in the far heavens irrelevant to the people of the time. Whilst these are not widely held views, it is not beyond the bounds of reason especially when one understands the documented importance of cometary comings and goings, plasma formations and other cosmic electrical events. Sweatman makes no reference to the EU theory or, for example, to the pioneering work of respected plasma physicist Anthony Peratt, and one therefore suspects he has not factored into his thinking the possibility that the patterns he sees on the T-pillars at Göbekli Tepe could well have an entirely different source to the current constellations in our night sky (a great deal more on this vital issue anon).
 

Michael B-C

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Let me now summarise just some of the other issues with Sweatman’s work:

1. His foundational argument is inherently circular. By identifying members of Set A (animals) with the members of set B (Zodiac) which are related to each other by a pre-determined definition (constellation), then hey presto of course you get Set A to become statistically significant. Thus, he was rigging the result by testing to see if his non-randomly selected Set A (animals as zodiac figures) was in any way random, and surprise, surprise it wasn’t. But at no point does he test and prove whether an astronomical proposal was at all valid in the first place; he just decides, curtesy of Graham Hancock, that it is and bases everything that follows on that assumption/bias. It needs to be emphasised that he uses no meaningful primary or secondary sources to further support his thesis regarding the zodiac. Its all personal interpretation backed up by statistics. So much for empirical science.​
2. There are over 60 T-pillars emerging from three distinct building phases so far unearthed at Göbekli Tepe (thought to represent a mere 5% of the total potential finds at the site) and 150 sculptures of which only 86 depict animals (more on the human carvings later), many of which repeatedly appear in different relationships and in the company of other animals – as well as amongst more ambiguous geometric patterns. Yet only a handful of these are selected by Sweatman and then only in the specific circumstances which fit his theory. For example, the famous vulture of Pillar 43, which is so central to his core argument, also appears elsewhere and in particular in the same enclosure but with completely different animal neighbours, surely contradicting his certainty that the vulture represents Sagittarius. Embarrassingly he dismisses this problem by claiming (again with no evidence) that the animals he associates with certain constellations of the zodiac were understood as having other meanings when placed elsewhere (what these meanings are he doesn’t say) and that those viewing the stones would have well understood this at the time. Talk about cake and eat it!​
3. To my knowledge he has never visited the site first hand and therefore relies wholly on a personally selected set of photographic images sourced from the internet (he says as much in his book). Using these photos he deciphers sculptures as certain animals essential to his theory whilst fatally missing the clear signs that certain of his choices are just plain wrong. For example in one key instance, he claims a fox to be an auroch (bull). No auroch, no case. Despite the sculpture in question having a damaged head, he still claims he is able to see the features of an auroch in the picture he has selected for publication (problem 1 – subjectivity) but when challenged to admit that in other photos where different lighting defuses the damage and a clear fox head becomes visible, he dismisses this saying that’s just opinion (problem 2 - vanity). Unfortunately for Sweatman, because stylisation of each animal across the whole complex is remarkably consistent it has been possible to identify a range of distinctively different markers for foxes and for aurochs, making it easy to still identify either even if for example the whole head were missing. Again, Sweatman dismisses this as also ‘merely opinion’ (Problem 3 – intransigence). So much for observational science.​

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Photographic Image from Pillar 38 that Sweatman uses by way of evidence that the top figure with a damaged head is an Auroch bull.

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Alternatively lit image of Pillar 38 carving (top) revealing a more evident outline of a Fox face / snout (and below, compared to carvings of standard Aurochs and Foxes on other pillars).

4. He imposes animal images on known zodiac iconography with the most arbitrary of senses that has the hallmarks of forcing images to fit a predetermined theory. Hence, Cancer (consistently portrayed in later periods in that region as a form of crustacean or lizard) becomes of all things a lion in his mind, whilst Leo itself becomes a horse. The fox is suddenly Aquarius (so much for waveforms!), Libra becomes a Goose (only problem being Libra was originally created much, much later out of Scorpio’s claws), Gemini becomes an ibex (which he again misreads because the image in question is stylistically clearly a feline) and Taurus a rhinoceros – whilst an auroch bull becomes Capricorn instead of the fish tailed goat that we have today. Yet somehow Aries is definitely still a ram and Scorpio definitely still a scorpion all those years ago. Here I quote just one of the many ‘scientifically’ dubious identifications he gives us of this kind:​

Below Scorpius in the sky is Libra, normally interpreted today as the Scales if viewed as it rises. But here we are looking at it as it sets. If we had to choose an animal to fit Libra in this orientation we would probably choose a swimming duck or goose – it has the classic ‘rubber duck’ shape. And a duck or goose does appear to be carved onto Pillar 43 below the scorpion.
PreHistory Decoded, P27

His claim that Libra is ‘normally’ viewed as a set of scales when it rises is to my knowledge entirely unfounded as is his implied right to reconfigure it ‘as it sets’. As for his claim that ‘we would probably choose a swimming duck or goose’ from our understanding of the outline of a ‘classic rubber duck shape’… well, go figure! There are many more such examples of seeing what fits in his published research.​
There is also a further small matter that Sweatman seems oblivious to, namely that the zodiac did not always contain twelve constellations. As referenced above the scales of Libra ‘originally’ belonged in the claws of Scorpius and though it had its own lore was intimately connected and seen as a single entity (with Greek astronomers from Ptolemy onwards still referring to the two pans as the ‘Claws of the Scorpion’.) Pisces the fishes was for a long time seen as two constellations with the northern fish a distinct if linked constellation called ‘The Swallow’ (with the well-known phrase ‘fish and fowl’ dating back to this separated connection). Virgo once constituted two separate goddess figures. The much honoured ‘Star Cluster’ (the Pleiades) also had its own pivotal status along with others such as ‘The King Star’ that has now been incorporated within Leo. I could go on. The range seems to have varied back and forth between an indeterminately low number up to a maximum of perhaps 16. However, Sweatman proceeds on the given basis that in 10,900BCE a zodiac of twelve constellations existed precisely in consecutive order with those of today and implicitly stayed that way for the next twelve millennia. On this basis alone his claims surely become wholly suspect.​

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5. Back to Pillar 43. Another identification by Sweatman is of our sun with the central circular object right at the heart of the scene, a choice that plays a confirmatory role in his pictographic argument concerning the summer solstice. However, he only includes certain sculptures on this pillar within his defining equation and only briefly mentions the headless male figure with an erect penis directly in line with this circular object below (equating it with ‘the dead’ resulting from the comet impact event).​

8. Pillar 43 - vulture stone.jpg

Now, I am not saying the two are definitively connected but it certainly has some cohesive merit to suggest so (especially as a number of distinctively prepared skulls have turned up during excavations, something again he never mentions) and if they are connected then Sweatman’s sun is sunk. On simple direct observation this looks to be a way more feasible line of enquiry than a solar symbol (even if in the end it proves to be another ‘dead’ end), especially as our local star was never portrayed as a plain, perfectly round, unadorned orb in either the earliest known accredited signifiers or later on, something again Sweatman ignores. Furthermore, consistency of iconographic representation is a feature of Göbekli Tepe and the only other orb yet present at the site (which he also concludes is the sun) appears on the front of Pillar 18 in the company of a crescent. However, this orb is clearly portrayed as a donut or torus with a fully realised hole in its centre (this is of the utmost significance by the way, and I will be returning to this issue shortly). None of this warrants acknowledgement or comment by Sweatman.

6. His identification that takes the biscuit for me is that of the three so called ‘handbags’ at the top of Pillar 43 with the equinoxes and the winter solstice. This brainwave of scientific deduction came curtesy of his wife in an instant over-the-shoulder decipherment and it stuck, leading him to determine that their ‘handles’ were - yes, you guessed it - sunsets! No matter that he makes no mention in his book of the fact that similar versions of these distinctive objects infamously reappear in single forms and held by gods (hence the ‘handbags’ tag) in later Olmec, Toltec, Indian, Babylonian and Assyrian iconography among others, none of whom are equated with either equinoxes or sunsets.​

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I could go on and on – but I will leave that task to the indefatigable Rebecca Bradley who despite being something of an atypical died in the wool mainstream archaeologist (and therefore misses the boat in so many other key ways herself) still has the critical thinking skills to pull Sweatman’s case apart limb by limb. A personal hats off to her Looney Tunes comparison with his irrefutable statistical model.

Gobekli Tepe, Part 4: Animals and Astronomy

Response to Rebecca Bradley at 'The Lateral Truth' regarding Gobekli Tepe and the Fox paper by Sweatman and Tsikritsis

Gobekli Tepe: Response to Martin Sweatman

Decoding Looney Tunes with Astronomy: What Does the Bunny Say?

Martin Sweatman’s Decoding of Prehistory: Incoherent Catastrophe

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So where does that all leave us? And why have I spent so much time and space critiquing Sweatman’s conclusions?

In simple terms I am suggesting we need a fresh eye and a blank page and to start again with Göbekli Tepe. Whilst I will give due praise to Sweatman for daring to ask and explore big questions in a refreshingly new light, I believe his central theory gets close to the definition of pseudo-science (and please remember, as he himself bases his whole theory on the certainty of confirmatory scientific principles, his work requires the highest scientific standards to be accepted on face value).

Therefore, in my next post I will begin this journey of inquiry for real and I will also set out on my trail via Göbekli Tepe. For whilst I have outlined my serious misgivings concerning Sweatman’s hypothesis, I have equal problems with the mainstream’s interpretation of the iconography at the site (focussing as they do on more mundane anthropological, hierarchical and hunting derived ritual purposes). I will be up front and say that the one thing I am wholeheartedly with Sweatman on is that these carvings are indeed likely of great cosmological significance. What they really represent, however, is a quite different question, which will lead us on to a completely new area of inquiry, bringing us perhaps in the end full circle back to precession, the zodiac, Mithraism and the foundation of Christianity.
 

Michael B-C

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SECTION 2 – T-PILLARS, THE MEANING OF FORMS & THE SACREDNESS OF ENCLOSURE D

I’m now going to focus on certain symbolic images at Göbekli Tepe (GT) and in particular those to be found in Enclosure D, the oldest of the eight distinctive arenas yet excavated (A-H), and one of the six that are circular.

Before I do, and by way of a disclaimer, having just finished critiquing Sweatman for daring to pattern match, I should of course come clean and say I’m going to be doing something that could be accused as being the same. However, I hope to show that these choices are not merely subjective and that by taking those suggestions forward step-by-step to connect them with a much wider pattern of evidence, I would like to think that my essential drift may withstand cross-examination whilst also never claiming the kind of certainty that Sweatman does. For when it comes to dealing with such early antiquity, with so many gaps and pieces missing, we are always likely to be off to some minor or major degree – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try as I think we all agree that any window into our past, especially from periods of such importance, helps us to better understand our here and now – and what may be coming down the road for us all before too long…

I should also state up front that I have reason to believe these remarkable finds do indeed relate in significant fashion to ‘comet gods’ and to the terrible events that directly preceded the era of their building (and likely continued their overhead presence even as the makers erected these marvels out of time). Just not in the manner and form of language Sweatman suggests.

T-pillar Iconography

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The standard pattern of the three main enclosure at GT (D, C, B, lettered in order of discovery) is a circular shape (but not geometrically precise). We should note that the alignment of all three circles varies somewhat but are suggestive of a deliberate North-South intention (more on this later). Each circle has two central, parallel limestone T-pillars (usually the tallest in each circle and reaching up to about 5.5 metres) surrounded by a number of smaller pillars all ‘facing’ in towards the centre.

11. T-Shaped pillar Gobekli Tepe.jpg

There are several other sites that show smaller pillars resembling those of GT such as the site of Nevalı Çori and with further sites in the near vicinity – Sefer Tepe, Karahan, and Hamzan Tepe – known to have similar pillars, though excavation work has yet to be carried out to identify in what form. The site of Urfa-Yeni Yol also revealed a small T-shaped pillar in the course of construction work in the area. Such large pillars, however, are to date only known at GT.

There is still much debate as to what these T-pillars themselves represent, especially the central one’s, with the mainstream view leaning towards sacred ancestors or cult hunting heroes. The pillars are made up of up to three distinct elements:
  1. (In the case of the central pillars) a shallow base
  2. A central, ultra-tall yet thin, flat rectangular ‘body’
  3. A larger protruding ‘head’ piece of similar thin proportion
That this abstracted form represents some kind of ‘being’ is well attested. However, only the two oldest central pillars in Enclosure D (Pillars 18 and 31) make this abundantly clear with long distinctively bent, anthropomorphically designed arms ending up in fully realised hands which cup ‘the belly’, carved in relief on both sides of each pillar, as well as stola-like garments and what have been described as belts and loincloths. Otherwise, there are no other human features on any other pillar, especially none on the ‘heads’, which remain implacably blank and non-personal throughout the site.

It is not widely known that many miniature statues of human heads (it would appear deliberately removed from their bodies) have also been uncovered throughout the excavations with clear indications that the carving of the same, even in limited detail, was a common enough practice:

12. Anthropomorphic Heads - Göbekli Tepe.jpg
There is also the following uncovered at the site and again at a level comparable in age with the carved T-pillars, (perhaps more on this later – for now note the crouching position and the creature clinging to its back):

13. seated figurine - Göbekli Tepe 1.jpg

There is even an example of a remaining limestone head of what would have been part of a larger scale statue of a humanised figure supposedly part of a sculpture similar to the ‘Urfa Man’.

14. Limestone head - Göbekli Tepe.jpg

Therefore, it is clear that carving a basic human face even in an abstracted form was well within the capability of the artisans of GT. Indeed perhaps the most famous and impressive carving of all those at GT, the fully realised feline predator on pillar 27 in Enclosure C (the nearest in date to enclose D), shows astonishing lifelike representative skill.

15. Enclosure C - Pillar 27.jpg
There are some other very interesting clues to be found in a series of statues and totems found both in the region (again of comparable age) and at the site.

16. Urfa Man.jpg

The previously mentioned ‘Urfa Man’ (above), also known as the Balıklıgöl statue, dates to at least 9,000BCE. Found in the southeast of modern Turkey, it is considered to be "the oldest naturalistic life-sized sculpture of a ‘human" hitherto found and is deemed contemporaneous with GT a mere 10kms away.

Note:
  • The ears, eyes and characteristic nose (but no mouth)
  • The V-shaped twin ‘collar’ or signature of status(?) on the breast
  • Hands reaching down towards the belly in a similar fashion to the central pillars a GT.
  • Archaeologists speak of the figure covering its genitals whilst perhaps accentuating a small hollow below.
17. Urfa Man - comparison to T-pillar.jpg
To my eye what they describe as ‘genitals’ is in fact more like a snake emerging from the belly (genitals?) with its head moving up towards the fingers (which in close up take on an interesting likeness to the ribs which so often appear on animals at GT – but this is mere surmise) lying over the belly which may relate to the issue of 'intestines' - and 'labyrinths' - that will appear much later.

17. Urfa Man - detail.jpg

From across the millennia there are multiple other examples of abstracted stele found with similar forms throughout the region and even up into Europe. The following for example come from the Lunigiana region, between Tuscany and Liguria, Italy, and date to around 3-4,000BCE.

21.1..jpg

Note the horizontal dagger/sword where our posited snake/belly was previously located. Such swords or daggers have been signifiers of comets for millennia. In addition, the two distinctly abstracted arms with the same gesture as well as the clearly defined enclosure they form.

A remarkable and unique Neolithic piece - the so-called Kilisik Sculpture – was also discovered near Adıyaman in south eastern Turkey back in 1965 with, at the time no wider context within which to place it but now directly relating to the T-pillars later unearthed at GT.

22. Kilisik Sculpture - Adıyaman, Turkey.jpg

Measuring c. 80 cm in height and carved from limestone, the conspicuously T-shaped head of the stele has again an emphasized nose and a suggestion of eyes. The same bent arms are once again depicted on both sides of the body with the hands meeting around the belly, but this time framing the head of another, smaller figure positioned below. This figure appears to take on the role of reaching further down towards its lower body – where a circular hollow was carved into the stone (it is not known if this hole was part of the original design or added later. In either case it may have been made to insert an object).

23. Kilisik Sculpture -Adıyaman, Turkey - detail.jpg

If this wasn’t fascinating enough, there is the dramatic composite sculpture or ‘Totem’ uncovered at GT itself which features a large figure with human-like, once again bent arms reaching round for another smaller individual’s head in its midriff, and with yet another, even smaller, figure situated further beneath. From the base two snakes with enormous, bulbous heads wind their way menacingly up the composite figure’s legs – 3 figures in one with snakes that seem to be carved in a figure strangely reminiscent of the number 3 (though this is likely entirely circumstantial). It should be noted that whatever its head represented, the shape of the damage is suggestive that it once protruded well beyond the body of the figure and may originally have been similar in proportional size to that jutting out from the Kilisik Sculpture.

25. Totem Layer II - Şanlıurfa Museum-b.jpg


By way of a possible contextual aside, the world’s oldest wooden statue - the so-called 5 metre high ‘Shigir Idol’ - was uncovered in the Russian Urals and dates to circa 11,000BCE, and is also a totem with similar heads appearing below heads.

26. Shigir Idol - Urals.jpg

A close up view (below) of the 2 additional figures on the GT totem is truly fascinating.

27. Totem from Layer II - detail 1.jpg

  • The head of the first extra figure is also missing. From the shape of the gouged hole where it once was situated (deliberately so?) it would appear to have been originally circular in form.
  • Its human like hands also mimic the classic style of wrapping around the belly
  • The two heads of the giant snakes (the one on the right of the figure is missing) form two protruding globes paralleling the area just below where the two hands sit.
  • Below this, the third even smaller figure appears to be only partially emerged from the main figure’s body (or even perhaps the genital region of the second figure?), with its head tilted downwards, sunken eyes targeted on what is contained below within the spread of its outstretched fingers (again in its own birthing spot?)
What precisely lies between its hands is very difficult to identify. It appears to be a further raised semi-circular object. There also appears to be a further raised area just above this but apparently part of the same singular form, again somewhat circular in fashion and hollowed out.

28. Totem from Layer II - detail 2.jpg

This identification may be plain wrong, but I detect the possibility of the following:

29. Totem from Layer II - detail 3.jpg
  • A donut ‘torus’ above
  • A horizontal crescent below
Without actually visiting the statue in situ in the Şanlıurfa Museum I cannot say for sure this identification is at all close to being correct because the available images are all lit differently and as we know such images can deceive the eye, especially as these carvings have suffered considerable erosion through the vagaries of time. However, such a meaningful combination will soon be more than clearly present on one of our key T-pillars in Enclosure D and I suggest will prove absolutely central to a significant aspect of unearthing the mystery of the foundation of Göbekli Tepe – and indeed much that comes after.

For now though, what can we can tentatively surmise thus far about the design intent of the T-pillar motif? Perhaps that:

  1. They are of an archetypal design, deliberately abstracted, and represented a form that was to be consistent in essential ingredient for millennia after.
  2. The choice not to anthropomorphise the head was also deliberate, for whilst the shape strongly denotes one, the designers were deliberately not saying ‘human’ head by the choice to leave out all recognisable facial features.
  3. The presentation of bent, cupping arms and hands is extremely significant and consistent.
  4. The belly area is ‘pregnant’ with importance, and the concept of spawning suggestively present in that region.
It is important to understand that it is well attested to that every single image at GT (other than a single much later piece of minor graffiti) is MALE.

Be it humans, or animals, or other composite sculptures, there is no evidence of any female form whatsoever anywhere and indeed the designers go out of their way to consistently present male genitalia to perhaps signify the importance of this uniformity of intent.

Therefore to my first significant if yet tentative proposition:
  1. The T-pillar form represents THE GOD. Not a god – but THE GOD. The only God in its original form. And moreover, he is male and yet also fully female. That is, ‘he’ is the ‘he’ that fully incorporates the ‘she’. And the ‘she’ is so fully part of the ‘he’ that one could say ‘she’ also incorporates the ‘he’ that togther comprise THE ONE AND ONLY GOD. The unity before the divide.
I believe this maybe to some heretical proposition will become ever clearer as we progress.
 
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Michael B-C

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ENCLOSURE D – THE TWIN CENTRAL PILLARS

Now we have some prospects to keep in mind, we return to the imposing central Pillars 18 and 31 at the heart of enclosure D (carbon dated to somewhere between 9675-9314 BCE, but these are the latest dates found from surrounding deposits and the core structures themselves may well be significantly older).

Before we examine these in more detail, I will briefly address the issue of the structural integrity of these enclosures, which is once again the subject of hot debate. On this matter I lean towards the mainstream archaeologist’s perspective as opposed to the alternative tendency, in that on the balance of physical evidence I think it is highly likely that the enclosures were originally roofed and did not function as ‘stela observatories’ out in the open air as has been suggested so often online. My core reason for this is that the mighty central pillars are all set on disproportionately thin support bases (as opposed to the outer pillars that are sunken into wall recesses with what appear to be compacted seating bays linking in between). As the excavators have discovered, these bases are just too thin and the structure above too top heavy to hold the central pillars solidly erect, and without multiple support ropes that we see now in most pictures they would simply topple over and break. This issue is to my mind insurmountable for those who would claim they stood exposed to the open air. Furthermore, the tops of all the pillars have noticeable and deliberately carved dimples in them, which could well have been means by which roofing structures were connected/attached in some way.

30. From Enclosure D.jpg

There is also the issue of the monumental porthole stone discovered ‘fallen’ in the middle of an enclosure which to my mind strongly suggests a roof-top entry leading down by perhaps wooden ladders or ropes into a darkened and hermetically sealed world below.

31. porthole stone.jpg

In passing, note the fully realised animals: auroch, ram and feline (with perhaps one further animal now missing?), lined up facing the holes – and we can perhaps assume there was once similar on the opposite side? – and the menacing snake circling towards them (again perhaps once replicated on the other side)?

32. suggested reconstruction - interior-b.jpg

To my mind a sealed enclosure, lit by flickering fires and/or torches, with bays for gatherings between the outer pillars encircling the enclosure, would make the twin central pillars even more powerfully ‘central’ - mighty dual supports to the roof above that may have mirrored the very fabric of the heavens and the role of ‘the god’ in keeping all in divine order (all obviously pure conjecture on my part though).

Each of the two central pillars run parallel near North to South. Here I suggest there is the possibility they were once set to true North-South but ‘something’ may have happened to the world in the intervening time to take them marginally but significantly enough off this alignment, a process that may have continued and may have had something to do with why they built further enclosures close by in an attempt to perhaps recapture this sacred relationship (whilst this is further surmising, the issue of the importance of the sacred North will become clear later on).

Back to our two central pillars. Let us continue by examining Pillar 18 in detail (they are numbered by way of reference in the order they were discovered and thus this has no other significance). Pillar 18 is arguably the most important pillar in the whole site. It is located on the left hand (West) centre of the site facing south (or on the right if you were standing in front of the pair). Surprisingly there are no complete photographic reproductions of the whole pillar on public record that I can find, so I have chosen (below) a graphically compiled composite of one side plus the South facing front edge. Its quite a large file so you can zoom in to various areas if wished.

34. Enclosure D - Pillar 18.jpg

We can note the by now well-recognised stylistically bent arms coming down and ending with hands/fingers ‘resting’ on the belly area (identical on the reverse). Other than that the additional iconography to explore comprises:
  1. The set of figures at the area of the ‘throat’ or ‘upper chest’ sunk into a deep channel that runs all the way down the torso.
  2. The beautifully carved relief image of a ‘fox’ on the right hand (Eastern) side of the central stone facing south. There is no repeat of the image on the reverse (western) side.
  3. The ‘belt’ round the middle with cryptic devices carved upon both sides and which flows around the whole figure.
  4. The front area of design extending down from below the fingers and appearing to ‘hang’ from the centre of the belt like a loincloth.
  5. The line of 7 birds in relief, moving from right to left (West to East) on the front panel of the base of the pillar.
We will examine these in order.

1. THROAT FIGURES

Deep breath…. because these comparatively tiny images are to my mind of the utmost significance.

If we hone in closer...

35. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 1.jpg

... we can more clearly see how they were carved in high relief sunk into a channel stretching the full height of the body down to the ‘loincloth’ and situated at the centre of the previously noted V-shaped ‘collar’ or signature of status(?) which here is identified with the two arms running down the sides of the body - but thrust upwards as if emanating first from these twin devices comprising what we might term a Y-pattern covering the whole front of the body.

If we go in even closer…

36. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 2.jpg

We see that we have:
  1. What is termed the ‘H-figure’ on top that we will meet again shortly on the figure’s belt, and below that
  2. A clear torus/donut circle suspended within the upturned arms of a crescent.

A. ORB / CRESCENT

I am going to deal with the second set first because I have previously touched upon the possibility of it also being represented on the composite totem at GT. However here there is absolutely no doubt as to its intended form.

37. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 3.jpg

I will now share with you that this configuration has been much on my mind for over 10 years but it was only a recent discovery that it existed at of all places Göbekli Tepe that actually brought me to explore the place of late in such detail. Because this configuration really should not be there at all! Because precisely the same archetypal form literally hovers above so much crucial Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian (to name but a few) sacred artworks over 7,000 years later, the word ubiquitous doesn’t do the symbol justice! For example:

38..jpg

39..jpg

And here comes the mighty crunch. For a century or more historians, academics, archaeologists, anthropologists, mythographers, symbolists, Jungians, etc have all referred to this combination as the ‘sun-in-crescent’, by which they mean and decree that this is clearly our sun and our moon being depicted. Crucially Sweatman, with barely a sideways glance, makes precisely the same assessment with regard to the version on Pillar 18 at GT, before swiftly moving on and never returning to the matter (this alone would be enough for me to hang the accuracy of his theory out to dry seeing how prominently and importantly it is ‘worn’ on the throat area/upper chest of the most important pillar on the site). And why wouldn’t he, seeing as it is the universally accepted definition and by decree a benign, even banal and obvious deduction?

The only problem with this is that I propose it is absolutely - and for our collective understanding of ancient ‘history’ – catastrophically (sic) wrong!

Confirmation bias on speed has passed this definition on generation to generation without any serious cross-examination ever since it first began to crop up over and over again in particular on Mesopotamian stela and cuneiform scrolls unearthed in the archaeological frenzy that took off in the 19th century. Its form, as witnessed above, varied in internal detail but never in substance – orb suspended in close relationship above a horizontal crescent. Thus a fixation as a given emerged that our dumb ancestors worshipped the sun and moon and hence this image clearly represented this joint obsession. However, if you start out by thinking about this with beginner’s eyes it makes absolutely no sense.
  • Firstly, why was our sun portrayed in these oddly consistent yet varied and specifically stylised patterns, from a basic form of donut to a circle with a dot in it to a mildly radiating star to a tangle of layered out-raying’s and internal cross effects? If it was the core symbol of our dominant sun, surely it should be consistently represented as our sun is, for after all the sun never essentially changes form as viewed in the sky with the naked eye.
  • Secondly, when in reality is the moon typically seen lying as a sliver on its back like this? Well, quite rarely actually, especially in the northern hemisphere where, yes, for a brief 2-3 month late winter period it can be seen as the smiling or 'Devil's Moon' as it is known. But for the rest of the 9-10 months of the year it is as we all remember it - as a sliver on its side. To the uncritical eye this on-its-back mode is merely a convention, that the ancient’s obviously meant an atypical waning or waxing (new) moon when they depicted it in this manner (because no one suggests they were only referring to its form during a brief period of the year). Thus the fact that the ‘bulls horns’ of the real moon are predominately seen in the sky on their side and rarely on their back seems not to bother anyone (you know… those ancients… they couldn’t really represent a pretty consistent reality they witnessed a mere twice a month for at least 9 months in the year for millennia!)
  • Thirdly, there are no cosmological circumstances in which the sun and moon can be viewed in such a close configuration. Ever. Not even during an eclipse. And we call these people astronomers…!
Yet for some reason people such as the Babylonians and Assyrians went to great lengths of skill to reproduce this configuration. To my mind the finest surviving example being:

40..jpg

Such layered, three-dimensional detail and precise inter relationship of proportion.

Here is another version with the elements separated out and a third element added to form a ‘trinity’:

41..jpg

Again, no problem for the artist to relatively accurately detail beards and crowns and hands and clothing etc. - but when it comes to the sun and moon…

The visual dyslexia was clearly catching.

47.2..jpg


… whilst in Egypt the role of the sacred bull element was repeatedly displayed as explicit…

48..jpg

This process of depiction went on and on right down to the imperial Roman era...

49..jpg

… and even made it across the Atlantic…

50..jpg

… and lest we forget, it is still with us today in its final derivation, courtesy of Islam.

51..jpg


That is 12,000+ years of consistent reproduction of form. It must be the oldest, longest sustained image in all human iconography. Yet why all that bother for the common and garden sun and moon in our sky, which we are told have remained as we see them since before human’s first walked upon the earth? I suspect that at a certain stage, possibly even by the Babylonian and late Egyptian times, it’s deeper, original significance and meaning had been lost to millennia of catastrophe and Chinese whispers. But come what may, it was still maintained – for it remained the defining image of the most divine of all symbols before the crucifix replaced it – or rather competed with it in the case of Islam!

The later the images, the more the central ‘star’ became expressed in a range of out-raying and stylised forms, but it is clear the same essential message was being conveyed. However, this form has also important other aged variations on the same theme that are rarely known, such as:

53. Neolithic rock art.jpg

Neolithic Rock Art

54. Neolithic rock art - Kuwait.jpg
Neolithic Rock art – Kuwait – revolving crescent around central ‘star’ in four stages of completion

55. Sumerian Stamp Seal.jpg
Sumerian Stamp Seal

57. Phoenician 2-b.jpg
Phoenician – inverted crescent and orb/donut.

(section continued in next post)
 
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Michael B-C

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58. Eygptian.jpg
Egyptian – inverted crescent with sacred 'star' symbol

59. Carthage.jpg
Carthage – several versions of inverted crescent and orb… (with other important constituent bodily forms we will eventually come to anon).

60. Sardinia.jpg
Sardinia

Although the ‘Bulls Horns’ on its back was the most common device, there are many, many versions from multiple sites clearly indicating the fact that the crescent / orb relationship had a similar and interconnected meaning with the crescent inverted – indicating its acknowledged capacity to fully revolve.

61. Mesopotamia.jpg

Mesopotamia – Bull’s horns completing a full circle.

62. Coptic Christian.jpg
… an idea that even resurrected (sic) itself by way of Coptic Christianity many thousands of years later – and thereby lies a mystery indeed!

I could go on and on...

So to my second significant proposition:
  1. The crescent and the orb are elements of a singularity. This is how the ancients knew THE GOD. The orb is the ‘head’ of The God, the crescent its supporting arms, and in crescent and revolving form was what we know as ‘THE GREAT BULL OF HEAVEN’. If true, this will have untold ramifications, for I propose the Great Bull of Heaven was not originally the constellation we now know today as Taurus but quite another phenomenon entirely on a much, much grander scale, the memory of which was only maintained long after it had vanished from the skies, by being transferred to the constellation and to the moon … eons after the heavens and The God fell apart and vanished, seemingly forever.
I will leave this proposition to settle for now but I promise I will support this I admit radical proposition with much more further evidence and a deeper dive in a later post.
 

Michael B-C

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B. THE H SYMBOL

If you are still with me, we will now move on to the image that sits above the donut ‘torus’ orb and crescent, namely the H-icon.

This image is seen replicated three times on the belt worn by the T-pillar, which we will come to in detail as we progress. By way of context, however, here is a close-up of the figure taken from the right/eastern side of the belt as contextual reference.

63. 37. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 4.jpg

This is identical in form to two other versions on the belt. It also appears on other pillars at GT in other guises (including sideways up). I won’t post further here on the multiple versions of this symbol found all around the world, but by way of a single circumstantial comparison the below comes from Puma Punku a 6th-century AD (according to the mainstream) terraced platform mound at the Tiwanaku Site near Tiwanacu, in western Bolivia.

64. Puma Punku - Bolivia.jpg

In a number of academic commentaries on the H-form at the throat of Pillar 18, authors repeatedly note that it appears to have a uniquely idiosyncratic shape and detail not replicated elsewhere on the site, but in no instance do they go on to seek to explain or even examine this. Well I have – using my beginner’s eyes. Here is a close-up of the symbol in question:

65. 37. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 5.jpg

What is normally a clear solid cross bar to the ‘H’ appears to be carved in a very particular fashion and other outline details seem to have been additionally adapted in this specific context. If we simply remove all the background noise of the surrounding stonework, we reveal this:

66. 37. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 6.jpg

Please do tell me if my eyes are deceiving me and this is not what is there! Because the moment I saw this my heart almost stopped in shock.

I suggest the possibility that what we see revealed are (and no, not two Koala bears and definitely not Ewoks!):
  1. Two miniature figures facing each other in profile, somewhat reminiscent of miniature T-pillars (though with some kind of protruding beak or jaw – or perhaps more likely a distinctively large nose)
  2. Each has an arm extending away from the body towards the other – whether they actually are ‘holding hands’ or touching or there is an actual divide between, I cannot conclude. But a connection of some form is certainly being made.
  3. That the circular gap below their heads and the outstretched arms in some way perhaps mirrors the orb and crescent relationship (a very tentative suggestion).
To my knowledge, no one previously examining the site has hitherto proposed the above ‘hidden’ form, so I recognise I am well out on a limb here. However, taking this bizarre discovery forward there is a consistency to be suggested with the Orb and Crescent below it that gives me confidence there is something truly important here, for together they likely form the primal elements of the God in perfection.

So to my third significant proposition:

  1. These ‘sacred’ twins are what we now know as GEMINI. The idea of the sacred pair, ying and yang, the duality in balance, is most ancient. Most importantly, in later visual and textual sources regarding The Primal God, the he/she is always associated and accompanied by two guardian companions (sometimes human, sometimes animal, sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes male and female) who maintain the cosmic balance and who by in particular the use of their arms, cradle The God on either side. This crooked arm motif so present at GT goes on to become the bent and curved arms of multiple guardians of the central figure down through the milennia and is replicated in thousands of forms and by multiple cultures. It is also a further reflection of the role of the GREAT BULL OF HEAVEN whose revolving crescent was also viewed as a pair of arms – as well as a crescent boat with raised prow and stern, and the means by which the God ‘travelled’ in and inhabited a separate world known as ‘heaven’.
I think I have tried your patience long enough for now, though we have hardly begun to touch on these matters.

By way of a final disclaimer. If anyone reading up to here is starting to get an uncomfortable feeling we are heading towards ‘Saturn’ territory and the theories espoused by later acolytes of Velikovsky such as Cardona, Talbott and the Thunderbolts Physicist Walt Thornhill, well – we are in some senses - but we most definitely are not where it matters most. For much as I respect some aspects of the incredible work this heretical school of researchers has done in unearthing no end of primary and secondary sources, I absolutely do not hold with their central conclusion regarding the role of the planet itself in this story. I trust I have now made this abundantly clear. I am going to head in a very different direction – but one that still coincides with a great deal of the evidence they have put forth. And yes, I do think our past was stranger and more extraordinary than even that suggested by a large rogue planet hovering above our ancient skies. And that will lead us to that radical and essential new theory on the whole matter of precession… among other things.

For now, I will leave you with a few teaser images that express this sacred bond between orb, horned crescent (Bull and also later on Ram), and the twins with outstretched and often bent arms.

Thank you for reading to thus far. To be continued.

66..jpg
Sumerian/Babylonian

67..jpg
Egyptian

68..jpg
Egyptian (Rams Head horns)

69..jpg
Egyptian

70..jpg
Minoan, Crete

71..jpg
Etruscan – Dioscuri

72..jpg
Greek – Dioscuri

And finally…

73. Cautes and Cautopates - Roman Mithraism.jpg

Cautes and Cautopates (with crossed legs) - Roman Mithraism …

Perhaps that last suggestion is a step too far, and certainly a step too soon...
 

Bluegazer

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I really must say that this is a very interesting topic. I don't have the capacity to be as detailed to express or make a comment and its critique as you do. Only few can and it is admirable.

But, if it is useful for this thread and as you comment at the beginning:

We now know that stars can ‘switch off’ and vanish literally without warning whilst others can suddenly appear. More importantly, other significant objects may well have inhabited – even dominated – the sky at different stages, making distant twinkles in the far heavens irrelevant to the people of the time. Whilst these are not widely held views, it is not beyond the bounds of reason especially when one understands the documented importance of cometary comings and goings, plasma formations and other cosmic electrical events. Sweatman makes no reference to the EU theory or, for example, to the pioneering work of respected plasma physicist Anthony Peratt, and one therefore suspects he has not factored into his thinking the possibility that the patterns he sees on the T-pillars at Göbekli Tepe could well have an entirely different source to the current constellations in our night sky (a great deal more on this vital issue anon).

There is a series of videos from the See the Pattern channel on youtube that aggregates several of these concepts that Sweatman seems to ignore.

 

Wandering Star

The Living Force
A few months ago I tried to reread the Ra de Carla material, to see if there was something I could learn, since thanks to the C's I have a little more knowledge.

I could not!

I left it after a few pages. I saw lies with malicious intent and couldn't bear to read them. This is my personal perspective which of course may be wrong.

It has happened to me with many writings, that the work of separating the chaff from the wheat is a very important job.

MichaelBC, I couldn't stop reading you.

It's fascinating and your "conclusions" have left me speechless.

Cool.
 

Ina

The Living Force
Apropos 'handbags', to me some depictions look like simplified buckets and others like baskets.
 

Michael B-C

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There is something I need to add here by way of a caveat to statements in the following proposition previously posted above:

Therefore to my first significant if tentative proposition:​
The T-pillar form represents THE GOD. Not a god – but THE GOD. The only God in its original form. And moreover, he is male and yet also fully female. That is, ‘he’ is the ‘he’ that fully incorporates the ‘she’. And the ‘she’ is so fully part of the ‘he’ that one could say ‘she’ also incorporates the ‘he’ that comprises THE ONE AND ONLY GOD. The unity before the divide.

Irrespective as to whether this argument has any demonstrable validity in the end, I realised after I had finished the first set of uploads that this was in some ways misleading with regard to the use of the description ‘The only God in its original form’ and the suggestion that ‘he’ was originally male’ etc

These errors of emphasis are the consequence of partially working some things out as I post and at speed without first constructing the whole arch of the argument and then having time to review, revise and refine. My apologies for this. It is therefore likely that as I go forward there will be further ideas and suggestions that I will later come back to and readdress or even refute myself independently of any feedback from you guys.

Anyway, what I should have made ultra-clear first is that this proposition specifically relates to the site and culture within the vicinity of GT and only then at a particular period in time. The carbon dating is ambiguous as to when that would have been (with a current mainstream spread of between 9776 – 8818 BCE) but this process is known to be fraught with error come what may, let alone the possibility that Enclosure D was constructed in a series of stages with the possibility, (among others), of the central pillars being much older than currently imagined as opposed to being part of a singularity constructed in one design and build phase. It is therefore only safe to say that at present we actually do not know when the central ideas represented at GT were held, (and so inscribed), other than it could be at any time before the early ninth millennium BCE.

In terms of my own theories on the matter, when I said ‘The only God in its original form’, this highly condensed idea warrants a series of significant riders. Most importantly, that the very concept of ‘God’ itself is fraught with implications, which not only includes such activities as belief systems, worship, ritual practices, etc., but also the very idea of separating the concept of ‘god’ out from a wider sense of the totality of collective being. A singular god, no matter how many aspects it contains, still suggests a division from the whole body of conscious awareness, an idealisation or identification of ‘us’ in relation to ‘him/her’.

Whilst I think this process had long begun and thus appears quite advanced at GT by the time these pillars were designed and built, how far back the root idea of the ‘god’ goes is quite another matter, and one extremely hard to determine with any kind of confidence. I am hoping to be able to show that there is evidence that the memory of a great ‘being’ dominated the imaginary and socio-spiritual landscape of the post catastrophic experience that was the YD event, when the core sentiment (and stimulus for mythic memory with religious implications) seems to have been one of profound loss at the breakdown of paternal harmony with the onset of a terrifyingly chaotic turmoil brought about by the god’s ‘children’ in the form of cosmic monsters and fire breathing ‘dragons’, whose arrival on the scene coincided with this father figure abandoning his flock and deserting his post, so to speak.

I acknowledge now, however, this idea may actually be far, far older that even the YD events themselves, predating it by an untold amount of time to catastrophic happenings in an even more remote antiquity now almost entirely dimly lost to the past. In his Origins of the World’s Mythologies, scholar E.J.M. Witzel places the source of these transitions from harmony to discord in the hundreds of thousands of years beyond the now. Whilst being appreciative and intrigued by many of his arguments, there is still something about the urgency and immediacy of the ‘messages’ that begins to appear at and post GT, and which continued unabated for millennia as a foundational urge to civilize right up to the common era, that strongly suggests to me a far more recent initiation of this process (there is also vital evidence in Neolithic rock art that has an immediacy of witnessing that we cannot ignore). However, maybe this is precisely what Witzel sets out to show – that truly ancient shifts in collective mythical sensibility can go on and on down through inordinate lengths of time without losing their vitality simply because of the way in which they become culturally implanted, remaining active and inspirational long, long after their original spur has vanished from shared understanding. Then again, perhaps there is indeed a regular, more compressed cyclical occurrence and in fact, we are witnessing at places like GT the traces of the most recently ‘lived’ experience of the violent transition from Gold to Silver to Bronze to Iron that will become so important in my later posts. Because I do think our ancestors learned the hard way to take a definingly vital view of the repeating cycles of ‘time’ – and this must have only come through direct and repeated experience and/or from – well to be blunt - Divine Providence i.e. sources like the C’s! Moreover, as hinted at previously, this may well be deeply enmeshed within the pivotal issue of precession.

In terms of the ‘male’ issue – and the ‘he/she’ concept, I will now say something briefly about the so-called goddess culture which is how in some quarters the Palaeolithic is represented. As you are probably aware, so called ‘Goddess’ or ‘Venus’ figurines have been unearthed in significant numbers dating back 20-30,000 years or more. These, along with no apparent evidence of male figures until quite late on in this uninterrupted process, (and then principally in the form of the ‘sacred’ male boy-child in the lap of the ancient ‘Madonna’), gave enormous fuel to the ‘Sacred Goddess’ element of New Age thinking in the 1960s, inspiring the politically and socially potent, long lost harmonious matriarchy in which no destructively patriarchal elements thrived.

I won’t go much further into this topic at this juncture, but what I will say is that I am now far from convinced by such a reading as I think these ‘icons’ have been completely and fundamentally misidentified. For now I will take as a single example perhaps the most famous of all, the Venus of Willendorf, an 11-centimetre-tall figurine estimated to have been made around 25,000-30,000 years ago. It is not well appreciated that this figure was clearly not as unique in design as it seems, for recently a similar figure has been discovered and named after the site of its excavation - The Venus of Piatra Neamț in Romania and tentatively dated to 15,000 BCE.

1..jpg

When I first saw an image of the Venus of Willendorf I remember immediately thinking to myself – ‘That head is not only not human… it’s not even meant to be human! It’s a cosmic entity of some kind with a human body grafted on beneath!’ Well that thought never left me and never changed and now I think I understand a certain amount more of the puzzle, I am confident enough to propose here the radical idea that this is indeed an expression of the same or similar phenomenon that is being represented in its own way 10-20,000 years later at GT.
  1. The head is some form of very particular toroid plasma phenomena possibly reasonably accurately depicted from vivid, long-term witnessing of the same.
  2. The enormous bulbous breasts will reappear multiple times throughout the period into the Neolithic as mirroring ‘eyes’ and later on the totem at GT as the twin round heads of snakes (more on that anon).
  3. The bent arms folded across the breasts are similar in intent to the two bent arms of the GT T-pillars and will be seen to be repeatedly represented in statuettes from this period. They create and protect an define an enclosure around the two orbs, which were separated and yet mirroring, like a woman’s breasts. A place of nurturing life.
  4. The distinctive body type – narrow at top, fattening gigantically in the middle, descending to a near impossibly tight point at the bottom - is an image of the cosmic column/cosmic mountain, which again we will speak about in detail later as an electrical event.
  5. That the enormous size and swollen nature of the whole design is reflective of its pregnant, bounteous, creatively generous cosmic nature and has nothing to do with sexual preferences of the time! Or most importantly, to its inherent female nature. The being brought forth life as does the human female body, but the second is only being used to denote and symbolise the overwhelming power and centrality of the first.
  6. The wide and open belly button is meaningful and may relate in the same way that the punctured holes in this area in the later totems in Turkey do.
In this final sense, I do not think the female body dictates that the image is necessarily 'female' at all. The head is the whole essence of the piece, the other elements being merely facets or expressions of that ‘being’, using the known human female body as a symbolically supporting device in a manner that was understood as not actually intended to relate to the biological human female body – and the head itself is entirely sexless.

So we speaking of the omnipresent creative ‘being’ of the perceived cosmos. A pulsating, living manifestation of the ‘god’. And I think that by the time of the images at GT that had become a primary ‘male’ god within in whose total being the ‘female’ element was equally housed in union but now defined and held close… that is until ‘she’ went on the rampage and with her flowing hair, lead her ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ into the great hunt in the sky. And so by opening her Pandora’s Box, brought evil to the world. But that’s quite another part of the story.
 
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Michael B-C

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I really must say that this is a very interesting topic. I don't have the capacity to be as detailed to express or make a comment and its critique as you do. Only few can and it is admirable.

But, if it is useful for this thread and as you comment at the beginning:



There is a series of videos from the See the Pattern channel on youtube that aggregates several of these concepts that Sweatman seems to ignore.


Well Bluegazer you've beaten me to the draw! I will be coming to the crucial matters raised by See the Pattern in my next series of posts. And its going to be another big one I'm afraid to get there in one arch from where we are now! Hold tight!
 

Michael B-C

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Before we continue, a quick recap of the three significant propositions to date:

11. T-Shaped pillar Gobekli Tepe.jpg

  1. The T-pillar form represents THE GOD of the people of Göbekli Tepe at that time. Not any god – but THE GOD. The only God in its received form. Moreover, as depicted in the central twin pillars of Enclosure D, he is essentially male and yet also fully female. That is, ‘he’ is the ‘he’ that fully incorporates the ‘she’. The ‘she’ is so fully part of the ‘he’ that one could say ‘she’ also incorporates the ‘he’ that comprises THE ONE AND ONLY GOD. The unity before the divide.
37. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 3.jpg
  1. The crescent and the orb are elements of a singularity. This is how the people of Göbekli Tepe knew The God. The orb is the ‘head’ of The God, the crescent its supporting arms, and in crescent and revolving form was what we know today as ‘THE GREAT BULL OF HEAVEN’. If true, this will have untold ramifications, for I propose THE GREAT BULL OF HEAVEN was originally not the constellation we know today as Taurus but quite another phenomenon entirely on a much, much grander scale, the memory of which was only maintained eons after it had vanished from the skies by being transferred to the constellation and to the moon … long after the heavens and The God fell apart and vanished, seemingly forever. The other thing to bear in mind is that the crescent may possibly have originated or even been all along an aspect of the orb itself. That is, that the orb - under certain conditions - would have appeared to contain with in its ‘solid’ circular surface a revolving crescent of light.
66. 37. Enclosure D - Pillar 18 - detail 6.jpg
  1. The ‘sacred’ twin T-pillars represented in miniature on Pillar 18 are what we now know as the concept behind GEMINI. The idea of the sacred pair, yin and yang, the duality in balance, is most ancient. Most importantly, in later visual and textual sources regarding The Primal God, the he/she is always associated and accompanied by two guardian companions, (sometimes human, sometimes animal, sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes male and female), who maintain the cosmic balance and who by use of their ‘arms’, cradle the central god on his either side. This crooked arms motif so present at GT goes on to become the bent and curved arms of multiple guardians of the central figure and is replicated in thousands of forms and by multiple cultures. It is also a further reflection of the role of the GREAT BULL OF HEAVEN whose revolving crescent was also viewed as a pair of arms – as well as a crescent boat with raised prow and stern, and the means by which the God ‘travelled’ in and inhabited a separate world viewed as being ‘heaven’.
So let us now continue with our examination of the list of additional features on Pillar 18. To remind ourselves, here is our list with only item 1. partially explored in any detail (and relating to propositions 2 and 3 above).
  1. The set of figures (1.A and 1.B) at the area of the ‘throat’ or ‘upper chest’ sunk into a deep channel (1.C.) that runs all the way down the torso.
  2. The beautifully carved relief image of a ‘fox’ on the right hand (Eastern) side of the central stone facing south. There is no repeat of the image on the reverse (western) side.
  3. The ‘belt’ round the middle with cryptic devices carved upon both sides and which flows around the whole figure.
  4. The front area of design extending down from below the fingers and appearing to ‘hang’ from the centre of the belt like a loincloth.
  5. The line of 7 birds in relief, moving from right to left (West to East) on the front panel of the base of the pillar.


1. ELEMENT C. - THE VERTICAL CHANNEL.

The final component of item 1. is the deep set channel running down the entire body from throat to groin.

2. Enclosure D - central pillar 18 - detail 7.jpg

As you can see (above) this indent is integral to the whole front of the body. Along with the beginnings of the two arms that extend upwards at the top at the point of intersection with the H-symbol (twins) and the orb/crescent motif, it creates a highly elongated Y-figure.

This I believe is a signifier for the sacred column, or Holy Mountain, or divine perch. Eons later in ancient Egypt, this was precisely how the God Shu was to be represented:

3.1. Shu 1.jpg

Shu’s principle function was as the pillar upon which the great god of all (and heaven itself) rested. Sometimes the Y-arms were presented as straight, sometimes curved to again amplify this vital concord with horns.

3.2. Shu 2.jpg

He was repeatedly represented symbolically (as per the above) and also figuratively (as per the below), his upturned arms forming the cradle to the above.

3.3. Shu 3.jpg

In many of these images, the arms of the pillar god are implicitly associated with an orb, and the crescent upturned horns of a bull.

4.5..jpg

The ancient Egyptian Ka hieroglyph represented the arms of Shu and were depicted both pointing up and pointing down, again amplifying the idea of rotation.

5.3..jpg

The arms/crescent horns were also represented as a boat with its highly raised and exaggerated prow and stern also implicitly shaped to capture the essence of the crescent bulls horns, a fact often clearly expressed by a bull with horns actually set aboard the ship as it carries the orb in the heavenly sky, a central idea that also existed in ancient Mesopotamia as witnessed by the final three images below. This becomes even more explicitly clear in the final image where this boat is called ‘The Ship of Shamesh’. Shamesh has been misconstrued/translated as the Mesopotamian god of the Sun. However, there are repeated references in texts of the period referring to Shamesh as being in fact Saturn (i.e. Cronus i.e. our original cosmic god).

6.6..jpg

In later historical times this concept of traveling in the heavenly boat was transferred in Egypt to the Pharaoh, especially after life, but despite the scribes religiously keeping precisely to the exact original textual sources of what this configuration really represented, key understandings were clearly lost in translation over time, leading to great confusion and concern. Especially with regard to the vexing question of how the pharaoh could possibly travel upside down in his boat without falling out! Yet the Coffin Texts clearly show that this was what they had to consider with the following hieroglyph for the inverted boat of heaven as it travels UPSIDE DOWN!

9.2..jpg

This idea of the support being a boat seems to be extremely ancient with the following Neolithic rock art depictions clearly relating to the same concept.

7.7..jpg

The idea of a column god holding up ‘the heavens’ is globally ubiquitous (a word I fear I will be forced to use over and over again as we proceed). The notion has come down to us as the familiar Greek and Roman figure of Atlas, but later commentators have misinterpreted this Titan’s role by claiming he holds up the earth. This is false; the earliest texts and images make it abundantly clear he holds up the heavens and it was only much, much later that the Romans in particular transferred this idea to the earthly globe.

“Atlas through hard constraint upholds the wide heaven with unwearying head and arms’

Hesiod, Theogony

Furthermore, multiple cultures at multiple times and in multiple ways, amplified and repeated this image of the column god, arms aloft, in a gesture of support to the above.

8.12..jpg

And finally, if we go back even further again to ancient Neolithic rock and stone art from around the world, the essential ingredient we started with is again repeatedly demonstrated.

10.6..jpg

So to our fourth proposition:
  1. The great God of Göbekli Tepe was deemed to rest upon a tall, sturdy pillar support that connected or was topped by the crescent and orb. This support is related to the idea of a sacred mountain – or rather the sacred mountain – where the god lived upon its summit. In later ages for example this would become Mount Olympus among many, many others all around the world. It is also connected to the concept of the tree of life whose sturdy trunk formed the column to the sky and in whose upper branches the great star shone out upon the world (think your common and garden Christmas tree with a star on its top!)
One final comment about the throat motifs that I am going to make briefly here but will likely return to again is that assuming it is the throat we are looking at, then there is the possibility we are also looking at the idea of the Voice of the God and that in later ages this ‘voice’ came down to us as ‘The Word’. The connection of ‘the Word’ of God to nourishment, to Manna from Heaven and indeed the source of creation itself, may be – and please excuse me – the source of considerable food for thought!

11..jpg

With that, I am going to skip no. 2. on our list of 5 signifiers and move on to point 3.
 
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