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Professional Believes He Has Solved Archaeological Thriller Surrounding Historic Assyrian Symbols


Late Nineteenth-century drawings of the tree and plow symbols revealed by French excavator Victor Place. From New York Public Library.

An Assyriologist from Eire believes he has found the which means behind a collection of symbols all the time offered collectively on the partitions of the traditional Assyrian metropolis of King Sargon II.

His perception is that fairly than being easy motifs or allegorical items, they have been a method to imprint Sargon’s identify within the stars themselves by language, guaranteeing it might stay on without end.

The traditional one-time capital metropolis of Dūr-Šarrukīn, in modern-day Iraq, contained a number of cases of a sequence of 5 photos or symbols (lion, fowl, bull, tree, plow) which additionally appeared shortened to a few (lion, tree, plow) carved and painted onto the partitions of the palace. There may be at present no consensus on their which means.

Late Nineteenth-century drawings of the tree and plow symbols revealed by French excavator Victor Place. From New York Public Library.

Animal reliefs are nothing new in Mesopotamian carvings, however in work commissioned by French excavators working within the Nineteenth century, we see they have been all the time in the identical order.

Dr. Martin Worthington of Trinity Faculty Dublin’s College of Languages, Literatures, and Cultural Research, proposes a brand new thought: the phrases for every animal and object when learn collectively within the order they’re depicted roughly sound out the identify of Sargon, or šargīnu, as they might have mentioned it again then.

However the intelligent half is, every of the symbols corresponded to one of many constellations. Trinity Faculty Dublin information stories that the Greeks adopted most of their understanding in regards to the cosmos from Babylon, which the Assyrians additionally did. We at present in flip adopted them principally from the Greeks, so in Dūr-Šarrukīn we’ve the lion (Leo) fowl (Aquila) bull (Taurus), and the plow (the massive dipper).

Late Nineteenth-century drawings of the tree and plow symbols revealed by French excavator Victor Place. From New York Public Library.

The one one we don’t acknowledge on star charts at present is the fig tree, however Dr. Worthington decoded that too: it stands in for the hard-to-illustrate constellation ‘the Jaw’ (which we don’t have at present), on the idea that iṣu ‘tree’ sounds much like isu ‘jaw’.

“The impact of the 5 symbols was to position Sargon’s identify within the heavens, for all eternity – a intelligent method to make the king’s identify immortal. And, in fact, the thought of bombastic people writing their identify on buildings shouldn’t be distinctive to historic Assyria,” mentioned Dr. Worthington.

The paper was revealed within the Bulletin of the American College of Oriental Analysis.

MORE ANCIENT DECODING:

More often than not, Assyriologists, or individuals who research the traditional civilizations of Mesopotamia, are engaged on transcribing the varied cuneiform scripts of tablets discovered throughout excavations within the Nineteenth and twentieth centuries, of which there are tens of hundreds in museum collections that haven’t ever been learn.

ANCIENT ARCHAEOLOGY:

“I can’t show my idea, however the truth it really works for each the five-symbol sequence and the three-symbol sequence, and that the symbols may also be understood as culturally applicable constellations, strikes me as extremely suggestive. The percentages in opposition to all of it being happenstance are—forgive the pun—astronomical.”

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