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Prehistoric Zodiacal Dating Code Revealed At Göbekli Tepe
Archaeologists agree, Göbekli Tepe changes everything. This hilltop sanctuary in southern Turkey, probably the World’s first megalithic temple, is like a time capsule that dates back nearly 13,000 years to the most extraordinary time in human history; the Younger Dryas impact event. Pillar 43, aka the ‘Vulture Stone’, at Göbekli Tepe is especially important, as it reveals a forgotten astronomical code that opens a window into the minds of ancient people, going back perhaps over 40,000 years. A code that allows one to read about catastrophic events, like the Younger Dryas impact, that is probably the basis of nearly all the world’s religions. There could hardly be a more important discovery.
Pilar 43 The Pre-Historic Rosetta Stone
Pillar 43 is like a pre-historic Rosetta Stone. It shows that the people who constructed Göbekli Tepe were, among other things, astronomers who understood how the position of the stars changed very slowly over many millennia, a process called ‘precession of the equinoxes’. Conventionally, Hipparchus of ancient Greece is credited with this discovery in the second century BC. Furthermore, the people of Göbekli Tepe used their astronomical knowledge to encode a date, very likely the date of the Younger Dryas impact, on the pillar. Essentially, Pillar 43 can be interpreted as a memorial to this catastrophic event which potentially sparked the origin of civilisation itself.
While this discovery is profound, by uncovering this ancient astronomical code one is able to decode much more than just Göbekli Tepe. This is because it appears it was used for many tens of thousands of years across Europe and the Near East, from extremely ancient pre-historic times right through to the first millennium AD Pictish Scotland. It seems to cover a quite incredible span of time and geography.
Indeed, it appears to be the key to understanding Palaeolithic cave art, Neolithic shrines, Bronze Age artworks, Egyptian Gods, and Iron Age symbolism. Amazingly, it seems this astronomical code uses the same set of star constellations, more-or-less, that is used today in the West, although most of the animal symbols corresponding to each constellation have changed. Because this system uses the zodiacal constellations to record dates, Dr Sweatman dubbed it ‘zodiacal dating’. In effect, it offers an alternative method for dating ancient artifacts to radiocarbon dating.
The Hohlenstein Stadel Lion Man
The code has been hiding in plain sight, forgotten for well over 1,000 years. The animal symbols corresponding to the zodiacal constellations are evident almost everywhere in ancient art.
Until now, it was thought they were simply depictions of real animals. The earliest examples are the most ancient Palaeolithic cave art yet discovered. For example, the Lion-man of Hohlenstein Stadel cave, carved from a mammoth tusk circa 38,500 BC (according to radiocarbon dating) in southern Germany, is the oldest accepted carved figurine known in the world. Yet even it is consistent with the ancient zodiac: the lion here probably represents the zodiacal constellation Cancer, which was the winter solstice constellation at this time.
Forward-wind six millennia, equivalent to almost one quarter of the ‘great precessional year’, and one meets more depictions of lions, including the famous lions of Chauvet cave and another figurine, the Vogelherd Cave lion, whose radiocarbon dates are now consistent with the constellation Cancer on the spring equinox, 32,500 BC.
At around the same time, one also finds depictions of bison in Chauvet cave, and another Vogelherd figurine, this time of a bison, whose radiocarbon dates are consistent with the zodiacal constellation Capricornus on the autumn equinox.
And on it goes. Indeed, nearly every cave painting or figurine in western European caves whose radiocarbon dates have been published in English language peer-reviewed journals is consistent with this ancient zodiac. This includes over 60 paintings of bison, lions, rhinos, deer, birds and horses in nine different Palaeolithic caves. The probability that this is all coincidence is so small it can be disregarded. This makes it absolutely clear that these paintings really do symbolise the zodiacal constellations, apparently the same ones in use today.
This new insight has profound implications for many academic disciplines. Textbooks on the history of astronomy are hopelessly wrong, and textbooks on prehistoric culture and Ice Age art will need to be radically updated. But most importantly, one can now ‘read’ some of the most ancient and famous artworks ever created. And what they reveal is mind-blowing.
Lascaux Shaft Scene
The Lascaux Shaft Scene is probably the most famous cave painting of all. Situated at the bottom of a deep shaft in this dark cave, is a mural involving a wounded man and bison, together with several other animals. In fact, it is the earliest known example of the use of all four zodiacal constellations, corresponding to the four solstices and equinoxes of a specific year, to encode a date.
The four animals painted here are the bison, which has apparently been disembowelled by a spear, the rhino, water bird and, on the rear wall, a horse. According to the ancient zodiac, these translate to Capricornus, Libra, Taurus and Leo respectively. The only dates consistent with these zodiacal constellations being the four solstices and equinoxes simultaneously, and with radiocarbon measurements of charcoal from the cave floor, are between 15,300 to 15,000 BC, which is a far narrower and more accurate date range than any obtained by other methods for these paintings.
But to what does this date refer? How can a constellation, the bison representing Capricornus, be apparently pierced by a spear? Clearly, the spear symbolises a cosmic danger, probably a cosmic impact. And given that it is Capricornus that is pierced, and that the Taurid meteor stream would have emanated from that direction of the sky at that time, the most likely explanation is that this whole scene represents another strike by the Taurid meteor stream, like the Younger Dryas impact 4,000 years later.
Other evidence supports this claim – it is not simply pure speculation. For example, this date corresponds closely to i) a significant climate fluctuation in the northern hemisphere, ii) a cultural transition from Magdelanian to Azilian in France and Spain, and iii) a dramatic drop in human population in south-west France, precisely where one finds the Lascaux cave system. It appears this impact was recorded by its survivors using the most durable art-form known at the time, protected at the bottom of a deep shaft within a dark winding cave.
Göbekli Tepe is the next example of this zodiacal dating system. Pillar 43, as has already been said, almost certainly encodes the date of the Younger Dryas impact event. The extensive loss of life is indicated by a headless man at the bottom of the pillar. The three symbols along the top of the pillar, often called ‘handbags’, are instead almost certainly ‘sunset’ symbols indicating the corresponding solstice or equinoxes. Reading left to right one has the autumn, winter and spring equinoxes/solstice, represented by the tall bending bird (Pisces), charging ibex (Gemini) and bear (Virgo) respectively. The summer solstice is represented on the main panel below using a circle, symbolising the sun, hovering above a vulture or eagle’s wing representing Sagittarius. The only time these four constellations are the respective solstices/equinoxes is rather narrow, from around 10,750 BC to 10,900 BC, which is in excellent agreement with the date of the Younger Dryas impact event, 10,785 to 10,885 BC, determined from many radiocarbon measurements across three continents.
Other pillars and symbols at Göbekli Tepe corroborate this story. Göbekli Tepe, the world’s first known megalithic temple, is essentially and eye-witness account of this disaster. Again, this is not mere speculation. A mountain of geochemical evidence from the so-called ‘Younger Dryas Boundary’ layer in the ground, which stretches from the Americas to at least as far as southern Turkey, proves this cataclysmic event, likely remembered in many of the world’s religions as a great conflagration or deluge caused by a fire-breathing cosmic serpent falling to Earth, occurred. A stone plaque found at Göbekli Tepe even appears to tell this story. Added to this are cultural transitions across the northern hemisphere, megafaunal extinctions, and dramatic climate fluctuations observed at this time in the archaeological record and ice cores respectively.
The next chapter of evidence is found at Catalhoyuk, again in southern Turkey, only a few hundred miles west of Göbekli Tepe. It was one of the world’s first towns, circa 7200 to 6200 BC, consisting of thousands of rectangular homes all jammed together. Many of these homes contained shrines in the form of ‘installations’ covered with many layers of plaster. The installations were typically either an animal skull set into the wall, or a plaster artwork in the shape of an animal. The key point of importance is that only four types of shrine have ever been found; bear, bull, ram and leopard.
Of course, the fact that only four types of animal shrine occur immediately raises the prospect that these shrines celebrate the solstices and equinoxes of a given year. According to the ancient zodiac, the timespan over which the four corresponding constellations (Virgo, Capricornus, Aries and Cancer) are relevant is 7200 to 6600 BC. Again, agreement with the known occupation date is perfect, considering that these shrines are only found in the lower, older levels of the archaeological ruins of this town. It appears, then, the zodiacal system used at Göbekli Tepe around 11,000 BC survived at least until 6,600 BC in southern Turkey.
Nahal Mishmar Treasure
A few thousand years later a stone temple complex was built bordering the Dead Sea, near Galilee, by a community of expert copper smiths. For reasons unknown, they later abandoned the temple and stashed its treasures in a hole in the wall of a Dead Sea Cave near Nahal Mishmar (not far from where the Dead Sea Scrolls would later be found). One can roughly determine the date this treasure was hidden, because the reed mat in which the artifacts were wrapped has been radiocarbon dated to somewhere between 4,550 to 3,950 BC.
The treasure consists of hundreds of pieces of copper work, presumably of ceremonial function. The most ornate are an extraordinary crown - the earliest known - and sceptre, which judging by their worn appearance, were used frequently. Very likely, they are much older than the reed mat. Importantly, they display two kinds of prominent animal symbols, the ibex and a bird, thought to be a vulture, which, very interestingly, are both included in our ancient zodiac.
Given their important ceremonial function, and that they display animals from the ancient zodiac, one can try to date them using the zodiacal method. Note that the vulture and ibex both appear on Pillar 43 at Göbekli Tepe, were they are thought to represent the summer and winter solstice constellations respectively. But this copper treasure is around 7,000 years younger, corresponding to one quarter of a Great Year. This means that here the ibex and vulture likely represent the spring and autumn equinox constellation instead. The date range consistent with these constellations, Gemini and Sagittarius respectively, is 6,300 to 4,200 BC. This overlaps nicely with the radiocarbon age of the mat. But with only these two animals identified, one cannot be more precise than this.
Egyptian Gods in the Zodiac
Forward-wind another 1,000 years, and one reaches the dawn of the great Bronze-Age civilisations of Sumer and Egypt. Writing was soon to be invented, spelling the slow demise of the ancient zodiacal system as dates could now be written much more accurately and arcane knowledge could no longer be confined to an elite class of astronomer-priest.
Nevertheless, the zodiacal system continued to be used sporadically for several thousand more years. For example, consider a limestone vase found amongst a cache of important relics at Hierakonpolis thought to belong to the mythical ‘Scorpion King II’ of predynastic Egypt. The animal symbols on this vase resemble hieroglyphics and have been read by Egyptologists as the name ‘Scorpion King’ because the hawk symbol in later dynastic times refers to the deity Horus, and normally precedes the name of a pharaoh. But the duck/goose symbol at the bottom is ignored by this interpretation.
However, one can see that these three symbols are practically identical to those on the main panel of Pillar 43 at Göbekli Tepe, where one sees the vertical sequence vulture/eagle, scorpion, duck/goose. Clearly then, one can interpret the symbols on the vase as a date using the zodiacal method. In this case the horizontal line on the vase becomes the horizon, and the vase tells that Libra (represented by the duck/goose) is below the horizon at sunset on the autumn equinox, while the sun is between the constellations of Sagittarius (the hawk) and Scorpius (the scorpion) above the horizon. This equates quite accurately to a date of around 3,500 BC (to within 100 years or so), which precedes the estimated date of the cache by just a few hundred years.
Apart from accurately establishing the date of the vase, this also shows one how hieroglyphic writing developed. Very likely, it was at least partly inspired by astronomical notation. Moreover, it becomes clear that the most important ancient Egyptian deities derived, originally, from zodiacal symbols. This makes perfect sense, because it is known that the ancient Egyptian religion is fundamentally about astronomy. So, for example, Horus, Anubis, Hathor and Thoth likely derive from Sagittarius, Lupus, Capricornus, and Pisces respectively.
Pashupati Seal in the Indus Valley
Moving on another thousand years and one arrives at the Indus Valley civilisation, and in particular to the ancient city of Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan. The Pashupati Seal, found in the ruins of this city, depicts a seated horned god surrounded by animals. The symbols along the top belong to the, as yet undeciphered, Indus Valley Script. Notice there are four main animals on this seal, including some from the ancient zodiac. This means one can try to determine a date for this seal using the zodiacal method.
In fact, the four animals here are similar to those in the Lascaux Shaft Scene: the bison (or buffalo) and rhino, representing Capricornus and Taurus respectively. Immediately, this means the date of this seal must be about one half of a Great Year later than the Lascaux Shaft Scene, i.e. roughly 2000 BC. But instead of the horse, seen at Lascaux, there is the more familiar feline symbol (here a tiger) representing Leo, which means the elephant (or mammoth) on the seal likely represents Libra, like the water bird at Lascaux. Using all four constellations, one can read a date of 2,100 to 1,800 BC. This is the most accurate dating of this seal yet.
The Gundestrup Cauldron
Moving forward nearly two millennia and westward to Europe, one finds another wonderful example of the seated horned god surrounded by animals. This time the artwork is preserved in solid silver on the Gundestrup Cauldron, discovered in a bog in Denmark in 1891. Based on its specific artistic style, it has been dated to the first century BC, or thereabouts.
This heavy cauldron is formed of several large panels. The panel displaying the classic horned Indo-European deity (known as Cernunnos in this region of Celtic Europe) also displays two bulls, three lions, a fish or dolphin, a stag, and what is probably a hunting dog. The similarity of this scene with the Pashupati Seal suggests this artifact can also be dated by the zodiacal method. Of course, being several millennia younger, the animals on the cauldron are not all the same. The bull still represents Capricornus on the winter solstice, but the lions probably represent Cancer (consistent with the ancient zodiac) here rather than Leo as on the Pashupati Seal (consistent with the modern one).
The fish or dolphin probably represents Pisces, consistent with the modern zodiac, replacing the tall bending bird in the ancient zodiac. With these animals translated to constellations one immediately finds a date of 50 BC to within 50 years, which agrees perfectly with its accepted date.
Pictish Symbol Stones
Finally, one comes to the last known use of the ancient zodiac, Pictish symbol stones. The Picts lived just across the North Sea from the European Celts with their Gundestrup Cauldron. Given their close proximity and similar heritage, one might expect the same system to be in use in Pictish Scotland, circa 500 AD, and this does appear to be the case.
Over 100 Pictish symbol stones have been uncovered, mostly in north east Scotland. They are decorated with all manner of symbols which have perplexed scholars since their discovery. The earliest stones are very simple, displaying just one or two symbols, while later ones can be quite complex, with a variety of Christian-influenced patterns. Nevertheless, if one counts how often the various patterns occur on all the stones found, focussing only on the animals, one can find the following list:
The most numerous Pictish animal symbol is the 'Pictish beastie’, which therefore probably represents the summer solstice constellation around 500 AD, Gemini. Now, according to the zodiac one expects this symbol to be an ibex. This Pictish symbol can compare directly with the one from Pillar 43 at Göbekli Tepe - the ibex, representing Gemini.
According to Dr Sweatman, these symbols are incredibly similar, from the inclination of the head to the 'horns' along the back, although the Pictish symbol seems to have an aquatic character. It raises the possibility that this means the Pictish beastie is a mythical 'Aquatic goat' creature. In the modern zodiac, which was obtained from the Greeks via Mesopotamia, of course the 'Aquatic Goat' symbol represents Capricornus.
Now this is very interesting. It suggests that transition of the ibex from Gemini in the ancient zodiac to Capricornus in the modern one might have occurred in two steps. First, the 'aquatising' of the ibex/goat and then its switch from Gemini to Capricornus. For the Picts, only the first step appears to have taken place.
The next most numerous animal symbol is the fish, which therefore probably represents the Spring equinox constellation, i.e. Pisces, just as on the Gundestrup Cauldron. After that is the eagle, which agrees perfectly with the ancient zodiac. It likely represents Sagittarius, the winter solstice constellation at this time. Many of the more abstract and geometric Pictish symbols can also be easily related to an astronomical theme, reinforcing this view. For example, the most common symbol of all involves a crescent, which is obviously the moon, and the next-most common symbol involves two joined circles with opposing arrows, which can be interpreted as the switch from a rising to a descending sun, i.e. the summer solstice. It is clear that Pictish symbols have now also been decoded.
Since the Romans and Christianity swept across Europe, it has been thought by European scholars that the modern zodiac hails from the Classical World, and thence Mesopotamia. It is now clear that this modern version derives from a much more ancient zodiac that was already in use across Europe, and possibly beyond, for many tens of thousands of years. It was used by the astronomer-priests of ancient Europe, among other things, to record dates, especially of the cosmic disasters that very likely form the foundation of most of the world’s religions.