Deluge of Atlantis

Deluge of Atlantis
Deluge of Atlantis

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Aryans Did Not Do It 4

Mohenjo Daro Masacre

The Mohenjo Daro ‘Massacre’

In the 1920s, the discovery of ancient cities at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa in Pakistan gave the first clue to the existence more than 4,000 years ago of a civilization in the Indus Valley to rival those known in Egypt and Mesopotamia. These cities demonstrated an exceptional level of civic planning and amenities. The houses were furnished with brick-built bathrooms and many had toilets. Wastewater from these was led into well-built brick sewers that ran along the centre of the streets, covered with bricks or stone slabs. Cisterns and wells finely constructed of wedge-shaped bricks held public supplies of drinking water. Mohenjo Daro also boasted a Great Bath on the high mound (citadel) overlooking the residential area of the city. Built of layers of carefully fitted bricks, gypsum mortar and waterproof bitumen, this basin is generally thought to have been used for ritual purification.
However, in contrast to the well-appointed houses and clean streets, the uppermost levels at Mohenjo Daro contained squalid makeshift dwellings, a careless intermingling of residential and industrial activity and, most significantly, a series of more than 40 sprawled skeletons lying scattered in streets and houses.  Paul Bahn (2002) describes the scene:
In a room with a public well in one area of the city were found the skeletons of two individuals who appeared desperately to have been using their last scraps of energy to crawl up the stair leading from the room to the street; the tumbled remains of two others lay nearby. Elsewhere in the area the ‘strangely contorted’ and incomplete remains of nine individuals were found, possibly thrown into a rough pit. In a lane between two houses in another area, another six skeletons were loosely covered with earth.
Numerous other skeletons were found within layers of rubble, ash and debris, or lying in streets in contorted positions that suggested the agonies of violent death.
A Violent Massacre
The remains of these individuals led many archaeologists at the time to conclude that these people all died by violence. Sir Mortimer Wheeler, who excavated at Mohenjo Daro in 1950s, believed they were victims of a single massacre and suggested that the Indus civilization, whose demise was unexplained, had fallen to an armed invasion by Indo-Aryans, nomadic newcomers from the northwest, who are thought to have settled in India during the second millennium BC.  Wheeler claimed the remains belonged to individuals who were defining the city in its final hours. He was so convincing that this theory became the accepted version of the fate of the Indus civilization.
However, many of his claims simply did not add up. There was no evidence that the skeletons belonged to ‘defenders of the city’ as no weapons were found and the skeletons contained no evidence of violent injuries.   Some archaeologists suggested that the influx of Indo-Aryan people occurred after the decline of the Indus civilization while others questioned whether an Indo-Aryan invasion of the subcontinent even took place at all.
Flood and Disease
An alternative theory was put forward that the city suffered extensive flooding and that people died off as a result of water-borne diseases such as cholera.  Recent investigations revealed considerable evidence of flooding at Mohenjo Daro in the form of many layers of silty clay. The Indus River was prone to change its course and through the centuries moved gradually eastward, leading periodically to flooding within the bounds of the city. Indeed, the massive brick platforms on which the city is constructed and the fortifications around parts of it seemed to have been designed to provide protection against such floods.  Conditions would have been ideal for the spread of water-borne diseases, especially cholera, although cholera epidemics cannot be proved to have occurred.
The conclusion that many mainstream archaeologists now make is that the ‘massacre’ victims from Mohenjo Daro were simply the victims of the natural tragedy of fatal disease rather than that of human aggression.  But this conclusion also has many holes – why did the remains of individuals appear in contorted positions, almost frozen at the very moment of death? Why did they appear to have been struck down suddenly? Surely if they died of disease their bodies would have been buried and not found scattered around the city?
Evidence of Atomic War?
There exist a growing number of ‘alternative archaeologists’ and researchers who have not settled for theories that do not satisfactorily explain the conditions of the skeletal remains and who have sought other explanations.  One such individual is David Davenport, British Indian researcher, who spent 12 years studying ancient Hindu scripts and evidence at the site where the great city once stood. In his bookAtomic Destruction in 2000 B.C. he reveals some startling findings: the objects found at the site appeared to be fused, glassified by a heat as high as 1500°C, followed by a sudden cooling. Within the city itself there appeared to be an ‘epicentre’ about 50 yards wide within which everything was crystallized, fused or melted, and sixty yards from the center the bricks are melted on one side indicating a blast.  A. Gorbovsky in his book Riddles of Ancient History, reported the discovery of at least one human skeleton in the area with a level of radioactivity approximately 50 times greater than it should have been due to natural radiation. Davenport claimed that what was found at Mohenjo Daro corresponded exactly to what was seen at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Davenport's theory was met with intense interest from the scientific community. Nationally known expert William Sturm said: “the melting of bricks at Mohenjo Daro could not have been caused by a normal fire”, while Professor Antonio Castellani, a space engineer in Rome said: “it's possible that what happened at Mohenjo Daro was not a natural phenomenon”.
Since there is no indication of a volcanic eruption at Mohenjo-Daro, one answer that has been put forward is that the ancient city might have been irradiated by an atomic blast.  If true, it would be impossible to ignore the conclusion that ancient civilization possessed high technology.
Parallels were quickly drawn to the Mahabharata, the Indian epic, which indeed speak of doom and destruction. It reads:
... (it was) a single projectile
Charged with all the power of the Universe.
An incandescent column of smoke and flame
As bright as the thousand suns
Rose in all its splendor... 
...it was an unknown weapon,
An iron thunderbolt,
A gigantic messenger of death,
Which reduced to ashes
The entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. 
...The corpses were so burned
As to be unrecognizable.
The hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
And the birds turned white. 
After a few hours
All foodstuffs were infected...
....to escape from this fire
The soldiers threw themselves in streams
To wash themselves and their equipment.
The description is unnervingly similar to the effects of an atomic bomb explosion – an incredibly bright blast, a column of rising smoke and fire, fallout, intense shockwaves and heatwaves, and the effects of radiation poisoning.
If Mohanjo Daro was destroyed by a nuclear catastrophe, who created the weapons and how? If not, then what was it that produced enough heat to vitrify rock and bricks? What could explain the high degree of radioactive traces in the skeletons? How did all of them die, in one instant? We believe it is time to stop accepting the sanitized view of the world provided to us by mainstream science and to begin digging a little deeper.
References
Bahn, P. (2002). Written in Bones: How Human Remains Unlock the Secrets of the Dead. London: New Burlington Books.
Davenport, D. (1979). Atomic Destruction in 2000 B.C. Milan, Italy
Gorbovsky, A. (1966). Riddles of Ancient History. Moscow: Soviet Publishers.
Related Videos
- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/mohenjo-daro-massacre-00819#sthash.XaXRSaKs.dpuf

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

26 January 2014 1:00 pm
24 Comments



The face of a forager. This 8000-year-old hunter-gatherer found in a Spanish cave had dark skin and blue eyes.
J.M. Vidal Encina; (illustration, inset) CSIC
The face of a forager. This 8000-year-old hunter-gatherer found in a Spanish cave had dark skin and blue eyes.
Before farming began to spread across Europe some 8500 years ago, the continent’s occupants were hunter-gatherers. They were unable to digest starch and milk, according to a new ancient DNA study of a nearly 8000-year-old human skeleton from Spain. But these original occupants did already possess immune defenses against some of the diseases that would later become the scourge of civilization, and they apparently had dark skin. The findings are helping researchers understand what genetic and biological changes humans went through as they made the transition from hunting and gathering to farming.
The rise of farming about 10,000 years ago was one of the most dramatic events in human history. Europe’s farmers came originally from the Middle East and migrated west via Greece and Bulgaria. For decades, the only way scientists could study these events was by extrapolating back from the genetics of modern-day Europeans, a rough guide at best to what had happened in the past. But over the past several years, ever more sophisticated techniques for extracting and sequencing DNA from ancient skeletons have opened the window on to the genetics of ancient hunter-gatherers and farmers alike, allowing researchers to not only trace their movements and interactions but also how the rise of farming changed their biology.
In June 2012, for example, a team led by geneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona in Spain reported a complete DNA sequence from the mitochondria—the energy plant of living cells—of a hunter-gatherer skeleton discovered in 2006 at the La Braña-Arintero cave site in northwest Spain. The skeleton was one of two found in the cave, accompanied by ornaments made of the teeth of red deer, which this population apparently hunted along with other animals. This southern European genome showed striking similarities with that of a number of other hunter-gatherers in northern and Eastern Europe and suggested that early nomadic hunter-gatherers were a far more cohesive group—both genetically and culturally—than researchers had realized. The findings, some researchers pointed out, could help explain why prehistoric hunter-gatherers were able to coexist with early farmers for several thousand years before fading from the scene.
For the new research, published online today in Nature, Lalueza-Fox teamed up with ancient DNA ace Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen and other scientists to completely sequence the nuclear DNA of the same La Braña skeleton. Although the new genome is a preliminary rough draft, a comparison of key genes involved in skin and eye color, diet, and the immune system with those of both early farmers and modern Europeans provides a tantalizing new picture of the changes that took place in European populations as farming took over.
One surprise is that the La Braña man had dark skin and blue eyes, a combination rarely seen in modern Europeans. Although today’s southern Europeans tend to be somewhat darker than their northern counterparts, they are still relatively light-skinned compared with Africans, an adaptation often linked to the need to absorb more sunlight and so produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. That this feature of the La Braña skeleton might have been widely shared and not just a one-off is also suggested by recent findings, as yet unpublished but posted online in preliminary form, that other European hunter-gatherers also had dark skin and blue eyes.
Lalueza-Fox suggests that prehistoric hunter-gatherers got most of their vitamin D from eating lots of meat and that natural selection did not lead to the evolution of light skin until the advent of farming and diets based more on carbohydrates. Thus meat, fish, and eggs, which make up a much higher proportion of diets today than they did for early farmers, are a major source of vitamin D in modern populations, but early farmers would have been much more reliant on sunlight to help produce vitamin D in their skin. “It seems possible that latitude is not the key factor in skin depigmentation, but diet,” he says.
Another feature of the La Braña genome is more consistent with current thinking about how farming changed human biology, however. The genes involved in breaking down lactose (the key sugar in milk products) and starch (the key nutrient in domesticated plants) were in an “ancestral” form, the team reports, meaning that hunter-gatherers were not good at digesting these foods, which later became essential to farming societies.
But the La Braña man did have some talents thought to have originated only with farming societies: His immune system was apparently capable of fighting off a number of diseases, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, and malaria (which was endemic in southern Europe until modern times), which researchers had assumed were passed to humans from animals once cattle, sheep, and other species were domesticated. Out of 40 genes involved in immunity that the team looked at, 24 (60%) were similar to those of modern Europeans. “It appears that the first line of defense against pathogens was already there,” says Wolfgang Haak, an ancient DNA researcher at the University of Adelaide in Australia. One possible explanation, Lalueza-Fox adds, is that “epidemics affecting early farmers in the [Middle East] spread to continental Europe before they went themselves.”
Finally, the La Braña genome provides new evidence, Lalueza-Fox and Willerslev say, for the initial hypothesis that European hunter-gatherers were a widespread, genetically and culturally cohesive population long before farmers arrived, rather than a collection of isolated nomadic bands. Thus the new genome bears significant affinities with that of a 24,000-year-old child found at the Siberian site of Mal’ta, the sequence of which was reported by Willerslev late last year. This suggests, Willerslev says, that there might have been “substantial gene flow between east and west” leading to more homogenous populations than previously suspected.
Pontus Skoglund, a geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden, says that this conclusion is supported by his own work on the ancient DNA of Scandinavian hunter-gatherers, who, although from the far north, show genetic affinities not only with the southern La Braña individual but also with the eastern Mal’ta child. “It is quite clear that we are looking at a big genetic watershed” during the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, Skoglund says, in which both genes and biology changed markedly. The farmers from across Europe “look the same” and the hunter-gatherers also “look the same, the opposite of what we would expect from geography alone.”

SOURCE

[This actually has a lot to do with Atlantis and it does suggest that A) This last "Iberian" branch out of Atlantis originated out of North Africa and B)it mixed early on with the blue-eyed peoples around the Black Sea area. So there was a cosmopolitan population in Europe and running the whole length of the Mediterranrean at the time. As far back as Donnelly wrote, there was a recognition that there were two basic populations in Megalithic Europe: the older basic "Iberian" (or Atlanto-Mediterranean) population of shorter brunet people with long skulls (the Long barrow or passage-grave people) and the later taller short-headed population (the cone-mound-building Adena people, whose European branch was called the Beaker Folk: The Giants who were at "The Gianrt's Dance, Stonehenge) Both basic groups were transatlantic and evidently bred as hybrids of different seafaring folk and originating out of transatlantic trading (and they were also both of the basic types of Mound Builders-Hopewell and Adena, and both of them also recognisable in South America down to Peru, Bolivia and Brazil) The main difference was that the Iberian type (sometimes called "Celtic" and sometimes specified to be both dark-haired and light-eyed)was developed in the last days of the Ice Age (and is identified as the R1 genotype) while the Adena type was developed in the Postglacial period (as noted by Barry Fell in Bronze Age America)-DD]

[PS: The evidence would suggest to me that the ancestors of the European Mesolithic had already experienced a prolonged farming phase during which they gained an immunity that would help them against a number of diseases they supposedly would not have needed to develop any resistance to before farming was common in those areas. Initially this would mean in Northern Africa, and in particular this would mean long term close exposure to Bovids in North Africa.-DD]

Sunday, January 26, 2014

7,000-Year-Old Human Bones Suggest New Date for Light-Skin Gene


7,000-Year-Old Human Bones Suggest New Date for Light-Skin Gene 

LiveScience.com By By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer 8 hours ago


  An illustration of what the ancient hunter-gatherer may have looked like 

An ancient European hunter-gatherer man had dark skin and blue eyes, a new genetic analysis has revealed. The analysis of the man, who lived in modern-day Spain only about 7,000 years ago, shows light-skin genes in Europeans evolved much more recently than previously thought. The findings, which were detailed today (Jan. 26) in the journal Nature, also hint that light skin evolved not to adjust to the lower-light conditions in Europe compared with Africa, but instead to the new diet that emerged after the agricultural revolution, said study co-author Carles Lalueza-Fox, a paleogenomics researcher at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain. Sunlight changes Many scientists have believed that lighter skin gradually arose in Europeans starting around 40,000 years ago, soon after people left tropical Africa for Europe's higher latitudes. The hunter-gatherer's dark skin pushes this date forward to only 7,000 years ago, suggesting that at least some humans lived considerably longer than thought in Europe before losing the dark pigmentation that evolved under Africa's sun.
"It was assumed that the lighter skin was something needed in high latitudes, to synthesize vitamin D in places where UV light is lower than in the tropics," Lalueza-Fox told LiveScience.
Scientists had assumed this was true because people need vitamin D for healthy bones, and can synthesize it in the skin with energy from the sun's UV rays, but darker skin, like that of the hunter-gatherer man, prevents UV-ray absorption.
But the new discovery shows that latitude alone didn't drive the evolution of Europeans' light skin. If it had, light skin would have become widespread in Europeans millennia earlier, Lalueza-Fox said.
Mysterious find
In 2006, hikers discovered two male skeletons buried in a labyrinthine cave known as La Braña-Arintero, in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain. [Images of the Ancient Skeletons]
At first, officials thought the skeletons may have been recent murder victims. But then, an analysis revealed the skeletons were about 7,000 years old, and had no signs of trauma. The bodies were covered with red soil, characteristic of Paleolithic burial sites, Lalueza-Fox said.
At the time of the discovery, genetic techniques weren't advanced enough to analyze the skeletons. Several years later, the team revisited the skeletons and extracted DNA from a molar tooth in one skeleton. (The other skeleton had been sitting in water for millennia, so his DNA was more degraded, Lalueza-Fox said.)
Blue eyes, dark skin
The new analysis of that DNA now shows the man had the gene mutation for blue eyes, but not the European mutations for lighter skin.
The DNA also shows that the man was more closely related to modern-day northern Europeans than to southern Europeans. 
The discovery may explain why baby blues are more common in Scandinavia. It's been thought that poor conditions in northern Europe delayed the agricultural revolution there, so Scandinavians may have more genetic traces of their hunter-gatherer past — including a random blue-eye mutation that emerged in the small population of ancient hunter-gatherers, Lalueza-Fox said.
Skin changes
The finding implies that for most of their evolutionary history, Europeans were not what many people today would call 'Caucasian', said Guido Barbujani, president of the Associazione Genetica Italiana in Ferrara, Italy, who was not involved in the study.
Instead, "what seems likely, then, is that the dietary changes accompanying the so-called Neolithic revolution, or the transition from food collection to food production, might have caused, or contributed to cause, this change," Barbujani said.
In the food-production theory, the cereal-rich diet of Neolithic farmers lacked vitamin D, so Europeans rapidly lost their dark-skin pigmentation only once they switched to agriculture, because it was only at that point that they had to synthesize vitamin D from the sun more readily.
Follow Tia Ghose on Twitter and Google+. Follow LiveScience @livescienceFacebook &Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

[Once again this confirms the differentiation of ancient Europeans into Eastern and Western populations: this type was formerly called "Celtic" in earlier times and was specifically stated to be the Atlantean type colonising Europe at the end of the Ice Age by Lewis Spence. This also confirms that the Atlanteans were swarthy with dark hair and the paler blond peoples were associated with the Black Sea focus and spread at the time of the Black Sea Flood. I have made these specifications on this blog recently when the matter came up before, including the matter of Tutankamen's Western-European genetic connections.-DD]

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Azores Megalithic

One of my Facebook Friends shared some photos of the Megalithic sites on the Azores
The first three photos are concerning the Pyramids found submerged offshore:


 Showing at least one other secondary Pyramid in the background, and

Evidently another site that also included a large circular construction below;

 And then several photos for some dolmens and cyclopean walls made with enormous boulders:












Most of these photos are credited to Miguel Bettencourt. I can only think we have evidence of an earlier Ice Age civilization now sunken at the bottom of the sea, and some later refugee culture with Iberian and North African megalithic affinities, especially like the old megalithic port of Lixus. But the highlands areas contining the modern Azores islands was glaciated when the pyramids were built-some of the boulders have glacial markings upon them.So the dolmens and walls built of the large boulders (Which resemble the similar masonry of the Megalithic sites in Peru.) must be post-glacial and while the islands were just islands at the time. They still look very old and look nothing like the similar culural remains on the Canary islands. I am told thay some sites do have pottery and skulls in association - DD                                                                                                                                                                                             .                                                                                            

Monday, January 20, 2014

Guest Blogger Jayasree: Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology? (Part 30)

Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology? (Part 30) From Tamil ‘Taar’ to Taurus and Tamil ‘Bull-hugging’ to Greek ‘Bull- leaping’.


Previous articles of this series can be read here.

Earlier in Part 26 we saw how the idea of Krios was linked to the Tamil “Kidaa” and its imported version of mountain ram, “kri-Kri” in Crete.

In Part 27 we saw how Krios and the Sanskrit Kriya cannot be compared semantically and how Kriya and Mesha go together in Vedic hymns. 

In this post we will see how the word ‘taur’ in Taurus is found in Tamil and how the Minoan Bull-leaping culture traces its origins to Tamil culture of “Bull-hugging”.


There are many versions created by European myth writers on the origin of the idea of the constellation Taurus. In Greek mythology, Taurus was considered as the bull that Zeus took guise of,  to abduct Europa. This bull was called as the Cretan Bull. As per this mythology, Zeus transformed himself into a white bull and mixed with the herd of bulls maintained by Europa’s father. Europa was attracted by this bull and mounted on that. Zeus as the bull then carried her fast by crossing the seas to reach Crete. There he made her his queen and she gave birth to three sons one of whom was Minos. 


One version is that this bull called as the Cretan Bull was depicted as the constellation of Taurus. As most of the body of this bull (Zeus) was immersed in waters when it was crossing the seas with Europa on its back, only the face and front part of the bull is seen as the constellation of Taurus, according to mythographers. Though there are other versions, this seems to be the oldest one, found as early as the 6th century BCE written by the mythographerAcusilaus.
 

Europa travelling on the Bull.  Terracotta figurine from Athens, c. 460–480 BCE

The defect in this myth behind Taurus is that the constellation has no place for Europa who was seated on the bull. Europa has lent her name to a continent (a geographic region initially) but could not find a place in the most important constellation of Taurus that depicted her husband, Zeus, the great Greek God as the bull! Had the conception of the constellations of the 12 part zodiac is an indigenous development of Greeks, this notable omission would not have occurred or the myth would have been suitably re-done when the idea of the Taurus constellation was conceived. None of this had happened showing that a myth was inserted to suit an idea of Taurus that was not its own making. 


The word Taurus appears in another myth, in the myth ofMinotaur. This is connected to Minos, the son of Europa. Readers may recall Part 28 for the connection between Minos and Minavan of Tamil language. The bull, Europa coming from a bull tending family and Minava (meaning ‘fisherman’ in Tamil) have a connection here which we will see in the course of this post. 


Coming to Minotaur, it is a creature having the head of a bull and body of a man. It is a compound word of Minos and Taur whereinno etymology exists for Taur. Mythographers and historians give their own ideas for the meaning of ‘taur’. Popularly the accepted meaning is ‘bull’. But Taur has a connection with Tamil.


‘Taar’ (தார்is an olden Tamil word having many meanings one of which is connected with cattle and another one solves the Greek myth of Minotaur. Taar is the Tamil word for the cane fitted with an iron hook that is used to guide or drive the bull(1). This word “taar” is a common word among the cattle rearing people. Wherever they had gone – and they had gone on many directions looking for grazing ground for their cattle - this word also could have travelled with them.


“Taar” also means “trick” or “tactical move”, or UpAya (in Sanskrit) or “Thanthiram” (தந்திரம்in Tamil.   There is a verse from Purananuru of Tamil Sangam Age giving this meaning. (2).


The myth of Minotaur has many variations but with a central theme. If we take out the myth part of them it gives a rational explanation of what was originally conceived as Minotaur. The different versions by different mythogarphers can be read here.Before going to the basic idea we will see the sequence of the myths around the bull of Crete. Initially there was no talk of any bull in Crete. Zeus was attracted by Europa and wanted to bring her to his country. This puts Europa at a place other than Crete. Mythographers have located her somewhere in the near vicinity of Crete but separated by ocean.


Zeus lured her in the guise of a bull (this is the myth part as no one can change into a bull) and carried her on its back. Keeping away the myth, what had happened was Europa belonging to cattle rearing family was lured by Zeus and was ready to elope with him. This she did by travelling on a bull. In any story, such elopements are explained by expressions that her lover carried her and went off. But here the bull comes in the picture. It may be because the bull was associated with Europa as she came from a cattle rearing family. The association of the bull with Europa was a crucial piece of information which the mythographers could not brush aside. Bull is a crucial piece of evidence of her nativity and origins.


The next part of the story is that she became the queen of Crete and mothered three sons of Zeus. Minos was one of them whose name-root as Mina is the next crucial piece of evidence of Europa’s nativity and origins. Remember Mina means fish and Minava is the fisherman in Tamil language.


Then comes the story of Minos who was a powerful ruler and credited with building a strong navy force for the first time in that part of the world. Did he do it without any support or did there exist any support, say, from his maternal side – presumably the seafaring Pandyans of Minava (fisherman) background? (How Europa could be linked to South Asian Tamil speaking society will be explained in the next post).


Minos was married to Pasiphae who came from the East like Europa. A bull is there in her story too. Minos got a fantastic bull from Poseidon to be sacrificed to the sea God. But he didn’t want to sacrifice it as it looked too good. This made Poseidon angry that he made Pasiphae, the wife of Minos to fall in love with the bull. Pasiphae wanted to mate this bull (a myth) and requisitioned the services of a master craftsman Daedalus to make a wooden bull covered with bull-skin. Pasiphae climbed into it and mated with the bull (a myth) sent by Poseidon. As a result she gave birth to a being that was half man and half bull (a myth). That being was called as Minotaur – which people think, means “Bull of Minos”.


The issue is how could such a being born to Minos’s wife and a bull be called as the Bull of Minos? When that being was not born of Minos, giving it a name as the Bull of Minos does not sound logical. Basic aberration is that Minos did not approve of his wife mating a bull and this is known from the way she secretly created the wooden bull. How could he accept a being born to his wife and a bull? How could he have lent his name to that bull? How could she give birth to a half man and half bull is another basic question but there are people like the ancient traveller and geographer, Pausaniasof the 2nd century AD defending  this myth that in his times women had given birth to far more extraordinary monsters than the Minotaur! (3) This is how myths get perpetuated.


The myth further goes that Minos built a labyrinth to house this being as it was too ferocious to manage. His son Androgeus, was killed by Athenians, and to avenge that Minos demanded that 7 Athenian youth and 7 Athenian maidens must be sent to be fed to Minotaur housed in the labyrinth. They had to send them in the 7thor 9th year. On the third such sacrifice, Theseus, the son of King Aegeus was sent to be fed to Minotaur. But Minos’ daughter Ariadne fell in love with Theseus. She plotted to get him back safe from the labyrinth by giving him a thread which he tied on the door while he went inside the labyrinth. Once he spotted the Minotaur inside, he killed it and came out without losing the way by following the thread. Then he escaped with Ariadne, the daughter of Minos.This is the story of Minotaur – the word “Taur” getting interpreted as bull perhaps after this name. There is no record of Taur as bull prior to the period of this Minotaur.  


Taking out the mythological parts of this story what we get is that Minos created a “trick” –  a taur (“taar” in Tamil meaning trick) to punish his enemies in retaliation for the death of his son Androgeus. He believed that Athenians killed him or it could also be true asCatullus of the 1st century BCE wrote that he wanted to get Athenians to be sacrificed to eradicate plague. Minotaur was a not real but a cooked up story to create fear or take revenge on the Athenians. 


Etruscan art shows Minotaur as a baby with a bull head and a human body. This is a mere symbolism for a valiant son born to Minos and Pasiphae. 




Pasiphaë and the Minotaur, Attic red-figure kylix found at EtruscanVulci


Look at this figure from Etruscan art. The lady is wearing ear ornaments and bangles – the signs of Indian origin. The swan next to her shows Indian connection. Recall Part 25  where we saw an Etruscan art of swans and swastika together. It is reproduced below.


Etruscan pendant with swastika symbols. Bolsena Italy, 700 BCE to 650 BCE.


From the Etruscan art, it is seen that Pasiphae gave birth to a child of Minos which was strong as a bull. The bull- head was only a symbolism. This baby in the Etruscan art could perhaps refer toAndrogeus, the son of Minos and Pasiphae, who was killed by Athenians out of jealousy of him to have won many games. To avenge them Minos created the idea of Minotaur – a monster with bull-head, born of Pasiphae and the Cretan bull. The Athenians had killed his original son, but he would not let them off and get them killed by his another son – a monster supposed to have been born to his wife and a real bull!


A myth of its valour and monstrous powers were woven to create fear in the minds of the opponents. But such a being however well it could be made by the best of craftsman of his times, could not be left to be seen by the people. It must be kept in secrecy but must be capable of creating awe and fear in people. So it was housed in a labyrinth making it difficult for anyone entering it to come out to tell the truth of the Minotaur. To create an aura of fear the sacrifices were called for. This Mino-taur was a “trick of Minos” – applying the meaning of taar in Tamil. The Tamil connection will be analysed in the course of this post.


Unfortunately for Minos, his daughter fell in love with his enemy whom he wanted to kill by the Trick of Mino – Minotaur. The big challenge for her lover, Theseus was to come out safely form the labyrinth and not getting attacked by the Minotaur housed inside the labyrinth. He was helped by the daughter of Minos to come out but what he saw inside the labyrinth could not be disclosed to outside world. It was because his immediate action plan was to escape with his lover which he did successfully but eventually ended up seeing the death of his father on reaching his country. In the meantime, Minos had to conceal the “trick” about the monster and diffuse any leak about it by Theseus who had successfully escaped from his country. He did this successfully by allowing the idea that Minitaur was killed by Theseus. No one had ever seen Minotaur. The only person to have seen it was Theseus and he knew that it was not real. But the word remained that Minotaur was killed by him.  This is the logical idea of the myth behind Minotaur.


Which elements of this story are originally of Greece or Crete, the pre-Greek civilisation? 


Starting from where we ended, the labyrinth was not an original idea of this period of Crete. The truly dangerous labyrinth was the one that Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna of Mahabharata fame encountered in Mahabharata war fought 5000 years ago. (Read here Part 17 of this series where it was established that Mahabharata war was fought 5000 years ago).


An engraving of that model from which he could not find his way out is reproduced from Halebid art. 



The earliest labyrinth found outside India comes from Mycenaean site of Pylos. This location having connection with South Asian Tamils and also Kiratas of North east India (to be explained in another article) is a matter of importance – showing probable routes of import of the idea to the pre- Greek society.













This tablet with the motif of the labyrinth was recovered from the site of the Mycenaean palace supposed to have been destroyed in a fire in 1200 BCE. 

A silver coin found in Knossos, where Minotaur was housed, is found engraved with a labyrinth. Its period is 400 BCE. It is shown below. 





Much older than these, seals with design of labyrinths engraved on them have been found in Lothal and Harappa of the Indus – Sarasvathi civilisation, thereby taking this idea to archeologically supported period of 5000 years BP in India. See them below. 

From Lothal




  From Harappa







Indigenous to Vedic culture was the idea of an enclosure that a Soma drinker must confine himself within. Though its model does not look like a labyrinth, its purpose was to keep the person (soma drinker) in the middle of the chambers away from outside world and particularly away from sunlight! A reconstruction of such a model chamber has been attempted by scholars based on Sussruta samhita.


 

The labyrinth of Minotaur was also designed as an enclosure. 


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The bull connection comes in the story of Europa and Minos. But the available archaeological finds in Crete pertain to only one type of activity with the bull. This type shows Bull-leaping activity. 




Reconstruction of one of the Taureador frescos - Some time in MM III or LM I (1500 to 1000 BCE).
This painting shows 2 women at the two ends of the bull and a man leaping over it. This is not a case of bull fighting but leaping over the bull. Paintings on bull leaping are found in many numbers in Crete but with the same theme as above. This leap was tried to be enacted but was found to be impossible as the bull would not allow smooth leap over it. This made the researchers think that the idea depicted in this fresco is only imaginary and not real.


But taking a closer look at this fresco, I get more clues on its Tamil origins and would not rule this out as an impossible act. Before going into the Tamil connection let me show a seal from Mohenjo-Daro on a bull-fight.



This seal from Mohenjo-Daro shows men being thrown around by the bull. This shows that Bull fighting had existed in India for a known period of 5000 years. The Cretan bull fresco is not similar to this. It does not show an angry bull throwing out the people. It is recent say, from 1500 BCE onwards in the Middle or Late Minoan period when the Tirayan Pandyans and Etruscans had made their way to Greek regions after the loss of Indian Ocean habitat. In fact the period of Minos happened after Cyclopes (KaikkOlas) migrated to Tiryns. Minos came in the third generation, after Cyclopes were forced to take shelter inside the earth (caves) when torrential rains caused havoc at Aegean seas. (here). The lineage is Kronos > Zeus > Minos.


The fresco shows Tamil influence, as only in the Tamil- Vedic society bull fighting did not end up with killing the bull. The Minoan fresco also shows that the bull- game did not mean any harm to the bull. At all the other places known for bull-fight, the intention was to harm or kill the bull. Interestingly the places known for bull-fighting are those connected with Tamils – say, in the Mediterranean and in the Andean regions.


In the Tamil society during the Sangam age, the women of the cattle rearing society grew up a bull of their own. Every girl of the cattle rearing family would personally take care of a bull right from the time it was born. She used to feed it well, dress it well and even have a name for it. She used to roam around with this pet bull and was considered to be a difficult- to- conquer person like her bull. Anyone wanting to marry her must enter into a duel with her bull. He must be able to catch hold of the horns of the bull and climb the bull by hugging its hump and finally lie on the bull with his face looking forward in between the horns while his hands were holding the horns as though he were hugging her breasts. This expression is repeated in many Tamil verses of the Sangam age poems.


Infact this duel was not known as bull- fight, but as “Bull- hugging” (ஏறு தழுவுதல்). No harm was allowed to be done to the bull by the one attempting at “bull- hugging”. 

The currently held name Jallikattu was not the olden or the original name for this duel. It was not even a sport but a method to choose the groom in the ancient Tamil society among the cattle rearing class. The girl of this community used to throw a challenge to the stalker to catch her bull like this if he wanted to marry her. The one, who succeeded in catching her bull, was almost equal to that bull that she would happily consent to marry him.


The bull- leaping frescos of Crete show a similar hold of the girl on the bull. There the men were not challenged to mount the bull. But the girl held the bull in place and challenger was asked to leap over it. Look at the painting closely.


The girl is pressing the horns of the bull under her arm to make it bend its head and not move forward. She is not actually in a game with the bull. The bull also looks obliging by not moving forward. Only if the girl is a tamer or had moved closely with the bull, can a bull stand like this by obeying her. Yet another painting of the same kind shows a girl casually and effortlessly holding or pressing the horns  to make the bull not to move forward.


Look at her plaited hair – common hairstyle of Tamils (one of the ancient types of hair styles of Tamils is to part the hair into 5 and make 5 kinds of plaits). She is wearing bangles and arm ornaments that are common among Tamil women of yore. The girls are wearing shoes which are again common for cattle rearing people as they had to move in rough terrain with their cattle.


The posture of the bull is such that though its front legs are firmly on the ground, by being stopped or held by the girl in front, it can raise its hind part. The fresco shows such a posture only. The hind legs are not necessarily firmly on the ground. A look at this sculpture establishes this.



The bull is almost stationary with its front legs firmly on one place but trying to jump up the hind part of its body. The front pose of the bull clearly shows that it is stationary with its front legs firmly on the ground. 



The man had to leap over the bull in such a position without touching it. Moreover the girl standing behind the bull is making signs with her hand on how or in what direction he must leap.



This shows the girl in a relaxed posture signalling the moves the man is expected to make. The girl in the front must be the tender of this bull as she is able to stop the bull. In other words, the bull obeys her commands. The girl at the back dictates the moves that the contender must do. Perhaps the winner can marry the girl, who owns the bull.


This concept was there in Tamil culture. The image of Europa with the bull reminds one of the way how the Tamil girl of cattle rearing family was close to her bull.



Popular figure of Europa in a Greek vase - Tarquinia Museum, circa 480 BC


In this painting the bull is casually walking. Europa is walking along with it, guiding it by holding its horn.


In the Zeus – Europa myth, Zeus must have met Europa and fallen in love with her. Either he would have tamed the bull and officially claimed her hand or eloped with her along with her bull. This bull had come to Crete and perhaps caused havoc by its mighty behaviour. In the 7th labour of Hercules, he was asked by Minos, son of Europa to tame the Cretan bull. Perhaps this was the off spring of the bull of Europa. 


Pasiphae falling in love with a bull could also mean that she like Europa nurtured a powerful bull. She being attributed with getting Minotaur with a bull’s head could refer to the birth of a strong son owing to her strong body developed so in taming the bull. The following fresco shows two kids – looking like girls with long and parted hair, practicing boxing. This helped them gain shoulder and arm power to hold the bull by its horn to make it stand at one place. 


Children boxing in a fresco on the island of Santorini.

Though there is no reference to boxing practices for Tamil girls in the Sangam age, the verses do speak of them as having control over the bull they grow. 


According to one myth, the bull of Pasiphae had killed her son Androgeus at Marathon, instigated by Athenian King Aegeus. This was perhaps the first time in the Greek lands the bull had killed a person who was engaged in a sport with it. This had angered Minos prompting him to invent the idea of Trick of Minos, the Minotaur. In order to take revenge on the Athenians, Minos tricked them to believe that a mightier and monstrous off-spring of the Marathonian / Cretan Bull by name Minotaur existed with him and confined to the labyrinth. 


Perhaps the tough nature of the bulls made the latter society of Crete to tame the bulls and invent bull-leaping games.


After reading all these, one may ask whether this is sufficient proof for Tamil connection or migration to Greece in pre-Greek times. The stronger connection lies with Europe,  pronounced as ‘eheropi’ in Greek and sounds as “I”-roopi – meaning “the form of I (Ai)”, the Goddess as known in Tamil in the Sangam age. We will see those details in the next post along with its Vedic connection.


For the current post, it is to be understood, that our opponents cannot even claim Taurus as the root of Sanskrit Tavuri for Rishabha rashi. Vrushabha (वृषभis a Sanskrit word but Taar is a Tamil word connected with cattle. A society where Tamil was common man’s language and Sanskrit was the language of education can develop many such blended words from both the languages. A mind not prejudiced with Aryan – Dravidian divide can pick out many such words from Tamil showing that it was a Tamil- Sanskrit language group prevailing in India – ever since the 1st Sangam age about 10,000 years ago and not Aryan- Dravidian or Indo-European language group.


One such word is “Taar” (தார் / तार् that became Taavura (तावुर)in Sanskrit. (There are words common to both Tamil and Sanskrit having the etymology in Tamil. Eg Valli, the name of Skanda’s consort from Tamil hunter community. In Sanskrit it (वल्लीmeans creeper. In Tamil it is pronounced with a stressed “L” as VaLLi (வள்ளி).  In Tamil it has a meaning ‘creeper’ in addition to other meanings. The root word is “vaL” (வள்from which this word and different meanings are derived.) 

The Tamil Taar had gone to become Greek Taur that later became Taurus and then Asterion, the star.
At another level, the Tamil word for cattle “aa” () was adopted as the first letter of the Semitic languages. We will see those details in the next post.


(Continued)


Notes:

(1)   “Senthamizh Agarathi” (Tamil Lexicon) December 1950 edition, edited by Na.Ci. Kanthaiyaa Pillai. Page no 305

(2)   ஒரு கால் வருதார்தாங்கி (புறநா80). Purananuru – 80. Meaning: “ஒருகால் அவன் செய்கின்றஉபாயத்தைவிலக்கி



(3)   Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 24. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[On the Akropolis, Athens] is represented the fight which legend says Theseus fought with the so-called Tauros (Bull) of Minos, whether this was a man or a beast of nature he is said to have been in the accepted story. For even in our time women have given birth to far more extraordinary monsters than this."