Joseph Guichard [Public domain or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons – Triumph of goddess Cybele
In modern day Turkey, known as the kingdom of Anatolia in ancient times, archaeologists recently discovered a variety of weights used by traders over 4,000 years ago. These were found in one of the 14 layers of the mound of Aemhoyuk. One of these was a piece of rock crystal, which– lo and behold—boasts an actual inscription. This marvelous discovery turns out to be the oldest written document in Anatolia and Europe as a whole. The cuneiform letters have not yet been deciphered, nor is it known whether the writing is in Anatolian or a more widespread international language used for trading purposes.
By VIGNON, Claude-François (1633-1703) (RMN) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – goddess Cybele
The Assyrians of Mesopotamia, in the region now known as Iraq, established trade routes and centralized locations for traders to congregate and sell their wares. Purushattum in Anatolia became one of these centers. The civilized world of that time coveted the silver of Purushattum as a prized commodity. Tin and luxurious fabrics were among other items traded.
I look forward to the day when this ancient writing, one lonely line from so long ago on one small rock crystal, is translated. What do you think it is? I’m wondering if it refers to the amount and type of material the weight stood for, e.g., one measure of silver or the like. Trade talk and measurements are among the most common reasons for ancient writing. I remember that was the case for Linear B in Mycenaean and Cretan times.
Cheers & Happy Reading! Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance
An ancient forerunner of April Fools’ Day, Hilaria was an important religious observance for the Romans. The celebration, often held on March 25 just after the spring equinox, commemorated the resurrection day of the god Attis, son of the Great Mother Goddess Cybele. During this day of rejoicing, people wore costumes and disguises, played games, engaged in frivolity, and said and did outrageous things. Masquerades and feasts were among the most common festivities. Barbara Walker’s The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets relates how holy images from the cult of Attis and Cybele traveled from Phrygia to Rome around 200 B.C.E. by the order of the powerful Cumaean Sybil. At that point in time, Cybele held prominence and was regarded as the Supreme Mother of the city. Until the 4th century A.D. her temple stood at the location of the Vatican. Her worship included bathing in the blood of the sacrificial bull, which represented her dying consort/son, Attis.
Attis was born on December 25 to Cybele’s earthly incarnation, the virgin Nana, who conceived him by eating a pomegranate. He grew up to be a sacrificial figure, slain and then eaten by his worshipers in the form of bread. His effigy was hung on a sacred tree and borne in great sorrow to the temple. He traveled to the underworld and rose from the dead after three days. His resurrection was announced with the words, “Hail, bridegroom, hail, new light.” The day was one of great joy. Nana’s name correlates to that of the Sumerian goddess Inanna, the Sabine and Roman goddess Anna Perenna, and the Nordic goddess Nanna, mother of Balder.