7,000 year old origins of 'The Supreme Ultimate'
The 'Supreme Ultimate' diagram of Taoism, the Taijitu of Yin and Yang dates back in China to around a coupke of thousands years ago, yet its origins can be found much earleir in the cultures of Cucuteni and Trypillia dating to around 7,000 years ago, early European cultures.
The motif is also known from later European cultures such as the Etruscans and Celts, but as can be read on Wiki it is generally considered these did not have the associated schools of metaphysical thought that the Chinese had.
What i'll demonstrate here is the extent of the Cucuteni-Trypillian school of cosmological/metaphysical. thought.
The name of this civilization was conventionally established by archaeologists, according to the villages of Cucuteni (in Romania, near Iaşi) and Trypillia (in Ukraine, near Kiev), where, by the end of the 19th century, where there were for the first time discovered painted ceramics and fired clay statuettes – categories of items which became symbols of this ancient civilisation. During the more than one hundred years which past since their discovery, these archaeological settlements entered the specialized scientific literature worldwide. We are in the front of a civilization spreading over about 350.000 sq km, with thousands of settlements of various dimensions, proto-cities of hundreds of hectares, with large fortification systems, with dwellings of various types, from the simple huts to the two storey-constructions, with a ceramicware within which the usefulness is harmoniously combined to the aesthetic aspect, much over the usual specificity of the time, with a fascinating religion, whose traces are marked by idols and cult items of a deep symbolism, whose ritual functionality represents another subject of interpretation
The basis of the symbolism of these cultures is found in cosmology, the place of man within the greater pattern and dynamism of the Earth and Heavens, and the most fundamental aspect was the observance of the anti-clockwise rotatin of the skies of the Northern hemisphere around Celestial North, and the clockwise rotation of the Southern hemisphere,
In conjunction with this observance, they also noted principle points of rising upon the horizon, portals or gateways of the sun, planets and stars, and the tracking of pathways across the horizons, all seen above in conjunction with the small stepped motif which indicates 'place of establishment' in terms of portal/rising point.
Again a small piece such as seen below will be indicating these interests, the spiral concerned with the rotation of the hemispheres, the portal sign translation across the horizons.
The concern with movement also gives rise to understanding of time and seasons, in the piece below Ursa Major is seen represented four-square, the four positions it would rotate through on the daily basis, as well as the four positions it would appear in over the quarters of the year, the solstices and equinoxes.
Related to this the worlds oldest swastika is Cucuteni, marking this turning through the four quarters.
Also represented was Ursa Minor seen in triple form around Celestial North, this was associated with the three principle points of transition across the horizon, the two solstice points and singular equinox point of rising, and the essential triad of Earth, Underworld and Heavens being of a singular Unity.
These factors were interwoven into complex symbolism as seen below, were the three portals of the horizon are represented, with sexual association, they also concened themselves with the arc curvature of the ecliptic and galactic planes, the relationship and interconnectivity of these.
When one has understood then what these cultures were concerned with, the rotation of the hemisphers, the transition across the horizons, the three levels of Earth/Underworld/Heaven, one can begin to make sense of their craftwork and symbolism, it is there to be read and understood;
In some ways these pieces might remind one of Egyptian representations of the Amduat, with the various levels and gateways within the Underworld, the basis is the same, in the Cucuteni-Trypillian examples one sees much more interest in the complexities of arc curvature however, the shifting relationship of the ecliptic and galactic planes which provided means of access into and transition through the Underworld, their art is not abstract it is diagramatic;
The cosmological symbolism also translated onto the human form, thus the man was in harmony with the pattern of the Heavens, man was the driving force of the bull, the female associate with the sensual curvature of the feline and the myriad complexities of the bee...certainly they had a Divine couple had stood over the triple gateways of the horizon and the sun rose between them in perfect harmony....
The context for the 'Supreme Ultimate' symbol is that it is seen on a shrine, these were painted red'black/white representing Earth/Underworld/Heavens respectively, and in origin can be traced back to Catal Hoyuk, below are the Cucuteni-Trypillian version;
The Akhet type twin mountain symbolism of the horizon can also be seen within, but these are very intriguing when compared with drawings from Catal Hoyuk,
The little 'black underworld type demon figure' also finds comparison on Cucuteni-Trypillian ceramics;
A fringe benefit in these interests in the rotating of the Heavens and the dynamic driving force of the bull is that they also invented the wheel...
History of the Swastika
Old Europe Vinca Cucuteni Trypillian Greece Rome Celtic Germanic
The earliest known swastika-like symbol dates from around 10,000–13,000 BCE. It appears on a late paleolithic figurine of a bird, carved from mammoth ivory, which was found in Mezine, Ukraine. The bird was found with a number of phallic objects which is consistent with the idea that the swastika pattern was used as a fertility symbol. Extensive use of the swastika can be traced to ancient India, during the Indus Valley Civilization.
The earliest consistent use of swastika motifs in the archaeological record date to the Neolithic. The symbol appears in the “Vinca script” of Neolithic Europe (Balkans, 6th to 5th millennium BC). Another early attestation is on a pottery bowl found at Samarra, dated to as early as 4000 BC. Joseph Campbell in an essay on The Neolithic-Paleolithic Contrast cites an ornament on a Late Paleolithic (10,000 BC) mammoth ivory bird figurine found near Kiev as the only known occurrence of such a symbol predating the Neolithic.
The swastika appears only very rarely in the archaeology of ancient Mesopotamia. It is found on prehistoric pottery, of which the Samarra bowl is the oldest known example, and on a number of early seal impressions, but then disappears from the record for the remainder of the Near Eastern Bronze Age. In India, Bronze Age swastika symbols were found at Lothal and Harappa, on Indus Valley seals.
Swastikas have also been found on pottery in archaeological digs in Africa, in the area of Kush and on pottery at the Jebel Barkal temples, in Iron Age designs of the northern Caucasus (Koban culture), and in Neolithic China in the Majiabang, Dawenkou and Xiaoheyan cultures.
Painted pottery jar with geometric design. Majiayao Culture: Banshan type (c. 2600-2300 B.C.) Neolithic Period Hong Kong Museum of Art.
An example of how the swastika was also used as a symbol in Classical Greece. Here it can be seen as a decoration on the clothing of a picture of Athene, the Goddess of Wisdom, the arts and war – and also patron of the city of Athens. This detail is from a Greek vase dating from approximately 500 BC.
The Latini tribe are apparent through their liberal use of the swastika as an emblem. Here the swastika can be seen upon the Ara Pacis Augustae: the altar built to commemorate the peace established by Augustus, consecrated 4 July 13 BC. The swastika can also be seen in a virtually identical format in many Classical Greek designs: hence it is often called a “Greek key” pattern.
Etruscan pendant with swastika symbols, Bolsena, Italy, 700-650 BCE. Louvre Museum.
Greek helmet with swastika marks on the top part (circled), 350-325 BC from Taranto, found at Herculanum. Cabinet des Médailles, Paris.
The Vikings is illustrated by this detail from a very well preserved Viking ship uncovered by archeologists in Scandinavia, known as the Osberg ship, circa 800 AD. A handle mount on a bucket found in the ship depicts a figure carrying a shield with four swastika sun emblems in its corners. The fact that the swastika appears as a symbol from Scandinavia to Italy to India indicates precisely how far the Indo-European influence was felt.
The swastika can be seen on a carving called an ayagaptha, in Mathura, India. The emblem is one of the last remains of the Indo-Europeans tribe – who called themselves Aryans – who invaded India. In that land, they were eventually absorbed into the overwhelming non-White mass, creating the caste system still present in that country to this day.