Sunday, October 14, 2012

That's not an elk -- it's a Set-beast!

Recently, a newly-discovered ancient outline composed of massive lines made of stones of various size, located near the remote Lake Zyuratkul in the Urals has been making news, and rightly so.  

At 900 feet in size at its widest two points, it is larger than even the largest animal-shaped geoglyphs among the famous Nazca Lines in Peru, which it resembles so much that it has been called "Russia's Nazca" (see search results below, or conduct a search yourself).

Like the Nazca outlines, the image is so big that it is really best seen from a high elevation.  In this case, the geoglyph was apparently first noticed by an astute observer named Alexander Shestakov (story here), who noticed the outline while poring over satellite images (which satellite images is not currently stated in the reports that I have seen, but it may have been the satellite images on Google Maps or Google Earth, as the image is visible from those satellite images).

Once he told researchers, they went airborne to confirm the existence of this immense ancient geoglyph, apparently using a "hydroplane" (probably meaning a flying boat or seaplane: the image is located very near to Lake Zyuratkul -- also spelled Zjuratkul -- in the Urals) and a paraglider.

This fact alone is noteworthy, and reminiscent of the Nazca lines of Peru (located on Peru's Nazca plateau and taking their name from that location).  As Graham Hancock wrote of the Nazca lines in his groundbreaking Fingerprints of the Gods in 1995:
Their sheer size is equally noteworthy and bizarre.  The hummingbird is 165 feet long, the spider 150 feet long, the condor stretches nearly 400 feet from beak to tail-feathers (as does the pelican), and a lizard, whose tail is now divided by the Pan-American highway, is 617 feet in length.  Almost every design is executed in the same cyclopean scale and in the same difficult manner, by the careful contouring of a single continuous line. 39-40.
It is remarkable that the image near Lake Zyuratkul also appears to be composed of a single continuous line.  To see the image of the geoglyph for yourself on Google Maps, simply search for "Lake Zyuratkul" (if a map image does not come up, click on "Maps" from the horizontal menu bar at the top of the Google results page, where you have choices such as "Search" and "Images" and "Maps").  Locate the lake itself, and then look to the north and west of the lake (see location of the image relative to the lake in the picture below):

The first news stories to describe this important archaeological discovery and window into the ancient past of the human race are describing the outline as "elk-shaped" or "moose-shaped" (here are a couple examples: "Mysterious elk-shaped structure discovered in Russia," "Russian 'Moose' Geoglyph Predates Nazca Lines").  While it is certainly possible that the ancient designers intended to convey a moose or an elk (other reports say "an elk or a deer"), the creature's elongated snout is certainly much longer than any found on an elk or even a moose, and it has two distinct and vertical rectangular "ears" that do not look at all like antlers but are in fact strongly reminiscent of a very different ancient creature depicted in ancient art.  

I believe that this ancient geoglyph may represent the animal known as the "Seth-beast" or "Set-beast."  That's right: I believe the "Russian Nazca" image may depict the animal that is also found on the head of an important Egyptian god -- you heard it here first!

While this may seem like something of a stretch, bear with me while I explain the reasons for this conclusion.  First, the shape of the outline itself, with the twin vertical rectangular "ears" and elongated anteater-like snout are highly suggestive of the head of the Egyptian god Set (or Seth), brother of Osiris (and murderer of Osiris).  See image below, from the Small Temple at Abu Simbel (reign of Rameses II, c. 1303 BC - 1213 BC).  

You will note that the snout and the ears of the image above clearly resemble the outline of the "Russian Nazca" geoglyph, which also has an elongated snout which tapers to a point, and two rectangular "ears" almost identical to those of Set shown above.

I discuss the reason that Set may be depicted with this unique and distinctive head in Chapter 5 of my Mathisen Corollary book.  I agree with the arguments of Jane B. Sellers in Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt, where she gives evidence that Set's head resembles the stars of the constellation Lepus, located under Orion and representing the judgement of the Ennead (or Nine Gods) which is recorded perhaps most fully (out of the texts we have today) in the Memphite Theology (the text inscribed on the Shabaka Stone).

It is quite evident that the Nazca lines of Peru may have astronomical significance and depict prominent constellations (many analysts have provided evidence for this interpretation, which the reader can readily ascertain through various searches on the web and in literature about the lines of the Nazca plateau) -- it is therefore not ridiculous to suggest that this new "Nazca-like" geoglyph in Russia does as well.

As for the objection that it is outrageous to suggest the presence of Egyptian Set-iconography at a site so far from Egypt, take a look at the image below, which is from a Maya codex known as the Codex Tro-Cortesianus:

As discussed in Hamlet's Mill (by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, 1969) and also in the Mathisen Corollary book, the above image is extremely suggestive of the images from ancient Egypt showing Horus and Set pulling on a central pillar by means of papyrus and lotus reeds (which are replaced by a serpent in the Maya image above, as well as in the versions of the same scene found in India and Cambodia and other parts of the world).  Notice that the figure on the right in the Maya image also has the elongated "snout" typical of the Egyptian god Set or Seth.  Below is a version of the same scene from the throne of the Pharaoh Sesostris I (thought to have reigned from 1971 BC to 1926 BC):

If imagery representing Set can be found in the New World codices of the Maya, then it is not ridiculous to examine the possibility that the geoglyph discovered in Russia might also represent the animal of the same long-snouted deity. 

There is another important clue that analysts so far have not seemed to tie in to the newly-discovered geoglyph in the Urals, a clue which could help them realize that this outline may represent a Seth-beast and not an elk or a moose (which it does not really resemble at all).  That important clue is mentioned in some of the articles about the new discovery, such as in this article (already linked above and entitled "Mysterious elk-shaped structure discovered in Russia").  That clue is the presence of numerous stone implements described by Stanislav Grigoriev, of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of History & Archaeology, who is one of the leaders of the ongoing research at the site of the geoglyph.  The article says:
Among the finds from the excavations are about 40 stone tools, made of quartzite, found on the structure's surface. Most of them are pickaxe-like tools called  mattocks, useful for digging and chopping. "Perhaps they were used to extract clay," he [Mr. Grigoriev] writes in the email. 
As discussed in the Mathisen Corollary book during the examination of the importance of Set, the adze was an ancient tool which was shaped very much like the head of Set, and which may well have been associated with that deity.   The image below shows why there is reason to suspect a connection:

Notice that the email from one of the researchers on-site describes the preponderance of the tools found so far at the geoglyph as "pickaxe-like tools called mattocks."  A mattock is a tool of which one end is an adze (shaped like the snout of the Seth-beast) and the other end is either an axe (an edged tool with a vertical blade) or a pick (a pointed tool).  It doesn't matter whether the mattock is an axe-mattock ("cutter mattock") or a pick-mattock -- what they have in common is that each features an adze.  A mattock, for the purposes of this examination, is an adze, and an adze was (I have argued) associated with Set.

For these reasons, I believe that the recently-discovered geoglyph in the Urals in Russia may depict a Set-beast.