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Assyrian Tree And Palenque Foliated Cross


maklelan

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I was doing some research about Assyrian prophecy and came across an interesting little idea. Iread an article about how kabbalistic Judaism came from Assyria. This guy was comparing sacred trees to arrive at these conclusions. Anothe rguy, in a review of the first guys article, wrote about how the methodology was horribly flawed. One point he made was that if you compared the kabbalistic tree to the Assyrian then you must compare the Assyrian to the Palenque Cross, which is a tree. He was trying to point out the absurdity of the notion (who on earth would try to show a connection there?), but I did a brief examination of the similarities, and it's pretty interesting.

Here are a couple versions of the Palenque cross:

http://puffin.creighton.edu/museums/cohaga...enque_cross.jpg

http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/resources/en...CrossTablet.jpg

http://www.tierramayaimports.com/images/TOCboneA.jpg

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/Anthro/Anth2...ueworldtree.jpg

And here's the Assyrian Tree:

http://www.zyworld.com/Assyrian/Tree_of_peace2.JPG

http://www.zyworld.com/Assyrian/Third%20form_Pomegranate.JPG

http://www.ancienttreasures.com/images/M-3.jpg

I'm interested to see if any research has been done on these similarities. Some of them are:

The king and another flank the tree. A winged god of some kind sits above the tree. The tree gives life.

I've only just looked at the pictures and read two articles. Does anyone know if this has been researched?

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Makelan,

I was looking thru Great Civilizations and the BOM by Milton Hunter, 1970 BookCraft, to find something for Brant.....and Hunter has two pictures from Assyria with winged figures attending a tree...I believe it is the sacred tree you are talking about (The Assyrian wall panels are from the palace of Ashur-nasir-Apal II). The winged figures are holding a pouch of some kind, possibly to collect the fruit in. Hunter places it next to a photo of an Olmec monument from La Venta where a figure holds a similar pouch while encoiled by a larger than life snake dragon. Both scenes are religious in nature and a similar hand bag is featured. I don't see any tree in the Olmec Monument though.

But thought if you were looking for parallels between Assyrian sacred tree motifs and Mesoamerica than that might be something...especially if you can find this hand bag used in Mesoamerican Tree depictions.

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There are some similarities in tree of life motifs from all over the world. Many of those similarities appear to belong to a very early layer of religious belief. They not only show up in widely different locations (Scandanavia to the Middle East - Asia and the Americas) but they have their most complete elaboration in shamanic religions which provide the context for most of the elements. Trees of Life from the Middle East are a later elaboration of the theme that retains some of the elements.

The Mesoamerican trees of life drink from the same very old shamanic roots. They are conduit trees, linking the underworld, surface, and heavens. I can see where there is some diffusionist explanation for all of these, but I see it way earlier than Assyrian civilization. I think that the similarities that can be made among the various trees of life go back to religious ideas that traveled with the very earliest inhabitants in the New World, tens of thousands of years before Middle Eastern cultures (which probably inherited the very same concepts but elaborated them a little differently).

As for the presence of a hand bag for gathering anything - that is an item that is so logically appropriate for independent invention that seeing a bag for holding things on different hemispheres probably says that humans solve similar problems similarly rather than that there is any conntection between the two bags.

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So they're differemt branches on the same tree? Interesting. Do you have any good references for learning more about all this?

I don't know of any single source that covers the whole range. There must be - but I don't know it. Mircea Eliade's Shamanism will give you perspective on what I see as the oldest layer. Eliade's Patterns in Comparative Religion has a little more of a survey.

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So they're differemt branches on the same tree? Interesting. Do you have any good references for learning more about all this?

I don't know of any single source that covers the whole range. There must be - but I don't know it. Mircea Eliade's Shamanism will give you perspective on what I see as the oldest layer. Eliade's Patterns in Comparative Religion has a little more of a survey.

There is a fascinating little book published by Dover by J.H. Philpot called "The Sacred Tree in Religion and Myth". It looks at many of the concepts brought up here. I would also recommend "The Golden Bough" by James Frazer.

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Brant,

There are some similarities in tree of life motifs from all over the world. Many of those similarities appear to belong to a very early layer of religious belief. They not only show up in widely different locations (Scandanavia to the Middle East - Asia and the Americas) but they have their most complete elaboration in shamanic religions which provide the context for most of the elements. Trees of Life from the Middle East are a later elaboration of the theme that retains some of the elements.

The Mesoamerican trees of life drink from the same very old shamanic roots. They are conduit trees, linking the underworld, surface, and heavens. I can see where there is some diffusionist explanation for all of these, but I see it way earlier than Assyrian civilization. I think that the similarities that can be made among the various trees of life go back to religious ideas that traveled with the very earliest inhabitants in the New World, tens of thousands of years before Middle Eastern cultures (which probably inherited the very same concepts but elaborated them a little differently).

As for the presence of a hand bag for gathering anything - that is an item that is so logically appropriate for independent invention that seeing a bag for holding things on different hemispheres probably says that humans solve similar problems similarly rather than that there is any conntection between the two bags.

Not that I am disagreeing or that I had a strong opinion about this which is why I said "might" ...but Sorenson also drew parallels in tree imagery in Images of Ancient America . On page 183 after an explanation of Mesoamerican tree motifs he goes on to say..

In the last sense, Mesoamerican beliefs paralleled religious ideas in the Near East and Southeast Asia.It was in this sense that certain trees, and even groves, were considered necessary at temple centers and sacred areas in general. For example, the Maya of Yucatan combined the idea of the world tree and of a sacred grove located at a secret well at the naval of the world in the center of certain cities, and the same combination charecterized Near Eastern sacred centers.

On the opposite page he places an Assyrian relief depicting the sacred tree, the winged figures, and the hand bag (This is the same relief used by Hunter) next to a picture of the famous Palenque panel with the cross shaped tree of life at the temple of the cross.

On page 215 he has a pic of the very same La Venta monument that Hunter used to demonstate the hand bag similarities.

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So they're differemt branches on the same tree? Interesting. Do you have any good references for learning more about all this?

You might want to check out the book FARMS is putting out on the tree of life symposium. The non-mo botanist who spoke on Friday showed similarities in all cultural Tree of Life representations.

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