In the article published in the Nauka v Sibiri newspaper devoted to a recent discovery of a rock temple made by the Novosibirsk scientists in the mountains of the Northern Khakasia, V. Larichev, Dr. Sc. (Hist.) (SB RAS Institute of Archeology and Ethnography), mentioned Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle who believed that the source of an ineradicable human passion for cognition lies in the ability to be surprised. Indeed, people observed movement of stars, rising and setting of the Sun and the Moon, were astonished by these extraterrestrial phenomena and tried to explain them. The same was felt by our contemporaries-archeologists who discovered a huge figure of the Universe structure which matched the beliefs of all Indo-Europeans, inhabitants of the territory from Britain to Hindustan (2nd - 1st century B. C.), i. e. the long-sought mythic World Egg. Nothing of the sort was ever found before either in Central Asia, Middle East, India, or especially Siberia.
An ancient artist carved out a stand-up oval well rounded from above and slightly wedge-shaped from below, with a multilayer "yolk" inside. It was precisely that model of the Universe which the first European cosmologist Greek Anaximander (c. 610 - after 547 B. C.) took into consideration. In turn, he is believed to borrow this scheme from the Zoroastrian priests of Iran and Asia Minor (disciples of the prophet and reformer of the ancient Persian religion Zoroaster who lived in the period from the 10th to the first half of the 6th century B. C.).
The perimeter (shell) of the egg embodies the solid starry heaven; three circles inside (yolk) are orbits of the Sun, the Moon, and other planets. Inside the oval one can distinguish details, which were not described by the ancient astronomer (or the data were lost) - some drawings, including the image of a scorpion with an upturned tail, the picture being in a rather good state as compared with other pictures. There is no doubt that circularly located figures are zodiacal constellations.
The walls of the small inner hall are covered all over with drawings. On the left wall the scientists discovered a composition with one more, smaller egg depicting the myth of a miraculous birth of the God of time and space, Creator of all around, out of this peculiar ark swimming in a primeval ocean. He is artistically represented by an eagle proudly standing on the upper flattened surface of the egg crowned with the Sun and the Moon, two most important planets for Earth inhabitants. On the one hand
from the Creator, there is a wild goat with screw-shaped horns, on the other hand, a flying up bird with spread wings. These animals are likely to objectify constellations of the Capricorn and the Bird (Cancer in the Middle East), the most significant ones for astronomers of the 2nd - 1st millennium B. C., which determined the periods of winter and summer solstice. The Sun's path through the heaven separated the world into two contending forces: the South (Good and Light) and the North (Evil and Darkness). The ancient artist also drew a human being wearing a headwear decorated with a moon-like aigrette and engirdled with a wide belt. It seems to be the first man or a light god who became the main character of two dramatic episodes. In one the god courageously sets foot on the stellar surface (shell), in the other, he fights against dragons and other strange creatures, seemingly to clear the Universe Egg from Evil and Darkness which are trying to convert Cosmos harmony into an infinite Chaos.
The compositions on the right wall of a narrow rock premise seemed to be beyond any interpretation. It was only after multiple examinations, photographing and copying in different periods of the day (at different angles of the Sun light) that the scientists managed to decode a drawing - a variety of fantastical symbols - cut out in the stone. Malicious, ugly monsters born by the Chaos are trying to destroy the Universe carefully established by the Creator and attack winged anthropoid-looking gods and animals. That is the way the ancient inhabitants of Siberia imagined the eternal antagonism between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness determining destinies of all the living and departed.
The stone sanctuary in Western Siberia resembling a giant opened book in its form is a virtual collection of knowledge on the origin and structure of the Universe, and everlasting struggle for power over the world. Each image cut in the stone comprises a great volume of information on the mythology and achievements of people living here about 3,000 years ago, i. e. development of proto-sciences: astronomy, cosmology, calendar science, natural philosophy. They had the same ideas about the nature as ancient scientists and Zoroastrian wise men, and became creators of the northern civilization which did not come short of the might of the southern civilizations in Eurasia.
V. Larichev, "He Set Foot on Stellar Surface", Nauka v Sibiri, No. 40, 2006
Prepared by Olga BAZANOVA
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