Unity in the myths and religion of Egypt and the Kingdom of Van

There are amazing similarities in the religious motifs of Egypt and the Kingdom of Van (7th century BC). Their main images in iconography are identical. For example, Khaldi (the supreme sky god, armed with fire) of the Kingdom of Van, and Teisheba (the deity of thunder and war) were usually depicted standing on a lion and/or on a bull.

The symbol of Shivini was a winged disk. The similarity of ancient Armenian stone culture of vishapakars (5,000 BC), obelisks, and steles with Egyptian artifacts was noted by V. Bryusov.

He was the first to notice that absolutely the same fish-dragons, so-called “vishaps”, found on Aragats, in the Geghama mountains, and in the Van area, were carved by sculptors of ancient Egypt.

“An Armenian, seeing these creations of art from the distant south, born under the scorching sky of the Nile valley and on the fragrant shores of the Aegean Sea, will surely exclaim: “these are our vishaps!” Both Ramses the Great and Tigran the Great must have considered these fish-monsters to be the creation of their ancestors.

Next to the “vishaps” are often found original stone slabs with the image of an overturned and spread bull’s skin; similar slabs are found in the art of Egypt of the 3rd millennium BC, the era of Nar-mer-Ra. The so-called “tombs of giants” on Aragats in many ways remind of Aegean tombs” (V. Bryusov, 1917).

A number of similar worldviews, mythological motifs of Egypt and the Kingdom of Van, are widely represented in material culture objects. These include images of the tree of life, the snake, griffins, the winged disk, winged lions and bulls, and also sphinxes.

According to V. Bryusov, “if no genuine sphinxes have been discovered in the Caucasus, in ancient Armenia, it may be a simple coincidence, as sphinx-like images are quite common at the bases of columns in Hittite art, which is very close to the art of the ancient Caucasus”.

Together with the pagan gods, the Armenian people inherited their amazing mythology from the Japhetic family, which, unfortunately, has reached us only in scattered fragments, such as a cosmic character fragment dedicated to “vishaps”, and, alas, only mentioned in a few lines by Khorenatsi.

It’s just a fairy tale, a legend, isn’t it? But these vishaps and their descendants from folk tales, condemned by the Armenian historian, receive a completely different assessment in the twentieth century ever since “vishaps” were discovered in the Geghama Mountains. V. Bryusov was not familiar with the monuments of the Erebuni fortress (Yerevan) of the Kingdom of Van period: sphinxes and other artifacts, which are very close to the art of the Egyptians and Hittites (Table 1).

The similarity of the monuments of the Kingdom of Van period, Hittite, and especially Egyptian and Assyrian, allows us to localize the source and origin of the corresponding mythological, religious, and artistic motifs, which were transformed taking into account local traditions and features. The similarity of Assyrian cults with the cults of the Kingdom of Van, moreover, about the probable similarity of rituals, was also noted by Piotrovsky B. (1959).

The crown of King Scorpion on the seal from Urfa testifies to the royal grandeur of the hero. The star on it is six-pointed (Fig. 1a), on the Egyptian artifact – seven-pointed (Fig. 1b). The seal has ideographic entries, they are absent on the mace. The first monument has an image of a snake, the second does not.

The Urfa artifact preserves the memory of King Scorpion’s victory over the Egyptians and the unification of two lands, while the Egyptian artifact describes the opening ceremony of the irrigation system.

The plow in the hands of King Scorpion symbolizes the completion of construction. Beside King Scorpion on the Narmer Palette stands a falcon (a symbol of the sun). The heads of the bulls probably symbolize fragments of the old Egyptian belief (Fig. 2) or are a legacy of the image of a bull’s head – vishap (dragon) from the Armenian vishapakar monuments and their Egyptian counterparts (Fig. 12 and Fig. 14.1,3 Table 1).

On the reverse side of the palette are depicted the long necks of two animals intertwined. They form an inner circle, reflecting the idea of the sun and snakes trying to “swallow” the luminary (Fig. 2).

Clay tablets with drawings found in Nekhen in the tomb of King Scorpion, according to Egyptologists, should be considered as the earliest signs of pictorial writing, earlier than Sumerian signs.

The motifs of these early Egyptian written signs are reminiscent of the motifs of Armenian rock drawings (VII-IV millennia BC). They have the same style of execution, the compositions depict the same animals – scorpions (Fig. 1.1, Table 1), birds, snakes, swallowing the sun.

This conclusion is well in line with the earlier conclusion about Armenian rock drawings as the main factor and source of origin of Armenian, Egyptian, Hittite, and Indian ideograms and hieroglyphs (Vahanyan G., Stepanyan A., Bleyan V., Kocharyan L., Vahanyan V., 2003).

Thus, the idea that King Scorpion (3200-3100 BC) is a transformed Egyptian version of the image of a hero from Armenian rock drawings, which is also described in the image of Mger in the folk epic “Sasuntsi David”, receives documentary confirmation.

An excerpt from the book by V. Vahanyan: “Unique rock images of natural disasters (Artifacts of the Egyptian King Scorpion again lead to ancient Armenia)

Table 1

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