Friday, April 20th 2018

How swastika from ancient Georgia taught me something about Ukraine

Swastika is an equilateral cross with four arms bent at right angles. This sigh is usually associated with World War 2 and the Nazi regime in Germany. At least in Europe and the North America.

I knew that this sign is widely used in India and Eastern cultures and symbolizes sun. I was quite surprised to see swastika on ancient Colchis jewerlery in the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi. These golden tubes bearing swastikas were used for decorating hair and date back to 1-4AD.

swastika 4-1BC georgia

I decided to read more on this subject on Wikipedia:

The swastika is recognized as a Hindu symbol in most parts of the world. In Hinduism, the swastika is at times in certain sects considered a symbolic representation of Ganesha. In Hindu rites, Ganesha is offered first offerings in every pooja. The swastika is made with Sindoor during Hindu religious rites.

In Bronze Age Europe, the “Sun cross” (a three- or four-armed hooked cross in a circle) appears frequently, often interpreted as a solar symbol. Swastika shapes have been found on numerous artifacts from Iron Age Europe (Greco-Roman, Illyrian, EtruscanBalticCelticGermanicSlavic and Georgian Borjgali). This prehistoric use seems to be reflected in the appearance of the symbol in various folk cultures of Europe.

And I was amazed to learn that:

– The earliest swastika known has been found from MezineUkraine. It is carved on late paleolithic figurine of mammoth ivory, being dated as early as about 10,000 BC. It has been suggested this swastika is a stylized picture of a stork in flight.

In Ukraine? Are you kidding me? – I was not expecting to learn something so unexpected about my own country visiting a museum in Georgia.

Mezine is a place in the Ukraine having the most artifacts from the Paleolithic culture. The epigravettian site is located on a bank of the Desna river. The settlement is best known for an archaeological small find of a set of bracelets, engraved with marks considered as being possibly calendar lunar-cycles.Near to Mezine was found the earliest known example of a swastika-like form, as part of a decorative object, found on an artifact dated to 10,000 BC.

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4 Comments on “How swastika from ancient Georgia taught me something about Ukraine”

  1. The symbol was also used by Native American tribes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Native_American_traditions It’s a pity that this ancient symbol has become so stigmatized. Amusingly, my mother once got in trouble in kindergarten for drawing one… nice picture of the basketball team at the above link… Sthg tells me that not long after, they had to redesign their uniforms.

    1. Yes, i knew it was ancient but that so ancient came as a surprise to me. After Nazis you cannot really use it much unfortunately.

  2. […] In Bronze Age Europe, the “Sun cross” (a three- or four-armed hooked cross in a circle) appears frequently, often interpreted as a solar symbol. Swastika shapes have been found on numerous artifacts from Iron Age Europe (Greco-Roman, Illyrian, Etruscan, Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and Georgian Borjgali). This prehistoric use seems to be reflected in the appearance of the symbol in various folk cultures of Europe. http://www.travelphotoreport.com/2012/09/12/swastika-ancient-georgia-taught-me-ukraine/ […]

  3. […] In Bronze Age Europe, the “Sun cross” (a three- or four-armed hooked cross in a circle) appears frequently, often interpreted as a solar symbol. Swastika shapes have been found on numerous artifacts from Iron Age Europe (Greco-Roman, Illyrian, Etruscan, Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and Georgian Borjgali). This prehistoric use seems to be reflected in the appearance of the symbol in various folk cultures of Europe.  http://www.travelphotoreport.com/2012/09/12/swastika-ancient-georgia-taught-me-ukraine/ […]

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