A pottery fragment with the image of a swastika, dating to 7,000 years ago, and an ancient female adornment with a phallus are among the artifacts shown for the first time as part of the on-going exhibition “Gods, Symbols and Ancient Signs” in the museum in Vratsa in north-western Bulgaria.
The swastika-decorated clay pottery fragment was found by archaeologists during excavations of a ritual pit around the village of Altimir near the town of Vratsa.
The ancient find dates back to before the Copper Age and was used prominently by many civilizations for many millennia. This find adds to the notion that this symbol traverses the globe as well as the centuries and cannot be linked solely to Hitler’s party, archaeologists explained.
If you want to see just how deeply rooted the swastika pattern is in Europe, a good place to start is Kiev where the National Museum of the History of Ukraine has a small ivory figurine of a female bird. Made from the tusk of a mammoth, it was found in 1908 at the Paleolithic settlement of Mezin near the Russian border. On the torso of the bird is engraved an intricate pattern of joined up swastikas. It’s the oldest identified swastika pattern in the world and has been radio carbon-dated to an astonishing 15,000 years ago.
The Aztec and the ancient Mayan civilizations used the powerful symbol on burial mounds, clothing, and jewelry.
In Europe, such symbols can be found in Roman catacombs, in churches, on plaza stones, and graves. Although it was commonly used all over much of the world without stigma and still occurs widely in religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, the swastika has become stigmatized in the Western world, because of its iconic usage in Nazi Germany.
Hiroshi Ōshima, the former Japanese Ambassador to Germany during the NAZI political era, believed that the noble castes in Japan, the Daimyo and the Samurai, were descended from gods of celestial origin, which was similar to Himmler’s own belief that “the Nordic race did not evolve, but came directly down from heaven to settle on the Atlantic continent.”
A swastika (卐) crossed by two arrows, within a shield and surmounted by a royal crown on an orange background was used as the coat of arms of the Samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga in the early 17th century.
The swastika symbol is a very commonly displayed and can also be seen, turning in either direction, on ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, often minted on the world’s oldest known coins.
The Anasazi people built dwellings in caves and recesses in canyon walls throughout the southwest United States from 1500 B.C. to 1350 A.D. They left many red-haired Caucasoid mummies with swastika artifacts, and even have a site called “Mummy Cave”, however any further study on their remains is prohibited.
Anasazi is a Navajo word that means “ancient stranger”, “enemy ancestor”, or “ancient enemy.” The Navajo Indians began occupying the area in the early 1700s, and also prominently used the Swastika.
In 1940, four tribes of Arizona Indians, the Navajos, Papagos, Apaches, and Hopis, banned the use of their ancient traditional swastika symbol from all designs in their basket weaving and blanket making.
Carved out of volcanic rock in eastern Africa, these are the famous cross-shaped churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia. According to Ethiopian legend, they were built by angels, and are filled with swastika symbols.
In the middle east there are examples such as the Golden Rhyton and a beautiful gold necklace of Swastikas found in Northern Iran, dating back 3,000 years to the first millennium B.C.
The site of Samarra lies about 60 miles north of modern Bhagdad. On the left below is a dish with four (4) women composing a Swastika, Samarra period (fifth millennium B.C.) The Iraqi Museum – Baghdad. On the right below is The Samarra bowl (5000 BC), at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin.
The snake diety of the Maya was Kukulkan (“Plumed Serpent”, “Feathered Serpent”), also known as Quetzalcoatl to the Aztec.
In Peru this ancient blue eyed bearded sun-god was called Amaru and the territory known as Amaruca.
Amaruca is literally translated “Land of the Serpents”. Some anthropologists have sided with locals and claimed that the name of America was derived from Amaruca, instead of after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
This theory may sound controversial or unlikely to some, but what is irrefutable is that their civilization widely used, and held reverence for, the swastika symbol; the same symbol found spread out all over the world since the dawn of time… but by whom?
The Swastika (also known as the gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, or wanzi) (as a character: 卐 or 卍) is a symbol that generally takes the form of an equilateral cross, with its four legs bent at 90 degrees. It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
It has been used as a decorative element in various cultures since at least the Neolithic, and is found on a man’s tunic depicted in a Roman mosaic at the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily. It also appears on a mosaic floor at the Lullingstone Roman Villa in Kent, England. It is known most widely as an important symbol long used in Indian religions, denoting “auspiciousness.” It was adopted as such in pre-World War I-Europe and later, and most notably, by the Nazi Party and Nazi Germany prior to World War II. In many Western countries, the swastika has been highly stigmatized because of its use in and association with Nazism. It continues to be commonly used as a religious symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Western literature’s older term for the symbol, gammadion cross, derives mainly from its appearance, which is identical to four Greek gamma letters affixed to each other. The name swastika comes from the Sanskrit word svastika (Devanagari: स्वस्तिक), meaning “lucky or auspicious object”.