Flower of Life Mosaic in Ephesus

Artifacts of the Flower of Life


I think it is far too early to do any firm specific conclusions of the FOL symbol. Dating of the symbol is hard as it is usual when trying to trace ancient inventions. Often we can talk only in accuracy of thousands years, rather than hundreds. But it is clear that history of the FOL goes further than many expects. It makes sense that six-petal rosette came first preceding rhombus, triangle and zig-zag patterns which themselves goes to the neolithic periods and beyond. But how long it took to develop from six rayed rosettes to the continuous flower pattern? We do need classifications to group different types of the pattern, to distinguish the development of the symbol from simple parts to the complex form.

Other interesting questions are the development of the drafting compass (or its simple fixed variation called divider or caliper), accuracy and skills of using tools that were required to construct the pattern. Quite often it is believed that Egyptians didn’t possess the compass, that they were mere rope stretchers (common example: L.R. Shelby: Medieval Masons’ Tools, page 237). In contrast to this we can see oldest objects in the current survey coming from Egypt indeed! Anyone can make own conclusions if those lid carvings [item 2] were made with a help of a rope or more accurate fixed or adjustable compass with sharp and durable endpoints. Museum object descriptions are pro to a compass. However following this line to get more information about the FOL is kind of a dead end because history of the compass in behalf of artifacts can be traced to the around 600 BC only. Are we thus forced to follow a more intuitive path and face the old Greek myth of Perdix, who was assumed to invent a pair of compasses and a saw? Legend tells that a zig-zag figured saw was made from the spine of a fish.

As it is with dating, it is with locating. Where did sophisticated sense of the geometric forms develop to such a degree that the FOL was in ability of human mind ready to be created? We shouldn’t forget that for example design of the Samarra period dishes are truly amazing while they go as far as 7500 years back to the history. See these plates for example (© Journal of Near Eastern Studies):

What was the meaning of the FOL then? It is unlikely that the name and the meaning was carried out from millenium to millenium and through different cultures unchanged and same. Sometimes symbol was probably used as an interesting decoration and ornament, pleasing and exciting on the eye of an artisan, maybe without any specific name. Sometimes it appears clearly on a religious context. Later, when I’m struggling more with the mathematical and geometrical properties of the FOL, I will present possible meanings and names attached to the symbol.

4 thoughts on “Artifacts of the Flower of Life”

  1. Reblogged this on Twin Flames and commented:
    The Flower of Life is the pattern of all life, a 2d representation of deep spiritual truths that transcend dimensions. Within it are contained the secrets to awareness, free energy, awakening, procreation, and creativity.

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