Creative power of the Flower of Life

Hittite sun discs

To get convinced of the Near East Bronze Age origin of the geometrical ideas of squares and equilateral triangles, we can take a look at the Pre-Hittite religious standards. Excavations started in the 1910s by a German archaeology team in Alacahöyük 1, central Turkey, and later continued by a Turkish team whose work was personally funded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, revealed objects known as the Hittite Sun.

The most famous Hittite sun disc standard
Picture 5.3.1: The most famous Hittite sun disc standard
Rarely presented Hittite sun disc standard
Picture 5.3.2: Rarely presented Hittite sun disc standard

These objects are visible in the Anatolian Civilization Museum, Ankara, Turkey. Eventually, the Hittite Sun symbol became the emblem of Ankara University itself.

Dating of the objects goes back to the Pre-Hittite civilization called Hattusa during the Early Bronze age, around 2500 BC. Again, there are no written texts telling the meaning of the discs. The earliest mentions of Hattis and their history comes from later Hittite sources in the second millennium BC. The most apparent motif in the Hittite Sun disc is a bull symbol that has symmetrical horns. This is imitated on many other related objects 2 found from the archaeological site. The disc as a symbol of the Sun looks like the most suitable association. Sometimes a half crescent disc above the head of the bull was also symbolizing the Moon.

But what interests us the most, is the geometrical formation inside the disc. The most famous Hittite sun disc standard seems to get its form from the square lattice model, which in turn can be found in the Cownose model as described below.

Hittite sun disc standard with a rectangular geometric design
Picture 5.3.3: Hittite sun disc standard with a rectangular geometric design
Apsamikkum (Cownose)
Picture 5.3.4: Apsamikkum (Cownose)
Equilateral rectangle lattice
Picture 5.3.5: Equilateral rectangle lattice

Other, although not so famous, Hittite sun disc contains a hexagonal grid, which can be found from the overlapping circles model, the Flower of Life, as presented below.

Hittite sun disc standard with a hexagonal geometric design
Picture 5.3.6: Hittite sun disc standard with a hexagonal geometric design
Flower of Life
Picture 5.3.7: Flower of Life
Equilateral triangle lattice
Picture 5.3.8: Equilateral triangle lattice

A nearly perfect round shape of the first disc indicates that the circular form was intentional. Maybe aging and rust have distorted the exact formation of the latter hexagonal disc, or the formation exceeded the skills of the Bronze Age blacksmith. In any case, I think it is notable that these two formations based on the square root of 2 and the square root of 3 geometry co-existed so early and also, in this case, the square root of 2 formation is far more common.

Of the several dozens of sun disc standards, I have found that only the above is following a hexagonal pattern. If the model that was used to form the latter disc was based on the overlapping circles, then it would be the earliest perfect FOL (class 3) available. Yet, the exact date of the FOL in Abydos still remains unconfirmed and could change this fact. If the overlapping circles model was used, indeed, it would mean that the FOL was known both in Indus valley and in Hattusa in the middle of the third millennium BC.

To get more textual data for investigation we need to move from the Bronze Age to the second and to the first millennium BC. My particular interest here is to examine some Semitic and Greek tales and mytho-religious accounts, which may relate to the FOL symbolism.

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2 thoughts on “Creative power of the Flower of Life”

  1. Dear Mr. Manninen,
    first of all good evening and my compliments for your excellent research about the Flower of Life.
    My name is Furio Morroni, I’m an Italian journalist and author and I have been living between Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Greece and Turkey for the last twenty five years serving as the Middle East Chief correspondent of ANSA, the national Italian News Agency. For the past three years, after my retirement, I have been working on a book on the interpretation of Christian symbols in Cyprus and I have so far identified around 120 of them, especially in the mosaics of the ancient Christian basilicas and the frescoes of the painted Byzantine churches on this island.
    In my book I wrote also about the so-called “Flower of Life”: as you know better than me, there are not so many of them also here in Cyprus. One that is interesting for my book is the one that I saw in a picture that you published in your work: the ivory whorl (Item 6, attached) dating between 1600-1100 BC that is in the Museum of Palaipaphos (Kouklia).
    The reason I’m writing to you is to ask your authorization to use your picture because the Archaeological Department of Cyprus doesn’t have the picture of this object and also because I’m quite sure I will not take a picture better than the one you have already done.
    I would be happy to have your picture published in my book in which already I named you as the researcher that did this very huge study titled “Artifacts of the Flower of Life” (2015). If you agree, of course the picture will be credited on your name together with the link to your very interesting and unique website. (https://floweroflifemystery.wordpress.com/)
    Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.
    My best regards,
    Furio Morroni

  2. Very interesting Furio, thank you for contacting!

    And I’m sorry for late reply, I didn’t really get a notice of your comment to my email, or I missed it. If still current, you can use my picture from Kouklia. It was a very exciting find all together, unexpected! Object was in the farmost corner and there was not even lights over there. I had to ask staff to turn lights on to get a good pictures. And actually that picture was taken after my first research study “Artifacts of the Flower of Life” (2015) so it belongs better to “Creative Power of the Flower of Life” (2016) research paper. But if you can cite them together and link to this site with my name, as you mentioned, and if you can still provide me a context where and how it is used, you are free to use it on your book. You can contact me with email: elonmedia (at) gmail.com

    All the best,
    -Marko

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