Monday, 15 January 2018


Indian archaeologists have discovered a very interesting drawing etched into the wall of an ancient dwelling place in Kashmir Burzahom archaeological site. 

Rock art is difficult to date with precision, but Vahia had a solid starting point. The rock was buried in a wall (though hidden from view of residents) of a house that had already been dated to around 2100 BC. This suggests that its importance had been lost to the people by then and the stone had been reused for another structure.

The oldest known settlement in the region was founded around 4100 BC. So the rock art is likely to have been made sometime between those two millennia—then inadvertently used to construct a new dwelling.

The drawing shows what at first glance appears to be hunters and animals beneath a sky with not one but two bright sun-like objects. Because the sun and the full moon never appear that close together in the sky,  Indian astrophysicist Mayank Vahia and his team at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research have introduced a theory that the picture does not represent two suns, but instead a moon and a supernova, a star exploding some hundreds or thousands of light years away.

Based on data collected by astronomers, Vahia was able pinpoint one supernova from the time period, that matched the period during which the mysterious drawing was made. This is supernova HB9 which exploded around 3,600 BC. The supernova would have been large and bright enough to have been seen from earth and would have been comparable in brightness to the moon.

Interestingly, the mysterious drawing seems to not only depict the moon and the supernova, but also the surrounding stars. The other figures aren’t part of a hunting scene, but instead represent the nearby constellations. This makes the whole painting, in effect, likely one of the earliest star charts.

“The whole hunting scene along with the Moon and the Supernova fits quite well into the pattern of stars in the sky,” wrote Vahia in a paper for the Indian Journal of History of Science. “The image of one of the hunters coincides with the Orion; the central stag is same as the Taurus. The hunter on the right may have been formed from stars of Cetus and other animal on the right may be Andromeda and Pegasus. The long, curved line in the carving, traditionally interpreted as spear, may well be an arc of bright stars.”

Well this is quite interesting. If this theory is correct, the rock art would also be the world’s oldest-known sky chat recording a particular event (a super nova explosion). It could, of course, be a coincidence.

One thing that I don't understand is it's hard to see why the ancients might have depicted the Moon in this self-evidently solar manner??? So I would say that the above drawing probably depicts two suns: our sun and another shining sun like object, like a very bright supernova, which would have turned the night into a day and was also visible during the day. We know that there are supernovae which can be so bright that they can be be seen during the day. Some of these ultra bright supernovae exploded in historical times and we have the records of them. For instance, supernova SN 1054 was was one such supernova. It was widely observed throughout the world, with Arab, Chinese, and Japanese astronomers recording the star's appearance in 1054 CE. There are also a lot of documents from Europe which are by some believed to be the records of the sighting of this supernova. It may also have been recorded by the Anasazi as a petroglyph. This explosion appeared in the constellation of Taurus, where it produced the Crab Nebula remnant. At its peak, the luminosity of SN 1054 may have been four times as bright as Venus, and it remained visible in daylight for 23 days and was visible in the night sky for 653 days.

So is it possible that what the artist in Burzahom wanted to depict is "two suns", one being our normal sun and the other being the supernova? Well I believe so. 

There is just one problem. Working with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Vahia has studied many more pieces of rock art from the region, but couldn’t find any other sky charts. Though the rock art analyzed here fits quite well with what the sky might have looked like back then, it could also be just a big coincidence. To prove it’s not, Vahia would need a second example. If the people in the region drew a star chart once, they must have drawn it many more times for other kinds of celestial events (such as comets passing or meteor showers).

That is why, on its own, Vahia’s rock painting isn’t enough to definitively prove itself to be the oldest human-made star chart and supernova record. 

Well, there might not have be any more "two suns" drawings found in Kashmir, but there are a lot of almost identical "two suns" drawings found in Europe. And they also feature Orion and a deer!!!

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the Burzahom drawing was Los Millares, more precisely the bowls from Los Millares with the two sun like objects which look very very much like the two sun eyes:

I wrote about the Los Millares artefacts in my post "Bowls from Los Millares". Interestingly, the bowls from Los Millares, apart from having the depictions of two suns, also have depiction of deer rut and constellation Orion...

Even more interestingly, Los Millares site was occupied between around 3200 BC and 1800 BC, which overlaps with the period when the Burzahom site in Kashmir was occupied. 

Now here is something interesting. 

In Sanskrit mṛgaśiraṣa, the 5th nakṣatra or lunar mansion as used in Hindu astronomy and astrology is the constellation Orion. Symbol is Antelope or Deer.  The term Mṛgaśira (मृगशिर) a composite of two Sanskrit words, mṛga (मृग) meaning deer/animal/beast and śira (शिर) meaning head or precisely, the top of the head.The Rigveda, the earliest known text written in Sanskrit refers to the Orion Constellation as Mriga (The Deer). 

Sanskrit is a member of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Its closest ancient relatives are the Iranian languages Avestan and Old Persian.

In order to explain the common features shared by Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages, the Indo-Aryan migration theory states that the original speakers of what became Sanskrit arrived in the Indian subcontinent from the north-west some time during the early second millennium BCE. Evidence for such a theory includes the close relationship between the Indo-Iranian tongues and the Baltic and Slavic languages

And right there, in the "north-west" we find the Burzahom archaeological site and the stone with two suns and Orion hunting deer...

I ended my post about the Los Millares bowls with the question: Did the same people make Los Millares bowls and write Rigveda? Or did two different people, one in Europe and one in North India, who both lived at the time when Orion marked the period of the deer rut, independently marked this in their own way: the Los Millares people by drawing Orion constellation as part of the deer rutting scene, and the creators of Rigveda by naming Orion Mriga - Deer? 

In my post about Los Millares bowls I proposed that the two suns were used to depict the link between the sun's light and the sight. But what if the reason why both Los Millares and Burzahom people drew two suns was less poetic and more prosaic: They depicted two suns in the sky because they saw two suns in the sky, our normal sun and something else that looked like a sun, like supernova. 

Well there is a problem with this prosaic explanation. HB9 supernova exploded around 3,600 BC. This is way too early for Los Millares.

Los Millares site was occupied between around 3200 BC and 1800 BC. So the second sun depicted on their ware can't be HB9. So what is it? Is the poetic explanation the only possible explanation for Los Millares two suns? And if so, it is entirely possible that the same symbolism was used in Burzahom and the two suns depicted on the deer hunting scene represent the sun god who sees all and who also allows us to see...


This is the Victory Stele of Naram-Sin currently kept in Louvre museum.

The stele dates to approximately 2254-2218 BC, in the time of the Akkadian Empire. The relief measures six feet in height and was carved in pink limestone. The official explanation for the scene says that it depicts the King Naram-Sin of Akkad leading the Akkadian army to victory over the mountain people, the Lullubi. 

The Wikipedia page about this artefact says that the stele is unique in two regards: 

1. Most conquest depictions are shown horizontally, with the King being at the top-center. This stele depicts the victory in a diagonal fashion with the King still being at the top-center but where everyone else can look up to him. 
2. King Naram-Sin is shown wearing a bull-horned helmet or shown as the face of lion. Helmets of this type at the time when this stele was commissioned were only worn by the Gods. This stele is in essence telling the viewer that Naram-Sin is a victorious conqueror as a result of his divine status. 

What the Wikipedia page about this artefact does not find unique or strange is the fact that at the top of the stele there is a depiction of two suns!!! The Wikipedia page interprets these two suns as "two stars" and says:

But it (the stele) also shows Naram-Sin gazing up toward two stars. Showing that although Naram-Sin is a god, a feat that was up to this point only achieved by deceased kings, he is still not the most powerful of gods.

However the page dedicated to the Victory Stele from Louvre - Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Mesopotamia, says this about the two suns:

...the conqueror's gaze is directed toward the top of the mountain.  Above Naram-Sin, solar disks seem to radiate their divine protection toward him, while he rises to meet them.  

So solar discs??? Two solar discs??? Two suns???

And no one finds this funny or strange? 

Well this is very very interesting. Were Akkadians poetic or prosaic? Did they use the same symbolic depiction of two "sun eyes" to depict the the link between the sun light and sight or did they depict what they saw in the sky: two suns?

What is amazing about the Victory stele is that it can be dated, more or less precisely to the period 2254-2218 BC

This dating actually fits rather well with the dating for the Burzahom dwelling whose wall contained the drawing of the two suns (2100 BC). It is possible that the Burzahom carving was also done during the period 2254-2218 BC. If the bow-carrying hunter from the Burzahom drawing is interpreted as Orion, then the bow carrying Naram-Sin can also be interpreted as Orion. Both figures are orientated in relation to the two suns in a very similar way. Is this a coincidence? 

And on top of this, the period 2254-2218 BC falls right in the middle of the period during which the Los Millares site was occupied (3100-1800 BC). 

But here is the problem. There are no recorded super bright supernova explosions during the period 2254-2218 BC. So if these two suns are not a poetic representation of the link between the sun's light and sight, but instead a prosaic depiction of the actual two suns shining in the sky during the period 2254-2218 BC, what is this second sun? And is this mysterious second sun in any way linked to the sudden collapse of Bronze Age civilizations from around the world which happened around 2200 BC and which has lately been linked to a sudden catastrophic climate change? 


  1. Interesting speculations all around.. what indeed

  2. Aside from your ideas, I thought that if I wanted to carve an event lasting 'a few hours', I'd show 2 suns, one positioned before (in morning-east), one position afterwards (afternoon-west).

  3. If the supernova theory is right, the place to look for it is pretty clear.

    What about the dual sun sunrise seen in Siberia that you talked about previously as an optical illusion?

    Couldn't the two suns have been a historical legacy whose details became a part of the oral tradition that is now attributed to modern events in much the way that people who see rainbows today after a disaster often reference the story of Noah?

  4. Very clever. But in none of the pictures are the stars far apart enough to represent that

  5. I would interpret these drawings as eye-witness records of a comet close to earth.
    Impacts or encounters with debris trails have been suggested as the cause of environmental and cultural downturns or catastrophes in the recent past, and are clearly described in many legends, myths and writings, where they are sometimes described as being "as bright as the sun". They would also appear to have been a cause for migrations and collapse of dynasties.