13 November 2009

III 31

Now for more info on these new "characters":

When Maurice Dunand excavated Byblos, he was astonished to find, among the Eneolithic (end of third millenium BC) artefacts, a representation of a winged griffin, or shirdal to use the Persian name. He describes it in Byblia Grammata: "It is quite surprising to find the winged griffin, this monster that will only appear much later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, showing up in the eneolithic iconography of Byblos. Our reproduction has been studied and checked very carefully in all its details and leaves no doubt." I don't know if archaeology has since then revealed even older griffin representations in other parts of the world, but what caught my interest here is that this is another mythological creature that has been part of our own history for very long, and naturally forgotten. For my own depiction of them, I derived their design from the (Persian) Aechemenid shirdal sculptures in Persepolis, mostly because I'm smitten by their sense of form :)
For those of you who want to know more, a more detailed, and illustrated article on ancient griffins will soon join the one on the Jinn on the website.


Vesa said...

Hm. Serpent motif is usually connected to the Earth (and often to female element) in pre-Christian mythologies. And some of the current New Age beliefs. But I take it you'd rather use the ancient versions...

Joumana said...

The serpent in this case is based on a dream of mine so it's not directly linked to any given symbolism, but I'm not at all displeased with its ancient connotations. I'll pass on the New Age stuff though... lol.