The paintings in the strange stone carvings, which were probably made about 3,200 years ago, include details of an “underworld” sitting beneath the earth.
Relief with the twelve gods of the underworld at Yazılıkaya Rock Temple / (photo credit: KLAUS-PETER SIMON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Archaeological excavations at the Yazılıkaya Rock Temple in Turkey, which began almost 200 years ago, revealed an ancient calendar and a map of the cosmos that present interesting evidence.
The paintings in the strange stone carvings, which were probably made about 3,200 years ago, include details of an “underworld” sitting beneath the earth. Watch an explanation from Luwian Studies University that researched the subject:
In the temple, discovered by French archaeologist and historian Charles Texier as early as 1834, limestone carvings depicting more than 90 different figures, including animals, monsters and gods, have been found.
It took almost 200 years to decipher the paintings, but researchers have determined that the representations are of a cosmos that includes the Earth, the sky and the “underworld” that show the vitality of the creation myth.
On one wall there are drawings of the goddess of the sun and the goddess of the storm, where one can see that gods were placed in the painting higher than the other figures. In contrast, on the eastern and western walls of the temple one can see the lesser people, the phases of the moon and the seasons, signifying “cycles and rebirth,” according to the researchers.
According to estimates, scholars estimate that in those days there were about 17 deities, each with a line marking between the gods. Also, in one of the rooms of the temple was a painting dedicated to the “underworld,” with testimonies of the god of the sword.
“We believe the temple fully represents a symbolic image of the universe, including its static levels – earth, sky and underworld, as well as the cyclical processes of renewal – day and night or summer and winter,” one researcher explained in an interview in an article published in the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology.