The celestial markings on Pillar 43 at Göbekli Tepe are indeed intriguing, but there is more: Those pesky purses decorating the top of the pillar.
In his book Magicians of the Gods, Graham Hancock points these out along with similar purses or containers from Mesopotamia and Mexico.
This one from Mexico is called the “Man in the Serpent”:
And these beings are Sumerian Apkallu:
In both examples look at the shape of the purses and at how they are held –are they too similar to be coincidence?
We don’t seem to know who the Man in the Serpent represents–at least I could not find anything in the web–but the three figures, the Apkallu, are the three forms (man, bird and fish) taken by the the Seven Sages who brought the civilizing arts to Sumer after the great flood. The most famous is Oannes, the fish-god on the right, who came from the sea each day to teach wisdom, writing, the arts and sciences. (The link above has more images of the Apkallu with their purses, or as the archeologists call them, “buckets.”)
The story of gods or demigods who brought civilizing skills to more primitive people (thus jump-starting more advanced civilizations) is a common one. We see it across the globe, most often associated with a flood or deluge that almost wiped out life on the planet. So I did a search. Most of the civilizing gods we know, Thoth who became Hermes, Osiris, Rama from India, Virachoca, and Kulkulkan both from South America, do not carry purses. But I found two others who did.
This is Quetzalcoatl from the Codex Rois:
And this is the early Mayan god, Itzamna:
So what’s with those pesky purses anyway?
I believe the key (pun intended) to understanding the meaning of the purses comes from the Book of Thoth which we know today as the Tarot. Now used primarily as a fortune telling devise, it’s original purpose was to encode ancient teachings in pictures and symbols. This is the “Fool” (Key 0) from the Rider-Waite deck:
According to esoteric tradition, what The Fool carries in his purse is memory, in this case cosmic or universal memory as he steps from Kether, the Beginning (or Crown), to Chokmah, which represents Wisdom, on his journey down the Qabalistic Tree of Life. If you are not familiar with the Qabalah, don’t spend a lot of time working that out–the point is the Fool is just beginning a long journey and he is taking the memory of his past with him. Much like the sages of old who brought civilizing skills to the hunter-gatherer peoples in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Americas, and other parts of the world.
So one way to see the purse is as the container for the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization. Trunks of manuscripts come to mind, and lost halls of records under pyramids, but also technology like the Ark of the Covenant, or even Arks that are boats carrying people away from lands sunken by the great deluge. They all contain the memory in one form or another.
And let us not forget the beings themselves for they, too, are containers of that knowledge. The seven sages of Mesopotamia, the seven sages on the Edfu texts, all the civilizing “gods” fit this description.
And in the case of Pillar 43, it is a container of knowledge. As is all of Göbekli Tepe. Designed, perhaps, by one of the original Apkulla, Göbekli Tepe preserves the ancient wisdom for a time when we have “eyes to see.”
And finally, as I was pounding away on the treadmill this morning, I had one other thought: The memory is also contained in what Jung termed the Collective Unconscious, and that, too, is a sort of purse or container of wisdom. One we have access to today.
So my search for these ancient purses continues–are there perhaps other clues out there? Please comment if you know of any.