Skip to comments.Archaeology: Serpent Mound might depict a creation story
Posted on 02/15/2018 10:19:11 PM PST by SunkenCiv
A new interpretation of Serpent Mound, based on American Indian mythic stories portrayed in a remarkable series of pictographs from Picture Cave in Missouri, is offered by James Duncan, Carol Diaz-Granados, Tod Frolking and me in a paper published online last month in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal. We argue that images of serpents and other supernatural beings on the walls of Picture Cave help us make sense of those parts of Serpent Mound that weren't restored.
One group of pictographs shows a serpent facing a humanoid female with her legs spread apart next to a large oval that might be the symbolic toothy mouth of the Great Serpent lord of the Beneath World. Duncan and Diaz-Granados think this panel illustrates part of a Dhegiha Siouan creation story: the moment when First Woman mated with the Great Serpent in order to acquire his life-giving powers, which she then used to create all life on Earth.
Duncan, Diaz-Granados, Frolking and I believe that Serpent Mound incorporates these same elements: the Great Serpent, his oval toothy mouth, and First Woman (the wishbone-shaped mound). If were right, this iconic monument represents that key moment in Dhegihan and possibly other tribes creation stories.
Another image of the Great Serpent at Picture Cave shows two blocky projections along the side of his head. Duncan, Diaz-Granados and their colleagues interpret these as earspools. Similar projections on the side of Serpent Mounds head, which Putnam also chose not to restore, might therefore represent the earspools of the Great Serpent. This Picture Cave pictograph has been radiocarbon dated to A.D. 1000, which is very close to the date of A.D. 1030 obtained for Serpent Mound.
(Excerpt) Read more at dispatch.com ...
there are some (I believe a relatively small number) of Christians who read Genesis as implying that the first female mated with the snake (serpent in some translations), out of which event Cain was conceived (with Abel still conceived by the mating with Adam)
I’m not pushing this interpretation, I believe it to be in error. Its just interesting how it appears to parallel the account in this article...?
If you are ever near the backwaters of Adams County, Ohio, Serpent Mound is well worth a side trip. Same for the Mound City park just north of Chillicothe.
I tend to believe in that theory. When I first read about it many things started to make sense. The apple story imo seemed too simplistic once I got past childhood.
Nice parallels to Eve & the Serpent/Satan.
well. ... first off, it wasn’t an apple. all we probably know is that it was a fruit...and there’s been some thinking it may have been a pomogranite
but anyway, it is NOT specified as an apple. that idea was grafted on later.
as were several other commonly-supposed elements of the story, like....the original sin doctrine, for starters.
but anyways, there’s been a very wide room for speculation, for differing theories..... its fascinating
I wonder where the Christians would get that interpretation. Maybe it’s their way to account for evil in man. The snake can be symbolic of a penis and maybe that plays into their interpretation.
Malus, the Latin word for apple, and for evil. The pun was just too good to pass up...
Yes it is indeed true that most Christian churches teach the original sin doctrine , while that is not specified in the Genesis Eden account itself ( to which it is usually attributed). Thus, those churches teach that man is born sinful and, further, is helpless to improve his behavior to reduce evil in the world. It is also correct that received Judaism does not teach the original sin doctrine ( preferring to account for evil as a consequence of bad decisions people make with their free will, decisions we can learn to improve, free will means we can choose life - we can do good this avoiding or at least reducing evil in fhe world). So, there is a major difference - indeed I trace all the doctrinal differences to this one difference of opinion in the nature of man. - ( a longer essay, smile smile). We should, for completeness, note that the original sin doctrine was not invented by Augustine as is oft claimed. It traces back at least to 4 Ezra, a first century Jewish book, and Paul can also be read to contain at least seeds of the o s view. Most Jews probably wouldnt want to take credit or rather blame for the o sin doctrine, at least in how it has come to be developed in Christian theology (!) as a condemnation of man ( including babies said to be born condemned to Hell, another Christian doctrine not generally found in received Judaism). and how the o s doctrine appears to relieve man from any responsibility for his behavior since he supposedly cant improve it anyway effective neutering of all human moral responsibility but the original seeds of the received Christian original sin doctrine, like almost everything in Christianity, derived from Jewish sources. (( thus, there was logic for the church to keep such writings as 4 Ezra while Judaism discarded them as theologically erroneous or misleading).
Or it is a prehistoric Sex Ed and VD prevention Class.
Most if not all native american tribes have the flood story.
Southwest tribes (and probably more) have some version of the “white painted lady”, who, when mankind was being threatened by a great serpent, gave birth to a son who crushed the head of the serpent with a rock.
Both those seem to be echoes of what is in Genesis, passed down orally through many generations (and implying a common human descent).
Different word - think bow (front of a ship), bow (tied ribbon), and bow (bend from the waist).
I’m very familiar with the mound and visit there frequently and drive by weekly. I’m afraid that the researchers might be imposing a western theological interpretation upon an analysis.
We get all kinds of wingnuts visiting the mound...solstices, drummings, spirit callings, covens, you name it.
No reason to think educated people also aren’t prone to hyperventilation, too.
Been there, done that
Meanwhile...... to the west, Cahokia beckons
It was the insiration for Zero's official portrait with the semen on the face.
You do what a pun is, right?
? The article is about an interpretation via Dhegiha Siouan myth.
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