Double disc & Z-rod

Meigle Pictish symbol stone

Reverse of Pictish cross-slab at Meigle (from ECMS 1903).

This is the Pictish symbol known as the double disc & Z-rod as it appears on the back of a cross-slab from Meigle in Perthshire. The stone in question is usually listed in guidebooks as Meigle 7.

What does this strange symbol mean? Here are three theories that have tried to find the answer….

Cummins (1999): ‘It is possible that it represents a sudden loud noise produced by the banging together of two discs: the clashing of cymbals. It is also possible that it represents a flash of lightning between two thunderclouds.’

Jones (1998): ‘Perhaps it represents the two worlds: the here-and-now and the otherworld; life and death.’

Sutherland (1997): ‘Often associated with the Druidic duality of the sun which lights this world by day and the Otherworld by night. The sun’s two faces, benign in summer, malevolent in winter.’

These are just three theories among many. Some no doubt have more merit than others. My own view is the one I voiced in an earlier blog post on another symbol, the crescent & V-rod (title: ‘Brude’s symbol’). I lean tentatively towards the idea that most of these abstract, enigmatic designs represent personal names.

References

W.A. Cummins, The Picts and their symbols (Stroud, 1999), p.25.
Duncan Jones, A wee guide to the Picts (Edinburgh, 1998), p.21
Elizabeth Sutherland, A guide to the Pictish stones (Edinburgh 1997), p.17.

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36 comments on “Double disc & Z-rod

  1. Michelle says:

    I’ve read that the Z rod represents a broken arrow. If you look at the actual pictures you’ll see that one end is feathered and the other end pointed. This one is a little unusal if it is drawn correctly. The double discs look to me like some type of shield, either one shield with a top and bottom round protection or two shields. I’ve thought that it looks like a corn stalk on the feathered end. Duality of the kings role in fertility of land vs. war … depending on which end of the Z rod is up.

  2. eric bonds says:

    Regarding the “Double Disk Z-Rod” symbol:

    Ancient people, including the Picts, Celts, & the Germanic tribes had a very good grasp of the Solstices and Equinox phenomenon, as evidenced by Stonehenge, New Grange, The Sky Disk of Nebra, just to name a few.
    That is why I don’t like the esoteric explinations for this symbol.
    There is a more practical, reality based explination for the symbol that makes more sense to us today, and would have been sacred to the ancient tribes as arcane knowelge, that we would recognize merely as an early form of science.

    Simply put, the “Disks” of the Symbol represent the Winter and Summer Solstices, and are connected as one and the same entity just in different places at different times of the year.
    The “Z-rod” represents the Fall and Spring Equinoxes, with the plant symbol on the Spring side being “leafed out” and “blooming” with a flower on the top. (The Flower is surely a symbol for Spring if there ever were one.) On the other side of the “Z-rod”, the plant symbol has “lost” it’s leaves, and all that remains of the flower is it’s Sepal husk. (lost leaves and a Sepal husk, seem to draw a vivid image of the Fall season.) The “Z-rod” (Spring/Fall Plant symbol) represents the Spring and Fall Equinox and it is entwined between the “Disks” (Winter/Summer Solstice Sun Disks)

    The “Two Disks and Z-rod” symbol is a SUN SYMBOL, demonstrating the cyle of the Sun, as seen from the persepective people on the Earth.

    No, it is not an esoteric explination, it’s just a practical and useful one, that gives credit to the scientific knowledge of tribal people, which is backed up by their many Solstice oriented sites and artifacts.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Eric. Seems a reasonable explanation to me, and on a similar track to the winter sun/summer sun theory proposed by Elizabeth Sutherland (as quoted above). The solstices and equinoxes were clearly of prime importance to the Picts, and to other ancient peoples. It seems to me that we modern folk have regressed, rather than advanced, in consigning this lore to a kind of New Age hippy fringe.

  3. The double disc would represent two mill stones, the Z rod would be the corn passing between them. In this example the corn would be the tails attached to the lower part of the Z rod with the milled corn appearing to be making a heap at the top end. The imagery on Z rods varies, some ends look like sacks or containers, others like plants and heads of corn, all are in an abstract form.

    • Tim says:

      An interesting theory, George. This kind of agricultural imagery seems to work. The only problem I can see is the date when millstones first appeared in the British Isles. I recall reading that the earliest ones didn’t appear until after c.650, which may be later than the earliest doubledisc symbols. One way around this might be to see the discs as quernstones rather than millstones.

      • Who ever owned a mill would have been high status, the wealth brought from growing and grinding corn could have meant the double disc and Z rod was a symbol of this status.

        • Tim says:

          Yes, control of grain processing was certainly a mark of high status. I’m reminded here of the many places called ‘Milton of X’ on the estates of Scottish lords. One way to pursue the doubledisc=millstone/quernstone idea would be to look at the archaeological evidence for corn milling in Pictish times (if indeed anything has turned up) and to see how it relates to high-status settlement. In the meantime we’ll add this theory to the ever-growing list….

  4. Roger Frehen says:

    Your theory that the (combination of) symbols represent personal names is one I really like. In Rex Pictorum by Ronald W. Henderson the link to Cummins’ work is also present. I’m not entirely sure if the credits should go to Henderson or to Cummins, but it contains the following:

    “W.A. Cummins, in his influential work, “The Age of the Picts”, (1995) suggests that the name Drust or Drostan may be cognate with the Welsh name Tristan, from trystau, meaning thunder. He posits that the well known Pictish symbol of the double disc and Z rod may represent thunder and lightning, as the double disc could be a depiction of clashing cymbals, and the Z rod a bolt of forked lightning.”

    This means there is indeed a link to a personal name: Drust (Drostan / Drosten / Drest), which means thunder, which is of course commonly used for names (for example Thor / Tor in Norse and of course simply the already provided link to Tristan).

    (Actually, I can’t imagine that you’ve connected these links before already. Then just regard my post as a heads up!)

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for this, Roger. Like Henderson I support the theory that this symbol represents Drust/Drostan. The imagery of the Z-rod fits the proposed meaning of the personal name rather well. Cummins in his book The Picts and their Symbols takes the idea even further by suggesting that the example carved on a rock at Trusty’s Hill in South-West Scotland commemorates the Pictish king Drust, son of Erp, who probably lived in the 5th century.

      • Roger Frehen says:

        Another point I thought about, which hasn’t given much attention before as far as I know, is that it must have been quite some work for the people back then to create these stones. Life was harsh enough on its own, so I refuse to believe that these stones were created for common people. I think I might do a quick investigation to see if it is possible to link all known stones to a Pictish king, based on the estimated period in which the stone was made. If we could link all stones wit a disc and Z-rod to a period in which one of the Drusts was king, that would definitely add a little bit of confirmation to the name-theory. Furthermore, this could be extended to all symbols and all kings, which might even lead to a rather simple explanation for the fact that some symbols show up only a few times, because they might be linked to names of kings that weren’t reused so often.
        I should be able to find some time this week to create a complete overview!

        • Tim says:

          Yes, Roger, you are correct about the stones being carved for the Pictish elite rather than for ordinary folk. Only the elite could afford to commission expert stonemasons to create these elaborate monuments. Also, the imagery of the carvings often shows scenes of aristocratic life, such as hunting, horsemanship and warfare. Hunting scenes, in particular, are believed to be strongly associated with royalty.

          You’re on the right track, too, with your idea of a possible link between the symbols and the names of kings. In the book by Cummins (mentioned in my earlier reply) an attempt is made to match the most frequently occurring symbols to the most frequently occurring kingly names, e.g. Brude, Nechtan, Drust. It’s a theory I find very plausible.

  5. David says:

    Jones theory seems correct. These are associated with Christian crosses. The two worlds, Heaven and Earth are connected by a special conduit, passageway, gate…that is the Christ. when the ordinary man passes through the passage, and attains the everlasting life, he blooms or branches out, experiencing the maturity and fulfillment as in the tree of life. Passing through the Way, causes one to cease being rooted in the world, and one becomes established as a life in heaven, branching out in telling the story and causing more to become believers, hence also passing through that Way. Although the path is straight and narrow, the traveler was not on the straight path before finding the gate, and often does not maintain a perfectly straight path after passing through the gate, and yet is still transformed from a constantly dying creature, to one that is becoming more alive. The notions of the seasons are elegant allegory to the ancient Christian story. The serpent is set up in opposition to the progression into life. These are ancient Christian depictions, and do not predate Christianity.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for this, David. The idea of the symbols not being pre-Christian is something that we don’t often encounter, but it’s certainly worth popping into the mix.

  6. Dave Mowers says:

    If you trace back the migration history to England you find Britons came from Troy (Turan) but there were Phoenicians already living in the British isles. There has even been much speculation that Irish Danaans are in fact the lost Hebrew tribe of Dan, they are even mentioned by Homer. Taken in the context that Minoans (another Phoenician nation) having been proven to have used the tin mines of Britain showing foreign use of the islands as far back as the Bronze Age even so far as 4,500-3,500 B.C. and knowing what ancient Aryan, Greek, Sumerian and Hindu symbology consisted of regarding celestial bodies, and the sun one could conclude with near certainty that the curly points on one end represent flames or fire and the back-curled end with a single drop is waves and more specifically water.

    If they in fact represent fire and water then the two orbs are the Sun in different phases of the day; night in the water and fire during the day. It is cool at night, warm during the day and Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Turan, Greek, Phoenician, Egyptian and Hindu all had this same reference of fire and water in sacred symbols for the sun. They all believed that space was black or an abyss because space is a celestial ocean. It is confirmed in every myth, space was seen as water so therefore I contend that the sun is descending at night into the underworld of the celestial ocean and rising from the waters at dawn bringing with it the heavenly fire. Variations of the rod with water for both spear points could simply be an acknowledgement that the sun is actually in the celestial ocean regardless of day or night as it resides in space or “the heavens.”

    Abyss comes from the Greek abyssos which in turn comes from the Hebrew Abyzou a female deity representing the Sumerian Tiamat who “comes from the deep” exactly the same as the ocean appears at the farthest depths so space appears to be an ocean. Quite an astounding concept for ancient cultures to grasp and probably universal as Greeks and Hindus believed earth resided on top of a great body of water. Great ideas are adopted through the sea trade and become ingrained into the local cultures.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for presenting this theory, Dave. The idea of these symbols originating in a common set of beliefs spanning many cultures has much merit, in my opinion. There does seem to be a lot of support for the idea that the Pictish discs represent the sun.

      • Dave Mowers says:

        Appreciated and I love this topic so Thank You for the blog and opportunity to comment. The ideas are not my own as I arrived at this conclusion after reading several works on the subject of ancient worldwide empire or the Golden Age predating much of what we now classify as history. I have just completed reading;

        Atlantis; The Antediluvian World by Ignatius Donnelly
        The Lost Empire by Gavin Menzies
        Antiquities of Nations by Paul Pezron
        The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop
        On The Meaning and Origin of the Fylfot by Robert Philips Greg
        A Sumer Aryan Dictionary by L.A. Waddell
        The Phoenician Origin of Britons by L.A. Waddell

        You can find the evidence in all of these works. Particularly Gavin’s work on ancient Minoans which includes references to cromelechs (stone circles) or what are essentially astrolabes in three key locations on Earth; Stonehenge England, Nabta Playa Egypt and Kerala India. For the then-known world these three locations give a complete view of the northern sky, western sky, southern sky and eastern for charting navigation maps for use in sea voyages. Gavin in fact makes a thoroughly compelling case being a former navy man. With two circles we have a planisphere; northern-southern hemispheres. Phoenician writing was discovered in southern England, the Egyptians-Minoans conducted trade with ancient India know then as Punt. There symbology in use for astronomy and religion all have striking similarities then kind of thing you would expect from cultural exchange via the sea trade. You need to mark the passage of time, declination and right ascension which would require traveling to a new land and staying there for at least a year if not longer before trade can even begin. I highly recommend these works to gain a greater understanding of what the pictographs/petroglyphs/hieroglyphs meant.

        The sheer number of examples are too numerous to list but under Wikipedia’s page for Picts you will see a silver pendant with the symbol with the addition of a horse’s head below the two suns and next to the water point; the standard of Poseidon. Poseidon was related to the Greek through the Egyptians and comes from Phoenicia his counterpart in India is Napta as an aspect of Shiva. You’ll also notice that depictions of Picts show them tattooing the lower half of their bodies with fish scales, a trademark of seamen and commonly found in Sumer when representing Dagon priests who were astronomers; half-man and half-fish.

        My only original contribution would be to say that if there was an Atlantis and it was once where the Azores are now then a cromelech at that location completes the four needed to verify the measurements taken at four separate parallels comprising the whole chart for northern and southern skies for the then-known world.

        • Tim says:

          Thanks again for your input, Dave. I am sure that many people who visit this blogpost will be interested in hearing about the mythological connections. Btw, I’m a supporter of the idea that the Azores are the mountains of Atlantis. In my younger days I delved into this topic quite a bit – but then it got sidelined after I discovered the Picts & Co.

          • Dave Mowers says:

            Hi again Tim! I am studying Sumerian language, history and culture trying to absorb everything I can find on ancient symbols and happened to see a possible connection to the Double Disk Z Rod with a well-known but little understood Sumerian solar rebus. You can find an image of it at everyhistory org/1a-cuneiform1 html

            Under the picture titled; Mesopotamian mace head with ‘archaizing’ cuneiform, dedicated to the god Meslamta-ea, с 2250 вс.

            I found a reference to this artifact and photo in The Story of Writing by Andrew Robinson and have multiple copies already posted on my wall of other carvings of this imagery and I have a hunch this is the original version of the DDZR from Mesopotamia which could have gotten to Scotland via the Phoenicians. On this artifact the symbol is associated with what are clearly Zodiacal signs and in one of the “suns” is more than just the sun itself, it has additional rays coming from behind the star points that could be waves, “celestial ocean” representation and four cardinal star points. Those “waves” add up to three per segment of four, three constellations at aphelion per season of the twelve signs. If you count the negative spaces between the points, both types you get eight spaces which is identical to the other sun on the left side that also has four cardinal points. Counting the cardinal points and the eight spaces we have a probable representation of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The four being considered somehow more important, larger maybe, noting seasonal transitions or…? This would make the outer circle on the right sun a Zodiacal wheel with the sun being in the center of the wheel so that the figure on the right is more than just a sun it is the known universe opposite a lone sun symbol.

            I am not presently capable of deciphering the cuneiform on the tablet but I definitely know what the other pictograms are underneath the DDZR: From left to right; Gemini “twin houses” Auriga “The Turtle” (I come to this conclusion because of the work of Linda Schele, not sure if she has made this exact correlation though) Taurus “the two-horned bull.” Second line underneath; Hydra, Leo and Scorpius. The only question is what does the “Z” or “cup” represent?

            An early form of the DDZR can also be found in L.A. Waddell’s Phoenician Origin of the Britons and Scots you can look it up online at jrbooksonline (dot) com pg. 249 Figure 38 which confirms my earlier theory (first post) most likely where I got the notion from. Incidentally Waddell believes the cup represents God and oddly enough he gives the name Za-Gi-Gi or Za-Ga-Ga which I am uncertain of. His conclusion would tie the “Z” as a letter Zayin for the first letter of God’s name and I have a hard time accepting that.

            • Dave Mowers says:

              I apologize Tim in the above post I referenced the wrong photo. The correct description is;

              Boundary stone with cuneiform inscription from Babylonia c. 1120 B.C.

              I do not know what dating if any has been applied to the DDZR’s found in Scotland but certainly this date (1120 B.C.) is well past any date I understand that corresponds with migrations or sea trade contact between the British Isles and Cretans, Phoenicians or Turans and is still being used in the archaic form of the “cup” instead of the “Z” perhaps the Scottish depictions were rendered after 1120 B.C.?

              In Fig. 38 pg. 249 of L.A. Waddell’s Phoenician Origin of the Britons and Scots you will also notice the twin spirals have above and below them obtuse squares. Both having the same teeth pattern inside with one being teeth enclosed in a smaller square. Perhaps a pictographic representation of fire above and water below, water being contained within boundaries, fire in aether having essentially none. Which correlates with the fire and water spear points of the “Z” and I will also note that if repeating and contained squares denote “water” then the Boundary Stone Zodiac shows its signs to be sitting on water boxes perhaps assigning a value of “fire” to the constellations depicted and “water” below or what we would say as; Northern Constellations (Fire) Southern Constellations (water) thus making the “Z” a possible ecliptic symbol.

              Those “Twin Spirals” remind me of the cone theory in Hamlet’s Mill by De Santillana and Von Dechend maybe our ancestors were searching for a way to represent in a single glyph all the astronomical knowledge they were aware of? A reduction-down, story in a box like the Mayans did with their glyphs. I have long held the opinion that the different forms of writing overlapped and were used in unison like Egyptian hieroglyphs. An example would be to take a depiction of Horus with the “Falcon-Head” “Sun Uraeus” “Staff” and “Ankh” is a heavenly character. He is a representation of Horus found in the sky as the constellation of Orion. Strip him of the staff and Tau replacing it with Flail and Crook and he goes from “Sheppard King” to “War King.” Strip off the Uraeus and he goes from “God” to “Sky god” falcon-headed or just plain hero and king. Take off the falcon head and he is just the prince or son of Osiris. Reduce his size, age and eliminate his clothes he is the “right of succession” “the heir apparent” the “promise” child of the Madonna. Show the mother with child in the womb holding a Tau or Ankh and he is the resurrected king.

              Do your books contain dating for the DDZR sites?

              • Tim says:

                Hi Dave. My books don’t go into much detailed discussion about the dates of the Pictish symbol stones, beyond the usual idea that the ‘Class 1’ stones were carved c.550-700 AD and the ‘Class 2’ c.700-800. I focus more on political history, i.e. the elite patrons who commissioned the stonecarvers.

                Your info about possibly analogous symbolism used by the Phoenicians and other ancient peoples provides useful food for thought.

                One recent book you might have heard about is Last Of The Druids by Iain Forbes. I’ve not got my copy yet, but it deals with the symbol stones.

  7. Dave Mowers says:

    So then are the assumed dates tied to periods where stone carving and architecture was actively done by certain kingdoms, carbon dating of in-situ artifacts or both? How can one say with any degree of certainty that these stone carvings where not carved thousands of years before the rise of Celtic nations in Briton? I have the same problem resolving the “known” positions here as I do with Egypt’s Giza pyramid site. If, these cultures built these things or knew what they meant or were supposed to mean or how they were used, then why are there no writings testifying to it?

    Did any Scottish documents contain the DDZR? Do any shields, swords, hilts, daggers anything other than jewelry or the stones themselves exist?

    One could say these things were done by these people or one could also assume that the people decided to live near these things that were already there out of superstition. I liken the riddle to dolmens. Everyone claims they were markers, tombstones, altars etc. when they were most likely early attempts at blast furnaces for smelting metal. The DDZR clearly has a solar quality thereby linking it to agriculture but a grander abstract conceptualization of the motions of heavenly bodies like the Zodiac would lend it to religious veneration and worship. The “Z” in this sense has the same symbology as the Swastika.

    Do you feel the Sumerian star, crescent, sun depiction is a valid possibility for the DDZR’s origin?

    The “crescent” or “cup” representing the up and down motion a bowl has when rocked similar to the wobble of the earth then the “Z” may be a later precessionary version?

    Thanks again

    • Tim says:

      The earliest symbol stones (‘Class 1’) are usually dated to the 6th/7th century, and are seen as roughly contemporary with the appearance of Christian memorials (with Latin inscriptions) in what are generally seen as non-Pictish regions south of the Forth-Clyde isthmus. Elements of typically ‘Celtic’ art (as found in pre-Roman Gaul, etc) in some of the symbols have likewise led to a belief that their origin does not reach too far back into prehistory. The symbol-inscribed pendants in the Norrie’s Law hoard seem to be no older than c.400 AD and these are often seen as key markers for dating the use of symbols on objects of metal or stone.

      As to the idea of an ultimate point of origin in Sumeria, I can only say ‘nothing is ruled in, and nothing is ruled out’ as far as the Pictish symbols are concerned. Any theory that can hold water in this debate seems (to me) worth tossing into the mix. The idea of a common origin for certain symbol-combinations in the Ancient Near East looks to be no less sustainable than other theories.

      My own tentative view, frequently floated on this blog, is that the symbols might represent personal names. It’s tentative in the sense that I’m not hooked to it in a big way, and I’m always happy to give other ideas equal space here. The great thing about this mystery is that it will probably run and run until the Sun explodes.

      • Dave Mowers says:

        From your first paragraph I can see how perhaps, knowing the Druids transmitted knowledge by tale and song, the old ways may have been threatened by the rise of Christianity giving the impetus to preserve some of that knowledge on stone. It still allows for an earlier origin to have existed but mainly in the memories and songs of practitioners of astronomy; as the Druids certainly were. It has always been common that kings and noble families would adopt symbols that were revered by the populace to cement their authority or descent from god(s) so attaching a particular kingdom or king’s name in place of letters as a pictogram or logogram has merit. I just wonder if the symbols belong to the Christian era and knowing the massive amount of research, history and study that has gone into everything involving Christ and Christianity why then would nothing be said about Pictish symbols?

        Even the Romans and later the Catholics who were well-known for their “interpretatio” inclusion or folding of everything from the past into the present system of religious worship have no corollary here? The present line of “scholarly” thinking goes that with cultures that are wiped out or assimilated over long periods of time so goes the symbols, writing and history but no mention by any culture from any period of the DDZR?

        Where they considered a dead form of language construct (logogrammic) replaced by Roman and Greek systems?

        I did check out Ian’s site that you mentioned and the number of Pictish symbols immediately struck me as near-identical to other logogrammic writing systems like Hittite and Minoan Linear B which once translated turned out to be another simpler way of writing Greek language inferring that at some time in antiquity Greek, Minoan (and by virtue of the Amara Texts) Canaanite, Hittite were all the same language! Paul Pezron actually got this right 300 years ago as Pelasgian.

        I can say this about the class 1 stones based on Ian’s picture, that first symbol in the middle is an Egyptian stone tuner and when pictured with a hammer and a wedge confirms the nature of it as a logogram for stone working. When picking a suitable stone for a large stella, which is what these are IMO, you have to find out if there are any cracks or natural holes in the block. Cracks are obviously easy to point out but what is not so easy is finding out after you begin hammering or chiseling on the block that a hollowed-out area existed and your block cracks so the Egyptians (they still to this day use this technique) held a metal tuner to the block at different points along the sides and tapped it with a hammer. If it rang a certain way there was a pocket and the stone was discarded. Which brings me to Ian’s second picture showing exactly what I am describing, a hole in the stone naturally formed. That particular stone did not crack but long after they began working it they found the cavity and simply chose to continue the piece anyway.

        On that stone the “Z” rod cuts across a gate with an obvious bull motif to wit I proffer this explanation from Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis “The Antediluvian World” pg. 428;

        “Less than two hundred years ago it was customary to sacrifice a bull on the 25th of August to the ‘God Mowrie’ and ‘his devilans’ on the island of Inis Maree, Scotland.”

        As a Anglophile named after this God I have a particularly keen interest in this myth and practice and can tell you that this “god” is the Minotaur of Minoan Crete. That symbol is the constellation of Orion whom when coupled with Taurus was a larger, Sumerian constellation referred to as “The Bull of Heaven” always pictured by a bull’s head which also is the Minoan B letter for A or Aleph which the Phoenicians called “the ox” the hieratic script form used by Egyptians and Phoenicians can actually be traced out of the constellation of Taurus itself! Here we have again a “Z” depicted in the Zodiac.

        My head just exploded, Thanks Again.

  8. Dave Mowers says:

    The Magic Arts in Celtic Britain by Lewis Spence pg 23;

    “But the Tuatha De Danann were not the only Irish race to indulge in Druidical practices. The Nemedians, who competed with the Fomorians for the soil of Ireland, had Druids of their own, as indeed had the Fomorians, whose spells proved too powerful for their enemies. It was these Nemedians, who had withdrawn to Scandinavia, we are informed by one text, who later returned under the designation of the Tuatha De Danann.”

    “And the Milesians, who ultimately overthrew the Tuatha De and who arrived in Ireland from Spain, had also Druids who proved more efficacious in their sorceries than those of the elder caste.”

    The Annals of the Four Masters written in the 17th century puts these “Nemedians” as invading Ireland between 2,350 B.C. and 1,731 B.C. but are written and edited by Franciscan monks or Geoffrey Keating and both accounts could be biased in order to tie the history all the way back to Biblical history. The “Nemedians” are said to be descended from Nemed of Scythia with no supporting evidence or origin while around 200 B.C. to 50 B.C. there were a Phoenician peoples who ruled the area from Mauritania to Libya called “Numidians” a simple vowel confusion of the name. Numidians were a maritime culture as described in the Punic Wars. A connection via these peoples assuming them to be the “Nemedians” also puts them in Scandinavia furthering my notion and L.A. Waddell’s that Phoenicians first populated the British Isles. I will also note it confirms why Iberian Celts supported Hannibal against the Romans as according to Paul Pezron all of these nations were Celtic in origin which may explain why the “Nemedians” were taken in by the Norse in the first place! Pezron believed that the Celts under Saturn went to Spain in search of copper and tin and used the Rio Tinto mines. Waddell believed that tin mines were also the reason Phoenicians went to Cornwall. Pezron cited the name “Pluto” meaning rich or wealthy for Saturn after discovery of the minerals in Spain which included what is the largest silver mine in the world. The mines are named after the river because of the high concentration of metals discolors the water and you can literally pan right out of the river.

    Gavin Menzies work confirms artifacts found in Spain show a connection to Minoans who spoke Greek as did the Hittites in my interpretation here. The Hebrew “manna” and the Druid Mana both as corn and fertility God correspond to Sumerian Apkallu gods holding an ear of corn and show a common origin of Exodus being a Druid or Celtic tale. Presently the Sumerian depictions are thought of as pine cones which is IMO ridiculous. Corn being connected to god via Anu, the Sumerian sky God also identifies with the Mayan Maize God and Peruvian Inca notion that corn was food from God. Lewis Spence further elucidates that the Tuatha De Danann aided the Greeks in a war against the Syrians, possibly the Turans or the Trojan War.

  9. Dave Mowers says:

    Hi Tim! I got it. I figured out enough without finishing my reading chores to understand what ties the Double Disk Z Rod, Triskele, Sumerian solar collection and the Swastika all to the same source with the same meaning.

    I have continued to run a conversation in my mind with an imagined “you” since the last time I posted arguing against myself or for myself with each piece of additional information I have acquired while reading. I just finished Max Muller’s Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas for a more expanded cultural history from different scientific angles and I began drawing this thing out next to the other symbols and had an epiphany! Ironically, for me at least, your earlier poster Eric Bonds had part of it correct but I also gleaned a massive amount of knowledge from a website with a fascinating analysis of Mayan glyphs called soulsofdistortion (dot) nl. I have yet to read Linda Schele’s work but am reading about her work, nor have I started Hamlet’s Mill (I have a tendency to skim books before I read them by reading random pages when bored with another author’s work) and complete all of L.A. Waddell’s published works but I am certain of my conclusion even so much so to be aware that sometimes the human mind creates the solution that fits the foregone conclusion it wants without the actual knowledge to prove said assertion and many times incorrectly so.

    I am doing this to accumulate backgrounder details for a graphic novel I am presently writing that will be all fiction so given the facts that I have no college education, do not work in sciences of any kind or have any interest in doing so I felt that rather than wait to put it into my novel I would post it here first as a Thank You for your help in my quest to solve what these ancient symbols mean and whether they had a common origin.

    I did find an Egyptian version in Hieroglyph but am not sure about posting pictures here. If you follow up to this post with a reply letting me know if I can I will follow up with the picture from Egypt.

    It is the path of the Zodiac; each of the two circles contains a representation of the circular paths of sun and moon and zodiac with the center circle representing the earth. Those twin circles mean the winter and summer solstices as well and the “Z” is a motionary symbol for the two halves of the celestial sphere the zodiac resides upon, upper and lower kingdoms and the slice is the wobble. In a nut shell the symbol represents observed celestial motions and the earth’s wobble. Water is the lower kingdom. Fire is the upper kingdom. The Zodiacal constellations above the plane of the ecliptic are fire constellations and below the plane are water constellations hence the confusion with different versions pointing east-west or north-south. Constellations from the east are also considered fire constellations in conjunction with the Sun’s rise and water in the west with it’s death each evening or descent into the underworld. I can solve two more common Egyptian symbol mysteries with my analysis.

    The swastika, triskele, double disk z rod, Sumerian solar collection, Mayan celestial world glyphs, Teutonic cross, Druidic jewel and even the actual layout of Plato’s Atlantis are all cognate. I mean this in the sense that they are meant to be interpreted as a language. Unfortunately, no god(s) are involved, no aliens or supernatural beings were a necessary part of human history to prove it.

    I can and will, in my novel, give proofs from mythology and I have enough to make the conclusion overwhelming to the novice and convincing to the scholar. When I complete my work I will contact you so that I can get an address to send you a signed copy after publishing. I believe once you read my full interpretation you may consider this issue resolved.

    Thanks Much,

    David Mowers

    • Tim says:

      You’ve certainly delved deep into this topic, Dave, and assembled a large amount of data along the way. Interesting to hear you’re planning to incorporate your theories in a graphic novel.

      I really should confess that most of this detailed stuff is way over my head. My knowledge of the history of symbolism is minimal, and even my interest in the Pictish symbols is fairly superficial. It’s a topic I occasionally glance at (usually via this blog) rather than become deeply immersed in. I’m actually more interested in the stones themselves, not so much for what’s carved on them, more for what purpose they served in Pictish society.

      But there are plenty of folk who will, I’m sure, be fascinated to read about possible links between the Pictish symbols and those of Ancient Egypt and elsewhere. Have you considered putting this info on a website of your own? It would be a good way to attract interest in advance of the publication of your graphic novel. You mentioned an Egyptian version of the doubledisc – the easiest way to share the image here is to upload it on Flickr or somewhere similar, then post a link to it in a comment in this thread.

      • Dave Mowers says:

        “not so much for what’s carved on them, more for what purpose they served in Pictish society”

        …and yet Tim, that is exactly what we are discussing here! The purpose, use, relation and correlation are all part and parcel of the same thing. The use is tied to the interpretation. I cannot be too clear here as my notions are ideas and unproven but mind blowing and easily verified by scholars. If I give away too much, which I am doing by even responding to you, someone else will make the leap and take the credit for something I have spent literally years developing. I can show proofs of the mythology having a larger influence on writing and sciences. Your site has helped pool my work in such a way that I am indebted to you. Thank You. The Double Disk Z Rod has been solved; I know the solution and I can, at any time, easily explain it with historical examples, antique artifacts and language studies. My enthusiasm alone should inspire those, who like us; share a passion for the past. You have my email and if you want; I will gladly explain this too you by phone anytime you wish to email me with a contact number.

        Dave Mowers

        • Tim says:

          Cheers Dave. It’s always good to know this blog is helping people to hone their ideas and theories. For myself, I don’t require proofs or solutions to any of the many Pictish puzzles. It’s enough for me to know that another theory (i.e. yours) is in the mix, keeping things bubbling. I tend to leave detailed debate about the ‘meaning’ of the symbols to those who wish to explore the topic deeply. Maybe when you publish your theory in print or online you could post a link in this thread?

          Also, feel free to comment on my next blogpost about Pictish symbols. Not sure which symbol it will be, nor when I’ll get around to writing it. I have a backlog of other topics which might see me through to the end of the year.

  10. Michelle Ransdell says:

    I found this to be very fascinating. I was trying to find out just what this symbol meant and found several viable notions. I’m wanting to get a Pictish symbol tattooed on my upper arm for my 30th birthday and am researching them beforehand so that I can offer an educated reply when people ask me what it means. I enjoyed reading the information and the replies. I admire academic people. Thank you.

    • Tim says:

      The tattoo sounds interesting, Michelle. If you ever put a photo of it online, let me know and I’ll tweet a link. There does seem to be a lot of interest in using Pictish symbols as tattoos – which might even be one of their original purposes 1500 years ago 🙂

    • Dave Mowers says:

      Imagine yourself as you are on any given night; standing around, unable to sleep, staring at the heavens or stars above. Watch their actions, their movements. Describe their movements to yourself; see their movements in a logo-grammic form or tribal tattoo. Understand that you are doing what countless millions before you have done. How did they see it? How did they describe it using their cultural ideology? Then get two serpents intertwined upon one another and a Griffon. . . or two Griffon’s and they each have serpentine scales. Or just read the Iliad and ask yourself this question; “what does the story of Laacoon mean?”

      Thanks again Tim for your rocking blog.

  11. Dave Mowers says:

    How many people realize that the Greek “Okto” is cognate with the Egyptian “Ogdo?”

    How many of you now think about the early depictions of this figure of eight?

    Do you know that this figure is a “Z” rod?

    Furthermore; if you do understand this then you must understand that the “Double Disk Z Rod” includes a mythological logogram.

    Then you must also know that this “logogram” was used by Romans on their shields?

    The structure of eight is as follows;

    Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter; …and… earth or heaven.

    This is represented in all Christian, Jewish and Hindu mythology. Cleomedes describes this concept in a scientific fashion but you can see it across all Celtic peoples in a form or another; universal. It is all in the mythology until those darned Greeks!

    I cannot forgive the Spanish for their “Pieces of Eight.” just as I cannot ignore the eightfold cosmogony of the ancients when looking at a “Z” whose ancient symbol was in fact; 8.

    Merry Christmas Tim.

    • Dave Mowerws says:

      ….the Sig rune…I have just been told that based on some doctoral thesis I am; Wrong, Tim!

      Now I am mad Tim. Thank You Again for allowing a truth to be asserted…

      • Tim says:

        C’est la vie, Dave. I’ve lost count of the number of pet theories I’ve abandoned over the years.

        Seems a suitable point to draw a line under this thread as it has probably run its course. Many thanks to all who have commented.

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