Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Portasar – Portunes – We got an opportunity at Ararat – The start of our civilization

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 8, 2015

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Portasar (meaning Mountain Navel in Armenian) is a great ritualistic-religious-scientific building, which is situated in the Western Armenia and has 18,500-years-old history. When ancient Armenians built Portasar about 12,000 years ago there was already some kind of level of sophisticated organization which was surely required to accomplish such a massive undertaken for its time period.

In ancient Roman religion, Portunes (alternatively spelled Portumnes or Portunus) was a god of keys, doors and livestock. He protected the warehouses where grain was stored. Probably because of folk associations between porta “gate, door” and portus “harbor”, the “gateway” to the sea, Portunus later became conflated with Palaemon and evolved into a god primarily of ports and harbors.

In the Latin adjective importunus his name was applied to untimely waves and weather and contrary winds, and the Latin echoes in English opportune and its old-fashioned antonym importune, meaning “well timed’ and “badly timed”. Hence Portunus is behind both an opportunity and importunate or badly timed solicitations (OED).

Linguist Giuliano Bonfante has speculated, on the grounds of his cult and of the meaning of his name, that he should be a very archaic deity and might date back to an era when Latins lived in dwellings built on pilings. He argues that in Latin the words porta (door, gate) and portus (harbour, port) share their etymology from the same IE root meaning ford, wading point.

Portunus appears to be closely related to the god Janus, with whom he shares many characters, functions and the symbol of the key. He too was represented as a two headed being, with each head facing opposite directions, on coins and as figurehead of ships. He was considered to be “deus portuum portarumque praeses” (lit. God presiding over ports and gates.)

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (Latin: Ianus) is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), but according to ancient Roman farmers’ almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.

Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.

Janus had no flamen or specialized priest (sacerdos) assigned to him, but the King of the Sacred Rites (rex sacrorum) himself carried out his ceremonies. Janus had a ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year, and was ritually invoked at the beginning of each one, regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion.

The ancient Greeks had no equivalent to Janus, whom the Romans claimed as distinctively their own. Modern scholars, however, have identified analogous figures in the pantheons of the Near East.

Haya is known both as a “door-keeper” and associated with the scribal arts. Haya’s functions are two-fold: he appears to have served as a door-keeper but was also associated with the scribal arts, and may have had an association with grain.

He is mentioned together with dlugal-[ki-sá-a], a divinity associated with door-keepers. Already in the Ur III period Haya had received offerings together with offerings to the “gate”.

Haya’s functions are two-fold: he appears to have served as a door-keeper but was also associated with the scribal arts, and may have had an association with grain.

There is a conceptual link between Haldi (Hayk) and Mher, a connection assumed by the traditional Armenian designation for the blind rock portal at Van, which the Armenians called ‘Door of Haldi’ at period of Van Kingdom.

Mher’s Door (‘Mheri Dur’ in Armenian) – Mher remains entombed in Raven’s Rock since justice still doesn’t reign over the earth.

Hay is a self designative name which means “Armenian”… Hayastan means “lands of Hay”, land of Armenians, Armenia. Armenian Kingdom Hayasa is mentioned in Hittite inscriptions.

Հայք Hayk’ is the nominative plural in Classical Armenian of հայ (hay) and is also a popular Armenian name. The native Armenian name for the country is Hayk’. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan,by addition of the Indo-European suffix -stan (land).

The Armenian people derive their self-designative name “Hay” from the Deity – HAY(A), whom they regarded as “the Creator of the Cosmos.”

According to several scholars the name HAY(A) comes from the primordial root name AY or AYA which goes back all the way to the Neolithic Era and the early veneration of the cult of the Mother Goddess that also gave her name to later (masculine) God HAY(A).

When the Semites, who speak Semitic, a language which have an origin in Syria, came to Armenian lands they accepted almost everything from the people who lived there. Semitic is an African, or Afro-Asian language, while their genes are local. The population continued to be the same, but their language mixed with the Afro-Asiatic language.

Semitic is a family of languages connected to Afro-Asiatic, but the people are not African, they are just as Caucasian, when it comes to language, as the Armenians. The reason of that mixture goes to Ugarit which was a headland in northern Syria, and it connected Egypt, Cyprus to the Armenian kingdoms. It was an Armenian land conquered by the new-comers.

The change of language happened around 3750 BC. The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.

At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called “Dark Millennium”. This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron.

The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene Epoch. It occurred around 3900 BC (5,900 years BP), ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert.

Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organized, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BC. It is associated with the last round of the Sahara pump theory.

In the Middle East the 5.9 kiloyear event contributed to the abrupt end of the Ubaid period. It was associated with an abandonment of unwalled villages and the rapid growth of hierarchically structured walled cities, and in the Jemdet Nasr period, with the first book-keeping scripts.

Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love. For the Armenians Aya was always connected with the great mother, until today the Armenians say Aya to great grandmothers. Venus are mostly connected with the mother, just like Inanna etc.

The God HAYA-EA was also venerated throughout Mesopotamia. The earliest surviving inscriptions that mention HAY(A) – the “God of Wisdom” and the “God of Cosmic Waters” are found in the Sumerian inscriptions dated to ca. 2,800 BCE.

The God EA-HAYA was also later venerated by the Akkadians who knew him under the name of Enki.
The Eblaic (an ancient city in Syria) inscriptions dated to ca. 2,600 BCE also mention both a Deity and a people by the name of “HAY” who lived in the Armenian Highland.

The name “Hay” was also used by the Hittites to refer to Armenia and the Armenian people. The Hittite inscriptions from around 1,500 BCE record the history of the kingdom of Hayasa (with the root word Hay and the Hittite ending – “asa,” connoting a place) situated in Armenian Highland.

The name Hay also lived on in the name of Hayk, the traditional patriach of the Armenian people, as recorded by a number of medieval historians. Hayk was regarded by the Armenian people as the divine offspring of the primordial God of Essence – HAY(A).

“Father of Armenian history”, an Armenian historian (5 th century) Movses Khorenatsi narrates the story of Japeth’s grandson (through Torgom), Hayk and his descendents, the Hays (as Armenians call themselves).

According to several scholars the name HAY(A) comes from the primordial root name AY or AYA which goes back all the way to the Neolithic Era and the early veneration of the cult of the Mother Goddess.

Aya (or Aja) in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Šherida, consort of Utu.

Utu (Akkadian rendition of Sumerian UD “Sun”, Assyro-Babylonian Shamash “Sun”) is the Sun god in Sumerian mythology, the son of the moon god Nanna and the goddess Ningal. His brother and sisters are Ishkur and the twins Inanna and Ereshkigal. His center cult is located in the city of Larsa. Marduk is spelled AMAR.UTU in Sumerian, literally, “the calf of Utu” or “the young bull of the Sun”.

Utu is the god of the sun, justice, application of law, and the lord of truth. He is usually depicted as wearing a horned helmet and carrying a saw-edged weapon not unlike a pruning saw.

It is thought that every day, Utu emerges from a mountain in the east, symbolizing dawn, and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west, symbolizing sunset. Every night, Utu descends into the underworld to decide the fate of the dead. He is also depicted as carrying a mace, and standing with one foot on a mountain. Its symbol is “sun rays from the shoulders, and or sun disk or a saw”.

The sun god is only modestly mentioned in Sumerian mythology with one of the notable exceptions being the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the myth, Gilgamesh seeks to establish his name with the assistance of Utu, because of his connection with the cedar mountain, mount Mashu.

Gilgamesh and his father, Lugalbanda were kings of the first dynasty of Uruk, a lineage that Jeffrey H. Tigay suggested could be traced back to Utu himself. He further suggested that Lugalbanda’s association with the sun-god in the Old Babylonian version of the epic strengthened “the impression that at one point in the history of the tradition the sun-god was also invoked as an ancestor”.

Shamash (Akkadian: Šamaš, “Sun”) was a native Mesopotamian deity and the Sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac semša or šimšu Hebrew šemeš and Arabic šams.

Šamaš (Sumerian Utu) is the god of the sun. He brings light and warmth to the land, allowing plants and crops to grow. At sunrise Šamaš was known to emerge from his underground sleeping chamber and take a daily path across the skies.

As the sun fills the entire sky with light, Šamaš oversaw everything that occurred during the daytime. He thus became the god of truth, judgements and justice. Šamaš also played a role in treaties, oaths and business transactions, as he could see through deceit and duplicity. As a defender of justice, the sun god also had a warrior aspect.

As god of truth and justice, Šamaš was implored to help provide a correct answer. A late second-millennium prayer to Šamaš by a diviner asks him to guide the inquiry and to ‘let there be truth’ in their interpretations of the omens.

In Sumerian tradition, Utu is the son of the moon god Nanna-Suen and the twin brother of Inana. Akkadian tradition sometimes made Šamaš the son of Anu or Enlil. The sun god’s wife was Aya, goddess of the dawn.

Sin (Akkadian: Su’en, Sîn) or Nanna (Sumerian: ŠEŠ.KI, NANNA) was the god of the moon in the Mesopotamian mythology of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. The two chief seats of Nanna’s/Sin’s worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north.

The original meaning of the name Nanna is unknown. The earliest spelling found in Ur and Uruk is LAK-32.NA (where NA is to be understood as a phonetic complement). The name of Ur, spelled LAK-32.UNUGKI=URIM2KI, is itself derived from the theonym, and means “the abode (UNUG) of Nanna (LAK-32)”.

The pre-classical sign LAK-32 later collapses with ŠEŠ (the ideogram for “brother”), and the classical Sumerian spelling is ŠEŠ.KI, with the phonetic reading na-an-na. The technical term for the crescent moon could also refer to the deity, U4.SAKAR. Later, the name is spelled logographically as NANNA.

The Semitic moon god Su’en/Sin is in origin a separate deity from Sumerian Nanna, but from the Akkadian Empire period the two undergo syncretization and are identified. The occasional Assyrian spelling of NANNA-ar Su’en-e is due to association with Akkadian na-an-na-ru “illuminator, lamp”, an epitheton of the moon god. The name of the Assyrian moon god Su’en/Sîn is usually spelled as EN.ZU, or simply with the numeral 30, XXX.

He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means “lord of wisdom”. During the period (c.2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon.

It is to this period that we must trace such designations of Sin as “father of the gods”, “chief of the gods”, “creator of all things”, and the like. The “wisdom” personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astronomy or the practice of astrology, in which the observation of the moon’s phases is an important factor.

His wife was Ningal (“Great Lady”), who bore him Utu/Shamash (“Sun”) and Inanna/Ishtar (the goddess of the planet Venus). The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin/Nanna and his children.

Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, “Bull of Heaven”, along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand). On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol.

In the astral-theological system he is represented by the number 30 and the moon. This number probably refers to the average number of days (correctly around 29.53) in a lunar month, as measured between successive new moons.

An important Sumerian text (“Enlil and Ninlil”) tells of the descent of Enlil and Ninlil, pregnant with Nanna/Sin, into the underworld. There, three “substitutions” are given to allow the ascent of Nanna/Sin. The story shows some similarities to the text known as “The Descent of Inanna”.

Nanna’s chief sanctuary at Ur was named E-gish-shir-gal (“house of the great light”). It was at Ur that the role of the En Priestess developed. This was an extremely powerful role held by a princess, most notably Enheduanna, daughter of King Sargon of Akkad, and was the primary cult role associated with the cult of Nanna/Sin.

Sin also had a sanctuary at the Assyrian city of Harran, named E-khul-khul (“house of joys”). The cult of the moon-god spread to other centers, so that temples to him are found in all the large cities of Babylonia and Assyria.

A sanctuary for Sin with Syriac inscriptions invoking his name dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE was found at Sumatar Harabesi in the Tektek mountains, not far from Harran and Edessa.

Šamaš played a similarly important role in the realm of the dead as he did in the living world. The spirits of the dead were thought to enter the netherworld via a passage on the horizon in the extreme western part of the world.

In some traditions, this passage was the same entrance that led to Šamaš’s underground dwelling, and to which he returned at sunset each evening. However, Tablet XI of Gilgameš from Nineveh describes Šamaš’s road underneath the earth as a separate path from that to the netherworld.

Šherida is one of the oldest Mesopotamian gods, attested in inscriptions from pre-Sargonic times, her name (as “Aya”) was a popular personal name during the Ur III period (21st-20th century BCE), making her among the oldest Semitic deities known in the region.

As the Sumerian pantheon formalized, Utu became the primary sun god, and Šherida was syncretized into a subordinate role as an aspect of the sun alongside other less powerful solar deities (c.f. Ninurta) and took on the role of Utu’s consort.

When the Semitic Akkadians moved into Mesopotamia their pantheon became syncretized to the Sumerian, Inanna to Ishtar, Nanna to Sin, Utu to Shamash etc. The minor Mesopotamian sun goddess Aya became syncretized into Šherida during this process.

The goddess Aya in this aspect appears to have had wide currency among Semitic peoples, as she is mentioned in god-lists in Ugarit and shows up in personal names in the Bible (Gen 36:24, Sam 3:7, 1 Chr 7:28).

Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth.

The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash. In fact, she was worshiped as part of a separate-but-attached cult in Shamash’s e-babbar temples in Larsa and Sippar.

By the Neo-Babylonian period at the latest (and possibly much earlier), Shamash and Aya were associated with a practice known as Hasadu, which is loosely translated as a “sacred marriage.”

A room would be set aside with a bed, and on certain occasions the temple statues of Shamash and Aya would be brought together and laid on the bed to ceremonially renew their vows. This ceremony was also practiced by the cults of Marduk with Sarpanitum, Nabu with Tashmetum, and Anu with Antu.

There is also a divine name Haia(-)amma in a bilingual Hattic-Hittite text from Anatolia which is used as an equivalent for the Hattic grain-goddess Kait in an invocation to the Hittite grain-god Halki, although it is unclear whether this appellation can be related to dha-ià. Attempts have also been made to connect the remote origins of dha-ià with those of the god Ea (Ebla Ḥayya).

At least from the Old Babylonian period on he is known as the spouse of the grain-goddess Nidaba/Nissaba, who is also the patroness of the scribal art. Nidaba’s glory attracted her fall: her scribal functions were usurped by the god Nabu as he rose to power in the Old Babylonian period.

Traditions vary regarding the genealogy of Nidaba. She appears on separate occasions as the daughter of Enlil, of Uraš, of Ea, and of Anu. Nidaba’s spouse is Haya and together they have a daughter, Sud/Ninlil. Two myths describe the marriage of Sud/Ninlil with Enlil. This implies that Nidaba could be at once the daughter and the mother-in-law of Enlil.

Haya is also characterised, beyond being the spouse of Nidaba/Nissaba, as an “agrig”-official of the god Enlil. The god-list AN = Anu ša amēli (lines 97-98) designates him as “the Nissaba of wealth”, as opposed to his wife, who is the “Nissaba of Wisdom”.

In a debate between Nidaba and Grain (Lambert 1996: 168-75), Nidaba is syncretised with Ereškigal as “Mistress of the Underworld”.

In Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal (DEREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “great lady under earth”) was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler. Ereshkigal was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom.

The goddess Ishtar refers to Ereshkigal as her older sister in the Sumerian hymn “The Descent of Inanna” (which was also in later Babylonian myth, also called “The Descent of Ishtar”). Inanna/Ishtar’s trip and return to the underworld is the most familiar of the myths concerning Ereshkigal.

In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. The old Old Norse word Hel derives from Proto-Germanic *haljō, which means “one who covers up or hides something”, which itself derives from Proto-Indo-European *kel-, meaning “conceal”.

The cognate in English is the word Hell which is from the Old English forms hel and helle. Related terms are Old Frisian, helle, German Hölle and Gothic halja. Other words more distantly related include hole, hollow, hall, helmet and cell, all from the aforementioned Indo-European root *kel-.

Caelus or Coelus was a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”). The deity’s name usually appears in masculine grammatical form when he is conceived of as a male generative force, but the neuter form Caelum is also found as a divine personification.

The name of Caelus indicates that he was the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Uranus (Οὐρανός, Ouranos), who was of major importance in the theogonies of the Greeks. Varro couples him with Terra (Earth) as pater and mater (father and mother), and says that they are “great deities” (dei magni) in the theology of the mysteries at Samothrace.

Caelus begins to appear regularly in Augustan art and in connection with the cult of Mithras during the Imperial era.

Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati).

The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death: Shiva. Since Shiva is called Kāla— the eternal time — the name of Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in “time has come”). Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time, Change, Power and Destruction.

Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation of evil forces still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess.

Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger.

Ḫaldi (dḪaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini. Hayk (Armenian: Հայկ) or Hayg, also known as Haik Nahapet (Հայկ Նահապետ, Hayk the Tribal Chief) is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation.

Urartu, corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat or Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biai, Biainili) was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Proto-Armenian (Hurro-Urartian) speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms.

Boris Piotrovsky wrote that “the Urartians first appear in history in the 13th century B.C. as a league of tribes or countries which did not yet constitute a unitary state. Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after their god Khaldi.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa (Armenian: Հայասա) was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.
The term Hayastan bears resemblance to the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya (ha-ià) and another western deity called Ebla Hayya, related to the god Ea (Enki or Enkil in Sumerian, Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian).

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. Aries are the leaders of the pack, first in line to get things going. The symbol of Aries is the Ram. Aries is ruled by Mars. Taking a peek at Roman mythology, we find that Mars was the God of War.

Ninurta (Nin Ur: God of War) in Sumerian and the Akkadian mythology of Assyria and Babylonia, was the god of Lagash, identified with Ningirsu with whom he may always have been identified. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity.

In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which dominated many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Mitanni (Hittite cuneiform KUR URUMi-ta-an-ni; also Mittani Mi-it-ta-ni) or Hanigalbat (Assyrian Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) or Naharin in ancient Egyptian texts was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from ca. 1500 BC–1300 BC.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably, according to Michael C. Astour.

The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.

A Hurrian passage in the Amarna letters – usually composed in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the day – indicates that the royal family of Mitanni was by then speaking Hurrian as well.

The first extant record of Indo-Aryan Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. There Mitra appears together with four other Indo-Aryan divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.

Asha is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-. In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

The significance of the term is complex, with a highly nuanced range of meaning. It is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of ‘truth’ and ‘right(eousness)’, ‘order’ and ‘right working’. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.”

Muṣaṣir (Armenian: Assyrian Mu-ṣa-ṣir and variants, including Mutsatsir, Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake), in Urartian Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin) was an ancient city of Urartu, attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The city’s tutelary deity was Ḫaldi.

Shivini (Shiva) or Artinis (the present form of the name is Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day) was a solar god in the mythology of the Urartu. He is the third god in a triad with Khaldi and Theispas and is cognate with the triad in Hinduism called Shivam.

Two naming traditions: Ereshkigal/Uranus and Khaldi/Caelus

Arta/Asha: From Aratta to Urartu/Urashtu and Armenia/Assyria

Kaldi/Kali (Hel)

Januar (Hel) – the beginning or the end?

Portasar or Gobekli Tepe? Gobekle Tepe is a direct translation of Armenian “Portasar”

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