Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Saivism in Ancient India and in Northern Europe

An Indus Valley Seal of what seems to be a standing Pashupati in the upper left. Photo credits to Mel Copeland: Banquet of the Gods

A relation between Pashupati and Shiva
In ancient India there are several archaeological findings dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization (about 3.300 - 1.300 BCE) of e.g. seals that depict a yogi figure i.e. Pashupati or "proto-Shiva" (Flood, Gavin, 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism). Read more about Pashupati: Pashupati. Paśupati (Sanskrit) has been translated as ”Lord of the Cattle” or ”Lord of the animals” (references are given in the hyperlinked article).

A comment on the Wikipedia article about Pashupati, an article that needs more literature references: In the Nordic people and culture are not called Celts or Celtic, and the figure were unlikely named Cernunnos in the Nordic areas. However there might have been a close genetic and cultural relation between the ancient Celts and the ancient Nordic people.

You can read about the Harappan Civilization in a very good and illustrated article by Tarini J. Carr: Harappan period

Worshippers of Shiva or Siva is called Saiva or Shaiva (Russell, R.V., "The tribes and castes of the central provinces of India", 1916) and are followers of Shavism. Saiva or Shavia are worshipers of the God Shiva or Siva. "Shiva" is also the noun while "Shaiva" is the adjective.
According to the translation by Saivaneri site: ”The meaning of Pashupati is the essence of Saiva Samayam, Saivism, Saiva Siddhantham. Pasu means Animal. Pati means God” ( More information from this Wikimedia article ).

09 The Indus Civilization

Saivism is old in India
In ”The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism” (Ed. Flood, Gavin, 2003) the Pashupata or Pashupati Shaivists are referred to in the Mahabharata in action that takes place in the 4 millennium BCE:( a Sanskrit Epic Pashupata Shaivism.

Pashupati Saivism is according to Flood (1996, p. 86) mentioned in texts from 400-200 BCE in Shvetashvatara Upanishad.

Read more in the following sites:

1) Development of Hinduism (search for: Saivism)
2) Saivism
3) Saivism
4) Serpent and Siva worship and mythology in Central America, Africa, and Asia (1876)

Archaeological objects from India and the Nordic Areas

Indus Valley Pashupati and a Buddha figure from Norway (date 834 CE). These figures does depict a Yogi. Also, the swastika that have been used as a Buddhist ornament is a common symbol in both ancient cultures. Photo credits for the Indus Valley Pashupati to Mel Copeland: Banquet of the Gods

A Silver vessel, the Gudersturp Cauldron was found in Himmerland, Jutland, Denmark. It is exhibited at the National Museum (Nationalmuseet) in Copenhagen Denmark. Photo: Malene Thyssen.
This is an Indus Valley Seal that resembles one of the scenes at the Gudersturp Cauldron from "Nordic Iron Age" in Denmark. "Nordic Iron Age" is dated to a different period compared to e.g. "Indus Valley Iron Age" (Harappan Iron Age period that lasted 1200–300 BCE). Scandinavian Iron Age is placed to the period 500 BCE - about 800 CE.
An Indus Valley Seal of a figure that has been interpreted as Pashupati. Photo credits to Mel Copeland: Banquet of the Gods


Detail of the Gundestrup Cauldron shows an antlered figure holding a serpent in one hand, the figure is flanked by animals including a stag. Photo by Blodofox, 2008. Wikimedia Creative Commons ShareAlike.

Detail of the Gundestrup cauldron that was found at Jutland in Denmark and dated to the 1st century BCE (Iron Age).

There are other archaeological findings of similar antlered and horned figures in other Nordic areas. In the Oseberg ship burial mound there were found at least one carved figure with horns that seems to be part of a religious ceremony where there additionally was depicted serpent worship.

Take a look to the left of the second ancient picture (click on the picture) from the English Atlas made by Moses Pitt in the 1600's and you can see a Nordic Sami shaman depicted wearing a horned hat: Saamiblog. In the next Saamiblog link you view also see a real Sami shaman horned hat that is owned by Nordiska Museet in Stockholm, Sweden: Saamiblog: Bear rites

Wood carved detail of a panel found in the Oseberg ship burial mound in Vestfold, Norway. Dated to 834 CE.

Carved panel found in the Oseberg ship burial mound in Vestfold, Norway. Dated to 834 CE.

The same type of serpent worship as in the Iron Age Nordic areas took place in the ancient kingdom of Gandhara. People of The Kushan Empire (20 - 280 CE) were serpent worshippers seen in both the art of of Gandhara and that of Mathura (e.g. Nagaraja: The Serpent King).

Indo - Greek Buddhist Kanishka Casket detail

A detail of the Kanishka casket found near Peshawar, Pakistan. The Kansihka casket is an example of Indo-greek art. The figures is holding a garland or a serpent. Photo by PHGCOM, 2005 Wikimedia GNU. This particular casket is a copy exhibited at the British Museum. The original can be seen in this photo from where it is exhibied at the Lahore museum
Three Headed Shiva Gandhara 2nd Century by PHGCOM, 2008. Wikimedia

The philosophy of Saivism or Shaivism is mentioned many times in the Śvetāśvatara Upanishad (400 - 200 BCE). Shiva or Siva is mentioned for the first time in this text from about 350 BCE, however Shiva is commonly interpreted as Rudra from the RigVeda texts from 1500 BCE. While Vishnu was the more important Sun God, Rudra was the god of storm, wind, and hunting. Rudra is the "The Archer" (Sanskrit: Śarva).
The origin of Shiva is the Himalayas where he lives with his wife Parvati and he is god of the wild mountains and forests. His vehicle is a Bull named Nandi. He is one of the three main gods with Vishnu and Devi. Attributes: Trident and snake (Northern India) and Antelope and axe (Southern India). When Shiva and Paravati is represented with their son Skanda (Kartikeya: The God of battle) the group is called Somaskanda.

“According to James Fergusson, the Nagas were not originally serpents, but serpent worshippers. Dr. C.F. Oldham is of the opinion that the Nagas claimed descent from the sun and had the hooded serpent for a totem. K.R. Subramaniam in his Origin of Shaivism mentions that the Naga is mixed with a cult of Saivism, and it is claimed that South Indian Saivism migrated to Northern India, leaving in the south its remnants in the Nagaras or Nayars. Further, the tribes of Nagas had powerful Kingdoms in different parts of India” (end of quote page 59). Culture and political history of Kashmir by Prithivi Nath Kaul Bamzai (1994). About the Nagas at page 58 – 59.

Mythology of the Nagas India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Cambodia, Nagaland, Tibet.
Frey or Frej (means: master. Swedish: Herren) deity statue from Rällinge, Lunda in Södermanland, Southern Sweden, dated to the Viking Iron Age era. Foto av Christer Åhlin.
Another photo of Freyr can be seen in the following URL: Bronze Statue from Lunda Rällinge in Sweden Photo: Historiska Museet, Stockholm.

Other Nordic Myrhology names for Frey, Frej or Frö is Freyr Freyr and Frøy.

Continuity of Nordic history from Iron Age to 1800s
The Sami are ancient people of north-western Europe that have preserved parts of the old culture and religion at least until the 1800s e.g. serpent worship, tree worship. In different dialects of the Sami language spoken in Norway, Sweden, Finland and North western Russia there are words that might be related to Asian Saivism.
Sami Saiva:

Sáivu, sáiva, sávja (northern Sami)
Sájvva (Lule Sami)
Saajve (Southern Sami)

More about Sami religion Saiva: Saivu

For more photos, information and literature references you can read the blog posts that are hyperlinked here:
* The ancient Gods of the Sami
* Runes and serpent worship among the Sami
* Horned shamans of the Sami and bear-rites
* Pre-Christian Religion of the Sami, Shamans, Saiva

There are continuity in history from iron age and the old Sami history in southern and northern Nordic and western Russian areas.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

From Iberia to India on a Roman Tabula Peutingeriana 1- 4th century CE

This is an amazing Roman Tabula Peutingeriana map illustrating areas from India in the east to Iberia in the west. It is made in the 1st to the 4th Century CE. This particular facsimile edition is made by Conradi Millieri and published in 1887 - 1888. You can download and take a closer look at the whole map by clicking on the first picture. The file is over 7 MB.

Shared by PHGCOM. Thank you.

Iberia in the west.

Roma and surrounding areas.

Greek areas.

Middle Eastern areas.

Mesopotamian areas.

India in the east.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Stupas, Linga, Mound stupas and Worship

A sacred worshiping place of the Nordic Sami people with a Sacred or holy tree and a Stupa-resembling statue on a tumulus. They are praying and talking under this tree. The same source as the next two pictures.

Laplander people of the Nordic worshiping a fertility Goddess called “Wirku Accha” depicted with a statue resembling a Stupa placed on a tumulus mound. A copper plate made by the Christian author and artist Bernard Picart in the 1600eds to early 1700eds, this particular picture was published in 1725 in the French edition of “The ceremonies and religious customs of the various nations” or ”Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde”. His pictures are some of the scarce ilustrated documentation that is left about the ancient pre-Christian Nordic religion. As mentioned earlier the Sami people preserved parts of the old culture of the ancient Nordic Goths. Colonizing Christians have since the the early 1500s destructed or redefined much of the ancient religion and its manifestations in the Nordic.

The engravings of Picart were based on observations done by others and some of his pictures seem to somewhat ridicule worshipers of other religions. Picart was a christian.

Take a closer look at the illustrations in the book by Bernard Picart, how he illustrates religious practices around the world, including Buddhism in Asia and from the Nordic areas. The Laplanders had from early on merged with the ancient Goths that migrated to these areas: Ceremonies et Coutumes. Volume 4 Image Index, 1729

Buddhist Mini Stupas and Shiva Linga, Lingam or Lingum and Nordic Phallus Stones

Indo - Greek Stupa Circum in Gandhara, present Pakistan. Photo by PHGCOM, 2006.

A Marble stone at Glein, Dønna in Nordland, Norway that is dated to about 400 CE. They must have imported marble to Norway, an indication about the importance of this stone in the heathen Nordic religion. It is placed on top of a tumulus (Vardehaugen or Valhaugen) and was found in relation to a complex of mound graves. It is interpreted as a phallus symbol that was used for religious purposes (offerings). See Valhaugen mound and stone in the two last photos in the linked site. Is the so-called "marble phallus" at Dønna remains of a mini stupa?

1) Mini Stupa India from Tope at Manikyala, dated to the 18th year of Kanishka 127 AD - 151 CE. 2) Sirka with Acanthus leaves. Sirkap, Pakistan, 1st century BCE, by user PHGCOM 2007. 3) Kanheri-stupa in Bombay or Munbay, by Nichalp, 2005.

Caitya is a sacred place or object and Stupa is included in the concept. Stupas are holy places were Buddha is worshiped, containing remains of Buddha or a saint. The larger Asian Stupas often have mound like forms, some are smaller mini Stupas like in the photos and while other have a tall tower structural form such as wooden temples and pagodas.

1) Swayambhunath mini stupas next to the main stupa in Nepal, photo by Markus Koljonen, 2008. 2) Kanheri stupa in Bombay, photo by Nichalp, 2005. 3) Alchi Choskhor. Ladakh, Jammu-Kashmir, in India.

Taxila coin from the 2nd century BCE. British Museum. Photo by PHGCOM, 2007. Taxila is in present Pakistan.

“Taxila is an archaeological site containing the ruins of the Gandhâran city of Takshashila, an important Vedic/Hindu and Buddhist centre of learning from the 6th century BCE to the 5th century CE.” (end of quote from the linked World Heritage site).

A mini stupa in Sirkap, Taxila, Gandhara. 1 st Century BCE to 1 Century CE.

Stupa no. 3, Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, India. Photo by Ekabhishek, 2007. Stupa number 3 is from about the middle of 2nd century BCE.

Burial Mounds or Tumulus in the Nordic areas compared to Ancient Asian Stupas:

Iron Age Mound graves in Gambla Ubsala, i.e. Gamla Uppsala, Sweden.

"Burial Mounds" in Norway:


Gravhaug Burial mound in Karmøy, Norway, photo by Christian Bickel, 2005

Oseberghaugen in Vestfold county of Norway, photo by Hallvard Strauma, 2005


Karnilshaugen, Gloppen

Burial mounds in Sweden

Skalundahögen in Västergotland, Sweden It is told in this website that this tumulus is still not checked by archaeologists.

Skalunda burial mound from Iron Age, about 600 CE


Inglinge Hog a burial mound


More from Gamla Uppsala

Gravhög Gårdstånga


Burial Mounds in Denmark

1) Mysselhøj, a danish mound close to the danish town Roskilde, photo by Jørgen Larsen, Ultramand 2007. 2) Lindholm Høje is a burial place in North Jutland from the Iron and the Viking Age, photo by Västgöten, 2008.

Grave Mound in Klekkende Høj, Denmark.

The Tumulus mounds of the Ancient Romans

Populonia tumulo in Italy. Tumulo or Tumulus mound, Etruscan tomb, known as "Tomba dei carri".

Ancient Greek Tumulus Mound. Funeral tumulus of the Ahtenians in Marathon battle in Greece. Photo by Dgcampos, 2008.

Roman tumulus graves spread all over Europe: Nordic areas, Russia, Belgium, France, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, England, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Greece. Tumulus is the Roman name for these kinds of mound graves. My hypothesis is that the ancient Romans had a close connection to the Indo-Greek culture of Asia and with some kind of Sun worship and eventually early Buddhism. It is important to remember that the dating of these ancient findings most of the time is controversial. For those interested in reading about the Roman Empire and the fall of the Roman Empire there are free downloadable books from the 18th century available online:
The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. This is Volume 2. There should be at least 6 volumes that was published between 1776-1789.

Some of many ancient Stupas (and remains of Stupas) in India and present Pakistan:

Deorkothar stupa in India. Photo by LRBurdak, 2006. Wikimedia

Stupas at Deur Kothar in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Remains of a Kanishka stupa in Peshawar.

Butkara Stupa in the Swat valley.

Dharmarajika stupa in Taxila.

Dhamek Stupa Varnath, near Varanasi in India.

Buddhist Stupa Mound Tope near Baramulla Jammu Kashmir 1868. The stupa, which was later excavated, dates to 500 CE. More about the Stupa in Summary

A Lingam et de yoni, a photo by nataraja, 2003.

Phallus stones in Indian shaivism

A Siva linga in Kailash, Himalaya (Page 5, Plate X)
(MS Vats, 1940, Excavations at Harappa, Vol. II, Calcutta).

One of many examples of Phallus stones from Iron Age Norway. This particular one is exhibited at the History Museum in Oslo. More photos of sacred white phallus stones from Iron Age Norway can be seen in the following two sites (Norwegian language): Sacred white stones in Norway 1 and Sacred white stones in Norway 2.

Shiva linga 's photo by focal point, Wikimedia, 2007. Uncertain about the place, likely in Asia. The second photo are Carved wooden lingam totems. Uncertain about the place, but likely in India. Photo by Steve Juvertson 2008, Wikimedia.

A wood carved phallus to the upper left is illustrated by Scheffer in the book Lapponica (The History of Lappland) from 1674. In this book the ancient Nordic religion was described, but not in a scientific manner. The Christian priests that wanted to wipe it out described the ancient pagan Nordic religion. The pre-christian religion of the Nordic have been rewritten, redefined and made as incomprehensible as possible particularly after the Lutheran reformation that came from Germany in the early 1500s. You can read more in Saamiblog

Monday, 22 June 2009

Old Mythology in India and the Nordic: Sea Monster, Centaur and Angels

A relief of a figure that is interpreted as an "angel" over the entrance to the crypt holding a scepter or hammer. The crypt belongs to the older part of the Lund Cathedral (founded around 1085) on a pre-christian religious center in Lund, Scania, Southern Sweden. Photo by Wolfgang Sauber, 2007. In this old stone carving there are other important Buddhist symbols, such as: 1) The carved fan-shaped palmette Lotus acroterion ornaments under the figure. Similar carvings are found in Ajanta caves (1-2nd century BCE to 5-6 century CE) and in the Jain caves of Ellora. 2) A Scepter which resembles a Buddhist Shiva Trident. In Sanskrit the trident is called Trisula or Trishula. 3) A ceremonial vase or vessel.

Buddhist Iconography Identification Guide Attributes e.g. Vase.

Dancer with Magic Bowl
A serpent over an Eight-Spooked Wheel ornament on a vessel found at Hedeskoga in Skåne or Scania, Sweden. It is dated to the Bronze Age. The previous blog-post mentioned the important symbols of the eight-spooked wheel and the serpent within ancient Buddhism.

An Iron Age religious figure that resembles an angel found in Oppdal, Trondelag, Norway. Click on the photo. Sometimes these pagan or pre-christian angels were depicted on Sami shaman runic drums e.g. Runic drum from 1723 (Norway).

The Nordic & Russian Sami people had three saints or angel-figures that represented trinity and sometimes was depicted with wings (Friis, 1871, p. 75-76): Frid Ailek (God of Friday), Lava Ailek or Lavardak (God of Saturday) and Sodnabæivve Ailek (God of Sunday). The saints were described as messengers for the gods Thor (Thunder God), Storjunkare (Freyr fertility God) and Biegg Olmai (the Wind and Storm God) and each delivered prayers to the God. Source: Lappisk mythologi, eventyr og folkesagn: eventyr og folkesagn (1871) (Danish-Norwegian Language).

Other Medieval Period relief's from the areas of present Sweden that resembles "Angels" can be seen in the following links from the Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden :

Visa bild | Sök i samlingarna | Historiska museet

Visa bild | Sök i samlingarna | Historiska museet

Visa föremål | Sök i samlingarna | Historiska museet

This schist from Norway is a winged figure ornament resembling an "Atlant" or "Angel" found at Lunner church dates to about 1100 CE (to a period when pagan religion still was practiced in Norway) . Photo by John Erling Blad, 2005. Pay attention to the turban on it's head and compare it with the following ancient angel-alike figure from the India in the Asoka era.

Ancient Buddhist Angel Icons:

An angel like figure called Suparna from Mathura from the Asoka reign era. Exhibited at Lakhnay museum. Suparna is also known as Garuda. Garuda in Buddhism and Garuda in Hinduism

Gandhara Atlants are Buddhist figures with wings that resemble "Angels". This schist is dated to the period from the last century BCE to the 2nd century CE. Photo by mharrsch at Flickr, Creative Commons file.

Two other Greco-Buddhist Atlants:

Gandharan Atlant from the 2nd century CE at Musee Guimet

Winged Atalant, Gandhara at Tokyo National Museum

Figures that looked like “angels” with wings and halos were also part of Buddhism from early on, for instance in Gandhara. The kingdom of Gandhara lasted from 6th century BCE to the 11th century CE. Taxila was a city in ancient Gandhara that was an important center of Buddhist learning from the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. As mentioned earlier thousands of monks were sent to Taxila by emperor Asoka a few hundred years before the Common Era. Buddhist monks were sent from Gandhara as missionaries for the Dharma in all directions, including to Europe. These missions are documented in the Asokan edicts and for instance in the Old Greek literature.

Within Buddhism figures resembling “angels” have many different names, here are some:
Atlant: Atlant with wings.
Varjapani: See photo. The name means "Thunderbolt in hand".

The Gautama Buddha And Vajrapani, Gandhara 2nd Century. Photo by PHGCOM, 2007.

Bodhisattva: Read more about Bodhisattva. Varjapani is a bodhisattva for Wisdom. Avalokiteshvara (Padmapani) is Bodhisattva for compassion.
More about Avalokiteshvara:
Loki is in Tibetan Buddhism one of three divisions of the universe. Tri-Loka is in Hinduism: Heaven, Earth and Hell. Lokeswara is a Buddhist God: Lord of the world, which is also called Avalokitesvara. (Source: “Dictionary of Ancient Deities” by Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter, 2001). Avalokitesvara is in Northern Buddhism: 1) The manifested Logos i.e. Ishvara. 2) The Second Logos i.e. Padmapani defined as the Divine in man. (Powis Hoult, 1910).

Yaksa, Yaksha or Yakkha (male) or Yakshi (female) are nature spirits: Yaksha.
Deva: There are many types of Devas and Devas are not Gods.
Yidams: See same source as over.

A Mythological Sea Monster
This is an ornament from the Stupa of Bharhut in Madhya Pradesh, India. Parts of the Bharhut stupa dates back to the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, about 324 – 300 BCE. Men in a fishing boat and a huge fish swallowing humans.

Timingala Jataka Scene. Displayed at the Varanasi University Museum. This rondell dates according to the linked source back to ca. 200 BCE - 101 BCE.

Does anyone know more about the mythology or story of the scene in this Makara relief?

About this scene by Cunningham: “A great marine monster, with mouth wide open, in the act of swallowing a boat with its crew of three men. A second boat is drifting towards the same fate stern foremost, while her crew of three men have given up rowing, in despair. The waves are rough, and several small fishes appear between the sea monster and the second boat. This bas - relief is valuable as being the only Bhahut Sculpture, which represents us with the view of the ancient Indian boat. Here we have two boats, with their zigzag-cut planks fastened by Iron cramps, just like those of the present day. The oars also and rudder are of the same as those now in use, the former being made of a simple bamboo with a piece of flat wood tied to the end for a blade. The men in the second boat who have given up rowing have placed their right hands on their breasts, a mode of action, which was probably understood to signify despair. The head of the leviathan is particularly stiff and clumsy, but as the animal has to swallow a boat the mouth is necessarily large.

The boats themselves are of exactly the same build as the boat in the Sanchi Sculptures. The Bharhut examples however are about three centuries older; but as the very same pattern of boat and the same oars are still in use at the present day, this relief only affords another example of the unchanging habits of the Hindus. Such as their Boat was in the days of Asoka, such it is now. The planks are notched on their edges to prevent their sliding, and they are fastened together by iron clamps. The oars are shaped somewhat like large spoons: each has a long Bambu handle, with a flat piece of wood at the end to hold the water."

Cunningham tells that the fishtailed elephant can be seen among the Buddhist Sculptures of Buddha Gaya, but of a later date.

Some of this text is interpretations made by Cunningham, such as what feelings the men in the boat likely had and why they had stopped rowing. I could not at first see the second boat, but likely what is being swallowed with the three other men.

The origin of the Makara might be the Greek Sea Monster called Ketos or Cetus that is documented from the 5th century BCE. There were long lasting cultural connections between ancient Buddhist areas of India & Pakistan and ancient Greece. The cultural exchange could have come in both directions and via ancient land and sea trade routes and also indirectly via other trade partners such as ancient Egypt.

Nereid and Ketos, Sirkap, Gandhara., Pakistan. From Musee Guimet

In Nordic Mythology there is a Sea Monster called the Midgard Serpent or “Goarmes Guolle” (Sami language) - can be translated to "Troll-fish" or "Monster Fish". “The Midgard Serpent” i.e. Jörmungandr or Jormungand is the son of the Giants Loki and Angerboda described as the enemy of the thunder God Thor in Nordic Mythology. Here is an article where the author assumes that the myth about the Midgard Serpent has been re-written and changed by the Christians: The one that got away? I will add more about this Nordic myth later on.

The Midgard Serpent (Jörmungandr) is carved on the Altuna Runestone from 11th century in Uppland, Sweden. At this time the “heathen” i.e. pre-Christian religion was still practiced.

Jörmungandr (the Midgard Serpent) gets an ox head as bait, from a 17th Century Icelandic document.

Centaur in Norway:
The relief is dating back to about 1100 CE, when pagan or pre-Christian religion still was practiced in the Nordic areas.

Old ornament from about 1100 CE of a Centaur from the God house that was replaced by Lunner church in Oppland, Norway. Photo by John Erling Blad, 2005

An Centaur relief made about 1170 - 1215 CE on Grotlingbo church at Gotland, Sweden. Photo by Wolfgang Sauber, 2007.

Centaur from Gandhara Indo-Greek Buddhism Era.

Ichhyo Centaur from Gandhara, exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo by PHGCOM, 2005.

Many figures and animals that was common in Greek Mythology from about 5th Century BCE (according to this article on Greco-Buddhist art) are also part of the early Buddhist Indo-Greek-Chinese-Iranian cultures (Khotan or Kushan) that inhabited the present areas of India and Pakistan. Such mythological figures are for instance: The Centaur, Ketos or Cetus (Makara in India), and tritons. I am unsure about the origin of the Atlants or Angel-like figures.

If it is so that the ancient Nordic Goths brought a form of early Buddhism to the Nordic, and since Buddhist resembling figures, ornaments and symbols are found in relation to pre-Christian religion here, then the Nordic Goths must have arrived in a period when these symbols were commonly used in the Indo-Greek Buddhism of Asia. The Indo-Greek Buddhist symbols came into use after the conquest by Alexander the Great (336–323 BCE), which went as far east as India and northeastwards to the present areas of Xinjiang, China. The easternmost areas were remains of Greek soldiers have been found is Tian Shan, China from the 4th - 3rd Century BCE.