Author Archives: kelpla

The Cippi of Melqart and Heracles

The Cippi of Melqart are a pair of ornamental pillars with engravings found by the Knights of St. John on the Island of Malta in the village of Marsaxlloc, they are considered to be from the 2nd century BCE. It is in this village that the Phoenicians reputedly landed in the 9th CE BC and […]

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Skirmishes in Tripoli

In the Northern Lebanese city of Tripoli there is what may, in the scale of conflicts ranging from world wars to skirmishes, be considered a relatively small conflict. This conflict however has the obvious connotations of a conflict which increases in size exponentially as you delve deeper into history and look at a greater context. […]

The Report of Wenamun

The report of Wenamun has been famously been argued to be a work of historical fiction. Wenamun as a priest of Amun Ra and an Egyptian trader had a historically bad journey to the city of Byblos in around the 11 BCE under the pharaoh Ramesses XI. Wenamun was on his way to the city […]

Kissing the bride and the cult of Adonis

The ancient mystery cult of Adonis, was prevalent in the region of Byblos and the surrounding mountainous area of North Lebanon. So popular was the myth of Adonis, that the Greeks fully endorsed it and t became almost more synonymous with ancient Greece than its origins which were very much in Lebanon. Adonis was the […]

Cultural associations of the Boar in ancient Lebanon and Egypt

In the almost collective myth of gods of rebirth being dispatched by irate gods there are two that will be focused on; the death of Osiris by his brother Seth and the death of Adonis by the jealous God Ares. These two gods of rebirth were dispatched by a wild Boar. The strength, courage, and […]

Mysterious origins of Malta

In the National Museum of archaeology in Malta there is the ‘sleeping lady’, an object found in the painted rooms of a sort of vaulted cave temple complex from the Saflieni phase. This was a time between 3000-2500 BC. The statue is believed to be that of the Goddess Astarte and is the finest artifact […]

The sarcophagus of King Ahiram of Byblos

The tomb of Ahiram was hailed as one of the most exciting finds by Semitic scholars, the tomb now in the national museum of Beirut, is widely accepted to be from around 1000 B.C. When the tomb was discovered by the French archaeologist Pierre Montet, it soon became apparent that it was an important link […]

Yazidis, at risk minority in Mesopotamia and their extraordinary culture.

In northern Iraq in what is perhaps the most dangerous region in the world, Mosul, lives the majority of the tribal culture of Yazidis. Amongst the sectarian strife between Sunni and Shiite, political divisions between Baathist and Kurd, the Yazidis maintain their ancient religion and practices. The roots of Yazadinism are mysterious as with all […]

Valentine’s day, were the ancients telling us to rut?

The origins of Valentine’s Day seem somewhat mysterious at a glance, why would buying flowers for a loved one be in any way related to the death of an early Christian martyr, St Valentine? Well amongst the theories is the correlation with the Greco-Roman festival of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was celebrated in the 5 century B.C […]

The Year of the Snake

Two days ago the Chinese culture celebrated the advent of the year of the black water snake. For the Chinese it represents a year commanded or influenced by the personality of the snake.The snake being a popular figure in mythology world wide, is the creator of the universe in ancient cultures from China, Africa, India […]