One of the more enigmatic symbols discovered in ancient carvings is an image that uncannily resembles a handbag that is always held by God. The shape is depicted by the Sumerians of Iraq, in the remains of ancient Turkish temples, in the Maori of New Zealand’s decorations, and in the Olmecs‘ Central American crafts. Handbags have been shown in the art of several cultures from throughout the world and throughout history, with the earliest documented case occurring towards the end of the Ice Age. What is the purpose of the mysterious handbags of the Gods which appear throughout the ancient world?
Ancient civilizations ranging from Sumer to Mesoamerica depict Gods carrying mysterious handbags. It is seen carried by Mesoamerican Gods (Olmec, Toltec, and Aztec), even the Anunnaki are portrayed carrying these mysterious handbags. As per Mesopotamian mythology, various marine Gods such as Adapa, Dagon, and the fish-god Oannes are shown clutching a bag. The most popular Anunnaki deity carrying a handbag is the Quetzalcoatl in a stone that was created in 1750 BC.
Oldest depiction of the Mysterious Handbags of the Gods
The ruins of Göbekli Tepe, located at the crest of a mountain range in southeastern Turkey, contain one of the earliest examples of the handbag pattern. Göbekli Tepe is one of the earliest temple complexes ever discovered, dating from roughly 11,000 BC (Tinfoil Hat, 2014).
Although the actual purpose of the mountain sanctuary is unknown, it appears as though the temple was used for religious sacrifices (archaeologists unearthed many butchered animal bones). The temple’s walls and pillars are adorned with intricately carved animals, gods, and legendary creatures, perhaps in an attempt to depict the cosmos’ numerous creations. Three handbags are nestled among these other carvings.
According to experts, early religions revered the basic ingredients of life on earth. Thus, “the three Göbekli Tepe purses, if viewed as an early manifestation of those iconographies, might be considered to symbolically define the site as a temple.”
Are these Mysterious handbags of Gods some sort of a Symbol?
The image is referred to as a handbag since it resembles a modern purse. One probable explanation for the image’s widespread use is its plain portrayal of the cosmos. The image’s semi-circle (what appears to be the bag’s strap) represents the sky’s hemisphere. Meanwhile, the earth is represented by the solid square base.
The objects “typically feature a rounded handle-like top and a rectangular bottom, and may include varying degrees of additional details of texture or pattern”Scranton, 2016
“In ancient cultures from Africa to India to China, the figure of a circle was associated symbolically with concepts of spirituality or non-materiality, while that of a square was often associated with concepts of the Earth and of materiality”Scranton, 2016
Thus, the image serves as a metaphor for the (re)unification of earth and sky, of the material and non-material elements of existence. Another hypothesis concerning the bag is that it could possibly be a symbol of standard weight depicting the weight of power and authority, according to Dr. Robert Duncan and Jay R. Synder.