Mystery Of The Ancient Double-Headed Eagle Symbol
MessageToEagle.com – One of the most intriguing and powerful ancient symbols is the mysterious double-headed eagle that has been with us for millennia. It is believed to be one of the world’s oldest symbols used by a number of diffrent ancient cultures.
The earliest depiction of the double-headed eagle can be found on ancient on Hittite monuments in central Anatolia. In the early 19th century, in Boğazkale, an old Hittite capital in modern-day Turkey Charles Texier discovered cylindric seals with clearly visible two-headed eagle with spread wings. The double-headed eagle motif originally dates from c. 3800 BC. The Hittites had worshiped the double headed eagle as the King of Heaven, who was also called the Hittite Bird of the Sun. The bird was their symbol to signify Hittite military power.
The bird bird appears in Lygash under the name of Imgig, and was the Sumerian symbol for the god of Lagash, Ninurta son of Enlil. Bird or animal headed deities were popular motifs in the ancient Near East. The animal represented attributes of the deity. For example, the Hittite Storm God is seen standing on his bull, as both are related to fertility. The double-headed eagle, however, is not restricted to supporting deities, and also appears supporting human figures. This is an indication of the use of the eagle as a personal (or family) symbol.
The double-headed eagle was known under a variety of names among ancient civilizations. The Hittites called it Teshup. In ancient India the bird was called Garuda. The Seliuk Turks referred to it as Hamca and among the Zuni it appeared as a highly conventionalized design, but still as a double-headed thunder bird, the Sikyatki.
Many historians think ancient civilizations were so impressed with the symbol that they copied it and used it as their own symbol.
The double-headed eagle has been used as an emblem by countries, nations, and royal houses in Europe since the early Medieval period..
Notable examples include the Byzantine House of Palaiologos, the Holy Roman Empire, the House of Habsburg, and the Ruriks and Romanovs of Russia.