Sunday, June 16, 2013

Images from Dominus Flevit and Kefr Kilkis [EDITED]

I first came across mentions of Kefr Kilkis – one of the places where the earliest Christians settled and artifacts have been discovered that predate the Gospels – in Peter Lamborn Wilson's Shower of Stars and have looked for images of the finds periodically since running into it. In fact, Wilson's comments regarding the finds there never left my mind. And while they may be incorrect in some cases, I liked them enough that I shoved them at Ryan Valentine during the writing of one of the Sutras of the Poison Buddha:
“In the village of Kefr Kilkis, near Hebron, a large body of believers settled after the fall of Jerusalem and buried their dead under inscribed tombstones. These constitute almost the whole corpus of Christian art prior to the Roman Catacombs, and are thus immensely significant. Why are they not more widely known?

Each stone is carved in the rough outline of an angel, sometimes combined with a “Jacob’s Ladder” shape. The symbols include birds and animals, trees and crosses, sun-wheels and variants of the “star out of Jacob,” reminiscent of the Sumerogram for “deity,” a simple shining star. Detached heads and erected phalluses are also seen. Most intriguingly for us, the stones also include many inscriptions – but in an unknown alphabet. Later Jewish magic makes much use of “angelic scripts,” often represented as patterns of stars, and it seems clear that Kefr Kilkis stones must be seen (if never deciphered) in this context. It also seems quite probable that Kefr Kilkis represents a graphic rendition of the glossalia or speaking in tongues described by St. Paul and apparently practiced by all the early Churches as one of the charismata promised by Jesus himself…

We may assume that Kefr Kilkis inscriptions were susceptible of interpretation by the inspired leaders and prophets of the sect. Who can say how much of this material, “revealed by spirits,” Angels, perhaps even by the risen Jesus, might have made its way into the Gospels (which are later than Kefr Kilkis)? The first Christian “book” is unreadable – a true bible of lost dreams, long-forgotten visions that left behind them signs carved in stone, inscribed with stars, and dedicated to the process of becoming an Angel.”
- Peter Lamborn Wilson, Shower of Stars: The Initiatic Dream in Sufism and Taoism.
Incidentally, I recently came across a copy of Buried Angels and was pleased to discover that the author had a piece on Kefr Kilkis... as well as some of the images I was looking for. 
“In July of 1960, in the village of Kefr Kilkis outside of Hebron, an Arab digging in the field by his home made a discovery on a par with the Dead Sea Scrolls, but which no one outside the tiny world of academic Biblical studies has yet heard of. The man unearthed, among fragments of human bones, strange doll-like and doll-sized figures. It was an ancient cemetery filled with esoteric manikins marked with crosses and unintelligible writing, which looked like nothing so much as an army of petrified ghosts.

During his discussion on the items (in a section entitled “The Tomb of the Angels”), the author compares the finds at Kefr Kilkis to ossuaries found at Dominus Flevit:

Plants depicted growing beside an Ossuary at Dominus Flevit. Note the way one of the plants has been turned into a Cross.

But perhaps most fascinating about the Kefr Kilkis finds is that many of the mannikins that were found bear depictions of plants growing – much like ossuaries at Dominus Flevit – and so does the Chrism vials that were found. Given some of the quotes I have pilfered from Earl Lee's book, and the fact that the imagery ties in with his theories, I wanted to post those images:

With circumsized penis (?!)

Chrism vial found at Kefr Kilkis
Happy sunday. hahaha.


[EDIT]: I realized some of these images may simply be grave markers and have edited the entry accordingly, as well as adding a quote from Buried Angels.


Rachel Izabella said...

It's embarrassing how theologians have utterly ignored these hugely important findings. And speaking of Buried Angels, everything that Ellipsis Marx AKA Yakov Rabinovitch has written is solid gold.

Anonymous said...

The one with the penis reminds me of a Herma.