Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Temptation Seals and Ancient Collective Memory

One of the oldest archaeological finds that seems to depict an event related to scripture is the so called Adam and Eve seal seen here.

The seal was found at Tepe Gawra in northern Iraq. This settlement was occupied from 5000 -1500 BCE. The seal depicts a man and a woman, bent over in shame, closely followed by a serpent. I am not saying this seal depicts Adam and Eve themselves. I am only saying that the inhabitants of Tepe Gawra remembered something closely resembling what the ancient Hebrews remembered and recorded.

Another artifact from a time long after Tepe Gawra, the Temptation Seal, gives the Assyrian side of the Fall. This seal is actually a cylinder with pictographs on it it. When rolled onto clay or dipped in ink and rolled on paper, it presents the image in the link. This seal is very interesting because seated in the center of the man and woman is a tree. Behind the woman a serpent can be seen whispering in her ear.
Again all this seal shows is that different cultures, Assyrian, Tepe Gawra, and Hebrew have a common remembrance/myth/legend of a man and a woman, a tree, and a serpent. Along with various flood stories in cultures all over the world, we can assume that ancient man in general has a collective memory of some distant past experiences.


  1. That is very interesting. How do the archeologist argue against the same stories being in other faiths other than Christianity, like Islam?

  2. Basically by saying that one religion co-opted another religions foundation. An example would be Islam where Muhamed accepted the Torah and what it recorded. He also accepted the prophets. He just claimed that he was sent to restore the Original Monotheism that was lost along the way.

    Most archaeologists would not argue against collective memory. A better example than these seals is the flood.

    every culture has a flood myth and most would agree that, early in human history there was a flood (global or local) that deeply affected the "collective memory" of man, despite the development of different cultures.

  3. I don't know i got to what you were looking for? I hope i answered it ok.

  4. Yes that helps, but the flood is a good example. I just wonder if most of these archaeologists are Christians or if they don't care what the implications of their finds are. I can as I read about the finds it excites me on one level that there is more evidence of Biblical truths, but at the same time I can see where the same info could be used for other faiths, does that make sense?

  5. yeah, and most archaeologists are not believers. There are some challenges as far as what the evidence reveals and what scripture says.
    The exodus is a good example. There is not a lot of evidence for the exodus. Most archaeologists agree that some sort of migration occurred and out of the later Israelites developed the Exodus story.
    But like I said headway is made all the time and there is nothing that the Bible gets wrong in a major way.