Monday, February 15, 2016

Incontri Tra/Montani: Acknowledging the importance of our shared pagan past II - "Camunian runes"

Although the ancient Camunni language and alphabet have been covered here before, there may be another way of looking at it, and in relation to the Camunian-Valtellinese link from a greater historical viewpoint. To start with, the ancient Camunic language was spoken and written in both the Val Camonica and the Valtellina, and I'm guessing that may well include the Bergamo Alps, Val Chiavenna, Val Sabbia, Val Trompia, and all the connecting valleys in the "Camuno-Valtellinese region." This ancient language was, of course, tied to the Camunian alphabet (see link). When viewing the characters of this alphabet, they appear more like Norse runes than the Phoenician-originated alphabet that we use today.

The actual origin of ancient regional scripts can be confusing since some of the various characters have been adopted back and forth, often via trade routes (Greeks, Romans, Etruscans, Phoenicians, Celts). I would guess that the forgotten trading centers and roads of the Celtic world were how many ancient scripts and characters were spread back and forth between the rather isolated Teutonic world and the Mediterranean world. In other words, a trading center along the southern coast of Gaul three thousand years ago would have Gauls coming into contact with Phoenicians for example. The Gauls had access to Scandinavia and the Teutonic world, and the Phoenicians had access to the known sea routes.

The Camunian alphabet shown in the above link, includes clear recognizable symbols from both north and south, as well as those unique to the ancient Camuns/Tellines. Also, this alphabet was taken from rock carvings; therefore the difference between the various alphabet characters and symbols of the spirit or earth, is more narrow than it would at first appear. For example, the very regional Camunian rose and characterizations of the god Cernunnos. Within the alphabet is a circle with a dot in the middle, a symbol of the sun, probably originating from the sun-worshiping Teutons. Also, it possibly may have been a symbol of Odin, and maybe Tyr before that. Its ultimate origin may have been Saturn when it was illuminated in the northern sky thousands of years ago.

Also included in this alphabet are both the Norse life and death runes, and a number of other other Norse runes. Since some of the Norse runes are of Etruscan origin, I believe that a few of these characters were both adapted directly from Etruscan script (lower Lombardy was within the Etruscan sphere of influence) and also probably from frequent contact with migrating Celts from the north who settled near them. At least the life/death runes and the sun-circle were of true Teutonic origin; and Cernunnos was Gaulish. In conclusion, these are runes! By definition, being both an alphabet and spiritual symbols, they are as "runic" as the Norse runes. I have a good idea of what my next art project will be.

2-21-16 ADDITION: Regarding the 1937 German Ahnenerbe institute expedition to the Val Camonica:

In 1937, the Ahnenerbe sent the archaeologist Franz Altheim and his wife, the photographer Erika Trautmann, to Val Camonica, to study prehistoric rock inscriptions. The two returned to Germany claiming that they had found traces of Nordic runes on the rocks, supposedly confirming that ancient Rome was originally founded by Nordic incomers. 


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