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Sand Dusted Ghosts

 

Many moons ago, buried beneath the sands of time, the relics of a highly advanced four thousand-year-old society was unearthed during an expedition in the 1970s. Archaeologists had discovered the ancient society of Dilmun, one of the oldest civilizations found in the Middle East.

 

It was an important trading center that excelled in a spectrum of accomplishments ranging from economics to art, commerce and agriculture, maritime activities and astronomy. During the height of its power, the peaceful Dilmun controlled much of trade routes along the Gulf, and was frequented by merchants hailing from countries as far as what is now modern day Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey and more, that flocked to Dilmun’s shores, bringing with them, not only goods and spices, but their vibrant influences and cultural practices, many of which have continued to enrich Bahrain today.

 

Each relic discovered was an echoing memory that has continued to reverberate through time, and one of the most precious findings amongst them were the historical Dilmun Seals. These seals have not only given us a rare window into the past, one that we can peer through to witness the everyday lives, practices and religious beliefs of this extraordinary society, but was also a written language and form of documentation. One of the most notable figures that emerged was the Goddess Inanna, the most prominent and multifaceted Deity of the age, whose name appeared on 93 different seals alone. She was a Goddess of many talents and domains. She reigned over the heavens and earth, and embodied the power of the female energy, one that can be both forgiving, and foreboding.

 

Symbols

 

I. Goddess of love and earth:

Cradled between the crescent moon, which can also be interpreted as bull horns, is the symbol of Inanna whose domain was the sky. The bull horns (or crescent), represented the Moon God, Nanna. Next we have the temple which is crowned with the crescent moon. This represents the house of worship dedicated to Inanna. At the bottom of this seal is the final piece to this intricate puzzle—the oval, and this signifies the earth, a place of grounding, as well as the Goddess of the Earth herself, Inanna.

 

II. Goddess of the date store- house and love, wife of Dumuz Tumuz:

Floating atop the Seal, we have the symbol ‘O’, the sky, representing the Queen of the Sky, who reigns over the mountains and the heavens. The cluster of ‘U’s just beneath the ‘O’ stand side by side, representing mountains that embody strength and transcendence, rising above earth, signifying the majesty of “Inna, powerful lady goddess.” Just below, a triangle sits, as if peering up towards this realm of symbols in awe, embodying Inanna herself, who was sometimes known as the Goddess of Love and Immortality. Completing the seal, are the two palm trees standing on either side like steadfast sentinels, are the “orchard”, a place where date trees grew and prospered; this image depicts Inanna as the Goddess of the Orchard being married to the Date Tree God, Dumuz Tumuz.

 

Just as Dilmun thrived in peaceful times of prosperity, and cherished trade and the arts that greatly emboldened its society with different flavors of multiple cultures and practices that visited, so too does The Generous Light Co. four thousand years later. And just as Inanna illuminated the sky, lovingly held between the outstretched arms of the Moon God, so too does the symbolic star of TGLC Co. shine brightly, celebrating and honoring the arts and expressions of Bahrain.

 

Written by: Layla Alyafi

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