Ancient Nagar, now known as Tell Brak is a settlement mound, in the Upper Khabur area in north-eastern Syria. With an area of 320 acres it is one of the largest archaeological sites in northern Mesopotamia. In 1937-39, British archaeologist Max Mallowan discovered the ancient Al-Ayoun Temple and King Naram Sin’s Palace at this site.
The name Nagar is interesting for ‘nagar’ (नगर) is Sanskrit for ‘city’ or ‘settlement’. So is the name Naram Sin, it seems to be a deviation of the Sanskrit ‘narsimha’ meaning ‘man-lion’, a name fit for a king. Narsimha is also another name for the fourth avatar of the Vedic God Vishnu. Here are two steles of the Akkadian King Naram Sin – the link to man-lion is evident :
|Naram Sin, the Akadian King (2270-2230 BC).
‘Narasimha‘ means ‘man-lion’ in Sanskrit.
|Naram Sin was also depicted with a false beard and a crown-
giving him resemblance to a lion. Was
he known as Narasimha rather than Naram-Sin?
The closest city to ancient Nagar, now called Tell Brak is Damascus. Damascus, Edward Pococke wrote in his book ‘India in Greece’, derives its name from Sanskrit ‘dharma’ (धर्म). He supports his argument by putting forth the view that Vedic ‘dharma’ distorts to ‘dhamma’ just as it does in Buddhism – he says Damascus was the city of Dharma.
Nagar is the site of some very curious artefacts – the most famous of them are the ‘eye idols’. Hundreds were found in a temple near the site, perhaps a representation of the gods that were worshipped at the time. Take a look:
|The ‘eye idols’ of Nagar, Syria
are dated to 3200 BC
|Figurines from ancient Nagar Civilization, Syria.|
Here is an artefact that the Interpol reported had been smuggled out from a Syrian site into Lebanon. This news and photo was reported on 13th December, 2013 by www.alapn.com, the website of a prestigious literary and cultural news agency in Damascus:
|An artifact from a Syrian archaeological site.
This looks like a depiction of Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita
or Subhadra, Sri Krishna and Balarama.
Notice the attire.
The eye idols of ancient Nagar civilization of Syria, and the above artifact bear a remarkable resemblance to the gods and goddesses of India, especially the Sri Jaggan Nath idols and Naina Devi. See pictures below:
|The large-eyed idols of Balarama, Subhadra and Sri Krishna|
|Naina Devi, the large eyed Vedic goddess.|
|Vedic scriptures and strotrams describe the
gods and goddess to have eyes which are large,
deep blue and shaped like lotus-petals.
Adi Sankara in his ‘Ardhanarishwara stotram’ describes the eyes of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva hence:
Her eyes are large like a blue lotus and the Lord’s eyes are like the petal of a blossomed lotus’.
Is it possible that the eye idols of Syria bear a connection to the Vedic Gods and Goddess. Although Nagar is in north-eastern Syria, both the decoration and plan of the Eye Temple resemble that of south Mesopotamian temples, such as those in Uruk and Eridu.
Other Syrian artefact also bear resemblance to Indian gods and goddesses in attire and hand gestures such as the one below:
|The Golden Statuette, Syria.
Notice the hand gesture.
|This hand gesture common to India
gods is also seen in the Syrian artefact above.