See also these informational links on other sites:
Turkic History -
Turanian Resource Center - - -
Ural-Altaic languages -

"When the Moon of the Turans reaches its zenith it will be vanquished by the sun of Iran." A political statement in the Shahnamah. Perhaps they spoke far too soon. Everything has a season.

See also "Serpents versus Adamites" for the Chandravansa (moon race) and the Suryavansa (sun race). See also "Western Roots One" which states that the Pelasgian people were Turanians (Ural-Altaic) using anthropological finds. This author shows this definitively in his translation of the Lemnos tablets! Turanian, Turan, is a name that many Ural-Altaic people give to themselves. During Lenin's time, the Pan-Turanian movement was quite large. Another name for this is Turko-Tatar, or Turkic. Turan or Turia was the name given to these people by the very early Zoroastrian Persians - who themselves were called Iran or Aryan. They were enemies back then. I had always wondered why Islam would use the symbol they used, the same one the Wiccans use - something that has nothing to do with Islam. I knew what it was, but I couldn't prove there was a connection.

This is not so much about the Turanian peoples, but it is about SUMERIA which has come to take a place in some Satanic thought, and about Pelasgians: Pythagoras claimed to be a Pelasgian! [It is also worth mentioning that modern Tuva, a Turanian people, call their shamanic protector spirits érénï - a cognate term for the ancient Hellenic erinnyes, which were dark "Fury" spirits that punished and pursued sinners (see "Shamanism" by Mircea Eliade, p.498)]

This is an article by an expert. We present it here for educational purposes.

All notes I put in to clarify things are enclosed in { } brackets. All other [ ] or ( ) are the author's.

(see pictures below each article)


"Search For the Origin of the Crescent and Star Motif in the Turkish Flag"

By: Polat Kaya, M. Sc. E. E. Copyright © 1997 There are illustrations on his article.


The word "crescent" is associated with the moon and is used to describe the moon's shape in its early phase of the first quarter. Historically, it was a religious symbol from the earliest times. It has been used alone or together with a star or sun symbol on war standards, ancient seals, coins and monuments. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the earliest that it has been used by the Ottoman Turks was on the standards of Turkish infantry units under Sultan Orkhan (c1326 - 1360) [EB, p.726].

The star used in the 'crescent and star' motif represented the Sun and hence the sun-god most of the times. In other times it represented the planet Venus and hence the goddess "Inanna" of Sumerians also known by the name "Ishtar" to Babylonians. {Please note that Sumeria and Babylonia are the same place - an older name for that was Ur or Uruq - and today's name for this is Iraq.} Particularly when the planet Venus makes conjunction with the moon in its crescent phase, it makes an unusual celestial crescent and star appearance that must have awed the earliest believers of astral objectes as their gods, believing that their gods were sending a message for them to understand.

In the modern literature, the crescent alone or 'the crescent and star' symbols have been associated with the Ottoman empire and after its collapse, with the successor states and the islamic world in general.

On the other hand, there are some evidences supporting the view that the roots of "crescent", "star" and the "crescent and star" symbols that Turks have used on their flags and standards for more than a thousand years in the recent past go back to Central Asia and seem to be associated with the religious and shamanistic beliefs of the ancestors of Turks. In this paper I will show some evidences that point to the existence of this link.

First of all, it is important to clarify the name "Turk" as applied to Turks and their ancestors. It seems that some writers use the word "Turk" to represent only those Central Asiatic people {i.e., Ural-Altaics, or Turanians} who became known by this name around the year 600 A.D. and their descendents who founded many empires and states in historical times up to the present. Also, some western world dictionaries define the people of present day Turkish Republic of Turkiye and all those Turks outside the borders of this limited definition as "Turkic" peoples. This rather restricted view of Turks neither covers the ancestors of Turkish peoples nor all of the Turkish peoples who are in Asia and other parts of the world. In this paper, I use the terms "Turk' and "Turkish" to mean all Turks everywhere inclusive {what some others, including me, call Turanians}. Similarly, to avoid any vagueness, where the term "Turkic" may have been used, it is equivalent to the meaning of "Turkish".

The ethnic name "Turk" as used by Turkish peoples, includes not only the above definition but also the ancestors of Turks who, although, were known with names other than the "Turk", but were Turkish themselves, were from Central Asia, spoke a form of Turkish language and appeared on the stage of history much earlier than 600 AD. Some people have called them proto-Turks, but nevertheless they were "Turks" ethnically, culturally and linguistically.

During much earlier times, as the climatic and geographic conditions changed and the population increased above sizes that the natural resources of their homelands could not support the population, some of the ancestors of the Turkish peoples moved from Central Asia to Europe as well as to other parts of Asia. Since Turks and their ancestors were a most mobile people, due to their domesticating and riding the horse and with a lifestyle of animal husbandry-based economy, they moved readily from place to place and are found in many unexpected places.


Traditionally Turks' ancestors were nature believers and nature worshippers in their homelands in Central Asia and Siberia. Through their Shamanistic and other cult beliefs, they revered astral entities and the natural forces on earth that were important for them in their daily life. In the ancient Turkish world as it is now, the word for god is "Tengri". {That is also the "Mongol" word - and the so-called "Mongols" were the same people as these Turko-Tatars, e.g., Turanians.} This word has variations in the form of "tengir", "tengere", "tangara", "tangri" and "tanri". In their religious beliefs, the sky is identified with "Tengri" and therefore the sky-god is called "Kok Tengri". {In the Mongol tongue, Koko Tengri means Blue Sky.} Tengri is considered to be the "Only God" who created every thing in the sky (universe) and on earth. In addition to this sky god, they also had other secondary gods such as the moon god "Ay Tengri", and the sun god "Kun Tengri" as their most sacred gods as part of the pantheon of Altaic shamanism.

Ancient Turkic peoples had strong beliefs in their shamanic gods and cosmic beliefs. The qaghans {same as Khakhans, Supreme Khans} of Turkish peoples believed that their qaghanship (kingship) was given to them by their gods, [IK, p.37-46]. Even some Turkish qaghans deified themselves as the representative of the Gok Tengri and other subsidiary gods on earth and used the names of these gods as part of their official titles. This belief was a tradition which had its roots in the Altaic shamanism and cosmic beliefs that lasted thousands of years in the past.

For example, we have the Tangriquts of the Huns such as: "Tumen Tangriqut" (240-210 BC), "Batur Tangriqut (210-174 BC), Kokkhan (174-161 BC), Kunkhan (161-126 BC), [TA, p. 180-185]. {Tumen means 1000; Batur means Warrior - in the "Mongol" tongue.}

Among the kings of the Uigur, we have: Etimish Bilge with title of "Tengride Bolmish El, Qutluq Bilge Qaghan, (742-747 Ad); Bayanchur with the title of "Ay Tengride Qut Bolmish, Tutmish Bilge Qaghan", (747-759 AD); another one (name unknown) with the title of "Kun Tengride Ulugh Bolmish, Kuch Kuchluk Bilge Qaghan", (821-824 AD), [TA].

About the Altaic Shamanism, M. A. Czaplicka [1, MAC, p. 30] writes the following: "The religion of the Turks who were responsible for the inscriptions found in the Yenisei and Orkhon valleys, seems to have been the same Shamanism which is still to be found in a comparatively vital state among many Turanians, especially the Altai 'Tatars' and the 'Yakuts'. If we take Shamanism as a form of animistic religion which originated in Asia, and which differs from the animistic religions of other parts of the world in its conception of the gods and in the nature of its propitiatory ceremonies, then we shall not find in any other part of Central and Northern Asia a more typical and more highly developed form of it than among these people. At the same time it must be remembered that Shamanistic conceptions underlie many of the high religious systems of the Asiatic continent."

To this view, in the opinion of this author, one can also add the view that the Sumerians were one group of Central Asiatic peoples who helped to spread the Central Asiatic cosmic beliefs and Shamanistic conceptions as the underlying foundation of the religious systems developed in Mesopotamia and the Middle East.

It is also important to mention that in the Central Asiatic culture (Turkish Turfan Textes, regarding the structure of the cosmic system), concepts of four, five, eight and ten directions were known [EE, p. 76-108]. Additionally, four colors were associated with four directions. Namely, "gok = blue" with the "East", "ak = white" with the "west", "kizil = red" with the "south" and "kara = black" with the north [EE, p. 79]. The five directions represented the four cardinal directions and the direction towards the "zenith" where the Gok Tenri resided. The number of directions and the colors associated with celestial directions were important concepts that were represented in various flags of Turkish peoples throughout the Central Asia. Such colors have been used as background colors in different flags and the number of cosmic directions have been used in defining the number of points of the star motifs that were used in the crescent and star representations.


Due to climatic and geographic conditions of Central Asia, Turkish peoples had developed a mobile lifestyle which was best suited to their economic requirements in the steppes of Central Asia. During winters, they would live a sedentary life in "kishlak" areas, their wintering grounds where villages were made of "yurts", i.e., tents that were made of felts and during summers, they would go to "yaylak", i.e., the higher grounds where they would find cooler and agreeable weather conditions as well as good grazing grounds for their animal herds. They had to be able to move fast from place to place and for that reason they had to be light in most of their belongings. Even the representations of their sacred gods had to be on light carryable objects. Their flags, standards, shields, tents, carpets, cloths, wood carvings, and even their shamanic costumes and drums were used as medium for such purposes.

Flags and standards were sacred objects to the Turkish peoples since these emblems represented their gods, kings, people and homelands in Central Asia or in their new homelands. For example, in Oguz Epic writings, Oguz Qaghan declares: "Sun is standard and sky is royal tent", [IK, p. 136]. In this declaration there is the link between Turkish flag and the Sun as a star in the heavens and as the sun-god of shamanism. Therefore, these standards and flags required utmost respect and dignity by Turkish peoples at all times.

In war times, Turkish peoples' flags and war standards would not only reveal their identity to the opposing sides, but would also bring along the representations of their gods to give them courage and moral help needed in their struggle with their enemies. One unfortunate aspect of this kind of medium, from the point of view of modern man, was that these objects were easily destroyed in time by environmental conditions. Hence, they could not be historical message carriers from past into the present. Additionally, the history of ancient Turkish peoples most often was relayed into the future in a more oral form than written. Anything written on heavy durable media could not be readily transported from place to place. It was simply not practical.


The origin of the "crescent", "star" or the "crescent and star" symbols used in the Turkish flag does not start with the Ottoman Turks, but it seems that it goes back to the Shamanistic culture that the ancient Central Asiatic peoples, including the ancestors of all Turkish peoples, had developed during pre-historic times.

First of all, let us examine the recent times. We have:

4A. Flags of Some Turkish Empires And Other Artifacts of the Recent Past.

a) The flag of the Turkic White Hun Empire (420-552 AD) had three five-pointed gold stars on a white background, [NE];

b) The flag of the Turkic Khazar Empire (602-1016 AD ) had five five-pointed white stars on a blue background, [NE];

Not a flag but an archeological artifact found in Vorobyevo in Russia and attributed to Khazars has a sun disk with 10 triangular rays emanating from it. On the face of this sun disk, there is a crescent with light rays to its right.', [BO, p. 235].

c) The flag of the Turkish Gazneli Empire (962-1183 AD) had a crescent and a peacock on a green background, [NE];

d) Many monuments of the The Great Seljuk Empire (1040-1157 AD) and the Seljuks of Rum (1077-1308 AD) [TTR] had 'crescent and star" on them, [TTR, plates: 5, 40, 55, 79]. {The Seljuks were the same as the Salji'uk tribe later known to Jenghis Khan.}

A selection of Seljuk coins had five, six and eight-pointed stars on them, [TTR, plate 79 and p. 271].

Additionally, a crescent embracing a sun disk with eight rays emanating from the disk is shown on the top right hand corner of an arch door used in an Seljuk hospital (about 1217 D) in Sivas belonging to the Seljuks of Rum period, [FK, p. 47-47].

e) The flag of the Golden Horde Empire (1224-1502 AD) had a red crescent together with a "white balance figure on a black disk" all of which on a white background, [NE];

{Batu Khan, the leader of the Golden Horde, was the grandson of Jenghis Khan, from his first son Jochi. These people are known to "Western Scholars" as "Mongols." They are wholly unrelated to the Chinese peoples and the name is a misnomer.}

f) The flag of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922 AD) had a "crescent with an eight-pointed star" on a red background, [NE]. Initially the crescent symbol alone has been used on the Ottoman flags, standards, on the very tops of mosques and many other monuments throughout the Ottoman Empire. We have the following from Tamara Talbot Rice which states: ".... It was with real pleasure, therefore, that the young sovereign watched Osman, son of Tugrul, who had succeeded to the chieftainship of the Osmanli tribe, harass the Byzantines, in 1281 extending his fief at their expense. Keyhusrev marked the occasion by investing him with the title of Uc Beg, meaning Protector of the Border, giving him the drum and the horse-hair standard consisting of a red pennant with a white crescent upon it which accompanied the title; ....", [TTR, p. 80];

In the case of the Ottoman flag, as seen in this description, the origin of the Ottoman flag's red colour and the crescent on it probably starts with this event where Giyaseddin Keyhusrev III son of Kilicarslan IV, the Ruler of the Seljuks of Rum grants an emblem to the new Turkish Uc Beg Osman in appreciation of his services; and,

g) Finally the flag of the Turkish Republic of Turkiye has the white "crescent and a five-pointed star" on a red background. It should also be mentioned that presently all the other Turkish Republics have variations of crescent, star and crescent and star configurations on their flags.

h) In addition to all these given above, five, six and particularly the eight-pointed stars and its many variations have been used by the Turkish peoples as decorating motifs on carpets throughout the Turkish world.

i) One should also note that there are many cemetaries in Central Asia where the tombs are made in the style of Turkish yurts at the top of which an emblem in the form of a crescent or a crescent and star shape is attached to the very top of the yurt-shaped tomb [ND, Figures 10 to 17]. Nejat Diyarbekirli indicates in his article that this was a custom followed by Turks over a long period of time.

4B. Clan Crests of Turkic Peoples

Another place where we could search for the earlier traces of crescent and star symbol is the 'clan crests' of the Turkic peoples, known as 'tamgas' [HNO, p. 962]. Among some of the Turkish clan-crests inscribed on rocks in Central Asia, are the 'crescent and star' symbols which use a curved line for the crescent and a dot or a disk for the star. Additionally there is the sun symbol in the form of a disk with eight rays. These are some of the known ancient crescent and star symbols not as elaborately done as the ones found in elsewhere such as Mesopotamia, nevertheless, they are definitely 'crescent and star' symbols probably representing Shamanistic celestial gods of Turkish peoples.

4C. Shamanism of Central Asia and North America

The ancestors of the Native Peoples of Americas are known to have migrated from Central Asia and Siberia to their new homelands in the Americas. Like the ancestors of Turks, they also have shamanistic beliefs. This is another area in which one can search for the representations of shamanistic sky, moon and sun gods. Since the Native peoples of the Americas have migrated from Asia to these continents, it is likely that we may find representations of these astral deities being the same or similar to those found in Central Asia. In searching their culture, we find, for example, the following shamanistic representations:

a) An Altaic shaman's map of his visionary journey to the god "Ulgen" is shown in a figure by Joseph Campbell, [JC, p.158, Fig. 276]. In this figure, the shaman's journey starts from his tent and goes via a world (cosmic) tree, then ascends toward the god Ulgen which is shown at the very top of the ascending path. The god Ulgen is represented in the form of a man radiating light all over like the sun.

b) In another figure, "A Chukchi map of the heavenly ways" is shown by Joseph Campbell, [JC, p.158, Fig. 277]. In this map, a sun, a crescent moon, Pole star together with other stars and the Milkyway are illustrated.

c) In the words of Joseph Campbell, we have: 'a colorful yarn painting of the shamanisic visionary journey is given as a New World counterpart to that of the Central Asian Altaic shaman', [JC, p. 159, Fig. 280]. This painting which belongs to the Shamans of the Huichol Indian tribe of Nayarit in western Mexico shows a crescent and a five pointed white star which is attached to one tip of the crescent. There are four wavy rays emanating from the star and also four wavy rays to the left of the star are the "fiery curtain of solar rays through which the shaman had to pass". The path of the shaman's ascent is indicated by footsteps shown on a crescent. This painting is by Ramon Medina.

According to the description given by Joseph Campbell: "this painting by Ramon Medina is of a journey inspired by a supernatural summons to bring back to earth, in the form of a rock crystal, the soul of an ancestral shaman wishing to return. The star is the rock crystal to be found. This visionary journey of a shaman from Mexico obviously resembles that of the shaman from Central Asia (276), even to the detail of the tree, which appears in the Altaic map at the start of the shaman's flight into space, and here in the Huichol painting at the center of the composition."

d) In the words of Mircea Eliade, we have: "The designs ornamenting the skin of the drums are characteristic of all the Tatar tribes and Lapps. Among the designs, are always the most important symbols, as, for example the World Tree, the sun and moon, the rainbow and others. In short, the drums constitute a microcosm: a boundary line separates sky from the earth, and in some places, earth from the underworld", [ME, p. 172].

e) To support this description of a shaman's drum, we have a picture of Lapp drumhead from northern Sweden, c. 1800, [JC, p.176, Fig. 306]. The drum's skin is divided into three segments by two horizontal lines. It is described by Joseph Campbell: "In the Upper World: the sun and moon (or, perhaps the sun setting and rising) are seen along with heavenly beings and their tent. In the middle (left to right): the Mistress of the Beasts sends animals to be hunted; a hunter shoots a reindeer; and a shaman, riding upward in a sleigh drawn by a reindeer, is followed by a dog. In the Lower world: three goddesses suggesting the Norns are pictured."

f) Again we have from Joseph Campbell's book the picture of the Yakut (Karagasy) shaman Tulayev, of Irkutsk, wearing his reindeer-leather swan costume. "On his cap of green cloth is sewn a wolf's muzzle with the moon above and stars on each side. ....", [JC, p. 177, Fig. 307].

g) Four buckskin tipi models, collected from the Cheyenne (Native Peoples) in 1904, are shown by N. Bancroft-Hunt and W. Forman [NBHWF, p. 106-107]. These tipi models show the types of sacred images applied to Medicine tipis. One of them, entitled as "Shining Bell's tipi" bears the images of Sun, Moon and Star and the sacred Eagle that carried prayers from Earth to the Sky, [NBHWF, p. 107].

On this tipi, the sacred images of Sun, Moon and a star are vertically arranged on the side of the tipi. Shown are a four- pointed star at the top, a crescent moon in the middle and a sun disk at the bottom. In this illustration of the shamanistic beliefs of astral gods by Cheyenne Indians, we again observe the crescent and star motif.

h) In a book entitled, "Myths of the World Gods of the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas" by Timothy R. Roberts, MetroBooks, 1996, [TRR, p. 56], there is shown an Aztec headdress, which is said to be the only surviving example of Aztec feather work and is made of hundreds of quetzal feathers, is adorned with many golden or gold colored crescents and sun disks. This headdress is presently in the Museum fuer Voelkerhunde, Vienna, Austria. In the same book, twelve major Aztec gods are depicted by pictures [TRR, p. 58-59], one of which (#6) has a sun symbol where between the rays showing the four directions, there the three-pointed sun rays between four directions. Similarly, on the Aztec god represented in this (#7), there is the eight-pointed star symbol. So, it is seen that these sun, crescent and eight-pointed star symbols are all associated with Shamanic religious concepts.

i) In the same book by Timothy R. Roberts, [TRR, p. 90], there is the picture which depicts "Coya Mama, the wife of Manco Capac, the last Inca ruler". In this picture, Coya Mama is holding a mirror reflecting the sun and the mirror represents her husband as the descendent of the sun. This is a Shamanistic concept. Additionally, Coya Mama has a white robe over her shoulder. On the right shoulder, there is a "an eight-pointed star embraced by a crescent symbol.

In all of these examples of shamanic beliefs, both in Altaic Shamanism and the Shamanism of North America, the sacred representation of sky, moon, sun, star or Venus are illustrated on shaman's maps, tipis, drums and costumes. The crescent and star motif seems to be a prominent motif among the sacred representations. Additionally, in all of these cases, the North American Shamanism and the Altaic shamanism seems to point to a common origin in Central Asia. Since the ancestors of the Native Peoples of Americas have migrated from Central Asia and Siberia to the Americas, finding this common origin among them is quite natural and expected.

4D. Sumerian Religious Artifacts

The ancestors of Turks, being a very mobile people, have moved into and settled in many new lands out of the boundaries of Central Asia. In tracing the origin of the crescent and star motif on the Turkish flag, we may also examine the cultures of some of these outside settlements. Particularly in areas where conditions were conducive for the Central Asiatic peoples to move in and establish a new sedentary lifestyle rather than carrying on with the nomadic mobile lifestyle. In Mesopotamia, Sumerians and Elams fulfill this requirement very well. Now we look for the relation between the Sumerian and Turkish peoples.


The Ural-Altaic languages are related to the Sumerian language. According to Hymes list of 100 common root words of Ural-Altaic and Sumerian languages used as tests for comparing these languages, any language that has 47% of the root words given in the list can be considered a direct descendant of the Sumerian language, [FH]. This test takes into account the fact that Sumerian and the present day Ural-Altaic languages are separated from each other in time by a duration of five thousand years. Turkish and Hungarian passes this test with results far better than 50% and hence can be considered as direct descendants of Sumerian. In view of the Hymes test, the proto-Ural-Altaic language and Sumerian must have been one and the same. {This is referring to the people living in Sumeria long prior to the Semitic speakers who wrote the Epic of Gilgamesh.}

For these comparisons, the reader is suggested to visit Fred Hamori's web page on Internet [FH]. Reader are also invited to visit my 200-words Hymes list, conceptually grouped Sumerian and Turkish comparisons, in this home page.

It should also be noted here that even the language of Elams was an agglutinative language like that of the Sumerians and Turks.


It is well acknowledged that the Sumerians are not indigeneous people to Mesopotamia. In view of the existing close kinship of Sumerian and the Ural-Altaic languages and additionally many cultural evidences showing direct kinship between the Sumerians and the Central Asiatic peoples, it can be said that in order for this affinity to exists, the ancestors of the present day Altaic peoples (such as Turks and Hungarians) and those of the Sumerians must have been in direct contact with each other before Sumerians migrated into Mesopotamia. In other words, the Sumerians must have been a Central Asiatic people and must have been speaking the same or a dialect of a proto-Ural-Altaic language that Ural-Altaic peoples spoke then. That proto-Ural-Altaic language must have been either the same as the Sumerian or a version of the Sumerian language that the linguists have been able to read from thousands of Sumerian tablets. The very fact that the present day Turkish and Hungarian are Sumerian-like languages, is a strong indication that the speakers of these languages are the descendants of an Ural-Altaic people who must have been members of a group that the Sumerians were also a member.

A plausible area for the original homeland of Sumerians may be the part of Central Asia which is bounded between southern tips of Ural mountains in the north, the Caspian Sea in the south, Irtish river at the east and Idil (Volga) river at the west. Only in this area, as a most likely original homebase for Sumerians, they could have had close contact with all Ural-Altaic peoples linguistically and culturally. {Oral history claims they came from Meru - which is centered in the Gobi area and extending far out. Su means south. Sumeru would be South of Meru.}

In view of these considerations, it is expected that within such a common background, in addition to linguistic kinship, it is highly probable that one could also find the traces of other cultural kinships, such as the use of crescent, star or crescent and star motifs as emblems, between Central Asiatic cultures and the Sumerian culture. In this context we may find in the Sumerian culture, particularly in the religious culture, traces of their Central Asiatic cultural heritage which could have been continued for long periods of time as tradition by those Central Asiatic peoples who were left behind.


The Sumerian word for "god" is "dingir" and it is represented with an eight-pointed star symbol in the Sumerian cuneiform writing system. The word for "god" in the languages of Turks has the forms of "tengir", "tengere", "tangara", "tengri" and "tanri". Evidently, not only these Sumerian and the Turkish words are related to each other but also must come from the same cultural source.

The Sumerians worshipped a large number of specialized deities, as part of their religious beliefs. Among them, the four most important were the heaven-god "An", the air-god "Enlil", the water-god "Enki", and the great mother goddess, "Ninhursag", [SNK, p. 118]. In addition to these four leading deities, there were three important astral deities: the moon-god, "Nanna", the sun-god Utu and Nanna's daughter, the goddess Inanna, known also as Ishtar to other ancient peoples of Mesopotamia, [SNK, p. 122].

Ancient Turks are also known to believe the sky (heaven) god "Tengri", the astral deities such as the moon-god "Ay Tengri", the sun-god "Kun Tengri", the natural forces such as the wind "Yil", the mountains, thunder storms, etc.

Initially the heaven-god An was conceived by the Sumerians as the supreme ruler of the pantheon and later Enlil, the air-god seems to have taken his place as the leader of the pantheon.

It is seen that the Sumerians had similar beliefs in the Astral entities, such as the Sky, Moon and Sun, as did the ancestors of Altaic peoples through their Altaic Shamanism. Additionally, some Sumerian kings even deified themselves [SNK, p. 328; 5, p. 113] since they considered that their kingship had descended for them from heaven. Like the Sumerians, the Turkish qaghans (rulers) also believed that they were the representatives of Tengri on earth and their qaganship were given them by Tengri. These were all Shamanistic religious values of ancient Central Asiatic peoples.


From my own research, I have found the following information that verify the point that the crescent and star motifs are related to Shamanistic beliefs. References given at the end of this paper provide additional useful information.

a) Sumerians have used the "crescent and star" motif in some of their monuments and/or documents that have been discovered so far. One of the earliest known crescent and star representation is shown on the Sumerian Ur-Nammu stele which is said to be commissioned about 2100 B.C. [SNK, illustration after p. 64; JLH p. 43 and DJH p. 107]. Ur-Nammu is the Sumerian King of Ur (2113 - 2096 B.C.), [HS p.150] and the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur, [SNK, p. 83]. On the top panel of the Ur-Nammu stele and on the very top of the monument is shown a crescent moon embracing a twelve-pointed star. This crescent and star combination was the religious representation of their gods, in this case the Moon and the Sun. To show their due respect to these gods, the representation was placed above everything else. Ur-Nammu and a seated goddess are portrayed just below the crescent and twelve-pointed star symbol on the stele.

b) On page 25 of the Referece by Fevzi Kurtoglu, [FK], four Sumerian seals are shown. On two of them, a crescent embraces an eight-pointed star, on a third one, a crescent embraces a six-pointed star. On a fourth one, there is a crescent moon and an eight-pointed star which is on the righthand side of the crescent. On p. 28 of Ref. FK, we also have the picture of another Sumerian seal having a crescent and star symbol on it.

c) Ref. FK, also mentions as the earliest "crescent" symbol with a cross inside it found in the Elamian city of Susa belonging to Elams. Elams having a language similar to that of the Sumerians are also considered as people who have come from Central Asia, to Mesopotamia [FK, p. 23]. Also referenced [FK, p. 27] is a crescent and star symbol found on an Elam monument found in Susa and said to be belonging to King Sonnegatt (2220 B.C.). Ref. FK provides additional references for these citings. {Actually, the Elamite people were discovered to be Dravidians - Cavalli-Sforza notes this in his "Great Human Diasporas," page 177.}

d) On p. 25 of Ref FK, we have two seals which carry the impression of a crescent and an eight-pointed star side by side which is attributed to Hittites.

e) Finally on the same page, the very last seal impression shows two thin crescents, each embracing a star or sun in the form of a dot [7] left from Assrians.

Hittite seals had crescent and star symbols. Some of them have eight sets of crescent and star symbols, four on either side of the main logo of the seal, [[FK, p,41]. Some Hittite sun disks made of cupper and bronze have eight-pointed star symbols arranged in various fashions.

f) Again in the same reference, there is reference to Parthian steles and coins carrying crescent and eight-pointed star configurations, one of which is shown on page 28 [FK] where a crescent embraces an eight-pointed star.

g) A Babylonian cylinder-seal impression, Agade Dynasty, ruling a mixture of Sumerians and Akkadians, circa 2350 B. C. shows a crescent alone [HS plate 46].

h) A silver disk, with a crescent and star motif, is found from Afghanistan left from Alexander the Great's time, (about 330 - 325 B.C.), [AP, p. 47]. The caption describing this disc is as follows: "This silver disk, from remote Afghanistan, shows how Greek and non-Greek ideas were blended. On the left in Greek dress is the goddess Kybele. A figure in eastern dress shelters her with a parasol. Also eastern are the sun god in the sky and the priest at a fire-altar."

In this description, the "crescent and star" motif to the right of the Eastern "Sun god" is not described. In this configuration of the crescent and star, the crescent is faced to the right and to its right is a "Makedonian" star {Macedonian}. Here the eastern star (probably "eight pointed", is replaced by the Makedonian "sixteen pointed star". This replacement of eastern star with the Makedonian star must be a representation of Alexander's conquering of the east. The northernmost part of Afghanistan that Alexander the Great conquered is also known as Turkistan. At the time Alexander's armies conquered this area, about 325 B.C., there were Bactrians, Sogdians who were ethnically Iranian peoples and also the Saka peoples who spoke a form of Turkish.

i) Central Asiatic Parthians ruling an empire in Iran seems to have used the "crescent and eight-pointed star" motif while the Sassanian Kings of Iran used crescent with a sun disk without the rays. Parthians were Central Asiatic people who ruled in Persia from about 200 B. C. until Sassanian period, for about five hundred years.

At this point it may be useful to quote the following from Tamara Talbot Rice, [TTR, p.168-170]: "In the Seljukid age many ancient shapes continued to retain their symbolic significance largely because they still figured in astrology, and this probably helps to explain the frequency with which they occure in the art of the period. Stars with from five to twelve points constantly appear, figuring even on the coins, where they may have represented Venus. In astrology Venus personified goodness and renewed life. When combined with crescent they may have signified Venus' meeting with the moon. On the other hand, certain passages in the Shahnamah suggest that representation of the sun and moon had a political rather than magical meaning, for Kay Khusraw, whose violet banner displayed both orbs, remarked that he had heard 'the Mobeds say that when the Moon of the Turans [the Turks] reaches its zenith it will be vanquished by the sun of Iran".

This ancient statement associates Turks of Turan with the moon of which the crescent is one form of it.

j) Central Asiatic Kushans (78 - 144 AD) used crescent and sun symbol in their golden jewelries worn by their women. Archaeological findings from Tillya Tepe ("tepe" is a Turkish word meaning "hill", "small mountain", "mound"), near Amu Derya (Oxus) River in Northern Afganistan show crescent and sun disk where crescent embraces the sun, made in the form of a gold hair pendant. One of these pendants is worn with a collapsible crown while the other two are used with head garments worn by Kushan ladies, [VIS, p. 50 and 64-65].

k) A stele described by Bradley Schaefer (BSc) in his article [BSc] as: "Mesopotamia's star and crescent: the symbol of the moon god (Sin) who was worshipped in the cities of Ur and Haran". On this stele are shown, a crescent moon flanked by an eight-pointed star on the left and an eight-pointed sun on the right.

l) Parthian coins (Parthians, a Central Asiatic steppe people, ruled the Persian Empire for about 475 years, {about 250 BC - 225 AD)} belonging to Mithradates II, Pharnaces I and Mithradates Eupator (240-120 B. C.) showing crescent and eight-pointed star, are given in Ref. 7, p. 32 and Ref. BSc, p. 48.

m) Moon embracing a sun disk is shown with Egyptian god Iah's image carved in 600 B. C., [BSc, p. 49].

n) In Reference by Bradley Schaefer, [BSc], the author also states that: "The earliest example of the star and crescent appearing on any coin that I have located dates from 477 BC, from the Aegean island Melos. Numerous other examples can be found in subsequent decades from Thracian city of Aenus." Bradley Schaefer also makes reference to coins found from Romania dated 200 B.C., and Etruscan coins from 3rd century BC [BSc].

From the point of view of Turkish history this is very interesting, because during the time period between 1200 BC. to 100 BC., there were Central Asiatic Turkish speaking Saka peoples living in Eurasia. There seems to be evidences that some of these Turkish speaking peoples even lived in some of the Aegean islands during 600 B.C. and earlier, [PK]. Some of these coins having crescent and star motif and being found in Thracia and Romania and even in Greece itself may have been left by the Turkish peoples living in western end of Eurasia (please see my Reading of the Lemnos Island inscription).

o) Bradley Schaefer [BSc] also mentions finding coins from Yemen that date from 100 B.C., from Libya dated from AD 23 and from Turkey and Greece in all ages and all show the star and crescent symbol.

So we have samples of the Crescent alone, star of different configurations alone and "crescent and star" symbols belonging to Sumerians, Elams, Babylonians and other cultures of Mesopotamia and many other cultures of different areas including the Shamanistic cultures of Central Asia and the Americas. These symbols seem to represent the shamanistic beliefs of all of these peoples. Sumerians being very close relatives of the Ural-Altaic peoples, particularly the Turks and Hungarians, it is very likely that the shamanist ancestors of the Turkish peoples also used the crescent moon and star representations in their cultures. As archeological reseach in Central Asia increases, (such research in Central Asia as compared to other parts of the world has been so far insignificant), additional crescent and star symbols, belonging to the local cultures of Central Asiatic peoples among whom the ancestors of Turks had a big say, are bound to surface.


1. The historical and archeological evidence points to Central Asia and to Central Asiatic Shamanism, through religious beliefs of Sumerians and the shamanism among the Native Peoples of Americas, as being the origin of the crescent and star symbol.

2. The historical and archeological evidence also show that the origin of the crescent and star symbol is religious and it represents celestial gods/goddesses particularly those representing the Sky, Moon, Sun and Venus.

3. Ancestors of Turks had a Shamanistic religion and believed in gods representing the Sky, Moon and Sun, like the Sumerians. For the Sumerians, the Turkish peoples and some of the Native Peoples of Americas, the tradition of believing and worshipping these gods must have been the continuation af an ancient Central Asiatic traditon having its roots in Central Asiatic shamanism. A tradition that was also carried to Mesopotamia and to Americas from Central Asia.

4. It is undeniable that the proto-Ural-Altaic language spoken by the ancestors of Turks and Hungarians must have been the same as the Sumerian language or a form of it. Hence, the ancestos of Turks having the same linguistic and religious cultural background as the Sumerians, and the Sumerians having attested forms of the crescent and star symbols representing their religious beliefs, it is highly probable that these symbols were also religious symbols representing the ancient gods of shamanistic beliefs of the Central Asiatic peoples. This is evidenced by their shamanic cultural representations on objects like shamanic drums and costumes.

5. The ancestors of Turkish people had the crescent and star symbol and the sun disk with eight pointed rays among their clan-crests engraved on rocks in Central Asia. Additionally, the crescent and the crescent and star symbols are also found as emblems on grave yard stones and constructions.

6. Turkish peoples of Central Asia along with some other known Central Asiatic peoples have used the crescent, star or the crescent and star symbols on their flags, war standards, rugs, tents, coins, jewelries, etc. in relatively recent times, i.e., about the last two thousand five hundred years. The usage of these symbols by Central Asiatic peoples, such as Parthians, Kushans, Gaznevi Turks, Khazars, Seljuks, Ottomans and the present day Turkish Republics, must be the continuation of an unwritten but ancient Central Asiatic tradition.

7. The crescent moon embracing an eight-pointed star motif seems to be the most frequently used religious symbol. It is used not only by Sumerians but also by many other Middle Eastern peoples whose culture have been influenced by Sumerians in every respect.

8. Among the users of this symbol are the Central Asiatic Turkish peoples whose language and religious culture had a common background with those of Sumerians.

9. As time progressed toward the present, the crescent and star symbol was adapted and used by some European cultures also.


AP ..... Anton Powell, "Ancient Greece, Facts On File", Inc., New York, 1989

BO ..... Prof. Dr. Bahaeddin Ogel, "Islamiyetten once Turk Kultur Tarihi (Orta Asya kaynak ve buluntularina gore),

..........Turk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, Ankara, 1991.

BSc .... Bradley Schaefer, "Heavenly Signs", New Scientist, 21/28 December 1991, p.48.

DJH .... Dora Jane Hamblin, "The First Cities", Time-Life Books, New York, 1973.

EB. .... Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1963, Volume 6, p. 726.

EE ..... Emel Esin, "Buke: The Cosmic Significance of the Dragon in Early Turkish Iconography", Cultura Turcica, Vol. .......... V-VII, 1968-1970, Ankara.

FH ..... Fred Hamori, {[], choose "Languages' then "100 word Hymes list";

..........or visit directly "Hymes List of 100 common root word", (}.

FK ..... Fevzi Kurtoglu, "Turk Bayragi ve Ay Yildiz", Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayinlari, Ankara, 1992.

HNO ... Huseyin Namik Orkun, "Eski Turk Yazitlari", Turk Dil Kurumu Yayinlari: 529, Ankara, 1987.

HS ..... H. W. F. Saggs, "Everyday Life in Babylonia and Assyria", B. T. Batsford Ltd London, G. P. Putnam's

..........Sons, New York, 1965.

IK ..... Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Kafesoglu, "Turk Bozkir Kulturu", Turk Kulturunu Arastirma Enstitusu, Ankara, 1987.

JC ..... Joseph Campbell, "Historical Atlas of world mythology Vol. I, Part 2: Mythologies of the great hunt",

..........Perennial Library, Harper & Row, Pyblishers, New York, 1988.

JLH ... John L. Hayes, "A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts", Undena Publications, Malibu, 1990.

MAC ... M. A. Czaplicka, "The Turks of Central Asia in History and at the Present Day", London: Curzon Press;

..........New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1973.

ME ..... Mircea Eliade, "Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy", Bollingen Series LXXVI,

..........Princeton University Press, 1964.

NE ..... Necdet Evliyagil, "Turkiye", published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the

..........Turkish Republic, Ajans- Turk, Ankara, 1973.

NBHWF .. Norman Bancroft-Hunt and Werner Forman, "The Indians of the Great Plains",

..........Orbis Publishing, London, 1981.

ND ..... Nejat Diyarbekirli, "Turkler'de Mezar Yapisi ve Defin Merasimleri", Turk Kulturunu Arastirma Enstitusu,

.......... Prof. Dr. Muharrem Ergin'e Armagan, Yil XXVIII/1-2, Ankara, 1990.

PK ..... Polat Kaya, "A study of the Lemnos Island Inscription: (a preliminary report)", Ottawa, 1997,

........... (ISBN 0-9696949-3-8).

SNK ... Samuel Noah Kramer, "The Sumerians", The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

.......... and London, 1963.

TA ..... Turghun Almas, "Uygurlar (The Uigurs)", vol. 1. Almati, Kazakistan, 1992.

TRR ..... Timothy R. Roberts, "Myths of the World, Gods of the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas",

............ MetroBooks, New York 1996,

TTR ... Tamara Talbot Rice, "The Seljuks", Thames and Hudson London, 1961. VIS Viktor

.......... Ivanovich Sarianidi, "The Golden Horde of Bactria", National Geographic Magazine,

.......... vol. 177, No. 3, March 1990.




(A preliminary report)

By POLAT KAYA, M. Sc. E. E. Copyright © 1997

There are many graphics to go with this article on this website given here. Figure 2 is reproduced below:


A stele, an upright gravestone with inscription and sculpture erected at the grave of a deceased person, was found in 1885 at Kaminia on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea. This stele which is dated as having been made in the 6th century B.C., is now in the National Museum in Athens, Greece. A diagram of this stele and its inscription is given in References 1 and 2, [1, p. 51; 2, p. 39]. For the purposes of this study, it is also shown in Figure 1 of this paper. The inscription on this tomb-stone is written in an alphabet similar to some of the alphabets, such as the Chalcidian alphabet [1, p. 44], used at that time in the Hellenic world covering Greece, western parts of Asia minor and the islands in the Aegean Sea. Scholars believe that the language of the inscription on this stele is akin to that of Etruscan (Rasna) Language. The Etruscan language is not known to be an Indo-European language and neither is the language of the inscription written on the Stele from Lemnos. Scholars have not been able to identify the nature of these two languages with any of the known languages so far.

According to Herodotus, the pre-Greek population of the Lemnos island was Pelasgian, a non Indo-European people, and according to Thucydides they were Tyrrhenian {pronounce that: like Turanian!} [2, p. 38] which makes them kin to Etruscans. The Etruscan people who lived and ruled in the northern and central Italy (Etruria) between about 1000 B.C. and 100 B.C. created a very prominent culture from which the culture of the Roman Empire has heavily borrowed.

The inscription on the tomb-stone has 198 letters forming 40 words. In general, the words of the inscription are separated from each other by two dots and occasionally with one or three dots aligned vertically. However, some very long words seem to be combination of multiple words although they are not marked with separation dots.

H. H. Scullard describes the tomb-stone as follows [2, p.38]: "........ the tomb-stone (stele) of a warrior was discovered in 1885, not dissimilar from that of Avele Feluske of Vetulonia in Etruria (cf. Figs. 1 and 2 and p. 223). It not only shows his head in profile, but also bears two inscriptions in an alphabet which closely resembles that of old Phrygian inscriptions of the seventh century. The language has some analogies with the tongues of Asia Minor, but philologists are in general agreement that both in its morphology and vocabulary it has many similarities with Etruscan. When this document stood alone, it might have been dismissed as the epitaph of a foreigner who was buried in Lemnos, but more recently other short inscriptions have been found on vases, and these show that this was in fact the language spoken on the island before its conquest by the Athenian Miltiades (c. 500 BC). Thus we have a very important document, pointing both to Asia Minor and to Etruria, and it comes from the very island where Thucydides placed the Tyrhenoi. Though it does not afford conclusive proof that 'Lemnian' and Etruscan were the same, or even dialects of the same language, it provides a valuable link for those who accept an eastern origin and suggests that some Etruscans from Asia Minor may have settled in this Aegean island instead of continuing further west. Those who reject an eastern origin have to explain away the similarities of language as due to survival from a hypothetical widespread pre-Indo-European linguistic unit which once occupied a vast area in Italy and the Aegean until it was broken up by the advance of Indo-Europeans: in Italy it was confined to Etruria, while in the Aegean, relics of it were left in Lemnos."

In this study, I have analyzed the inscription on the stele from Lemnos from an Asiatic point of view. I took this approach because during historic times, Eurasia and many parts of the Eastern Europe all the way to the Balkan Peninsula have been inhabited by Central Asiatic peoples at some time or another. In most cases, they are known to be the Turkic peoples from Central Asia who spoke an archaic Turkic language. There is no reason that the very same land masses should not have been similarly inhabited by the Central Asiatic peoples during the pre-historic times. In fact, it is highly probable that the pre-historic people of Europe were more Central Asiatic in origin than the Indo-European speaking Mediterranean people. After studying the Lemnos inscription, I am convinced by my findings that the language in which this inscription was written is indeed related to Turkic languages. My analyses regarding the reading of the inscription are given below.



The inscription consists of two vertically and one horizontally written parts. Text in each part seem to be similar in meaning to each other. This is indicated by the fact that a number of words are used in the same way in each part of the inscription, though with minor differences which will be discussed in detail in the body of this paper. The three parts, indicated as Text No. 1, 2 and 3 in this paper, Figure 2, also seem to be dialects of one main language, but influenced by Greek language endings particularly in Text No. 3.

Although, the inscription on the stele seems to have been written in the Chalcidian type alphabet, it differs from this alphabet in some aspects. My proposed alphabet for this inscription is given in Table I. In Figure 2, I have the inscription reproduced word by word, in a way similar to its original written format, the corresponding transcription of the words in Latin characters and the meaning of the recognizable words, using the alphabet that I have charted in Table I. I have numbered the words of the inscription from 1 to 40 in order to facilitate comparison. In addition to this numbering, I have sub numbered the word Nos. 16, 21, 24, 25, 27, 37 and 38 as a) and b) although there is no separation shown in these words in the inscription.

The words No. 1 to 11 are written vertically in three lines on the face of the stele. One of the lines is written behind the head and the other two lines are between the face of the man and the spear that he is holding in his hand. I call this text of three lines as Text No. 1. Words in each line of this text are to be read from right-to-left direction as is the case in Etruscan.

Words No. 12 to 22 are written horizontally on the face of the stele above the head of the pictured man. I have named this part of the inscription as Text No. 2. This text constitutes five lines.

In this part of the inscription, there is a mixed right-to-left and left-to-right writing arrangement used by the scriber. Most likely, it is meant to be read bustrophedon (i.e., 'as the ox plows'). In this text, while word No. 12 needs to be read from right-to-left, word Nos. 13 to 19 must be read from left-to-right. Again, while word Nos. 20 to 21 must be read from right-to-left, the word No. 22 must be read from left-to-right direction. The double-dot word separators used in the inscription help in determining the direction of the reading.

The third set of words, word numbers 23 to 40 which I call Text No. 3, are written vertically on the side of the stele in three lines two of which are aligned in one way while the third one is upside down with respect to the other two. Again, these three lines were also meant to be read bustrophedon by the scriber. I consider the first line of this text the line which is next to the main frame of the stele. I have indicated this line as Text 3, Line No. 1. The base for this assumption is the fact that this line also starts with the name of the deceased man. The name of the deceased man also appears in Text No. 1 , i.e., the word No. 1. To read the first line of Text 3, one needs to turn the page 90 degrees clock wise from the portrait position and in order to read the remaining two lines, one needs to turn the page 90 degrees counter clock wise from the portrait position. Hence the middle line becomes the Text No.3 Line 2 and must be read from right-to-left direction while the last line becomes Text No.3 Line 3 and must be read from left-to-right direction with one exception of the word No 38a.

Since word No. 35 in Text No. 3 is the same as the word No. 22 in Text No. 2, it must also be read in a similar manner.

The Lemnos island inscription seems to have considerable amount of features in common with the Turkic Orhun and Yenisei inscriptions of Central Asia. For example: a) right to left reading of the written text, b) separation of words from each other in general with two dots, c) style of composing the text of the inscription.

It should also be noted that vowels are not always present in the words of Lemnos inscription and proper vowels must be filled in to read the words. This feature is also similar to that of the Turkic inscriptions of Central Asia. In Turkic languages, the vowel harmony rule helps to fill in the missing vowels. Because of this Turkic linguistic rule, in the transcription given below, the upper case letters represent the original lettering present in the inscription and the lower case vowels represent the filled-in vowels. In the Turkish transcription (shown as Turkish below), some of the -s endings, which probably were due to Hellenic influence, of some words were removed. Translation in English (Eng.) is also shown below. Words whose meanings are not clear to me at this time are marked with a (?) mark.

The detailed analyses of the this inscription, the alphabet used, the words in their original ancient lettering and all the reasons for reading the inscription the way that I have read are given in a report entitled "A Study of the Lemnos Island Inscription (A preliminary report)", identified with ISBN 0-9696949-3-8.

Thus, in view of above described considerations, I have the following transcription and reading of the Lemnos Island inscription in Latin alphabet:


Text 1 transcription:


[Hatapase : i : anaapatata aker: takariste qam . apa . ançasap : ierata anasamata eresenasap ]

Turkish : Hatapasa : iy : anaapa tata ak er : takariste kam . apa . ançasap : iy erata anam atasi er esen asap

Eng.: Hatapasa : O grandfather honest man : Thracian? shaman .father. thus lays? : O brave father my mother's

father sound thinking? man

Text 2 transcription:


[ançasais : qam : i . apam : ançasap içekesi.i : aqas : ieqisençtata ierata anasata isaqas]

Turkish : ança SAIS [= Sayas, Ais, Ak Ayas, Tengri, Zeus, Ajax] : kam : iy apam : boylece yatip? iç akasi .

iy : aga : iy ekesenç [=ikiz?] tata [=dede] iy er ata anaata iy Saka

Eng.: thus Sais [=Ais, Zeus, Ajax] : shaman : O my father : thus laid? local's gentleman [=local's elderman] .

O : Lord : O twins? grandfather O brave father my mother's father O Saka

Text 3, line 1 transcription:


[Hatapasaqis : apatakas ançasape : ierata iasata : eqesenç tata : tataqer atana]

Turkish : Hatapasa : apataka? boylece yatip? : iy er ata iy as [us, akilli] ata : eqesenç [=ikiz?] tata [=dede] :

tatak [atak?] er ata ana

Eng.: Hatapasakis : apataka=? thus laid? : O brave father O wise father : twins? grandfather : fearless? man father mother

Text 3, line 2 transcription:

eRaTaM : HARAPaSaTa : ISAQAS : EPeTeISTe : ARAS : TaS 50? : aPaTaKE :

[eratam : Harapasata : isaqas : epeteiste : aras : tas 50? : apatake :]

Turkish : er atam : Harapas [falci] ata : iy Saqa : Epeteiste : aras?: tas [=yas] 50?: apatake? :

Eng.: my brave father : haraspex father : O Saka : Epeteiste : aras=? : age 50? : apatake=? :

Text 3, line 3 transcription:


[isaqas : aqasi : ançasap içekesi : apam kam : aqasi : atamas]

Turkish : iy Saqa : agasi (beyi) : boylece yatip? içekesi[=yerin olgun kisisi]: apam kam : agasi : atama

Eng.: O Saka : Lord : thus laid? local's gentlman [local's elderman]: my father shaman : Lord : to my father


Text No.1

Transcription ...../..... Turkish Definition .....//..... English definitions

1. HaTaPASE : ...../..... Hatapasa .....//..... [Hatapasa, name of deceased man] :

2. I : ...../..... i (=iy) : .....//..... [O] :

3. aNAaPaTaTa ...../..... anaapa tata [=dede].....//..... [grand father (from mother's side)]

4. AKER : ...../..... ak er : .....//..... [honest man; flawless man] :

5. TAKARISTe ...../..... takariste .....//..... [=Possibly ancient name of Thrace]

NOTE : probably Takariste > Takar + ia? >> Tarak + ia? > Trakya]; [-iste (=-ia?) indicative of a place]

6. QAM . ...../..... kam . .....//..... [shaman] .

7. APA . ...../..... apa . .....//..... [father] .

8. aNÇaSAP : ...../..... ançasap (=böylece yatip?):.....//..... [thus he is dead or laid?] :

9. IERaTa . ...../..... i (=iy) er ata . .....//..... [oh brave father] .

10. aNASaMaTa ...../..... anam ata(=anamin atasi) .....//..... [my mother's father]

11. eRSeNASaP ...../..... er sen asap (=ölüp?) .....//..... [you brave man died?]

Text No. 2

12. aNÇaSAIS : ...../..... ança Sayas {Sayas(Sais=Ak Ayas, Tengri)} : .....//..... [here Sais(=Ais, Zeus)] :

13. QAM : ...../..... kam : .....//..... [shaman] :

14. I . ...../..... i (iy) . .....//..... [O] .

15. APAM : ...../..... apam : .....//..... [my father] :

16a. aNÇaSAP ...../..... ançasap (=böylece yatip?) .....//..... [thus laid?]

16b. iÇeKeSi . ...../..... içekesi (=yerin efendisi; yerin olgun kisisi) . .....//..... [local's gentleman; local's elderman] .

17. I : ...../..... i (=iy) : .....//..... [O] :

18. AQaS : ...../..... aka (=aga, bey) : .....//..... [lord] :

19. I ...../..... i (=iy) .....//..... [O]

20. eQiSeNÇTaTa: ...../..... ekisenç (=ikiz?) tata: {tata (=dede)} .....//..... [twins? grandfather] :

21a. IERaTa ...../..... i (=iy) er ata .....//..... [O brave father]

21b. aNASaTa ...../..... anaata .....//..... [mother's father]

22. ISaQAS ...../..... i (=iy) Saka .....//..... [O Saka! (Scyth as called by Greeks)]

Text No.3, line 1

23. HaTaPASaQIS: ...../..... Hatapasa : .....//..... [Hatapasakis, name of the deceased man]:

24a. aPaTaKaS ...../..... apaataka (?) .....//..... [apaatakas= ? ]

24b. ANÇaSAPE : ...../..... ançasape (=boylece yatip?): .....//..... [thus he is dead?] :

25a. IERaTa ...../..... i (=iy) er ata .....//..... [O brave father]

25b. IASaTa : ...../..... i(=iy) as (=us,akilli) ata : .....//..... [O wise father] :

26 EQeSeNÇTATA : ...../..... ekesenç tata {(=ikiz? dede)} .....//..... [one of a twins? father]

27a. TaTaQER ...../..... tatak (=atak?) er .....//..... [fearless? man]

27b. aTaNA ...../..... ata, ana .....//..... [father, mother]

Text No.3, line 2

28. eRaTaM : ...../..... er atam : .....//..... [my brave father] :

29. HARAPaS aTa : ...../..... Harapas(=falci) ata : .....//..... [Haraspex (=diviner) father] :

30. ISAQAS : ...../..... i (=iy) Saka : .....//..... [O Saka] :

31. ePeTeISTe : ...../..... Epeteiste (birth place) : .....//..... [Town of Hephaistia in Lemnos island] :

32. ARAS : ...../..... aras (=?) : .....//..... [aras=?] :

33. TaS 50? : ...../..... tas (=yas) 50? : .....//..... [at the age of 50?] :

34. aPaTaKE : ...../..... apatake (=?) : .....//..... [apatake =?] :

Text No.3, line 3

35. ISaQAS : ...../..... i (=iy) Saka : .....//..... [O Saka] :

36. AQaSI : ...../..... akasi (=agasi, beyi) : .....//..... [Lord] :

37a. aNÇaSAP ...../..... ançasap (=burada yatip?) .....//..... [here lies?]

37b. iÇeKeSI : ...../..... içekesi (=yerin efendisi, olgun kisisi) .....//..... [local's gentleman; local's elderman] :

38a. APAM ...../..... apam .....//..... [my father]

38b. KaM : ...../..... kam : .....//..... [shaman] :

39. AQaSI : ...../..... akasi (=agasi) : .....//..... [Lord] :

40. ATaMAS ...../..... atama .....//..... [to my father]


1. This study which is a first attempt by the author, does not provide a complete translation of the inscription from Lemnos. The meaning of few words still need to be determined. I am hoping that this will be filled in by linguists. Although, not all of the words in the text of the inscription are recognizable at this time, however, those which are recognizable are definitely Altaic words and are unquestionably Turkic.

2. The words No. 1 and No. 23 represent the name of the deceased man talked about in the inscription. It is read as 'HaTaPASE' in word No. 1 and as 'HaTaPASaQIS' in word No. 23. It seems that the word No. 23 is an Hellenized version of the No. 1. The name becomes clearer when we remove the word ending '-qis' in the second word which becomes 'Hatapasa' indicating that it is the same as 'Hatapase' in word No. 1. The Hellenic suffix '-QIS' or '-KIS' in the word 'HaTaPASaQIS' is an indication that the assumed values of ' Q', ' I ' and ' S' for the corresponding letters in the inscription are correct.

3. Text No. 1, 2 and 3 have similar meanings, repeated in three or at least in two different dialects of the same language. Apparently same words, when written in different dialects, show some minor differences both in writing and their arrangements in sentences. In Text Three, Hellenic influence is highly visible by the presence of the Hellenic suffix -kis and suffix s.

4. Words numbered 6, 7 and 8 of Text No. 1 and 13, 15 and 16a of Text No. 2 and 38b, 38a and 37a in Text No. 3 are the same words respectively used in the inscription. They are read as 'kam apam ançasap'. The words 38b, 38a and 37a in Text No. 3 are written in an order which is different than the previous two cases. The first two words read as 'kam apam' mean 'my shaman father' or in this case 'my shaman grandfather'. The Turkic word 'kam' (also gam or qam) means 'male shaman', [8, p. 4] and 'apam' means my father. The word 'kam' is written in the form of "QAM" in words Nos. 6 and 13, it is written with a downward arrow and M. The downward arrow symbol has the value of "K" in Turkic Orhun inscriptions. The word 'ançasap' may also be read as 'ança sap' in which case 'ança' is also a known Turkish word meaning 'thus, this way' [4, p. 760]. The word 'sap' needs to be determined, possibly means "laid or died".

Here I would also like to note the following observation: In the inscription, word 7 is written as "APA" while the words 15 and 38a are written as "ARAM". I believe that the letter "R" in both of these words is a mistake and should have been "P". The error could have been made by the scriber while chiselling the inscription, or could have been made by the transcriber who copied the inscription into paper. Therefore, I have read these two words as "APAM" rather than "ARAM" in my reading of the inscription.

5. In Text 2, word Nos. 12 to 15 inclusive, the scriber writes: "O God SAIS, here is my shaman father". Here we should note that the Pelasgian Sais must be what Greeks called as Zeus, Etruscans called Ais or Ac Ais or Tin, the Central Asiatic Turkic shamans called and still call Ak Ayas. They all have the Turkic word "Ai", the Turkic word for Moon, as the root word. However, they all represent the "Sky God".

6. I read word No. 31 as 'epeteiste' which seems to correspond to the ancient town name 'Hephaistia' which is a town in the northern coast of Lemnos Island [12, p.57]. 'Epeteiste', being probably same as the ancient name of 'Hephaistia', could be the birth place of 'Hatapasa' or "Hatapasha".

7. Word Nos. 22, 30 and 35 are the same word and read in Turkish as "i (=iy) Saka". When it is read together with the word No. 36, it addresses the deceased man as "i Saka agasi (Beyi)" meaning "O Saka lord".

Here one should note that the people to whom the deceased man and the scriber belonged, were known to Hellenic people as Pelasgians. In the inscription, the scriber identifies themselves as being from "Saka" people. This is understandable because of the fact that about 600 B.C. when Pelasgians were living in the Lemnos and Imbros islands and also in Thrace, the Turkic Saka people had an empire extending all the way from Altay mountaines in Central Asia to Balkans in Europe. Greeks called them as Scytians. In view of the Lemnos Island inscription, we get the view that Pelasgians must have been among the earlier waves of Central Asiatic peoples and members of the Turkic Saka peoples. So this document written in stone identifies the language of both the Pelasgians and the Sakas as being a Turkic language.

8. Word Nos. 39 and 40 finish the dedication by saying "aga atama" meaning "to my Lord father".

9. In this Turkic inscription, we see that Pelasgians who called themselves SAKA, used both words 'apa' and ata' for father and interchangeably for 'grandfather' as well. We also see a word "tata" whish is derived from the word 'ata'. "tata' would be equivalent to Turkish 'dede'. They also used the word 'ana' for mother. Hence, we again observe that these three words and their derivatives are the oldest living words of the Turkish language.

10. I read the word No. 33 as TaS 50? The symbol which is an upright arrow head and with a right slanting tail at the bottom is not present in Hellenic alphabets. However, it is most interesting to find this symbol in an inscription written on a silver bowl found in a Saka (Scythian) Kurgan (Issik Lake Kurgan) near Almati in Kazakistan. Ïlhami Durmuß [9, p. 81-83] gives a transliteration of this inscription [9, p. 146-147] and attributes its description to Kemal Alißar Akißev [10]. This symbol appears twice in this Saka inscription. Olcas Süleymanov has read this inscription and has given the value of T1 in the alphabet that he described [11].

On the other hand, G. and L. Bonfante give a numeral value of 50 to an upright arrow symbol (without a tail) in Etruscan writings, [1, p. 64]. The symbol in the Issik Kurgan inscription is also a vertical arrow but with a right-slanting tail at the bottom as it is in the Lemnos island inscription. However, whether the Etruscan symbol and the Pelasgian symbol, i.e., Lemnos Island inscription, have the same meaning is not clear.

If we use a value of 'T' as done by Süleymanov for the Issik Kurgan inscription, then the reading of the word No. 33 would be as 'TaSaT' which needs to be identified yet. On the other hand, if we use a numeral value of 50 as indicated by Bonfantes, then we would get a reading of 'TaS 50'. The word 'TAS' suggests us the Turkic word 'yas > yaß' meaning 'age'. Actually, in different dialects of Turkish, there is the replacement of "y" with "d or t". With this in mind, I believe it is safe to read this word as "yas = age". The inscription from Lemnos island being an inscription on a tomb stone, it is quite likely that this word may be referring to the age at which the man died. With this reasoning, I have temporarily assumed it to be 'TAS 50', indicative of 50 years of age at which he died.

11. The inscription on the stele from Lemnos seems to have been written by someone very close to the deceased man. The scriber sounds to be a grand child of the deceased person.

12. In the culture of Turkic world, it seems that it is a tradition to describe a newly deceased person in a way similar to the way that this scriber of the stele from Lemnos island has described his deceased grandfather by using descriptive words like: 'kam apa' [shaman grandfather], 'kam apam' [my shaman grandfather], 'er atam' [my brave father], 'er' [man, brave], 'aker' [flawless man], "i apam" [O my father], "i aga" [O Lord], "i Saka agasi" [O Saka Lord] and "agasi atama" [to my Lord father].

13. We should note that in this kind of description of a dead person, not only a sense of lamentation is being expressed but also a highly respected and esteemed grandfather is being honored. It is quite in line with the culture of Turkic peoples to do this.

14. The lamentation and 'honoring' expressed in this inscription points distinctively the presence of a cultural affinity between the people of Lemnos island and the Central Asiatic peoples like Turks. The meaning of the Lemnos inscription is very similar to the Turkic tomb-stone inscriptions found in Central Asia [4, p. 481-483]. Even some of the words used in the inscription of the Lemnos island tomb-stone and the inscriptions found on Central Asiatic tomb-stones are the same.

15. The ending in '-p' in words No. 8, 11, 16a and 37a is indicative of past tense in archaic Turkic languages like in words such as 'ölüp', 'gelip', 'gidip', etc.. It seems this is what we are observing in words No. 8, 11, 16a and 37a, particularly in the expression 'kam apam ançasap'.

16. In word Nos. 15 and 26a 'apam', No. 28 'eratam', the ending '-m' is like the Turkic genitive ending (suffix -m) for first person singular which means 'my'. Thus the word means 'my father' or in this case 'my grandfather'. The word 'qam' or 'kam' is used to designate 'male shaman'. What we get from this bit of information is that the dead man was a 'shaman' and/or a 'learned man', and he was a respected person.

17. The word 'aker' in word No. 4 consists of two parts: for example in Turkish, the first part 'ak' means 'white' or figuratively 'clean, honest, flawless'; the second part 'er' means 'man', 'hero', 'brave', 'trustworthy' or 'dependable'. The word 'er' also appears as part of 'erata' and 'eratam' in word Nos. 9, 11, 21a, 25a and 28. Hence, ' aker < ak+er ' in No. 4 means 'honest man' or 'flawless man'.

18. The word 'anapatata' in No. 3, is most likely "mother's father", not "mother's father's father". Similarly, the words 'anasamata', in No. 10, meaning "my mother's father" and 'anasata' No. 21b, meaning "mother's father" are combinations of Turkic words 'ana', apa' and 'ata' to expres the grandfather from mother's side. The word 'atamas' No. 40 is the final dedication word meaning 'to my father'.

19. The word 'eqisençata" in words No. 20 and No. 26 may be looked at as "eqe sen[ç] ata >> iki sen ata? = ikiz ata?", probably meaning that the dead man was one of a twins. Thus a grandfather that was probably one of a twin brothers or brother sister set. We should note that the first part of this word, namely "eqi" or even "eqe" suggests the Turkish numeral "iki" meaning "two".

20. The words 'apa' in No. 7, means 'father'; 'apam' in Nos. 15 and 26a means 'my father'; 'eratam' in No. 28 means my hero father. We should note that the ending -m in the words 'apam' and 'atam' is the Turkic genitive suffix for the first person singular.

21. We see similar words in word Nos. 10 and 21b as 'anasam ata' and as 'anas ata' respectively. In these last two words, the infix -s- and suffix -s respectively are clearly due to Hellenic influence. In the first one, the root word is 'ana' meaning mother, with the probable Hellenic suffix -s, word becomes 'anas'. The suffix -am has two parts. -a is the connecting vowel used between s of 'anas' and the Turkic genitive suffix -m. Thus, the word 'anasam' means 'my mother'. Additionally, we should note that the statement "iy Saka akasi" fits the Turkish grammar rules perfectly.

22. We should also note that the Runic symbol for Z which appears frequently in the Lemnos island inscription, also appears in the Issik Kurgan inscription as well as in Turkic Orhun and Yenisei inscriptions [4]. This is another 'symbolic' connection between the Lemnos island inscription and the Issik Kurgan's Saka inscription. Of course, one must not forget the fact that the words in this inscription, are also separated with two dots as is the case with other Turkic inscriptions. It is also read from right to left direction as is the case in Turkic inscriptions.

23. H. H. Scullard in his book, like in many of Western books about the Etruscans, labels the man in the picture as a 'warrior' [ 2 , p. 39], probably considering the fact that he is holding a spear in his hand. The Lemnos inscription does not suggest that the person depicted on the stele was a warrior. It is most likely that in the deceased man's time, he would normally carry with him either a stick or a spear for personal protection irrespective of him being a warrior or not. Therefore, as the text of the inscription states clearly, the person in the picture was not a warrior but was a 'learned shaman'. In word No. 29, we also have the words 'Harapas ata'. I believe the word 'Harapas' is the same as 'Haraspex' in Etruscan meaning a diviner.


Historians tell us that the population of Lemnos island at about 600 B. C. were Pelasgians. In view of these revelations from the inscription on this stele, we may have to think of the Pelasgian population as people of Central Asiatic origin and also as people who spoke a form of Turkish language.

Pelasgians were pre-Hellenic, non Indo-European speaking people who inhabited the area long before the Greek migrations to the area started. {Pythagoras claimed himself to be Pelasgian.} In order to shed more light on Pelasgians, I have chosen to quote the entry on Pelasgians in the Encyclopedia Britannica [5, p. 448] by B. C. F. Atkinson, formerly Under-Librarian, University Library, Cambridge University, below (I have indicated in bold parts of Atkinson's entry in order to highlight the relative importance of the Pelasgians in the area they lived and their identity with respect to the real Greeks):

"PELASGIANS. Various traditions were current among the Greeks with regard to the pre-Greek inhabitants of their country. They were inclined to call all these by the general name of Pelasgians, although they recognized Carians and Leleges as distinct. The Dorians claimed that the Ionians were Pelasgian or at least mainly so, and that they themselves were true Greeks. The inhabitants of Attica, who were regarded as Ionian, boasted that they were autochthonous, the original inhabitants of the land.

In the Homeric poems Pelasgians appear as allies of Troy. They appear to be settled in south-eastern Thrace close to the Hellespont in a district called Larissa (Il., ii. 840-843, x.429). Some suppose that the Larissa here mentioned is the town of that name in Thessaly, but the catalogue of ships, in which the passage occurs, appears to follow a definite geographical order. Larissa stands between the Hellespont and Thrace. The Iliad also refers to the district of Argos near Mt. Othrys in Tessaly as Pelasgic, and also uses the same epithet in a famous passage of the Zeus of Dodona (Il., ii. 681-684,xvi. 233-235). In the Odyssey Pelasgians appear in Crete (Od. xvii. 175-177). Hesiod refers to Dodona as 'seat of Pelasgians,' while Hecataeus refers to Pelasgus as king of Thessaly. To Aeschylus and Sophocles Argos in the Peloponnese is the Pelasgian land. Herodotus knows of actual Pelasgians at Placie and Scylace and the Asiatic coast of the Hellespont as well as near Creston on the Strymon. The islands of Lemnos and Imbros had also, he informs us, a Pelasgian population, conquered by Athens at the close of the 6th century. Apart from these actual instances of Pelasgians, both Herodotus and Thucydides appear to regard any survival from pre-Greek times as Pelasgic. A well known example of this is the prehistoric wall of the Athenian acropolis, anciently regarded and still commonly referred to as Pelasgian, and the epithet spread to all similar prehistoric masonry, especially that built of large blocks, in any part of Greece.

It has been held that the common Greek tradition arose from a misunderstanding, particularly perhaps by Hesiod and Hecataeus, of the two passages in the Iliad in which the Zeus of Dodona and the Thessalian Argos are referred to as Pelasgic. Where Homer used a general epithet meaning 'remotely ancient,' later writers have wrongly concluded that he referred specifically to actual Pelasgians as inhabitants of these places. If this is so, the problem is merely thrown farther back, for an explanation is needed of how the epithet Pelasgic had attained the general meaning of 'ancient' by the time of the composition of the Homeric poems. To certain people at a certain period 'Pelasgic' must have been a specific epithet. The Pelasgians must have been regarded either as very ancient people or as former inhabitants of the land. Much turns upon the meaning of the epithet Pelasgic as applied in the Iliad to the Zeus of Dodona. Zeus is the last one would expect to be referred to as Pelasgic, for of all the gods' names his is most certainly Greek. The simplest explanation is perhaps that there existed at Dodona a very ancient pre-Greek or pre-Achaean shrine occupied by Greeks who attached to the deity the name of their own god Zeus.

All instances of actual Pelasgians from Homer to Herodotus point to their being a northern people. Thrace, Epirus and Thessaly are their homes. It is certain that there were pre-Achaeans inhabitants of Greece. The simplest view now held is that Greek-speaking peoples broke down into Greece from the North in three successive waves, Ionian, Achaean and Dorian, subduing a previous 'Helladic' population and setting up, after a second invasion (i.e., of Achaeans), the Mycenean civilization in the Peloponnese. If this is the simplest view, it does not solve all problems and it does not as yet rest upon a certain foundation of fact. An early stratum of population in Greece was in close touch with Anatolia. A large number of Greek place-names point to the conclusion that Greece was colonized from Anatolia. By whom we do not know, and we are also ignorant of what language these early people spoke. It is also possible that the Achaeans themselves were in Asia Minor before they were in Greece and that they brought thither the Anatolian place-names. It is no more than tradition that connects such early people with the Pelasgians.

The name Pelasgi which almost certainly stands for Pelak-skoi or Pelag-Skoi has been connected with pelagos, 'the sea,' and the people consequently regarded as sea-faring. The connection is not very convincing. It has also been related to the name of the semi-Illyrian Pelagones of Macedonia, and it is possible, though unproven, that the names do represent the same stem. Possibly the Pelasgians were no more than Vlachs, or Wallachian shepherds, who in classical as in modern times have been in the habit of wandering in large numbers down into Greece. The name is perhaps no more than Velak-Ski. If this were so, it would account for their being dotted over various regions in Thrace and the north and also, if their habits were the same at the dawn of history as afterwards, of their being an ancient and integral part of Greek tradition and life. G. Sergi describes as Pelasgian' one branch of the Mediterranean or Euro-African race. {They were also once in Lybia as we show in "Western Roots One."}


Beloch, Griechische Geschichte I. 2 p. 162 seq,; E. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums I., 2 p. 767 seq. (3rd ed.); A. Fick, Vorgriechische Ortsnamen (1905); J. L. Myers, 'A History of the Pelasgian Theory,' in Journal of Hellenic Studies XXVII., 171 seq. (1906); Treidler, 'Alte Volker der Balkanhalbilsel' in Archiv. fur Antropologie XL. 101 seq. (1913); H. Ehrlich, 'Pelasger und Etrusker' in Verhandlungen d. 52 Phil-Vers. in Marburg (1913), p.150; A. Debrunner, 'Der Besiedlung des alten Griechenland im Licht der Sprachwissenschaft' in Neue Jahrbuch fur d. Klassische Altertumwissenschaft, XLI. p. 443 (1918). (B. F. C. A.)"


From Atkinson's well researched entry given above, we may infer and/or add to it the following points:

a) Could it be that only the Dorians represented the Greek identity while Carians (Kara + ian), Leleges (Lelek + es), Achaean (Aka + ean), Pelasgians (Pelesge + ian) which are all Altaic sounding words, were all non Indo-European and all probably Central Asiatic origin? Indo-European speaking Greeks had a way of Hellenizing foreign words that they could not say. Obviously, that is what they did in the case of the many names related to these non Indo-European people.

b) It appears that a good portion of mainland Greece, Thrace, western Balkans, western coasts of Anatolia and a number of Aegean islands including Crete were inhabited by Pelasgians. In these lands, after they were conquered by Hellenic people, Pelesgians eventually blended in with the Hellenic people and lost their non Indo-European Central Asiatic identity.

c) From the reading of the Lemnos Island inscription, It is now quite clear that Pelasgians called themselves SAKA and their "Sky God" as "SAIS". Thus, it seems that the Greek name "Zeus" {Zey-us?} is nothing but an Hellenized version of this Pelasgian name. Similarly, 'Zeus of Dodona' is the Pelasgian SAIS. We should note that the Pelasgian SAIS also corresponds to 'Ais' of Etruscans [1, p. 142], a deity which is same as the 'Ak Ayas' or 'Ayas' of Central Asiatic people [8]. Hence, it is clear that Pelasgians brought their deity SAIS [= Ak Ayas or Ayas] to Balkans (e.g. Dodona) from Central Asia and eventually the epithet SAIS turned into Hellenic 'Zeus' by ancient Greeks. It seems that this Lemnos island inscription puts the 'Greek origin' of the Greek mythological god Zeus into question.

d) It should also be noted that all these divinity names such as "Sais, Zeus, Ais, and Ayas or Ak Ayas, represent the Sky God in the Pelasgian, Etruscan, Hellenic and Turkic Saka and Central Asiatic Turkic shaman cultures. The name of this divinity must have been brought all the way from Central Asia to the Balkans and Mediterranean coasts by the Turkic speaking SAKA peoples and their ancestors. For example, if some scholars find cultural affinity between the Etruscans and Pelasgians, and also find their inscriptions related to each other, it seems that this affinity between these two ancient peoples is due to the existence of a real kinship between them.

e) It is most likely that Greek culture borrowed considerably from and was built upon the Pelasgian culture during its well known development. However historically, Pelasgians did not get any credit for their achievements while Greeks took all the credit.

f) Historians say that in about 600 B. C., Athens fought against Pelasgians of Lemnos for the control of a town named Sigeion (Sige +ion) [12,p.56] on the Asian side of the southern tip of Hellespont (Dardanelles). We also note from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey that at about 1200 B. C. when Troy was attacked by the King Agamemnon of Mycenae, Pelasgians were allies of Troy. The reason for this alliance may be that either Pelasgians had land holdings next to Troy and did not want to lose it to Mycenaeans or they were kins of Troyans or both. In any case, Pelasgians must have been in control of not only the islands of Lemnos and Imbros in the Aegean Sea but also some land in Thrace and in Asia Minor between 1200 B.C. and 600 B. C.. This shows the extent of the Pelasgian presence in the area.


1. The people inhabiting the Lemnos island at and before 600 B.C. were called PELASGIANS, although according to the Lemnos island inscription, they called themselves as SAKA. The Pelasgians were a non Indo-European people and were speaking a non Indo-European language. The Lemnos island inscription represents the language of this people. This first time reading of the Lemnos island inscription clearly identifies the Altaic nature of the language in which the inscription is written. The readily recognizable words are not only Altaic in nature but are unquestionably Turkish. This study identifies the language of Pelasgians as an early form of Altaic languages, perhaps a year-600 B. C. version of Turkish.

2. Deciphering of this ancient inscription, as I have shown in this study for the first time, establishes the presence of Turkic speaking SAKA (Scytians) peoples and their kins PELASGIANS called as such by the Greeks, in the Aegean islands and in the Balkans during the pre-historic times from 1200 B.C. to 600 B.C.. Ancient Greek historians, like Heredotus, identify the population of Lemnos and Imbros islands as Pelasgians.

3. Turkic speaking Pelasgians must have been direct kins of Central Asiatic Saka people who arrived in the Balkans and then onto some of the Aegean Sea islands in waves of migrations from Central Asia long before the 6th century B. C. and adapted themselves to the environment conditions of the area. They became sea faring people as well as carried on their animal husbandry under the local conditions. It is most likely that they used the Eurasian landmass which has been one of the most active migration paths of the Asiatic people into the European continent.

4. The lettering found in the inscription from Lemnos island makes a definite connection to the Runic inscriptions from Central Asia: for example, a) to the inscription found in the Issik Kurgan near Almati (Alma Ata) in Kazakistan; b) to the Turkic Orhun and Yenisei inscriptions; c) to the Saka and Hun inscriptions, and d) to Pechenek writings. The Runic alphabet that Turks have used in their inscriptions does not seem to have originated in Europe, although it was used by Europeans. It seems that the Runic type of writing has spread into Central and Northern Europe from Eurasia. Surely, new studies will enlighten this further.

5. At the risk of attracting criticism, I will pose the question, "did the Pelasgians learn their alphabet from Hellenic people or did they bring it with them from their Asiatic homeland? There seems to be an unquestioned acceptance by some scholars that non Indo-European peoples (such as Etruscans and Pelasgians), living in Europe contemporarily with Indo-Europeans, took their alphabet from Hellenic people. How sure are we about such declarations? Have all the European and Asiatic artifacts been truly examined and appraised in fairness in a light other than the Indo-European light? Perhaps new scholars in the field could be more open minded and examine it from an Asiatic view point also.

6. It is said that there are many already discovered Pelasgian artifacts (some probably with inscriptions on them) and most likely, more will be discovered in the future. In trying to read such documents, the inquiry should encompass all possibilities.

7. It is hoped that scholars will complete translation of the inscription on the Lemnos stele and check out the validity of what I have described in this study.


1. Giuliano Bonfante and Larissa Bonfante, "The Etruscan Language An Introduction'", New York

University Press, New York and London, 1983.

2. H. H. Scullard, "The Etruscan Cities and Rome", Thames and Hudson, 1967.

3. Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 1, p. 662-669, 1963, under the entry of "Alphabet".

4. Hüseyin Namik Orkun, "Eski Türk Yazitlari", Türk Dil Kurumu Yayinlari: 529, Ankara,1987 .

5. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1963, vol. 17, p. 448-449, under the entry of "Pelasgians".

6. Adile Ayda, "Etrüskler Türk mü idi?", Türk Kültürünü Arastirma Enstitüsü Yayinlari, No.43, Ankara,1974.

7. Faruk K. Timurtas, "Seyhi ve Cagdaslarinin Eserleri Üzerinde Gramer Arastirmalari II Sekil Bilgisi",

Türk Dili ArastirmalariYilligi, Belleten,1961, 2. baski.

8. Mircea Eliade, "Shamanism Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy", Princeton University Press, 1964.

9. Dr. Ilhami Durmus, "Iskitler (Sakalar)", Türk Kültürünü Arastsrma Enstitüsü Yayinlari:141,

Seri III - Sayi: B-8, Ankara,1993.

10. Kemal Alisar Akisev, "Kurgan Issik" Moskova : Iskustvo, 1978.

11. Olcas Suleymanov, "Ceti Sudin Kone Cazbalari", Kazak Edebiyati, 25 September 1970: 1-3.

12. Anton Powell, "Cultural Atlas of Young People ANCIENT GREECE", Facts on File, New York, 1989.

13. Prof. Dr. Muharrem Ergin, "Orhun Abideleri", 12. Baski, Bogaziçi Yayinlari, Istanbul 1988.

14. "Karsilastirmali TÜRK LEHÇELERI SÖZLÜGÜ I ve II", Kültür Bakanligi / 1371, Kaynak Eserler /54, Ankara, 1991.


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