It is weird that in spite of us living in a world and times when we surround ourselves with symbols no one has so far been able to identify the group or persons responsible for the white symbols up in the Theban Mountains. The interest for symbolism is great worldwide, among other things culminating in novels like Dan Brown’s latest best seller “the lost symbol”. Brown, like many before him draws on the connections between ancient mysticism and more modern so called secret societies, more or less praising the masons when reading between the lines. We too have considered these more modern societies when trying to identify the group or persons responsible for the white painted symbols, but so far there are no similarities at all in the symbols used compared to those in the Theban Mountains. These symbols are modern for sure (just how modern remains unknown for now), made with the greatest care and painted in white, located in what we now can conclude being a limited geographic area in the southern part of the Theban Mountains. They are exposed only to those who wander into the wadis and cannot be seen from the main “road” that passes by outside the monastery of Malqata. One symbol alone can be spotted from outside when approaching the mountains, one which remains hidden in plain sight for most people (although being a few in number) who walk these paths. From a distance, it can easily be mistaken for being the formation of continuous bird droppings – a common sight along the cliffs of these mountains.
We have been in contact with people from all over the world, incorporating all kinds of professions and backgrounds, including Egyptologists, symbologists, classicists, freemasons, rosecrusians, people of various religious beliefs and spiritualism, conspiracy theorists, etc., etc., but yet we stand without any identification. We have been in contact with those who claim to be “code crackers”, who weirdly generally return with questions about our general work with symbols rather than discussing these white painted ones. Yes, one can ask the question why we find these symbols so interesting and why we continue to pursue an identification, why we continue to discuss their meaning and overall cultural significance when they obviously are modern in nature and as most people would agree in being “simple modern graffiti”. We would then like to remind of the work of for example C G Jung, who throughout his life studied the archetypes and symbols fundamental impact on our psyche. And by no means was he alone, not then and not now. Psychologists often work with symbols, fundamental symbols that are traceable throughout history and visible in the conscious and subconscious mind of all men and women. We count to our friends genetics working on the strings of DNA, with tasks that incorporate symbols and how they are embedded in our very core of being. Physics, biologists, mathematicians, musicians, artists... the list can be made long – no eternal – as symbols will forever be a part of our very core of existence! It is by no accident that symbols have been used throughout history to attract our attention. We see symbolism being used in active propaganda machinery – for most modern humans the Nazis stand as a perfect example. While many look back at their symbols in horror and disbelief, a large group can connect with the original significance of these symbols and with the recognition of their true meaning; they can also connect to the intentions for using such symbols. It is our cultural upbringing, the socio-political, religious and ideological interference that tell us how to react to symbols, and the swastika remains a perfect example of how the original significance has gone lost for those who “read” it only based on the political forum in which it was exposed in modern times rather than in more ancient ones.
Anyway, returning to the white symbols. Some have replied to us saying that they are simple and disrespectful: modern graffiti with no significance. However, these white painted symbols are far from simple and have been created with greatest care. Yes, they are modern, but they also show a continuation of the ancient beliefs, or at least the continuation of symbolism itself – and this is what the Sirius Project is about: documenting and analysing the continuation of symbols, from their ancient origin throughout time and space, their survival and transformation in new cultures and new socio-religious settings! While these symbols in the Theban Mountains are modern, they intrigue us as they show this continuation and while they might at first seem “silly” and as “simple graffiti”; their location, contextual setting, composition and combination is far from silly and simple. The “artist (s)” has used the natural formation of the rock in order to create depth and dimensions, to illuminate certain aspects of the image. The combination of signs is based on at least a fundamental knowledge in hieroglyphs, although many of them are created in morphed forms and rarely in a traditional sequence. Each sign seems to keep their individual significance with an emphasis on understanding the individual sign prior to an overall message. We believe that these symbols are put in their location by no accident, but as part of something more important – whether that being a single artist’s expression or an encoded message for a few chosen ones. We will continue exploring these white painted symbols and regardless of the result, we learn from the path that takes us there. One thing is for sure, ancient symbolism is still very much in use in our modern society, incorporating everything from these white painted symbols to highly recognised companies such as Nike or McDonalds. We can all relate to symbols, the question is if we can read between the lines and decode the combination of signs in order to comprehend the message communicated by the creator!