by Andrew Collins
Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer 2000
He started with an account of the Dead Sea Community at Qumrn and the discovery in 1947 of the Dead Sea Scrolls, hidden by members of the community in caves in an attempt to preserve their history and teachings for future generations.
One was unnamed (although in my translation of the fragmentary text he is identified as MICHAEL or Melchizedek), while the other was BELIAL, the teacher of the Children of Darkness.
Amram is asked to choose between the two, who represent, respectively, the truth and the lie.
This was a concept that came originally from the Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism. It entered the Jewish religion at the time of the Babylonian captivity following the conquest of Babylon in the mid sixth-century BC by the Persians under Cyrus the Great.
Yet it was the appearance of Belial that di Cesare focused on.
The being is said to have been dark with a VIPER-like face and "blazing eyes".
Di Cesare showed next a slide of one of the SNAKE-headed clay figurines found with frequency by Sir Leonard Woolley alongside burials excavated during the 1920s at sites in Lower Iraq. Many, for instance, were found in cemeteries at UR, the former great city identified by scholars as the biblical "Ur of the Chaldees".
Since the level at which these figurines was found corresponded to the time period in which Iraq was inhabited by the so-called Ubaid peoples, who came originally from the ZAGROS mountains of Kurdistan, it meant that they dated to c. 3500 BC (although di Cesare spoke of them as dating to 6500 BC).
Di Cesare said that mystery surrounded the purpose of the statues, which showed males, females and females holding babies.
He suggested that they were buried in order to protect the souls of the dead and to prevent the deceased from becoming victims of Vampires, a common belief among the peoples of ancient Iraq.
Di Cesare saw the Ubaid statues as representations of the same SERPENT-like figure featured in the Testament of Amram.
He went on to propose that these beings were an actual RACE that lived in the Near East in prehistoric times and were responsible for providing the knowledge of civilization. All these matters are dealt with in great detail within my own books FROM THE ASHES OF ANGELS (1996) and GODS OF EDEN (1998).
As you can imagine, I sensed what only can be described as a slight case of deja vu the same feeling I experienced when reading Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas book URIEL'S MACHINE.
Yet he failed to note that the veneration of the EYE in the Near East derived from its associations with the vulture, the ultimate symbol of the Neolithic cult of the dead, which went hand-in-hand with SERPENTINE symbolism.
Di Cesare then showed slides of other "guardian" statues from Palestine, Syria and even Italy that bore a resemblance to the Ubaid figurines, suggesting that these were likewise connected with the same tradition.
This is a matter I also deal with in FROM THE ASHES OF ANGELS, published in Italy in 1997 under the title GLI ULTIMI DEI ("The Last Gods") by Sperling and Kupfer.
In here I point out that the beak-like faces of these statues, some of which have cobra hoods (and are thus representations of ASTARTE, the Canaanite form of EVE, the SERPENT mother of the Nephilim), derive from the earlier association between SERPENTS and abstract vulture symbolism.
Di Cesare went on to show a slide which featured a group of Mesopotamian figurines that he said were Anunnaki, the Sumerian pantheon of lesser gods.
Like me, he too identified these beings with the strange figures featured in the Testament of Amram and the Ubaid SERPENT-faced figurines.
The only topic he subsequently covered which is not in FROM THE ASHES OF ANGELS was the possible link between the SERPENT-like "GUARDIANS of knowledge," as he referred to them, and the phallic standing stones found at many Canaanite and Phoenician sites in Syria and Lebanon (and generally considered to be symbols of the goddess Asherah).
He concluded his lecture by saying that we have here evidence of a widespread cult which revered an ancient race, connected with the symbol of "The SERPENT and the EYE" and thought to be the givers of ancient knowledge and wisdom.
From his reaction, this seemed not to be the case. So I offered to send him Italian translations of both works as quickly as possible (he has acknowledged receipt of them).
Vittorio tells me that he is preparing a book on the subject to be entitled GODS OF FIRE.
As you will know, this shamanic ruling elite are to be associated with:
We must not forget, however, that some of these ideas, especially the human origin of the Watchers of Eden and the Anunnaki, were explored originally by Christian O'Brien in his landmark book GENIUS OF THE FEW, first published in 1985.
Yet I believe I was the first writer to identify the Watchers as a shamanic ruling elite that controlled the spread of the Neolithic revolution and paved the way for the foundations of ancient world civilization.