What is going on here?


Originally published in Ancient American Magazine Issue #46


Last Spring, a subscriber called our attention to this remarkable photograph. Although the original print was obtained by Mr. Wayne May, no information was associated with its purchase. All we may deduce from this intriguing image is that it appears to document an actual site, apparently sufficiently well known to have been visited by tourists in the late 19th century. Although the ladies and their clothes obviously belong to Western Civilization, their location could be anywhere. They might even have been wealthy European or American tourists in Polynesia, for all we know.


In contrast to their prim attire, the sculpted relief behind them suggests an intimate relationship between a bare-breasted woman and a compliant snake. A separate carved image (below, right) depicts the offspring of their union. In Greek myth, Pelasgus was the son of a serpent. He led his followers, the Pelasgians, or “Sea Serpent People” into the Aegean, where he founded pre-Hellenic Civilization. Although the racial features of the female figure appear European, it is impossible to know is she represents the mother of Pelasgus. We appeal to our readers for any observations they care to share with us about this mysterious photograph.



  1. Ockothefrisian says:

    Heathen attached to all kind of processes a consciousness which often were considered Gods, so to weather, nature and other things. The process could be instigated by intention of humans, producing the desired process in farming with connection to the Gods. So the processes worked both ways, either by Gods or by men. In general a harmonic relationship was the base of this. So both did their part to strengthen each other (something we today call worship).

    In materialistic world devoid of non-corporeal entities we only have processes instigated by physical or chemical methods. So we have to change our mindset to understand our ancestors.

  2. Ockothefrisian says:

    Also it seems that the child is born in a cave, which could pertain to the pre historic bear cult. The bear is equally a sun animal and representant also of humans as it walks sometimes on its hind legs. The mother (cave) bear goes into the cave before winter, sleeps there, gives birth to the baby bear around winter solstice and comes out at springtime with the cub.

    The snake also goes into a subterranean refuge in winter and comes out again in spring, it also needs the sun to be warmed up and be able to move. It has also an intimate relationship with the sun and Mother Earth.

  3. Ockothefrisian says:

    The snake is one of the oldest symbols in religion, it was usually considered a divine symbol contrary to Christianity which reinterpretated it for obvious reasons as evil.

    In Germanic Heathenism th snake was used as the male part in fertility cults, which are connected obviously to farming societies.

    The lore interprets the weather as caused by Gods, for example the soft warm caressing winds in May were caused by a female God, probably Freya în later times, the Stormgods were male with its powerful destructive energies.

    The storm were often accompanied by thunderstorms. The lightnings were seen as a heavenly, godly snake.

    Often the storms/thunderstorms followed a soft, warm wind, which was seen as the male God in hot pursuit of the female God. The when they met thunderstorm appeared (the clash of a cold front with a warm front is what we say today) and heavy rain was the result which gave the soil the water it needed to be fertile.

    The heavenly intercourse then was the push for fertility. Mother Earth became wet, the lightning was the semen (which can be considered a form of a snake) to make her bear fruit.

    Freya is the daughter of Earth, Odin and Thor are the storm Gods.

    The result of the heavenly intercourse then would be a child.

    Interestingly most marriages were bound at the equinox in September, the last Thing of the heathen year, then the first child would be born around the summer solstice and thus would be a sun child.

    For heathen there was less of a difference of what is an outward experience and an inward experience, one would say they were more in tune with nature, so a fertile energy in the weather would instigate a fertile energy in the humans.

    In Germany up to medieval times the farmer and his wife (or other priestly persons) would have intercourse on their fields to attract fertile energy into their land.

    These are on the border of mythical and magical times and far from our contemporary view of the world.

    The snake often is used in mythical application, sometimes as dragon. In general we have in them the winter god which captures the sun maiden which then had to be freed through mythical/magical plays or dances like in the British Morris dance (named after the 3 player who colored their faces black ((moores)) to represent the dark 3 winter month, these dances are all over Europe, the Greek one danced to these days as the revived Morrisdance. the songs are still known by southern Slavic tribes.

    We know this is the basic myth of many later developed myth which lost the original meaning. Where the dragon sometimes turns into a castle in which the sun maiden is captured (Troy, many fairy tales and local legends) or turns into an formidable obstacle only the right prince can overcome. In the Edda we have the building of a winter castle by a giant. Whose prize would be Freya as the sun Goddess, we have Brunhilde in the ring of fire which Sigfried frees (Brunhilde was put there by the wintergod Odin), it also found its ways into the bible, the competition between Hiram (King of Tyros, a Phoenician and therefore Aryan) and Solomon, a Semite, Hiram was building a temple and the prize would be the hand of the Queen of Sheeba. In this case Hiram would be the winter-king, the serpent, an animal of wisdom which could build temples o other ones including Solomon, could not.

    My guess would be, that the place shown was a place of fertility in a farming culture connected to European culture which includes northern America, southern America, India and so on.

    It is difficult to determine where.

  4. Ancient America says:

    Received this comment from a friend of our site 10-3-14 “I would guess that these ladies are near something in the mediterranean area, possibly part of Greek or Turkish temple ruins, while doing what was referred to as “the grand tour.” Looking at some of the trees in the background, I might hazard a guess as to those being cedars? (probably not, but I’m no botanist, so whatever) This place does not have anything that says Americas to me.”

    If this was not/is not in America, we apologize and thank you for any additional information.

Leave a Reply