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Bull horns have appeared in human imagery since the beginnings of graphic art in the caves of Lascaux and probably earlier in sculpture.

Lascaux paintings of bulls

17,000 year old cave paintings of bulls in southern France

The ancient Egyptians had a tradition of finding a single bull in the whole country that matched their criteria for the Apis Bull. A rather similar procedure for finding the Dalai Lama as a child in Tibet. After the bull died of old age he would be embalmed as were the Pharaohs and placed in a bull size coffin in this very large catacomb.

Apis bull were buried in catacombs

5,000 years ago Egyptian bulls were sacred and at a later time were embalmed and put in this catacomb

Part of what makes the bull so majestic and appealing were its horns which the Egyptians even saw in the stars and which we still call the constellation Taurus.


The constellation Taurus has been seen in random star arrangements for millennia

Thousands of years before the ancient Egyptians were doing these strange things there was in the central part of the Anatolian peninsula a town now called Catal Huyuk which is now being excavated. There are rooms found there with cattle altars with many bull skulls bearing horns.

Bull heads temple

A Bull Shrine reconstruction at Catal Huyuk

The people of the Mediterranean island of Crete were known as Minoans and they too were very interested in bulls as is shown by the many beautiful sculptures of them.

Minoan bull with golden horns

A Minoan bull with golden horns

The Minoans Taurus bull was known as the Minotaur which was famed for its majesty and ferocity.

Holy bull horns

The stylized Minotaur bull horns of the Minoans from Crete

In what is now western China there were also some Caucasian cultures who having learned the Chinese ability to cast bronze made their own style sculptures. Those were bulls’ heads of various sorts but always emphasizing the horns. It seems the horns themselves were very special to all of these people.

Yunnan Provincial Museum in Kunming    Treasures from the Kingdom of Dian

2,000 year old bronze sculpture from Western China

Something very special has been going on with bulls’ horns for some 20,000 years.

Catal Huyuk, the Temple of the Bull Heads
12,000 year old Catal Huyuk, the Temple of the Bull Heads

If viewed directly from the front on the right side of the altar the arrangement of Minoan bulls’ horns would look rather like a Menorah.

The arch of Titus with the menorah from the Second Temple brought to Rome

The Menorah from the Second Temple brought to Rome

This similarity of visual appearance between the ancient Catal Huyuk altarpiece and the Menorah altarpiece is just an observation and you can make of the similarity of the shapes what you will. But there is another strange relationship between the Minos-taurus easily being conjoined into Minotaur and being used by these Mediterranean traders becoming used as the altarpiece Menorah. It was known by them as the Minos-tauras a symbol of the time of enormous power and prestige. After a time the term was shortened to Menorah. These are 3,000+ year old artifacts and any discussion of them has got to be thought of as only speculative no matter how interesting they are.

The Wall Street Bull

The bull going to the dogs is still the religions icon on the main street of the world. Wall Street

Dog gone it! May the force of the bull be with you.