Why have these Kore and Kouros Murti Pairs been found at the bottom of the Mediterranean, buried like the Merenta Excavation Pair (images below), or preserved in the Vatican and other Catholic collections? It is because of the Iconoclastic (Sacred Image-smashing) Controversy and the near total destruction of early Christian and other sacred Art by the followers of M*hammed. The Catholic Leaders who fought against the Iconoclasts, tried to rescue the Sacred Art of their religious domain, especially the so -called ‘cult images’ of the Proto-Catholic Heliopolitan Tradition. The Great Rhodian School of Monumental Stone Murti Sculpture in-the-round was unparalled in the ancient World. Techniques from the Masters of Rhodes were transmitted to the Murti Makers of Pure Land Buddhism and Vaishnavism at centers like Gandhara and Mathura.
In these related Pure Land Buddhist and Vaishnava Traditions, to avoid desecration of a Sacred Murti of the Lord or Shakti, if there is no other way to protect Sri Murti, the Form of the Lord or Shakti must be buried or cast into a deep body of water! Where this was not accomplished, the Iconoclasts (Murti smashers) delighted in disfiguring, beheading and dismembering the so-called ‘Cult Images’ of the ancient Mediterranean Region. They also defaced and destroyed countless other works of Sacred Art. This is why the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea is littered with countless ‘Cult Images’ from the tiny home-shrine type to great Temple Murtis weighing tons. Such Murtis were deposited there before or after desecration, to protect Them from further insult and injury. Burying Murtis on land was an alternative to burial at sea. Thus many more such ‘Cult Images’ will no doubt be found as research progresses in areas that were once invaded and ruled by Muslims or other Iconoclasts. Read the rest of this entry