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Chrestos/Cristo’s Bowl

The Chrestos Bowl and the Franck Goddio Society

August 9, 2009 – 1:14 am (ARTICULO EN ESPAÑOL AL FINAL)

Ever since the publication of my book “The Missing Years of Jesus” in March of this year, I have received a steady & fascinating flow of new information, most of which concerns early Christianity in Britain or the missing years of Jesus, if we’re to differentiate between the two subjects. There are three or four other areas that are directly and intimately linked with the idea that Jesus once visited Britain that I’d like to investigate if I had the time and the resources, but I’m sure that the universe is unfolding as it should.

Be all that as it may, one particularly intriguing discovery came to light last year, but too late for me to able to write about it and do it justice in my book, unfortunately. This stunning artefact, known as the “Chrestos Bowl” is pictured above, and it was found during an excavation of the underwater ruins of the ancient harbour of Alexandria in 2008 by the French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio and his colleagues.

The bowl is inscribed with Greek characters reading “DIA CHRESTOU O GOISTAIS”, which has been interpreted as meaning “By Christ the magician” or “the magician by Christ”. However, before I provide more detail and explain why I’m interested by this discovery, I should point out that I wrote to the Franck Goddio Society to ask permission to use the photograph above and I received a very kind and helpful reply from Katrin Wollgast.

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by all the letters and emails I receive, but the sad truth is that I struggle to keep up with my private correspondence these days. I’ve also been very pleasantly surprised by all the assistance I’ve received from various ‘official’ quarters in connection with my book and my ongoing investigations into Stonehenge, so I try to acknowledge all these kindnesses wherever and whenever I can.

Katrin was most helpful to me, so I’ll do her the courtesy of running through some of the points she made in her letter. Katrin asked me to make clear that this link carries the clearest account of the discovery, while she also asked me to make clear that the Franck Goddio Society Website carries a number of interpretations of the inscription on the bowl. Professor Bernand offered the opinion that the words could refer to “Christ the magician”, but Katrin asked me to make it clear that there are other interpretations from other experts which conflict with this, so I am of course happy to do so.

Of course, since the announcement of the discovery of the Chrestos Bowl, a great deal has been written about it and it is an easy matter to find varying shades of opinion on the internet. Many of these are critical and highly doubtful of the notion that this artefact could be linked with Jesus in any way, so let me spell out in plain terms the reasons for my interest in this discovery:

As I’ve made clear in my book, Jesus is demonstrably absent from his homeland between the ages of 12 and 30.

When he returns or reappears, it is as a stranger to those who should have known him best.

Various theories place him in India and Tibet during this time; I’m not convinced by any means, but I’m prepared to be persuaded otherwise.

From what I can see, an overwhelming body of evidence places him in the West of England and in South Wales during this time, and I’ve presented most of this evidence in my book.

If Jesus did indeed come to Britain for any length of time, then simple logic suggests that he was on amicable terms with the native population, while none of the legends portray him as an outsider, a recluse or a fugitive.

The priesthood in Britain at the time were the Druids, so once again, simple logic suggests that Jesus at least co-existed in an amicable fashion with these people.

Jesus returned from his “missing years” with astounding powers of oratory, an ability that the classical accounts implicitly ascribe to the Druids.

He was also notable for his ability to arbitrate disputes and here the classical accounts are even more specific, because they describe the Druids as judges and as the “most just of men”.

The birth of Jesus was foretold by the Magi and it may well have been foretold by someone else who was regarded in later ages as a magician. When Jesus reappeared in his homeland, one of his other notable characteristics was his ability to perform astonishing miracles, so again, if we simply glance at the classical accounts of the Druids without going into the matter in any great depth, we learn that the Druids were regarded by many as magicians and as workers of wonders.

For example, writing in the first century AD, Pliny stated “At the present day, Britannia is still fascinated by magic, and performs its rites with so much ceremony that it almost seems as though it was she who had imparted the cult to the Persians.” So, with all this and much more in mind, it stands to reason that I’m going to take a great interest in any mention of anyone named Chrestos who is linked in any way with magic.

I’m also very impressed with the courtesy shown to me by the Franck Goddio Society and their representatives, such as Katrin, who replied promptly to my enquiry and who was at pains to point out that there are differing interpretations of the inscription on the bowl in question. Such generosity and transparency are admirable qualities and they stand in stark contrast to the sullen, stubborn silence I’ve encountered from certain other quarters where I might have once expected a more enthusiastic or animated reply.

This discovery generated many reports on the internet, most of which are of the kind that I think of as “picture postcard” sites, where a paragraph or sometimes less is devoted to an intensive, open-minded and authoritative study of matters such as this. Looking through them, I’ve encountered dismissive articles pointing out that the bowl is thought to date to a time before the birth of Christ, the logic being that it’s therefore impossible for the inscription to refer to Jesus.

However, as far as I’m aware, the inscription was carved onto the vessel at some undetermined point after the slip was applied, so the words do not necessarily date from the same period in which the vessel was made. To put it another way, Lord Byron famously carved his name into the stone of the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion in Greece, but no one in their right mind would seriously argue that the temple dates from Byron’s lifetime [1788 – 1824] as opposed to the accepted date of the temple’s construction around 440 BC, or that Lord Byron was a contemporary of Pericles.

So, I would by no means dismiss the so-called “Chrestos Bowl” or the inscription it carries, because these things may possibly allow us another meaningful glimpse into events 2,000 years ago, while I’m absolutely certain that this vessel will not be the last artefact of its kind that will come to light.

Tomado de: eternalidol.com


Page 1

David Fabre

Roman times (1st Century BC and 1st Century AD)
Alexandria Maritime Museum (C1_3557)
This bowl was discovered on the IEASM archaeological mission in the Portus Magnus of
Alexandria in May 2008, close to the modern Corniche, at the foot of the peninsula that
stretches towards the island of Antirhodos on the former coastline now submerged.
Bowl C1_3557 was found in an even context of the first half of the 1st century AD,
associated with oriental sigillated, thin-walled goblets and imported culinary ceramic. This
thin-walled ceramic, however, dates back to the 1st century BC. It is a careened cup with
handles, well preserved. Close forms are present in Pergamon, for production between the late


century BC and the early 1st century AD. Bearing in mind the technical characteristics
and type of this specimen, this jug very likely comes from a workshop in the west of Asia
This bowl is engraved with DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS made after baking as the
incisions have taken away the slip. This inscription is at least enigmatic; it dates back either to
the 1st century BC (dating of the ceramic) or the first half of the 1st century AD (dating of the
occupation) and offers different hypotheses of reading.
Different hypotheses of reading
For Pr. Bert Smith of Oxford University, it might be a dedication or a present made by a
certain Chrestos belonging to an association (maybe religious) called Ogoistais. In this sense,
Pr. Klaus Hallof, director of the Institute of Greek inscriptions in the Berlin-Brandenburg
Academy of inscriptions believes that it is necessary to connect “ogostai” to known Greek
denominations of religious associations such as Hermaistai, Athenaistai, Isiastai which
gathered worshippers of the god Hermes or the goddess Athena and Isis. “Ogo”, according to
this hypothesis, would be a divine form of expressing the god Osogo or Ogoa of whom
Strabon and Pausanias talk with regard to a divinity worshipped in Milas, in Caria.

David Fabre

The goet?
According to the interpretation of Pr. André Bernand, Professor emeritus of French
Universities, Goistais might be a mistaken graphic of goes, the “goet”, that is, the “magician,
the sorcerer, the charmer, the magus”. This hypothesis becomes even more seducing as the
expression introduced by “dia” is typical of these casters of chance and soothsayers well-
known by the classical texts. According to this supposition, the writing could then be
translated either as “by Chrestos/Christos the magician”, or “the magician by
Having said this, is it possible to specify the nature of the practised magic ritual with
the help of this bowl?
A lecanomancia?
A certain number of elements lead us to imagine that this bowl was used by a magus to tell
the future by evoking gods or the dead, questioning about the content of the vessel. This
hypothesis could therefore be based on lecanomancia which is one of the oldest forms of
artificial divination. It has been known in Mesopotamia probably since the 3rd millennium
BC; the soothsayer interprets the forms taken by the oil poured into a cup of water in an
interpretation guided by manuals. There is one “hallucinating” variant: the medium, or the
soothsayer themselves, goes into a kind of trance when studying the oil in the cup. They
therefore see the divinities or supernatural beings appear that they call to answer their
questions with regard to the future. Two Egyptian earthenware statuettes, dating from the
Middle Empire, might be the first signs of lecanomancia in Egypt


. They show a kneeling
child leaning his chin on a jug he is holding with his two hands. The shape of the vessel is
very similar to that of the bowl discovered in the Portus Magnus in Alexandria (a bowl with
two handles and careened belly). The position of the seer performing his art illustrates the
practices described in the demotic and Greek scrolls.
Chrestos/Christos and Christ?


One is conserved in the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels (former Mac Gregor Collection, E.
7421), and the other to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York. This comes from the Licht’s searches
(no. 22.I.124)

David Fabre

If Chrestos is a widely accepted name in Greek onomastics, chrestos or christos is the Greek
word that translates the Hebrew māšīah, “messia”, “Christ” of the Christians. According to
this interpretation of Pr. André Bernand, the goet would refer to Jesus-Christ to legitimise his
magic abilities. Transformation of water into wine, multiplication of loafs, miraculous curing,
resurrection… The story of Christ must have been veritable manna for the magician who
could find (mythical) precedents to his questions and concerns.
To resort to “Christ” to support a magical practice does not mean belonging to the
Christian religion. A pagan might appeal to the Christian God, new to them, simply because
of his strangeness and the power attributed to him.
It should be remembered that in Alexandria paganism, Judaism and Christianity never
evolved in isolation. All of these forms of religiousness came into magical practices that
seduced both the humble layers of the population and the most well-off classes. It was in
Alexandria where new religious constructions were made to propose solutions to the problem
of man, of God’s world. Cults of Isis, mysteries of Mithra, early Christianity bear witness to
David Fabre,
Doctor in Egyptology, member of the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology
Cortesía de info@franckgoddio.org, enviado directo de ese email.
Podríamos haber encontrado la primera vasija que nos hable de Cristo…
Escrito por Quela y Pablo
Martes, 04 de Noviembre de 2008 09:01
La cultura egipcia ha fascinado desde tiempos inmemorables a propios y extraños. Una nueva excavación en las ciudades de Canopo, Heracleion y el propio puerto de Alejandría, sumergidas bajo el mar, nos pueden ayudar a entender mejor a esa cultura mágica y llena de exotismo, que puede ser clave para entender nuestra cultura cristiana actual. 

Tesoros sumergidos de Egipto ofrece al público español en el Matadero de Legazpi de Madrid, hasta el 15 de Noviembre, los restos de los yacimientos arqueológicos más importantes de los últimos tiempos. El arqueólogo submarino Franck Godoy, junto con la Fundación Hilti, nos sumerge en la historia más fascinante de Egipto para mostrarnos la inteligencia, destreza en ingeniería y el sentido artístico de la gente de la época.

De la mano de Teresa Bedman, Co-directora de la excavación de Sen-en-Mut en Egipto, Gerente y Miembro fundador del Instituto de Estudios del Antiguo Egipto y Coordinadora del área de visitas guiadas de la exposición, podremos adentrarnos un poco más en la vida, arte y economía del antiguo Egipto, visto desde los ojos que han estado presentes en el renacer de las tierras del desierto.

Pregunta (P): ¿Por qué decidieron hacer una exploración en estos terrenos?

Respuesta (R): Como casi todo lo que pasa en Egipto, y en la arqueología en general, es producto de las casualidades. Haciendo un mapa de la zona, Canopo, Alejandría y Heracleion, se ve vía satélite que hay manchas. Se sabía que estas ciudades estaban más o menos próximas y se dieron cuenta que las habían localizado y comenzaron el proceso de excavación. Casi, casi una casualidad.

P. ¿Qué aportó la cultura egipcia a la cultura moderna?

R. Egipto está inmerso en la cultura mediterránea. Muchísimos de nuestros días festivos de nuestra religión provienen de Egipto. El culto a lo muertos, el día uno de Noviembre coincide con las fiestas que se hacían en el antiguo Egipto. O por ejemplo, un nombre muy normal en España como Susana, proviene del egipcio sšn”, que significa Flor de Loto.

P. Se ha especulado mucho de que este descubrimiento rivalizaba con el de Pompeya, pero para Goddio “este descubrimiento tiene una importancia económica y religiosa mucho mayor que Pompeya u otros”. ¿Por qué es mucho mayor la importancia económica de estas ciudades en comparación con Pompeya o con cualquier otro?”

R. La rivalidad se refiere más al momento del descubrimiento. Son dos momentos históricos no coetáneos. El descubrimiento de Pompeya es fabuloso, pero en este descubrimiento, bajo las profundidades, se han descubierto por primera vez elementos materiales religiosos. Como las ciudades cayeron a plomo se han encontrado muchos objetos de culto ritual que no se habían encontrado hasta el momento. Todas las informaciones sobre materiales religiosos nos provenían por relieves hasta este descubrimiento. Además, el estado de conservación es altísimo. Los buenos materiales y las buenas manos que después han limpiado y restaurado estas piezas han sido indispensables para que luzcan como lo hacen.

R. Profesora Ana Vico. La espectacularidad de los descubrimientos y lo colosal hace que rivalicen. Pompeya se descubrió en 1748 y hace mucho que todas las obras quedaron expuestas al público. Quizás su rivalidad provenga de la capacidad de atracción turística porque buscan un mismo perfil. Un turista interesado en la cultura y que puede declinarse hacia un lugar u otro. Egipto tiene su magia, que es indiscutible. Tiene un atractivo del que carece Roma, porque es como ir a visitar a nuestros primos hermanos. Roma nos suena más a derecho romano, a las lecciones que recibimos en el colegio, lo vemos como mucho más cercano (Risas entre ambas interlocutoras).

R. Teresa Bedman: Cada vez que una editorial quiere sacar algún número interesante o alguna colección sobre historia o arte, el primer número siempre es sobre Egipto. Es por la magia que Egipto desprende.

P. ¿Quién ha financiado las exploraciones y la exposición?

R. La Fundación Hilti en exclusividad, al igual que la exposición. No pertenece al Estado francés, aunque muchas veces ha subvencionado excavaciones.

P. La exposición resume una etapa de la historia con muchas turbulencias, porque incluye dinastías faraónicas, la llegada de Alejandro Magno, la dinastía Ptolemaica, la colonización romana, cristiana, bizantina e islámica. ¿Qué ha aportado cada una de ellas a la civilización egipcia?

© Franck Goddio/ Hilti Foundation, Fotógrafo: Christoph GerigkR. En nuestra cultura, Egipto está siempre presente. La última pieza incorporada hace tres meses a la exposición, en primicia mundial, es una vasija cuya inscripciónestá fechada hacia el 50-51 d.C, la realización fue del siglo I a.C. Si es correcta la lectura, aparecería por primera vez en un hallazgo arqueológico la palabra CRISTO, dependiendo de cómo traduzcamos el genitivo. Puede ser “Cristo el mago”, y se interpretaría el nombre de Cristo como un nombre, cuestión que para mí no es correcta, porque ese nombre no se usaba en el 50-51 a.C., sino hasta bastante después. Para mí Cristo es una palabra derivada “del ungido o por el ungido”, y entonces sería una pieza que se utilizaría en las misas, cuando el sacerdote con la copa en la mano la levanta y dice “por el ungido”. Otros dicen que sería para cuestiones de magia, aunque yo no aprecio ninguna señal. Si lo interpretamos de la primera forma estaríamos hablando de Jesús de Nazaret. Sería la primera pieza arqueológica identificada con el nombre de Jesús de Nazaret. Ahora mismo es una hipótesis, pero se está trabajando en ello, porque sólo lleva unos tres o cuatro meses de investigación y esperemos que puedan dar con la verdad.

También hay pequeñas vasijas que se utilizaban y se siguen utilizando para seguir sacando agua, con el mismo material, o las piedras para moler el trigo o cebada.

P. ¿Qué tres calificativos describirían la civilización egipcia?

R. Espectacular, la civilización egipcia es espectacular en sí misma, es impactante. La cultura egipcia siempre impacta a propios y a extraños, siempre despierta curiosidad por su halo mágico. Mirando estos elementos y viendo su cultura, uno se pregunta: ¡Dios mío, cómo el hombre se ha podido atrasar tanto!

Tomado de: http://www.economiajoven.net


julio 28, 2010 Posted by | Chrestos/Cristo's Bowl | 3 comentarios