Mircea Eliade - The Moussian Tree of life
Type of Spiritual Experience
Explorations in Turkestan : Expedition of 1904 : vol.1
We have, then, to do with cultural traditions native to Asia. If now we search Asia for similarities of primitive cultures, we find only one point at which archeological research has been pursued with sufficient system and purpose to throw much light on the collective and comparative elements of civilizations. M. De Morgan at Susa, and his assistants, Messieurs Gautier and Lampre, in the neighboring Moussian district, have exposed several superimposed stages of cultures antedating the time of Sargon of Accad. At Tepe Mohamed Djaffar—a slight elevation in the Moussian district—they found an extensive flint-implement workshop which had not been occupied since the stone age. In this they found neither celts nor points of arrows or of lances, but immense quantities of flakes in the forms of scrapers (racloirs) and elements of sickles. Nor did they, in all their excavations in the Moussian district, find any points of arrows or of lances of stone. Awls and drills were rare; percuteurs, saws, scrapers, and the little blades to form the elements of sickles, like those of early Egypt, were everywhere in great abundance. At Mohamed Djaffar these were associated with a thick, hand-made, red, and often burnished pottery, some of which was decorated with simple designs, either scratched in with a point or painted in lines of dark red. The stage of transition from the stone age to the copper age is characterized by thin, wheel-made, yellow or light-green pottery, ornamented with designs in brilliant black with representations of human, animal, and vegetable forms. The pottery of the copper age was wheel-made and decorated also with representations of animals, painted in red and black. This successive order of similar cultures is repeated in the lower culture-strata of the citadel of Susa. According to De Morgan, all of these culture stages in Susiana preceded the " archaic " culture which ended about 4000 B. C. (dating Sargon of Accad at 3800 B. C.), and during which an Elamitic proto-cuneiform script appears for the first time in Susa.
A description of the experience
Patterns in Comparative Religion – Mircea Eliade
The earliest instance we have of it, is a fragment of a vase discovered by the Gautier expedition to Moussian, which represents a stylised tree, surrounded by lozenges