JANUARY1998-astronomers know that the recent passage of Comet Hale-Bopp through our inner solar system was not its first visit. Current orbital calculations project a previous visit about 2214 B.C. we dont know if there were visits before that.
Comet Hale-Bopp last passed Earths way during the time frame of tremendous advancement and upheaval throughout the ancient world. The comet paid its last visit during the period of Great Pyramid building in Egypt as well as the construction of the Stonehenge circle. The great Ziggarat of Ur world would not be built for another century after Comet Hale-Bopps visit.
The question arises, is there a record of the comets passage in 2214 B.C.? the answer is: we dont know. The current projected date of the previous perihelion passage was only recently determined and could be revised again.
The famous victory stela of Naram-Sin from Sippar (modern Iraq) and later taken as war booty to Susa (modern western Iraq)dates close to the time of Hale-Bopps passage. The Stela is now in Paris Louvre Museum. Scholars date Narim-Sins reign in the 23rd century B.C.(2200s.
You can see from the photo that there are a pair of suns in the heavens above the scene. What do these heavenly bodies signify? Probably not a Sun/Moon combination according to Dr. Edwin Krupp, noted archaeo-astronomer and director of the Griffith Observatory. The two objects in the stela appear to be identical. The Moon and other planetary objects each had their own symbols. If the sculptor were intending to represent the Sun and Moon he would have chosen a different symbol for the second object. The same would go for the sun and Venus. According to Dr. Krupp the twin suns of the Narim-Sin Stela are a bit of an enigma. The appearance of twin suns is uncommon in an ancient symbolism.
According to the Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World, Naram-Sin was the first Middle Eastern king to call himself divine in his own lifetime. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that Naram- Sin was setting himself up as a god by placing the sun (symbol of deity) above his own head, just as another stands above the sacred mountain. However this ih mere speculation on this writers part.
Could the twin suns represent the Suns and a closely attending bright object such as a minus-8 magnitude comet passing near the Earth on its way to perihelion? Comet Hale-Bopp has the physical creditials to have done that 2214 B.C. it would just be a matter of timing. If Comet Hale-Bopp were to pass close to Earth on its inbound track it would have been the most spectacular comet ever seen by man. It most likely would have been visible in daylight and its tail would have stretched across most, if not all of the nights sky.
Both the timing of the prior passage (c. 2214 B.C.) and the fact that there has not yet been a consensus opinion as to the meaning of the twin suns of the Narim-Sin Stela makes this speculation interesting. But that is all it is at this point: speculation