Still doing a little pseudo-research once in awhile.. I get on this stuff and can't seem to stop running around in circles sometimes.
(Be sure to click the links provided for additional information(This is the "brief version lol))
The following article ties in well with the (mythological?) history shown below.
I thought this article was pretty fascinating as it touches on a lot of the stuff I enjoy looking into.. Ancient Human Metropolis Found in Africa
Also have been looking at the earliest civilizations known to man
Paleo-Indians existed between 45,000-12,000 BCE
Cradle of civilization
Rise of civilization
The earliest signs of a process leading to sedentary culture can be seen in the Levant to as early as 12,000 BC, when the Natufian culture became sedentary; it evolved into an agricultural society by 10,000 BC
The Neolithic i/ˌniːɵˈlɪθɪk/ Era, or Period, from νέος (néos, "new") and λίθος (líthos, "stone"), or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 10,200 BC, according to the ASPRO chronology, in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 BC.
The Halaf culture is a prehistoric period which lasted between about 6100 and 5500 BCE. The period is a continuous development out of the earlier Pottery Neolithic and is located primarily in south-eastern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq, although Halaf-influenced material is found throughout Greater Mesopotamia.
The Ubaid period (ca. 6500 to 3800 BC) is a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. The name derives from Tell al-`Ubaid where the earliest large excavation of Ubaid period material was conducted initially by Henry Hall and later by Leonard Woolley.
In South Mesopotamia the period is the earliest known period on the alluvium although it is likely earlier periods exist obscured under the alluvium. In the south it has a very long duration between about 6500 and 3800 BC when it is replaced by the Uruk period 
In North Mesopotamia the period runs only between about 5300 and 4300 BC. It is preceded by the Halaf period and the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period and succeeded by the Late Chalcolithic period.
This is where it really starts to get interesting (to me anyway lol)
Note the dates above! We're talking 8,500 years ago (Ubaid) to 47,000 years ago (paleo-indians)!
I find it astonishing that all the trouble in the world today with wars (and rumors of wars), oil, terrorism, are happening in this same prehistoric region of the world.. Iraq, Syria, Turkey, etc..
Eridu (Lots of biblical locations & some references in here)
Eridu (Cuneiform: NUN.KI ; Sumerian: eriduki; Akkadian: irîtu) is an ancient Sumerian city in what is now Tell Abu Shahrain, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq. Eridu was long considered the earliest city in southern Mesopotamia, and is still today argued to be the oldest city in the world. Located 12 km southwest of Ur, Eridu was the southernmost of a conglomeration of Sumerian cities that grew about temples, almost in sight of one another. In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was originally the home of Enki, later known by the Akkadians as Ea, who was considered to have founded the city. His temple was called E-Abzu, as Enki was believed to live in Abzu, an aquifer from which all life was believed to stem.
Eridu, also transliterated as Eridug, could mean "mighty place" or "guidance place". In the Sumerian king list, Eridu is named as the city of the first kings. The king list continues:
In Eridu, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alalngar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridu fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira.
The king list gave particularly long rules to the kings who ruled before a great flood occurred, and shows how the center of power progressively moved from the south to the north of the country. Adapa U-an, elsewhere called the first man, was a half-god, half-man culture hero, called by the title Abgallu (ab=water, gal=big, lu=man) of Eridu. He was considered to have brought civilization to the city from Dilmun (probably Bahrain), and he served Alulim.
In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was the home of the Abzu temple of the god Enki, the Sumerian counterpart of the Akkadian water-god Ea. Like all the Sumerian and Babylonian gods, Enki/Ea began as a local god, who came to share, according to the later cosmology, with Anu and Enlil, the rule of the cosmos. His kingdom was the waters that surrounded the World and lay below it (Sumerianab=water; zu=far).
The stories of Inanna, goddess of Uruk, describe how she had to go to Eridu in order to receive the gifts of civilization. At first Enki, the god of Eridu attempted to retrieve these sources of his power, but later willingly accepted that Uruk now was the centre of the land. This seems to be a mythical reference to the transfer of power northward, mentioned above.
Babylonian texts also talk of the creation of Eridu by the god Marduk as the first city, "the holy city, the dwelling of their [the other gods] delight".
Re-creation of the port at Eridu.
According to the Sumerian kinglist Eridu was the first city in the World. The opening line reads,
"[nam]-lugal an-ta èd-dè-a-ba
"When kingship from heaven was lowered,
the kingship was in Eridu."
In Sumerian mythology, it was said to be one of the five cities built before the Deluge occurred.
Eridu appears to be the earliest settlement in the region, founded ca. 5400 BC, close to the Persian Gulf near the mouth of theEuphrates River. Because of accumulation of silt at the shoreline over the millennia, the remains of Eridu are now some distance from the gulf at Abu Shahrain in Iraq. Excavation has shown that the city was originally founded on a virgin sand-dune site with no previous occupation.
Possible location of Tower of Babel
The Egyptologist David Rohl, has conjectured that Eridu, to the south of Ur, was the original Babel and site of the Tower of Babel, rather than the later city of Babylon, for several reasons:
The ziggurat ruins of Eridu are far larger and older than any others, and seem to best match the Biblical description of the unfinished Tower of Babel
One name of Eridu in cuneiform logograms was pronounced "NUN.KI" ("the Mighty Place") in Sumerian, but much later the same "NUN.KI" was understood to mean the city of Babylon.
The much later Greek version of the King-list by Berossus (c. 200 BC) reads "Babylon" in place of "Eridu" in the earlier versions, as the name of the oldest city where "the kingship was lowered from Heaven".
Rohl further equate Biblical Nimrod, said to have built Erech (Uruk) and Babel, with the name Enmerkar (-KAR meaning "hunter") of the king-list and other legends, who is said to have built temples both in his capital of Uruk and in Eridu.
Other scholars have discussed at length a number of additional correspondences between the names of "Babylon" and "Eridu". Historical tablets state that Sargon of Akkad (ca. 2300 BC) dug up the original "Babylon" and rebuilt it near Akkad, though some scholars suspect this may in fact refer to the much later Assyrian king Sargon II.
Archaeologists have discovered the evidence of an early occupation at Ur during the Ubaid period (ca. 6500 to 3800 BC). These early levels were sealed off with a sterile deposit of soil that was interpreted by excavators of the 1920s as evidence for the Great Flood of the book of Genesis and Epic of Gilgamesh. It is now understood that the South Mesopotamian plain was exposed to regular floods from the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, with heavy erosion from water and wind, which may have given rise to the Mesopotamian and derivative Biblical Great Flood stories. The further occupation of Ur only becomes clear during its emergence in the third millennium BC (although it must already have been a growing urban center during the fourth millennium). The third millennium BC is generally described as the Early Bronze Age of Mesopotamia, which ends approximately after the demise of the Third Dynasty of Ur in the 21st.
Main article: Ur Kaśdim
Ur is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis (Biblical Hebrew אוּר) as the birthplace of the Hebrew patriarch Abram (Abraham; Aramaic: Oraham, Arabic: Ibrahim), traditionally believed to be some time in the 2nd millennium BC.
Ur is mentioned four times in the Torah or Old Testament, with the distinction "of the Kasdim/Kasdin"—traditionally rendered in English as "Ur of the Chaldees". The Chaldeans were already settled in the vicinity by around 850 BC, but were not the rulers of Ur until the late 7th century BC. The name is found in Genesis 11:28,Genesis 11:31, and Genesis 15:7. In Nehemiah 9:7, a single passage mentioning Ur is a paraphrase of Genesis. (Nehemiah 9:7)
The Book of Jubilees states that Ur was founded in 1688 Anno Mundi (year of the world) by 'Ur son of Kesed, presumably the offspring of Arphaxad, adding that in this same year wars began on Earth.
"And 'Ur, the son of Kesed, built the city of 'Ara of the Chaldees, and called its name after his own name and the name of his father." (i.e., Ur Kasdim) (Jubilees 11:3).
Ur in Islamic tradition
According to Islamic texts, the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was thrown into the fire here. In the story, the temperature of the fire of Nimrod was reduced by God, saving the life of Ibrahim. While the Qur'an does not mention the king's name, Muslim commentators have assigned Nimrod as the king based on Jewish sources, namely theBook of Jasher (11:1 and 12:6).
History of Iraq
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Part of a series on the
History of Iraq
Present day Iraq, known in classical antiquity as Mesopotamia, was home to the oldest civilizations in the world, with a cultural history of over 10,000 years, hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization. Mesopotamia, as part of the larger Fertile Crescent, was a significant part of the Ancient Near East throughout the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
Arabs have been the majority of Iraq's population since Sassanid times. Iraq was ruled by the indigenous empires,Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and also by foreign empires; Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian andSassanian empires during the Iron Age and Classical Antiquity, before Iraq was conquered by the Muslim Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century, and became a center of the Islamic Golden Age during the medieval Abbasid Caliphate. After a series of invasions and conquest by the Mongols and Turks, Iraq fell under Ottoman rule in the 16th century, intermittently falling under Iranian Safavid and Mamluk control.
Ottoman rule ended with World War I, and Iraq came to be administered by the British Empire until the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq in 1933. The Republic of Iraq was established in 1958 following a coup d'état. The Republic was controlled by Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 2003, into which period falls the Iran-Iraq war and the Persian Gulf War. Saddam Hussein was deposed following the 2003 US-led invasion of the country. Following the invasion, the situation deteriorated to the extent that in 2006–2007, Iraq was on the brink of civil war. However, conditions improved following a surge in U.S. troops in 2007–2008, and the war was declared formally over in December 2011, with the U.S. troops leaving the country.
History of Sumer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gudea of Lagash (Louvre)
The history of Sumer, taken to include the prehistoric Ubaid and Uruk periods, spans the 5th to 3rd millennia BC, ending with the downfall of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2004 BC, followed by a transitional period of Amorite states before the rise of Babylonia in the 18th century BC.
The first settlement in southern Mesopotamia was Eridu. The Sumerians claimed that their civilization had been brought, fully formed, to the city of Eridu by their god Enki or by his advisor (or Abgallu from ab=water, gal=big, lu=man), Adapa U-an (the Oannes ofBerossus). The first people at Eridu brought with them the Samarran culture from northern Mesopotamia and are identified with theUbaid period, but it is not known whether or not these were Sumerians (associated later with the Uruk period).
The Sumerian king list is an ancient text in the Sumerian language listing kings of Sumer, including a few foreign dynasties. Some of the earlier dynasties may be mythical; the historical record does not open up before the first archaeologically attested ruler,Enmebaragesi (ca. 2600 BC), while conjectures and interpretations of archaeological evidence can vary for earlier events. The best-known dynasty, that of Lagash, is omitted from the kinglist.
And this is pretty amazing.. compare it to the flood story and Noah in Genesis Though this (flood) story has been around for at least 4,000 years!
The Atrahasis is the Akkadian/Babylonian epic of the Great Flood sent by the gods to destroy human life. Only the good man, Atrahasis (his name translates as `exceedingly wise') was warned of the impending deluge by the god Ea who instructed him to build an ark to save himself. Atrahasis heeded the words of the god, loaded two of every kind of animal into the ark, and so preserved human and animal life on earth.
Written down in the mid-17th century BCE, the Atrahasis can be dated by the colophon to the reign of the Babylonian King Hammurabi's great-grandson, Ammi-Saduqa (1646-1626 BCE) though the tale itself is considered much older, passed down through oral transmission. The Sumerian Flood Story (known as the `Eridu Genesis') which tells the same story, is certainly older (written down early 17th century BCE) and Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh, which also relates the tale of the Great Flood, is even older than that (2150-1400 BCE, though this is the date of the writing of Gilgamesh and it may well be that the Sumerian Flood story, in oral form, is actually older). While the story itself concerns a flood of universal proportions (even scaring the gods who unleashed it) most scholars recognize that it was probably inspired by a local event: flooding caused by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers overflowing their banks.
While archaeological and geological evidence has shown such flooding was a fairly common occurrence, it is speculated that a particularly memorable flood served as the basis for the story. No recognized scholar working in the present day maintains the argument that there was ever a world-wide flood such as Atrahasis and the other accounts depict (including the story of Noah and his Ark in the Biblical book of Genesis). The Mesopotamian scholar Stephanie Dalley writes, "No flood deposits are found in third millennium strata, and Archbishop Usher's date for the Flood of 2349 BC, which was calculated by using numbers in Genesis at face value...is now out of the question."
The Atrahasis begins after the creation of the world but before the appearance of human beings:
When the gods, instead of man
Did the work, bore the loads
The god's load was too great, the work too hard, the trouble too much.
The elder gods made the younger gods do all the work on the earth and, after digging the beds for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the young gods finally rebel. Enki, the god of wisdom, suggests the immortals create something new, human beings, who will do the work instead of the gods. One of the gods, We-Ilu (also known as Ilawela or Geshtu/Geshtu-e) known as "a god who has sense" offers himself as a sacrifice to this endeavor and is killed. The goddess Nintu (the mother goddess, also known as Ninhursag) adds his flesh, blood and intelligence to clay and creates seven male and seven female human beings.
At first the gods enjoy the leisure the human workers afford them but, in time, the people become too loud and disturb the gods's rest. Enlil, the king of the gods, is especially annoyed by the constant disturbance from below and so decides to lessen the population by sending first a drought, then pestilence and then famine down upon the earth. After each of these plagues, the humans appeal to the god who first conceived of them, Enki, and he tells them what to do to end their suffering and return the earth to a natural, productive state. Enlil, finally, can stand no more and persuades the other gods to join him in sending a devastating flood to earth which will completely wipe out the human beings. Enki takes pity on his servant, the kind and wise Atrahasis, and warns him of the coming flood, telling him to build an ark and to seal two of every kind of animal within. Atrahasis does as he is commanded and the deluge begins:
The flood came out...No one could see anyone else
They could not be recognized in the catastrophe
The Flood roared like a bull
Like a wild ass screaming, the winds howled
The darkness was total, there was no sun.
The mother goddess, Nintu, weeps for the destruction of her children ("she was sated with grief, she longed forbeer in vain") and the other gods weep with her.
After the waters subside Enlil and the other gods realize their mistake and regret what they have done; yet feel there is no way they can un-do it. At this point Atrahasis comes out of his ark and makes a sacrifice to the gods. Enlil, though only just before wishing he had not destroyed humanity, is now furious at Enki for allowing any one to escape alive. Enki explains himself to the assembly, the gods descend to eat of Atrahasis' sacrifice, and Enki then proposes a new solution to the problem of human overpopulation: create new creatures who will not be as fertile as the last. From now on, it is declared, there will be women who cannot bear children, demons who will snatch infants away and cause miscarriages, and women consecrated to the gods who will have to remain virgins. Atrahasis himself is carried away to paradise to live apart from these new human beings whom Nintu then creates.
The story would have served, besides simply as entertainment, to explain human mortality, those misfortunes attendant on childbirth, even the death of one's child. Since overpopulation and the resultant noise had once brought down the terrible deluge which almost destroyed humanity, the loss of one's child could, perhaps, be more easily borne with the knowledge that such a loss helped to preserve the natural order of things and kept peace with the gods. The myth would have served the same basic purpose which such stories always have: the assurance that individual human suffering has some greater purpose or meaning and is not simply random, senseless pain. The Atrahasis, like the story of Noah's Ark, is finally a tale of hope and of faith in a deeper meaning to the tragedies of the human experience.
And you HAVE to check this out!
The Flood of Noah and the Flood of Gilgamesh
by Frank Lorey, M.A.
Evidence for Creation
The Epic of Gilgamesh has been of interest to Christians ever since its discovery in the mid-nineteenth century in the ruins of the great library at Nineveh, with its account of a universal flood with significant parallels to the Flood of Noah's day.1, 2 The rest of the Epic, which dates back to possibly third millennium B.C., contains little of value for Christians, since it concerns typical polytheistic myths associated with the pagan peoples of the time. However, some Christians have studied the ideas of creation and the afterlife presented in the Epic. Even secular scholars have recognized the parallels between the Babylonian, Phoenician, and Hebrew accounts, although not all are willing to label the connections as anything more than shared mythology.3
There have been numerous flood stories identified from ancient sources scattered around the world.4 The stories that were discovered on cuneiform tablets, which comprise some of the earliest surviving writing, have obvious similarities. Cuneiform writing was invented by the Sumerians and carried on by the Akkadians. Babylonian and Assyrian are two dialects of the Akkadian, and both contain a flood account. While there are differences between the original Sumerian and later Babylonian and Assyrian flood accounts, many of the similarities are strikingly close to the Genesis flood account.5 The Babylonian account is the most intact, with only seven of 205 lines missing.6 It was also the first discovered, making it the most studied of the early flood accounts.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is contained on twelve large tablets, and since the original discovery, it has been found on others, as well as having been translated into other early languages.7 The actual tablets date back to around 650 B.C. and are obviously not originals since fragments of the flood story have been found on tablets dated around 2,000 B.C.8 Linguistic experts believe that the story was composed well before 2,000 B.C. compiled from material that was much older than that date.9 The Sumerian cuneiform writing has been estimated to go as far back as 3,300 B.C.10
The Epic was composed in the form of a poem. The main figure is Gilgamesh, who actually may have been an historical person. The Sumerian King List shows Gilgamesh in the first dynasty of Uruk reigning for 126 years.11 This length of time is not a problem when compared with the age of the pre-flood patriarchs of the Bible. Indeed, after Gilgamesh, the kings lived a normal life span as compared with today.12 The King List is also of interest as it mentions the flood specifically—"the deluge overthrew the land."13
The story starts by introducing the deeds of the hero Gilgamesh. He was one who had great knowledge and wisdom, and preserved information of the days before the flood. Gilgamesh wrote on tablets of stone all that he had done, including building the city walls of Uruk and its temple for Eanna. He was an oppressive ruler, however, which caused his subjects to cry out to the "gods" to create a nemesis to cause Gilgamesh strife.14
After one fight, this nemesis—Enkidu—became best friends with Gilgamesh. The two set off to win fame by going on many dangerous adventures in which Enkidu is eventually killed. Gilgamesh then determines to find immortality since he now fears death. It is upon this search that he meets Utnapishtim, the character most like the Biblical Noah.15
In brief, Utnapishtim had become immortal after building a ship to weather the Great Deluge that destroyed mankind. He brought all of his relatives and all species of creatures aboard the vessel. Utnapishtim released birds to find land, and the ship landed upon a mountain after the flood. The story then ends with tales of Enkidu's visit to the underworld.16 Even though many similarities exist between the two accounts, there still are serious differences.
The table below presents a comparison of the main aspects of the two accounts of the flood as presented in the Book of Genesis and in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
|Extent of flood||Global||Global|
|Cause||Man's wickedness||Man's sins|
|Intended for whom?||All mankind||One city & all mankind|
|Sender||Yahweh||Assembly of "gods"|
|Name of hero||Noah||Utnapishtim|
|Means of announcement||Direct from God||In a dream|
|Ordered to build boat?||Yes||Yes|
|Did hero complain?||Yes||Yes|
|Height of boat||Several stories (3)||Several stories (6)|
|Windows||At least one||At least one|
|Shape of boat||Rectangular||Square|
|Human passengers||Family members only||Family & few others|
|Other passengers||All species of animals||All species of animals|
|Means of flood||Ground water & heavy rain||Heavy rain|
|Duration of flood||Long (40 days & nights plus)||Short (6 days & nights)|
|Test to find land||Release of birds||Release of birds|
|Types of birds||Raven & three doves||Dove, swallow, raven|
|Ark landing spot||Mountain -- Mt. Ararat||Mountain -- Mt. Nisir|
|Sacrificed after flood?||Yes, by Noah||Yes, by Utnapishtim|
|Blessed after flood?||Yes||Yes|
Some comments need to be made about the comparisons in the table. Some of the similarities are very striking, while others are very general. The command for Utnapishtim to build the boat is remarkable: "O man of Shuruppak, son of Ubar-Tutu, tear down thy house, build a ship; abandon wealth, seek after life; scorn possessions, save thy life. Bring up the seed of all kinds of living things into the ship which thou shalt build. Let its dimensions be well measured."17 The cause of the flood as sent in judgment on man's sins is striking also. The eleventh tablet, line 180 reads, "Lay upon the sinner his sin; lay upon the transgressor his transgression."18 A study of these parallels to Genesis 6-9, as well as the many others, demonstrate the non-coincidental nature of these similarities.
The meanings of the names of the heroes, however, have absolutely no common root or connection. Noah means "rest," while Utnapishtim means "finder of life."19 Neither was perfect, but both were considered righteous and relatively faultless compared to those around them.
Utnapishtim also took a pilot for the boat, and some craftsmen, not just his family in the ark. It is also interesting that both accounts trace the landing spot to the same general region of the Middle East; however, Mt. Ararat and Mt. Nisir are about 300 miles apart. The blessing that each hero received after the flood was also quite different. Utnapishtim was granted eternal life while Noah was to multiply and fill the earth and have dominion over the animals.
From the early days of the comparative study of these two flood accounts, it has been generally agreed that there is an obvious relationship. The widespread nature of flood traditions throughout the entire human race is excellent evidence for the existence of a great flood from a legal/historical point of view.20 Dating of the oldest fragments of the Gilgamesh account originally indicated that it was older than the assumed dating of Genesis.21 However, the probability exists that the Biblical account had been preserved either as an oral tradition, or in written form handed down from Noah, through the patriarchs and eventually to Moses, thereby making it actually older than the Sumerian accounts which were restatements (with alterations) to the original.
A popular theory, proposed by liberal "scholars," said that the Hebrews "borrowed" from the Babylonians, but no conclusive proof has ever been offered.22 The differences, including religious, ethical, and sheer quantity of details, make it unlikely that the Biblical account was dependent on any extant source from the Sumerian traditions. This still does not stop these liberal and secular scholars from advocating such a theory. The most accepted theory among evangelicals is that both have one common source, predating all the Sumerian forms.23 The divine inspiration of the Bible would demand that the Genesis account is the correct version. Indeed the Hebrews were known for handing down their records and tradition.24 The Book of Genesis is viewed for the most part as an historical work, even by many liberal scholars, while the Epic of Gilgamesh is viewed as mythological. The One-source Theory must, therefore, lead back to the historical event of the Flood and Noah's Ark.25 To those who believe in the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible, it should not be a surprise that God would preserve the true account of the Flood in the traditions of His people. The Genesis account was kept pure and accurate throughout the centuries by the providence of God until it was finally compiled, edited, and written down by Moses.26 The Epic of Gilgamesh, then, contains the corrupted account as preserved and embellished by peoples who did not follow the God of the Hebrews.