Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Aries (Mars) and Libra (Venus)

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 21, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.
Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

The First Point of Aries, also known as the Cusp of Aries, is the location of the vernal equinox, used as a reference point in celestial coordinate systems. Named for the constellation of Aries, it is one of the two points on the celestial sphere at which the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic, the other being the First Point of Libra, located exactly 180° from it. Due to precession of the equinoxes, currently, the position of the Sun on the March equinox is in Pisces, while that on the September equinox is in Virgo.

The March equinox was chosen as the point to consider the position of the sun in the heavens rather than the northern hemisphere’s autumnal equinox six months later as this was the day before a major festival, Hilaria, and marked the sowing or first growth/blossoming of trees and summer crops.

The name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture, a combination characteristic of early Rome. Most of his festivals were held in March and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

The English name for Tuesday is derived from Old English Tiwesdæg and Middle English Tewesday, meaning “Tīw’s Day”, the day of Tiw or Týr, the god of single combat, and law and justice in Norse mythology. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica, and the name of the day is a translation of Latin dies Martis.

Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. Tacitus wrote that Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.

Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign from approximately March 20 to April 21 each year. The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

Libra is a constellation of the zodiac. It is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 and October 23, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 16 to November 17.

Its name is Latin for weighing scales. Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion. The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, however some may consider Eris as its ruler as well. The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice.

Libra’s status as the location of the equinox earned the equinox the name “First Point of Libra”, though this location ceased to coincide with the constellation in 730 because of the precession of the equinoxes. According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded. Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”.

Astraea (“star-maiden” or “starry night”), in ancient Greek religion, was the virgin goddess of innocence and purity and is always associated with the Greek goddess of justice, Dike (daughter of Zeus and Themis and the personification of just judgement). She was the last of the immortals to live with humans during the Golden Age, one of the old Greek religion’s five deteriorating Ages of Man.

According to Ovid, Astraea abandoned the earth during the Iron Age. Fleeing from the new wickedness of humanity, she ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo. The nearby constellation Libra reflected her symbolic association with Dike, who in Latin culture as Justitia is said to preside over the constellation. According to legend, Astraea will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which she was the ambassador.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Ara the beautiful and the mountains of Aragats

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 20, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Since ancient times the cult of sun worship occupied a special place in Armenian mythology. The main proto-Armenian god was Ar, the god of Sun, Fire and Revival. It is connected with light, sun, fire found in Ararat (the people of Ar), Arev (Sun), Arpi (Light of heaven), Ararich (God or Creator), Aryan, Rta, Arta etc.

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc. The names Armen and Arman, feminine Arminé, are common given names by Armenians. Armin is also a Persian given name, and is an ancient Zoroastrian given name, meaning Guardian of Aryan Land. Armin meanings in Urdu & English is Dweller Of The Garden Of Eden.

The Proto-Indo-Iranian term is hypothesized to have proto-Indo-European origins, while it is probably a Near-Eastern loanword from the Ugaritic ary, kinsmen. In Akkadian ayyaru means “young man”.

It has been postulated the Proto-Indo-European root word is *haerós with the meanings “members of one’s own (ethnic) group, peer, freeman” as well as the Indo-Iranian meaning of Aryan. Some authors have connected the Indo-European root *ar- meaning “to assemble”.

In Hittite arā- means “friend” from arā, “right, proper(ly)”, derived in turn from Sanskrit áram, “fittingly” and ṛtá-, “truth, order” as well as Greek “to fit together, construct, equip” (< IE *haer-, “fit”), with its derivative “friendship”. The word is probably non-Semitic, possibly a kulturwort, a word borrowed among many languages denoting a cross-cultural concept.

Vedic Mitra is a prominent deity of the Rigveda distinguished by a relationship to Varuna, the protector of rta (Sanskrit ṛtaṃ “that which is properly/excellently joined; order, rule; truth”, the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it).

Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath.” This meaning is preserved in Avestan miθra “covenant.” In Sanskrit and modern Indo-Aryan languages, mitra means “friend,” one of the aspects of bonding and alliance. Vedic Mitra is the patron divinity of honesty, friendship, contracts and meetings.

Together with Varuna, he counted among the Adityas, a group of solar deities, also in later Vedic texts. The first extant record of Indic Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. Mitra appears there together with four other Indic divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.

In Zoroastrianism, Mithra is a member of the trinity of ahuras, protectors of asha/arta, “truth” or “[that which is] right”. As preserver of covenants, Mithra is also protector and keeper of all aspects of interpersonal relationships, such as friendship and love. Arta- sometimes appears as an element in Vedic and Indic personal names, as with Iranian.

Artatama I (Sanskrit: Ṛta-dhaman, “his abode is Ṛta”; Sanskrit ṛtaṃ “that which is properly/excellently joined; order, rule; truth”) was a king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in the late fifteenth century BC. His reign coincided with the reigns of Egyptian pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV.

In the 33rd year of his reign, while he was in the Armenian Highlands in 1446 BC, Thutmose III of Egypt, referred to the people of Ermenen (Armenians), and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

The name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. At the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Mount Aragats is an isolated four-peaked volcano massif in Armenia. The name of the mountain is less often spelled Aragatz or Aragac. According to Armenian tradition, Aragats originates from the words Արա Ara + գահ gah, which translates to “Ara’s throne”. Ara refers to the legendary hero Ara the Beautiful.

Aragats was mentioned by the early medieval historian Movses Khorenatsi. In his History of the Armenians Khorenatsi claims that the mountain is named after Aramaneak, the son of Hayk, the legendary father of the Armenian people. Aramaneak called his possessions “the foot of Aragats”.

Mt. Aragats plays a special role in Armenian history and culture. Along with Ararat, it is considered a sacred mountain for the Armenians. According to an ancient Armenian legend, Aragats and Mount Ararat were loving sisters who parted after a quarrel and separated permanently. The modern Aragatsotn Province, dominated by the mountain, was formed in 1995.

The original cult worship in Armenia was a kind of unfathomable higher power or intelligence called Ara, called the physical embodiment of the sun (Arev) worshiped by the ancient Armenians, who called themselves “the children of the sun”.

Aralezs (plural: Aralezs or Aralezner, singular: Aralez) are dog-like creatures, or spirits, in Armenian cultural beliefs or in the Armenian mythology, who live in the sky, or on mount Massis (Mount Ararat), according to other imaginations.

They were praised with Ara the Beautiful (also Ara the Handsome; Arnian: Ara Geghetsik), sometimes associated with the historical king of Ararat known as Arame who ruled in the 9th century BC, and the Assyrian queen Shamiram (Semiramis), who waged war against Armenia to get him in Old Armenia.

Armenians believed that Aralezs descended from the sky to lick the wounds of dead heroes so they could relive or resurrect. According to Armenian historians, when Mushegh Mamikonyan died, his relatives placed his corpse on a tower, hoping that Aralezs would lick and revive him.

But before this, a similar event had took place when Aralezs had licked and revived Ara the Beautiful. Semiramis had heard about the beauty of the Armenian king, and sent him a letter in which she asked him to become her husband and to ascend to the throne, trying to combine the two powers.

However, messengers returned and passed her Ara’s refusal which humiliated Shamiram. She felt hatred towards Ara, so she ordered her commanders to capture Ara alive in the region called Ararat, but he was vanquished and killed by one of her sons. His body was found on the battlefield among the other slain soldiers. Shamiram then told Ara’s people to place his corpse on the top of the mountains, where Aralezs would revive him.

Inconsolable Semiramis reputed to be sorceress took his body and tried in vain to enliven him. When Armenians advanced to avenge their leader, she disguised one of her lovers and spread the rumor that Gods brought Ara back to life. As a result, the war was ceased.

Aragil or Stork – considered as the messenger of Ara the Beautiful, as well as the defender of fields. According to ancient mythological conceptions, two stork symbolize the sun.

Ara / Usha, also known as Aurora, is the Latin word for dawn, and the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology and Latin poetry. Like Greek Eos and Rigvedic Ushas, Aurora continues the name of an earlier Indo-European dawn goddess, Hausos. In Roman mythology, Aurora renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun.

Due to the dawn heralding the sun and inducing the daily routine, the Dawn Goddess is associated with instilling the cosmic order. Ushas is the arouser of Ṛta, while the role of Aušrinė as the maid of the sun renders her a moral example in Lithuanian traditions and helped her syncretism with the Virgin Mary.

Ararat and the Armenian nation:

https://aratta.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/ararat-and-the-armenian-nation/

https://aratta.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/on-the-origin-of-the-aryans/

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Is there any connections between Armenians and Arameans?

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 17, 2018

The two words for “bull” seem to coincide between the Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Semitic, as do most of their descendants. For example, from PIE *táwros, we have Celtic *tarwos, Kurdish dewar, Greek tauros, Latin taurus. From PS *thawr-, we have Arabic ṯawr, Hebrew shor/tawrā, Akkadian shuru. The English descendant is steer.

Scholars believe this indicates a very early borrowing between the two language families. Considering the fact that the words in both families have gone through all of the sound changes seen in fully native words, this indicates a very early borrowing, either from PS to PIE, or vice versa, probably having occurred in the ancestors of THESE ancestral languages.

Considering that PIE and PS are both around 6,000 years old, such an early borrowing would be incredible to see between two incredibly ancient languages with two different (but not-so-far-apart) homelands.

Semitic

Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples were West Asian people who lived throughout the Ancient Near East, including the Levant, Mesopotamia, Arabian peninsula, and Horn of Africa from the third millennia until the end of antiquity. Semitic languages were spoken across much of the Middle East and Asia Minor during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The languages they spoke are usually divided into three branches: East, Central, and South Semitic.

Proto-Semitic was likely spoken in the 4th millennium BC, and the oldest attested forms of Semitic date to the mid-3rd millennium (the Early Bronze Age). The earliest attested being the East Semitic Akkadian of the Mesopotamian and south eastern Anatolian polities of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia, and the also East Semitic Eblaite language of the kingdom of Ebla in the north eastern Levant in western modern Syria.

There are several locations proposed as possible sites for prehistoric origins of Semitic-speaking peoples: Mesopotamia, the Levant, Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa, with the most recent Bayesian studies indicating Semitic originated in the Levant circa 3800 BC, and was later also introduced to the Horn of Africa in approximately 800 BC.

A 2009 Bayesian analysis identified an origin for Semitic languages in the Levant around 3750 BC with a later single introduction of Ge’ez from what is now South Arabia into the Horn of Africa around 800 BC, with a slightly earlier introduction into parts of North Africa and southern Spain with the founding of Phoenician colonies such as ancient Carthage in the ninth century BC and Cádiz in the tenth century BC.

The Kish civilization or Kish tradition is a time period corresponding to the early East Semitic era in Mesopotamia and the Levant. The epoch began in the early 4th millennium BC. The tradition encompasses the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.

The East-Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC.

This early East Semitic culture is characterized by linguistic, literary and orthographic similarities extending from Ebla in the west to Abu Salabikh in the East. The similarities included the using of a writing system that contained non-Sumerian logograms, the use of the same system in naming the months of the year, dating by regnal years and a similar measuring system among many other similarities.

Each city had its own monarchical system, in addition to some linguistic differences for a while the languages of Mari and Ebla were closely related. Kish represented an independent East-Semitic linguistic entity that spoke a dialect (Kishite), different from both pre-Sargonic Akkadian and the Ebla-Mari language.

The personal names from the Sumerian city of Kish show an East Semitic nature and reveals that the city population had a strong Semitic component from the dawn of recorded history. Kish is considered to be the center of this civilization hence the naming. The Kish civilisation is considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC.

Tell Brak

Tell Brak (Nagar, Nawar) was an ancient city in Syria; its remains constitute a tell located in the Upper Khabur region, near the modern village of Tell Brak, 50 kilometers north-east of Al-Hasaka city, Al-Hasakah Governorate. Different peoples inhabited the city, including the Halafians, Semites and the Hurrians.

The original name of the city is unknown. The lake was probably named after Tell Brak which was the nearest camp in the area. The name “Brak” might therefore be an echo of the most ancient name. It was a religious center from its earliest periods. The findings in the Eye Temple indicate that Tell Brak is among the earliest sites of organized religion in northern Mesopotamia.

The culture of Tell Brak was defined by the different civilizations that inhabited it. The Halafians were the indigenous people of Neolithic northern Syria, who later adopted the southern Ubaidian culture. Contact with the Mesopotamian south increased during the early and middle Northern Uruk period, and southern people moved to Tell Brak in the late Uruk period, forming a colony, which produced a mixed society.

The Urukean colony was abandoned by the colonist toward the end of the fourth millennium BC, leaving the indigenous Tell Brak a much contracted city. The pre-Akkadian kingdom’s population was Semitic, and spoke its own East Semitic dialect of the Eblaite language used in Ebla and Mari. The Nagarite dialect is closer to the dialect of Mari rather than that of Ebla.

No Hurrian names are recorded in the pre-Akkadian period, although the name of prince Ultum-Huhu is difficult to understand as Semitic. During the Akkadian period, both Semitic and Hurrian names were recorded, as the Hurrians appears to have taken advantage of the power vacuum caused by the destruction of the pre-Akkadian kingdom, in order to migrate and expand in the region.

The post-Akkadian period Tell Brak had a strong Hurrian element, and Hurrian named rulers, although the region was also inhabited by Amorite tribes. A number of the Amorite Banu-Yamina tribes settled the surroundings of Tell Brak during the reign of Zimri-Lim of Mari, and each group used its own language (Hurrian and Amorite languages).

Tell Brak was a center of the Hurrian-Mitannian empire, which had Hurrian as its official language. However, Akkadian was the region’s international language, evidenced by the post-Akkadian and Mitannian eras tablets, discovered at Tell Brak and written in Akkadian. Mari rather than that of Ebla.

Tell Brak was a trade center due to its location between Anatolia, the Levant and southern Mesopotamia. Starting as a small settlement in the seventh millennium BC. The earliest period A, is dated to the proto Halaf culture c. 6500 BC, when a small settlement existed. Many objects dated to that period were discovered including the Halaf pottery.

By 5000 BC, Halaf culture transformed into Northern Ubaid, and many Ubaid materials were found in Tell Brak. Excavations and surface survey of the site and its surroundings, unearthed a large platform of patzen bricks that dates to late Ubaid, and revealed that Tell Brak developed as an urban center slightly earlier than better known cities of southern Mesopotamia, such as Uruk.

In southern Mesopotamia, the original Ubaid culture evolved into the Uruk period. The people of the southern Uruk period used military and commercial means to expand the civilization. In Northern Mesopotamia, the post Ubaid period is designated Late Chalcolithic / Northern Uruk period, during which, Tell Brak started to expand.

Tell Brak evolved during the fourth millennium BC into one of the biggest cities in Upper Mesopotamia, and interacted with the cultures of southern Mesopotamia. It is famous for its glyptic style, equids and glass. The Eye Temple is unique in the Fertile Crescent, and its main deity, Belet-Nagar, was revered in the entire Khabur region, making the city a pilgrimage site. The Eye Temple, which was named for the thousands of small alabaster “Eye idols” figurines discovered in it.

Interactions with the Mesopotamian south grew c. 3600 BC, and an Urukean colony was established in the city. With the end of Uruk culture c 3000 BC, Tell Brak’s Urukean colony was abandoned and deliberately leveled by its occupants. The city shrank in size at the beginning of the third millennium BC with the end of Uruk period. Tell Brak contracted during the following periods H and J, and became limited to the mound.

Evidence exists for an interaction with the Mesopotamian south represented by the existence of materials similar to the ones produced during the southern Jemdet Nasr period. The city remained a small settlement during the Ninevite 5 period, with a small temple and associated sealing activities before expanding again around c. 2600 BC, when a large administrative building was built and the city expanded out of the tell again.

The revival is connected with the Kish civilization. It became known as Nagar, and was the capital of a regional kingdom that controlled the Khabur river valley. During the second half of the third millennium BC, the city was known as Nagar and later on, Nawar, which might be of Semitic origin and mean a “cultivated place”.

The oldest references to Nagar comes from Mari and tablets discovered at Nabada. However, the most important source on Nagar come from the archives of Ebla. Most of the texts record the ruler of Nagar using his title “En”, without mentioning a name. However a text from Ebla mentions Mara-Il, a king of Nagar; thus, he is the only ruler known by name for pre-Akkadian Nagar and ruled a little more than a generation before the kingdom’s destruction.

Nagar was destroyed around c. 2300 BC, and came under the rule of the Akkadian Empire, followed by a period of independence as a Hurrian city-state, before contracting at the beginning of the second millennium BC. Nagar prospered again by the 19th century BC, and came under the rule of different regional powers.

In c. 1500 BC, Tell Brak was a center of Mitanni before being destroyed by Assyria c. 1300 BC. The name “Nagar” ceased occurring following the Old Babylonian period, however, the city continued to exist as Nawar, under the control of Hurrian state of Mitanni. The city never regained its former importance, remaining as a small settlement, and abandoned at some points of its history, until disappearing from records during the early Abbasid era.

Indo-European

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European homeland suggests that Proto-Indo-European was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highlands. It is claimed that the Indo-European languages derive from a language spoken originally in Armenia, later migrating to the Pontic steppe from which it expanded, according to the Kurgan hypothesis, into Western Europe.

The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split off when this Proto-Indoeuropean language was still spoken in the Armenian homeland. The Indo-Hittite model does not include the Anatolian languages in its scenario, which are identified with the Kura-Araxes culture.

The phonological peculiarities proposed in the glottalic theory would be best preserved in Armenian and the Germanic languages. Armenian remained in situ and would be particularly archaic despite its late attestation.

Proto-Greek would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek from the 17th century BC and closely associate Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (the Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (without Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the mainstream Kurgan hypothesis. In this respect, it represents an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten by diverging from the timeframe suggested there by approximately 3000 years.

Armenia

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, which would be consistent with the fact that Armenian shares some features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach and home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk.

Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a legendary Sumerian account, of preserved, early post-Sumerian copies, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period (ca. 21st century BC). It is one of a series of accounts describing the conflicts between Enmerkar, king of Unug-Kulaba (Uruk), and the unnamed king of Aratta (probably somewhere in modern Iran or Armenia).

Because it gives a Sumerian account of the “confusion of tongues”, and also involves Enmerkar constructing temples at Eridu and Uruk, it has, since the time of Samuel Kramer, been compared with the Tower of Babel narrative in the Book of Genesis.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in c. 2250 BC identified with an Akkadian colony in the Diarbekr region. However, many historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Armanî which was conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad, with the Syrian city of Aleppo and not with the Armenian Highland.

Mannai

Armenia is interpreted by some as ḪARMinni, that is, “the mountainous region of the Minni”. The Mannaeans (country name usually Mannea; Akkadian: Mannai, possibly Biblical Minni) were an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran south of lake Urmia, around the 10th to 7th centuries BC.

At that time they were neighbors of the empires of Assyria and Urartu, as well as other small buffer states between the two, such as Ardini,  in Assyrian known as Musasir, an ancient city of Urartu attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC., and Zikirta, an ancient kingdom (750-521 BC), in northern Zagros, which comprised the easternmost part of Greater Mannae.

The name Musasir in Akkadian means exit of the serpent. The city’s tutelary deity was Ḫaldi. It is believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi. Khaldi was a warrior god to whom the kings of Urartu would pray for victories in battle. Of all the gods of the Urartian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to Khaldi.

In the Bible (Jeremiah 51:27) the Mannaeans are called Minni. In the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906), Minni is identified with Armenia, but it could refer to one of the provinces in ancient Armenia; Minni, Ararat and Ashkenaz. According to examinations of the place and personal names found in Assyrian and Urartian texts, the Mannaeans, or at least their rulers, spoke Hurrian.

Hurrians

The present-day Armenians are an amalgam of the Indo-European groups with the Hurrians and Urartians. The Hurro-Urartian languages are an extinct language family of the Ancient Near East, comprising only two known languages: Hurrian and Urartian, both of which were spoken in the Taurus mountains area.

The Hurrians (also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language called Hurrian and lived in Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia. The heartlands of the Hurrians, the Khabur river valley and south eastern Anatolia.

Some scholars have suggested that Hurrians lived on in the country of Nairi north of Assyria during the early Iron Age, before this too was conquered by Assyria. The Hurrian population of northern Syria in the following centuries seems to have given up their language in favor of the Assyrian dialect of Akkadian, and later, Aramaic.

Hurrian was the language of the Hurrians and was spoken in the northern parts of Mesopotamia and Syria and the southeastern parts of Anatolia between at least last quarter of the third millennium BC and its extinction towards the end of the second millennium BC.

 

Furthermore, the Kassite language was possibly related to Hurro-Urartian. The Kassites were a people of the ancient Near East, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1531 BC and until c. 1155 BC (short chronology).

The endonym of the Kassites was probably Galzu, although they have also been referred to by the names Kaššu, Kassi, Kasi or Kashi. The original homeland of the Kassites is not well known, but appears to have been located in the Zagros Mountains, in what is now the Lorestan Province of Iran.

The Kassite language has not been classified, but it has been proposed to have a link to the Hurro-Urartian languages of Asia Minor. However, several Kassite leaders bore Indo-European names, and they might have had an Indo-European elite similar to the Mitanni, who ruled over the Hurro-Urartian-speaking Hurrians of Asia Minor.

Francfort and Tremblay on the basis of the Akkadian textual and archaeological evidence, proposed to identify the kingdom of Marhashi (Mar-ḫa-šiKI or Parhasi; in earlier sources Waraḫše), a 3rd millennium BC polity situated east of Elam, on the Iranian plateau, and Ancient Margiana, also known as the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (short BMAC) or as the Oxus civilisation, as Hurrian states.

The Marhashite personal names seems to point towards an Easten variant of Hurrian or another language of the Hurro-Urartian language family. It is known from Mesopotamian sources, but its precise location has not been identified, though some scholars link it with Jiroft.

BMAC is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to c. 2300–1700 BC, located in present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River).

Urartu

Urartian is attested from the late 9th century BC to the late 7th century BC as the official written language of the state of Urartu and was probably spoken by the majority of the population in the mountainous areas around Lake Van and the upper Zab valley. It branched off from Hurrian at approximately the beginning of the second millennium BC.

Urartu (Urartian: Biai, Biainili) was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. It corresponds to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat. The Urartian toponym Biainili (or Biaineli) was adopted in the Old Armenian as Van. Hence the names “Kingdom of Van” or “Vannic Kingdom”.

Assyrian inscriptions of Shalmaneser I (c. 1274 BC) first mention Uruartri as one of the states of Nairi, a loose confederation of small kingdoms and tribal states in the Armenian Highland in the 13th to 11th centuries BC which he conquered. Uruartri itself was in the region around Lake Van.

The Nairi states were repeatedly subjected to further attacks and invasions by the Assyrians. Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria, which lay to the south in northern Mesopotamia and northeast Syria.

The Nairi states and tribes became a unified kingdom under king Aramu (c. 860–843 BC), whose capital at Arzashkun was captured by the Assyrians under Shalmaneser III. Living at the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria (ruled 859–824 BC), Arame united the Nairi tribe against the threat of the Assyrian Empire and became the first known king of Urartu.

Arame has been suggested as the prototype of both Aram (and, correspondingly the popular given name Aram) and Ara the Beautiful, two of the legendary forefathers of the Armenian people.

Since the Urartian language is not a part of the Indo-European language family, linguists and historians have attempted to explain the emergence of the Armenian language in the area. The Armenian hypothesis theory supports the theory that the Urartian language was not spoken, but simply written, and postulating the Armenian language as an in situ development of a 3rd millennium BC Proto-Indo-European language.

It is suggested that the Armenian Highlands is the Proto-Indo-European homeland (the location where Indo-European would have emerged from), which would entail the presence of proto-Armenians in the area during the entire lifetime of the Urartian state.

In the early sixth century BC, Urartu was replaced by the Armenian Orontid Dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun Inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius I, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in the Elamite language.

The mentions of Urartu in the Books of Kings and Isaiah were translated as “Armenia” in the Septuagint. Some English language translations, including the King James Version follow the Septuagint translation of Urartu as Armenia.

The biblical hare Ararat (mountains of Ararat) is called bet Kardu (house of Kardu or Kurdistan) in Aramaic. It was called ture-Kardu (mountains of Kardu) in the Targum Onkelos, and there are several references to Kardu in the Talmud.

The presence of a proto-Armenian-speaking population in Urartu prior to its demise is subject to speculation, but the existence of Urartian words in the Armenian language suggests early contact between the two languages and long periods of bilingualism.

The Armenian hypothesis theory supports the theory that the Urartian language was not spoken, but simply written, and postulating the Armenian language as an in situ development of a 3rd millennium BC Proto-Indo-European language.

The Kingdom of Urartu united the disparate peoples of the highlands, which began a process of intermingling and amalgamation of the peoples, languages, and cultures within the highlands. This intermixing would ultimately culminate in the emergence of the Armenian people as the direct successors and inheritors of the Urartian domain.

While the Urartian language was used by the royal elite, the population they ruled may have been multi-lingual, and some of these peoples would have spoken an Indo-European language which would later be known as “Armenian.”

In the later days of the Kingdom of Urartu, its population may have already been speaking the Armenian language, which, after the fall of Urartu, would rise to prominence and replace the Urartian language used by the former ruling elite.

An addition to this theory, supported by the official historiography of Armenia and experts in Assyrian and Urartian studies suggests that Urartian was solely the formal written language of the state, while its inhabitants, including the royal family, spoke Armenian.

This theory primarily hinges on the fact that the Urartian language used in the cuneiform inscriptions were very repetitive and scant in vocabulary (having as little as 350–400 roots). Furthermore, over 250 years of usage, it shows no development, which is taken to indicate that the language had ceased to be spoken before the time of the inscriptions or was used only for official purposes.

Kura-Araxes culture or Early trans-Caucasian culture

Kura-Araxes culture or Early trans-Caucasian culture is a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain. Some scholars have suggested that the earliest manifestation of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon should be dated at least to the last quarter of the 5th millennium BC. This is based on the recent data from Ovçular Tepesi, a Late Chalcolithic settlement located in Nakhchivan by the Arpaçay river.

Rather quickly, elements of Kura–Araxes culture started to proceed westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into the area of Lake Van, and below the Urmia basin in Iran, such as to Godin Tepe. Finally, it proceeded into the present-day Syria (Amuq valley), and as far as Palestine.

There is evidence of trade with Mesopotamia as well as Asia Minor. It is, however, considered above all to be indigenous to the Caucasus, and its major variants characterized later major cultures in the region.

The Kura–Araxes culture would later display “a precocious metallurgical development, which strongly influenced surrounding regions”. Their metal goods were widely distributed, from the Volga, Dnieper and Don-Donets river systems in the north to Syria and Palestine in the south and Anatolia in the west.

Their pottery was distinctive. The spread of their pottery along trade routes into surrounding cultures was much more impressive than any of their achievements domestically. The spread of this pottery, along with archaeological evidence of invasions, suggests that the Kura-Araxes people may have spread outward from their original homes and, most certainly, had extensive trade contacts.

Khirbet Kerak

Archaeologists have attested a striking parallel in the spread to Syria of a distinct pottery type associated with what they call the Kura-Araxes culture or Early trans-Caucasian culture. Khirbet Kerak (“the ruin of the fortress”) or Beth Yerah (“House of the Moon (god)”) appears to have been a Levantine version of the Early Transcaucasian Culture.

The Khirbet Kerak is a tell (archaeological mound) located on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee in modern-day Israel. The tell spans an area of over 50 acres—one of the largest in the Levant—and contains remains dating from the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC – 2000 BC) and from the Persian period (c. 450 BC) through to the early Islamic period (c. 1000 AD).

Khirbet Kerak ware is a type of Early Bronze Age Syro-Palestinian pottery first discovered at this site. It is also found in other parts of the Levant (including Jericho, Beth Shan, Tell Judeideh, and Ugarit).

Early Bronze Age (3300/3500-2200 BCE) – The 2009 discovery at the tell of a stone palette with Egyptian motifs, including an ankh, points to trade/political relations with the First dynasty of Egypt, at approximately 3000 BCE.

Significant discontinuity from the local tradition have been found. This is showing influence from the world of Eastern Anatolia and the Upper Euphrates region. As a result, the introduction of Khirbet Kerak Ware in the Levant ca 2800 BCE is probable. It is further suggested that this provides evidence of kin-based group migration. Middle Bronze Age (2200–1550 BC) – Around 2000 BC, the city was destroyed or abandoned.

Mitanni

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably.

Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni are considered to form (part of) an Indo-Aryan superstrate, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion.

While the Mitanni kings were Indo-Iranians, they used the language of the local people, which was at that time a non-Indo-European language, Hurrian. Their sphere of influence is shown in Hurrian place names, personal names and the spread through Syria and the Levant of a distinct pottery type.

Thutmose III of Egypt, mention the people of Ermenen in 1446 BC, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. Thutmose was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates to reach the Armenian Highlands. To this day Kurds and Turks refer to Armenians by Ermeni.

Ancient Near East portal Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

The name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. It is suggested that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Arameans

The Arameans, or Aramaeans, were an ancient Northwest Semitic Aramaic-speaking tribal confederation who emerged from the region known as Aram (in present-day Syria) in the Late Bronze Age (11th to 8th centuries BC). They established a patchwork of independent Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant and seized large tracts of Mesopotamia.

The toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at the East Semitic speaking kingdom of Ebla listing geographical names, and the term Armi, which is the Eblaite term for nearby Idlib (modern Aleppo), occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (c. 2300 BC).

One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2250 BC) mentions that he captured “Dubul, the ensí of A-ra-me” (Arame is seemingly a genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Other early references to a place or people of “Aram” have appeared at the archives of Mari (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit (c. 1300 BC).

However, there is no historical, archaeological or linguistic evidence that the Aramu, Armi or Arame were actually Arameans or related to them; and the earliest undisputed historical attestation of Arameans as a people appears much later, in the inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser I (c. 1100 BC).

The people who had long been the prominent population within what is today Syria (called the Land of the Amurru during their tenure) were the Amorites, a Canaanite speaking group of Semites who had appeared during the 25th century BC, destroying the hitherto dominant East Semitic speaking state of Ebla, founding the powerful state of Mari in the Levant, and during the 19th century BC founding Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia.

However, they seem to have been displaced or wholly absorbed by the appearance of a people called the Ahlamu by the 13th century BC, disappearing from history. The Arameans rose to be the prominent group amongst the Ahlamu, and from c. 1200 BC on, the Amorites disappeared from the pages of history. From then on, the region that they had inhabited became known as Aram (“Aramea”) and Eber-Nari.

The Amorites (Sumerian MAR.TU; Akkadian Tidnum or Amurrūm; Egyptian Amar) were an ancient Semitic-speaking people from Syria who also occupied large parts of southern Mesopotamia from the 21st century BC to the end of the 17th century BC.

The term Amurru in Akkadian and Sumerian texts refers to both them and to their principal deity. The ethnic terms Mar.tu (Westerners), Amurru (likely derived from ‘aburru’, pasture) and Amar were used for them in Sumerian, Akkadian,[2] and Ancient Egyptian respectively.

In the earliest Sumerian sources concerning the Amorites, beginning about 2400 BC, the land of the Amorites (“the Mar.tu land”) is associated not with Mesopotamia but with the lands to the west of the Euphrates, including Canaan and what was to become Syria by the 3rd century BC, then known as The land of the Amurru, and later as Aram and Eber-Nari.

They appear as an uncivilized and nomadic people in early Mesopotamian writings from Sumer, Akkad, and Assyria, especially connected with the mountainous region now called Jebel Bishri in northern Syria called the “mountain of the Amorites”.

The Arameans would appear to be one part of the larger generic Ahlamû group rather than synonymous with the Ahlamu. Ahlamû appears to be a generic term for a new wave of Semitic wanderers and nomads of varying origins who appeared during the 13th century BC across the Near East, Arabian peninsula, Asia Minor and Egypt.

The presence of the Ahlamû is attested during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1020 BC), which already ruled many of the lands in which the Ahlamû arose, in the Babylonian city of Nippur and even at Dilmun (modern Bahrain).

Shalmaneser I (1274–1245 BC) is recorded as having defeated Shattuara, King of the Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenaries. In the following century, the Ahlamû cut the road from Babylon to Hattusas, and Tukulti-Ninurta I (1244–1208 BC) conquered Mari, Hanigalbat and Rapiqum on the Euphrates and “the mountain of the Ahlamû”, apparently the region of Jebel Bishri in northern Syria.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The god of justice, oath and judgement

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 17, 2018

The Phrygian cap or liberty cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

It is used in the coat of arms of certain Republics or of republican State institutions in the place where otherwise a Crown would be used (in the heraldry of monarchies). It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France’s Marianne, are commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap.

The Phrygian cap reappears in figures related to the first to fourth century religion Mithraism. The first extant record of Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor.

Thutmose III of Egypt, mention the people of Ermenen in 1446 BC, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. Thutmose was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates to reach the Armenian Highlands. To this day Kurds and Turks refer to Armenians by Ermeni.

Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise.” This meaning is preserved in Avestan miθra “covenant.” In Sanskrit and modern Indo-Aryan languages, mitra means “friend,” one of the aspects of bonding and alliance.

It is suggested to be a derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *mei “to exchange.” A suggested alternative derivation was *meh “to measure” or *mei as “to bind.” Combining the root *mei with the “tool suffix” -tra- “that which [causes] …”, then literally means “that which binds,” and thus “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath” etc.

It is also suggested to mean “to fasten, strengthen”, which may be found in Latin moenia “city wall, fortification”, and in an antonymic form, Old English (ge)maere “border, boundary-post”.

Mithra is the Zoroastrian angelic divinity (yazata) of Covenant, Light, and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts, Mithra is also a judicial figure, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, and the Guardian of Cattle, the Harvest, and of the Waters.

In Zoroastrianism, Mithra is a member of the trinity of ahuras, protectors of asha/arta, “truth” or “[that which is] right”. It is a concept of cardinal importance. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism”. The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “deceit, falsehood”.

Together with Rashnu “Justice” and Sraosha “Obedience”, Mithra is one of the three judges at the Chinvat Bridge, the “Bridge of Separation” that all Souls must cross. Unlike Sraosha, Mithra is not, however, a Psychopomp, a guide of souls to the place of the dead. Should the Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds outweigh the Bad, Sraosha alone conveys the Soul across the Bridge.

The Romans attributed their Mithraic mysteries (the mystery religion known as Mithraism) to “Persian” (i.e. Zoroastrian) sources relating to Mithra. The religion was inspired by Persian worship of the god Mithra (proto-Indo-Iranian Mitra), though the Greek Mithras was linked to a new and distinctive imagery.

Tiwaz (Stem: Tiwad-) was the Luwian Sun-god. He was among the most important gods of the Luwians. The name of the Proto-Anatolian Sun god can be reconstructed as *Diuod-, which derives from the Proto-Indo-European word *dei- (“shine”, “glow”).

In Bronze Age texts, Tiwaz is often referred to as “Father” and as “Great Tiwaz”, and invoked along with the “Father gods”. His Bronze Age epithet, “Tiwaz of the Oath” (cuneiform Luwian: ḫirutalla- dUTU-az), indicates that he was an oath-god.

In the Hittite and Hurrian religions the Sun goddess of the Earth played an important role in the death cult and was understood to be the ruler of the world of the dead. For the Luwians there is a Bronze Age source which refers to the “Sun god of the Earth”: “If he is alive, may Tiwaz release him, if he is dead, may the Sun god of the Earth release him”.

The Sun god of Heaven was a Hittite solar deity. The Sun god of Heaven was identified with the Hurrian solar deity, Šimige. The Sun god of Heaven was the protector of the Hittite king, indicated by a winged solar disc on the royal seals, and was the god of the kingdom par excellence.

The god played an important role as the foremost oath god in interstate treaties. As a result of the influence of the Mesopotamian Sun god Šamaš, the Sun god of Heaven also gained an important role as the god of law, legality, and truth.

He was the second-most worshipped solar deity of the Hittites, after the Sun goddess of Arinna, who protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” From the Hittite Old Kingdom, she was the chief goddess of the Hittite state.

Cybele (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess.

She is Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably its state deity. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.

Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas, a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (Venus). Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil’s Aeneid, where he is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome.

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus. This name is cognate with the Norse Tyr. Utu, later worshipped by East Semitic peoples as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of the sun, justice, morality, and truth.

The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome.

Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia.

His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming. Astrologically, Aries has been associated with Mars, both the planet and the god.

Aries is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign from approximately March 20 to April 21 each year.

The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship. It figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his crew of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly. Through the help of Medea, they acquire the Golden Fleece.

The First Point of Aries, the location of the vernal equinox, is named for the constellation. This is because the Sun crossed the celestial equator from south to north in Aries more than two millennia ago.

Hipparchus defined it in 130 BC. as a point south of Gamma Arietis. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the First Point of Aries has since moved into Pisces and will move into Aquarius by around 2600 AD.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the location of the vernal equinox, it was called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun”.

Libra is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion. The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice.

It only became a constellation in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, the goddess of justice, associated with Virgo in the Greek mythology. Since these times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility.

It has been suggested that the scales are an allusion to the fact that when the sun entered this part of the ecliptic at the autumnal equinox, the days and nights are equal. According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded.

Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”. Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the “balanced sign”.

Libra’s status as the location of the equinox earned the equinox the name “First Point of Libra”, though this location ceased to coincide with the constellation in 730 because of the precession of the equinoxes.

The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, however some may consider Eris (“Strife”), the Greek goddess of strife and discord, as its ruler as well. Hausos is the reconstructed name for the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn.

The name *hewsṓs is derived from a root *hwes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-.

The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root. The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir.

Aya in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu. Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth.

Maat or Ma’at (“truth, justice”) refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.

After her role in creation and continuously preventing the universe from returning to chaos, her primary role in Egyptian mythology dealt with the weighing of souls (also called the weighing of the heart) that took place in the underworld, Duat. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.

The earliest surviving records indicating that Maat is the norm for nature and society, in this world and the next, were recorded during the Old Kingdom. Later, as a goddess in other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male aspect, her masculine counterpart was Thoth, as their attributes are similar.

In other accounts, Thoth was paired off with Seshat, goddess of wisdom, knowledge, writing and measure, who is a lesser known deity. Spell 10 of the Coffin Texts states “Seshat opens the door of heaven for you.” She was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens (i.e. she who is the scribe), and is credited with inventing writing.

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma’at) who stood on either side of Ra’s boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Hvorfor feirer vi 17. mai?

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 16, 2018

Bilderesultat for 17 mai

Bilderesultat for 17 mai

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Den 17. mai er Norges nasjonaldag. På denne dagen i 1814 ble Norges Grunnlov datert og undertegnet av presidentskapet i Riksforsamlingen på Eidsvoll.

Vi feirer trikoloren, den franske revolusjon og den videre utvikling – vi feirer prinsippene og idealene fra opplysningstiden: Liberté, égalité, fraternité – «Frihet, likhet, brorskap». Norge er på mange måter tuftet på dette grunnlaget.

Det som inspirerte dem som møtte opp for å skrive grunnloven, som dannet grunnlaget for utviklingen av folkestyret, var den franske revolusjonen og den franske grunnloven fra 1791, samt den amerikanske uavhengighetserklæringen fra 1776 og amerikanske konstitusjonen fra 1787.

Frihet, likhet, brorskap var budskapet i den franske revolusjonen. Det var radikale, liberale og sosiale verdier som innebar et tidsskifte. Sentrale prinsipper var politisk frihet, ytringsfrihet og maktfordeling. Dette dannet de nye forestillingene om menneskerettigheter.

Hovedprinsippene i Grunnloven bygde stort sett på de samme ideene. Det var en seier for folkesuverenitet, maktfordeling og borgerrettighetene. Folkesuvereniteten innebar at makten skulle ligge hos folket, som dermed hadde rett til å styre seg selv. Maktfordelingen skulle sikre at maktutøvelsen ble delt på tre uavhengige myndigheter. Dette for å hindre maktkonsentrasjon og maktmisbruk.

Borgerrettighetene skulle sikre borgernes «medfødte og umistelige» rettigheter. Grunnloven slo fast borgernes rett til ytringsfrihet, næringsfrihet og rettssikkerhet, selv om den manglet mye av det vi i dag ser på som selvsagte menneskerettigheter.

Menneskerettighetserklæringen ble vedtatt av De forente nasjoners tredje generalforsamling den 10. desember 1948 ved Palais de Chaillot i Paris. Noen av de mest grunnleggende menneskerettighetene er retten til mat, klær og husly. Likevel er dette rettigheter ingen land i verden så langt har klart å innfri for alle sine innbyggere.

I et så overveldende rikt samfunn som vårt er arven fra den franske revolusjonen og amerikanske konstitusjonen først og fremst å gi de som trenger det mest hjelp til å oppleve den samme frihet som oss andre.

Tiden er inne for å for noen radikale endringer. Vi trenger å redefinere arbeid og verdiskapning, og sammen skape et bærekraftig samfunn hvor alle er sikret livets nødvendigheter. Vi må redusere gapet mellom fattig og rik, innføre reelt demokrati, tenke økonomi på en ny måte og innføre borgerlønn.

I klassiske tider var det vanlig å representere ideer og abstrakte enheter av guder, gudinner og allegoriske personligheter. Det var mindre vanlig i middelalderen, men en dette endret seg i renessansen.

Under den franske revolusjonen i 1789 dukket mange personifikasjoner av “Frihet” og “Fornuft” fram. Disse figurene fusjonerte til en kvinnelig figur, som enten sitter eller står og er ledsaget av forskjellige attributter, inkludert trikoloren og frygerlua.

Denne kvinnen symboliserte frihet, fornuft, nasjonen, hjemlandet og republikkens idealer. I september 1792 bestemte nasjonalkonvensjonen ved dekret at den nye statens segl ville representere en stående kvinne som holder et spyd med en frygerlue holdt oppe på toppen av den.

Historikeren Maurice Agulhon, som i flere kjente verker har skrevet detaljerte undersøkelser når det kommer til Mariannes opprinnelse, antyder at det er tradisjonene og mentaliteten til franskmennene som førte til bruk av en kvinne til å representere republikken.

Frankrike og republikken er i selv feminine substantiver på fransk (la France, la République), og det samme kan sies om de franske substantivene (fr: Liberté) og (fr: Raison). En feminin allegori var også et symbol på å bryte med det gamle monarkiet ledet av konger og fremme moderne republikansk ideologi.

Vekten (Libra) er det syvende stjernebilde i dyrekretsen. Det strekker seg mellom 180°–210° på stjernehimmelen. Under den tropiske dyrekretsen beveger sola seg gjennom dette feltet under høstjevdøgnet, som vil si i perioden mellom 23. september og 23. oktober, mens den i den sideriske dyrekretsen beveger seg i denne sonen mellom 16. oktober og 17. november.

Vekten ligger mellom Jomfruen (Virgo) i vest og Skorpionen (Scorpio) i øst. Vekten var kjent i babylonsk astronomi som MUL Zibanu («vekten» eller «balansen»), eller alternativt som «skorpionens klør». Vekten ble holdt hellig av solguden Shamash, som var beskytteren av sannhet og rettferdighet. Den ble også sett på som «skorpionens klør» i antikkens Hellas.

Romerne ideoliserte Vekten og det ble sagt at månen var i Vekten da Roma ble grunnlagt. Alt var balansert under dette rettferdige tegnet. Vekten er basert på vektene holdt av gudinnene Themis og Dike, som er de greske personifiseringene av guddommelig orden, lov og praksis. Hun ble inspirasjon for dagens bilder av Justitia, eller rettferdighetens gudinne.

Justitia er et symbol for lov og rett, der sverdet står for rettshåndhevelsen, vekten for dømmende virksomhet og bindet for upartiskhet. Justitia og hennes sverd og vekt er fortsatt brukt i nye våpenskjold og andre kjennetegn. Hun sammenlignes blant annet med den egyptiske gudinnen Maat, og senere Isis.

Bildet av Isis som vugger eller ammer sin sønn ble dyrket til langt inn på 500-tallet e.vt. før hun ble overtatt og videreført av den kristne jomfru Maria med Kristus-barnet og har gjenoppstått av samtidige «kulter» av en Moder Jord.

Aktelsen for Kristus’ mor tok plassen til dyrkelsen av Isis ved at den ikke ville bli undertrykt i en tid av religiøs intoleranse, og således inkluderte billedspråket assosiert med Hathor-Isis som strakte seg tilbake i tid til 3000 år før kristendommens oppstandelse.

Den herskende planeten av Vekten er Venus. Som et av de mest lyssterke objektene på himmelen har Venus vært kjent siden forhistorisk tid, og som sådan fått en befestet posisjon i menneskelig kultur. Babylonerne navnga planeten Ishtar (sumerisk Inanna), en personifisering av kvinnelighet og gudinnen for kjærlighet.

Innen iransk mytologi, spesielt persisk mytologi, henviser planeten vanligvis til gudinnen Anahita. Romerne, som hadde mye av sitt religiøse syn fra gresk tradisjon, oppkalte planeten Venus etter sin kjærlighetsgudinne. Plinius den eldre identifiserte planeten Venus med Isis.

Hun har mye til felles med norrøn mytologis Frøya, som er krigs-, fruktbarhets- og kjærlighetsgudinnen i norrøn mytologi og viss navn var å finne i navn på ulike planter i Skandinavia frem til det ble skiftet ut med navnet på Jomfru Maria i etterkant av kristningen.

Det astronomiske symbolet for Venus er det samme som man i biologien bruker for å symbolisere hunkjønn: en sirkel med et lite kors under. Symbolet brukes også som et feministsymbol. I vestlig alkymi symboliserer det kobber. I antikken ble polert kobber brukt som speil, og symbolet for Venus er i blant blitt tolket som gudinnens speil.

På grunn av jordas rotasjon ligger Første punkt i Vekten, også kjent som høstjevndøgnet, nå i Virgo, som er basert på den latinske Iustitia eller den greske Astraea (Stjernejomfruen) og har forbindelse med blant annet den indiske guddinnen Kanya og med Jomfru Maria.

Dette er et av to punkter på himmelen hvor stjernehimmelens ekvator krysser eklipten, mens det andre, kjent som Første punkt i Væren (Aries), som er det første stjernetegnet i Dyrekretsen, nå ligger i Fiskene (Pisces).

Ichthys eller fisken er et symbol som har blitt brukt av kristne fra den første kristne tiden. Av flere grunner var dette kanskje det viktigste symbolet blant de første kristne. Bokstavene i det greske ordet for fisk «ΙΧΘΥΣ» er et akronym for “Iesous Khristos, Theou hyios, soter”, som betyr “Jesus Kristus, Guds sønn, frelser”. Symbolet ble med dette en kort trosbekjennelse.

Navnet på måneden mars, og dermed også Aries, eller Væren, kommer av Mars. Mars’ festivaler ble holdt i måneden mars og i oktober. Symbolet for krigsguden Mars ble under middelalderen merke for grunnstoffet jern, planeten mars og hankjønn. Det er i dag vanlig utbredt som generelt maskuline kjønnssymbol. Piktogrammet kan tolkes som krigsgudens skjold og spyd.

Astraea symboliserer renhet og var den siste av de udødelige til å forlate jorden på slutten av sølvalderen, da gudene flyktet til Olympus på grunn av menneskenes dårlige holdninger. Hun steg til himmelen og er å finne i stjernebildet Virgo, mens Vekten symboliserer hennes assosiasjon med den greske gudinnen for rettferdighet, Dike, eller den romerske Justitia.

Gullalderen var ifølge gresk mytologi navnet på den første og beste av de fire tidsaldre som menneskenes historie er delt inn i. Etter Gullalderen fulgte Sølvalderen, Bronsealderen og til slutt Jernalderen, som tilsvarer nåtida. Ifølge legenden vil Astraea en dag vende tilbake til jorda og bringe tilbake den utopiske gullalderen sammen med henne.

Figuren brukes som kjennetegn av mange jurister, som dekorasjon bl.a. på rettsbygninger/tinghus, som motiv i kunst, segl, våpenskjold og lignende. Justitia inngår i seglene på Grunnloven av 17. mai 1814. Bare en stilisert skålvekt er symbol for det gamle tingstedet i Eidsvolls kommunevåpen.

Bilderesultat for cybele

Bilderesultat for løvebakken

Kybele (frygisk: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya «Kubelanske Moder», kanskje «Fjellmoderen») var opprinnelig en modergudinne i Anatolia. Hun kan ha utviklet seg fra anatolisk modergudinne i henhold til en type funnet ved Çatal Höyük, datert til rundt 5000-tallet f.vt. Denne korpulente, fruktbare modergudinnen synes å føde sittende på en trone med to armlener bestående av kattehoder.

Lite er kjent om hennes eldste anatoliske kulter, annet enn hennes tilknytning fjellene, hauker og løver. Hun kan ha blitt oppfattet som Frygias særskilte skytsgudinne, men hennes frygiske kult ble adoptert og tilpasset av greske kolonister langs kysten av Anatolia og kulten spredte seg derfra til det greske fastlandet og til mer fjerne vestlige kolonier på 500-tallet f.vt.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The redheads and blond hair

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 16, 2018

The Neanderthals 

2012 genetic studies seem to suggest that modern humans may have mated with “at least two groups” of archaic humans: Neanderthals and Denisovans. It is suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans, with about 3% to 5% of the DNA of Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians deriving from Denisovans.

Neanderthals were archaic humans who lived in Eurasia during roughly 250,000 to 40,000 years ago. They seem to have appeared in Europe and expanded into Southwest and Central Asia. Total Neanderthal effective population size has been estimated at close to 15,000 individuals (corresponding to a total population of roughly 150,000 individuals), living in small isolated, inbred groups.

Since 2010, evidence for substantial admixture of Neanderthals DNA in modern populations has accumulated. Evidence of admixture was found in both European and Asian populations, but not in Africans, suggesting that interbreeding between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans took place after the recent “out of Africa” migration, likely between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. This is a counter to strict versions of the recent African origin theory, since it would imply that at least part of the genome of Europeans would descend from Neanderthals.

Both Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans are thought to have evolved from Homo erectus between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago. H. erectus had emerged around 1.8 million years ago, and had long been present, in various subspecies throughout Eurasia. The divergence time between the Neanderthal and modern human lineages is estimated at between 800,000 and 400,000 years ago.

Early Neanderthals, living before the Eemian interglacial (130 ka), are poorly known and come mostly from European sites. From 130 ka onwards, the quality of the fossil record increases dramatically. From then on, Neanderthal remains are found in Western, Central, Eastern, and Mediterranean Europe, as well as Southwest, Central, and Northern Asia up to the Altai Mountains in Siberia. No Neanderthal has ever been found outside Central to Western Eurasia, namely neither to the south of 30° N (Shuqba, Levant), nor east of 85° E (Denisova, Siberia).

About 55,000 years ago, the climate began to fluctuate wildly from extreme cold conditions to mild cold and back in a matter of decades. Neanderthal bodies were well-suited for survival in a cold climate—their stocky chests and limbs stored body heat better than the Cro-Magnons. Neanderthals died out in Europe between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, apparently coinciding with the start of a very cold period.

Raw material sourcing and the examination of faunal remains by Adler et al. (2006) in the southern Caucasus suggest that modern humans may have had a survival advantage during this period, being able to use social networks to acquire resources from a greater area. They found that in both the Late Middle Palaeolithic and Early Upper Palaeolithic more than 95% of stone artifacts were drawn from local material, suggesting Neanderthals restricted themselves to more local sources.

In November 2011 tests conducted at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit in England on what were previously thought to be Neanderthal baby teeth, which had been unearthed in 1964 from the Grotta del Cavallo in Italy, were identified as the oldest modern human remains discovered anywhere in Europe, dating from between 43,000 and 45,000 years ago.

Modern humans co-existed with them in Europe starting around 45,000 years ago and perhaps even earlier. Neanderthals inhabited that continent long before the arrival of modern humans. These modern humans may have introduced a disease that contributed to the extinction of Neanderthals, and that may be added to other recent explanations for their extinction.

When Neanderthal ancestors left Africa roughly 100,000 years earlier they adapted to the pathogens in their European environment, unlike modern humans who adapted to African pathogens. If contact between humans and Neanderthals occurred in Europe and Asia the first contact may have been devastating to the Neanderthal population, because they would have had little if any immunity to the African pathogens.

More recent historical events in Eurasia and the Americas show a similar pattern, where the unintentional introduction of viral or bacterial pathogens to unprepared populations has led to mass mortality and local population extinction. The most well-known example of this is the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World, which brought and introduced foreign diseases when he and his crew arrived to a native population who had no immunity.

The redheads and blond hair

A 2007 genetic study suggested some Neanderthals may have had red hair and blond hair, along with a light skin tone. As of 2015, the earliest light eyes and light hair of hominid (Homo sapiens) individuals after the long extinct Neanderthals have been documented in 8,000-year-old remains in Motala, Sweden, belonging to subclades of Haplogroup I2 and mitochondrial Haplogroup U5.

The lightness of the hair ultimately depends on other mutations regulating the general pigmentation of both the skin and hair. Skin and hair pigmentation is caused by two different kinds of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin.

The most common is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer responsible for dark hair and skin, and the tanning of light skin. Pheomelanin has a pink to red hue and is present in lips, nipples, and genitals. The mutations in the MC1R gene imparts the hair and skin more pheomelanin than eumelanin, causing both red hair and freckles.

Redheads have very fair skin, almost always lighter than non-redheads. This is an advantage in northern latitudes and very rainy countries, where sunlight is sparse, as lighter skin improves the absorption of sunlight, which is vital for the production of vitamin D by the body. The drawback is that it confers redheads a higher risk for both sunburns and skin cancer.

Studies have demonstrated that people with red hair are more sensitive to thermal pain and also require greater amounts of anesthetic than people with other hair colours. The reason is that redheads have a mutation in a hormone receptor that can apparently respond to at least two different hormones: the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (for pigmentation) and endorphins (the pain relieving hormone).

Red hair is a recessive genetic trait caused by a series of mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a gene located on chromosome 16. As a recessive trait it must be inherited from both parents to cause the hair to become red. Consequently there are far more people carrying the mutation for red hair than people actually having red hair.

Red hair has long been associated with Celtic people. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans described the Celts as redheads. The Romans extended the description to Germanic people, at least those they most frequently encountered in southern and western Germany. It still holds true today.

However, although red hair is an almost exclusively northern and central European phenomenon, isolated cases have also been found in the Middle East, Central Asia (notably among the Tajiks), as well as in some of the Tarim mummies from Xinjiang, in north-western China. All these people share a common ancestry that can be traced back to a single Y-chromosomal haplogroup: R1b.

It has been suggested that red hair could have originated in Paleolithic Europe, especially since Neanderthal also had red hair. The only Neanderthal specimen tested so far (from Croatia) did not carry the same MC1R mutation responsible for red hair in modern humans (the mutation in question in known as Arg307Gly).

However, since Neanderthals evolved alongside Homo Sapiens for 600,000 years, and had numerous subspecies across all Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, it cannot be ruled out that one particular subspecies of Neanderthal passed on the MC1R mutation to Homo Sapiens.

It is however unlikely that this happened in Europe, because red hair is conspicuously absent from, or very low in parts of Europe with the highest percentages of haplogroup I (e.g. Finland, Bosnia, Sardinia) and R1a (Eastern Europe), the only two lineages associated with Mesolithic and Paleolithic Europeans. We must therefore look for the source of red hair, elsewhere. unsurpisingly, the answer lies with the R1b people – thought to have recolonised Central and Western Europe during the Bronze Age.

Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH)

Haplogroup IJK is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. IJK is a primary branch of the macrohaplogroup HIJK. Its direct descendants are haplogroup IJ and haplogroup K.

The basal paragroup HIJK* has not been identified in living males or ancient remains. Populations with high proportions of males who belong to descendant major haplogroups of Haplogroup HIJK live across widely dispersed areas and populations.

The existence of Haplogroup IJK – the ancestor of both haplogroups IJ and K (M9) – and its evolutionary distance from other subclades of Haplogroup F (M89), supports the inference that haplogroups IJ and K both arose in Southwestern Asia. Living carriers of F* and IJ* have been reported from the Iranian Plateau.

Around 40,000 years ago haplogroup IJK seperated into two distinct new haplogroups which were japplogroups IJ and K. Both originated in southwest Asia but most of the K people went up into central Asia where new mutations took place within the haplogroup. Confirmed examples of K-M9* now appear to be most common amongst some populations in Island South East Asia and Melanesia.

Haplogroup K or K-M9 represents a geographically widespread and diverse haplogroup. The lineages have long been found among males on every continent. It is an old lineage that arose approximately 47,000-50,000 years ago, probably in South Asia or West Asia.

Relative to its age, the internal structure of K2 is extremely complex, and subclades of it are carried by males native to regions including Australasia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Horn of Africa.

It seems that a rapid diversification of K2 (K-M526) into K2a and K2b, followed by K2b1 and P (also known as K2b2) likely occurred in Southeast Asia. K2a and C1 have been found in the oldest sequenced male remains from Western Eurasia (dating from circa 45,000 to 35,000 years BP), such as: Ust’-Ishim man (modern west Siberia) K2a*, Oase 1 (Romania) K2a*, Kostenki 14 (south west Russia) C1b, and Goyet Q116-1 (Belgium) C1a.

This was followed by the relatively rapid westward expansion of P1 (P-M45), the immediate ancestor of both Haplogroups Q and R, which likely emerged in Southeast Asia. It seems that a rapid diversification process of K-M526 likely occurred in Southeast Asia, with subsequent westward expansions of the ancestors of haplogroups R and Q.

Haplogroup Q (M242) is the predominant Y-DNA haplogroup among Native Americans and several peoples of Central Asia and Northern Siberia. Q-M242 is believed to have arisen around the Altai Mountains area (or South Central Siberia), approximately 17,000 to 31,700 years ago.

The SNP M207, which defines Haplogroup R, is believed to have arisen during the Upper Paleolithic era, about 27,000 years ago. Only one confirmed example of basal R* has been found, in 24,000 year old remains, known as MA1, found at Mal’ta–Buret’ culture near Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Haplogroup I and J were subsequently distributed in Asia and Europe in a disjunctive phylogeographic pattern typical of “sibling” haplogroups. A natural geographical corridor like the Balkans is likely to have been used later by members of other subclades of IJ, as well as other haplogroups, including those associated with Early European Farmers.

Haplogroup IJ was in the Middle East and/or Europe about 40,000 years ago. Early evidence for haplogroup J has been found in the Caucasus and Iran. In addition, living examples of the precursor Haplogroup IJ* have been found only in Iran, among the Mazandarani and ethnic Persians from Fars. This may indicate that IJ originated in South West Asia.

Haplogroup I (M170) diverged from common ancestor IJ* about 43,000 years BP. The TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) for I-M170 was estimated in 2008 to be 22,200 years ago, with a confidence interval between 15,300–30,000 years ago. The oldest I-M170 found is that of an individual known as Krems WA3 (lower Austria), dating from circa 33,000-24,000 BP.

This would make the founding event of I-M170 approximately contemporaneous with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lasted from 26,500 years ago until approximately 19,500 years ago.

It would seem to be that separate waves of population movement impacted Southeastern Europe. The role of the Balkans as a long-standing corridor to Europe from Anatolia and/or the Caucasus is shown by the common phylogenetic origins of both haplogroups I and J in the parent haplogroup IJ (M429). This common ancestry suggests that the subclades of IJ entered the Balkans from Anatolia or the Caucasus, some time before the Last Glacial Maximum.

The available evidence suggests that I-M170 was preceded into areas in which it would later become dominant by haplogroups K2a (K-M2308) and C1 (Haplogroup C-F3393). Consequently, I-M170 represents up to one-fifth of the male population of Europe, being the continent’s second major Y-DNA haplogroup (behind Haplogroup R).

I-M170 is one of the most numerous haplogroups among European males. Subclades can be found in most present-day European populations, with peaks in some Northern European and South East European countries. The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Balkans (with the highest concentration in present-day Herzegovina). It may be associated with unusually tall males, since those in the Dinaric Alps have been reported to be the tallest in the world.

It is speculated that the initial dispersion of this population corresponds to the diffusion of the Gravettian culture. Later the haplogroup, along with two cases of Haplogroup C, was found in human remains belonging to the culture and in individuals of the Magdalenian and Azilian cultures.

It is suggested that each of the ancestral populations now dominated by a particular subclade of Haplogroup I-M170 experienced an independent population expansion immediately after the Last Glacial Maximum.

Haplogroup I2 (I-M438) originated some time around 26,000–31,000 BCE and has two primary subclades: I-L460 and I-L1251. The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Dinaric Alps in Eastern Europe (especially in the Balkans), where the men are on record as being the tallest in the world, with a male average height of 185.6 cm (6 ft 1.1 in).

Haplogroup I2a may be the haplogroup of the first anatomically modern humans to inhabit Europe, Cro-Magnon. Basal I2* (I-M438*) has been found in ancient remains from Frankthi cave, in the eastern Peloponnese region of Greece. Along with its modern presence in Crete and Sicily, this may suggest that the haplogroup originated in the Eastern Mediterranean. Haplogroup I2a was the most frequent Y-DNA among western European mesolithic hunter gatherers (WHG).

An I2a1 carrier was a carrier of red hair and others of genes of blond/light hair, while all the Motala hunter-gatherers were light-skinned and blue-eyed males. (Light-skin genes, but not those for blond/red hair, have been found in Siberia on a 17,000-year-old carrier of Haplogroup R*, as well as 8,000–9,000-year-old R1a remains from Karelia.)

Due to the arrival of so-called Early European Farmers, I-M170 is outnumbered by Haplogroup G among Neolithic European remains and by Haplogroup R in later remains. I2 subclade of I-M170 is the main haplogroup found on male remains in Mesolithic Europe, until circa 6,000 BCE, when mass migration into Europe of Middle Eastern farmers carrying Y-DNA G2a happened.

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago). This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia (Raghavan et al. 2013). This individual belonged to a tribe of mammoth hunters that may have roamed across Siberia and parts of Europe during the Paleolithic.

Autosomally this Paleolithic population appears to have contributed mostly to the ancestry of modern Europeans and South Asians, the two regions where haplogroup R also happens to be the most common nowadays (R1b in Western Europe, R1a in Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and R2 in South Asia).

The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa. The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.

Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia. Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE).

The origins of haplogroup R1b are complex, and shrouded in controversy to this day. The present author favours the theory of a Middle Eastern origin (a point upon which very few population geneticists disagree) followed by a migration to the North Caucasus and Pontic Steppe, serving as a starting point for a Bronze-age invasion of the Balkans, then Central and Western Europe. This theory also happens to be the only one that explains the presence of red hair among the Udmurts, Central Asians and Tarim mummies.

Haplogroup R1b probably split from R1a during the Upper Paleolithic, roughly 25,000 years ago. The most likely location was Central Asia, around what is now the Caspian Sea, which only became a sea after the last Ice Age ended and the ice caps over western Russia melted. After the formation of the Caspian Sea, these nomadic hunter-gatherers, ended up on the greener and richer Caucaso-Anatolian side of the Caspian, where they may have domesticated local animals, such as cows, pigs, goats and sheep.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs. With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals.

The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars and goats led to their progressive taming. Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.

The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains.

The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words the “original homeland” of R1b.

The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. One branch (M335) remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment. A second branch migrated south to the Levant, where it became the V88 branch. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel.

The third branch (P297), crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.

It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In any case, M73 would be a pre-Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.

If the mutation for red hair was inherited from Neanderthal, it would have been from a Central Asian Neanderthal, perhaps from modern Uzbekistan, or an East Anatolian/Mesopotamian one. The mutation probably passed on to some other (extinct?) lineages for a few millennia, before being inherited by the R1b tribe. Otherwise, it could also have arisen independently among R1b people as late as the Neolithic period (but no later).

Proto-Indo-Europeans

Developing pottery, or more probably acquiring the skills from Middle Eastern neighbours (notably tribes belonging to haplogroup G2a), part of the R1b tribe migrated across the Caucasus to take advantage of the vast expanses of grassland for their herds.

This is where the Proto-Indo-European culture would have emerged, and spread to the native R1a tribes of the Eurasian steppe, with whom the R1b people blended to a moderate level (the reason why there is always a minority of R1b among predominantly R1a populations today, anywhere from Eastern Europe to Siberia and India).

The domestication of the horse in the Volga-Ural region circa 4000-3500 BCE, combined with the emergence of bronze working in the North Caucasus around 3300 BCE, would lead to the spectacular expansion of R1b and R1a lineages, an adventure that would lead these Proto-Indo-European speakers to the Atlantic fringe of Europe to the west, to Siberia to the east, and all the way from Egypt to India to the south.

From 3500 BCE, the vast majority of the R1b migrated westward along the Black Sea coast, to the metal-rich Balkans, where they mixed with the local inhabitants of Chalcolithic “Old Europe”. A small number of R1b accompanied R1a to Siberia and Central Asia, which is why red hair very occasionally turns up in R1a-dominant populations of those areas (who usually still have a minority of R1b among their lineages, although some tribes may have lost them due to the founder effect).

The archeological record indicates that this sustained series of invasions was extremely violent and led to the complete destruction of the until then flourishing civilizations of the Balkans and Carpathians. The R1b invaders took local women as wives and concubines, creating a new mixed ethnicity. The language evolved in consequence, adopting loanwords from the languages of Old Europe. This new ethnic and linguistic entity could be referred to as the Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic people.

After nearly a millennium in the Danubian basin (as far west as Bavaria), they would continue their westward expansion (from 2500 BCE) to Western Europe. In fact, the westward expansion was most likely carried out exclusively by the westernmost faction of R1b, who had settled north of the Alps, around Austria and Bavaria, and developed the Unetice culture.

Many R1b lineages have remained in the Balkans, where they have gradually mixed with the indigenous populations, then with successive waves of immigrants and invaders over the next millennia, such as the Greeks, the Romans, the Bulgars and the Ottomans.

Almost all trace of red hair was lost in south-eastern Europe due to the high number of dark haired people brought by the long wave of invasions to the region over the last 5000 years. According to ancient Greek writers, red hair was common among the Thracians, who lived around modern Bulgaria, an region where rufosity has almost completely disappeared today. Red hair alleles may have survived in the local gene pool though, but cannot be expressed due to the lack of other genes for light hair pigmentation.

The red-haired Proto-Indo-Europeans split in three branches (Proto-Italic, Proto-Celtic and Proto-Germanic ) during the progressive expansion of the successive Bronze-age Unetice, Tumulus and Urnfield cultures from Central Europe.

The Proto-Germanic branch, originating as the R1b-U106 subclade, is thought to have migrated from present-day Austria to the Low Countries and north-western Germany. They would continue their expansion (probably from 1200 BCE) to Denmark, southern Sweden and southern Norway, where, after blending with the local I1 and R1a people, the ancient Germanic culture emerged.

Nowadays, the frequency of red hair among Germanic people is highest in the Netherlands, Belgium, north-western Germany and Jutland, i.e. where the percentage of R1b is the highest, and presumably the first region to be settled by R1b, before blending with the blond-haired R1a and I1 people from Scandinavia and re-expanding south to Germany during the Iron Age, with a considerably lower percentage of R1b and red-hair alleles.

Red-haired is therefore most associated with the continental West Germanic peoples, and least with Scandinavians and Germanic tribes that originated in Sweden, like the Goths and the Vandals. This also explains why the Anglo-Saxon settlements on southern England have a higher frequency of redheads than the Scandinavian settlements of northeast England.

The Italic branch crossed the Alps around 1300 BCE and settled across most of the peninsula, but especially in Central Italy (Umbrians, Latins, Oscans). They probably belonged predominantly to the R1b-U152 subclade.

It is likely that the original Italics had just as much red hair as the Celts and Germans, but lost them progressively as they intermarried with their dark-haired neighbours, like the Etruscans. The subsequent Gaulish Celtic settlements in northern Italy increased the rufosity in areas that had priorly been non-Indo-European (Ligurian, Etruscan, Rhaetic) and therefore dark-haired. Nowadays red hair is about as common in northern and in central Italy.

The Celtic branch is the largest and most complex. The area that was Celtic-speaking in Classical times encompassed regions belonging to several distinct subclades of R1b-S116 (the Proto-Italo-Celtic haplogroup).

The earliest migration of R1b to Western Europe must have happened with the diffusion of the Bronze Age to France, Belgium, Britain and Ireland around 2100 BCE – a migration best associated with the R1b-L21 subclade. A second migration took place around 1800 BCE to Southwest France and Iberia, and is associated with R1b-DF27.

These two branches are usually considered Celtic, but because of their early separation, they are likely to be more different from each other than were the later Italic and continental Celtic branches (both R1b-U152).

The Northwest Celtic branch could have been ancestral to Goidelic languages (Gaelic), and the south-western one to Celtiberian. Both belong to the Q-Celtic group, as opposed to the P-Celtic group, to which Gaulish and Brythonic belong and which is associated with the expansion of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures and R1b-U152 (the same subclade as the Italic branch).

The 45th parallel north

Nowadays, red hair is found in all three Celtic branches, although it is most common in the R1b-L21 branch. The reason is simply that it is the northernmost branch (red hair being more useful at higher latitudes) and that the Celtic populations of Britain and Ireland have retained the purest Proto-Celtic ancestry (extremely high percentage of R1b).

Red hair was also found among the tartan-wearing Chärchän man, one of the Tarim mummies dating from 1000 BCE, who according to the author were an offshoot of Central European Celts responsible for the presence of R1b among modern Uyghurs.

The earlier, non-tartan-wearing Tarim mummies from 2000 BCE, which were DNA tested and identified as members of haplogroup R1a, did not have red hair, just like modern R1a-dominant populations.

What is immediately apparent to genetic genealogists is that the map of red hair correlates with the frequency of haplogroup R1b in northern and western Europe. It doesn’t really correlate with the percentage of R1b in southern Europe, for the simple reason that red hair is more visible among people carrying various other genes involved in light skin and hair pigmentation.

At equal latitude, the frequency of red hair correlates amazingly well with the percentage of R1b lineages. The 45th parallel north, running through central France, northern Italy and Croatia, appears to be a major natural boundary for red hair frequencies. Under the 45th parallel, the UV rays become so strong that it is no longer an advantage to have red hair and very fair skin. Under the 41th parallel, redheads become extremely rare, even in high R1b areas.

The natural boundary probably has a lot to do with the sun and climate in general, since the 45th parallel is exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. Natural selection also progressively pruned red hair from the Mediterranean populations, because the higher amount of sunlight and strong UV rays in the region was more likely to cause potentially fatal melanoma in fair-skinned redheads.

It is entirely possible, and even likely, that the European north-south divide, not just for culture and agriculture, but also for phenotypes and skin pigmentation, go back to Neolithic times, when the expansion of agriculture from the Near East followed two separate routes.

Even as far back as Neolithic times, the 45th parallel roughly divided the Mediterranean Cardium Pottery culture from the Central European Linear Pottery culture. The southern route followed the Mediterranean coastlines until Iberia, while the northern route diffused along the Danubian basin then the North European Plain until the Low Countries and the Baltic.

Each group of farmer blended with indigenous Mesolitic hunter-gatherers over time, but those i the Mediterranean may have been genetically distinct from those of central and northern Europe. Then, from the Bronze Age, the Indo-European migrations from the Pontic Steppe affected much more central and northern Europe, considerably altering the gene pool and local lifestyle, by bringing East European and Caucasian genes and dairy farming, in addition to Indo-European language and culture.

It is only in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1500–1155 BCE), over a thousand years after the Indo-European expansion into Central Europe, that the Proto-Celts really expanded over the Italian and Iberian peninsulas. Greece also didn’t become Indo-Europeanised until the Mycenaeans, another group of Indo-European speakers from the Steppe took over the country circa 1600 BCE.

Slavic, Baltic and Finnish people are predominantly descended from peoples belonging to haplogroups R1a, N1c1 and I1. Their limited R1b ancestry means that the MC1R mutation is much rarer in these populations. This is why, despite their light skin and hair pigmentation and living at the same latitude as Northwest Europeans, almost none of them have red hair, apart from a few Poles or Czechs with partial German ancestry.

Southwest Norway may well be the clue to the origin of red hair. It has been discovered recently, thanks to genetic genealogy, that the higher incidence of both dark hair and red hair (as opposed to blond) in southwest Norway coincided with a higher percentage of the paternal lineage known as haplogroup R1b-L21, including its subclade R1b-M222, typical of northwestern Ireland and Scotland (the so-called lineage of Niall of the Nine Hostages).

It is now almost certain that native Irish and Scottish Celts were taken (probably as slaves) to southwest Norway by the Vikings, and that they increased the frequency of red hair there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 15, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Taurus (Aries / Mars – Pisces / Jesus – Aquarius) and Scorpius (Libra / Venus – Virgo / Maria – Leo)

The two opposites

Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC. Taurus was the first sign of the zodiac established among the ancient Mesopotamians – who knew it as the Bull of Heaven – because it was the constellation through which the sun rose on the vernal equinox at that time.

As this constellation marked the vernal equinox, it was also the first constellation in the Babylonian zodiac and they described it as “The Bull in Front”. The Akkadian name was Alu.

Alalu is god in Hurrian mythology. He is considered to have housed the divine family, because he was a progenitor of the gods, and possibly the father of Earth. Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

Due to the precession of the equinox, it has since passed through the constellation Aries and into the constellation Pisces (hence our current era being known as the Age of Pisces).

Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It was derived from the Phoenician and Hebrew letter aleph Aleph which means an ox or leader. Letters that arose from alpha include the Latin A and the Cyrillic letter А.

In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 1. In English, the noun “alpha” is used as a synonym for “beginning”, or “first” (in a series), reflecting its Greek roots. Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, including the first or most significant occurrence of something.

The New Testament has God declaring himself to be the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Revelation 22:13, KJV, and see also 1:8).

Omega (capital: Ω, lowercase: ω;) is the 24th and last letter of the Greek alphabet. The word literally means “great O” (ō mega, mega meaning “great”), as opposed to omicron, which means “little O” (o mikron, micron meaning “little”).

In Sumerian religion, Ninḫursaĝ was a mother goddess of the mountains. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the “true and great lady of heaven” (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were “nourished by Ninhursag’s milk”.

Sometimes her hair is depicted in an omega shape and at times she wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders. Frequently she carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.

Cybele (“Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess.

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deity, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. From the Hurrian Pantheon, Ishara entered the Hittite pantheon and had her main shrine in Kizzuwatna.

She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites (see Hittite military oath). In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- “to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara”.

She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and she is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars). Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. In the Epic of Gilgamesh it says: ‘For Ishara the bed is made’ and in Atra-hasis she is called upon to bless the couple on the honeymoon.”

Variants of the name appear as Ašḫara (in a treaty of Naram-Sin of Akkad with Hita of Elam) and Ušḫara (in Ugarite texts). In Ebla, there were various logographic spellings involving the sign AMA “mother”. In Alalah, her name was written with the Akkadogram IŠTAR plus a phonetic complement -ra, as IŠTAR-ra.

Hausos is the reconstructed name for the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn. The Dawn Goddess is hypothesised to have been one of the most important deities to the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-. *Wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir.

The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root. The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god.

The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions.

Derivatives of her found throughout various Indo-European mythologies include the Greek goddess Eos, the Roman goddess Aurōra, the Vedic goddess Uṣás, the Lithuanian goddess Aušrinė (cf. Lith. aušrà “dawn”), and possibly also the (West) Germanic goddess *Austrǭ (Old English Ēostre, Old High German *Ōstara).

Aya (or Aja) in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu, who is one of the oldest Mesopotamian gods. The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash.

As the Sumerian pantheon formalized, Utu became the primary sun god, and Sherida was syncretized into a subordinate role as an aspect of the sun alongside other less powerful solar deities (c.f. Ninurta) and took on the role of Utu’s consort. Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The origin of Queen Tiye

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 10, 2018

Egyptology Temple sitt bilde.

The mummified remains of Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III, Mother to “heretic” King Akhenaten & Grandmother to boy King Tutankhamun.

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, which would be consistent with the fact that Armenian shares some features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. It was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from c. 1500–1300 BC.

The names of the Mitanni aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin. Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni exhibit close similarities to Indo-Aryan, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. The Mitanni warriors were called marya.

He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Yuya was a powerful Egyptian courtier during the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt (circa 1390 BC). He was married to Tjuyu, an Egyptian noblewoman associated with the royal family, who held high offices in the governmental and religious hierarchies. Their daughter, Tiye, became the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III.

Yuya came from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmim, where he probably owned an estate and was a wealthy member of the town’s local nobility. His origins remain unclear. The study of his mummy showed that Yuya had been a man of taller than average stature and the anatomist Grafton Elliot Smith considered that his appearance was not typically Egyptian.

The Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt suggests that foreign origin. “it is conceivable that he had some Mitannian ancestry, since it is known that knowledge of horses and chariotry was introduced into Egypt from the northern lands and Yuya was the king’s ‘Master of the Horse’.”

It also discusses the possibility that Yuya was the brother of queen Mutemwiya, a minor wife of Thutmose IV, the mother of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and may have had Mitannian royal origins.

Tiye was married to Amenhotep III by the second year of his reign. He had been born of a secondary wife of his father and needed a stronger tie to the royal lineage. He appears to have been crowned while still a child, perhaps between the ages of six to twelve.

During Akhenaten’s reign, Tiye is depicted in the role of a grandmother sitting with the royal children of her son and his wife, Nefertiti, but she continued to play an important role in the political life of Egypt.

The king of Mitanni, Tushratta, carried on a correspondence directly with Tiye and even mentioned matters having nothing to do with state issues such as the pleasant times they had passed together in visits.

The transformation from commoner to royalty was of great rarity. Tiye’s origin seemed to influence the Queen she became and also influenced the roles in which she fulfilled. She is remembered for the impact she made during the reign of Amenhotep III as the many positions she filled were not traditional roles for a Queen.

Tiye’s father, Yuya, was a non-royal, wealthy landowner from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmin, where he served as a priest and superintendent of oxen or commander of the chariotry. Tiye’s mother, Thuya, was involved in many religious cults, as her different titles attested (Singer of Hathor, Chief of the Entertainers of both Amun and Min…), which suggests that she was a member of the royal family.

Egyptologists have suggested that Tiye’s father, Yuya, was of foreign origin due to the features of his mummy and the many different spellings of his name, which might imply it was a non-Egyptian name in origin. Some suggest that the queen’s strong political and unconventional religious views might have been due not just to a strong character, but to foreign descent.

Tiye also had a brother, Anen, who was Second Prophet of Amun. Ay, a successor of Tutankhamun as pharaoh after the latter’s death, is believed to be yet another brother of Tiye; despite no clear date or monument confirming a link between the two.

Egyptologists presume this by Ay’s origins, also from Akhmin, because he is known to have built a chapel dedicated to the local god Min there, and because he inherited most of the titles that Tiye’s father, Yuya, held at the court of Amenhotep III during his lifetime.

Nefertiti (Egyptian for “the beauty has come”) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.

Nefertiti’s parentage is not known with certainty, but one often cited theory is that she was the daughter of Ay, later to be pharaoh. However, this hypothesis is likely wrong since Ay and his wife Tey are never called the father and mother of Nefertiti and Tey’s only connection with her was that she was the “nurse of the great queen” Nefertiti.

Another theory that gained some support identified Nefertiti with the Mitanni princess Tadukhipa. However, Tadukhipa was already married to Akhenaten’s father and there is no evidence for any reason why this woman would need to alter her name in a proposed marriage to Akhenaten or any evidence of a foreign non-Egyptian background for Nefertiti.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

PIE and the Tocharians

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 6, 2018

The Tangled Roots of English

The ARyans – ARmenians of ARarat

The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu (in Babylonian) as Armina (in Old Persian) and Harminuya (in Elamite). Herodotus, in c. 440 BC, said “the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists”.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach and home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk.

Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a legendary Sumerian account, of preserved, early post-Sumerian copies, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period (ca. 21st century BC). It is one of a series of accounts describing the conflicts between Enmerkar, king of Unug-Kulaba (Uruk), and the unnamed king of Aratta (probably somewhere in modern Iran or Armenia).

Because it gives a Sumerian account of the “confusion of tongues”, and also involves Enmerkar constructing temples at Eridu and Uruk, it has, since the time of Samuel Kramer, been compared with the Tower of Babel narrative in the Book of Genesis.

XXX

The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs.

With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals.

The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars and goats led to their progressive taming. Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.

The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains.

The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words the “original homeland” of R1b.

The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa.

The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.

M335 remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment.

V88 migrated south to the Levant. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel.

P297 crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.

It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In any case, M73 would be a pre-Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.

R1b-M269 (the most common form in Europe) is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.

The Leyla-Tepe culture of ancient Azerbaijan belongs to the Chalcolithic era. It got its name from the site in the Agdam district. Its settlements were distributed on the southern slopes of Central Caucasus, mostly in Agdam District, from 4350 until 4000 B.C.

Among the sites associated with this culture, the Soyugbulag kurgans or barrows are of special importance. The excavation of these kurgans, located in Kaspi Municipality, in central Georgia, demonstrated an unexpectedly early date of such structures on the territory of Azerbaijan. They were dated to the beginning of the 4th millennium BC.

Leila-Tepe pottery is very similar to the ‘Chaff-Faced Ware’ of the northern Syria and Mesopotamia. It is especially well attested at Amuq F phase. Similar pottery is also found at Kultepe, Azerbaijan. In 2012, the important site of Galayeri, belonging to the Leylatepe archaeological culture, was investigated. It is located in the Qabala District of Azerbaijan. Galayeri is closely connected to early civilizations of Near East.

The culture has also been linked to the north Ubaid period monuments, in particular, with the settlements in the Eastern Anatolia Region (Arslantepe, Coruchu-tepe, Tepechik, etc.). Other sites belonging to the same culture in the Karabakh valley of Azerbaijan are Chinar-Tepe, Shomulu-Tepe, and Abdal-Aziz-Tepe. The settlement is of a typical Western-Asian variety, with the dwellings packed closely together and made of mud bricks with smoke outlets.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture that has been described as, at the very least, a “kurganized” local culture with strong ethnic and linguistic links to the descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

This archaeological culture named after the great Maikop kurgan showed innovations in all areas which have no local archetypes and which cannot be assigned to the tradition of the Balkan-Anatolian Copper Age.

Graves and settlements of the 5th millennium BC in North Caucasus attest to a material culture that was related to contemporaneous archaeological complexes in the northern and western Black Sea region. Yet it was replaced, suddenly as it seems, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC by a “high culture” whose origin is still quite unclear.

An expedition to Syria by the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed the similarity of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe artifacts with those found recently while excavating the ancient city of Tel Khazneh I, a Syrian village located in Salamiyah Subdistrict in Salamiyah District, Hama, from the 4th millennium BC.

The appearance of Leilatepe tradition’s carriers in the Caucasus marked the appearance of the first local Caucasian metallurgy. Leilatepe metalwork tradition was very sophisticated right from the beginning, and featured many bronze items. This is attributed to migrants from Uruk, arriving around 4500 BCE. Recent research indicates the connections rather to the pre-Uruk traditions, such as the late Ubaid period, and Ubaid-Uruk phases.

The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end; in some locations it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis).

Altogether, the early trans-Caucasian culture enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km, and mostly encompassed, on modern-day territories, the Southern Caucasus (except western Georgia), northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, and as far as Syria.

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Kura–Araxes culture is sometimes known as Shengavitian, Karaz (Erzurum), Pulur, and Yanik Tepe (Iranian Azerbaijan, near Lake Urmia) cultures. It gave rise to the later Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

The formative processes of the Kura-Araxes cultural complex, and the date and circumstances of its rise, have been long debated. Inhumation practices are mixed. Flat graves are found but so are substantial kurgan burials, the latter of which may be surrounded by cromlechs. This points to a heterogeneous ethno-linguistic population.

Hurrian and Urartian language elements are quite probable, as are Northeast Caucasian ones. The presence of Kartvelian languages was also highly probable. Influences of Semitic languages and Indo-European languages are highly possible, though the presence of the languages on the lands of the Kura–Araxes culture is more controversial.

In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins proposed by Georgian Tamaz V. Gamkrelidze and Russian linguist Vyacheslav Ivanov in 1985, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.

The two presented the hypothesis in two articles in Vestnik drevnej istorii and then in a much larger work. They claim that the Indo-European languages derive from a language spoken originally in Armenia, later migrating to the Pontic steppe from which it expanded, according to the Kurgan hypothesis, into Western Europe.

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European homeland suggests that Proto-Indo-European was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highlands. The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split off when this Proto-Indoeuropean language was still spoken in the Armenian homeland.

Once the proto-Indo-European language (PIE) and its speakers began to expand from their original homeland, proposed to be in the Caucuses Mountains, differences in dialect would have started to become apparent over time.

One such group were the Anatolians. They apparently were the first to separate from the rest. Proto-Indo-European evolved, and the prehistoric speakers of Anatolian became isolated from the rest of the PIE speech community, so as not to share in some common innovations.

This is generally accepted because they preserved in their language what would seem to be early roots of words that later changed amongst the remaining PIE speakers to their north, showing that they were not part of this evolution and were therefore isolated from it.

In fact, the Anatolian branch is such an early split that some linguists have doubts over whether the Anatolians were even PIE-speakers to start with. They may have formed a ‘cousin’ of PIE rather than a direct descendant of it.

Whether that’s true or not, any split from the other PIE groups seems to have occurred around 3500 BC at the latest, which is the dating largely used here, but it may have been even earlier.

In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages. Here one can come to the conclusion that the Kura–Araxes culture developed gradually through a synthesis of several cultural traditions, including the ancient cultures of the Caucasus and nearby territories.

The expansion of Y-DNA subclade R-Z93 (R1a1a1b2) that appears to encompass most of the R1a1a found in Asia is compatible with the archeological records of eastward expansion of West Asian populations in the 4th millennium BCE, culminating in the socalled Kura-Araxes migrations in the post-Uruk IV period.

Inner and Central Asia is an overlap zone for the R -Z280 and R -Z93 lineages, implying that an early differentiation zone of R-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe.

R1a1a1, the most frequent subclade of R1a, split into R-Z282 (Europe) and R-Z93 (Asia) at circa 5,800 before present, in the vicinity of Iran and Eastern Turkey. This suggests the possibility that R1a lineages accompanied demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages.

The phonological peculiarities proposed in the glottalic theory would be best preserved in Armenian and the Germanic languages. Armenian remained in situ and would be particularly archaic despite its late attestation.

Proto-Greek would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek from the 17th century BC and closely associate Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (the Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The Tocharians are perhaps the most mysterious of all of the Indo-European branches. Thankfully, recent DNA evidence has provided a vital ingredient when it comes to telling their story but, despite this, it is a somewhat complicated story.

The core Indo-Europeans began to separate into definite proto languages around 3000 BC. These proto languages soon became unintelligible to each other, although this fragmenting process excludes the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages.

The western or centum language section of Indo-Europeans (IEs) would evolve into Celtic, Italic, Venetic, Illyrian, Ligurian, Vindelician/Liburnian and Raetic branches. This group appears to be associated with a specific Y-DNA haplogroup called R1b. A related Y-DNA haplogroup – R1a – is associated with eastern or satem IE languages. It’s the Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan, Baltic, and Slavic groups which fall into this latter grouping.

Two groups, however, do not fit perfectly into that tidy pair of east and west IE boxes. One of these involves the Germanic language speakers, who appear to have been founded by R1a/satem people but with a very mixed subsequent heritage.

The other anomaly, one which appears early in the Yamnaya horizon, involves a western group which apparently decided to be different from all the others and head eastwards. It is this group which evolved into the Tocharian branch of Indo-Europeans.

Phonetically, Tocharian is a “centum” Indo-European language, meaning that it merges the palatovelar consonants (*ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ) of Proto Indo-European with the plain velars (*k, *g, *gʰ) rather than palatalizing them to affricates or sibilants.

Centum languages are mostly found in western and southern Europe (Greek, Italic, Celtic, Germanic). In that sense, Tocharian (to some extent like the Greek and the Anatolian languages) seems to have been an isolate in the “satem” (i.e. palatovelar to sibilant) phonetic regions of Indo-European-speaking populations.

However, the mystery of the Tocharians may be that there is no mystery. The Tocharians are revealed to have been just another West Asian branch of the Indo-European family that, unlike most of its cousins, went east, absorbed Northern Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and South Asian population elements, emerged long enough in history to leave us a written record of their presence, before succumbing to the Xiongnu and the Mongols.

Thankfully, by combining the remnants of their language, and fragments of their DNA in their descendants, we are able to reconstruct the history of this, once forgotten people.

As far as I can tell, the only explanation for the presence of R-M343 in Xinjiang is West Asia, or at least Central Asia west of the Tarim. There it can be found at a high frequency in Armenians, Turks, north Iranians, and Lezgins among others.

Gamkrelidze and Ivanov cited W. N. Henning to the effect that the ancestors of the Tocharians could be identified with the Gutians from the Zagros, a people that attacked the Sumerians and founded a dynasty.

As usual, I don’t presume to know the linguistic evidence for this, but this hypothesis would place the ancestors of the Tocharians in the “right spot”: virtually all of their Caucasoid Y-chromosome gene pool could be explained with an origin in north Iran (The Armenian Highland).

Haplogroup_R1b

Anatolian Languages

Tocharians

Tocharian_Languages

Central Asia_- Tocharians

Tocharian Origins

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Ararat and the Armenian nation

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 26, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Ararat is where the European tradition and most of Western Christianity place the landing of Noah’s Ark. It is featured prominently in Armenian literature. According to Meliné Karakashian, Armenian poets “attribute to it symbolic meanings of unity, freedom, and independence.”

It is the principal national symbol of Armenia and has been considered a sacred mountain by Armenians. It is featured prominently in Armenian literature and art and is an icon for Armenian irredentism. Along with Noah’s Ark, it is depicted on the coat of arms of Armenia.

According to Kevork Bardakjian, in Armenian literature, Ararat “epitomizes Armenia and Armenian suffering and aspirations, especially the consequences of the 1915 genocide: almost total annihilation, loss of a unique culture and land […] and an implicit determination never to recognize the new political borders.”

During his travels to Armenia, Soviet Russian writer Vasily Grossman, a Jewish Russian writer and journalist, who lived the bulk of his life under the Soviet regime, observed Mount Ararat from Yerevan standing “high in the blue sky.”

He wrote that “with its gentle, tender contours, it seems to grow not out of the earth but out of the sky, as if it has condensed from its white clouds and its deep blue. It is this snowy mountain, this bluish-white sunlit mountain that shone in the eyes of those who wrote the Bible.”

According to the fourth verse of the eighth chapter of the Book of Genesis (Genesis 8:4), following a flood, Noah’s Ark landed on the “mountains of Ararat”. It means sacred land or high land, the name of a country on one of the mountains of which the ark rested after the Flood subsided ( Genesis 8:4 ).

In 2 Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38, the word is rendered “Armenia” in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, “Land of Ararat.” In Jeremiah 51:27 , the name denotes the central or southern portion of Armenia.

It is, however, generally applied to a high and almost inaccessible mountain which rises majestically from the plain of the Araxes. It has two conical peaks, about 7 miles apart, the one 14,300 feet and the other 10,300 feet above the level of the plain. Three thousand feet of the summit of the higher of these peaks is covered with perpetual snow.

According to F. C. Conybeare wrote that the mountain was a center and focus of pagan myths and cults […] and it was only in the eleventh century, after these had vanished from the popular mind, that the Armenian theologians ventured to locate on its eternal snows the resting-place of Noah’s ark.

The 13th century Franciscan missionary William of Rubruck is usually considered the earliest reference for the tradition of Mount Ararat as the landing place of the ark in European literature. The 14th century English traveler John Mandeville is another early author who mentioned Mount Ararat, “where Noah’s ship rested, and it is still there.”

In addition to referring to the famous Biblical mountain, Ararat also appears as the name of a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, mentioned together with Minni and Ashkenaz: “Raise a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations; prepare the nations for war against her, summon against her the kingdoms, Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a marshal against her, bring up horses like bristling locusts”.

Most historians and Bible scholars agree that “Ararat” is the Hebrew name of Urartu, the geographic predecessor of Armenia and referred to the wider region at the time and not the mountain today known as Ararat.

Indeed, the phrase is translated as “mountains of Armenia”. Mount Ararat is located in ancient Urartian territory, approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) north of its former capital. Nevertheless, Mount Ararat is considered the traditional site of the resting place of Noah’s Ark. It is therefore called a biblical mountain.

Scholars believe that Urartu is an Akkadian variation of Ararat of the Old Testament. “Urartu” is cognate with the Biblical “Ararat”, Akkadian “Urashtu” and Armenian “Ayrarat”. The Urartian toponym Biainili (or Biaineli) was adopted in the Old Armenian as Van. Hence the names “Kingdom of Van” or “Vannic Kingdom”.

The traditional Armenian name of the mountain is Masis (Մասիս; sometimes transliterated as Massis). However, nowadays, the terms Masis and Ararat are both widely, often interchangeably, used in Armenian. According to Armenian historian Sargis Petrosyan the mas root in Masis means “mountain”, cf. Proto-Indo-European *mņs-.

The folk etymology expressed in History of Armenia by Khorenatsi derives the name Masis from king Amasya, the great-grandson of the legendary Armenian patriarch Hayk, who is said to have called the mountain Masis after himself.

Hayk the Great, or The Great Hayk, also known as Hayk Nahapet (Hayk the “head of family” or patriarch), is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is told in the History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian Moses of Chorene (410 to 490).

Hayk is the “nahapet”, the progenitor or original patriarch, of the Armenians. He led his household of 300 away from Babylon, being pursued by its lord, Bel (“lord” or “master”), a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

Somewhere near Van, the ancient capital of urartian Armenia, a final battle took place between the siblings. Hayk beat Bel with an arrow. He unified the tribes, that altogether took the name Armenia (in armenian, Hayastan, after Hayk).

Armenian tradition has an eponymous ancestor, Aram, a lineal descendent of Hayk, son of Harma and father of Ara the Beautiful. Aram is sometimes equated with Arame of Urartu, the earliest known king of Urartu.

Arame or Aramu (Armenian: Արամե) (ruled 858–844 BC) was the first known king of Urartu. Living at the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria (ruled 859–824 BC), Arame united the Nairi tribe against the threat of the Assyrian Empire.

Arame has been suggested as the prototype of both Aram (and, correspondingly the popular given name Aram) and Ara the Beautiful, two of the legendary forefathers of the Armenian people.

Urartu, also known as Kingdom of Van, was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. It corresponds to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat. The landscape corresponds to the mountainous plateau between Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, and the Caucasus Mountains, later known as the Armenian Highlands.

Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “Kingdom of Urartu” are terms used in modern historiography for the Urartian-speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region. The kingdom rose to power in the mid-ninth century BC, but went into gradual decline. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms.

The name Urartu comes from Assyrian sources: Shalmaneser I (1263–1234 BC) recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of “Uruatri.” The Shalmaneser text uses the name Urartu to refer to a geographical region, not a kingdom, and names eight “lands” contained within Urartu (which at the time of the campaign were still disunited).

Boris Piotrovsky wrote that “the Urartians first appear in history in the 13th century BC as a league of tribes or countries which did not yet constitute a unitary state. Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was part of the Urartu confederation. Later, there is reference to a district in the area called Arme or Urme, which some scholars have linked to the name of Armenia.

Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi, who was one of the three chief deities of Urartu. His shrine was at Ardini, known in Assyrian as Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Of all the gods of the Urartian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to Khaldi. Khaldi was a warrior god to whom the kings of Urartu would pray for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons such as swords, spears, bows and arrows, and shields hung from the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art.

The language of the Urartians appears in cuneiform inscriptions. It is argued on linguistic evidence that proto-Armenian came in contact with Urartian at an early date (3rd-2nd millennium BC), before the formation of Urartu as a kingdom.

In the early sixth century BC, Urartu was replaced by the Armenian Orontid Dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun Inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius I, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in the Elamite language.

The name Armenia enters English via Latin, from Ancient Greek Ἀρμενία. The Armenian endonym for the Armenian people and country is hayer and hayk’, respectively. The exact etymology of the name is unknown, and there are various speculative attempts to connect it to older toponyms or ethnonyms.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

The kingdom of Mitanni, a state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from c. 1500–1300 BC., was a feudal state led by a warrior nobility of “Armeno-Aryan” origin. It was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians.

In the 33rd year of his reign, while he was in the Armenian Highlands in 1446 BC, Thutmose III of Egypt, referred to the people of Ermenen (Armenians), and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

To the east, they had good relations with the Kassites, a people of the ancient Near East, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1531 BC and until c. 1155 BC (short chronology).

The Kassite language has not been classified. However, several Kassite leaders bore Indo-European names, and they might have had an Indo-European elite similar to the Mitanni, who ruled over the Hurro-Urartian-speaking Hurrians of Asia Minor.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Graeco-(Armeno)-Aryan is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-third millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European homeland to be located in the Armenian Highlands, the “Armenian hypothesis”. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler’s 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.

Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and “Armeno-Aryan” (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).

Herodotus, in c. 440 BC, said “the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists” (7.73). Xenophon describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality. He relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.

Aratta (the Sumerian equivalent to Semitic Urartu and Indo European Armenia) is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.

In Sumerian literature Aratta is described as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach and home to the goddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk.

The Tower of Babel as told in Genesis 11:1-9 is an origin myth meant to explain why the world’s peoples speak different languages. According to the story, a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar (Sumer).

In Shinar they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world.

There is a Sumerian myth similar to that of the Tower of Babel, called Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, where Enmerkar of Uruk is building a massive ziggurat in Eridu and demands a tribute of precious materials from Aratta for its construction.

At one point reciting an incantation imploring the god Enki to restore (or in Kramer’s translation, to disrupt) the linguistic unity of the inhabited regions — named as Shubur, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki (Akkad), and the Martu land, “the whole universe, the well-guarded people — may they all address Enlil together in a single language.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: