Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for October, 2014

Bolivia passes “Law of Mother Earth”

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 31, 2014

“Each and every animal on Earth has as much right to be here as you and me.”

– Anthony Douglas Williams

 How To Stop An Oil And Gas Pipeline: The Unist’ot’en Camp Resistance

Bolivia passes “Law of Mother Earth” which gives rights to our planet as a living system. The Law of Mother Earth (“Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra”) holds the land as sacred and holds it as a living system with rights to be protected from exploitation, and creates 11 distinguished rights for the environment.

It was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly. This 10 article law is derived from the first part of a longer draft bill, drafted and released by the Pact of Unity by November 2010. Can we please spread this law? There has to be a way for the free market to interoperate with reverence for this planet. Period.

In accordance with the philosophy of Pachamama, it states, “She is sacred, fertile and the source of life that feeds and cares for all living beings in her womb. She is in permanent balance, harmony and communication with the cosmos. She is comprised of all ecosystems and living beings, and their self-organisation.”

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all,” said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”

The law enumerates seven specific rights to which Mother Earth and her constituent life systems, including human communities, are entitled to:

  • To life: It is the right to the maintenance of the integrity of life systems and natural processes which sustain them, as well as the capacities and conditions for their renewal
  • To the Diversity of Life: It is the right to the preservation of the differentiation and variety of the beings that comprise Mother Earth, without being genetically altered, nor artificially modified in their structure, in such a manner that threatens their existence, functioning and future potential
  • To water: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of water to sustain life systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Mother Earth and all its components
  • To clean air: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of air to sustain life systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Mother Earth and all its components
  • To equilibrium: It is the right to maintenance or restoration of the inter-relation, interdependence, ability to complement and functionality of the components of Mother Earth, in a balanced manner for the continuation of its cycles and the renewal of its vital processes
  • To restoration: It is the right to the effective and opportune restoration of life systems affected by direct or indirect human activities
  • To live free of contamination: It is the right for preservation of Mother Earth and any of its components with regards to toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities

Law of the Rights of Mother Earth

Bolivia’s Law Of Mother Earth Would Give Nature And Humans Equal Protection (VIDEO)

In Bolivia, Water and Ice Tell of Climate Change

Bolivia to Give Nature Same Rights as Humans

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Dagens terror i Sørvest Asia

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 28, 2014

Dette er typisk stormaktspolitikk. Politikere i Vesten, eller hvor hen de sitter, bestemmer seg for en plan, for eksempel det å velte Assad, og gjør dernest alle de ting som er nødvendig uansett konsekvenser. Man sanksjonerer og driver økonomisk krigføring, diplomatisk krigføring, samt støtter terrorister og opprørere i sitt forsøk på å velte den sittende regjeringen. Syria er offeret, og det skal slaktes. De ulike nabostatene, samt USA, støtter de ulike krigførende partene med våpen, trening og finanser.

Det hele er rett og slett et totalt hensynsløst spill, hvor man forsøker å sette inn sine folk i regjeringsposisjoner. Her er det ingen regler – alt er tillatt når det kommer til å stake ut den videre veien for landet og sette inn folk som frivillig vil strupe landets økonomi, og dernest folk. Man støtter terrorister, opprørere som de blir markedsført som i Vesten.

Disse har med opprettelsen av ISIL og et nytt kalifat gått for litt for langt. Men målet er ikke i seg selv å fjerne ISIL. Målet er å fjerne Assad. Dette på tross for at flertallet av den syriske befolkningen ønsker å ha ham ved makten, mens terroristene, som mer enn noe annet kriger om å ulike oljefelt for å slå kloa i pengene ved salg av olje, for det meste er utlendinger.

ISIL blir ikke nådeløst slått ned på ettersom også de spiller en rolle. De er med på å bekjempe Assad. Det er kun når de angriper andre mål at ISIL blir angrepet. Samtidig blir andre terroristgrupper, slik som FSA, støttet. Krigen er nå ved å spre seg til Libanon, men det er greit ettersom Libanon er et av de 7 landene i regionen man ønsker å gjennomføre regimeskifte i.

Libanon blir kanskje det neste offeret. Kurderne gjør situasjonen ennå mer spennende. Tyrkerne vil hverken ha ISIL eller kurderne, men aksepterer FSA, som kjemper en bitter kamp mot Assad. Hva kurderne selv synes er det ingen som spør om. Det handler om å sørge for at de ulike folkene eller maktene hverken får for mye eller for lite makt. Det handler om splitt og hersk.

Underveis kan et eller flere folkemord finne sted, og hvem vet om folk som assyrere og arameere etter dette kun vil være å finne i historiebøkene. De som avgjør dette arbeider i Vesten, i banklokaler, våpenfirmaer, regjeringer … USA er i dag et globalt imperium, så i likhet med det gamle Roma er det her avgjørelsene blir tatt. Det handler ikke om religion eller demokrati – det handler om kontrollen over folk og nasjoner, samt deres naturressurser. Og kampen er nådeløs.

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Discover the queen, the creater and defender of liberty and freedom

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 28, 2014

The Abzu (Cuneiform: ZU.AB; Sumerian: abzu; Akkadian: apsû) also called engur, (Cuneiform: LAGAB×HAL; Sumerian: engur; Akkadian: engurru) literally, ab=’water’ (or ‘semen’) zu=’to know’ or ‘deep’ was the name for fresh water from underground aquifers that was given a religious fertilizing quality in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology.

Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, and other sources of fresh water were thought to draw their water from the abzu. In the city Eridu, Enki’s temple was known as E2-abzu (house of the cosmic waters) and was located at the edge of a swamp, an abzu.

Certain tanks of holy water in Babylonian and Assyrian temple courtyards were also called abzu (apsû). Typical in religious washing, these tanks were similar to the washing pools of Islamic mosques, or the baptismal font in Christian churches.

The Sumerian god Enki (Ea in the Akkadian language) was believed to have lived in the abzu since before human beings were created. His mother Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically NAMMA), a primeval goddess, corresponding to Tiamat in Babylonian mythology, his wife Damgalnuna, his advisor Isimud and a variety of subservient creatures, such as the gatekeeper Lahmu, also lived in the abzu.

Abzu (apsû) is depicted as a deity only in the Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Elish, taken from the library of Assurbanipal (c 630 BCE) but which is about 500 years older. In this story, he was a primal being made of fresh water and a lover to another primal deity, Tiamat, who was a creature of salt water. The Enuma Elish begins:

When above the heavens did not yet exist nor the earth below, Apsu the freshwater ocean was there, the first, the begetter, and Tiamat, the saltwater sea, she who bore them all; they were still mixing their waters, and no pasture land had yet been formed, nor even a reed marsh…

Nammu was the Goddess Sea (Engur) that gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (earth) and the first gods, representing the Apsu, the fresh water ocean that the Sumerians believed lay beneath the earth, the source of life-giving water and fertility in a country with almost no rainfall.

Nammu is not well attested in Sumerian mythology. She may have been of greater importance prehistorically, before Enki took over most of her functions. An indication of her continued relevance may be found in the theophoric name of Ur-Nammu, the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur.

According to the Neo-Sumerian mythological text Enki and Ninmah, Enki is the son of An and Nammu. Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”. It is she who has the idea of creating mankind, and she goes to wake up Enki, who is asleep in the Apsu, so that he may set the process going.

The Atrahasis-Epos has it that Enlil requested from Nammu the creation of humans. And Nammu told him that with the help of Enki (her son) she can create humans in the image of gods.

Reay Tannahill in Sex in History (1980) singled out Nammu as the “only female prime mover” in the cosmogonic myths of antiquity.

Uraš or Urash, in Sumerian mythology is a goddess of earth, and one of the consorts of the sky god Anu. She is the mother of the goddess Ninsun and a grandmother of the hero Gilgamesh.

However, Uras may only have been another name for Antum, Anu’s wife. The name Uras even became applied to Anu himself, and acquired the meaning “heaven”. Ninurta also was apparently called Uras in later times.

Ereshkigal (EREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “great lady under earth”) was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler.

Ereshkigal is the sister and counterpart of Inanna, the symbol of nature during the non-productive season of the year. She was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom. It was said that she had been stolen away by Kur and taken to the underworld, where she was made queen unwillingly.

The goddess Inanna refers to Ereshkigal as her older sister in the Sumerian hymn “The Descent of Inanna” (which was also in later Babylonian myth, also called “The Descent of Inanna”). Inanna’s trip and return to the underworld is the most familiar of the myths concerning Ereshkigal.

Hel, the Nordic god, is the same as the Roman Caelus, Indian Kali, Armenian Khaldi etc etc – she is the same as the Sumerian Ereshkigal, while the Sumerian Uras/An became the Greek Uranus and the Indian Varuna. She was a god goddess before she was put under ground. Then she became the leader of Hell instead. The Sumerian Inanna, who took her place, became her younger sister. But Hel is not bad, she is god, and she is defending liberty and freedom.

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Historie, mytologi, religion, astrologi og nåtid

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 28, 2014

Historie, mytologi, religion, astrologi og nåtid er forbundet med hverandre som i en usynlig vev, en verdensvev der alle ting inkluderes. Forsker man på det ene feltet ser man paraleller i det andre.

Religion er i overensstemmelse med vitenskapen og fornuften, mens dette igjen er i overensstemmelse med religionen. Mens stjernene forteller om hvem vi er og om vår felles historie, så krystalliseres alle ting via historien, som danner bakgrunnen for nåtiden, og dermed samtidig skaper fremtiden.

Det er en enorm kraft, som både er spirituell og materiell, som står bak det hele. Noen velger å kalle det gud, noen bare skaperverket. Noen forsker på historien, mens andre studerer religionen. Alle veier fører til Roma, som det sies.

Selv hadde jeg en opplevelse for noen år siden som fikk meg til å gå inn i temaet. saken er den at jeg hadde demonstrert for rettferdighet, frihet, fred og bærekraft rundt om i Europa i forkant av Irak krigen, hvor jeg reiste til som levende skjold i et desperat forsøk på å stanse krigen før den var begynt. Jeg var dernest i Palestina, for der å forsøke å mobilisere og organisere motstand mot det israelske regime.

I tillegg til dette arbeidet jeg i Oslo med å skape motstand mot krigen og den nye verdensorden som blir tredd ned over hodene våre som om det var en potetsekk. Jeg skrev tekster og demonstrerte om hverandre.

Jeg publiserte blant annet tekster på Indymedia, et uavhengig grasrotmedia, som jeg tidligere hadde tatt initiativ til å starte, arbeidet for å utvikle Humla kultur og -revolusjonsverksted, som jeg også hadde tatt initiativ til, samt for å beholde og videreutvikle Hausmania kulturhus.

Men da USA i 2005/6 ytret ønske om å angripe Syria, slik de et par år tidligere hadde angrepet land som Afghanistan og Irak, så var det nok. Jeg visste ikke om noe annet å gjøre enn å ofre mitt eget liv. Vet ikke hvordan jeg fikk tanken, og visste vel ikke helt hva det betød heller, men trangen var der.

Jeg gikk igjennom en enorm spirituell prosess, eller en katarsis som enkelte vil kalle det. Jeg har i etterkant tenkt over om det kan ha vært psykose, men avslått tanken da jeg hverken før eller senere har slitt med noe slikt, på tross for at jeg anser meg selv som en borderliner, hvis dette kan defineres ut fra en person som balanserer mellom en spirituell og materiell tilværelse.

Jeg er oppvokst ateist, så dette med spiritualitet er noe jeg ikke har tatt lett på. Jeg er kritisk til sinns og godtar ikke saker som jeg ikke har konkrete bevis for. Jeg anser meg derfor som historiker, et fag tuftet på vitenskap, snarere enn religiøs eller spirituel.

Jeg er norsk, men har også armensk familiebakgrunn, selv om jeg på dette tidspunktet aldri hadde vært der. Min armenske farfar giftet seg med en norsk-hebreer og min far igjen gikk i nordmennenes fotspor. Jeg møtte min farfar kun et par ganger ettersom han levde i Frankrike, men hadde jevnlig kontakt med min farmor som bodde i Oslo.

Det var i forbindelse med de store demonstrasjonene i etterkant av WTO toppmøtet i Seattle i november/desember 1999 at jeg satte opp det uavhengige medienettverket Indymedia. Samtidig studerte jeg utviklingsstudier på høyskolen i Oslo, samt sosialantropologi på Blindern.

I etterkant av 911 satte jeg meg inn i Afghanistan og rdan situasjonen var blitt som den hadde blitt. Jeg fant da blant annet ut av at USA hadde etablert al Qaeda nettverket, samt mujahedeen, i Afghanistan for på den måten å fyre opp under fundamentalistisk Islam i sin kamp mot Sovjet. Stadig mer forsto jeg hvordan systemet, verdensarkitekturen, fungerte.

I etterkant av Irak krigen skrev jeg om situasjonen i Irak og hva som hadde ført til krigen, men samtidig om Iraks kulturarv, som var blitt plyndret og ødelagt som en følge av krigen. Jeg gikk inn i historien og begynte for alvor å forstå hvordan sivilisasjonen vår var blitt skapt.

Men etter hvert som jeg forsket videre på temaet så sto det stadig klarere for meg at roten til vår sivilisasjon befant seg lengre nord, i det armenske høylandet, eller rettere sagt det som på armensk er Portasar, eller det som har blitt kjent som Gobekli Tepe på tyrkisk.

Herfra spredde sivilisasjonen seg i alle retninger, inkludert Nord Afrika og hele Eurasia, hvis ikke ennå lenger. Den lingvistiske bakgrunnen er å finne i hurri-urartisk, som er et gammelt utdødd språk, men hvor armensk er den språklige og kulturelle arvtager. Vi snakker om arierne. Ikke indo-arierne, for de holder jo til i India, men om indoariernes forløpere.

I forbindelse med denne reisen tilbake i tid begynte jeg et omfattende studium av mytologi og religion, samt astrologi. Det ene ledet frem til det andre så og si. Jeg begynte med den materielle virkeligheten, historien, men gikk etter hvert inn på et stadig mer spirituelt nivå.

Jeg fant blant annet ut at religioner som kristendom og Islam har hedenske røtter og at flere av de bibelske historiene var faktiske hendelser nedtegnet av sumererne, at gudene i de ulike kulturene var de samme og at de delte den samme roten, samt at disse var forbundet med naturens rytmer og med stjernene. Kosmologi.

Samtidig fant ut at dette var i tråd med det faktiske historiske forløpet vi har gått igjennom siden sivilisasjonens start og at dagens samfunnsforhold og verdenssituasjon gjenspeiler det spirituelle nivået. Kunnskap om det ene feltet økte min forståelse av det andre feltet og omvendt. Det var gjenklang.

Og det er nettopp denne gjengklangen som jeg har forsøkt å formidle gjennom min blogg Aratta, som for øvrig er en stat som blir nevnt av sumererne i deres episke verk Enmerkar og herren i Aratta, samt veien jeg måtte gå for å komme frem til dit jeg er i dag. Veien videre er uklar, men stadig vekk åpenbarer tilværelsen seg på både materielt og spirituelt nivå.

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Lebanese Christians organize self-defense to fight ISIS

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 27, 2014

Lebanese soldiers patrol a field in the northern Lebanese village of Wadi Kahled near the Lebanese-Syrian border (Reuters / Omar Ibrahim)

The threat of Islamic State has crossed the borders of Syria to neighboring Lebanon, making Christians there arm themselves to defend their land and families from the extremists. RT goes to the Syrian-Lebanese border, to meet the militias.

More than 20 people have been killed in northern Lebanon in clashes between the army and Sunni militants in the past four days. AP quoted Lebanese security officials as saying that 12 soldiers and 10 civilians were killed while 92 soldiers and 63 civilians have been wounded since Friday.

‘We have to defend our land’: Lebanese Christians organize self-defense to fight ISIS

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Murray Bookchin and the Kurds

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 27, 2014

Murray Bookchin

Armenia

All people of South West Asia unite!

The Kurds

Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006) was an American anarchist and libertarian socialist author, orator, historian, and political theoretician. A pioneer in the ecology movement, Bookchin initiated the critical theory of social ecology within anarchist, libertarian socialist and ecological thought.

He was the author of two dozen books covering topics in politics, philosophy, history, urban affairs, and ecology. Among the most important were Our Synthetic Environment, Post-Scarcity Anarchism, and The Ecology of Freedom.

In the late 1990s he became disenchanted with the increasingly apolitical lifestylism of the contemporary anarchist movement and stopped referring to himself as an anarchist. Instead, he founded his own libertarian socialist ideology called Communalism.

Bookchin was an anti-capitalist and vocal advocate of the decentralisation of society along ecological and democratic lines. His writings on libertarian municipalism, a theory of face-to-face, assembly democracy, had an influence on the Green movement and anti-capitalist direct action groups such as Reclaim the Streets.

Though Bookchin, by his own recognition, failed to win over a substantial body of supporters during his own lifetime, his ideas have nonetheless influenced movements and thinkers across the globe. Notable among these is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a guerilla organisation in Turkey which has fought the Turkish state since the 1980s to try to secure greater political and cultural rights for the country’s Kurds.

Abdullah Öcalan (born 4 April 1948), also known as Apo (short for Abdullah and “uncle” in Kurdish), is one of the founding members of the militant organization the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 1978 in Turkey, which is listed as a terrorist organization internationally by some states and organizations, including NATO, the United States and the European Union.

Janet Biehl (born 1953) is a writer associated with social ecology, the body of ideas developed and publicized by Murray Bookchin. In 1986 she attended the Institute for Social Ecology and there began a collaborative relationship with Bookchin, working intensively with him over the next two decades in the explication of social ecology from their home in Burlington, Vermont. From 1987 to 2000 she and Bookchin co-wrote and co-published the theoretical newsletter Green Perspectives, later renamed Left Green Perspectives.

She is the editor and compiler of The Murray Bookchin Reader (1997); the author of The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism (1998) and Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics (1991); and coauthor (with Peter Staudenmaier) of Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience (1995).

She has also authored numerous articles about or related to Bookchin’s thought, especially libertarian municipalism, social ecology and eco-feminism. Bookchin considered her The Murray Bookchin Reader to be the best introduction to his work.

Biehl is a supporter of the Kurdish rights movement in Turkey. Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party, had become an avid reader of Bookchin’s work after he was captured and imprisoned in 1999 and tried to arrange a meeting with Bookchin before he died, but was unsuccessful. Following the 2006 death of Bookchin, Biehl became involved in pro-Kurdish activism. She has since translated the 2011 book Democratic Autonomy in North Kurdistan from German into English.

The PKK has a history with the al-Assad regime. Its founding leader Abdullah Öcalan had been based in the Syrian capital Damascus thanks to Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father, until Turkey threatened Syria with war in 1998. This ended up with Öcalan’s arrest in 1999.

Öcalan was arrested in 1999 by the CIA and Turkish security forces in Nairobi and taken to Turkey, where he was sentenced to death under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, which concerns the formation of armed gangs. The sentence was commuted to aggravated life imprisonment when Turkey abolished the death penalty in support of its bid to be admitted to membership in the European Union. From 1999 until 2009, he was the sole prisoner on the İmralı island, in the Sea of Marmara.

Since his incarceration, Öcalan has significantly changed his ideology, reading Western social theorists such as Murray Bookchin, Immanuel Wallerstein, Fernand Braudel, fashioned his ideal society as “Democratic Confederalism” (drawing heavily on Bookchin’s Communalism), and refers to Friedrich Nietzsche as “a prophet”.

He also wrote books and articles on the history of pre-capitalist Mesopotamia and Abrahamic religions. He is the author of more than 40 books, four of which were written in prison. Many of the notes taken from his weekly meetings with his lawyers have been edited and published.

Öcalan has acknowledged the violent nature of the PKK, but says that the period of armed warfare was defunct and a political solution to the Kurdish question should be developed. The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has resulted in over 40,000 deaths, including PKK members, the Turkish military, and civilians, both Kurdish and Turkish. From prison, Öcalan has published several books, the most recent in 2012.

Öcalan had his lawyer, Ibrahim Bilmez, release a statement 28 September 2006, calling on the PKK to declare a ceasefire and seek peace with Turkey. Öcalan’s statement said, “The PKK should not use weapons unless it is attacked with the aim of annihilation,” and that it is “very important to build a democratic union between Turks and Kurds. With this process, the way to democratic dialogue will be also opened”. He made another such declaration in March 2013.

On 31 May 2010, however, Öcalan said he was abandoning an ongoing dialogue between him and Turkey saying that “this process is no longer meaningful or useful”. Turkey ignored his three protocols for negotiation that included (a) his terms of health and security (b) his release and (c) a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey.

Though the Turkish government received these protocols, they were never published. Öcalan stated that he would leave the top PKK commanders in charge of the conflict. However, he also said that his comments should not be misinterpreted as a call for the PKK to intensify its armed conflict with the Turkish state.

More recently, Öcalan has shown renewed cooperation with the Turkish government and hope for a peaceful resolution to three decades of conflict. On 21 March 2013, Öcalan declared a ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish state.

Öcalan’s statement was read to hundreds of thousands of Kurds gathered to celebrate the Kurdish New Year and it states, “Let guns be silenced and politics dominate… a new door is being opened from the process of armed conflict to democratization and democratic politics. It’s not the end. It’s the start of a new era.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the statement and hope for a peaceful settlement has been raised on both sides. Soon after Öcalan’s declaration was read, the functional head of the PKK, Murat Karayılan responded by promising to implement the ceasefire, stating, “Everyone should know the PKK is as ready for peace as it is for war”.

On 25 April, PKK announced that it would be withdrawing all its forces within Turkey to Northern Iraq. According to government and to The Kurds and to the most of the press, this move marks the end of 30 year old conflict. Second phase which includes constitutional and legal changes towards the recognition of human rights of the Kurds starts simultaneously with withdrawal.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was founded in 2013, based on the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which previously called itself al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia (AQM). ISI was founded in 2004 in reaction to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. So, the U.S. is a leading actor in this theater from the beginning.

The renaming of ISI as ISIL was due to a vicious competition between the Iraqi and Syrian branches of al-Qaeda affiliated groups in the atmosphere of the civil war in Syria that started in 2011.

The al-Nusra Front was established in 2012 at a time when the makeshift Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was backed by the West and oil rich Arab counties of the Persian Gulf against the Bashar al-Assad regime, started to disintegrate. Al-Nusra was confirmed by al-Qaeda as its Syria branch in 2013.

PKK is active in Iran, Iraq (where its military HQ is based) and Syria. Its sister organization in Syria, the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), is now fighting against radical Islamist groups including ISIL in order to maintain its positions near the Turkish border. That brings us to the fight around the town of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) on the Syrian-Turkish border .

Turkey assisted the FSA, which disintegrated and gave birth to al-Nusra and then ISIL. One clear example of this was ISIL’s seizure of 49 hostages from Turkey’s Mosul consulate in June, before releasing them in September through secret diplomacy and a personnel swap. But Turkey was not alone.

For example, on the foreign fighters issue, EU countries like the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Belgium, whose citizens have been joining ISIL by travelling via Turkey, had declined until recently to give the names of the suspected militants.

In the Syrian theater there are four main actors now: Al-Assad, ISIL (now acting together with al-Nusra), the PKK and the FSA. Despite the ongoing peace process negotiations with the PKK, the parliamentary mandate to the government also includes anti-PKK operations. So Turkey is against al-Assad, ISIL and the PKK.

That is why when Salih Muslim, the leader of the PYD, was in Ankara over the weekend to ask for military support against ISIL, Turkish officials told him to make clear his position against al-Assad and join the FSA, in order to enjoy international assistance (including from Turkey).

By saying this, Ankara was also telling the PKK to stop winking at al-Assad, saying that until a final peace agreement is reached, Turkey and the PKK will remain enemies.

Similar to Erdoğan’s words about “neither ISIL, nor Assad,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said over the weekend that Turkey was not in a position to prefer the PKK over ISIL. Yıldız stressed that Turkey was against both. Isn’t it interesting that neither Turkey’s foreign minister nor its defense minister made that remark, but rather its energy minister?

Turkey’s recent bombing of positions held by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is in fact “de facto support” for the Takfiri ISIL group, which is launching attacks on a Kurdish Syrian border town near the border with Turkey.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces have made significant gains against Islamic State militants over the weekend, aided by coalition airstrikes. Kurds managed to take the Iraqi town of Zumar, while also repelling IS attacks on the strategic Syrian town of Kobani.

The town of Kobani has been under siege from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) for over a month until the Kurdish forces managed to mostly push the extremists out. On Sunday, Kurdish fighters managed to repel an attack on the important border crossing.

Murray Bookchin

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Long live Assyria!

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 27, 2014

Assyrian Christians deploy the first Battalion of the newly established Nineveh Plain Protection Units to defend the area against IS threat. American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) Calls on Assyrians Worldwide to Support the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU).

American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) Calls on Assyrians Worldwide to Support the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU)

American Mesopotamian Organization

Nineveh Plain Province

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The throne up through the history

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 26, 2014

Cultural continuity

The rise of patriarchy in the world came about with the diminished role of the Goddess in society. I’d like to say ‘Bring back the Goddess’ in regards to our present world circumstances but, you know, the Goddess never left – we either relegated her to sad diminished roles or did away with her altogether.

The word throne itself is from Greek thronos, “seat, chair”, in origin a derivation from the PIE root *dher- “to support” (also in dharma “post, sacrificial pole”).

Early Greek (Dios thronous) was a term for the “support of the heavens”, i.e. the axis mundi, which term when Zeus became an anthropomorphic god was imagined as the “seat of Zeus”.

In Ancient Greek, a “thronos” was a specific but ordinary type of chair with a footstool, a high status object but not necessarily with any connotaions of power.

The Achaeans (according to Homer) were known to place additional, empty thrones in the royal palaces and temples so that the gods could be seated when they wished to be. The most famous of these thrones was the throne of Apollo in Amyclae, a village in Laconia, southern Greece.

The Romans also had two types of thrones- one for the Emperor and one for the goddess Roma whose statues were seated upon thrones, which became centers of worship.

A throne is the seat of state of a potentate or dignitary, especially the seat occupied by a sovereign on state occasions; or the seat occupied by a pope or bishop on ceremonial occasions.

“Throne” in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as “the power behind the throne”.

When used in a political or governmental sense, throne typically refers to a civilization, nation, tribe, or other politically designated group that is organized or governed under an authoritarian system.

Throughout much of human history societies have been governed under authoritative systems, in particular dictatorial or autocratic systems, resulting in a wide variety of thrones that have been used by given heads of state. These have ranged from stools in places such as a Africa to ornate chairs and bench-like designs in Europe and Asia, respectively.

Often, but not always, a throne is tied to a philosophical or religious ideology held by the nation or people in question, which serves a dual role in unifying the people under the reigning monarch and connecting the monarch upon the throne to his or her predecessors, who sat upon the throne previously.

Accordingly, many thrones are typically held to have been constructed or fabricated out of rare or hard to find materials that may be valuable or important to the land in question. Depending on the size of the throne in question it may be large and ornately designed as an emplaced instrument of a nation’s power, or it may be symbolic chair with little or no precious materials incorporated into the design.

When used in a religious sense, throne can refer to one of two distinct uses. The first use derives from the practice in churches of having a bishop or higher ranking religious official (archbishop, Pope, etc) sit on a special chair which in church referred to by written sources as a “throne”, and is intended to allow such high ranking religious officials a place to sit in their place of worship.

The other use for throne refers to a belief among many of the world’s monotheistic and polytheistic religions that the deity or deities that they worship are seated on a throne.

Such beliefs go back to ancient times, and can be seen in surviving artwork and texts which discuss the idea of ancient gods (such as the Twelve Olympians) seated on thrones.

In the major Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the Throne of God is attested to in religious scriptures and teaches, although the origin, nature, and idea of the Throne of God in these religions differs according to the given religious ideologue practiced.

In the west, a throne is most identified as the seat upon which a person holding the title King, Queen, Emperor, or Empress sits in a nation using a monarchy political system, although there are a few exceptions, notably with regards to religious officials such as the Pope and bishops of various sects of the Christian faith.

Changing geo-political tides have resulted in the collapse of several dictatorial and autocratic governments, which in turn have left a number of thrones chairs empty, however the significance of a throne chair is such that many of these thrones – such as China’s Dragon Throne – survive today as historic examples of nation’s previous government.

Thrones were found throughout the canon of ancient furniture. The depiction of monarchs and deities as seated on chairs is a common topos in the iconography of the Ancient Near East.

Throne, the special chair for a king, queen, or other powerful person, or the seat of a deity, in Armenian is atʿoṙ (աթոռ-atʿoṙ +‎ -ակ-ak).

Aššur (Akkadian) (Ashur/Assyria, Assyrian / Aššur; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic / Ātûr), is a remnant city of the last Ashurite Kingdom. The remains of the city are situated on the western bank of the river Tigris, north of the confluence with the tributary Little Zab river, in modern-day Iraq, more precisely in the Al-Shirqat District (a small panhandle of the Salah al-Din Governorate).

The city was occupied from the mid-3rd millennium BC (Circa 2600–2500 BC) to the 14th Century AD, when Tamurlane conducted a massacre of its population.

Archaeology reveals the site of the city was occupied by the middle of the third millennium BC. This was still the Sumerian period, before the Assyrian kingdom emerged in the 23rd to 21st century BC.

The oldest remains of the city were discovered in the foundations of the Ishtar temple, as well as at the Old Palace. In the following Old Akkadian period, the city was ruled by kings from Akkad. During the “Sumerian Renaissance”, the city was ruled by a Sumerian governor.

Ashur (also, Assur, Aššur; written A-šur, also Aš-šùr) is an East Semitic god, and the head of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion, worshipped mainly in the northern half of Mesopotamia, and parts of north east Syria and south east Asia Minor which constituted old Assyria. He may have had a solar iconography.

Aššur was a deified form of the city of Assur (pronounced Ashur), which dates from the mid 3rd millennium BC and was the capital of the Old Assyrian kingdom.

As such, Ashur did not originally have a family, but as the cult came under southern Mesopotamian influence he came to be regarded as the Assyrian equivalent of Enlil, the chief god of Nippur, which was the most important god of the southern pantheon from the early 3rd millennium BC until Hammurabi founded an empire based in Babylon in the mid-18th century BC,after which Marduk replaced Enlil as the chief god in the south.

In the north, Ashur absorbed Enlil’s wife Ninlil (as the Assyrian goddess Mullissu) and his sons Ninurta and Zababa – this process began around the 14th century BC and continued down to the 7th century.

During the various periods of Assyrian conquest the Assyrians did not require conquered peoples to take up the worship of Ashur; instead, Assyrian imperial propaganda declared that the conquered peoples had been abandoned by their gods.

When Assyria conquered Babylon in the Sargonid period (8th-7th centuries BC), Assyrian scribes began to write the name of Ashur with the cuneiform signs AN.SHAR, literally “whole heaven” in Akkadian, the language of Assyria and Babylonia.

The intention seems to have been to put Ashur at the head of the Babylonian pantheon, where Anshar and his counterpart Kishar (“whole earth”) preceded even Enlil and Ninlil. Thus in the Sargonid version of the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian national creation myth, Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, does not appear, and instead it is Ashur, as Anshar, who slays Tiamat the chaos-monster and creates the world of humankind.

Ashur, together with a number of other Mesopotamian gods, continued to be worshipped by Assyrians long after the fall of Assyria, with temples being erected in his honour in Assyria (Athura/Assuristan) until the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, but by this time most Assyrians had adopted East Syrian Rite Christianity.

The city of Ashur, named in honour of the deity, was inhabited until the 14th century CE, when a massacre of Assyrian Christians by Tamurlane left it finally emptied. Ashur is still a common given and family name amongst Assyrians to this day.

Some scholars have claimed that Ashur was represented as the solar disc that appears frequently in Assyrian iconography. The symbols of Ashur include a winged disc with horns, enclosing four circles revolving round a middle circle; rippling rays fall down from either side of the disc; a circle or wheel, suspended from wings, and enclosing a warrior drawing his bow to discharge an arrow; the same circle; the warrior’s bow, however, is carried in his left hand, while the right hand is uplifted as if to bless his worshipers.

An Assyrian standard, which probably represented the “world column”, has the disc mounted on a bull’s head with horns. The upper part of the disc is occupied by a warrior, whose head, part of his bow, and the point of his arrow protrude from the circle.

The rippling water rays are V-shaped, and two bulls, treading river-like rays, occupy the divisions thus formed. There are also two heads—a lion’s and a man’s—with gaping mouths, which may symbolize tempests, the destroying power of the sun, or the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates.

Jastrow regards the winged disc as “the purer and more genuine symbol of Ashur as a solar deity”. He calls it “a sun disc with protruding rays”, and says: “To this symbol the warrior with the bow and arrow was added—a despiritualization that reflects the martial spirit of the Assyrian empire”.

Hathor (Egyptian: ḥwt-ḥr and from Greek: “mansion of Horus”) is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt.

Hathor was worshiped by Royalty and common people alike in whose tombs she is depicted as “Mistress of the West” welcoming the dead into the next life. In other roles she was a goddess of music, dance, foreign lands and fertility who helped women in childbirth, as well as the patron goddess of miners.

The cult of Hathor predates the historic period, and the roots of devotion to her are therefore difficult to trace, though it may be a development of predynastic cults which venerated fertility, and nature in general, represented by cows.

Hathor is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with horns in which is set a sun disk with Uraeus. Twin feathers are also sometimes shown in later periods as well as a menat necklace.

Hathor may be the cow goddess who is depicted from an early date on the Narmer Palette and on a stone urn dating from the 1st dynasty that suggests a role as sky-goddess and a relationship to Horus who, as a sun god, is “housed” in her.

The Ancient Egyptians viewed reality as multi-layered in which deities who merge for various reasons, while retaining divergent attributes and myths, were not seen as contradictory but complementary. In a complicated relationship Hathor is at times the mother, daughter and wife of Ra and, like Isis, is at times described as the mother of Horus, and associated with Bast.

The name Isis means “Throne”. Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided.

The first secure references to Isis date back to the 5th dynasty. Her name appears for the first time in the sun temple of king Niuserre and on a statue of an priest named Pepi-Ankh, who worshipped at the very beginning of 6th dynasty and bore the title “high priest of Isis and Hathor”.

The cult of Osiris promised eternal life to those deemed morally worthy. Originally the justified dead, male or female, became an Osiris but by early Roman times females became identified with Hathor and men with Osiris.

The Ancient Greeks identified Hathor with the goddess Aphrodite, while in Roman mythology she corresponds to Venus.

In Mesopotamian mythology, Gugalanna (lit. “The Great Bull of Heaven” < Sumerian gu “bull”, gal “great”, an “heaven”, -a “of”) was a Sumerian deity as well as the constellation known today as Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

The identification of the constellation of Taurus with a bull is very old, certainly dating to the Chalcolithic, and perhaps even to the Upper Paleolithic. Michael Rappenglück of the University of Munich believes that Taurus is represented in a cave painting at the Hall of the Bulls in the caves at Lascaux (dated to roughly 15,000 BC), which he believes is accompanied by a depiction of the Pleiades.

The name “seven sisters” has been used for the Pleiades in the languages of many cultures, including indigenous groups of Australia, North America and Siberia. This suggests that the name may have a common ancient origin.

Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC, after which it moved into the neighboring constellation Aries. The Pleiades were closest to the Sun at vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC.

Taurus was a constellation of the Northern Hemisphere Spring Equinox from about 3,200 BCE. It marked the start of the agricultural year with the New Year Akitu festival (from á-ki-ti-še-gur10-ku5, = sowing of the barley), an important date in Mespotamian religion.

In the time in which this myth was composed, the Akitu festival at the Spring Equinox, due to the Precession of the Equinoxes did not occur in Aries, but in Taurus. At this time of the year, Taurus would have disappeared as it was obscured by the sun.

“Between the period of the earliest female figurines circa 4500 B.C. … a span of a thousand years elapsed, during which the archaeological signs constantly increase of a cult of the tilled earth fertilised by that noblest and most powerful beast of the recently developed holy barnyard, the bull – who not only sired the milk yielding cows, but also drew the plow, which in that early period simultaneously broke and seeded the earth.

Moreover by analogy, the horned moon, lord of the rhythm of the womb and of the rains and dews, was equated with the bull; so that the animal became a cosmological symbol, uniting the fields and the laws of sky and earth.”

In Babylonian astronomy, the constellation was listed in the MUL.APIN as GU.AN.NA, “The Heavenly Bull”. 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 was a primeval deity of the Hurrian mythology. He is considered to have housed “the Hosts of Sky”, the divine family, because he was a progenitor of the gods, and possibly the father of Earth.

After nine years of reign, Alalu was defeated by his son Anu. Anuʻs son Kumarbi also defeated his father, and his son Teshub defeated him, too, while Alalu fled to the underworld. Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian creation myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

The word “Alalu” borrowed from Semitic mythology and is a compound word made up of the Semitic definite article “Al” and the Semitic supreme deity “Alu.” The “u” at the end of the word is a termination to denote a grammatical inflection. Thus, “Alalu” may also occur as “Alali” or “Alala” depending on the position of the word in the sentence. He was identified by the Greeks as Hypsistos. He was also called Alalus

Gugalanna was sent by the gods to take retribution upon Gilgamesh for rejecting the sexual advances of the goddess Inanna. Gugalanna, whose feet made the earth shake, was slain and dismembered by Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

Inanna, from the heights of the city walls looked down, and Enkidu took the haunches of the bull shaking them at the goddess, threatening he would do the same to her if he could catch her too. For this impiety, Enkidu later dies.

Gugalanna was the first husband of the Goddess Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead, a gloomy place devoid of light. It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld.

The death of Gugalanna, represents the obscuring disappearance of this constellation as a result of the light of the sun, with whom Gilgamesh was identified.

Baldr (also Balder, Baldur) is a god of light and purity in Norse mythology, and a son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg. He has numerous brothers, such as Thor and Váli.

Apart from this description Baldr is known primarily for the story of his death. His death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. Baldr will be reborn in the new world, according to Völuspá.

Enki is a god in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians.

Early royal inscriptions from the third millennium BCE mention “the reeds of Enki”. Reeds were an important local building material, used for baskets and containers, and collected outside the city walls, where the dead or sick were often carried. This links Enki to the Kur or underworld of Sumerian mythology.

In another even older tradition, Nammu, the goddess of the primeval creative matter and the mother-goddess portrayed as having “given birth to the great gods,” was the mother of Enki, and as the watery creative force, was said to preexist Ea-Enki.

Benito states “With Enki it is an interesting change of gender symbolism, the fertilising agent is also water, Sumerian “a” or “Ab” which also means “semen”. In one evocative passage in a Sumerian hymn, Enki stands at the empty riverbeds and fills them with his ‘water'”.

This may be a reference to Enki’s hieros gamos, a sacred marriage where divine principles in the form of dualistic opposites came together as male and female to give birth to the cosmos, with Ki/Ninhursag (the Earth).

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The roots of the Urartian/Vannic/Khaldian/Haldian scripture

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 26, 2014

Ararat-Urartu-Armenia

Land of Aratta-Armanum-Ararat-Urartu-Armenia

(different synonyms used by different peoples throughout different times for the same land and people)

The homeland of the Sumerians

The Samarra bowl, at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin

The swastika in the center of the design is a reconstruction

Swastika – in the “Vinca script” 6000-7000 BC

Aratta

Aratta, mentioned in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, where a previous confusion of the languages of mankind is mentioned, 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.

Aratta 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. It is home to the goddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk. It is conquered by Enmerkar of Uruk.

The goddess Inanna resides in Aratta, but Enmerkar of Uruk pleases her more than does the lord of Aratta, who is not named in this epic. Enmerkar wants Aratta to submit to Uruk, bring stones down from the mountain, craft gold, silver and lapis lazuli, and send them, along with “kugmea” ore to Uruk to build a temple.

Inanna bids him send a messenger to Aratta, who ascends and descends the “Zubi” mountains, and crosses Susa, Anshan, and “five, six, seven” mountains before approaching Aratta. Aratta in turn wants grain in exchange.

However Inana transfers her allegiance to Uruk, and the grain gains the favor of Aratta’s people for Uruk, so the lord of Aratta challenges Enmerkar to send a champion to fight his champion. Then the god Ishkur makes Aratta’s crops grow.

Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana – The lord of Aratta, who is here named En-suhgir-ana (or Ensuhkeshdanna), challenges Enmerkar of Uruk to submit to him over the affections of Inanna, but he is rebuffed by Enmerkar.

A sorcerer from the recently defeated Hamazi then arrives in Aratta, and offers to make Uruk submit. The sorcerer travels to Uruk where he bewitches Enmerkar’s livestock, but a wise woman outperforms his magic and casts him into the Euphrates; En-suhgir-ana then admits the loss of Inanna, and submits his kingdom to Uruk.

Subartu

The land of Subartu (Akkadian Šubartum/Subartum/ina Šú-ba-ri, Assyrian mât Šubarri) or Subar (Sumerian Su-bir4/Subar/Šubur) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature. The name also appears as Subari in the Amarna letters, and, in the form Šbr, in Ugarit, and came to be known as the Hurrians or Subarians and their country was known as Subir, Subartu or Shubar.

Subartu was apparently a polity in Northern Mesopotamia, at the upper Tigris. Most scholars accept Subartu as an early name for Assyria proper on the Tigris, although there are various other theories placing it sometimes a little farther to the east, north or west of there.

The precise location of Subartu has not been identified. From the point of view of the Akkadian Empire, Subartu marked the northern geographical horizon, just as Martu, Elam and Sumer marked “west”, “east” and “south”, respectively.

The Sumerian mythological epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta lists the countries where the “languages are confused” as Subartu, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki (Akkad), and the Martu land (the Amorites).

Similarly, the earliest references to the “four quarters” by the kings of Akkad name Subartu as one of these quarters around Akkad, along with Martu, Elam, and Sumer. Subartu in the earliest texts seem to have been farming mountain dwellers, frequently raided for slaves.

I. J. Gelb and E. A. Speiser believed East Semitic speaking Assyrians/Subarians had been the linguistic and ethnic substratum of northern Mesopotamia since earliest times, while Hurrians were merely late arrivals. It is now believed that the Hurrians had lived in these areas since earliest times, while the Semites were late arrivals.

Aššur

Aššur (Akkadian) (Ashur/Assyria, Assyrian / Aššur; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic / Ātûr), is a remnant city of the last Ashurite Kingdom. The remains of the city are situated on the western bank of the river Tigris, north of the confluence with the tributary Little Zab river, in modern-day Iraq, more precisely in the Al-Shirqat District (a small panhandle of the Salah al-Din Governorate).

The city was occupied from the mid-3rd millennium BC (Circa 2600–2500 BC) to the 14th Century AD, when Tamurlane conducted a massacre of its population.

Archaeology reveals the site of the city was occupied by the middle of the third millennium BC. This was still the Sumerian period, before the Assyrian kingdom emerged in the 23rd to 21st century BC.

The oldest remains of the city were discovered in the foundations of the Ishtar temple, as well as at the Old Palace. In the following Old Akkadian period, the city was ruled by kings from Akkad. During the “Sumerian Renaissance”, the city was ruled by a Sumerian governor.

Aššur is also the name of the chief deity of the city. He was considered the highest god in the Assyrian pantheon and the protector of the Assyrian state. In the Mesopotamian mythology he was the equivalent of Babylonian Marduk.

Aššur is the name of the city, of the land ruled by the city, and of its tutelary deity. At a late date it appears in Assyrian literature in the forms An-sar, An-sar (ki), which form was presumably read Assur. The name of the deity is written A-šur or Aš-sùr, and in Neo-assyrian often shortened to Aš.

In the Creation tablet, the heavens personified collectively were indicated by this term An-sar, “host of heaven,” in contradistinction to the earth, Ki-sar, “host of earth.”

In the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish, Anshar (also spelled Anshur), which means “sky pivot” or “sky axle”, is a sky god. He is the husband of his sister Kishar. They might both represent heaven (an) and earth (ki). Both are the second generation of gods; their parents being the serpents Lahmu and Lahamu and grandparents Tiamat and Abzu. They, in turn, are the parents of Anu, another sky god.

In view of this fact, it seems highly probable that the late writing An-sar for Assur was a more or less conscious attempt on the part of the Assyrian scribes to identify the peculiarly Assyrian deity Asur with the Creation deity An-sar.

During the reign of Sargon II, Assyrians started to identify Anshar with their Assur in order to let him star in their version of Enuma Elish. In this mythology Anshar’s spouse was Ninlil. They do evil, unspeakable things. Then, Abzu decides to try to destroy them. They both hear of the plan and kill him first.

Tiamat gets outraged and gives birth to 11 children. They then kill them both and then are outmatched by anyone. Marduk (God of rain/thunder/lightning) kills Tiamat by wrapping a net around her and summoning the 4 winds to make her swell, then Marduk shoots an arrow into her and kills her. Half of her body is then divided to create the heavens and the Earth. He uses her tears to make rivers on Earth and take her blood to make humans.

On the other hand, there is an epithet Asir or Ashir (“overseer”) applied to several gods and particularly to the deity Asur, a fact which introduced a third element of confusion into the discussion of the name Assur. It is probable then that there is a triple popular etymology in the various forms of writing the name Assur; viz. A-usar, An-sar and the stem asdru.

If this name /Anšar/ is derived from */Anśar/, then it may be related to the Egyptian hieroglyphic /NṬR/ (“god”), since hieroglyphic Egyptian /Ṭ/ may be etymological */Ś/.

Humbaba

In Ancient Mesopotamian religion, Humbaba or Huwawa, also Humbaba the Terrible, was a monstrous giant of immemorial age raised by Utu, the Sun. Humbaba was the guardian of the Cedar Forest, where the gods lived, by the will of the god Enlil, who “assigned [Humbaba] as a terror to human beings.” He is the brother of Pazuzu and Enki and son of Hanbi.

Hebat, also transcribed, Kheba or Khepat, was the mother goddess of the Hurrians, known as “the mother of all living”. She is also a Queen of the deities. She is married to Teshub and is the mother of Sarruma and Alanzu, as well mother-in-law of the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

The name may be transliterated in different versions – Khebat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version. In the Hurrian language Hepa is the most likely pronunciation of the name of the goddess. In modern literature the sound /h/ in cuneiform sometimes is transliterated as kh.

The Hittite sun goddess Arinniti was later assimilated with Hebat. A prayer of Queen Puduhepa makes this explicit: “To the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of Heaven and Earth. Sun-goddess of Arinna, thou art Queen of all countries! In the Hatti country thou bearest the name of the Sun-goddess of Arinna; but in the land which thou madest the cedar land thou bearest the name Hebat.”

Hebat was venerated all over the ancient Near East. Her name appears in many theophoric personal names. A king of Jerusalem mentioned in the Amarna letters was named Abdi-Heba, possibly meaning “Servant of Hebat”. She is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele. During Aramaean times Hebat also appears to have become identified with the goddess Hawwah, or Eve.

Armani/Armanum

Armani, (also given as Armanum) was an ancient kingdom mentioned by Sargon of Akkad and his grandson Naram-Sin of Akkad as stretching from Ibla (Ib-la, Eber/Abel) to Bit-Nanib, its location is heavily debated, and it continued to be mentioned in the later Assyrian inscriptions.

Urartu

Urartu (Assyrian: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu), corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat (Armenian: Արարատյան Թագավորություն) or Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biai, Biainili;) was an Iron Age kingdom located in the region of Lake Van, with its capital near the site of the modern town of Van, in the Armenian Highland, modern-day Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey.

Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Proto-Armenian (Hurro-Urartian) speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region.

That a distinction should be made between the geographical and the political entity was already pointed out by König (1955). The landscape corresponds to the mountainous plateau between Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and the Caucasus mountains, later known as the Armenian Highlands.

The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but was conquered by Media in the early 6th century BC. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms.

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.

In the Assyrian annals the term Uruatri (Urartu) as a name for this league was superseded during a considerable period of years by the term “land of Nairi”.

Scholars believe that Urartu is an Akkadian variation of Ararat of the Old Testament. Indeed, Mount Ararat is located in ancient Urartian territory, approximately 120 km north of its former capital.

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.

In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian Kingdom was replaced by the Armenian Orontid dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius the Great of Persia, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in Elamite.

Shubria 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 Armenia.

Khaldi/Ḫaldi/Hayk

Scholars such as Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after their god Khaldi (also known as Ḫaldi or Hayk) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini. The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Hayk or Hayg, also known as Haik Nahapet (Հայկ Նահապետ, Hayk the Tribal Chief) 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).

A connection was made in Armenian historiography of the Soviet era, with Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa mentioned in Hittite inscriptions, 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 Hayasa-Azzi confederation was in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1190 BC.

Haya/Nidaba

In Sumerian mythology the god Haya is known both as a “door-keeper” and associated with the scribal arts. His functions are two-fold: he appears to have served as a door-keeper but was also associated with the scribal arts, and may have had an association with grain.

Haia is mentioned together with dlugal-[ki-sá-a], a divinity associated with door-keepers. Already in the Ur III period Haya had received offerings together with offerings to the “gate”. This was presumably because of the location of one of his shrines.

At least from the Old Babylonian period on he is known as the spouse of the grain-goddess Nidaba/Nissaba, who is also the patroness of the scribal art. From the same period we have a Sumerian hymn composed in his honour, which celebrates him in these capacities.

The hymn is preserved exclusively at Ur, leading Charpin to suggest that it was composed to celebrate a visit by king Rim-Sin of Larsa (r. 1822-1763 BCE) to his cella in the Ekišnugal, Nanna’s main temple at Ur.

While there is plenty of evidence to connect Haya with scribes, the evidence connecting him with grain is mainly restricted to etymological considerations, which are unreliable and suspect. There is also a divine name Haia(-)amma in a bilingual Hattic-Hittite text from Anatolia which is used as an equivalent for the Hattic grain-goddess Kait in an invocation to the Hittite grain-god Halki, although it is unclear whether this appellation can be related to dha-ià.

Haya is also characterised, beyond being the spouse of Nidaba/Nissaba, as an “agrig”-official of the god Enlil. He is designated as “the Nissaba of wealth”, as opposed to his wife, who is the “Nissaba of Wisdom”.

Attempts have also been made to connect the remote origins of dha-ià with those of the god Ea (Ebla Ḥayya), although there remain serious doubts concerning this hypothesis. How or whether both are related to a further western deity called Ḥayya is also unclear.

Haya is the spouse of Nidaba/Nissaba, goddess of grain and scribes. Nidaba was the patron deity of the city of Ereš (Uruk), which has not yet been identified geographically although it is known to have been in southern Mesopotamia. She reflects fundamental developments in the creation of Mesopotamian culture, those which take us from agriculture to accounting, to a very fine literary tradition.

Nidaba was originally an agricultural deity, more specifically a goddess of grain. The intricate connection between agriculture and accounting/writing implied that it was not long before Nidaba became the goddess of writing. From then on her main role was to be the patron of scribes. She was eventually replaced in that function by the god Nabu.

Traditions vary regarding the genealogy of Nidaba. She appears on separate occasions as the daughter of Enlil, of Uraš, of Ea, and of Anu. Nidaba’s spouse is Haya and together they have a daughter, Sud/Ninlil. Two myths describe the marriage of Sud/Ninlil with Enlil.

This implies that Nidaba could be at once the daughter and the mother-in-law of Enlil. Nidaba is also the sister of Ninsumun, the mother of Gilgameš. Nidaba is frequently mentioned together with the goddess Nanibgal who also appears as an epithet of Nidaba, although most god lists treat her as a distinct goddess.

In a debate between Nidaba and Grain, Nidaba is syncretised with Ereškigal as “Mistress of the Underworld”. Nidaba is also identified with the goddess of grain Ašnan, and with Nanibgal/Nidaba-ursag/Geme-Dukuga, the throne bearer of Ninlil and wife of Ennugi, throne bearer of Enlil.

Urartian/Vannic/Khaldian/Haldian

Urartian, Vannic, and (in older literature) Chaldean (Khaldian, or Haldian) are conventional names for the language spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu. It was probably spoken by the majority of the population around Lake Van and in the areas along the upper Zab valley.

First attested in the 9th century BC, Urartian ceased to be written after the fall of the Urartian state in 585 BCE, and presumably it became extinct due to the fall of Urartu. It must have been replaced by an early form of Armenian, perhaps during the period of Achaemenid Persian rule, although it is only in the fifth century CE that the first written examples of Armenian appear.

Urartian was an ergative, agglutinative language, which belongs to neither the Semitic nor the Indo-European families but to the Hurro-Urartian family (whose only other known member is Hurrian). Igor Diakonoff and others have suggested ties between the Hurro-Urartian languages and the Northeastern Caucasian languages.

Urartian is closely related to Hurrian, a somewhat better documented language attested for an earlier, non-overlapping period, approximately from 2000 BCE to 1200 BCE (written by native speakers until about 1350 BCE).

The two languages must have developed quite independently from approximately 2000 BCE onwards. Although Urartian is not a direct continuation of any of the attested dialects of Hurrian, many of its features are best explained as innovative developments with respect to Hurrian as we know it from the preceding millennium.

The closeness holds especially true of the so-called Old Hurrian dialect, known above all from Hurro-Hittite bilingual texts. By the Early Iron Age, the Hurrians had been assimilated with other peoples, except perhaps in the kingdom of Urartu. According to a hypothesis by I.M. Diakonoff and S. Starostin, the Hurrian and Urartian languages are related to the Northeast Caucasian languages.

It survives in many inscriptions found in the area of the Urartu kingdom, written in the Assyrian cuneiform script. There have been claims of a separate autochthonous script of “Urartian hieroglyphs” but these remain unsubstantiated.

The German scholar Friedrich Eduard Schulz, who discovered the Urartian inscriptions of the Lake Van region in 1826, made copies of several cuneiform inscriptions at Tushpa, but made no attempt at decipherment.

After the decipherment of Assyrian cuneiform in the 1850s, Schulz’s drawings became the basis of deciphering the Urartian language. It soon became clear that it was unrelated to any known language, and attempts at decipherment based on known languages of the region failed. The script was finally deciphered in 1882 by A. H. Sayce. The oldest of these inscriptions is from the time of Sarduri I of Urartu, whose title was ‘King of the Four Quarters’.

Decipherment only made progress after World War I, with the discovery of Urartian-Assyrian bilingual inscriptions at Kelišin and Topzawä.

In 1963, a grammar of Urartian was published by G. A. Melikishvili in Russian, appearing in German translation in 1971. In the 1970s, the genetic relation with Hurrian was established by I. M. Diakonoff.

The oldest delivered texts originate from the reign of Sarduri I, from the late 9th century BC. and were produced until the fall of the realm of Urartu approximately 200 years later.

Approximately two hundred inscriptions written in the Urartian language, which adopted and modified the cuneiform script, have been discovered to date.

Urartian cuneiform is a standardized simplification of Neo-Assyrian cuneiform. Unlike in Assyrian, each sign only expresses a single sound value. The sign gi has the special function of expressing a hiatus, e.g. u-gi-iš-ti for Uīšdi. A variant script with non-overlapping wedges was in use for rock inscriptions.

Urartian was also rarely written in the “Anatolian hieroglyphs” used for the Luwian language. Evidence for this is restricted to Altıntepe, an ancient Urartian site located in Üzümlü district of Erzincan Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey.

There are suggestions that besides the Luwian hieroglyphic inscriptions, Urartu also had a native hieroglyphic script. The inscription corpus is too sparse to substantiate the hypothesis. It remains unclear whether the symbols in question form a coherent writing system, or represent just a multiplicity of uncoordinated expressions of proto-writing or ad-hoc drawings.

Decipherment of the Vannic cuneiform characters

Even before the discovery of Sumerian, cuneiform inscriptions had been copied on the rocks and quarried stones of Armenia, which, when the characters composing them came to be read, proved to belong to a language as novel and as apparently unrelated to any other as Sumerian itself.

As far back as 1826 a young scholar of the name of Schulz had been sent by the French Government to Van in Armenia, where, according to Armenian writers, Semiramis, the fabled queen of Assyria, had once left her monuments. Here Schulz actually found that the cliff on which the ancient fortress of the city stood was covered with lines of cuneiform characters, and similar inscriptions soon came to light in other parts of the country.

Before Schulz, however, could return to Europe he was murdered (in 1829) by a Kurdish chief, whose guest he had been. But his papers were recovered, and the copies of the inscriptions he had made were published in 1840 in the Journal Asiatique (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1848, ix. pp. 387 sqq.).

The first to attempt to read them was Dr. Hincks, whom no problem in decipherment ever seemed to baffle. The char­acters, he showed, were practically identical with those found in the Assyrian texts, the values of many of which had now been ascertained; but Hincks, with his usual acuteness, went on to use the Armenian or Vannic inscriptions for settling the values of other Assyrian characters which had not as yet been determined.

In 1848 he was already able to read the names of the Vannic kings and fix their succession, to make out the sense of several passages in the texts, and to indicate the nominative and accusative suffixes of the noun.

Here Vannic decipherment rested for many years. There was no difficulty in reading the inscriptions phonetically, for they were written in a very simplified form of the Assyrian syllabary; but the language which was thus revealed stood isolated and alone, without linguistic kindred either ancient or modern. The various attempts made to decipher it were all failures.

So things remained until 1882-3, when I published my Memoir on “The Decipherment of the Vannic Inscriptions ” in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. Here for the first time translations were given of the inscriptions, together with a commentary, grammar and vocabulary.

At the same time I settled the chronological place of the Vannic kings, which had hitherto been uncertain, as well as the geography of the country over which they ruled, and analyzed the ancient religion of the people as made known to us by the decipherment of the texts.

In revising and supplementing Schulz’s copies of the inscriptions I had obtained the help of squeezes taken by Layard and Rassam. The task of decipherment was, after all, not so hard a matter as the absence of a bilingual text might make it appear.

The want of a bilingual was compensated by the numerous ideographs and “ determinatives ” scattered through the inscriptions, which indicated their general meaning, pointed out to the decipherer the names of countries, cities, individuals and the like, and gave him the significa­tion of the phonetically-written words which in parallel passages often replaced them.

Moreover, the French Assyriologist, Stanislas Guyard, and myself had inde­pendently made the discovery that a clause which frequently comes at the end of a Vannic inscription corresponds with the imprecatory formula of the Assyrians, while the decipherment of the inscriptions led to the further discovery that not only had the characters employed in them been borrowed from the Assyrians in the time of the Assyrian conqueror, Assur-natsir-pal, but that many of the phrases used in Assur-natsir-pal’s texts had been borrowed at the same time.

Other scholars soon appeared to pursue and extend my work, more especially Drs. Belck and Lehmann, whose expedition to Armenia in 1898 has placed at our disposal a large store of fresh material. Amongst this fresh material are two long bilingual inscriptions, in Vannic and Assyrian, one of which had been dis­covered by de Morgan in 1890.

These have verified my system of decipherment, have increased our know­ledge of the Vannic vocabulary, have corrected a few errors, and, I am bound to add, have in one or two cases justified renderings of mine to which exception had been taken. A historical Vannic text can now be read with almost as much certainty as an Assyrian one.

With the discovery of the language spoken in Armenia before the arrival of the modern Armenians the list of lost languages and dialects brought to light by the decipherment of the cuneiform script is by no means exhausted.

Among the tablets found in 1887 at Tel el-Amarna in Upper Egypt was a long letter from the king of Mitanni or Northern Mesopotamia in the native language of his country, which has been partially deciphered by Messer- schmidt, Jensen and myself. (“ On the Language of Mitanni” in Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archeology, 1900, pp. 171 sqqand Leopold Messerschmidt in the Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, 1899, part iv. pp. 175 sqq.).

The language turns out to be distantly related to the Vannic, but is of a much more complicated description. Two of the other letters in the same collection were in yet another previously unknown language, which the contents of one of them showed to be that of a kingdom in Asia Minor called Arzawa.

Since then tablets have been found at Boghaz Keui in Cappa­docia, on the site of the ancient capital of the Hittites, which are in the same dialect and form of cuneiform writing, and prove that in them we have discovered at last actual relics of the Hittite tongue.

Thanks to the light thrown upon them by a tablet from the same locality, which I obtained last year, it is now possible to raise the veil which has hitherto concealed the Hittite language, and in a Paper which will shortly be printed I have succeeded in partially translating the texts and sketching the outlines of their grammar. But any detailed account of these discoveries must be reserved for a future chapter; at present I can do no more than refer briefly to these latest problems in cuneiform decipherment.

That other problems still await us cannot be doubted. The number of different languages which the decipherment of the cuneiform script has thus far revealed to us is an assurance that, as excavation and research proceed, fresh languages will come to light which have employed the cuneiform syllabary as a means of expression.

Indeed, we already know that it was used by the Kossceans, wild mountaineers who skirted the eastern frontiers of Babylonia, and a list of whose words has been preserved in a cuneiform tablet,1 and also that there was a time, before the introduction of the Phoenician alphabet, when “the language of Canaan ”—better known as Hebrew—was written in cuneiform characters. Canaanite glosses are found in the Tel el-Amarna tablets, and two Sidonian seals exist in which the cuneiform syllabary is employed to represent the sounds of Canaanitish speech.2

And the key to all this varied literature, this medley of languages, the very names of which had perished, was a simple guess ! But it was a scientific guess, made in accordance with scientific method, and based upon sound scientific reasoning.

It is true that it needed the slow and patient work of genera­tions of scholars before the guess could ripen into maturity ; the discovery of the value of a single letter in the Old Persian alphabet was sometimes the labour of a lifetime; but, like the seed of the mustard tree, the guess contained within itself all the promise of its future growth.

On the day when Grotefend identified the names of Darius and Xerxes, the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions, and therewith of the history, the theology and the civiliz­ation of the ancient Oriental world, was potentially accomplished.

The Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions by the Rev. A. H. Sayce

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Importance of the Armenian Toponyms’ Ontological Integrity in the System of Nnational Security

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 26, 2014

Armenian toponyms of the Armenian Highland constitute an essential part of Armenia’s historical resources. They symbolize the indigenous Armenian Nation’s cultural creation – the backbone of the Armenian statehood having more than five millennia old ethno-spiritual and civilizational roots testified by archaeological monuments and architectural relics, petroglyphs and cuneiform inscriptions et al.

Investigation of the ancient and medieval history of Armenia brought D. M. Lang to the following conclusion in his book Armenia: Cradle of Civilization: “The ancient land of Armenia is situated in the high mountains… Although Mesopotamia with its ancient civilizations of Sumeria and Babylon, is usually considered together with Egypt as the main source of civilized life in the modern sense, Armenia too has a claim to rank as one of the cradles of human culture.

To begin with, Noah’s Ark is stated in the Book of Genesis to have landed on the summit of Mount Ararat, in the very centre of Armenia…. Armenia has a claim on our attention as one of the principal homes of ancient metallurgy, beginning at least five thousand years ago. Later on, Armenia became the first extensive kingdom to adopt Christianity as a state religion pioneering a style of Church architecture which anticipates our own Western Gothic.”

Importance of the Armenian Toponyms’ Ontological Integrity in the System of National Security

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