Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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  • The Fertile Crescent

    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent

    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

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Sacred Sites of Europe

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on June 12, 2015

Sacred Sites of Europe

This poster depicts 34 of Europe’s most sacred sites. It includes ancient temples, megalithic structures, bronze age tombs and prehistoric artifacts. If you’re planning to visit the most hallowed grounds of Europe, this poster is an essential tool for planning your unforgettable journey.

UK poster available here
USA poster available here
Australia poster available here
This post focuses on Europe’s most ancient sites, dating from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. This was a period before the advent of monotheism, where our European predecessors worshipped a myriad of divine figures, such as nature spirits, ancestors or gods.

The early Europeans sought to secure the presence of these divine beings by erecting shrines, temples and megalithic structures in their honour. These sacred sites were believed to be as a link to the spirit world, and were chosen for several different reasons: 1. It was a place of great beauty, conceived by a divine creator. 2. It was touched by a god or hero, giving it a legendary status. 3. A holy-person sensed its divine energy radiating from the land. 4. A miracle took place at the site, bestowing it with divine energy.

The earliest sites known to convey a ritualised activity were caves. There are hundreds of grotto’s in prehistoric Europe which are full of art depicting beasts, hunting parties, strange glyphs and even therianthropes (part man, part animal). La Pasieha, Chauvet, Coliboiai and Magura caves are abundant in such imagery, which is indicative of shamanism. It appears these caves were used as a canvas for their cultural beliefs, depicting images of worship, shape shifting, and perhaps fertility rites.

Later, during the Neolithic, many of these sites were used to worship a god or goddess, such as the Odin in Gamla Uppsala, or Athena in the Parthenon. These temples acted as a direct link to a particular deity, and by leaving them offerings, it was believed you could procure their favour. Perhaps they would call upon the Svetovid in Jaromarsburg to protect them from raids, or the Tailtiu at the Hill of Tara, for a bountiful harvest.

As well as a link to the heavens, certain landmarks were also believed to act as gateways to the nether world. The Gordium and Mount Nemrut were both tombs, housing legendary kings. These crypts were designed to ensure their safe passage into the underworld, along with all their favorite possessions.

The sacred sites of Europe remain spiritually meaningful to millions of people today, who often travel to the temples of Greece or the stone circles of Britain for a direct experience with the divine. With the re-emergence of pagan traditions, many of these sites are being used once again, summoning the spirits of our past, and reconnecting modern humans with their deep, spiritual roots.

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