Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

  • Sjur C Papazian

  • FB: Sjur Papazian

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Armenian Eternal Symbol

  • Forget-me-not

  • 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
    https://aratta.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/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.

  • Archives

On the origin of the Armenians

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on October 1, 2018

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 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 remote and difficult to reach and home to thegoddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk. E-ana was a temple in Uruk built in honour of the goddess Inanna, the “lady of all the lands”–(E-ana is ‘house of An’, or ‘Temple of An’).

The legendary Sumerian account Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a preserved, early post-Sumerian legend, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period (ca. 21st century BC).

It is one of a series of accounts describing the conflicts between Enmerkar, a legendary king listed as the builder of the Sumerian city of Unug-Kulaba (Uruk), and the unnamed king of Aratta (probably somewhere in modern Iran or Armenia).

The king list adds that Enmerkar became king after his father Mesh-ki-ang-gasher, son of Utu, had “entered the sea and disappeared.” In this account, it is Enmerkar himself who is called ‘the son of Utu’ (the Sumerian sun god).

Aside from founding Uruk, Enmerkar is said here to have had a temple built at Eridu, and is even credited with the invention of writing on clay tablets, for the purpose of threatening Aratta into submission.

Enmerkar furthermore seeks to restore the disrupted linguistic unity of the inhabited regions around Uruk, listed as Shubur, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki (the region around Akkad), and the Martu land.

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

The goddess Inanna («Queen of Heaven»), the Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power, resides in Aratta, but Enmerkar of Uruk pleases her more than does the lord of Aratta, who is not named in this epic.

She was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was originally worshipped in Sumer and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar.

Inanna was worshipped in Sumer at least as early as the Uruk period (c. 4000 BC – c. 3100 BC), but she had little cult prior to the conquest of Sargon of Akkad. During the post-Sargonic era, she became one of the most widely venerated deities in the Sumerian pantheon, with temples across Mesopotamia.

Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology, was the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt. She corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma.

The mother goddess Hannahanna promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahanna (from Hittite ḫanna- “grandmother”) with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

Ḫannaḫanna is a Hurrian Mother Goddess related to or influenced by the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Ḫannaḫanna was also identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat.

Apparently, like Demeter, Ḫannaḫanna disappears for a while in a fit of anger and while she is gone, cattle and sheep are stifled and mothers, both human and animal take no account of their children. After her anger is banished to the Dark Earth, she returns rejoicing, and mothers care once again for their kin.

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).

Armani, also given as Armanum, was an ancient kingdom mentioned by Sargon of Akkad (2334–2284 BC) and his grandson Naram-Sin of Akkad as stretching from Ibla (which might or might not be Ebla) to Bit-Nanib; its location is heavily debated, and it continued to be mentioned in later Assyrian inscriptions. To this day the Assyrians speak about Armenians by saying Armani.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature. It was apparently a polity in Upper Mesopotamia, at the upper Tigris. The name also appears as Subari in the Amarna letters, and, in the form Šbr, in Ugarit.

Most scholars suggest that Arme-Shupria is an early name for Assyria proper on the Tigris and westward, although there are various other theories placing it sometimes a little farther to the east and/or north. Its precise location has not been identified. Some scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia.

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. 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.

Eannatum of Lagash (ca. 2500–2400 BC) was said to have smitten Subartu or Shubur, and it was listed as a province of the empire of Lugal-Anne-Mundu; in a later era Sargon of Akkad campaigned against Subar, and his grandson Naram-Sin listed Subar along with Armani, which has been identified with Aleppo, among the lands under his control.

Another record is by Thutmose III of Egypt, says 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.

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.

Aram-Naharaim is a region that is mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. It is commonly identified with Nahrima mentioned in three tablets of the Amarna correspondence as a geographical description of the kingdom of Mitanni. Both Josephus and the Septuagint translate the name as Mesopotamia.

Ancient writers later used the name “Mesopotamia” for all of the land between the Tigris and Euphrates. However the usage of the Hebrew name “Aram-Naharaim” does not match this later usage of “Mesopotamia”, the Hebrew term referring to a northern region within Mesopotamia.

The Book of Jubilees 9:5 places Aram’s portion between the Tigris and Euphrates, and lying north of the Chaldeans, who are south of the Euphrates: “And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia [Naharaim] between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of ‘Arara.”

In Genesis, it is used somewhat interchangeably with the names Paddan Aram and Haran to denote the place where Abraham stayed briefly with his father Terah’s family after leaving Ur of the Chaldees, while en route to Canaan (Gen. 11:31), and the place from which later patriarchs obtained wives, rather than marry daughters of Canaan.

Paddan Aram refers to the part of Aram-Naharaim along the upper Euphrates, while Haran is mainly identified with the ancient Assyrian city of Harran on the Balikh River. According to one rabbinical Jewish tradition, the birthplace of Abraham (Ur) was also situated in Aram-Naharaim.

The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. It is suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but it has been shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.

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.

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.

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.

Armani-Subartu (Hurri-Mitanni), Hayasa-Azzi and other populations of the region such as the Nairi fell under Urartian (Kingdom of Ararat) rule in the 9th century BC, and their descendants, according to most scholars, later contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians.

Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region commonly used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands.

The geographical area corresponds to the mountainous plateau between Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, and the Caucasus Mountains, later known as the Armenian Highlands. Being heirs to the Urartian realm, the ancestors of the Armenians are the peoples of Urartu.

The people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi. Of all the gods of the Urartian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to Khaldi.[citation needed] His wife was the goddess Arubani. He was portrayed as a man with or without wings, standing on a lion.

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’.

Some sources claim that the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation, Hayk the Great, also known as Hayk Nahapet, Hayk the “head of family” or patriarch, the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation, is derived from Ḫaldi. Hayk’ is the nominative plural in Classical Armenian of hay, the Armenian term for “Armenian.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: