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Jews, and their history

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 15, 2013

History of Zionism

Zionism as an organized movement is generally considered to have been fathered by Theodor Herzl in 1897; however the history of Zionism began earlier and related to Judaism and Jewish history. The Hovevei Zion, or the Lovers of Zion, were responsible for the creation of 20 new Jewish settlements in Palestine between 1870 and 1897.

Before the Holocaust the movement’s central aims were the creation of a Jewish National Home and cultural centre in Palestine by facilitating Jewish migration. After the Holocaust, the movement focussed on creation of a “Jewish state” (usually defined as a secular state with a Jewish majority), attaining its goal in 1948 with the creation of Israel.

The precedence for Jews to return to their ancestral homeland, motivated by strong divine intervention, first appears in the Torah, and thus later adopted in the Christian Old Testament. After Jacob and his sons had gone down to Egypt to escape a drought, they were enslaved and became a nation. Later, as commanded by God, Moses went before Pharaoh, demanded, “Let my people go!” and foretold severe consequences, if this was not done. Torah describes the story of the plagues and the Exodus from Egypt, which is estimated at about 1400 BCE, and the beginning of the journey of the Jewish People toward the Land of Israel. These are celebrated annually during Passover, and the Passover meal traditionally ends with the words “Next Year in Jerusalem.”

The theme of return to their traditional homeland came up again after the Babylonians conquered Judea in 641 BCE and the Judeans were exiled to Babylon. In the book of Psalms (Psalm 137), Jews lamented their exile while Prophets like Ezekiel foresaw their return. The Bible recounts how, in 538 BCE Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon and issued a proclamation granting the people of Judah their freedom. 50,000 Judeans, led by Zerubbabel returned. A second group of 5000, led by Ezra and Nehemiah, returned to Judea in 456 BCE.

In 1160 David Alroy led a Jewish uprising in Kurdistan that aimed to reconquer the promised land. In 1648 Sabbatai Zevi from modern Turkey claimed he would lead the Jews back to Israel. In 1868 Judah ben Shalom led a large movement of Yemenite Jews to Israel. A dispatch from the British Consulate in Jerusalem in 1839 reported that “the Jews of Algiers and its dependencies, are numerous in Palestine….” There was also significant migration from Central Asia (Bukharan Jews).

In addition to Messianic movements, the population of the Holy Land was slowly bolstered by Jews fleeing Christian persecution especially after the Reconquista of Al-Andalus (the Muslim name of the Iberian Peninsula). Safed became an important center of Kabbalah. Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias also had significant Jewish populations.

Among Jews in the Diaspora Eretz Israel was revered in a religious sense. They thought of a return to it in a future messianic age. Return remained a recurring theme among generations, particularly in Passover and Yom Kippur prayers, which traditionally concluded with “Next year in Jerusalem”, and in the thrice-daily Amidah (Standing prayer).

Jewish daily prayers include many references to “your people Israel”, “your return to Jerusalem” and associate salvation with a restored presence in Israel and Jerusalem (usually accompanied by a Messiah); for example the prayer Uva Letzion (Isaiah 59:20): “And a redeemer shall come to Zion…” Aliyah (immigration to Israel) has always been considered a praiseworthy act for Jews according to Jewish law and some Rabbis consider it one of the core 613 commandments in Judaism.

From the Middle Ages and onwards, many famous rabbis (and often their followers) immigrated to the Land of Israel. These included Nahmanides, Yechiel of Paris with several hundred of his students, Joseph ben Ephraim Karo, Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and 300 of his followers, and over 500 disciples (and their families) of the Vilna Gaon known as Perushim, among others.

Persecution of Jews played a key role in preserving Jewish identity and keeping Jewish communities transient, it would later provide a key role in inspiring Zionists to reject European forms of identity.

Return to Zion

History of Zionism

List of Zionist figures

Timeline of Zionism

Gathering of Israel

Aliyah

Restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land

Kingdom of Judah

Yehud Medinata

Eber-Nari

History of Israel

Israeli-Arab conflict

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Israeli settlement

Thus, Judaism is a mosaic of culture, religion, ethnicity, and for some, a way of life.  It is an identity that is not quite a nationality, but neither is it a simple ethnic or cultural phenomenon either.  This unusual combination of characteristics, coupled with Jewish resistance over the centuries to assimilation and strong adherence to their religious faith, has contributed to the intense feelings of curiosity, hatred, admiration, attraction and hostility by the rest of the world.

israel-deports-Africans

A sprawling desert prison, for thousands of refugees

Israel confirms plan to deport African migrants to Uganda

Russian-speakers who want to make aliya could need DNA test

The nearly one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union who have come to Israel since 1989 “rescued” the country and should be considered “one of the greatest miracles that happened to the state,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told.

1990s Post-Soviet aliyah

Israelis Re-examine Russian Aliyah

Netanyahu: 20 years after Iron Curtain collapsed, it’s clear Russian-speaking aliya ‘rescued the State of Israel’

Jewish Supremacists in America are 100 percent united in demanding “open borders” and “immigration reform” — but at the same time hypocritically support Israel which now uses DNA tests on potential immigrants in order to keep the Jewish state racially pure.

Finally, Israel has recently announced that it is to start testing immigrants for Jewish DNA before allowing them to settle in Israel. This significant move (because it confirms a biological basis to Judaism) came about because of concern in Israel over suspected non-Jews entering Israel from the former Soviet Union countries.

Israel, therefore, has a completely racially-based immigration policy, and only allows people of biological Jewish descent to immigrate to that nation.

This policy is directly contradictory to the position taken by Jewish groups in America and other European nations—yet these same Jewish organizations will defend Israel to the last.

To put this into perspective: If America, or any nation for that matter, had to adopt racially based immigration policies and check the DNA of potential immigrants before allowing them to settle, these Jewish organizations would be up in arms and screaming “Nazi” and “holocaust” from the rooftops.

Yet Israel can adopt such policies without anyone raising so much as a peep of protest. On the contrary, these same Jewish organizations will fanatically support Israel’s “right to be a Jewish state.”

Israel—which all of these Jewish organizations and individuals quoted above support fanatically—an immigration policy which is the exact opposite is rigorously enforced.

Israel’s “Law of Return” immigration policy is actually based upon the Nazi Nuremburg race laws, which defined a Jew as anyone with two or more Jewish grandparents.

This law of return is not based on religion—because Jewish atheists also qualify for settlement in Israel. They do not have to be believing Jews to come to Israel—all they have to have is biological Jewish ancestry.

Israel Civil Marriage Ban

Israel Civil Marriage Ban Blocks Those Not Considered Jewish From Wedding

Despite being one of the most genetically analysed groups, the origin of European Jews has remained obscure. However, a new study published online January 17 in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution by Dr Eran Elhaik, a geneticist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, argues that the European Jewish genome is a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, setting to rest previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. Elhaik’s findings strongly support the Khazarian Hypothesis, as opposed to the Rhineland Hypothesis, of European Jewish origins. This could have a major impact on the ways in which scientists study genetic disorders within the population.

New Study Sheds Light On the Origin of the European Jewish Population

Ashkenazi Jews are probably not descended from the Khazars

The Jewish people’s ultimate treasure hunt

Jews Are Not Descendants of Abraham

“I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan.”

(Revelation 2:9)
“And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land…”

(Genesis 12:7)

Who should possess the land of Israel? Christian evangelicals say it should be the descendants of Abraham. They point to the Old Testament and claim that God gave this land forever to the descendants of Abraham and that God demands they and they alone own the land.

To the Christian evangelical, this means the Jews. Yes, it is the Jews who own this land, and it is their land forever.

Itil, capital of Khazaria
In 2008, Russian archaeologist Dmitry Vasilyev unearthed Itil, the long lost capital of the Kingdom of Khazaria. New DNA science proves that today’s “Jews” come from Khazaria and are not the seed of Abraham.

The Jews, then, according to Christian evangelicals, are the descendants of Abraham, his seed.

DNA Science Confounds the Common Wisdom

There is only one problem. And it is a huge one. Science proves those who call themselves “Jews” are not Jews! DNA Science has confounded the Christian evangelicals by proving conclusively that most of the people in the nation of Israel and in World Jewry are not the descendants of Abraham.

Those living today who profess to be “Jews” are not of the ancient Israelites, and they are not the seed of Abraham. In fact, the new DNA research shows that the Palestinians actually have more Israelite blood than do the “Jews!”

The nation of Israel today is populated with seven and half million imposters.

“Jews” Are Not Descendants of Abraham – Power of Prophecy

The American people are confused about the morality of modern-day Israel, because our schools and churches leave out essential Jewish history.

The European people who were shipped in to occupy Palestine as a Jewish homeland in 1948 are not related to the biblical Hebrews of Jesus’ time.

The biblical Hebrews are symbolized by the Cain and Abel story, brothers who fell out with each other and whose lineage became the two factions we know as Jews and Arabs. But Jews and Arabs are both biologically Semitic people – they are cousins — and despite their “family feud, they are anciently related by blood and culture.

Later on, Jews and Arabs became even more seemingly disparate due to the introduction of Islam. One tribe kept their Judaism, while the other became Muslim, and there is what we’ve perceived as the warring factions of today.

But what has been purposely obscured is a third element that entered and has inflamed the Middle East ever since. It was European Jewish people who were brought in after WWII for the purpose of occupying much of Palestine and resurrecting the ancient name of Israel. This was a political agenda, not a humanitarian intention.

These Europeans had long ago emerged from Khazaria (southern Russia), where their king – for the purpose of greater, unified control – converted them to the Babylonian schools of Judaism in the 8th century. Thus, not only their DNA, but their perspectives are a different reality from the Judean teachings in Jesus’ world.

What we have in modern Israel, then, is an artificially created state dominated by Jews who have no geographic, genetic, nor spiritual connections to biblical Israel or the time of Jesus.

Once this is known — and churches and schools ought to be honest about it — then it’s much easier to understand what many world voices have long cried out: That today’s Israelis who came in from Europe in 1948 did not really have a right to occupy the Palestinian area and re-name it as ancient-days Israel – especially since the Palestinian residents’ families and lands – and even some of their homes that might be still standing – go back over a thousand years.

Modern Israelis simply have no actual connection to the land, to regional traditions, or to the time of Christ. And Christians and Jews who are properly informed – and who are ethical – need to join in the heartfelt objection to the 1948 (and ongoing) usurpation of the Palestinians’ land.

Most especially what is morally required is the cessation of all the cruelties against the Palestinians that have inevitably followed.  As President Harry Truman observed right from the beginning of the creation of this modern, artificial Israel:
August 23, 1947, letter to Eleanor Roosevelt –

“I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on top, they are just as intolerant and cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath. I regret this situation very much because my sympathy was always on their side.”

Dr Sand’s main argument is that until little more than a century ago, Jews thought of themselves as Jews only because they shared a common religion. At the turn of the 20th century, he said, Zionist Jews challenged this idea and started creating a national history by inventing the idea that Jews existed as a people separate from their religion. Equally, the modern Zionist idea of Jews being obligated to return from exile to the Promised Land was entirely alien to Judaism, he added.

Shlomo Sand: ‘When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?’

How Shlomo Sand Ceased to be a Jew – or Did He?

Book review: Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People

Shlomo Sand – Wikipedia

DNA links prove Jews are a ‘race,’ says genetics expert

Science Feud: Johns Hopkins geneticist Eran Elhaik says his research debunks the long-held theory that Jews are a single race.

Conjuring fear of Nazism and anti-Semitism, Jews recoil from the thought that Judaism might be a race, but medical geneticist Harry Ostrer insists the ‘biological basis of Jewishness’ cannot be ignored. In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. Considering that the Nazis tried to exterminate Jews based on their supposed racial distinctiveness, such a conclusion might be a cause for concern. But Ostrer sees it as central to Jewish identity.

“Who is a Jew?” has been a poignant question for Jews throughout our history. It evokes a complex tapestry of Jewish identity made up of different strains of religious beliefs, cultural practices and blood ties to ancient Palestine and modern Israel. But the question, with its echoes of genetic determinism, also has a dark side.

Geneticists have long been aware that certain diseases, from breast cancer to Tay-Sachs, disproportionately affect Jews. Ostrer, who is also director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center, goes further, maintaining that Jews are a homogeneous group with all the scientific trappings of what we used to call a “race.”

Scientists usually don’t call each other “liars” and “frauds.” But that’s how Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik describes a group of widely respected geneticists, including Harry Ostrer, professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of the 2012 book “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.”

For years now, the findings of Ostrer and several other scientists have stood virtually unchallenged on the genetics of Jews and the story they tell of the common Middle East origins shared by many Jewish populations worldwide. Jews — and Ashkenazim in particular — are indeed one people, Ostrer’s research finds.

It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after they conquered the Jewish homeland. But now, Elhaik, an Israeli molecular geneticist, has published research that he says debunks this claim. And that has set off a predictable clash.

DNA links prove Jews are a ‘race,’ says genetics expert

Israeli Newspaper Admits: Jews are a Race

‘Jews a Race’ Genetic Theory Comes Under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert

Israeli Researcher Challenges Jewish DNA links to Israel, Calls Those Who Disagree ‘Nazi Sympathizers’

Top Israeli scientist says Ashkenazi Jews came from Khazaria, not Palestine

Genetic Roots of the Ashkenazi Jews

Genetic studies on the Jews

Jews and Race: A Pre-Boasian Perspective

The Taranto-Capouya-Crespin Family History – Sephardic Horizons

A capsule history of the dispersion of the Jews to the distant cities of the earth

Ashkenazi Jews Trace Ancestry To Europe Not The Near East, Ancient Jewish Men ‘Married European Women’

Moment Magazine’s great (Jewish) DNA experiment

https://i0.wp.com/www.jewishproblem.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Pinellas-Jewish-DNA.jpg

Jon Entine author of Abrahams Children: Race, Identity and DNA of the Chosen People

Reviews and Testimonials for Jon’s Keynotes

Jon Entine – Wikipedia

File:Cohanim DNA migration.jpg

The J2 DNA Kohanim Migration

J2 Kohanim haplotype tree

Genetic studies on the Jews are part of population genetics. This discipline is used to better understand the chronology of migration and thus complements the results provided by history, archeology, language or paleontology. The interest of these studies is to investigate the origins of various Jewish populations today. In particular, they investigate whether there is a common genetic heritage among various Jewish populations.

Since the 1970s, many studies have attempted to determine whether, despite the complex history of migrations, common ancestors existed to the present Jewish communities or if the descendants are related instead to the non-Jewish populations where they lived. The earlier studies tried to answer this question using “classic” genetic markers (blood groups, enzymes, etc.).

Contradictory answers were given according to locus used. One explanation for these contradictions is that the variations associated with a locus are influenced by natural selection. Since the late 1980s and especially since the beginning of the century, geneticists have worked on analysis of the Y chromosome (transmitted from father to son) and mitochondrial DNA (transmitted from mother to child), which have the characteristic to be transmitted in full (without recombination).

It is possible to trace the common direct-line ancestral populations of various peoples of the world. Recent studies have been conducted on a large number of genes homologous chromosomes or autosomes (all chromosomes except chromosomes X and Y).. A 2009 study was able to genetically identify individuals with full or partial Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

Wells identified the haplogroup of the Canaanites as haplogroup J2. The National Geographic Genographic Project linked haplogroup J2 to the site of Jericho, Tel el-Sultan, ca. 8500 BCE and indicated that in modern populations, haplogroup J2 is found in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe, with especially high distribution among present-day Jewish populations (30%), Southern Italians (20%), and lower frequencies in Southern Spain (10%).

Cruciani in 2007 found E1b1b1a2 (E-V13) [one from Sub Clades of E1b1b1a1 (E-V12)] in high levels (>10% of the male population) in Turkish Cypriot and Druze Arab lineages. Recent genetic clustering analyses of ethnic groups are consistent with the close ancestral relationship between the Druze and Cypriots, and also identified similarity to the general Syrian and Lebanese populations, as well as a variety of Jewish lineages (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Iraqi, and Moroccan) (Behar et al 2010).

A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that “the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population”, and suggested that “most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighbouring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora”. Researchers expressed surprise at the remarkable genetic uniformity they found among modern Jews, no matter where the diaspora has become dispersed around the world.[

Other Y-chromosome findings show that the world’s Jewish communities are closely related to Kurds, Syriacs, Assyrians, Jordanians and Palestinians. Skorecki and colleague wrote that “the extremely close affinity of Jewish and non-Jewish Middle Eastern populations observed … supports the hypothesis of a common Middle Eastern origin”. According to another study of the same year, more than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men (inhabitants of Israel and the occupied territories only) whose DNA was studied inherited their Y-chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the last few thousand years.

This research has suggested that, in addition to Israelite male, significant female founder ancestry might also derive from the Middle East-with 40% of Ashkenazim descended from four women lived about 2000–3000 years ago in the Middle East. In addition, Behar (2006) suggested that the rest of Ashkenazi mtDNA is originated from about 150 women, most of those were probably of Middle Eastern origin.

In August 2012, Dr. Harry Ostrer in his book Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, summarized his and other work in genetics of the last 20 years, and concluded that all major Jewish groups share a common Middle Eastern origin. Ostrer also claimed to have refuted any large-scale genetic contribution from the Turkic Khazars.

Citing Autosomal DNA studies, Nicholas Wade estimates that “Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East.” He further noticed that “The two communities seem very similar to each other genetically, which is unexpected because they have been separated for so long.”

Concerning this relationship he points to Atzmon conclusions that “the shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City”

Concerning North African Jews, Autosomal genetic analysis in 2012 revealed that North African Jews are genetically close to European Jews. This findings “shows that North African Jews date to biblical-era Israel, and are not largely the descendants of natives who converted to Judaism,”

Y DNA studies examine various paternal lineages of modern Jewish populations. Such studies tend to imply a small number of founders in an old population whose members parted and followed different migration paths.

In most Jewish populations, these male line ancestors appear to have been mainly Middle Eastern. For example, Ashkenazi Jews share more common paternal lineages with other Jewish and Middle Eastern groups than with non-Jewish populations in areas where Jews lived in Eastern Europe, Germany and the French Rhine Valley. This is consistent with Jewish traditions in placing most Jewish paternal origins in the region of the Middle East.

The maternal lineages of Jewish populations, studied by looking at mitochondrial DNA, are generally more heterogeneous. Scholars such as Harry Ostrer and Raphael Falk believe this indicates that many Jewish males found new mates from European and other communities in the places where they migrated in the diaspora after fleeing ancient Israel. Behar et al. in 2008 published evidence suggesting that about 40% of Ashkenazi Jews originate maternally from just four female founders, who were of Middle Eastern origin, while the populations of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communities “showed no evidence for a narrow founder effect”.

Evidence for female founders has been observed in other Jewish populations. With the exception of Ethiopian and Indian Jews, it has been argued that all of the Jewish populations have mitochondrial genomes that were of Middle Eastern origin.

In 2013, Richards et al. to the contrary published work suggesting that an estimated “80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain”. Apparently, in this case, Jewish males migrated to Europe and took new wives from the local population, and converted them to Judaism.

Studies of autosomal DNA, which look at the entire DNA mixture, have become increasingly important as the technology develops. They show that Jewish populations have tended to form relatively closely related groups in independent communities, with most in a community sharing significant ancestry in common.

For Jewish populations of the diaspora, the genetic composition of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jewish populations show a predominant amount of shared Middle Eastern ancestry. According to Behar, the most parsimonious explanation for this shared Middle Eastern ancestry is that it is “consistent with the historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant” and “the dispersion of the people of ancient Israel throughout the Old World”.

North African, Italian and others of Iberian origin show variable frequencies of admixture with non-Jewish historical host populations among the maternal lines. In the case of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews (in particular Moroccan Jews), who are apparently closely related, the non-Jewish component is mainly southern European. Behar et al. have remarked on an especially close relationship to modern Italians.

The studies show that the Bene Israel and Black Cochin Jews of India, Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and a portion of the Lemba people of southern Africa, while more closely resembling the local populations of their native countries, have some ancient Jewish descent.

Jewish diaspora

Jewish people

Genetic studies on Jews

Y-chromosomal Aaron

Falasha

Indian Jews

Y-DNA haplogroups by populations of Near East

Archaeogenetics of the Near East

The “mystery” of Ashkenazic origins

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish genomes

Two major groups of living Jews

Dienekes Population Portrait for West Asians and Jews

Ashkenazi Jewish matrilineages

Ashkenazi Jewish matrilineages mainly of European origin

Posted in Eastern Mediterrean, Haplogroups | Leave a Comment »

Mount Hermon

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 19, 2013

Mount HermonMount Hermon is actually a cluster of mountains with three distinct summits, each about the same height. The Anti-Lebanon range extends for approximately 150 km (93 mi) in a northeast-southwest direction, running parallel to the Lebanon range on the west. The Hermon range covers an area of about 1000 square km, of which about 70 km² are under Israeli control. Most of the portion of Mount Hermon within the Golan Heights constitutes the Hermon nature reserve.

Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon

Posted in Christianity, Eastern Mediterrean | Leave a Comment »

Tell el-Dab’a (Minoans with Hyksos)

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 17, 2013

https://i1.wp.com/www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw05019HyksosDefeated.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw0241Chariots.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw0242Archery.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw0238Hyksos.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw0243AvarisWarriorBurial.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw0244AvarisWarriorBurialSword.jpg

Currently thought to be the site of the Hyksos capital Avaris, Tell el-Dab’a was occupied from the Middle Kingdom through to the New Kingdom and is one of a number of town-sites in the north-eastern area of the Delta. The settlement site which covers an area of two square kilometres has been undergoing excavations since 1966 and has proven to be a very complex site with several occupation levels dating from the First to the Second Intermediate Periods.

Hyksos

Tell el-Dab’a (Minoans with Hyksos)

Posted in Eastern Mediterrean, Egypt, Mediterrean | Leave a Comment »

Pre Pottery Neolithic

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 14, 2013

The Obsidian Trade in the Near East, 14,000 to 6500 BC

Anatomically modern Homo sapiens are demonstrated at the area of Mount Carmel, during the Middle Paleolithic dating from about c. 90,000 BC. This move out of Africa seems to have been unsuccessful and by c. 60,000 BC in Palestine/Israel/Syria, especially at Amud, classic Neanderthal groups seem to have profited from the worsening climate to have replaced Homo sapiens, who seem to have been confined once more to Africa.

A second move out of Africa is demonstrated by the Boker Tachtit Upper Paleolithic culture, from 52-50,000 BC, with humans at Ksar Akil XXV level being modern humans. This culture bears close resemblance to the Badoshan Aurignacian culture of Iran, and the later Sebilian I Egyptian culture of c. 50,000 BC. Stephen Oppenheimer suggests that this reflects a movement of modern human (possibly Caucasian) groups back into North Africa, at this time.

It would appear this sets the date by which Homo sapien Upper Paleolithic cultures begin replacing Neanderthal Levalo-Mousterian, and by c. 40,000 BC Palestine was occupied by the Levanto-Aurignacian Ahmarian culture, lasting from 39-24,000 BC. This culture was quite successful spreading as the Antelian culture (late Aurignacian), as far as Southern Anatolia, with the Atlitan culture.

Mousterian is a name given by archaeologists to a style of predominantly flint tools (or industry) associated primarily with Homo neanderthalensis and dating to the Middle Paleolithic, the middle part of the Old Stone Age.

The culture was named after the type site of Le Moustier, a rock shelter in the Dordogne region of France.Similar flintwork has been found all over unglaciated Europe and also the Near East and North Africa. Handaxes, racloirs and points constitute the industry; sometimes a Levallois technique or another prepared-core technique was employed in making the flint flakes.

Mousterian tools that have been found in Europe were made by Neanderthals and date from between 300,000 BP and 30,000 BP. In Northern Africa and the Near East they were also produced by anatomically modern humans.

In the Levant for example, assemblages produced by Neanderthals are indistinguishable from those produced by Qafzeh type modern humans. It may be an example of acculturation of modern humans by Neanderthals because the culture after 130,000 years reached the Levant from Europe (the first Mousterian industry appears there 200,000 BP) and the modern Qafzeh type humans appear in the Levant another 100,000 years later. The Industry was superseded by the Châtelperronian during 35,000-29,000 BP.

The Mousterian culture is followed by the Baradostian culture. Baradostian culture is an early Upper Palaeolithic flint industry culture in Zagros region at the border of Iran and Iraq.

Radiocarbon dates suggest that this is one of the earliest Upper Palaeolithic complexes; it may have begun as early as 36,000 BC. Its relationship to neighbouring industries however remains unclear. Shanidar Cave in Iraqi Kurdistan, Warwasi rockshelter and Yafteh cave at western Zagros and Eshkaft-e gavi Cave in southern Zagros are among the major sites to be excavated.

Perhaps caused by the maximum cold of the last phase of the most recent ice age or Wurm glaciation the Baradostian was replaced by a local Epi-Palaeolithic industry called the Zarzian culture. This tool tradition marks the end of the Zagros Palaeolithic sequence.

Zarzian culture (18,000-8,000 years BC) is an archaeological culture of late Paleolithic and Mesolithic in Iraq, Iran, Central Asia. It was preceded by the Baradostian culture in the same region and was related to the Imereti culture of the Caucasus.

The culture was named and recognised of the cave of Zarzi in Iraqi Kurdistan. Here was found plenty of microliths (up to 20% finds). Their forms are short and asymmetric trapezoids, and triangles with hollows.

Andy Burns states “The Zarzian of the Zagros region of Iran is contemporary with the Natufian but different from it. The only dates for the entire Zarzian come from Palegawra Cave, and date to 17,300-17,000 BP, but it is clear that it is broadly contemporary with the Levantine Kebaran, with which it shares features. It seems to have evolved from the Upper Palaeolithic Baradostian.”

There are only a few Zarzian sites and the area appears to have been quite sparsely populated during the Epipalaeolithic. Faunal remains from the Zarzian indicate that the temporary form of structures indicate a hunter-gatherer subsistence strategy, focused on onager, red deer and caprines. Better known sites include Palegawra Cave, Shanidar B2 and Zarzi.” The Zarzian culture seems to have participated in the early stages of what Kent Flannery has called the broad spectrum revolution.

The Zarzian culture is found associated with remains of the domesticated dog and with the introduction of the bow and arrow. It seems to have extended north into the Kobistan region and into Eastern Iran as a forerunner of the Hissar and related cultures.

Emirian culture (30,000 – 20,000 BC) was a culture that existed in the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) between the Middle Paleolithic and the Upper Paleolithic periods.

Emirian culture apparently developed from the local Mousterian without rupture, keeping numerous elements of the Levalloise-Mousterian, together with the locally typical Emireh point. Numerous stone blade tools were used, including curved knives similar to those found in the Chatelperronian culture of Western Europe.

The Emirian eventually evolved into the Antelian culture, still of Levalloise tradition but with some Aurignacian influences.

According to Dorothy Garrod, the Emireh point, known from several sites in Israel, is the hallmark of this culture.

The Antelian culture is an Upper Paleolithic phase of the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) that evolves from Emirian. The most important innovation in this period is the incorporation of some typical elements of Aurignacian, like some types of burins and narrow blade points that resemble the European type of Font-Yves.

After the Late Glacial Maxima, a new Epipaleolithic culture appears in Southern Palestine. Extending from 18-10,500 BC, the Kebaran culture shows clear connections to the earlier Microlithic cultures using the bow and arrow, and using grinding stones to harvest wild grains, that developed from the c. 24,000-17,000 BC Halfan culture of Egypt, that came from the still earlier Aterian tradition of the Sahara.

The Kebaran or Kebarian culture was an archaeological culture in the eastern Mediterranean area (c. 18,000 to 12,500 BC), named after its type site, Kebara Cave south of Haifa. The Kebaran were a highly mobile nomadic population, composed of hunters and gatherers in the Levant and Sinai areas who utilized microlithic tools.

The Kebaran is the last Upper Paleolithic phase of the Levant (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine). The Kebarans were characterized by small, geometric microliths, and were thought to lack the specialized grinders and pounders found in later Near Eastern cultures.

The Kebaran is preceded by the Athlitian phase of the Antelian and followed by the proto-agrarian Natufian culture of the Epipalaeolithic. The Kebaran is also characterised by the earliest collecting of wild cereals, known due to the uncovering of grain grinding tools. It was the first step towards the Neolithic Revolution. The Kebaran people are believed to have practiced dispersal to upland environments in the summer, and aggregation in caves and rockshelters near lowland lakes in the winter. This diversity of environments may be the reason for the variety of tools found in their toolkits.

Situated in the Terminal Pleistocene, the Kebaran is classified as an Epipalaeolithic society. They are generally thought to have been ancestral to the later Natufian culture that occupied much of the same range.

The Natufian culture was an Epipaleolithic culture that existed from 13,000 to 9,800 B.C. in the Levant, a region in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was unusual in that it was sedentary, or semi-sedentary, before the introduction of agriculture.

The Natufian communities are possibly the ancestors of the builders of the first Neolithic settlements of the region, which may have been the earliest in the world. There is some evidence for the deliberate cultivation of cereals, specifically rye, by the Natufian culture, at the Tell Abu Hureyra site, the site for earliest evidence of agriculture in the world. Generally, though, Natufians made use of wild cereals. Animals hunted included gazelles.

Natufian culture also demonstrates the earliest domestication of the dog, and the assistance of this animal in hunting and guarding human settlements may have contributed to the successful spread of this culture. In the northern Syrian, eastern Anatolian region of the Levant, Natufian culture at Cayonu and Mureybet developed the first fully agricultural culture with the addition of wild grains, later being supplemented with domesticated sheep and goats, which were probably domesticated first by the Zarzian culture of Northern Iraq and Iran (which like the Natufian culture may have also developed from Kebaran).

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN, around 8500-5500 BC) represents the early Neolithic in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent. It succeeds the Natufian culture of the Epipaleolithic (Mesolithic) as the domestication of plants and animals was in its beginnings, possibly triggered by the Younger Dryas.

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic is divided into Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA 8500 BCE – 7600 BCE) and the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB 7600 BCE – 6000 BCE). These were originally defined by Kathleen Kenyon in the type site of Jericho (Palestine). The Pre-Pottery Neolithic precedes the ceramic Neolithic (Yarmukian). The Yarmukian Culture is a Neolithic culture of the ancient Levant. It was the first culture in Prehistoric Israel and one of the oldest in the Levant to make use of pottery.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) denotes the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, dating around 8000 to 7000 BCE. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent. The time period is characterized by tiny circular mud brick dwellings, the cultivation of crops, the hunting of wild game, and unique burial customs in which bodies were buried below the floors of dwellings.

PPNA succeeds the Natufian culture of the Epipaleolithic (Mesolithic). One of the most notable PPNA settlements is Jericho, thought to be the world’s first town (c 8000 BC). The PPNA town contained a population of up to 2,000-3,000 people, and was protected by a massive stone wall and tower. There is much debate over the function of the wall, for there is no evidence of any serious warfare at this time. One possibility is the wall was built to protect the salt resources of Jericho.

PPNB differed from PPNA in showing greater use of domesticated animals, a different set of tools, and new architectural styles. Like the earlier PPNA people, the PPNB culture developed from the Earlier Natufian but shows evidence of a northerly origin, possibly indicating an influx from the region of north eastern Anatolia.

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture came to an end around the time of the 8.2 kiloyear event, a term that climatologists have adopted for a sudden decrease in global temperatures that occurred approximately 8,200 years before the present, or c. 6200 BC, and which lasted for the next two to four centuries. In the following Munhatta and Yarmukian post-pottery Neolithic cultures that succeeded it, rapid cultural development continues, although PPNB culture continued in the Amuq valley, where it influenced the later development of Ghassulian culture.

At ‘Ain Ghazal in Jordan the culture continued a few more centuries as the so-called Pre-Pottery Neolithic C culture. Juris Zarins has proposed that a Circum Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex developed in the period from the climatic crisis of 6200 BC, partly as a result of an increasing emphasis in PPNB cultures upon domesticated animals, and a fusion with Harifian hunter gatherers in the Southern Levant, with affiliate connections with the cultures of Fayyum and the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Cultures practicing this lifestyle spread down the Red Sea shoreline and moved east from Syria into southern Iraq.

Posted in Eastern Mediterrean, Neolithic, The Fertile Crescent | Leave a Comment »

Hurrians, Hebrews and Armenians

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 8, 2013

According to classical rabbinical literature, the Jebusites derived their name from the city of Jebus, the ancient Jerusalem, which they inhabited.

These rabbinical sources also argued that as part of the price of Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of Machpelah, which lay in the territory of the Jebusites, the Jebusites made Abraham grant them a covenant that his descendants would not take control of Jebus against the will of the Jebusites, and then the Jebusites engraved the covenant into bronze; the sources state that the presence of the bronze statues are why the Israelites were not able to conquer the city during Joshua’s campaign.

The classical era rabbis go on to state that King David was prevented from entering the city of Jebus for the same reason, and so he promised the reward of captaincy to anyone who destroyed the bronzes – Joab performing the task and so gaining the prize. The covenant is dismissed by the rabbis as having been invalidated due to the war the Jebusites fought against Joshua, but nevertheless David (according to the rabbis) paid the Jebusites the full value of the city, collecting the money from among all the Israelite tribes, so that the city became their common property.

In reference to a passage in the Books of Samuel which refers to a saying about the blind and the lame, Rashi quotes a midrash which argues that the Jebusites had two statues in their city, with their mouths containing the words of the covenant between Abraham and the Jebusites; one figure, depicting a blind person, represented Isaac, and the other, depicting a lame person, representing Jacob.

Yasir Arafat and Faisal Husseini have stated Palestinians may have a Jebusite background. The claim is used as an attempt to prove a connection between Palestinians and Jerusalem that predates the Muslim conquest. There is, however, no archaeological evidence linking the Arab-Palestinians of today with the Jebusites of the Canaanite period.

In the Amarna letters, mention is made of the contemporaneous king of Jerusalem was named Abdi-Heba, which is a theophoric name invoking a Hurrian goddess named Hebat; unless a different ethnic group occupied Jerusalem in this period, this implies that the Jebusites were Hurrians themselves, were heavily influenced by Hurrian culture, or were dominated by a Hurrian maryannu class.

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 gods.

The name can 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. The sound /h/ in cuneiform is in the modern literature sometimes transliterated as kh. In Aramaean times she appears to have become identified with the Goddess Hawwah. Eve (Hebrew: Ḥawwāh, Modern Israeli Hebrew: Khavah) was, according to Abrahamic religions, the first woman created by God.

In the Bible, Eve (Hawwa’; Ge’ez: Hiywan, “living one” or “source of life”, related to ḥāyâ, “to live”; Greek: Εὕα or heúā, ultimately from the Semitic root ḥyw;) is Adam’s wife. Her name occurs only four times; the first being Genesis 3:20: “And Adam called his wife’s name Ḥawwāh; because she was the mother of all living.” In Vulgate she appears as “Hava” in the Old Testament, but “Eva” in the New Testament.

The name may actually be derived from that of the Hurrian Goddess Kheba, who was shown in the Amarna Letters to be worshipped in Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age.

The mother goddess is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele. Cybele (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubeleyan Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) was an originally Anatolian mother goddess. Cybele may have evolved from an Anatolian Mother Goddess of a type found at Çatalhöyük, dated to the 6th millennium BCE. This corpulent, fertile Mother Goddess appears to be giving birth on her throne, which has two feline-headed hand rests.

A hundred years ago, many Bible critics claimed that stories of the patriarchs were nothing more than religious fiction. The “silence of history” concerning the patriarchs, upon which these critics based their claims, was shattered with the discovery of ancient tablets at Mari (in southeast Syria) and Nuzi (in modern-day Iraq).

These tablets, although not directly mentioning the patriarchs, still constituted such valuable testimony about their life-styles that the late Professor William F. Albright (the then-acknowledged “dean” of Palestinian archaeologists) concluded that “the narratives of Genesis dealing with Abram may now be integrated into the life and history of the time [the second millennium B.C.] in such surprisingly consistent ways that there can be little doubt about their substantial historicity” (Biblical Archaeologist, July 1973, p. 10).

Overall, the patriarchs’ way of life conforms so closely to the cultural world described by these tablets that there is no reason to doubt that they were real people.

Though the beginning of Israel’s history as a nation is usually placed at the time of her departure from Egypt, an account of her history must start with Abraham and the patriarchs. Only after Israel had moved across Egypt’s border did she have size and identity with which other nations would have to reckon with, but she already had a history that stretched back through the years to her fathers, Jacob and Abraham. To Jacob the twelve heads of the respective tribes had been born, and to Abraham God had given His promise of a nation.

Archaeological discoveries in the Middle East support and illuminate Scripture. Discoveries continue to fill in the picture of the ancient civilization in which the patriarchs lived. It may be that archaeology will never prove that Abraham really existed, but what we can prove is that his life and times, as reflected in the stories about him, fit perfectly within the early second millennium. Critics of the biblical account of the patriarchs are forced to accept the historicity of these accounts on the basis of finds at such places as Mari and Nuzi.

The Hyksos (Egyptian heqa khaseshet, “foreign rulers”) were a mixed people from West Asia who took over the eastern Nile Delta, ending the thirteenth dynasty, and initiating the Second Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt.

The Hyksos first appeared in Egypt c.1800 BC, during the eleventh dynasty, and began their climb to power in the thirteenth dynasty, coming out of the second intermediate period in control of Avaris and the Delta. By the fifteenth dynasty, they ruled Lower Egypt, and at the end of the seventeenth dynasty, they were expelled (c.1560 BC).

Contemporary with the Hyksos there was a widespread Indo-Aryan expansion in central and south Asia. The Hyksos used the same horsedrawn chariot as the Indo-Aryans and Egyptian sources mentions a rapid conquest.

The Hyksos practiced horse burials, and their chief deity, their native storm god, became associated with the Egyptian storm and desert god, Seth.[4] Although most Hyksos names seem Semitic, the Hyksos also included Hurrians, who, while speaking an isolated language, were under the rule and influence of Indo-Europeans.

The Hyksos brought several technical improvements to Egypt, as well as cultural impulses such as new musical instruments and foreign loan words. The changes introduced include new techniques of bronze working and pottery, new breeds of animals, and new crops. In warfare, they introduced the horse and chariot, the composite bow, improved battle axes, and advanced fortification techniques.

In his Against Apion, the 1st-century AD historian Josephus Flavius debates the synchronism between the Biblical account of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and two Exodus-like events that the Egyptian historian Manetho apparently mentions. It is difficult to distinguish between what Manetho himself recounted, and how Josephus or Apion interpret him. Josephus identifies the Israelite Exodus with the first exodus mentioned by Manetho, when some 480,000 Hyksos “shepherd kings” (also referred to as just ‘shepherds’, as ‘kings’ and as ‘captive shepherds’ in his discussion of Manetho) left Egypt for Jerusalem. The mention of “Hyksos” identifies this first exodus with the Hyksos period (16th century BC).

Josephus records the earliest account of the false but understandable etymology that the Greek phrase Hyksos stood for the Egyptian phrase Hekw Shasu meaning the Bedouin-like Shepherd Kings, which scholars have only recently shown means “rulers of foreign lands.”

Proto-Sinaitic is a Middle Bronze Age script attested in a very small collection of inscriptions at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai Peninsula. Due to the extreme scarcity of Proto-Sinaitic signs, very little is known with certainty about the nature of the script. Because the script co-existed with Egyptian hieroglyphs, it is likely that it represented true writing, but this is by no means certain. It has been argued that Proto-Sinaitic was an alphabet and the ancestor of the Phoenician alphabet, from which nearly all modern alphabets descend.

The Canaanite languages are a subfamily of the Semitic languages, which were spoken by the ancient peoples of the Canaan region, including Canaanites, Israelites, Phoenicians, Amorites, Edomites and Moabites. All of them seem to have become extinct as native languages by the early 1st millennium CE (although it is uncertain how long Punic survived), although Hebrew remained in continuous literary and religious use among Jews, and was revived as an everyday spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries in an effort spearheaded by Eliezer Ben Yehuda.

Hebrew is a West Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Hebrews/Israelites and their ancestors. The earliest examples of written Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE.

Hebrew belongs to the Canaanite group of languages. In turn the Canaanite languages are a branch of the Northwest Semitic family of languages. In the Bible, the Hebrew language is called Yәhudit because Judah (Yәhuda) was the surviving kingdom at the time of the quotation, late 8th century BCE (Is 36, 2 Kings 18). In Isaiah 19:18, it is also called the “Language of Canaan”.

Habiru or Apiru or ˁpr.w (Egyptian) was the name given by various Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources (dated, roughly, between 1800 BC and 1100 BC) to a group of people living as nomadic invaders in areas of the Fertile Crescent from Northeastern Mesopotamia and Iran to the borders of Egypt in Canaan. Their names are predominantly Hurrian; seven are perhaps Semitic. They come from a variety of settlements scattered around the region.

Depending on the source and epoch, these Habiru are variously described as nomadic or semi-nomadic, rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, and bowmen, servants, slaves, migrant laborers, etc.

Since the discovery of the 2nd millennium inscriptions mentioning the Habiru, there have been many theories linking these to the Hebrews. Some scholars argue that the name “Hebrew” is related to the name of the seminomadic Habiru people, who are recorded in Egyptian inscriptions of the 13th and 12th centuries BCE as having settled in Egypt.

An inscription on a statue found at Alalakh in southeastern Anatolia, the Mitanni prince Idrimi of Aleppo (who lived from about 1500 BC to 1450 BC), tells that, after his family had been forced to flee to Emar, he left them and joined the “Hapiru people” in “Ammija in the land of Canaan”. The Hapiru recognized him as the “son of their overlord” and “gathered around him;” they are said to include “natives of Halab, of the country of Mushki, of the country Nihi and also warriors from the country Amae.” After living among them for seven years, he led his Habiru warriors in a successful attack by sea on the city-state of Alalakh, where he became king.

The Mushki were an Iron Age people of Anatolia, known from Assyrian sources. They do not appear in Hittite records. Two different groups are called Muški in the Assyrian sources (Diakonoff 1984:115), one from the 12th to 9th centuries, located near the confluence of the Arsanias and the Euphrates (“Eastern Mushki”), and the other in the 8th to 7th centuries, located in Cappadocia and Cilicia (“Western Mushki”). Assyrian sources identify the Western Mushki with the Phrygians, while Greek sources clearly distinguish between Phrygians and Moschoi.

Identification of the Eastern with the Western Mushki is uncertain, but it is of course possible to assume a migration of at least part of the Eastern Mushki to Cilicia in the course of the 10th to 8th centuries.

The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture notes that “the Armenians according to Diakonoff, are then an amalgam of the Hurrian (and Urartians), Luvians and the Proto-Armenian Mushki (or Armeno-Phrygians) who carried their IE language eastwards across Anatolia.”

Armeno-Phrygian is a term for a minority supported claim of hypothetical people who are thought to have lived in the Armenian Highland as a group and then have separated to form the Phrygians and the Mushki of Cappadocia. It is also used for the language they are assumed to have spoken. It can also be used for a language branch including these languages, a branch of the Indo-European family or a sub-branch of the proposed Graeco-Armeno-Aryan or Armeno-Aryan branch.

Classification is difficult because little is known of Phrygian and virtually nothing of Mushki, while Proto-Armenian forms a subgroup with Hurro-Urartian, Greek, and Indo-Iranian. These subgroups are all Indo-European, with the exception of Hurro-Urartian.

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

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC.

Another mention by pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) as the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc.

I. J. Gelb and E. A. Speiser believed Semitic Subarians had been the linguistic and ethnic substratum of northern Mesopotamia since earliest times, while Hurrians were merely late arrivals.

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 Sumerian mythological epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta lists the countries where the “languages are confused” as Subartu, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki, and the Martu land. 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 may have been in the general sphere of influence of the Hurrians. There are various alternate theories associating the ancient Subartu with one or more modern cultures found in the region, including Armenian or Kurdish tribes.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was a Hurrian-speaking kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. The capital was called Ubbumu. Scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia.

Weidner interpreted textual evidence to indicate that after the Hurrian king Shattuara of Mitanni was defeated by Adad-nirari I of Assyria in the early 13th century BC, he then became ruler of a reduced vassal state known as Shubria or Subartu. The name Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) for the region is attested much earlier, from the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC).

Together with 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 early Armenians.

The earliest testimony of the Armenian language dates to the 5th century AD (the Bible translation of Mesrob Mashtots). The earlier history of the language is unclear and the subject of much speculation. It is clear that Armenian is an Indo-European language, but its development is opaque. In any case, Armenian has many layers of loanwords and shows traces of long language contact with Hurro-Urartian, Greek and Indo-Iranian.

In his paper, “Hurro-Urartian Borrowings in Old Armenian”, Soviet linguist Igor Mikhailovich Diakonov notes the presence in Old Armenian of what he calls a Caucasian substratum, identified by earlier scholars, consisting of loans from the Kartvelian and Northeast Caucasian languages such as Udi.

Noting that the Hurro-Urartian peoples inhabited the Armenian homeland in the second millennium BC, Diakonov identifies in Armenian a Hurro-Urartian substratum of social, cultural, and zoological and biological terms such as ałaxin (‘slavegirl’) and xnjor (‘apple(tree)’). Some of the terms he gives admittedly have an Akkadian or Sumerian provenance, but he suggests they were borrowed through Hurrian or Urartu.

Given that these borrowings do not undergo sound changes characteristic of the development of Armenian from Proto-Indo-European, he dates their borrowing to a time before the written record but after the Proto-Armenian language stage.

Armenia, situated between the Black and Caspian Seas, lies at the junction of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and former Mesopotamia. This geographic position made it a potential contact zone between Eastern and Western civilizations.

There are a striking prominence of haplogroups previously implicated with the Agricultural Revolution in the Near East, including the J2a-M410-, R1b1b1*-L23-, G2a-P15- and J1-M267-derived lineages. Given that the Last Glacial Maximum event in the Armenian plateau occured a few millennia before the Neolithic era, we envision a scenario in which its repopulation was achieved mainly by the arrival of farmers from the Fertile Crescent temporally coincident with the initial inception of farming in Greece.

However, there are very restricted genetic affinities with Europe that suggest any later cultural diffusions from Armenia to Europe were not associated with substantial amounts of paternal gene flow, despite the presence of closely related Indo-European languages in both Armenia and Southeast Europe.

Within a few centuries of the fall of Washshukanni to Assyria, Mitanni became fully Assyrianized and linguistically Aramaized, and use of the Hurrian language began to be discouraged throughout the Neo-Assyrian Empire. However, Urartean, a dialect closely related to Hurrian seems to have survived in the new state of Urartu, in the mountainous areas to the north. In the 10th to 9th century BC inscriptions of Adad-nirari II and Shalmaneser III, Hanigalbat is still used as a geographical term.

In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian Kingdom was replaced by the Armenian Orontid dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in 521/0 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.

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