Cradle of Civilization

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The origin of the mermaids

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 8, 2014

The word mermaid is a compound of the Old English mere (sea), and maid (a girl or young woman). The equivalent term in Old English was merewif. They are conventionally depicted as beautiful with long flowing hair.

They are sometimes equated with the sirens of Greek mythology (especially the Odyssey), half-bird femme fatales whose enchanting voices would lure soon-to-be-shipwrecked sailors to nearby rocks, sandbars or shoals, as well as with sirenia, a biological order comprising dugongs and manatees.Some of the historical sightings by sailors may have been misunderstood encounters with these aquatic mammals.

A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

Christopher Columbus reported seeing mermaids while exploring the Caribbean, and sightings have been reported in the 20th and 21st centuries in Canada, Israel and Zimbabwe. The U.S. National Ocean Service stated in 2012 that no evidence of mermaids has ever been found.

Mermaids have been a popular subject of art and literature in recent centuries, such as in Hans Christian Andersen’s well-known fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” (1836). They have subsequently been depicted in operas, paintings, books, films and comics.

Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover.

The first known mermaid stories appeared in Assyria 1000 BC. The goddess Atargatis, mother of Assyrian queen Semiramis, the legendary queen of king Ninus, succeeding him to the throne of Assyria, loved a mortal (a shepherd) and unintentionally killed him.

Ashamed, she jumped into a lake and took the form of a fish, but the waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid – human above the waist, fish below – although the earliest representations of Atargatis showed her as a fish with a human head and arm, similar to the Sumerian god Enki, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology.

The legends narrated by Diodorus Siculus, Justin and others from Ctesias of Cnidus describe her and her relationship to King Ninus, himself a mythical king of Assyria, not attested in the Assyrian King List.

Ara the Beautiful (also Ara the Handsome or Ara the Fair) is a legendary Armenian hero. He is notable in Armenian literature for the popular legend in which he was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis waged war against Armenia just to get him.

He is sometimes associated with the the first known historical king of Urartu known as Arame (ruled 858–844 BC), who ruled in the 9th century BC.

Living at the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria (ruled 859–824 BC), Arame united the Nairi tribe against the threat of the Assyrian Empire. His capital at Arzashkun was captured by Shalmaneser.

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

Ninus, according to Greek historians writing in the Hellenistic period and later, was accepted as the eponymous founder of Nineveh (also called “city of Ninus”), ancient capital of Assyria.

Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The origin of the name Nineveh is obscure. The ideogram means “house or place of fish,” and was perhaps due to popular etymology (compare Aramaic “nuna,” denoting “fish”).

Possibly it meant originally the seat of the East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sexuality, Ishtar, since Nina was one of the Babylonian names of that goddess.

Inanna was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries. Pisces is associated with Aphrodite and Eros.

Ishtar, the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna, and the cognate for the Northwest Semitic Aramean goddess Astarte, was the daughter of Ninurta. She was particularly worshipped in northern Mesopotamia, at the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela (Erbil). Besides the lions on her gate, her symbol is an eight-pointed star. In the Babylonian pantheon, she “was the divine personification of the planet Venus”.

Ancient Nineveh’s mound-ruins of Kouyunjik and Nabī Yūnus are located on a level part of the plain near the junction of the Tigris and the Khosr Rivers within an area of 750 hectares (1,900 acres) circumscribed by a 12-kilometre (7.5 mi) brick rampart. This whole extensive space is now one immense area of ruins overlaid in parts by new suburbs across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul in the Ninawa Governorate of Iraq.

Nineveh was an important junction for commercial routes crossing the Tigris until, after a bitter period of civil war in Assyria itself, it was sacked by an unusual coalition of former subject peoples, the Babylonians, Medes, Persians, Chaldeans, Scythians and Cimmerians in 612 BC.

Occupying a central position on the great highway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, thus uniting the East and the West, it received wealth from many sources, so that it became one of the greatest of all the region’s ancient cities, and the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Nineveh was one of the oldest and greatest cities in antiquity. The area was settled as early as 6000 BC and, by 3000 BC, had become an important religious center for worship of the Assyrian goddess Ishtar.

The early city (and subsequent buildings) were constructed on a fault line and, consequently, suffered damage from a number of earthquakes. One such event destroyed the first temple of Ishtar, which was then rebuilt in 2260 BC by the Akkadian king Manishtusu.

Texts from the Hellenistic period and later offered an eponymous Ninus as the founder of Nineveh, although there is no historical basis for this. The historic Nineveh is mentioned during the reign of Shamshi-Adad I in about 1800 BC as a centre of worship of Ishtar, whose cult was responsible for the city’s early importance.

The goddess’s statue was sent to Pharaoh Amenhotep III of Egypt in the 14th century BC, by orders of the king of Mitanni. The Assyrian city of Nineveh became one of Mitanni’s vassals for half a century until the early 14th century BC, when the Assyrian king Ashur-uballit I reclaimed it in 1365 BC while overthrowing the Mitanni Empire and creating the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1050 BC).

Ninus is not attested on the Assyrian King List or in any cuneiform literature; he does not seem to represent any one personage known to modern history, and is more likely a conflation of several real and/or fictional figures of antiquity, as seen to the Greeks through the mists of time.

Many early accomplishments are attributed to him, such as training the first hunting dogs, and taming horses for riding. For this accomplishment, he is sometimes represented in Greek mythology as a centaur.

The figures of King Ninus and Queen Semiramis first appear in the history of Persia written by Ctesias of Cnidus (c. 400 BC), who claimed, as court physician to Artaxerxes II, to have access to the royal historical records.

Ctesias’ account was later expanded on by Diodorus Siculus. Ninus continued to be mentioned by European historians (e.g. Alfred the Great), even up until knowledge of cuneiform enabled a more precise reconstruction of Assyrian and Babylonian history from the mid 19th century onwards.

The decipherment of a vast quantity of Cuneiform texts has allowed modern Assyriologists to piece together a more accurate history of Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Babylonia and Chaldea.

Ninus is not attested in any of the extensive king lists compiled by the Mesopotamians themselves, nor mentioned in any Mesopotamian literature, and it is highly likely that this Hellenic creation was inspired by the deeds of one or more real kings of Assyria, or Assyro-Babylonian mythology.

Similarly, the Biblical character of Nimrod is not attested anywhere in Assyrian, Babylonian, Akkadian or Sumerian literature or king lists, but is believed by many scholars to have been inspired by one or more real kings, the most likely being Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria who ruled the Middle Assyrian Empire during the 13th century BC, or the Assyrian war god Ninurta.

An Assyrian queen Shammuramat is known to be historical, and for five years from 810 BC ruled the Neo-Assyrian Empire as regent for her son Adad-nirari III, and had been the wife of Shamshi-Adad V.

The later Hellenic myths surrounding Semiramis are considered by some to be inspired by the novelty of a woman ruling such an empire. Another opinion holds that Shamurammat could have been a namesake of an earlier Semiramis, and not necessarily the inspiration for her.

The name of Semiramis came to be applied to various monuments in Western Asia and Asia Minor, the origin of which was forgotten or unknown. Nearly every stupendous work of antiquity by the Euphrates or in Iran seems to have ultimately been ascribed to her, even the Behistun Inscription of Darius.

Herodotus ascribes to her the artificial banks that confined the Euphrates and knows her name as borne by a gate of Babylon. However, Diodorus stresses that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built long after Semiramis had reigned and not in her time.

Various places in Assyria and throughout Mesopotamia as a whole, Media, Persia, the Levant, Asia Minor, Arabia and the Caucasus bore the name of Semiramis, but slightly changed, even in the Middle Ages, and an old name of the city of Van was Shamiramagerd (in Armenian it means created by Semiramis).

A real and historical Shammuramat (the Akkadian and Aramaic form of the name) was the Assyrian queen of Shamshi-Adad V (ruled 824 BC–811 BC), king of Assyria and ruler of the Neo Assyrian Empire, and its regent for four years until her son Adad-nirari III came of age.

The indigenous Assyrians of Iraq, north east Syria, south east Turkey and north west Iran still name female children Semiramis.

The Greeks recognized Atargatis under the name Derketo. Sometime before 546 BC, Milesian philosopher Anaximander postulated that mankind had sprung from an aquatic animal species. He thought that humans, who begin life with prolonged infancy, could not have survived otherwise.

Enki, the Abagallu and Adapa

(half fish – half man)

Enki 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. His symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognised as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus. He was accompanied by an attendant Isimud. He was also associated with the planet Mercury in the Sumerian astrological system.

Enki, and later Ea, were apparently depicted, sometimes, like Adam, as a man covered with the skin of a fish, and this representation, as likewise the name of his temple E-apsu, “house of the watery deep”, points decidedly to his original character as a god of the waters. Around the excavation of the 18 shrines found on the spot, thousands of carp bones were found, consumed possibly in feasts to the god.

Of his cult at Eridu, which goes back to the oldest period of Mesopotamian history, nothing definite is known except that his temple was also associated with Ninhursag’s temple which was called Esaggila, “the lofty head house” (E, house, sag, head, ila, high; or Akkadian goddess = Ila), a name shared with Marduk’s temple in Babylon, pointing to a staged tower or ziggurat (as with the temple of Enlil at Nippur, which was known as E-kur (kur, hill)), and that incantations, involving ceremonial rites in which water as a sacred element played a prominent part, formed a feature of his worship.

This seems also implicated in the epic of the hieros gamos or sacred marriage of Enki and Ninhursag (above), which seems an etiological myth of the fertilisation of the dry ground by the coming of irrigation water (from Sumerian a, ab, water or semen).

The early inscriptions of Urukagina in fact go so far as to suggest that the divine pair, Enki and Ninki, were the progenators of seven pairs of gods, including Enki as god of Eridu, Enlil of Nippur, and Su’en (or Sin) of Ur, and were themselves the children of An (sky, heaven) and Ki (earth).

The pool of the Abzu at the front of his temple was adopted also at the temple to Nanna (Akkadian Sin) the Moon, at Ur, and spread from there throughout the Middle East. It is believed to remain today as the sacred pool at Mosques, or as the holy water font in Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches.

Whether Eridu at one time also played an important political role in Sumerian affairs is not certain, though not improbable. At all events the prominence of “Ea” led, as in the case of Nippur, to the survival of Eridu as a sacred city, long after it had ceased to have any significance as a political center. Myths in which Ea figures prominently have been found in Assurbanipal’s library, and in the Hattusas archive in Hittite Anatolia.

As Ea, Enki had a wide influence outside of Sumer, being equated with El (at Ugarit) and possibly Yah (at Ebla) in the Canaanite ‘ilhm pantheon, he is also found in Hurrian and Hittite mythology, as a god of contracts, and is particularly favourable to humankind. Amongst the Western Semites, it is thought that Ea was equated to the term *hyy (life), referring to Enki’s waters as life giving.

Enki/Ea is essentially a god of civilization, wisdom, and culture. He was also the creator and protector of man, and of the world in general. Traces of this view appear in the Marduk epic celebrating the achievements of this god and the close connection between the Ea cult at Eridu and that of Marduk.

The Akkadian Apkallu, “sage”, comes from Sumerian AB.GAL.LU (Ab=water, Gal=Great Lu=Man) are seven Sumerian sages, demigods who are said to have been created by the god Enki (Akkadian: Ea) to establish culture and give civilization to mankind. The word Abgallu, sage, survived into Nabatean times, around the time of Christ, as apkallum, used to describe the profession of a certain kind of priest.

The sages are described in Mesopotamian literature as ‘pure parādu-fish, probably carp, whose bones are found associated with the earliest shrine, and still kept as a holy duty in the precincts of Near Eastern mosques and monasteries. Adapa as a fisherman was iconographically portrayed as a fish-man composite.

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages, who were sent by Enki, the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation to humankind. The first of these, Adapa, also known as Uan, the name given as Oannes by Berossus, introduced the practice of the correct rites of religious observance as priest of the E’Apsu temple, at Eridu.

The sages served as priests of Enki and as advisors or sages to the earliest “kings” or rulers of Sumer before the flood. They are credited with giving mankind the Me (moral code), the crafts, and the arts. They were seen as fish-like men who emerged from the sweet water Abzu. They are commonly represented as having the lower torso of a fish, or dressed as a fish.

According to the myth, human beings were initially unaware of the benefits of culture and civilization. The god Enki sent from Dilmun, amphibious half-fish, half-human creatures, who emerged from the oceans to live with the early human beings and teach them the arts and other aspects of civilization such as writing, law, temple and city building and agriculture. These creatures are known as the Apkallu. The Apkallu remained with human beings after teaching them the ways of civilization, and served as advisers to the kings.

The Apkallus are referred to in several Sumerian myths in cuneiform literature. They are first referred to in the Erra Epic by the character of Marduk who asks “Where are the Seven Sages of the Apsu, the pure puradu fish, who just as their lord Ea, have been endowed with sublime wisdom?”

According to the Temple Hymn of Ku’ara, all seven sages are said to have originally belonged to the city of Eridu. However, the names and order of appearance of these seven sages are varied in different sources. They are also referred to in the incantation series Bit Meseri’s third tablet.

In non-cuneiform sources, they find references in the writings of Berossus, the 3rd century BC, Babylonian priest of Bel Marduk. Berossus describes the appearance from the Persian Gulf of the first of these sages Oannes and describes him as a monster with two heads, the body of a fish and human feet. He then relates that more of these monsters followed. The seven sages are also referred to in an exorcistic text where they are described as bearing the likeness of carps.

Though the order of the appearance of the sages is not precisely agreed upon, Conrad and Newing give an order of their appearance: The first is Uanna, “who finished the plans for heaven and earth”, the second is Uannedugga “who was endowed with comprehensive intelligence”, the third came Enmedugga “who was allotted a good fate”, the fourth was Enmegalamma “who was born in a house”, the fifth was Enmebulugga “who grew up on pasture land”, the sixth is An-Enlilda “the conjurer of the city of Eridu”, and last came Utuabzu “who ascended to heaven.”

Conrad and Newing identify Utuabzu as the legendary Babylonian mythical figure, Adapa, while others identify Uanna with Adapa.

These seven were each advisers for seven different kings and therefore result in two different lists, one of kings and one of Apkallu. Neither the sages nor the kings in these lists were genealogically related however.

Apkallu and human beings were presumably capable of conjugal relationships since after the flood, the myth states that four Apkallu appeared. These were part human and part Apkallu, and included Nungalpirriggaldim, Pirriggalnungal, Pirriggalabsu, and Lu-nana who was only two-thirds Apkallu.

These Apkallus are said to have committed various transgressions which angered the gods. These seeming negative deeds of the later Apkallu and their roles as wise councillors has led some scholars to equate them with the Nephilim of Genesis 6:4.

After these four post-diluvian Apkallus came the first completely human advisers, who were called ummanu. Gilgamesh, the mythical king of Uruk, is said to be the first king to have had an entirely human adviser. In recent times, scholars have also suggested the Apkallu are the model for Enoch, the ancestor of Noah.

Apkallu reliefs also appear in Assyrian palaces as guardians against evil spirits. They are one of the more prominent supernatural creatures that appear in the art of Ashurnasirpal II of the 9th century BC. They appear in one of three forms, bird-headed, human-headed or dressed in fish-skin cloaks.

Adapa, the first of the Mesopotamian seven sages and the first sage’s association with water, was a mortal man from a godly lineage, a son of Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, who brought the arts of civilization to that city.

Adapa was a mythical figure who unknowingly refused the gift of immortality. The story is first attested in the Kassite period (14th century BCE), in fragmentary tablets from Tell el-Amarna, and from Assur, of the late second millennium BCE.

He broke the wings of Ninlil the South Wind, who had overturned his fishing boat, and was called to account before Anu. Enki, his patron god, warned him to apologize humbly for his actions, but not to partake of food or drink while he was in heaven, as it would be the food of death. Anu, impressed by Adapa’s sincerity, offered instead the food of immortality, but Adapa heeded Ea’s advice, refused, and thus missed the chance for immortality that would have been his.

Vague parallels can be drawn to the story of Genesis, where Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden by Yahweh, after they ate from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus gaining death.

Parallels are also apparent (to an even greater degree) with the story of Persephone visiting Hades, who was warned to take nothing from that kingdom. Stephanie Galley writes “From Erra and Ishum we know that all the sages were banished … because they angered the gods, and went back to the Apsu, where Ea lived, and … the story … ended with Adapa’s banishment” p. 182.

Adapa is often identified as advisor to the mythical first (antediluvian) king of Eridu, Alulim. In addition to his advisory duties, he served as a priest and exorcist, and upon his death took his place among the Seven Sages or Apkallū.

Oannes (Hovhannes in Armenian) was the name given by the Babylonian writer Berossus in the 3rd century BCE to a mythical being who taught mankind wisdom.

Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. He is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing mankind instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences.

The name “Oannes” was once conjectured to be derived from that of the ancient Babylonian god Ea, but it is now known that the name is the Greek form of the Babylonian Uanna (or Uan) a name used for Adapa in texts from the Library of Ashurbanipal.

Lepenski Vir

The Lepenski Vir culture was a fascinating prehistoric culture in Europe. They lived a pretty sedentary lifestyle compared to their contemporaries. The group seems to have migrated from present day Czech Republic and settled along the banks of the Danube in today’s Serbia. They became a river people. They built their houses by the river. They fished the river. And they began to worship the river.

The Lepenski Vir culture was advanced for its time. They planned their villages in an organized way. Their houses were built using advanced techniques. Once they had their houses built and their fish done fished they turned to religion. They created a fairly complex religion. The evidence comes from a lavish grave site outside of the village, ceremonial burials of what appear to be elders in the fireplaces of some homes, and the sculptures. The sculptures are crosses between humans and fish.

The earliest sculptures found on the site date to the time of Lepenski Vir Ib settlement. They are present in all the following layers until the end of the distinct Lepenski vir culture. All the sculptures were carved from round sandstone cobbles found on the river banks.

The sculptures can be separated in two distinct categories, one with simple geometric patterns and the other representing humanoid figures. The latter are the most interesting. All of these figural sculptures were modeled in a naturalistic and strongly expressionistic manner. Only the head and face of the human figures were modeled realistically, with strong brow arches, an elongated nose, and a wide, fish-like mouth.

Hair, beard, arms and hands can be seen on some of the figures in a stylized form. Many fish-like features can be noticed. Along with the position which these sculptures had in the house shrine, they suggest a connection with river gods.

 

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Water Wars: Land snatched from Syria supplies third of Israel’s H2O

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 7, 2014

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Celente: Iraq’s endless war to get much worse

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 7, 2014

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RTV about Armenia

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 7, 2014

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Om å forstå vår egen rolle

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 7, 2014

 

Det politikere og flertallet i beste fall gjør i dag er å forsvare arbeiderne og de fattige. Dette har blitt gjort like siden vi skapte hierarki og klassesamfunn. Uten dette ville det rene barbari råde og folk ville ha vært rettsløse.

Kun rike snobber og nyttige idioter arbeider for et samfunn der en liten elite tar for seg av godene på bekostning av resten av samfunnet. Monopolkapitalismen, slik vi har den i dag, er særlig skadelig.

Staten bailer ut banker og finansorganisasjoner, som er skyld i den økonomiske krisen vi nå befinner oss i, men ikke folk, som har mistet sine arbeidsplasser og sparepenger.

Staten og kapitalen styres av de samme interessene. Først i rekken er profitt. Men vi har skapt oss en vill forbrukerkultur hvor vi konsumerer på bekostning av naturen og på bekostning av neste generasjon.

Dette løpet vil bli vår død. Vi blir derfor nødt til å endre hele samfunnet, inkludert økonomien. Vi må skape harmoni mellom hverandre og i vårt samspill med naturen. Dette er ikke kun en viljessak, men en nødvendighet.

I tillegg kommer selvsagt det at alt viser at et samfunn med minst mulig forskjeller mellom folk, rent økonomisk, skaper langt mer glede og langt mindre kriminalitet enn et forskjellssamfunn. Forskjellene må med andre ord baseres på andre ting enn inntekt.

Det at vi i dag i det hele tatt har et så vellfungerende samfunn som det vi har, med unntak av en vekstøkonomi som er ved å ta knekken på planeten, skyldes ikke at de rike får gjøre som de vil, men på grunn av at samfunnsborgerne gjør så godt de kan.

Men denne altruismen, som de rike skummer fløten av, vil bli vår sanne død hvis vi ikke reflekterer og handler. Pengene kan ikke stå i høysetet. Vi må ha andre verdier.

Dette er ingen ny, revolusjonær tanke, men er like gammel som vår sivilisasjon. Vi kan ikke basere vårt samfunn ensidig på materiell vellferd representert ved oksen, Wall Street osv, men på pakten vi har med Gud, eller planten. Mitra betyr nettopp dette – en pakt.

Og følger vi ikke Guds, eller naturens, forordninger, så er det pent lite vi kan stille opp med. Vi trenger Gud (planeten) og ikke omvendt. Det er ikke Gud (planeten) som skal tilbe oss.

Vi er dermed i et skjebnesvangert øyeblikk i vår historie. Hvis vi ikke føyer oss vil vi falle – og er det virkelig dette vi ønsker for våre barn?

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Hva vil det si å være fri?

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 7, 2014

Alt ser ut til at mennesker som får sjansen jobber. Man må kun legge forholdene til for det. Og desto bedre vilkårene er (og da tenker jeg ikke kun på lønn), jo ivriger og villigere blir folk til å jobbe.

Det er ikke pengene alene som arbeider for. alle har sine interesser og mange ser på det som et mål å få en jobb som tilsvarer ens interesser. Mange interesser krever samtidig at man går sammen med andre slik at man har arbeidskraft og utstyr tilgjengelig.

I tillegg kommer at menneske er et flokkdyr og føler seg best i lag med andre mennesker og at det er naturlig å ville jobbe for det samfunnet man lever i. Man yter med andre ord det man klarer og mottar etter behov.

Det å se på TV, eller surfe på nett hjemme, vil ikke tilfredsstille et friskt menneske, men er et tegn på en skjev samfunnsstruktur hvor vilkårene ikke har blitt lagt til rette for den enkelte.

Men ja, etter en stund så kan bli en vane som er vond å vende, iaf så lenge ikke vilkårene har blitt lagt til rette for det.

I tillegg kommer det at å arbeide i 37,5 timer i dag ikke hører noen plass hjemme. Det er ingen ting som tilsier at vi i dagens hyperteknologiske samfunn skal arbeide mer enn det vi noen sinne har gjort tidligere, så lenge ikke den enkelte ønsker seg det da.

I vårt forsøk med å temme vekstøkonomien lider vi i dag av overproduksjon og overforbruk. Vi har med andre ord langt mer enn nok til alle. Faktisk er det slik at vi kaster og brenner storparten av det vi lager, inkludert mat og fisken i havene.

Vi må gå bort fra vekstøkonomi og dele på ressursene. På denne måten kan vi skape et bærekraftig samfunn og spare noe til generasjonene som kommer etter oss.

Jeg har tro på at de som kommer til dette landet for å jobbe forstår hvordan vi har innordnet samfunnet og vår økonomi. de vil lett anpasse seg i et arbeidsliv hvor arbeidsforholdene har blitt lagt til rette for en.

De vil kunne bruke sine arbeidsressurser og være glad for å bidra i et samfunn som ivaretar alle og ikke kun en liten overklasse som skor seg på andres arbeid.

Et samfunn som legger vilkårene til rette, som ivaretar alles behov og som har minst mulig forskjeller mellom fattig og rik vil samtidig bli et mye lykkeligere samfunn med mindre konflikt og mindre splittelse blant innbyggerne.

Vi har kommet til det punktet i samfunnet hvor store deler av befolkningen ser at modellen vi fører nå er ekstremt urettferdig.

Folk må få leve sine egne liv i fred uten at en blir tvunget til å utføre et arbeide en ellers ikke ville ha utført (lønnsslaveri) og uten at en voldelig tredjepart (politiet) kun skal tjene de rikeste og mektigste i samfunnet på bekostning av folk generelt.

Det at staten finansierer selskaper og bailer ut banker er en uting, når man ser hvordan selskapslederne, som er skyld i dagens økonomiske krise, tar seg råd til bonuser og skyhøye lønninger i stedet for å påta seg sitt samfunnsansvar.

DEL 2

Folk som kaller seg “Libertarianere”, og som mener frihet er et viktig prinsipp, bør tenke litt på hvem det skal være frihet for og hva det skal være frihet til. I tillegg kommer selsagt at man også må ha frihet fra noe, inkludert lønnsslaveri, utbytting og undertrykking.

Liberalisme (latin: liber; «fri») er en politisk ideologi med opprinnelse i opplysningstiden. Den opprinnelige liberalismen la vekt på å begrense den politiske makten og fremheve individets rettigheter i samfunnet i en tid da konge- og statsmakten var praktisk talt allmektig.

I dag er det flere politiske retninger som blir kalt for liberalisme, deriblant libertarianisme og sosialliberalisme. Dette spekteret av «underretninger» gjør at det er vanskelig å definere liberalismen veldig snevert. Det er dessuten slik at begrepet forstås forskjellig i forskjellige regioner og land.

I USA er eksempelvis liberalisme (eller progressivisme) en betegnelse som brukes om personer og grupperinger på venstresiden, mens det i Europa oftest brukes om de grupperinger på den politiske høyresiden som ønsker stor grad av økonomisk og personlig frihet.

Libertarianisme er en politisk filosofi som vektlegger individuell frihet, spesielt friheten til å handle og uttrykke seg. Begrepet libertarianisme inkluderer forskjellige synspunkter og organisasjoner, som har til felles at de vil minimere eller eliminere staten og har som mål å maksimere individuell frihet.

Libertarianske tankeskoler er uenige i hvilken grad staten bør reduseres. Minarkister fremmer reduksjon av staten hvor dens eneste oppgaver blir å beskytte mot aggresjon, tyveri, kontraktbrudd, og bedrageri, mens anarkister mener staten bør avskaffes.

I tillegg kommer at libertarianere ofte har forskjellige synspunkter når det gjelder behandlingen av eiendomsrett individets eiendomsrett over land og naturressurser som tidligere ikke er eid, hvor noen libertarianere fremmer retten til privat eiendom, mens andre mener at privat eiendom bør unngås, da det er uforenlig med grunnleggende prinsipper i libertarianismen, og ofte støtter kollektiv eie i stedet.

Respektivt skiller man mellom disse to gruppene som høyre-libertarianere og venstre-libertarianere.

Blant libertarianere forblir anarkisme (fra gresk (an), «uten» og (arkhin), «å herske», samt (ismos), som vil si «uten herskere» en av de største grenene. Libertarianisme har også blitt assosiert med anarkisme (de er også brukt som synonymer), spesielt utenfor USA.

Anarkisme er en politisk filosofi som mener staten er uønsket, unødvendig eller skadelig, og som går inn for å fjerne, eller i stor grad minske, alle former for maktstrukturer.

Begrepet anarki har flere betydninger. For anarkister beskriver det en tilstand hvor folk lever i samfunn og styrer seg selv, i mest mulig grad uten hierarkisk organisasjon. Med andre ord er anarkistiske styringsformer basert på horisontal (eller flat) organisering. Et godt eksempel på dette er samvirkebevegelsen.

I motsetning til den sentralistiske staten, som styrer ovenfra (hierarkisk), er det anarkistiske alternativet et samfunn basert på desentralisering og en flat organisasjonsform der samfunnet for eksempel er organisert i mindre enheter der «hver mann er sin herre» i et kooperativt samarbeid.

Sosialliberalisme som ideologi oppsto som en reaksjon mot de sosiale forskjellene i 1800-tallets England. I motsetning til den klassiske liberalismen ønsker sosialliberale å bruke reguleringer og omfordeling. Sosialliberale vektlegger også sterk konkurranseutsetting av politisk og økonomisk makt.

Sosialliberalismen skiller seg fra sosialdemokratiet og sosialismen ved at den vektlegger liberalismen som mål for politikken, og ved at den er mer åpen for kapitalismen. Det motsatte av sosialliberalisme er sosialkonservatisme.

Sosialliberalismen skiller seg fra konservative og liberalister ved at den ser staten som et verktøy for å skape frihet og muligheter for enkeltindividet, og ved at den har et radikalt preg, det vil si at sosialliberale politikere ikke gir eksisterende samfunnsstrukturer og etablerte løsninger forrang.

Ideologien ligger i midten av aksen høyre/venstre fordi den legger vekt på størst mulig frihet og samtidig et sterkt sosialt ansvar.

Alle har krav på menneskerettigheter (som ligger i ordet sosial-) og alle skal ha størst mulig frihet. For at alle skal ha størst mulig frihet må friheten ha en grense (liberal-), også kjent som «min frihet slutter der din frihet begynner».

En kan for eksempel ikke få frihet til å bestemme over andres liv. Full frihet er etter denne definisjonen anarki. Sosialliberale prøver å sette denne grensen slik at alle får størst mulig frihet til å bestemme over eget liv.

I tråd med dette prinsippet vil man se at dagens samfunn, bygget på utbytting og lønnsslaveri, er uforenlig med “frihet for alle”, men at borgerlønn kan være med på å fjerne en del av dagens problemer selv om det selvfølgelig ikke vil kunne løse alle.

DEL 3

Det vi trenger er et samfunn basert på sanne verdier, og ikke et evig profittjag uten mål og mening. Borgerlønn, som gjør at hver og en kan leve etter sin egen samvittighet og som fjerner kapitalistenes egenrådighet på bekostning av arbeiderne, kan være en bro inn til dette samfunnet.

Borgerlønn kan skape frihet for nyskapning og endring, noe som kan være med på å forme et mer åpent og fritt samfunn, samtidig som den enkelte blir herre over egen situasjon og dermed i bedre stand til å ta reelle valg.

Dette vil føre til langt mer “moderne” mennesker enn i dag hvor vi har gitt vår frihet til stat og kapital og dermed bare er å anse som passive fotballer som blir sparket hit eller dit, noe som i seg selv skaper passive og apatiske borgere, og ikke aktive spillere.

De rike har et ekstremt mye bedre nettverk rundt om i verden enn hva de fattige har. De er ikke avhengige av ett spesifikt land sitt helsesystem da de kan dra til den andre siden av verden og få den samme typen behandling.

I tillegg kommer at norske selskaper ikke er bedre enn andre lands selskaper og at selskapsstrukturene er internasjonale og ikke nasjonale. Disse rikeste kan dermed ta med seg sine penger og sin arbeidskraft (gjennom sine bedrifter) over til andre land noe som fører til at antall jobber synker enda mer enn hva det allerede har gjort frem til i dag.

Vi har vært vitne til den ene utflaggingen etter den andre, inkludert av statlige selskaper som går med profitt i Norge. Få ting vitner med andre om at selskapsledere styres av følelsesmessige og nasjonalistiske grunner, og at det er dette som får dem til å bli i landet eller ikke. Og om så var så bør ikke vår økonomi være tuftet på en så flyktig ting som følelser hos enkeltpersoner.

Hvis de rike flagger ut av Norge, noe en innføring av borgerlønn ikke på noen måte vil innføre ettersom de pengene man regner med at en slik innføring vil koste er mindre enn det dagens NAV system koster, samt på grunn av de enorme gevinstene i både nytenkning og nyskapning som vil følge av innføringen av borgerlønn, vil dette føre til at inntektskilden til det som skal finansiere borgerlønn ikke lengre eksisterer og systemet vil ende opp med kollaps.

Det gjelder derfor om å endre strukturene, ikke kun i Norge, men i hele verden. Det er med andre ord på tide at både staten og kapitalen, hvor av begge tvinger fredelige individer til å gjøre ting man ellers ikke ville ha gjort, desentraliserer sin makt slik at den enkelte borger kan føle friheten bruse i sine blodårer.

Det er kun gjennom dette at vi mennesker kan bli parate til å skape det nye fredelige, rettferdige og bærekraftige samfunnet vi så sårt trenger.

Vi vil nå, med et tilpasset arbeidsliv, frie mennesker og med selskaper styrt av arbeiderne og ikke på tilfeldige nasjonalistiske følelser hos et gjennområttent oligarki, bli langt bedre stilt enn hva vi var før borgerlønn ble innført. I tillegg vil vi få ny arbeidskraft gjennom innvandring, samtidig som vi vil få en mer nyskapende arbeidskraft enn den eksisterende.
Konklusjon:

Det er konstruktivt å legge ut lenker som i bunn og grunn kritiserer samfunnsstrukturen slik den er i dag, samtidig som man stiller krav til lederne av denne samfunnsstrukturen for å få denne endringen vedrørende borgerlønn. Dette på grunn av at man nå som tidligere må stille krav til dem som på det værende tidspunkt sitter ved makta. Tilfredsstilles ikke disse kravene må man gjøre revolusjon, men tatt forholdene i dagens Norge med i betraktningen, så ser det ikke ut til at dette er tilfellet.

I tillegg kommer at det er fåfengt å tro at man kan endre samfunnet uten å endre dets design. Det å tro på forbrukermakt, eller at man kan innføre borgerlønn gjennom veldedighet, har ikke forstått hva det dreier seg om. Det dreier seg ikke kun om at ingen skal være fattige og oppfyllelse av menneskerettighetene i praksis, men om en desentralisering og transformasjon av hele samfunnet.

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Lentil as anything: the pulse of the past is in food words

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 29, 2013

No matter where in the world you live, chances are you’ve eaten “pulses” some time in the last week. These foods, otherwise known as “food legumes” or “grain legumes,” have been a part of the human diet since at least 11,000 BC.

Lentil as anything: the pulse of the past is in food words

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The archaeogenetics of the Near East

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 20, 2013

The archaeogenetics of the Near East

The archaeogenetics of the Near East involves the study of DNA or ancient DNA, identifying haplogroups and haplotypes of ancient skeletal remains from both Y-DNA, and mtDNA and other autosomal DNA for populations of the Ancient Near East (i.e., the modern Middle East including Egypt, Persia (Iran), Anatolia (Turkey), Mesopotamia, Arabia, the Levant, and Northern Africa).

Developments in DNA sequencing in the 1970s and 1980s provided researchers with the tools needed to study human genetic variation and the genetics of human populations to discover founder populations of modern people groups and human migrations.

In 2005, National Geographic launched The Genographic Project, led by 12 prominent scientists and researchers, to study and map historical human migration patterns by collecting and analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

Zalloua and Wells (2004), under the auspices of a grant from National Geographic Magazine examined the origins of the Phoenicians. The debate between Wells and Zalloua was whether haplogroup J2 (M172) should be identified as that of the Phoenicians or that of its “parent” haplogroup M89 on the YDNA phylogenetic tree.

Initial consensus suggested that J2 be identified with the Canaanite-Phoenician (Northwest Semitic) population, with avenues open for future research. As Wells commented, “The Phoenicians were the Canaanites”

It was reported in the PBS description of the National Geographic TV Special on this study entitled “Quest for the Phoenicians” that ancient DNA was included in this study as extracted from the tooth of a 2500 year-old Phoenician mummy.

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%).

In a 2005 study of ASPM gene variants, Mekel-Bobrov et al. found that the Israeli Druze people of the Carmel region have among the highest rate of the newly evolved ASPM haplogroup D, at 52.2% occurrence of the approximately 6,000-year-old allele.

While it is not yet known exactly what selective advantage is provided by this gene variant, the haplogroup D allele is thought to be positively selected in populations and to confer some substantial advantage that has caused its frequency to rapidly increase.

According to DNA testing, Druze are remarkable for the high frequency (35%) of males who carry the Y-chromosomal haplogroup L, which is otherwise uncommon in the Mideast (Shen et al. 2004). This haplogroup originates from prehistoric South Asia and has spread from Pakistan into southern Iran.

Anthropologist Carleton S. Coon is quoted as saying The Iraqi population is without doubt much the same today as it was in Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian times. It has been found that Y-DNA Haplogroup J2 originated in northern Iraq (Ancient Assyria).

In spite of the importance of this region, genetic studies on the Iraqi people are limited and generally restricted to analysis of classical markers due to Iraq’s modern political instability, although there have been several published studies displaying the genealogical connection between all Iraqi people and the neighbouring countries, regardless religious and linguistic barriers (Iraq contains Semitic peoples such as Arabs, Assyrians and Mandeans, Turkic peoples such as Turcomans, Indo-European peoples such as Kurds, Armenians, Shabaks and North Caucasian speakers such as Circassians). One such study reveals a close genetic relationship between all Iraqis, Kurds, Caspian Iranians and Svani Georgians.

Iraqi mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup distribution is similar to that of Iran, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Georgia, and Armenia, whereas it substantially differs from that observed in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. Iraqi Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroup distribution is similar to that of Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria. No significant differences in Y-DNA variation were observed among Iraqi Arabs, Assyrians, or Mandeans.

For both mtDNA and Y-DNA variation, the large majority of the haplogroups observed in the Iraqi population (H, J, T, and U for the mtDNA, J2 and J1 for the Y-DNA) are those considered to have originated in Western Asia and to have later spread mainly in Western Eurasia.

The Eurasian haplogroups R1b and R1a represent the second most frequent component of the Iraqi Y-chromosome gene pool, the latter suggests that the population movements from Central Asia/Eastern Europe into modern Iran also influenced Iraq to some degree.

Many historians and anthropologists provide strong circumstantial evidence to posit that Iraq’s Marsh Arabs, also known as the Maʻdān people, inhabitants of the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands in the south and east of Iraq and along the Iranian border, share very strong links to the ancient Sumerians, – the most ancient inhabitants of southern Iraq, and that Iraq’s Mandaeans and Assyrians share the strongest ethnic links to the Sumerians and Babylonians.

The Arabic speaking Beni Delphi (sons of Delphi) tribe of Iraq is believed to have Greek origins, from the Macedonian soldiers of Alexander the Great and the colonists of the Seleucid Empire.

The Assyrian Christian population are fairly closely related to other Iraqis, and also to modern Jordanians and some Near Eastern Jewish populations, yet due to religious and cultural endogamy have a very distinct genetic profile that distinguishes their population.

“The Assyrians are a fairly homogeneous group of people, believed to originate from the land of old Assyria in northern Iraq [..] they are Christians and are bona fide descendants of their ancient namesakes.”

The relatively close genetic link with the indigenous Pre Arab Mesopotamian Assyrians and Mandeans indicates that many Iraqis who today speak Arabic are also to a great extent originally of Mesopotamian roots,as opposed to being ethnic Arabs.

In a 2011 study focusing on the genetics of the Maʻdān people of Iraq, researchers identified Y chromosome haplotypes shared by Marsh Arabs, Arabic speaking Iraqis, Assyrians and Mandeans “supporting a common indigenous local background.”

Studies have reported that most Irish and Britons are descendants of farmers who left modern day Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago. Genetic researchers say they have found compelling evidence that four out of five (80% of) white Europeans can trace their roots to the Ancient Near East.

In another study, scientists analysed DNA from the 8,000 year-old remains of early farmers found at an ancient graveyard in Germany. They compared the genetic signatures to those of modern populations and found similarities with the DNA of people living in today’s South Eastern Turkey and Iraq.

The archaeogenetics of Turkey

In population genetics the question has been debated whether the modern Turkish population is significantly related to other Turkic peoples, or whether they are rather derived from indigenous populations of Anatolia which were culturally assimilated during the Middle Ages.

The contribution of the Central Asian genetics to the modern Turkish people has been debated and become the subject of several studies. As a result, several studies have concluded that the historical (pre-Islamic) and indigenous Anatolian groups are the primary source of the present-day Turkish population, in addition to neighboring peoples, such as Balkan peoples, and central Asian Turkic people.

According to a 2012 study on ethnic Turkish people, “Turkish population has a close genetic similarity to Middle Eastern and European populations and some degree of similarity to South Asian and Central Asian populations.”

At K = 3 level, using individuals from the Middle East (Druze and Palestinian), Europe (French, Italian, Tuscan and Sardinian) and Central Asia (Uygur, Hazara and Kyrgyz), clustering results indicated that the contributions were 45%, 40% and 15% for the Middle Eastern, European and Central Asian populations, respectively.

For K = 4 level, results were 38% European, 35% Middle Eastern, 18% South Asian (Pakistani) and 9% Central Asian. However, Hodoglugil et al. caution that results may indicate previous population movements (e.g. migration, admixture) or genetic drift, given Europe and South Asia (e.g. Pakistan) have some genetic relatedness.

The study indicated that the Turkish genetic structure is unique, and admixture of Turkish people reflects the population migration patterns. Among all sampled groups, the Adygei population from the Caucasus was closest to the Turkish samples.

Adyghe, also known as West Circassian, is one of the two official languages of the Republic of Adygea in the Russian Federation, the other being Russian. Adyghe belongs to the family of Northwest Caucasian languages. Kabardian (also known as East Circassian) is a very close relative, treated by some as a dialect of Adyghe or of an overarching Circassian language.

In their own language the Circassians refer to themselves as Adiga (also transliterated as Adyga, Adyge, Adygei, Adyghe, Attéghéi). The name is believed to derive from atté “height” to signify a mountaineer or a highlander, and ghéi “sea”, signifying “a people dwelling and inhabiting a mountainous country near the sea coast”, or “between two seas”.

The oldest known reference to Anatolia, “Land of the Hatti”, was found for the first time on Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets from the period of the Akkadian Empire (2350–2150 BC). The name Asia Minor (“Lesser Asia”) was given by the Greeks in Late Antiquity. In the Byzantine Empire, the Anatolic Theme was a theme covering the western and central parts of Turkey’s present-day Central Anatolia Region.

The earliest historical records of Anatolia stem from the southeast of the region and are from the Mesopotamia-based Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 24th century BC. Scholars generally believe the earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians.

The Hattians spoke a language of unclear affiliation, and the Hurrian language belongs to a small family called Hurro-Urartian, all these languages now being extinct; relationships with indigenous languages of the Caucasus have been proposed but are not generally accepted. The region was famous for exporting raw materials, and areas of Hattian- and Hurrian-populated southeast Anatolia were colonised by the Akkadians.

Unlike the Semitic Akkadians and their descendants, the Assyrians, whose Anatolian possessions were peripheral to their core lands in Mesopotamia, the Hittites were centred at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia by 2000 BC. They were speakers of an Indo-European language known as the “language of Nesa”. Originating from Nesa, they conquered Hattusa in the 18th century BC, imposing themselves over Hattian- and Hurrian-speaking populations.

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.

The Adyghe people originate in the North Caucasus region, an area they are believed to have occupied as early as the Stone Age period, with traces of them dating back as far as 8000 BC. In about 4000 BC, the Maykop culture flourished in the North Caucasus region, which influenced all subsequent cultures in the North Caucasus region as well as other parts of the region that is now southern Russia. Archaeological findings, mainly of dolmens in North-West Caucasus region, indicate a megalithic culture in the region.

The Adyghe kingdom was established in about 400 BC. After 460 AD, reports of “Utige” begins to feature in connection to a state established around Phanagoria, which grew into Old Great Bulgaria.

After the collapse of this state under pressure from the Khazars, the Adyghe people did not seem to unite politically. This reduced their influence in the area and their ability to withstand periodic invasions from groups like the Mongols, Avars, Pechenegs, Huns, and Khazars.

Genetically, the Adyghe population has shared ancestry mainly with neighboring peoples of the Caucasus, with some influence from other regions.

A group of Armenian scientists conducted a study about the origins of the Turkish people in relation to Armenians. Savak Avagian; director of Armenia’s bone marrow bank found that “Turks and Armenians were the two societies throughout the world that were genetically close to each other. Kurds are also in same genetic pool”.

During the 6th century BC, most of Anatolia was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the Persians having usurped the Medes as the dominant dynasty in Iran. In 499 BC, the Ionian city-states on the west coast of Anatolia rebelled against Persian rule. The Ionian Revolt, as it became known, initiated the Greco-Persian Wars, which ended in a Greek victory in 449 BC, and the Ionian cities regained their independence.

In 334 BC, the Macedonian Greek king Alexander the Great conquered the peninsula. Alexander’s conquest opened up the interior of Asia Minor to Greek settlement and influence. Following the death of Alexander and the breakup of his empire, Anatolia was ruled by a series of Hellenistic kingdoms, such as the Attalids of Pergamum and the Seleucids, the latter controlling most of Anatolia. A period of peaceful Hellenization followed, such that the local Anatolian languages had been supplanted by Greek by the 1st century BC.

During the 1st century BC the Armenians established the powerful Armenian kingdom under Tigran who reigned throughout much of eastern Anatolia between the Caspian, Black, and Mediterranean seas.

After the division of the Roman Empire, Anatolia became part of the East Roman, or Byzantine Empire. Anatolia was one of the first places where Christianity spread, so that by the 4th century AD, western and central Anatolia were overwhelmingly Christian and Greek-speaking. For the next 600 years, while Imperial possessions in Europe were subjected to barbarian invasions, Anatolia would be the center of the Hellenic world.

Byzantine control was challenged by Arab raids starting in the 8th century, but in the 9th and 10th century a resurgent Byzantine Empire regained its lost territories and even expanded beyond its traditional borders, into Armenia and Syria (ancient Aram).

The background of the Armenians

Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the modern city occupies its ancient site. The site has been occupied from around 5000 BC, as excavations in Tallet Alsauda show.

Aleppo appears in historical records as an important city much earlier than Damascus. The first record of Aleppo comes from the third millennium BC, when Aleppo was the capital of an independent kingdom closely related to Ebla, known as Armi to Ebla and Armani (Armenians) to the Akkadians.

The Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of the Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) mention the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. The name has also been claimed as a variant of Urmani (or Urmenu), attested epigraphically in an inscription of Menuas of Urartu.

Minni is also a Biblical name of the region, appearing in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51:27) alongside Ararat (Urartu) and Ashchenaz (Scythians), probably the same as the Minnai of Assyrian inscriptions, corresponding to the Mannea, corresponding to the country of the Mannaeans, an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran south of lake Urmia.

Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake ), in Urartian Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin) was an ancient city of Urartu, attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. It was acquired by the Urartian King Ishpuini ca. 800 BC. The city’s tutelary deity was Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk, the Armenian patriarch. Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle.

Ḫaldi was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) panthenon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.

Scholars such as Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after their god Khaldi. The short-lived 11th dynasty of the Kings of Babylon (6th century BC) is conventionally known to historians as the Chaldean Dynasty.

The origin of the Arameans remains uncertain, with limited mention of Arameans in Mesopotamian inscriptions supplemented by a few descriptive situations associated with Rebekah from Aram-Naharaim in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

The toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at Ebla listing geographical names, and the term Armi, which is the Eblaite term for nearby Aleppo, occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (ca. 2300 BC).

One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2250 BC) mentions that he captured “Dubul, the ensi of A-ra-me” (Arame is seemingly a genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains.

Other early references to a place or people of “Aram” have appeared at the archives of Mari (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit (c. 1300 BC). There is little agreement concerning what, if any, relationship there was between these places, or if the Aramu were actually Arameans; the earliest undisputed mention of Arameans as a people appears in the inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser I (c. 1100 BC).

Nomadic pastoralists have long played a prominent role in the economy of the Middle East, but their numbers seem to vary according to climatic conditions and the force of neighbouring states inducing permanent settlement.

The Ahlamû (= wanderers) are first mentioned in the el-Amarna letters alluding to the king of Babylon; the presence of the Ahlamû are also attested in Assyria, Nippur and even at Dilmun (Bahrain); Shalmaneser I (1274-1245 BC) defeated the Shattuara, King of Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenaries are mentioned in the Jazirah.

The term appears equivalent to the Egyptian term Shasu (Shsw = wanderer), who replaced the outlaw ‘Apiru (cuneiform SA.GAZ) as the major source of instability in the Egyptian Levantine empire from the reign of Tutankhamun onwards.

In the following century, the Ahlamû cut the road from Babylon to Hattusas, and Tukulti-Ninurta I (1244-1208 BC) claims that he conquered Mari, Hana and Rapiqum on the Euphrates and “the mountain of the Ahlamû”, apparently the region of Jebel Bishri.

For the first time, an inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 BC) refers to the “Ahlamû-Aramaeans” (Ahlame Armaia) and shortly after, the Ahlamû rapidly disappear from Assyrian annals, to be replaced by the Aramaeans (Aramu, Arimi).

“Ahlamû-Aramaeans” would consider the Arameans as an important and in time dominant faction of the Ahlamû tribes, however it is possible that the two peoples had nothing in common, but operated in the same area.

It is conceivable that the name “Aramaeans” was a more accurate form of the earlier ethnonym Martu (Amorites, Westerners) in the Assyrian tablets.

Amorite (Sumerian MAR.TU, Akkadian Tidnum or Amurrūm, Egyptian Amar, Hebrew  ʼĔmōrī) refers to an ancient Semitic-speaking people from ancient Syria who also occupied large parts of Mesopotamia from the 21st Century BC. The term Amurru in Akkadian and Sumerian texts refers to them, as well as to their principal deity.

In the earliest Sumerian sources, beginning about 2400 BC, the land of the Amorites (“the Mar.tu land”) is associated not with Mesopotamia but with lands immediately to the West, including what is now modern Syria and Canaan. They appear as nomadic people in the Mesopotamian sources, and they are especially connected with the mountainous region of Jebel Bishri in Syria called the “mountain of the Amorites”.

Mari had been inhabited since the 5th millennium BC. The city flourished from about 2900 BC, since it was strategically important as a relay point between the Sumerian cities of lower Mesopotamia and the cities of northern Syria. Sumer required building materials such as timber and stone from northern Syria, and these materials had to go through Mari to get to Sumer.

The Sumerian King List (SKL) records a dynasty of six kings from Mari enjoying hegemony between Adab and Kish, ca. 25th c. BC. Several names of kings from this period, including those from the kings’ list, are also known from correspondence found elsewhere, including Ebla.

After a period of eminence, Mari was destroyed in the mid-24th century BC. This destruction brought a period of relative decline in importance in the region, and the city was reduced to no more than a small village.

Historians are divided as to who destroyed the city; some name Sargon of Akkad (who stated that he had passed through Mari on his famous campaign to the west), while others say it was the Eblaites, Mari’s traditional commercial rivals. However, the status of the city was revived again under an Amorite dynasty, which started the second golden age commenced around 1900 BC.

Emar was strategically sited as a trans-shipping point where trade on the Euphrates was reloaded for shipping by overland route. In the middle of the third millennium BC Emar came under the influence of the rulers of Ebla; the city is mentioned in archives at Ebla.

In Mari texts of the eighteenth century BC, (Middle Bronze Age), Emar was under the influence of the neighboring Amorite state of Yamhad. There was no local tradition of kingship at Emar.

Mitanni or Hanigalbat was an Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and south-east Anatolia from ca. 1500 BC–1300 BC. The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni (Hittite cuneiform Mi-ta-an-ni, also Mittani Mi-it-ta-ni) by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat (Assyrian Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably, according to Michael C. Astour.

The name Mitanni is first found in the “memoirs” of the Syrian wars (ca. 1480 BC) of the official astronomer and clockmaker Amememhet, who returned from the “foreign country called Me-ta-ni” at the time of Thutmose I.

Egyptian sources call Mitanni “nhrn”, which is usually pronounced as Naharin/Naharina from the Assyro-Akkadian word for “river”, cf. Aram-Naharaim. Nairi was the Assyrian name (Na-i-ri, also Na-‘i-ru) for a Proto-Armenian (Hurrian-speaking) region in the Armenian Highlands, roughly corresponding to the modern Van and Hakkâri provinces of modern Turkey.

Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri), located in northeastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a “King of the Hurri”, or “Hurrians”. The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders “Hurri” as Hanigalbat. Tushratta, who styles himself “king of Mitanni” in his Akkadian Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.

Founded by an Indo-Aryan ruling class governing a predominately Hurrian population, Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Amorite Babylon and a series of ineffectual Assyrian kings created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia.

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

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

The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from 3400 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end, but it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain, and the culture was earlier known as the Shengavit culture. Its southern expanse is attributable primarily to Mitanni and the Hurrians.

In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.

Graeco-Aryan (or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan) is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid 3rd millennium BC. The Phrygian language would also be included.

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

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

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

The land of Subartu ((Sumerian Subir/Subar/Šubur, Akkadian Šubartum/Subartum/ina Šú-ba-ri, Assyrian mât Šubarri), also known as Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was a Hurrian-speaking kingdom mentioned in the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC) and 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.

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. Its precise location 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, 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 in the earliest texts seem to have been farming mountain dwellers, frequently raided for slaves.

Eannatum of Lagash 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 (Armenians), -which has been identified with Aleppo, among the lands under his control.

There are various alternate theories associating the ancient Subartu with one or more modern cultures found in the region, including Armenian or Kurdish tribes. 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.

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.

Tell es-Sawwan is a primarily Ubaid, Hassuna, and Samarra culture occupation with some later Babylonian graves. It is considered the type site for the Samarran culture. It is located in Saladin Province, Iraq, 110 kilometres (68 mi) north of Baghdad, and south of Samarra.

The Ubaid period (ca. 6500 to 3800 BC) is a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. The name derives from Tell al-Ubaid where the earliest large excavation of Ubaid period material was conducted initially by Henry Hall and later by Leonard Woolley. Cultural influences on Ubaid culture: Samarran Farmers from the North, trans-Arabian bifacial indigenous hunter-gatherers, and circum Arabian nomadic pastoral complex.

The Ubaid 1 period (5300–4700 BC), sometimes called Eridu, is a phase limited to the extreme south of Iraq, on what was then the shores of the Persian Gulf. This phase, showing clear connection to the Samarra culture to the north, saw the establishment of the first permanent settlement south of the 5 inch rainfall isohyet. These people pioneered the growing of grains in the extreme conditions of aridity, thanks to the high water tables of Southern Iraq.

Ceramic production appeared in the ancient Near East towards the end of the 8th millenium BCE, and towards the 6th millenium BCE painted ceramics were common. In southern Mesopotamia the Samarra culture, and in northern Mesopotamia the Hassuna and Samarra cultures, produced finely decorated ceramics in the seventh and early 6th centuries BCE, showing the distribution of Halaf and early Ubaid cultures. The Samarra bowl, at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin, have the Swastika in the center of the design.

Sumeru (Sanskrit) or Sineru (Pāli) is the name of the central world-mountain in Buddhist cosmology. believed to be the centre of the universe from which four major rivers have their source, with their out-flowing routes creating the arms of the holy Swastika common in Hindu and Buddhist iconology.

The concept of Sumeru is closely related to the Hindu mythological concept of a central world mountain, called Meru, but differs from the Hindu concept in several particulars. Etymologically, the proper name of the mountain is Meru (Pāli Neru), to which is added the approbatory prefix su-, resulting in the meaning “excellent Meru” or “wonderful Meru”.

There seems to be a connection between the similar sounding places of ‘Samarra’ and ‘Sumeru’. The early travelers brought the Swastika to India – naming their holy mountain after their place of origination. Shinar, Šinʻar, is a biblical geographical locale of uncertain boundaries in Mesopotamia. The name may be a corruption of Hebrew Shene neharot (“two rivers”), Hebrew Shene arim (“two cities”), or Akkadian Sumeru.

Mashu, as described in the Epic of Gilgamesh of Mesopotamian mythology, is a great cedar mountain through which the hero-king Gilgamesh passes via a tunnel on his journey to Dilmun after leaving the Cedar Forest, a forest of ten thousand leagues span.

The word “Mashu” itself may translate as “two mountains”, from the Babylonian for twins. The “twins”, in Semitic mythology, were also often seen as two mountains, one at the eastern edge of the world (in the lower Zagros), the other at the western edge of the world (in the Taurus), and one of these seem to have had an Iranian location.

The Bible says that Noah’s ark landed on the mountains of Ararat. This does not refer to any specific mountain or peak, but rather a mountain range within the region of Ararat, which was the name of an ancient proto-Armenian kingdom also known as Urartu.

Nonetheless, one particular tradition identifies the mountain as Mount Masis, the highest peak in the Armenian Highland, which is therefore called Mount Ararat. Masis is the Armenian name for the peak of Ararat, the plural ‘Masiq’  may refer to both peaks.

The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to ca. 2300–1700 BCE, located in present day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River).

There is archaeological evidence of settlement in the well-watered northern foothills of the Kopet Dag during the Neolithic period. This region is dotted with the multi-period hallmarks characteristic of the ancient Near East, similar to those southwest of the Kopet Dag in the Gorgan Plain in Iran.

At Jeitun (or Djeitun), mudbrick houses were first occupied c. 6000 cal. BCE. The inhabitants were farmers who kept herds of goats and sheep and grew wheat and barley, with origins in southwest Asia.[

The inhabitants of the BMAC were sedentary people who practised irrigation farming of wheat and barley. With their impressive material culture including monumental architecture, bronze tools, ceramics, and jewellery of semiprecious stones, the complex exhibits many of the hallmarks of civilization.

The complex can be compared to proto-urban settlements in the Helmand basin at Mundigak in western Afghanistan and Shahr-i Shōkhta in eastern Iran, or at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley.

BMAC materials have been found in the Indus civilization, on the Iranian plateau, and in the Persian Gulf. Finds within BMAC sites provide further evidence of trade and cultural contacts. They include an Elamite-type cylinder seal and an Harappan seal stamped with an elephant and Indus script found at Gonur-depe. The relationship between Altyn-Depe and the Indus Valley seems to have been particularly strong.

There is evidence of sustained contact between the BMAC and the Eurasian steppes to the north, intensifying c. 2000 BCE. In the delta of the River Amu Darya where it reaches the Aral Sea, its waters were channeled for irrigation agriculture by people whose remains resemble those of the nomads of the Andronovo Culture. This is interpreted as nomads settling down to agriculture, after contact with the BMAC.

The culture they created is known as Tazabag’yad. About 1800 BCE the walled BMAC centres decreased sharply in size. Each oasis developed its own types of pottery and other objects. Also pottery of the Andronovo-Tazabag’yab culture to the north appeared widely in the Bactrian and Margian countryside.

Many BMAC strongholds continued to be occupied and Andronovo-Tazabagyab coarse incised pottery occurs within them (along with the previous BMAC pottery) as well as in pastoral camps outside the mudbrick walls. In the highlands above the Bactrian oases in Tajikistan, kurgan cemeteries of the Vaksh and Bishkent type appeared with pottery that mixed elements of the late BMAC and Andronovo-Tazabagyab traditions.

A significant section of the archaeologists are more inclined to see the culture as begun by farmers in the Near Eastern Neolithic tradition, but infiltrated by Indo-Iranian speakers from the Andronovo culture in its late phase, creating a hybrid. In this perspective, Proto-Indo-Aryan developed within the composite culture before moving south into the Indian subcontinent.

It has become increasingly clear that if one wishes to argue for Indo-Iranian migrations from the steppe lands south into the historical seats of the Iranians and Indo-Aryans that these steppe cultures were transformed as they passed through a membrane of Central Asian urbanism.

The fact that typical steppe wares are found on BMAC sites and that intrusive BMAC material is subsequently found further to the south in Iran, Afghanistan, Nepal, India and Pakistan, may suggest then the subsequent movement of Indo-Iranian-speakers after they had adopted the culture of the BMAC.

In India

Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan. The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab.

The Indus region, which covers most of Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation (2800–1800 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.

Mehrgarh, (7000–5500 BCE), on the Kachi Plain of Balochistan, is an important Neolithic site discovered in 1974, with early evidence of farming and herding, and dentistry. Early residents lived in mud brick houses, stored grain in granaries, fashioned tools with copper ore, cultivated barley, wheat, jujubes and dates, and herded sheep, goats and cattle.

As the civilization progressed (5500–2600 BCE) residents began to engage in crafts, including flint knapping, tanning, bead production, and metalworking. The site was occupied continuously until 2600 BCE, when climatic changes began to occur. Between 2600 and 2000 BCE, region became more arid and Mehrgarh was abandoned in favour of the Indus Valley, where a new civilization was in the early stages of development.

The Indus Valley Civilization developed between 3300–1700 BCE on the banks of the Indus River. At its peak, the civilisation hosted a population of approximately 5 million in hundreds of settlements extending as far as the Arabian Sea, present-day southern and eastern Afghanistan, southeastern Iran and the Himalayas.

Major urban centers were at Dholavira, Kalibangan, Harappa, Lothal, Mohenjo-daro, and Rakhigarhi, as well as an offshoot called the Kulli culture (2500–2000 BCE) in southern Balochistan, which had similar settlements, pottery and other artifacts. The civilization collapsed abruptly around 1700 BCE.

In the early part of the second millennium BCE, the Rigvedic civilization existed, between the Sapta Sindhu and Ganges-Yamuna rivers. The city of Taxila in northern Pakistan, became important to Vedic religion (and later in Buddhism).

Early Vedic society consisted of largely pastoral groups, with late Harappan urbanization having been abandoned. After the time of the Rigveda, Aryan society became increasingly agricultural and was socially organized around the four varnas, or social classes.

In addition to the Vedas, the principal texts of Hinduism, the core themes of the Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are said to have their ultimate origins during this period. The early Indo-Aryan presence probably corresponds, in part, to the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture in archaeological contexts.

The Kuru kingdom corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Grey Ware cultures and to the beginning of the Iron Age in South Asia, around 1000 BCE, as well as with the composition of the Atharvaveda, the first Vedic text to mention iron, as śyāma ayas, literally “black metal.”

The Painted Grey Ware culture spanned much of northern India from about 1100 to 600 BCE. The Vedic Period also established republics such as Vaishali, which existed as early as the 6th century BCE and persisted in some areas until the 4th century CE. The later part of this period corresponds with an increasing movement away from the previous tribal system towards the establishment of kingdoms, called mahajanapadas.

The Vedic Civilization (1500–500 BCE) characterised by Indo-Aryan culture laid the foundations of Hinduism, which would become well established in the region. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.

The Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in Punjab. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire around 519 BCE, Alexander the Great’s empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great until 185 BCE.

The Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria (180–165 BCE) included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander (165–150 BCE), prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region. Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world.

In India the Maratha (archaically transliterated as Marhatta or Mahratta) are an Indian warrior caste, found predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has two related usages: within the Marathi-speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; historically, the term describes the kingdomfounded by Shivaji Raje in the seventeenth century and continued by his successors.

Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India. It is the second most populous state after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is the wealthiest state in India, contributing 15% of the country’s industrial output and 13.3% of its GDP (2006–2007 figures).

The modern Marathi language developed from the Maharashtri Prakrit, and the word Marhatta (later used for the Marathas) is found in the Jain Maharashtri literature. The terms Maharashtra, Maharashtri, Marathi and Maratha may have derived from the same root. However, their exact etymology is uncertain.

The most widely accepted theory among the scholars is that the words Maratha and Maharashtra ultimately derive from a compound of Maha (Sanskrit for “great”) and rashtrika. The word rashtrika is a Sanskritised form of Ratta, the name of a tribe or a dynasty of petty chiefs ruling in the Deccan region.

Mahisha or Mahishaka was a kingdom in ancient India, ruled by the Asura king Mahisha. His capital, Mahisha City, is currently known as Mysore a city in Karnataka. This kingdom is mentioned in Mahabharata, though Puranas (especially Markandeya Purana) gives more information. The Sanskrit word Mahisha means great, powerful.

Another theory is that the term is derived from Maha (“great”) and rathi or ratha (great chariot driver), which refers to a skillful northern fighting force that migrated southward into the area.

The Mahar are an Indian community historically identified as Untouchables. They are found largely within Maharashtra. As Untouchables they were assigned a very low status in Hinduism, and as a result most of the Mahar community followed social reformer B. R. Ambedkar in converting to Buddhism in the early 20th century.

The 19th century activist and social reformer Jyotirao Phule wrote that the Mahars are indigenous people of India belong to Kshatriya (warrior) varna, and they were conquered by Aryan Brahman race, which came from beyond the Indus region to invade India and the established the caste system for social control.

The Mahar fought with the Brahman and their ancestors were singled out as untouchables. Phule proposed etymologies “great/terrible enemy” (maha meaning great and ari or art meaning enemy), or “those who take away dead animals” (mrit har). The name of Maharashtra state is possibly derived from “land of the Mahars”(Mahāran̄ce rāṣṭra).

Kshatriya, from (holder of) Kshatra (rule or authority), is one of the four varnas (social orders) of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term Kshatriya belonged to the Vedic society wherein members organized themselves into 3 classes, viz., Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya. Traditionally, Kshatriya constitute the ruling and military elite. They were in charge of the protection of the society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.

The most recent gene flow paternal gene flow from West Asia corresponds largely to  haplogroup haplogroup J2a-M410. J2a and R1a1 have similar Y-STR variances in the two studied populations, and their ages are roughly a third of those reported (with wide uncertainty), or about ~4ky.

This is roughly consistent with the postulated arrival of the Indo-Aryans in India, and should probably be added to the enumeration of cases where the genealogical mutation rate correlates well with prehistory. It also seems consistent with my speculation about a West Asian origin of the Indo-Aryans.

These findings reveal movement of populations to Maharashtra through the western coast rather than mainland where Western Ghats-Vindhya Mountains and Narmada-Tapti rivers might have acted as a natural barrier.

Within India, J2a is more common among the upper castes and decreases in frequency with the caste level. This can be explained by the assimilation of local J2a (and R2) people from Bactria and Pakistan by the R1a Indo-European warriors who descended from the Volga-Ural region of Russia (Sintashta culture) and established themselves for a few centuries in southern Central Asia, immediately north of the Hindu Kush (including the Oxus civilization) before moving on to conquer the Indian subcontinent. J2a would have reached Bactria with the expansion of Neolithic herders from the Middle East who then blended with the indigenous hunter-gatherers belonging chiefly to R2.

J2b has a quite different distribution from J2a. J2b seems to have a stronger association with the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures of Southeast Europe. It is particularly common in the Balkans, Central Europe and Italy, which is roughly the extent of the European Copper Age culture. Its maximum frequency is achieved around Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Northwest Greece – the part of the Balkans which best resisted the Slavic invasions in the Early Middle Ages.

The vast majority of J2b lineages belong to J2b2 and its subclades. While J2b* and J2b1 lineages are mostly restricted to the Caucasus, Anatolia and the Balkans, J2b2 is also found in the Pontic Steppe, in Central Asia and in South Asia, particularly in India. Its very low frequency in the Middle East though suggests that, unlike other J2 lineages it was not disseminated by a demic diffusion of the Neolithic lifestyle.

In many ways the distribution of J2b2 and its subclades is strongly reminiscent of G2a3b1 and its subclades. The most likely hypothesis is that both haplogroups colonised the Pontic Steppe region during the Neolithic, either crossing the Caucasus from eastern Anatolia or, more probably, expanding east from the flourishing cultures of ‘Old Europe’ (Thessalian Neolithic). J2b2 and G2a3b1 would have integrated the local R1a population, and later been joined by a larger contingent of R1b lineages coming from the North Caucasus.

Nowadays J2b2 is found chiefly in south-east and Central Europe, but also in Russia and among the upper castes of India. All these elements reinforce the hypothesis that J2b2 and G2a3b1 were two minor lineages spread within an R1a-dominant population during the Indo-Aryan invasions of South Asia approximately 3,500 years ago.

Another conceivable possibility is that a minority of J2b2, G2a3b1 and R1b-M269 from the Caucasus region migrated to the Volga-Ural region in the early Bronze Age, propagating with them the Proto-Indo-European language and bronze technology to the Caspian steppe before the expansion of this new culture to Central and South Asia. The drawback of this hypothesis is that it doesn’t explain why R1b lineages strongly outnumber J2b2 and G2a3b1 in Europe but not in South Asia.

Any connections?

Mari is a city that has been inhabited since the 5th millennium BC. The city flourished from about 2900 BC, since it was strategically important as a relay point between the Sumerian cities of lower Mesopotamia and the cities of northern Syria. Sumer required building materials such as timber and stone from northern Syria, and these materials had to go through Mari to get to Sumer.

Marhaši (Mar-ḫa-ši, Marhashi, Marhasi, Parhasi, Barhasi; in earlier sources Waraḫše) was a 3rd millennium BC polity situated east of Elam, on the Iranian plateau. It is known from Mesopotamian sources, and its precise location has not been identified, though some scholars link it with Jiroft.

An inscription attributed to Lugal-Anne-Mundu of Adab (albeit in much later copies) mentions it among the seven provinces of his empire, between the names of Elam and Gutium. This inscription also recorded that he confronted their governor (ensi), Migir-Enlil of Marhashi, who had led a coalition of 13 rebel chiefs against him.

The Awan kings of Elam were in conflict with a Sumerian ruler’s attempt to seize the market at Warakshe, a kingdom apparently near Elam on the Iranian plateau, rich in luxury products of all types, especially precious stones. During the Akkadian Empire, Warakshe was conquered by Sargon the Great, and king Abalgamash of Warakshe and his general Sidgau, along with Luh-ishan of Awan, rebelled unsuccessfully against Rimush, while Hishep-ratep of Awan in alliance with Warakshe was defeated by Naram-Sin.

King Shulgi of the Ur-III dynasty gave his daughter Nialimmidashu in marriage to king Libanukshabash of Marhashi in his 18th year, in an attempt to forge an alliance, but this proved short-lived, for Shulgi’s successor Amar-Sin records having to campaign against their new king, Arwilukpi.

Hammurabi of Babylonia’s 30th year name was “Year Hammurabi the king, the mighty, the beloved of Marduk, drove away with the supreme power of the great gods the army of Elam who had gathered from the border of Marhashi, Subartu, Gutium, Tupliash (Eshnunna) and Malgium who had come up in multitudes, and having defeated them in one campaign, he (Hammurabi) secured the foundations of Sumer and Akkad.”

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

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

The Maratha (archaically transliterated as Marhatta or Mahratta) are an Indian warrior caste, found predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has two related usages: within the Marathi-speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; historically, the term describes the kingdomfounded by Shivaji Raje in the seventeenth century and continued by his successors.

Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India. It is the second most populous state after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is the wealthiest state in India, contributing 15% of the country’s industrial output and 13.3% of its GDP (2006–2007 figures).

The modern Marathi language developed from the Maharashtri Prakrit, and the word Marhatta (later used for the Marathas) is found in the Jain Maharashtri literature. The terms Maharashtra, Maharashtri, Marathi and Maratha may have derived from the same root. However, their exact etymology is uncertain.

The most widely accepted theory among the scholars is that the words Maratha and Maharashtra ultimately derive from a compound of Maha (Sanskrit for “great”) and rashtrika. The word rashtrika is a Sanskritised form of Ratta, the name of a tribe or a dynasty of petty chiefs ruling in the Deccan region.

Another theory is that the term is derived from Maha (“great”) and rathi or ratha (great chariot driver), which refers to a skillful northern fighting force that migrated southward into the area.

The Mahar are an Indian community historically identified as Untouchables. They are found largely within Maharashtra. As Untouchables they were assigned a very low status in Hinduism, and as a result most of the Mahar community followed social reformer B. R. Ambedkar in converting to Buddhism in the early 20th century.

The 19th century activist and social reformer Jyotirao Phule wrote that the Mahars are indigenous people of India belong to Kshatriya (warrior) varna, and they were conquered by Aryan Brahman race, which came from beyond the Indus region to invade India and the established the caste system for social control.

The Mahar fought with the Brahman and their ancestors were singled out as untouchables. Phule proposed etymologies “great/terrible enemy” (maha meaning great and ari or art meaning enemy), or “those who take away dead animals” (mrit har). The name of Maharashtra state is possibly derived from “land of the Mahars”(Mahāran̄ce rāṣṭra).

Kshatriya, from (holder of) Kshatra (rule or authority), is one of the four varnas (social orders) of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term Kshatriya belonged to the Vedic society wherein members organized themselves into 3 classes, viz., Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya. Traditionally, Kshatriya constitute the ruling and military elite. They were in charge of the protection of the society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.

The most recent gene flow paternal gene flow from West Asia corresponds largely to  haplogroup haplogroup J2a-M410. J2a and R1a1 have similar Y-STR variances in the two studied populations, and their ages are roughly a third of those reported (with wide uncertainty), or about ~4ky.

This is roughly consistent with the postulated arrival of the Indo-Aryans in India, and should probably be added to the enumeration of cases where the genealogical mutation rate correlates well with prehistory. It also seems consistent with my speculation about a West Asian origin of the Indo-Aryans.

These findings reveal movement of populations to Maharashtra through the western coast rather than mainland where Western Ghats-Vindhya Mountains and Narmada-Tapti rivers might have acted as a natural barrier.

Margu (Latin: Margiana) was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. The ruler who lost a Bactrian revolt is mentioned as a Margian in the Behistun inscriptions of ca. 515 BCE by Darius Hystaspis. It is not mentioned as a satrapy in the inscription, because it was included in a larger satrapy of the empire.

It was located in the valley of the river Murghab, also called Margos, Margu and Margiana River, which has its sources in the mountains of Afghanistan, and passes through Murghab District in modern Afghanistan, and then reaches the oasis of Merv (Persian: Marw) in modern Turkmenistan. Merv was the centere of Margiana.

Merv’s origins are prehistoric: archaeological surveys have revealed many traces of village life as far back as the 3rd millennium BC and that the city was culturally part of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. Under the name of Mouru, Merv is mentioned with Balkh in the geography of the Zend-Avesta (commentaries on the Avesta).

Under the Achaemenid dynasty Merv is mentioned as being a place of some importance: under the name of Margu it occurs as part of one of the satrapies in the Behistun inscriptions (ca. 515 BC) of the Persian monarch Darius Hystaspis. The first city of Merv was founded in the 6th century BC as part of the expansion into the region by the Achaemenid Empire of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC), but the Achaemenid levels are deeply covered by later strata at the site.

Later history

In the 10 years following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the Seljuk Turks from Central Asia established themselves over large areas of Anatolia, with particular concentrations around the north western rim.

The Turkish language and the Islamic religion were gradually introduced as a result of the Seljuk conquest, and this period marks the start of Anatolia’s slow transition from predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking, to predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking (although some ethnic groups such as Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians remained numerous and retained Christianity and their native languages).

In the following century, the Byzantines managed to reassert their control in western and northern Anatolia. Control of Anatolia was then split between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, with the Byzantine holdings gradually being reduced. In 1255, the Mongols swept through eastern and central Anatolia, and would remain until 1335. The Ilkhanate garrison was stationed near Ankara.

By the end of the 14th century, most of Anatolia was controlled by various Anatolian beyliks. Smyrna fell in 1330, and the last Byzantine stronghold in Anatolia, Philadelphia, fell in 1390. The Turkmen Beyliks were under the control of the Mongols, at least nominally, through declining Seljuk Sultans. The Beyliks did not mint coins in the names of their own leaders while they remained under the suzerainty of the Mongol Ilkhanids.

The Osmanli ruler Osman I was the first Turkish ruler who minted coins in his own name in 1320s, for it bears the legend “Minted by Osman son of Ertugul”. Since the minting of coins was a prerogative accorded in Islamic practice only to a sovereign, it can be considered that Osmanli became formally independent from the Mongol Khans.

After the decline of the Ilkhanate from 1335–1353, the Mongol Empire’s legacy in the region was the Uyghur Eretna Dynasty that was overthrown by Kadi Burhan al-Din in 1381. Among the Turkmen leaders the Ottomans emerged as great power under Osman and his son Orhan I.

The Anatolian beyliks were in turn absorbed into the rising Ottoman Empire during the 15th century. The Ottomans completed the conquest of the peninsula in 1517 with the taking of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum) from the Knights of Saint John.

With the beginning of the slow decline of the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, and as a result of the expansionist policies of Czarist Russia in the Caucasus, many Muslim nations and groups in that region, mainly Circassians, Tatars, Azeris, Lezgis, Chechens and several Turkic groups left their ancestral homelands and settled in Anatolia.

As the Ottoman Empire further shrank in the Balkan regions and then fragmented during the Balkan Wars, much of the non-Christian populations of its former possessions, mainly Balkan Muslims (Bosnians, Albanians, Turks, Muslim Bulgarians and Greek Muslims such as the Vallahades from Greek Macedonia, Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia), were resettled in various parts of Anatolia, mostly in formerly Christian villages throughout Anatolia.

A continuous reverse migration occurred since the early 19th century, when Greeks from Anatolia, Constantinopole and Pontus area migrated toward the newly independent Kingdom of Greece, and also towards the United States, southern part of the Russian Empire, Latin America and rest of Europe.

Following the Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828) and the incorporation of the Eastern Armenia into the Russian Empire, another reverse migration involved the large Armenian population of Anatolia, which recorded significant migration rates from Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) toward the Russian Empire, especially toward the newly established Armenian provinces of the empire.

Anatolia remained multi-ethnic until the early 20th century (see the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire). During World War I, the Armenian Genocide, the Greek genocide (especially in Pontus), and the Assyrian Genocide almost entirely removed the ancient indigenous communities of Armenian and Assyrian populations in Anatolia, as well as a large part of its ethnic Greek population.

Following the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922, all remaining ethnic Anatolian Greeks were forced out during the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Anatolia has become Turkey, its inhabitants being mainly Turks and Kurds (see demographics of Turkey and history of Turkey).

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The history of India

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 20, 2013

In India

Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan. The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab.

The Indus region, which covers most of Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation (2800–1800 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.

Mehrgarh, (7000–5500 BCE), on the Kachi Plain of Balochistan, is an important Neolithic site discovered in 1974, with early evidence of farming and herding, and dentistry. Early residents lived in mud brick houses, stored grain in granaries, fashioned tools with copper ore, cultivated barley, wheat, jujubes and dates, and herded sheep, goats and cattle.

As the civilization progressed (5500–2600 BCE) residents began to engage in crafts, including flint knapping, tanning, bead production, and metalworking. The site was occupied continuously until 2600 BCE, when climatic changes began to occur. Between 2600 and 2000 BCE, region became more arid and Mehrgarh was abandoned in favour of the Indus Valley, where a new civilization was in the early stages of development.

The Indus Valley Civilization developed between 3300–1700 BCE on the banks of the Indus River. At its peak, the civilisation hosted a population of approximately 5 million in hundreds of settlements extending as far as the Arabian Sea, present-day southern and eastern Afghanistan, southeastern Iran and the Himalayas.

Major urban centers were at Dholavira, Kalibangan, Harappa, Lothal, Mohenjo-daro, and Rakhigarhi, as well as an offshoot called the Kulli culture (2500–2000 BCE) in southern Balochistan, which had similar settlements, pottery and other artifacts. The civilization collapsed abruptly around 1700 BCE.

In the early part of the second millennium BCE, the Rigvedic civilization existed, between the Sapta Sindhu and Ganges-Yamuna rivers. The city of Taxila in northern Pakistan, became important to Vedic religion (and later in Buddhism).

Early Vedic society consisted of largely pastoral groups, with late Harappan urbanization having been abandoned. After the time of the Rigveda, Aryan society became increasingly agricultural and was socially organized around the four varnas, or social classes.

In addition to the Vedas, the principal texts of Hinduism, the core themes of the Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are said to have their ultimate origins during this period. The early Indo-Aryan presence probably corresponds, in part, to the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture in archaeological contexts.

The Kuru kingdom corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Grey Ware cultures and to the beginning of the Iron Age in South Asia, around 1000 BCE, as well as with the composition of the Atharvaveda, the first Vedic text to mention iron, as śyāma ayas, literally “black metal.”

The Painted Grey Ware culture spanned much of northern India from about 1100 to 600 BCE. The Vedic Period also established republics such as Vaishali, which existed as early as the 6th century BCE and persisted in some areas until the 4th century CE. The later part of this period corresponds with an increasing movement away from the previous tribal system towards the establishment of kingdoms, called mahajanapadas.

The Vedic Civilization (1500–500 BCE) characterised by Indo-Aryan culture laid the foundations of Hinduism, which would become well established in the region. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.

The Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in Punjab. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire around 519 BCE, Alexander the Great’s empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great until 185 BCE.

The Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria (180–165 BCE) included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander (165–150 BCE), prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region. Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world.

In India the Maratha (archaically transliterated as Marhatta or Mahratta) are an Indian warrior caste, found predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has two related usages: within the Marathi-speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; historically, the term describes the kingdomfounded by Shivaji Raje in the seventeenth century and continued by his successors.

Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India. It is the second most populous state after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is the wealthiest state in India, contributing 15% of the country’s industrial output and 13.3% of its GDP (2006–2007 figures).

The modern Marathi language developed from the Maharashtri Prakrit, and the word Marhatta (later used for the Marathas) is found in the Jain Maharashtri literature. The terms Maharashtra, Maharashtri, Marathi and Maratha may have derived from the same root. However, their exact etymology is uncertain.

The most widely accepted theory among the scholars is that the words Maratha and Maharashtra ultimately derive from a compound of Maha (Sanskrit for “great”) and rashtrika. The word rashtrika is a Sanskritised form of Ratta, the name of a tribe or a dynasty of petty chiefs ruling in the Deccan region.

Mahisha or Mahishaka was a kingdom in ancient India, ruled by the Asura king Mahisha. His capital, Mahisha City, is currently known as Mysore a city in Karnataka. This kingdom is mentioned in Mahabharata, though Puranas (especially Markandeya Purana) gives more information. The Sanskrit word Mahisha means great, powerful.

Another theory is that the term is derived from Maha (“great”) and rathi or ratha (great chariot driver), which refers to a skillful northern fighting force that migrated southward into the area.

The Mahar are an Indian community historically identified as Untouchables. They are found largely within Maharashtra. As Untouchables they were assigned a very low status in Hinduism, and as a result most of the Mahar community followed social reformer B. R. Ambedkar in converting to Buddhism in the early 20th century.

The 19th century activist and social reformer Jyotirao Phule wrote that the Mahars are indigenous people of India belong to Kshatriya (warrior) varna, and they were conquered by Aryan Brahman race, which came from beyond the Indus region to invade India and the established the caste system for social control.

The Mahar fought with the Brahman and their ancestors were singled out as untouchables. Phule proposed etymologies “great/terrible enemy” (maha meaning great and ari or art meaning enemy), or “those who take away dead animals” (mrit har). The name of Maharashtra state is possibly derived from “land of the Mahars”(Mahāran̄ce rāṣṭra).

Kshatriya, from (holder of) Kshatra (rule or authority), is one of the four varnas (social orders) of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term Kshatriya belonged to the Vedic society wherein members organized themselves into 3 classes, viz., Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya. Traditionally, Kshatriya constitute the ruling and military elite. They were in charge of the protection of the society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.

The most recent gene flow paternal gene flow from West Asia corresponds largely to  haplogroup haplogroup J2a-M410. J2a and R1a1 have similar Y-STR variances in the two studied populations, and their ages are roughly a third of those reported (with wide uncertainty), or about ~4ky.

This is roughly consistent with the postulated arrival of the Indo-Aryans in India, and should probably be added to the enumeration of cases where the genealogical mutation rate correlates well with prehistory. It also seems consistent with my speculation about a West Asian origin of the Indo-Aryans.

These findings reveal movement of populations to Maharashtra through the western coast rather than mainland where Western Ghats-Vindhya Mountains and Narmada-Tapti rivers might have acted as a natural barrier.

Within India, J2a is more common among the upper castes and decreases in frequency with the caste level. This can be explained by the assimilation of local J2a (and R2) people from Bactria and Pakistan by the R1a Indo-European warriors who descended from the Volga-Ural region of Russia (Sintashta culture) and established themselves for a few centuries in southern Central Asia, immediately north of the Hindu Kush (including the Oxus civilization) before moving on to conquer the Indian subcontinent. J2a would have reached Bactria with the expansion of Neolithic herders from the Middle East who then blended with the indigenous hunter-gatherers belonging chiefly to R2.

J2b has a quite different distribution from J2a. J2b seems to have a stronger association with the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures of Southeast Europe. It is particularly common in the Balkans, Central Europe and Italy, which is roughly the extent of the European Copper Age culture. Its maximum frequency is achieved around Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Northwest Greece – the part of the Balkans which best resisted the Slavic invasions in the Early Middle Ages.

The vast majority of J2b lineages belong to J2b2 and its subclades. While J2b* and J2b1 lineages are mostly restricted to the Caucasus, Anatolia and the Balkans, J2b2 is also found in the Pontic Steppe, in Central Asia and in South Asia, particularly in India. Its very low frequency in the Middle East though suggests that, unlike other J2 lineages it was not disseminated by a demic diffusion of the Neolithic lifestyle.

In many ways the distribution of J2b2 and its subclades is strongly reminiscent of G2a3b1 and its subclades. The most likely hypothesis is that both haplogroups colonised the Pontic Steppe region during the Neolithic, either crossing the Caucasus from eastern Anatolia or, more probably, expanding east from the flourishing cultures of ‘Old Europe’ (Thessalian Neolithic). J2b2 and G2a3b1 would have integrated the local R1a population, and later been joined by a larger contingent of R1b lineages coming from the North Caucasus.

Nowadays J2b2 is found chiefly in south-east and Central Europe, but also in Russia and among the upper castes of India. All these elements reinforce the hypothesis that J2b2 and G2a3b1 were two minor lineages spread within an R1a-dominant population during the Indo-Aryan invasions of South Asia approximately 3,500 years ago.

Another conceivable possibility is that a minority of J2b2, G2a3b1 and R1b-M269 from the Caucasus region migrated to the Volga-Ural region in the early Bronze Age, propagating with them the Proto-Indo-European language and bronze technology to the Caspian steppe before the expansion of this new culture to Central and South Asia. The drawback of this hypothesis is that it doesn’t explain why R1b lineages strongly outnumber J2b2 and G2a3b1 in Europe but not in South Asia.

Sindh

Sindh (Latin: Indus; Sanskrit: Sindhu) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the “Mehran” and has been given the title of Bab-ul-Islam (The gateway of Islam).

The region received its name, Sindh, from the River Sindhu (Indus) that separates it from Balochistan and the greater Iranian Plateau, and the people living in the region are referred to as Sindhi. As a western frontier of South Asia the region has always been exposed to the entry of invaders from Central Asia and the Middle East.

This river was known to the ancient Iranians in Avestan as Hindu, in Sanskrit as Sindhu, to Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BC) as Sinda, to the Greeks as Indos, to the Romans as Indus, to the Persians as Ab-e-sind, to the Pashtuns as “Abasind”, to the Arabs as Al-Hind, to the Chinese as Sintow, and to the Javanese as the Santri.

The terms Hindi and Hindu are derived from the word Sindh, as the ancient Persians pronounce “s” as “h” (e.g. sarasvati as hrauvati). In the same way, Persians called the people of this region as Hindhi people, their language as Hindhi language and the region as Hindh, the name which is used for this region since ancient times and later for the whole northern part of the Indian sub-continent even today.

India is also known as Hindustan, a name which has nothing to do with Hinduism, but related more to a people and their language named after the main river flowing through this region, the Sindhu (Indus).

Sindh is bounded to the west by the Indus River and Balochistan, to the north by Punjab, the east by the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan and to the south by the Arabian Sea. The capital of the province is Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub.

Sindhis are a Sindhi-speaking ethnic group native to the Sindh province of modern-day Pakistan. Most of the population in the province is Muslim, with sizable Hindu minorities. The main language spoken is Sindhi by about 26 million people, while there exists a significant Urdu-speaking minority of about 8 million.

Some of the places in Sindh have been inhabited as early as the 3rd millennium BC. A large number of Indus valley sites have been found in Sindh.

For several centuries in the first millennium BC., and in the first five centuries of the first millennium AD., western portions of Sindh, the regions on the western flank of the Indus river, were intermittently under Persian and Kushan rule, first during the Achaemenid dynasty (500-300 BC), then, from 150 BC under the Parthians, and still later under the Sassanids, before the Islamic invasion of Iran in the 7th century AD. Alexander the Great marched through Punjab and Sindh, down the Indus river, during his invasion of the eastern flank of the Persian empire.

Sindh was ruled by local Hindu and Buddhist rulers until 712 CE, when it was invaded by the Arabs and incorporated into part of the Umayyad Caliphate, resulting in widespread conversions to Islam. However, a substantial number of Sindhis still retain their Hindu beliefs.

Sindhi culture is highly influenced by Sufi doctrines and principles. Some of the popular cultural icons are Raja Dahir, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Jhulelal and Sachal Sarmast.

Because of its location at the western edge of South Asia, Sindh was one of the earliest regions to be influenced by Islam after 632 AD – as the Qu’ran was not written until then. Prior to this period, it was heavily Hindu, and Buddhist. After 632 AD, It was part of the Islamic empires of the Abbasids and Umayyids. Fundamentalist rulers played a pivotal role in forcibly converting millions of native Sindhis to Islam.

At the same time, Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in Sindh. The region got settled by Turks, Pashtuns and Mughals. Habbari, Soomra, Samma, Arghun dynasties ruled Sindh. Many Baloch tribes migrated and settled in Sindh. These Baloch assimilated with Sindhis, and now they constitute a significant population of Sindh.

Soomro (or Soomra, Sumrah) is a Sindhi tribe mainly in Sindh, in parts of Punjab bordering Sindh and in Balochistan, Pakistan. Other cities also have some Soomro population, who have been there for work reasons, but their origins remain in Sindh.

Writers like E. O’Brein describe the Sumra as originally Rajputs: In A.D.750 they expelled the first Arab invaders from Sindh and Multan, and furnished the country with a dynasty which ruled in Multan from 1445 to 1526 A.D., when it was expelled by the Samma.

British political agent Colonel James Tod refers to them as a part of the twin clans of Umra and Sumra Rajputs who were a subdivision of Sodha tribe of Rajputs, which in turn has been mentioned as a grand division of Parmar Rajputs who in remote times held all the Rajputana desert.

Frequently combining with their brethren the Umars, gave name to a large tract of country, which is even still recognized as Umra-Sumra and Umarkot, and within which Alor and Bhukkar is situated.

Following the 985 CE expulsion of the Qarmatian Muslim sect from Iraq and Egypt, the Qarmatians relocated to Sindh. The grey part of history is that some say that when they relocated they were called Sumero along with some suggesting that they were the possibly converts to Islam in Sindh, however, there is no evidence of this as their presence becomes evident later on after they became rulers of Sindh and when they did they had Arabic names.

The term Soomro, spelled Soomro in English, but pronounced Soomera or Soomara, means ‘of Samarra’ in Sindhi. There is also a wide accepted concept of Soomera being men brought by bin Qasim and left there after he went back but according to the lack of information on this part of history, the facts are blurred.

When Sindh was under the Ummayad caliphate, the Habbari dynasty was in control. The Ummayads appointed Aziz al Habbari as the governor of sindh. Habbaris ruled Sindh until Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated the Habbari’s in 1024. Mahmud Ghaznavi viewed the Abbasids to be the Caliphs thus he removed the remaining influence of the Ummayad Caliphate in the region.

Following the defeat of the Habbari’s, the Abbasid Caliphate made Al Khafif from Samarra the new governor of Sindh for a better, stronger and stable government. Once he became the governor he allotted several key positions to his family and friends, thus Al-Khafif or Sardar Khafif Soomro formed the Soomra Dynasty in Sindh and became its first king. The Soomra ruled Sindh from 1024-1351.

Until the Siege of Baghdad (1258) the Soomra dynasty was the Abbasid Caliphate’s functionary in Sindh but after that it became independent. Since then some soomra’s intermarried with local women and adopted some local customs as well. It be noted that Mansura was the first capital of the Soomra Dynasty and the last of the Habbari dynasty.

Also a majority of Hindu Sindhi names end with ni thus to distinguish them from Hindu Rajputs they were called Soomero, written Soomro in English, and not Soomerni by the Hindu Rajputs of Sindh.

The overwhelming majority of Soomros are Sunni and a significant number who adheres to Sufi Islam and Shiite Islam like most of Sindhis but these days due to the rising influence of Wahhabi Islam a large number are Wahhabi as well.

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Moral aspects of Basic Income Guarantee – Think BIG!

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 20, 2013

In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread.
Genesis 3:19

The fall of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for the demise of our hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Eden is the recollection of an oppressed peasantry of the more humane world of their happier ancestors. Before we bit the apple, we lived off the fat of the land. Hunter-gatherers lived longer, ate better, and worked less than their agriculturalist descendants.  Average adult height, an excellent proxy for childhood nutrition did not return to levels seen in the Palaeolithic until a mere 150 years ago.

Hunter-gatherers shared. Farmers and factory workers, for the most part, did not. In many tribes, a successful hunter would give away 90% of the meat from his kill.  He certainly gained respect (and perhaps female companionship) for his prowess but the families of mediocre hunters also got to eat.

Anthropologists suggest this propensity for generosity served everyone’s interests. Since no one family can eat an entire buffalo and even the best hunter sometimes goes a while without a kill, sharing the proceeds of a hunt is not just generous, it is an economically sensible insurance policy.  So is a basic income guarantee.

We can afford a basic income guarantee.  We can give every citizen enough money to survive. It will stimulate an economy starved of demand.  It will make our society more equitable. It will feed the hungry and house the homeless.  It respects the individual. It provides a constant level of demand that firms can depend on and so stimulate the animal spirits of businessmen.  It will strengthen workers bargaining position because they will be able to tell their employers to “take this job and shove it.” It will also reduce labour costs since firms won’t be required to provide a living wage.  It will give us more free time to dance and play and love our children.  I would also suggest, it might just end up making us better human beings.

Moral Aspects of Basic Income

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