Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    War in the Fertile Crescent
    https://aratta.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/war-in-the-fertile-crescent
    ---
    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

    All the texts are published under Creative Common-license [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.no Navngivelse-DelPåSammeVilkår 3.0]

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    Sjur C. Papazian

    Sjur C. Papazian

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  • Transformasjon

  • Sumerian statues

  • Pendant from Mari (modern Tell Hariri, Syria)

  • Sørvest Asia – før og nå

    Den fruktbare halvmåne er en betegnelse på et gammelt fruktbart område nord, øst og vest for den arabiske ørken i Sørvest-Asia. Mesopotamia-dalen og Nil-dalen kommer inn under dette begrepet selv om det i fjellsonen rundt Mesopotamia en naturlig avgrensning i jordbrukshistorisk forstand.

    Som resultat av en rekke unike geografiske faktorer har Den fruktbare halvmåne en imponerende historie av tidlig menneskelig jordbruksaktivitet og kulturdanning. Foruten mange arkeologiske funnsteder med rester av skjeletter og kulturelle levninger så er området først og fremst kjent for dets funnsteder knyttet til jordbrukets opprinnelse og utvikling i den neolittiske tidsalder.

    Det var her, i de skogkledde fjellskråningene i randsonen av dette området, at jordbruket oppsto i et økologisk avgrenset miljø. Den vestlige sonen og områdene rundt øvre Eufrat ga vekst til de første kjente neolittiske jordbruks-samfunnene med små, runde hus, også referert til som førkeramisk neolittisk A, som dateres til like etter 10.000 f.vt. og omfatter steder som Jeriko, som er verdens eldste by.

    Under den påfølgende PPNB fra 9 000 f.vt. utviklet disse samfunnene seg til større landsbyer med dyrking og husdyrhold som viktigste levevei, med tett bebyggelse i to-etasjers, rektangulære hus. Mennesket inngikk nå i symbiose med korn- og husdyrartene, uten mulighet til å vende tilbake til jeger- og sankersamfunnet.

    Området vest og nord for slettelandet ved Eufrat og Tigris så også framveksten av tidlige komplekse samfunn i den langt senere bronsealderen (fra ca 4 000 f.vt.). Det er også tidlige bevis for skriftkultur og tidlige statsdannelser fra samme tid i dette nordlige steppeområdet, selv om de skriftlige statsdannelsene relativt raskt flyttet sitt tyngdepunkt ned i Mesopotamia-dalen og utviklet seg der. Området har derfor hos svært mange forfattere fått betegnelsen «sivilisasjonens vugge».

    Området har opplevd en rekke omveltninger, og nye stasdannelser. Nå sist da staten Tyrkia ble dannet i etterkant av ungtyrkernes folkemord på blant annet de pontiske grekere, armenere og assyrere under den første verdenskrig. Det antas at to tredeler til tre firedeler av alle armenere i regionen døde.

    Det er nå på tide at folkemordet mot de pontiske grekere, assyrere og armenere anerkjennes, at Israels okkupasjon, bosetting og vold palestinerne opphører, samt at de ulike minoritetene i området får leve sine livi fred - uten vold og trusler fra majoritetsbefolkninger eller fra Vesten, og da spesifikt USA.

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Vår oppave her på Jorda

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 13, 2015

Ingen har blitt så mye misforstått og misbrukt som Jesus, som døde på korset for oss alle. Men det er ikke lidelsene hans som er det store. Mange har lidd langt verre enn Jesus. Hvor mange armenere ble for eksempel ikke spikra opp på kors under folkemordet på armenerne?

Saken er at han er et eksempel til etterfølgelse. Ikke noe spirituelt renkespill, men som en langhåret “anarkist” som slåss for sannheten, rettferighet og frihet. Han ble korsfestet som politisk opposisjonell mot de som hersket på hans tid, og vi alle bør ta opp korset og fortsette det han startet.

Saken er jo at dagens rike er langt rikere enn det den rikeste romer kunne ha drømt om og at politikerne våre har et langt fastere grep om dagens befolkning enn det selv de romerske keiserne hadde. De kristne har gjort om religionen, slik at den ikke lenger er i opposisjon mot de bestående hierarkiene, men gjort den til et instrument for de rike og mektige.

Du kan ikke tro på både Mammon, eller penger, og Gud, eller de verdier som vi regner som hellige. Men Jesus er ikke noen vanlig opprører. Han representerer våren, livet, det som spirer og gror, og det å gå imot Jesus er det samme som å gjøre slutt på livet, døden.

Det er de to sidene av gudinnen Hel, som både representerer liv, men også død, altså transformasjonen som vi alle går igjennom fra fødsel til død. Jesus er lite annet enn sola, eller den armenske Ara den vakre. Verdens eldste mytologi.

En av de viktigste gudinnene innen rekonstruert proto-indo-europeisk religion var personifiseringen av daggry som den vakre unge kvinnen Hausos. Hun var også gudinnen for våren, involvert i en mytologi vedrørende det nye året, hvor hun ble befridd av en annen gud, som tok livet av en drage. Navnet for vår kommer fra samme rot, noe også ordet for høst gjør. Begjær på sanskrit er vanas, mens navnene Venus og det nordiske Vanir, også stammer fra henne.

Ishara er det hettittiske ordet for avtale, pakt eller lovnad. Ordet blir funnet i de assyriske Kültepe tekstene så langt tilbake som på 1900-tallet f.Kr. og er det tidligste kjente indo-europeiske ord. Hun ble personifisert som edens gudinne. Hun var en kjærlighetsgudinne ofte identifisert med Ishtar og Isis, samt alle de andre kjærlighetsgudinnene, inkludert Hausos. Varianter av navnet opptrer som Ashara og Ushara, som stammer fra Hausos.

I semittiske tradisjoner gikk hun over til å hete Ishtar, men hun ble i Egypt kjent som Isis (Aset) og Osiris (Ausir). Hun ble personifisert som en gudinne for ed, men ble ansett som en gudinne for medisin og helse. De som brøt eden derimot ble straffet hardt.

Den nordiske guden Njörðr, far til Freyr og Freyja, er en gud blant fruktbarhetsgudene, Vanir, et navn som forbindes med den proto-indoeuropeiske gudinnen Hausos (Ha.usos), som er en personifisering av daggry og våren som en vakker ung kvinne, men som også kan sies å ha gitt navnet på høsten. Navnet betyr lys eller skinnende, og har også dannet grunnlaget til navnet Venus. Njörðr levde i Nóatún og er assosiert med havet, vinden, fisken, rikdom og fruktbarhet.

En halo (fra gresk: ἅλως også kjent som nimbus, solring eller månering) er et optisk fenomen skapt av iskrystaller som fører til fargede eller hvite buer og flekker på himmelen. Haloring rundt skygge av fly i tåkesky.Mange haloer opptrer nær solen eller månen, mens andre er synlige andre steder – til og med på motsatt side av himmelen i forhold til solen.

Lucifer, eller hêlêl or heylel, opptrer kun en gang i Bibelen og betyr den skinnende, morgenstjernen, også kjent som Venus eller den som bringer lys. Et tilknyttet navn er Heōsphoros, et navn som betyr “Den som bringer daggry” for morgenstjernen.

Senere kristen tradisjon kom til å benytte seg av ordet for morgenstjernen, lucifer, som et navn på djevelen; slik han var før han falt. Som et har Lucifer blitt et tilnavn på Satan/Djevelen. Dette selv om det latinske navnet aldri kom til å bli brukt ekslusivt, men også ble brukt om andre, inkludert Kristus.

I Isaiah, 14, erobrer den babylonske kongen Nebuchadnezzar II Jerusalem og blir fordømt i en profetisk visjon av profeten Isaiah og blir kalt “Morgen Ha”, som vil si Venus. Ha danner grunnlaget i navnet på armenernes patriark Khaldi, også kjent som Haik (Ha.ik). Khaldi igjen er det samme navnet som blant annet romernes Caelus, den nordiske Hel og den indiske Kali.

Den sumeriske guden Enki, som blant annet skapte menneskene, var guden for vann, intelligens og skapelse, ble avbildet som en mann dekket med fiskeskinn, en representasjon som vitner om hans opprinnelige karakter som en gud av vannet. Hans symboler inkluderte en geit og en fisk, som senere sammen til et enkelt dyr anerkjent som stjernebildet Steinbukken.

Fontenen av Abzu forran hans tempel ga opphav til bruk av fontenene i moskeer og hellig vann i kristne kirker. Synet på vann som et hellig og helligende, rensende element finnes i tro og kult hos nær sagt alle folk. Kilden med sitt «levende vann» er overalt blitt sett på som en åpenbaring av hemmelighetsfulle krefter; det samme gjelder store elver.

Abgallu (Ab = vann, Gal = stor, Lu = mann), er syv sumeriske vismenn, halvguder som sies å ha blitt skapt av Enki for å etablere kultur og gi sivilisasjon til menneskeheten. De tjente som prester og rådgivere til de tidligste kongene av Sumer før flommen og ble sett på som fiskelignende menn. De ble vanligvis representert kledd som menn i fiskeskinn. Navnet overlevde som apkallum brukt til å beskrive en slags prester.

Oannes var navnet gitt av den babylonske forfatteren Berossos på 300-tallet f.Kr. til et mytisk vesen kledd i fiske skinn som lærte menneskene visdom. Det ble skrevet at han bor i Persiabukta, stiger ut av vannet på dagtid og lærer menneskeheten om sivilisasjon. Han og den semittiske guden Dagon ble ansett som identiske. Navnet er den greske formen av det babylonske Uanna, et navn som brukes for Adapa.

Fontenen av Abzu forran hans tempel ga opphav til bruk av fontenene i moskeer og hellig vann i kristne kirker. Synet på vann som et hellig og helligende, rensende element finnes i tro og kult hos nær sagt alle folk. Kilden med sitt «levende vann» er overalt blitt sett på som en åpenbaring av hemmelighetsfulle krefter; det samme gjelder store elver.

Mitra har vært en betegnelse på flere typer hodebekledninger. Betegnelsen ble brukt om en hodebekledning av tøy som ble båret av flere orientalske folk i oldtiden, blant annet runde turbanplagg båret av jødiske yppersteprester. Den inngår som del av embedsdrakten i flere kirker, blant annet i den katolske, ortodokse, anglikanske og svenske kirken.

Mitra betyr å binde sammen, avtale, pakt, lovnad, forholdet mellom tingene, og da tenkes det på en pakt mellom mennesker, men også pakten mellom oss og Gud, eller naturen. Det å drepe ut dyrearter og forurense blir dermed det samme som å bryte pakten og korsfeste Jesus. Og dette gjør vi for å tjene penger?

Vi må leve i fred med hverandre og i harmoni med naturen, noe annet vil være antikrist. Det kommer derfor ikke an på kristendommen og islam, men på hvordan disse religionene benyttes, som visdomskilder eller til legitimering av urett.

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Astrology – The Signs of the Disciples

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 13, 2015

twelve_apostles_1

https://stjudasmaccabaeus.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/zodiac12sons1.gif?w=913&h=856

The Sign of Aries is Saint Peter, the Sign of Taurus is Saint Simon, the Sign of Gemini is Saint James, the Sign of Cancer is Saint Andrew, the Sign of Leo is Saint John, the Sign of Virgo is Saint Philip, the Sign of Libra is Saint Bartholomew, the Sign of Scorpio is Saint Thomas, the Sign of Sagittarius is Saint James the Great, the Sign of Capricorn is Saint Matthew, the Sign of Aquarius is Saint Jude Thaddaeus, and the Sign of Pisces is Saint Matthias who replaced Judas Iscariot.

Armenia – Aries

Armenia is one of the cradles of ancient science, and astronomical knowledge was developed in ancient Armenia as well. Contrary to its small territory and relatively small population, Armenia was and is rather active in astronomy. Astronomy in Armenia was popular since ancient times: there are signs of astronomi­cal observations coming from a few thousand years ago.

Among the astronomical activities that have left their traces in the territory of Armenia are: the rock art (numerous petroglyphs of astronomical content), ruins of ancient observatories (two of them, Karahunge and Metzamor are especially well known; Karahunge is the Armenian twin of the Stonehenge and is considered even older), the ancient Armenian calendar, astronomical terms and names used in Armenian language since II-I millennia B.C., sky maps from Middle Ages, and most important, one of the largest modern observatories in the region, the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) with its 2.6m and 1m Schmidt telescopes.

Constellations. It is believed that the division of the sky into constellations was made a few thousand years ago in the Armenian Highland. According to the German astronomer and historian of science Olkott, the signs of Zodiac contain such animals that lived many thousand years ago in the territory of Armenia and around. It is very probable that ancient people named the constellations after animals living in their countries rather than known from elsewhere. Moreover, many constellations have their own Armenian names which were different from the Greek ones, however, many of them correspond to each other by the meaning.

Ancient Astronomy in Armenia

Halaf/ Hassuna/ Samarra/ Ubaid (ca. 6000 BC)

The Samarra bowl, at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Number 12

Throughout the Christian Bible, both Old and New Testaments, the number twelve is a prominent number. The twelve Disciples of Christ, the twelve sons of Jacob (better known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel), the twelve layers of precious stones in the foundation of heaven or the New Jerusalem.

Starting out life as an immensely useful number for counting and dividing things, the number 12 became a number revered by mathematicians and early astronomers. So the skies were divided into 12 portions as were the months of year, reflecting the annual movement of heavenly bodies.

The tradition of the number 12 was adopted by multiple early civilisations. The sky, divided into 12, has each portion ruled by a personification, a god, a divine being, a teacher, a prophet or a son of the sun. Astrology has the twelve signs of the zodiac or constellations of the heavens, as well as twelve houses to a chart or horoscope.

In Mythology the Babylonians had the longest lasting influence upon our calendars, times, mathematics and religions, all of which emphasize the number 12, the ancient Zoroastrians had twelve commanders on the side of light (light being a symbol for the sun), we have the Twelve Labours of Herakles, the Greeks imagined 12 Gods on mount Olympus, Odin, or Norse mythology, sat on a chair that overlooked all of creation, and had 12 sons, the Judaism and the Hebrew Scripture have many references to the 12 tribes of Israel, the Mithraists, and then Christians, believed that their saviour had 12 disciples, and Shi’a Muslims list 12 ruling Imams following Muhammad.

Such holy persons are depicted with a bright solar light around their heads such as occurs when any object approaches from the sun and now stands infront of it. Although many ancient religions such as the Gnostics understood things like the twelve disciples of Mithras to be symbolic of the stages of the waning and waxing sun throughout the year, later religions took it literally and believed in an actual 12 disciples – and some still do.

Astrologers of the past have taken the time to study the disciples of the Messiah and have associated each with a sign of the zodiac. The importance of having twelve apostles was so great, that after the demise of Judas, he was quickly replaced. As if to say that without twelve disciples, the group was not whole.

And they appointed two; Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Mathias.
Acts 1:23

The eleven disciples then cast lots (resembling the tossing of dice) and Mathias was chosen to replace Judas, the betrayer.

Judas Iscariot was the Pisces.

Christian Astrology – The Signs of the Disciples

The Twelve Holy Apostles of Christ

‘Correct’ Sign of the Zodiac for Each of the 12 Apostles

A Short Review of the 24 Elders of the Judeo/Christian Zodiac

The Story of Jesus is an Astrological Allegory for the Sun

The Divine Number 12

The Story of Jesus is an Astrological Allegory

for the Sun passing through the Zodiac each year

https://i2.wp.com/www.solarmythology.com/ba12z.gif

Solar Mythology and the Jesus Story

Now the Sun is re-born every year on the 25th day of December; that is, the days begin to lengthen. It is the winter solstice. He is his own father. He is born in the stable between the constellations of the horse and goat, Sagittarius and Capricornus.

The Bible uses a day for a year. The Astrologer uses a day for a year.

Thirty years alter Christ’s birth he was baptized. Thirty days after the Sun is born he enters the sign Aquarius, the water-bearer (Baptismo). After his baptism Christ took his disciples from among the fishermen, and the Sun next enters the sign Pisces, the fishes. We observe Lent and eat fish one day of the week in honor of the Sun’s passage through the sign of the fishes.

Look at the cut again. Christ then became the good shepherd of the flock. The Sun enters the sign Aries, the lamb. He is yet young, the lamb or the young Sun God.

Christ then went out to the salvation of men. Let us see how the Sun God goes out to the salvation of men.

The ancients had consumed the products of the year before and were praying for their Sun God to come back and warm the earth, to bring forth vegetation, which all animal life required. He came, and now he must go forth to the salvation of man; fit the fields for plowing. The bull comes in here for his share of glory, and he is worshiped, because he represents agriculture. The fields are plowed and seed is sown for a late harvest. Look at the cut — the twins represent increase.

Christ spoke of the backsliders. Every year the Sun enters the sign Cancer. June 21st to July 22d, symbolized by the crab, which crawls backward, and all vegetation dries up and retreats back into the earth.

This is the summer solstice, or John the Baptist, born just six months before Christ, and who says, John III-30,

“He must increase and I must decrease.”

Christ became the Lion of the twelve tribes of Judah. Every year the Sun enters the sign Leo, the lion, and becomes the Lion of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac.

When? Why, the 22d of July to 23d of August, when the Sun is hottest; exerts most power, the “Lion.”

Let the reader look at the cut at each paragraph or description of each sign.

Our Christian friends sup to the vestal virgin. When? Every year when the Sun enters the sign Virgo, whose symbol is the Virgin, August 23d to September 23d. Now look at the cut and the central cross, on which the Sun is Crucified every year, and you will see the Sun has passed over the cross on which he is annually crucified, and, like Christ, has his cross on his back — i.e., passed over it.

Our Christian friends lay much stress upon the judgment day. Every year, on the 23d day of September, the Sun enters the sign Libra, symbolized by the balance. Every year after harvest the farmer balances up his books and pays his debts. But there the Sun God presents a parallel to the Son of God on the road to the crucifixion. The Sun begins to retreat, the days to grow shorter. The Sun, like Christ, is bearing his cross toward the crucifixion. Keep the eye on the cut. The Son of God was crucified between the two thieves. The Sun God is crucified between the two heavenly thieves. Scorpio and Sagittarius, October 23d to November 22d — November 22d to December 21st. There is a harvest somewhere every month in the year, except these two months, the heavenly thieves.

The Sun lost its power, retreated back where it is white and cold. But Sagittarius became the repentant thief, gives up, does not wait until January 1st, but gives up December 25th. And after the Sun comes out of hades, where he was for three days, while the days are of one length, he is re-born, the same as Christ. There are three days about the same length, the three days the Son of God was supposed to have descended into hades.

Is this not complete?
Have I left anything out?
What? You say No?
Yes, I have left out the betrayer.
Who was the betrayer?
Judas Iscariot was Christ’s betrayer.
But who was the Sun God’s betrayer?

The ancients had noticed, notwithstanding their prayers and sacrifices, every year the Sun deserted them and went back until, to them, he died, was finally resurrected. They could not believe their loved Sun God could willingly desert them, so they looked into the heavens to see why he went back.

In the tall, every year, they saw him retreat, apparently followed by a tremendous heavenly host, for there are more stars in the constellations Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius than in any others, and it was these stars that seemed to be chasing and pressing the Sun back. They were led on by a bright and beautiful star the ancients had seen in the east, in early morning, in spring and summer months, just as we do now. By the tip of the earth he has apparently fallen to evening star, leading on the heavenly host. We call it Venus, the Goddess of Love. They called it “Lucifer, the light-bearer.”

So they cried, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, Star of the Morning?” And so here you have the story of the war in heaven.

The kiss of betrayal

Let me here call attention to another phase of the story, though bearing more heavily in favor of the ideal than the real. I am compelled to give the Catholic Church a considerable credit here, for holding in form at least the sacredness of virtue which they hold to so strongly in the celibacy of the priesthood and sacredness of the marriage ties, if not in the immaculate conception. All of this was no doubt drawn from a parallel story in the heavens, originally by the sex worshippers.

Christ, the Son of God, was always talking out of doors, mostly in the summer time.
So do we look upon the sun, mostly in summer.

Christ had 12 disciples.
The sun has 12 disciples or 12 signs of the Zodiac.

Christ was betrayed by a kiss from Judas Iscariot.
The sun is betrayed by a kiss from Lucifer, the light bearer, we call Venus the Goddess of Love.

Christ was wont to go to the garden of Gethsemane, where he was finally pursued by the hosts, led on by Judas Iscariot.
Where this garden was situated no one knows.
The word Gethsemane means olives or oil press — says Potter;

The sun takes his course through the gardens at the summer months, pursued by the heavenly host of stars of Sagittarius, the sign of religion, and Scorpio and Libra, led on by Lucifer, the light bearer, or Venus.

As Judas betrayed Christ, so does Lucifer or Venus betray the sun in this way.

The sun is the life giver, yet stands alone in his virtue.

Knowing his time has come to be crucified, he offers the last supper of the harvest year, after which he offers a sop to the 12 signs or disciples; that is, in the fall as in the spring there is apparently a new lease of life, animal desires are strengthened as if for a temptation for self destruction. Old age forgets its weakness and wastes vital forces. The lower animals propagate their species; even the trees and flowers put forth new efforts. This is the sop the sun gives at the last supper.

Venus, the Goddess of Love, or Lucifer, as they called it, exerts the influences of passion on all nature, the kiss of betrayal, that is, the wages of sin is death. The old man loses his vitality, the lower animals bring forth their young to perish by the rigors of winter, the trees and flowers are caught by the early frosts; thus, “The wages of sin is death.” All the results of the betrayal by a kiss of passion, for which Lucifer, I. e., Venus, the Goddess of Love, is ashamed of.

We must remember that Judas betrayed the Master for 30 pieces of silver. Matthew xxvii:5 says:

      “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and went out and hanged himself.”

Here the writer evidently made a mistake. There was no parallel for his hanging himself, but a later writer seeing the error, astrologically says — Acts 1:18:

      “Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”

(See cut of cosmic man.)

We must remember that at the time Christ was betrayed it was in the garden at night time.

The silver moon is the ruler of the night, and the beautiful autumn nights are longer than the days, and there are 30 degrees in each sign. These 30 silver moon nights are the 30 pieces of silver Lucifer, Venus, betrayed the sun for. He had been the morning star, but now betrayed for the 30 pieces of silver night, but now cast them down in the potter’s field a graveyard of fall tragedies and disappears here, only to appear again as morning star in the spring, and we see nothing but the man with his bowels broke asunder, which covers Virgo, Libra and Scorpio to the secrets, and Lucifer disappears, to be born again in the springtime.

We must remember a piece of silver was of but 13 cents of our money or 30 pieces of but $3.90; a very small sum to get for the betrayal to death.

That is an evidence of an allegory.

Which is it, a sacred novel founded on astronomy, or is the story of the Son of God paralleled in the heavens as a testimony?

The truths supposed to be spoken by Christ stamp the character too grand and noble to be cast down. whichever way it is, and If I must err I will err on the side that bears the strongest testimony. If I accept it as an allegory I have but one side; if I accept it as a parallel I have a testimony.

Now which is it?

Is the Christian religion, with all other religions, together with Mythology and Free Masonry, based upon Astrology? Or is it a fact that the Sun and stars are enacting the story of the Christian religion every year? Is the fact about to be recognized that the observation of Sunday as a religious holiday originated with an Astrologer, and is a testimony that the whole work is Astrological?

The Twelve Holy Apostles

Christianity was brought to the kingdom of Armenia by two of Jesus’ Apostles, Thaddeus and Bartholomew in first century A.D. Christianity became the national religion in 301 A.D.

http://www.armenianchurch-ed.net/our-church/history-of-the-church/history

Nathaniel or Bartholomew was the Libra.
Thaddeus called Judas is thought to have been the Aquarian.

The History of the Armenian Church

auroctony in Parian marble depicting Mithras slaying the Bull,

from the Mithraeum at Sidon (Colonia Aurelia Pia, Syria), late 4th century AD, Louvre Museum

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Khaldi, the patriarch of the Armenians

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 12, 2015

Aratta, also written Urartu/Ararat/Urashtu or Armenia, is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is the same name as Urartu/Ararat and Armenia.

Aratta is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach, and home to the goddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk after it was conquered by Enmerkar of Uruk.

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc.

Ara the Beautiful is a legendary Armenian patriarch. In Armenian mythology, Ara was a warrior whose handsomeness drew marriage proposals from queen Semiramis. When Ara rejected Semiramis due to his marriage to Nvard, Semiramis sent soldiers to kill Ara and bring his body to her, where she prayed for his eventual resurrection. Ara was descended from Hayk.

Ninurta was a Sumerian and the Akkadian god of hunting and war, while Ares, literal meaning of “battle”, is the Greek god of war. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.

Aries (♈), meaning “ram”, is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac. Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called Arians or Ariens.

Asha/Arta is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-.[c] In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”. Later texts consistently use the ‘Best’ epithet when speaking of the Amesha Spenta, only once in the Gathas is ‘best’ an adjective of aša/arta. The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.”

Haldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk, the patriarch of the Armenian people, was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, in Akkadian Muṣaṣir, meaning “Exit of the Serpent/Snake”, an ancient city of Urartu. The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art, and Bagmashtu, meaning idol of wisdom.

Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bow and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.

Caelus or Coelus was a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”). The deity’s name usually appears in masculine grammatical form when he is conceived of as a male generative force, but the neuter form Caelum is also found as a divine personification.

Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, or shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death: Shiva. Since Shiva is called Kāla— the eternal time — the name of Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in “time has come”). Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time, Change, Power and Destruction.

Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation of evil forces still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is often portrayed standing or dancing on her husband, the god Shiva, who lies prostrate beneath her.

Hel, meaning “one that hides” or “one who covers up”, also known as Hella, Holle or Hulda, was the Norse and Teutonic Goddess, Queen and Ruler of the Underworld, which was known as Niflheim, or Helheim, the Kingdom of the Dead. Her body was seen as half dead and half alive. Some say that part of of her body was beautiful while the other was horrid like death.

Hel represents endings and beginnings, and also the darker aspects of life and of ourselves. She teaches us that after death is the opportunity for rebirth, in anything in our lives. The ending of one thing becomes the beginning of another. Her name has come to mean halm – straw, hals – neck, hel – whole, hele – to heal, hellig – holy, huldra – lady of the woods, hjul – wheel, jul – winter solstice, hylle – pay homage to, helle – stone, elv – river etc.

In Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal (EREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “Queen of the Great Earth”) was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, and sometimes it is given as Ninkigal, lit. “Great Lady of the Earth” or “Lady of the Great Earth”.

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

In some versions of the myths, she rules the underworld by herself, sometimes with a husband subordinate to her named Gugalana. It was said that she had been stolen away by Kur and taken to the underworld, where she was made queen unwillingly.

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

Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”) is a Hurrian Mother Goddess identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat. Christopher Siren reports that Hannahannah is associated with the Gulses, the Hutena are goddesses of fate.

The mother goddess Hannahannah promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahannah with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

Inanna’s name derives from Lady of Heaven (Sumerian: nin-an-ak). The cuneiform sign of Inanna, however, is not a ligature of the signs lady (Sumerian: nin) and sky (Sumerian: an).

These difficulties have led some early Assyriologists to suggest that originally Inanna may have been a Proto-Euphratean goddess, possibly related to the Hurrian mother goddess Hannahannah, accepted only latterly into the Sumerian pantheon, or more likely Inara, an idea supported by her youthfulness, and that, unlike the other Sumerian divinities, at first she had no sphere of responsibilities. The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists.

Ishara (išḫara) is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath. The word is attested as a loanword in the Assyrian Kültepe texts from the 19th century BC, and is as such the earliest attestation of a word of any Indo-European language.

In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. She is identified as Ishwara in Sanskrit. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium, and by the end of the 3rd millennium, she had temples in Nippur, Sippar, Kish, Harbidum, Larsa, and Urum.

In the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish, Anshar (also spelled Anshur), which means “whole heaven”, is a primordial god. His consort is Kishar which means “Whole Earth”. They were the children of Lahamu and Lahmu and the grandchildren of Tiamat and Apsû. They, in turn, are the parents of Anu, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons.

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

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

An Assyrian king named Ushpia who reigned in ca. the 21st century BC is credited with dedicating the first temple of the god Assur in his home city. Like most other of the “kings who lived in tents”, his name is not regarded as Semitic, but more likely Hurrian.

Osiris, variously transliterated as Asar, Asari, Aser, Ausar, Ausir, Wesir, Usir, Usire or Ausare, was an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. Isis, original Egyptian pronunciation more likely “Aset” or “Iset”, is a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt. The Greek name version of Isis is surprisingly close to her original, Egyptian name spelling (namely Aset). However, the symbolic and metaphoric meaning of Isis’ name remains unclear.

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The Armenian Highland

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 11, 2015

The Armenian Highland lies in the highlands surrounding Mount Ararat, the highest peak of the region. The history of Şanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back at least to 9000 BC, when there is ample evidence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori.

Within the further area of the city are three neolithic sites known: Portasar (Armenian), also known as Göbekli Tepe (Turkish), Gürcütepe and the city itself, where the life-sized limestone “Urfa statue” was found during an excavation in Balıklıgöl. The city was one of several in the upper Euphrates-Tigris basin, the fertile crescent, where agriculture began.

Portasar is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. Radiocarbon dating as well as comparative, stylistic analysis indicate that it is the oldest religious site yet discovered anywhere.

Since the 1930s, numerous archaeological excavations and surveys have been carried out in the Khabur Valley, indicating that the region has been occupied since the Lower Palaeolithic period. Important sites that have been excavated include Tell Halaf, Tell Brak, Tell Leilan, Tell Mashnaqa, Tell Mozan and Tell Barri.

The region has given its name to a distinctive painted ware found in northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the early 2nd millennium BCE, called Khabur ware. The region of the Khabur River is also associated with the rise of the Kingdom of the Mitanni that flourished c.1500-1300 BC.

The Halaf culture is a prehistoric period which lasted between about 6100 and 5100 BCE. The period is a continuous development out of the earlier Pottery Neolithic and is located primarily in south-eastern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq, although Halaf-influenced material is found throughout Greater Mesopotamia.

Previously, the Syrian plains were not considered as the homeland of Halaf culture, and the Halafians were seen either as hill people who descended from the nearby mountains of southeastern Anatolia, or herdsmen from northern Iraq.

However, those views changed with the recent archaeology conducted since 1986 by Peter Akkermans, which have produced new insights and perspectives about the rise of Halaf culture. A formerly unknown transitional culture between the pre-Half Neolithic’s era and Halaf’s era was uncovered in the Balikh valley, at Tell Sabi Abyad (the Mound of the White Boy).

Currently, eleven occupational layers have been unearthed in Sabi Abyad, levels from 11 to 7 are considered pre-Halaf, from 6 to 4 transitional, and from 3 to 1 early Halaf. No hiatus in occupation is observed except between levels 11 and 10.

The new archaeology demonstrated that Halaf culture was not sudden and was not the result of foreign people, but rather a continuous process of indigenous cultural changes in northern Syria, that spread to the other regions.

The best known, most characteristic pottery of Tell Halaf, called Halaf ware, produced by specialist potters, can be painted, sometimes using more than two colors (called polychrome) with geometric and animal motifs. Other types of Halaf pottery are known, including unpainted, cooking ware and ware with burnished surfaces.

Halaf pottery has been found in other parts of northern Mesopotamia, such as at Nineveh and Tepe Gawra, Chagar Bazar and at many sites in Anatolia (Turkey) suggesting that it was widely used in the region.

Tell Halaf is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border, just opposite Ceylanpınar. It was the first find of a Neolithic culture, subsequently dubbed the Halaf culture, characterized by glazed pottery painted with geometric and animal designs.

The site is located near the city of Ra’s al-‘Ayn in the fertile valley of the Khabur River (Nahr al-Khabur), close to the modern border with Turkey. The name Tell Halaf is a local Aramaic placename, tell meaning “hill”, and Tell Halaf meaning “made of former city”; what its original inhabitants called their settlement is not known.

Tell Halaf is the type site of the Halaf culture, which developed from Neolithic III at this site without any strong break. The Tell Halaf site flourished from about 6,100 to 5,400 BCE, a period of time that is referred to as the Halaf period. The Halaf culture was succeeded in northern Mesopotamia by the Ubaid culture. The site was then abandoned for a long period. The most plausible theory is a Halafian adoption of the Ubaid culture, which is supported by most scholars including Oates, Breniquet and Akkermans.

The Hassuna culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture in northern Mesopotamia dating to the early sixth millennium BC. It is named after the type site of Tell Hassuna in Iraq. Other sites where Hassuna material has been found include Tell Shemshara.

By around 6000 BC people had moved into the foothills (piedmont) of northernmost Mesopotamia where there was enough rainfall to allow for “dry” agriculture in some places. These were the first farmers in northernmost Mesopotamia. They made Hassuna-style pottery (cream slip with reddish paint in linear designs).

At Tell Hassuna, adobe dwellings built around open central courts with fine painted pottery replace earlier levels with crude pottery. Hand axes, sickles, grinding stones, bins, baking ovens and numerous bones of domesticated animals reflect settled agricultural life.

Female figurines have been related to worship and jar burials within which food was placed related to belief in afterlife. The relationship of Hassuna pottery to that of Jericho suggests that village culture was becoming widespread.

Tell Hassuna is a tell, or settlement mound, in the Nineveh Province (Iraq). It is the type site for the Hassuna culture (early sixth millennium BCE). Excavations revealed that there was once an advanced village culture that was spread throughout northern Mesopotamia.

At Hassuna, six different layers of houses were uncovered, revealing various vessels and pottery that date ~5600-5350 BCE, with each layer becoming more substantial. Similar vessels were found throughout the Middle East, showing that there was an extensive trade network that was present as early as the 6th Millennium BCE.

Pottery found at Hassuna can be divided into three different categories: Hassuna Archaic, Hassuna Standard, and Samarran. These also include painted, incised, and painted-incised ware.

Hassuna was one of the earliest cultures in Northern Mesopotamia. Before this time, Southern Mesopotamia was considered the cradle of civilization. When settlements began forming in the north, such as Hassuna, Jarmo, Samarra, and Tell Halaf, the north became the important region.

Shulaveri-Shomu culture is a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture that existed on the territory of present-day Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Armenian Highlands. The culture is dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC and is thought to be one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures. The Shulaveri-Shomu culture begins after the 8.2 kiloyear event which was a sudden decrease in global temperatures starting ca. 6200 BC and which lasted for about two to four centuries.

Shulaveri culture predates the Kura-Araxes culture and surrounding areas, which is assigned to the period of ca. 4000 – 2200 BC, and had close relation with the middle Bronze Age culture called Trialeti culture (ca. 3000 – 1500 BC). Sioni culture of Eastern Georgia possibly represents a transition from the Shulaveri to the Kura-Arax cultural complex.

In around ca. 6000–4200 B.C the Shulaveri-Shomu and other Neolithic/Chalcolithic cultures of the Southern Caucasus use local obsidian for tools, raise animals such as cattle and pigs, and grow crops, including grapes.

Many of the characteristic traits of the Shulaverian material culture (circular mudbrick architecture, pottery decorated by plastic design, anthropomorphic female figurines, obsidian industry with an emphasis on production of long prismatic blades) are believed to have their origin in the Near Eastern Neolithic (Hassuna, Halaf).

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; thence it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis), and during the next millennium it proceeded westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into an area below the Urmia basin and Lake Van, and finally down to the borders of present day Syria. Altogether, the early Trans-Caucasian culture, at its greatest spread, enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km.

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Its territory corresponds to parts of modern Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, Ingushetia and North Ossetia.

The Shengavit Settlement is an archaeological site in present day Yerevan, Armenia located on a hill south-east of Lake Yerevan. It was inhabited during a series of settlement phases from approximately 3200 BC cal to 2500 BC cal in the Kura Araxes (Shengavitian) Period of the Early Bronze Age and irregularly re-used in the Middle Bronze Age until 2200 BC cal.

The town occupied an area of six hectares. It appears that Shengavit was a societal center for the areas surrounding the town due to its unusual size, evidence of surplus production of grains, and metallurgy, as well as its monumental 4 meter wide stone wall.

Four smaller village sites of Moukhannat, Tepe, Khorumbulagh, and Tairov have been identified and were located outside the walls of Shengavit. Its pottery makes it a type site of the Kura-Araxes or Early Transcaucasian Period and the Shengavitian culture area.

Archaeologists so far have uncovered large cyclopean walls with towers that surrounded the settlement. Within these walls were circular and square multi-dwelling buildings constructed of stone and mud-brick. Inside some of the residential structures were ritual hearths and household pits, while large silos located nearby stored wheat and barley for the residents of the town.

There was also an underground passage that led to the river from the town. Earlier excavations had uncovered burial mounds outside the settlement walls towards the south-east and south-west. More ancient graves still remain in the same vicinity.

Amongst the finds during archaeological excavations at Shengavit were chert and obsidian stone tools, mace heads, hoes, hammers, grinders, spindle whorls, spearheads, flakers, needles, pottery, and crucibles (which could hold 10 kg of smelted metal).

Storage containers for smelted metal were found as well that held far greater amounts than the town should have required. Large quantities of debris from flint and obsidian knapping, pottery making, metallurgy, and weapons manufacture indicate that the town had organized guilds which performed such tasks.

Pottery found at the town typically has a characteristic black burnished exterior and reddish interior with either incised or raised designs. This style defines the period, and is found across the mountainous Early Transcaucasian territories. One of the larger styles of pottery has been identified as a wine vat but residue tests will confirm this notion.

A large stone obelisk was discovered in one of the structures during earlier excavations. A similar obelisk was uncovered at the site of Mokhrablur four km south of Ejmiatsin. It is thought that this, and the numerous statuettes made of clay that have been found are part of a central ritualistic practice in Shengavit.

The Kura Araxes (Shengavitian) cultures and societies are a unique mountain phenomenon, evolved parallel to but not the same as Mesopotamian cultures. There is evidence of trade with Mesopotamia, as well as Asia Minor. It is, however, considered above all to be indigenous to the Caucasus, and its major variants characterized (according to Caucasus historian Amjad Jaimoukha) later major cultures in the region.

Their pottery was distinctive; in fact, the spread of their pottery along trade routes into surrounding cultures was much more impressive than any of their achievements domestically. It was painted black and red, using geometric designs for ornamentation. Examples have been found as far south as Syria and Israel, and as far north as Dagestan and Chechnya.

In its earliest phase, metal was scant, but it would later display “a precocious metallurgical development which strongly influenced surrounding regions”. They worked copper, arsenic, silver, gold, tin, and bronze. Their metal goods were widely distributed, recorded in the Volga, Dnieper and Don-Donets systems in the north, into Syria and Palestine in the south, and west into Anatolia.

It may have given rise to the later Khirbet Kerak ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire. Jaimoukha believes that its southern expanse is attributable primarily to Mitanni and the Hurrians.

They are also remarkable for the production of wheeled vehicles (wagons and carts), which were sometimes included in burial kurgans. Inhumation practices are mixed. Flat graves are found, but so are substantial kurgan burials, the latter of which may be surrounded by cromlechs. This points to a heterogeneous ethno-linguistic population. Their practice of storing relatively great wealth in burial kurgans was probably a cultural influence from the more ancient civilizations of the Fertile Crescent to the south.

Late in the history of this culture, its people built kurgans of greatly varying sizes, containing greatly varying amounts and types of metalwork, with larger, wealthier kurgans surrounded by smaller kurgans containing less wealth. This trend suggests the eventual emergence of a marked social hierarchy.

The culture is closely linked to the approximately contemporaneous Maykop culture (ca. 3700 BC—3000 BC) of Ciscaucasia, a major Bronze Age archaeological culture in the Western Caucasus region of Southern Russia. It extends along the area from the Taman Peninsula at the Kerch Strait to near the modern border of Dagestan and southwards to the Kura River.

Its inhumation practices were characteristically Indo-European, typically in a pit, sometimes stone-lined, topped with a kurgan (or tumulus). Stone cairns replace kurgans in later interments. The Maykop kurgan was extremely rich in gold and silver artifacts; unusual for the time.

New data revealed the similarity of artifacts from the Maykop culture with those found recently in the course of excavations of the ancient city of Tell Khazneh in northern Syria, the construction of which dates back to 4000 BC.

The Leyla-Tepe culture is a culture of archaeological interest from the Chalcolithic era. Its population was distributed on the southern slopes of the Central Caucasus (modern Azerbaijan, Agdam District), from 4350 until 4000 B.C. Similar amphora burials in the South Caucasus are found in the Western Georgian Jar-Burial Culture.

The culture has also been linked to the north Ubaid period monuments, in particular, with the settlements in the Eastern Anatolia Region. The settlement is of a typical Western-Asian variety, with the dwellings packed closely together and made of mud bricks with smoke outlets.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture. An expedition to Syria by the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed the similarity of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe artifacts with those found recently while excavating the ancient city of Tel Khazneh I, from the 4th millennium BC.

In 2010, nearly 200 Bronze Age sites were reported stretching over 60 miles between the Kuban and Nalchik rivers, at an altitude of between 4,620 feet and 7,920 feet. They were all “visibly constructed according to the same architectural plan, with an oval courtyard in the center, and connected by roads.”

In the late 3rd millennium BC, settlements of the Kura-Araxes culture began to be replaced by early Trialeti culture sites. The Trialeti culture was the second culture to appear in Georgia, after the Shulaveri-Shomu culture which existed from 6000 to 4000 BC. The Trialeti culture shows close ties with the highly developed cultures of the ancient world, particularly with the Aegean, but also with cultures to the south, such as probably the Sumerians and their Akkadian conquerors.

The Trialeti culture was known for its particular form of burial. The elite were interred in large, very rich burials under earth and stone mounds, which sometimes contained four-wheeled carts. Also there were many gold objects found in the graves. These gold objects were similar to those found in Iran and Iraq. They also worked tin and arsenic.

This form of burial in a tumulus or “kurgan”, along with wheeled vehicles, is the same as that of the Kurgan culture which has been associated with the speakers of Proto-Indo-European. In fact, the black burnished pottery of especially early Trialeti kurgans is similar to Kura-Araxes pottery.

In a historical context, their impressive accumulation of wealth in burial kurgans, like that of other associated and nearby cultures with similar burial practices, is particularly noteworthy. This practice was probably a result of influence from the older civilizations to the south in the Fertile Crescent.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is the same name as Urartu/Ararat and Armenia.

Aratta is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach, and home to the goddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk after Enmerkar of Uruk conquered it.

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

Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”) is a Hurrian Mother Goddess identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat. Christopher Siren reports that Hannahannah is associated with the Gulses, the Hutena are goddesses of fate.

The mother goddess Hannahannah promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahannah with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

Inanna’s name derives from Lady of Heaven (Sumerian: nin-an-ak). The cuneiform sign of Inanna, however, is not a ligature of the signs lady (Sumerian: nin) and sky (Sumerian: an).

These difficulties have led some early Assyriologists to suggest that originally Inanna may have been a Proto-Euphratean goddess, possibly related to the Hurrian mother goddess Hannahannah, accepted only latterly into the Sumerian pantheon, or more likely Inara, an idea supported by her youthfulness, and that, unlike the other Sumerian divinities, at first she had no sphere of responsibilities. The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists.

Ishara (išḫara) is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath. The word is attested as a loanword in the Assyrian Kültepe texts from the 19th century BC, and is as such the earliest attestation of a word of any Indo-European language.

In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. She is identified as Ishwara in Sanskrit. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium, and by the end of the 3rd millennium, she had temples in Nippur, Sippar, Kish, Harbidum, Larsa, and Urum.

The earliest mentioning of the worship of Mithra has been recorded in the Armenian Kingdom of Hurri-Mitanni. Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. There Mitra appears together with four other divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.

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Turks, Kurds and Armenians

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 11, 2015

HERE IS A LIST OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY COMMITTED BY TURKEY

“TURKEY IS GUILTY OF GENOCIDE”

At the hands of the Turks were killed the following number of people:
1822 – on the island of Chios – 50,000 Greeks
1823 – in Misolungii – 8750 Greek
1826 – in Constantinople – 25000 Janissaries
1850 – in Mosul – 10000 Aissors
1860 – in Lebanon – 12000 Maronites
1876 – in Bulgaria – 14700 Bulgarians
1877 – in Bayazet – 1400 Armenians
1879 – in Alashkert – 1250 Armenians
1881 – in Alexandria – 2000 Christians
1892 – in Mosul – 3500 Janissaries
1894 – in Sasun – 12,000 Armenians
1895 – in Western Armenia – 300000 Armenians
1896 – in Constantinople – 9570 Armenians
1896 – in the area of Van – 8000 Armenians
1903-1904 – in Macedonia – Macedonians 14,667
1904 – in Sasun – 5640 Armenians
1909 – in Adana – 30,000 Armenians
1915 – in Western Armenia – 1.5 million Armenians
1918 – in Kars, Ardahan and Alexandropol – 100,000 Armenians
1919 – in Cilicia – 50,000 Armenians
1922 – in Smyrna – 200,000 Armenians, Greeks and Jews
1917-1925 – in Turkey – 2000000 Kurds killed and evicted
1988-1990 – in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad hundreds of Armenians were killed (official),more than 200,000 evicted.
However note that there is no list of people,like Syrians and Kurds,killed by the Turks in the last 20 years.
– Hands away frozen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I would like to add in addition to the murders, atrocities, rape, kidnaping, stealing of women and children, stealing of Armenian homes, business establishments, and churches….Even Eerdogan’s Palace belonged to an Armenian Family…Stealing Western Armenia which has been part of Armenia Legally for thousands of years…criminal attempt to ‘rewrite’ history, bribing of academia ‘scholars’ and politicians, AND now CULTURAL GENOCIDE….Destroying Thousands of Armenian Cultural Monuments & ancient Armenian Cemetaries with the Authentic Armenian CROSS-STONES on them….Forcefully converting Christians to Islam or Death…not giving proper credit for Armenian artifacts, buildings, and ‘selling’ precious church artifacts, and converting churches into mosques.

Robert Nigoghossian sitt bilde.

The mixing and historical relations between the Kurds and the Armenians

Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 – 1.5 million deaths

To my Turkish friends

To my Turkish friends

The Facts, Ideology, Founders and Objectives of Pan-Turkism

Turkic Peoples – Name Etymology

R1b is the most common haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching over 80% of the population in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, Western Wales, the Atlantic fringe of France, the Basque country and Catalonia. It is also common in Anatolia and around the Caucasus, in parts of Russia and in Central and South Asia.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs.

R1b-M269 (the most common form in Europe) is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.

Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia. Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE). R1b-V88 migrated south towards the Levant and Egypt.

The migration of R1b people can be followed archeologically through the presence of domesticated cattle, which appear in central Syria around 8,000-7,500 BCE (late Mureybet period), then in the Southern Levant and Egypt around 7,000-6,500 BCE (e.g. at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba).

Cattle herders subsequently spread across most of northern and eastern Africa. The Sahara desert would have been more humid during the Neolithic Subpluvial period (c. 7250-3250 BCE), and would have been a vast savannah full of grass, an ideal environment for cattle herding.

Haplogroup J2 is thought to have appeared somewhere in the Middle East towards the end of the last glaciation, between 15,000 and 22,000 years ago. Its present geographic distribution argue in favour of a Neolithic expansion from the Fertile Crescent. This expansion probably correlated with the diffusion of domesticated of cattle and goats (starting c. 8000-9000 BCE) from the Zagros mountains and northern Mesopotamia.

A second expansion of J2 could have occured with the advent of metallurgy, notably copper working (from the Lower Danube valley, central Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia), and the rise of some of the oldest civilisations.

Quite a few ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations flourished in territories where J2 lineages were preponderant. This is the case of the Hattians, the Hurrians, the Etruscans, the Minoans, the Greeks, the Phoenicians (and their Carthaginian offshoot), the Israelites, and to a lower extent also the Romans, the Assyrians and the Persians. All the great seafaring civilisations from the middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age were dominated by J2 men.

There is a distinct association of ancient J2 civilisations with bull worship. The oldest evidence of a cult of the bull can be traced back to Neolithic central Anatolia, notably at the sites of Çatalhöyük and Alaca Höyük. Bull depictions are omnipresent in Minoan frescos and ceramics in Crete.

Bull-masked terracotta figurines and bull-horned stone altars have been found in Cyprus (dating back as far as the Neolithic, the first presumed expansion of J2 from West Asia). The Hattians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Canaaites, and Carthaginians all had bull deities (in contrast with Indo-European or East Asian religions).

The sacred bull of Hinduism, Nandi, present in all temples dedicated to Shiva or Parvati, does not have an Indo-European origin, but can be traced back to Indus Valley civilisation. Minoan Crete, Hittite Anatolia, the Levant, Bactria and the Indus Valley also shared a tradition of bull leaping, the ritual of dodging the charge of a bull. It survives today in the traditional bullfighting of Andalusia in Spain and Provence in France, two regions with a high percentage of J2 lineages.

The Armenian Highland lies in the highlands surrounding Mount Ararat, the highest peak of the region. The history of Şanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back at least to 9000 BC, when there is ample evidence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori.

Within the further area of the city are three neolithic sites known: Portasar (Armenian), also known as Göbekli Tepe (Turkish), Gürcütepe and the city itself, where the life-sized limestone “Urfa statue” was found during an excavation in Balıklıgöl. The city was one of several in the upper Euphrates-Tigris basin, the fertile crescent, where agriculture began.

Portasar is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. Radiocarbon dating as well as comparative, stylistic analysis indicate that it is the oldest religious site yet discovered anywhere.

Since the 1930s, numerous archaeological excavations and surveys have been carried out in the Khabur Valley, indicating that the region has been occupied since the Lower Palaeolithic period. Important sites that have been excavated include Tell Halaf, Tell Brak, Tell Leilan, Tell Mashnaqa, Tell Mozan and Tell Barri.

The region has given its name to a distinctive painted ware found in northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the early 2nd millennium BCE, called Khabur ware. The region of the Khabur River is also associated with the rise of the Kingdom of the Mitanni that flourished c.1500-1300 BC.

Around 5500 BC a distinctive style of pottery spread across the whole of northern Mesopotamia. They were made by hand (the potter’s wheel had not yet been invented) and decorated with very fine geometric designs in one or two colours. The painted pottery was then fired, and generally to a high standard.

It is not yet understood how this style spread over such an enormous area. It was made locally in many places, but may also have been exchanged because of its beauty and prestige value. Perhaps itinerant potters may have moved across the region producing examples and starting a fashion in different areas.

The high quality of the firing means that many examples of Halaf pottery have survived and have been found by archaeologists. This plate and bowl, typical examples of the Halaf style, come from Arpachiyah in northern Mesopotamia, one of the most important sites for understanding the period and its pottery. Arpachiyah was excavated by Max Mallowan in 1933.

The Ubaid period (ca. 6500 to 3800 BC) is a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. Ubaid 1, sometimes called Eridu (5300–4700 BC), is a phase limited to the extreme south of Iraq, on what was then the shores of the Persian Gulf.

Ubaid culture originated in the south, but still has clear connections to earlier cultures in the region of middle Iraq. The appearance of the Ubaid folk has sometimes been linked to the so-called Sumerian problem, related to the origins of Sumerian civilisation.

Whatever the ethnic origins of this group, this culture saw for the first time a clear tripartite social division between intensive subsistence peasant farmers, with crops and animals coming from the north, tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists dependent upon their herds, and hunter-fisher folk of the Arabian littoral, living in reed huts.

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.

In South Mesopotamia the period is the earliest known period on the alluvium although it is likely earlier periods exist obscured under the alluvium. In the south it has a very long duration between about 6500 and 3800 BC when it is replaced by the Uruk period.

The Ubaid house is a dwelling used by the Ubaid culture of the Neolithic era. The Ubaid house is the predecessor of the Ubaid temple as well as Sumerian domestic and temple architecture.

The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.

At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called “Dark Millennium”. This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron.

The Kish civilization or tradition is a term coined by Ignace Gelb to indicate the early East Semitic period in Mesopotamia and the Levant starting in the early 4th millennium BC and including the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.

The East-Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC. The Kish civlisation is considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC.

Ubaid 3/4, sometimes called Ubaid I and Ubaid II — In the period from 4500–4000 BC saw a period of intense and rapid urbanisation with the Ubaid culture spread into northern Mesopotamia and was adopted by the Halaf culture. Ubaid artifacts spread also all along the Arabian littoral, showing the growth of a trading system that stretched from the Mediterranean coast through to Oman.

In North Mesopotamia the period runs only between about 5300 and 4300 BC. It is preceded by the Halaf period and the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period and succeeded by the Late Chalcolithic period.

The Leyla-Tepe culture is a culture of archaeological interest from the Chalcolithic era. Its population was distributed on the southern slopes of the Central Caucasus (modern Azerbaijan, Agdam District), from 4350 until 4000 B.C.

The Leyla-Tepe culture has been linked to the north Ubaid period monuments, in particular, with the settlements in the Eastern Anatolia Region (Arslan-tepe, Coruchu-tepe, Tepechik, etc.). The settlement is of a typical Western-Asian variety, with the dwellings packed closely together and made of mud bricks with smoke outlets.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture. An expedition to Syria by the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed the similarity of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe artifacts with those found recently while excavating the ancient city of Tel Khazneh I, from the 4th millennium BC.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is a remote place and difficult to reach, and the home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk after Enmerkar of Uruk conquered it.

There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC identified with an Akkadian colony in the Diarbekr region. However, many historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Armanî which was conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad, with the Syrian city of Aleppo and not with the Armenian Highland.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria was a Hurrian-speaking kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. Scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia. The name Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) for the region is attested much earlier, from the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC).

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

Syria is known as Ḫrw (Ḫuru, referring to the Hurrian occupants prior to the Aramaean invasion) in the Amarna Period Egypt, and as Ărām in Biblical Hebrew. The name Syria has since the Roman Empire’s era historically referred to the region of Syria. It is the Latinized from the original Indo-Anatolian and later Greek.

Etymologically and historically, the name is accepted by majority mainstream academic opinion as having derived from Assuria/Assyria, from the Akkadian Aššur or Aššūrāyu, which is in fact located in Upper Mesopotamia (modern northern Iraq southeast Turkey and northeast Syria).

It is seen as a derivation from Subartu (a term which most modern scholars in fact accept is itself an early name for Assyria, and which was located in northern Mesopotamia), the Hurrian toponym Śu-ri, or Ṣūr (the Phoenician name of Tyre).

I. A. Tvedtnes had suggested that the Greek Suria is loaned from Coptic, and due to a regular Coptic development of Ḫrw to *Šuri. In this case, the name would directly derive from that of the Language Isolate speaking Hurrians.

Aššur is the name of the city, of the land ruled by the city, and of its tutelary deity. Archaeology reveals the site of the city was occupied by the middle of the third millennium BC. This was still the Sumerian period, before the Assyrian kingdom emerged in the 23rd to 21st century BC.

By the time the Neo-Sumerian Ur-III dynasty collapsed at the hands of the Elamites in ca. the 21st century BC, the local Akkadian kings, including those in Assur, had shaken off the Sumerian yoke.

An Assyrian king named Ushpia, a name regarded not as Semitic, but more likely Hurrian, who reigned in ca. the 21st century BC is credited with dedicating the first temple of the god Assur in his home city.

In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire (at the height of its power), Mitanni (South-Western historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1600–1200 BC). Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt mention in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. There have been further speculations as to the existence of a Bronze Age tribe of the Armens (Armans, Armani; Armenian), either identical to or forming a subset of the Hayasa-Azzi. In this case, Armenia would be an ethnonym rather than a toponym. The name has also been claimed as a variant of Urmani (or Urmenu), attested epigraphically in an inscription of Menuas of Urartu.

Soon after Hayasa-Azzi were Arme-Shupria (1300s–1190 BC), the Nairi (1400–1000 BC) and the Kingdom of Urartu (1000–600 BC), corresponding to Aratta and the biblical Kingdom of Ararat or Kingdom of Van, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland.

Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov proposed the Indo-European homeland around the Armenian Highland.

Strictly speaking, Urartu, an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands, is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Proto-Armenian (Hurro-Urartian) speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms.

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

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc. Shivini or Artinis (the present form of the name is Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day) was a solar god in the mythology of the Urartu.

Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin), also known as Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake) was an ancient city of Urartu, attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The city’s tutelary deity was Khaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk), the patriarch of the Armenians.

Asha/Arta is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-.[c] In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”. Later texts consistently use the ‘Best’ epithet when speaking of the Amesha Spenta, only once in the Gathas is ‘best’ an adjective of aša/arta. The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.”

The Iranian languages or Iranic languages form a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, which in turn are a branch of the Indo-European language family. The speakers of Iranian languages are known as Iranian peoples. The Kurdish languages belong to the northwestern sub‑group of the Iranian languages, which in turn belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.

The most argued hypothesis on the localisation of the ethnic territory of the Kurds remains D.N. Mackenzie’s theory, proposed in the early 1960s (Mackenzie 1961).

According to Mackenzie’s theory, the Persians (or Proto-Persians) occupied the province of Fars in the southwest (proceeding from the assumption that the Achaemenids spoke Persian), the Baluchis (Proto-Baluchis) inhabited the central areas of Western Iran, and the Kurds (Proto-Kurds), in the wording of G. Windfuhr (1975: 459), lived either in northwestern Luristan or in the province of Isfahan.

The Kurdish people are believed to be of heterogeneous origins combining a number of earlier tribal or ethnic groups including Median, Lullubi, Guti, Cyrtians, and Carduchi.

The term “Kurd” is first encountered in Arabic sources of the seventh century. Books from the early Islamic era, including those containing legends like the Shahnameh and the Middle Persian Kar-Namag i Ardashir i Pabagan and other early Islamic sources provide early attestation of the name Kurd. The usage of the term Kurd during this time period most likely was a social term, designating Iranian nomads, rather than a concrete ethnic group.

Throughout Kurdish history after the Muslim conquests, there was a tendency for Kurdish tribes to move westwards as vassals of greater Muslim powers—from the Zagros to east Assyria and south-central Armenia, to west Assyria and west Armenia, to in modern times, migration of individuals into western Turkey, western Europe or even the Western Hemisphere.

Kurds and Armenians became increasingly distinct, both culturally and politically, as Armenians chose Christianity as their official religion while Kurds, later, chose Islam. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (or Ottoman Armenians) mostly belonged to either the Armenian Apostolic Church or the Armenian Catholic Church.

Although most Armenians stayed Christian, some converted to Islam because of the favorable status given to Muslims under Turkish rule. The Armenians of Vaspurakan who converted to Islam, gradually assimilated into Kurdish culture over time.

This is likely to have occurred elsewhere as well, and probably accounts for the comparatively low census of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, as compared to the Middle Ages, alongside other factors, such as selective recording, extermination and migration.

Toward the 11th century the nomadic Turkic tribes from Central Asia moved towards the Middle East and Anatolia and further altered the ethnic mix at the expense of the local populations of Kurds, Armenians, and other natives.

However, Kurds found some degree of friendship in these new immigrants from Central Asia. In some areas of Eastern Turkey the Kurds and Armenians did live together in the same villages and in other parts they remained separate.

Turkic peoples and related groups migrated west from Turkestan and what is now Mongolia towards Eastern Europe, Iranian plateau and Anatolia and modern Turkey in many waves.

The date of the initial expansion remains unknown. In the latter half of the 11th century, the Seljuks began penetrating into the eastern regions of Anatolia. In 1071, the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, starting Turkification of the area; the Turkish language and Islam were introduced to Anatolia and gradually spread over the region.

The slow transition from a predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking one was underway. After many battles, they established their own state and later created the Ottoman Empire.

Historians generally agree that the first Turkic people lived in a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia. Historically they were established after the 6th century BCE. The earliest separate Turkic peoples appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation about 200 B.C (contemporaneous with the Chinese Han Dynasty). The first mention of Turks was in a Chinese text that mentioned trade of Turk tribes with the Sogdians along the Silk Road.

It has often been suggested that the Xiongnu, mentioned in Han Dynasty records, were Proto-Turkic speakers. The Hun hordes of Attila, who invaded and conquered much of Europe in the 5th century, may have been Turkic and descendants of the Xiongnu. Some scholars argue that the Huns were one of the earlier Turkic tribes, while others argue that they were of Mongolic origin.

In the 6th century, 400 years after the collapse of northern Xiongnu power in Inner Asia, leadership of the Turkic peoples was taken over by the Göktürks. Formerly in the Xiongnu nomadic confederation, the Göktürks inherited their traditions and administrative experience. From 552 to 745, Göktürk leadership united the nomadic Turkic tribes into the Göktürk Empire.

The Seljuqs originated from the Qynyk branch of the Oghuz Turks, who in the 9th century lived on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral seas in their Yabghu Khaganate of the Oghuz confederacy, in the Kazakh Steppe of Turkestan. During the 10th century, due to various events, the Oghuz had come into close contact with Muslim cities.

When Seljuq, the leader of the Seljuq clan, had a falling out with Yabghu, the supreme chieftain of the Oghuz, he split his clan off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz and set up camp on the west bank of the lower Syr Darya (Jaxartes). Around 985, Seljuq converted to Islam.

In the 11th century the Seljuqs migrated from their ancestral homelands into mainland Persia, in the province of Khurasan, where they encountered the Ghaznavid empire. The Seljuqs defeated the Ghaznavids at the battle of Nasa plains in 1035. Toghril, Chaghri, and Yabghu received the insignias of governor, grants of land, and were given the title of dehqan.

At the battle of Dandanaqan they defeated a Ghaznavid army, and after a successful siege of Isfahan by Tughril in 1050/51, they established an empire later called the Great Seljuk Empire. The Seljuqs mixed with the local population and adopted the Persian culture and language in the following decades.

After arriving in Persia, the Seljuqs adopted the Persian culture and used the Persian language as the official language of the government, and played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition which features “Persian culture patronized by Turkic rulers.”

Ertuğrul, father of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, arrived in Anatolia from Merv (Turkmenistan) with 400 horsemen to aid the Seljuks of Rum against the Byzantines.

After the demise of the Turkish Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in the 14th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent, mostly Turkish states, the so-called Ghazi emirates. One of the emirates was led by Osman I (1258–1326), from whom the name Ottoman is derived.

Osman I extended the frontiers of Turkish settlement toward the edge of the Byzantine Empire. It is not well understood how the Osmanli came to dominate their neighbours, as the history of medieval Anatolia is still little known.

European literature concerning the “Turanid race” was absorbed by the Ottoman elite, and was partly even translated into Ottoman Turkish, contributing to the idea of an essence of “Turkishness” (Türklük) the honour of which came to be protected under Turkish law until the revision of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code in April 2008.

The most influential of these sources were Histoire Générale des Huns, des Turcs, des Mongoles, et autres Tartares Occidenteaux (1756–1758) by Joseph de Guignes (1721–1800), and Sketches of Central Asia (1867) by Ármin Vámbéry (1832–1913), which was on the common origins of Turkic groups as belonging to one race, but subdivided according to physical traits and customs, and l’histoire de l’Asie (1896) by Leon Cahun (1841–1900), which stressed the role of Turks in “carrying civilization to Europe”, as a part of the greater “Turanid race” that included the Uralic and Altaic speaking peoples more generally. There was also an ideology of Hungarian Turanism.

However, several studies have concluded that the historical and indigenous Anatolian groups are the primary source of the present-day Turkish population. Furthermore, various studies suggested that, although the early Turkic invaders carried out an invasion with cultural significance, including the introduction of the Turkish language (the predecessor to modern Turkish) and Islam, the genetic contribution from Central Asia may have been very small.

According to American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2008) today’s Turkish people are more closely related with the Balkan populations than to the Central Asian populations, and a study looking into allele frequencies suggested that there was a lack of genetic relationship between the Mongols and the Turks, despite the historical relationship of their languages (The Turks and Germans were equally distant to all three Mongolian populations).

Multiple studies suggested an elite cultural dominance-driven linguistic replacement model to explain the adoption of Turkish language by Anatolian indigenous inhabitants.

A study involving mitochondrial analysis of a Byzantine-era population, whose samples were gathered from excavations in the archaeological site of Sagalassos, found that the samples had close genetic affinity with modern Turkish and Balkan populations.

During their research on leukemia, a group of Armenian scientists observed high genetic matching between Turks, Kurds, and Armenians. Another studies found the Peoples of the Caucasus (Georgians, Circassians, Armenians) are closest to the Turkish population.

According to Cinnioglu et al., (2004) there are many Y-DNA haplogroups present in Turkey. The majority haplogroups are shared with their “West Asian” and “Caucasian’ neighbours. By contrast, “Central Asian” haplogroups are rarer, N and Q) – 5.7 % (but it rises to 36 % if K, R1a, R1b and L- which infrequently occur in Central Asia, but are notable in many other Western Turkic groups), India H, R2 – 1.5 % and Africa A, E3*, E3a – 1 %.

Armenia had come largely under Ottoman rule during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The vast majority of Armenians, grouped together under the name Armenian millet (community) and led by their spiritual head, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, were concentrated in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire (commonly referred to as Turkish Armenia or Western Armenia), although large communities were also found in the western provinces, as well as in the capital Constantinople.

The Armenian community was made up of three religious denominations: the Armenian Apostolic to which the overwhelming majority of Armenians belonged, and the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Protestant communities. Through the millet system, the Armenian community were allowed to rule themselves under their own system of governance with fairly little interference from the Ottoman government.

With the exception of the empire’s urban centers and the extremely wealthy, Constantinople-based Amira class, a social elite whose members included the Duzians (Directors of the Imperial Mint), the Balyans (Chief Imperial Architects) and the Dadians (Superintendent of the Gunpowder Mills and manager of industrial factories), most Armenians – approximately 70% of their population – lived in poor and dangerous conditions in the rural countryside.

Ottoman census figures clash with the statistics collected by the Armenian Patriarchate. According to the latter, there were three million Armenians living in the empire in 1878 (400,000 in Constantinople and the Balkans, 600,000 in Asia Minor and Cilicia, 670,000 in Lesser Armenia and the area near Kayseri, and 1,300,000 in Western Armenia itself).

In the eastern provinces, the Armenians were subject to the whims of their Turkish and Kurdish neighbors, who would regularly overtax them, subject them to brigandage and kidnapping, force them to convert to Islam, and otherwise exploit them without interference from central or local authorities. In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the dhimmi system implemented in Muslim countries, they, like all other Christians and also Jews, were accorded certain freedoms.

The dhimmi system in the Ottoman Empire was largely based upon the Pact of Umar. The client status established the rights of the non-Muslims to property, livelihood and freedom of worship but they were in essence treated as second-class citizens in the empire and referred to in Turkish as gavours, a pejorative word meaning “infidel” or “unbeliever”.

While building new places of worship by non-Muslims was forbidden under Pact of Umar, this prohibition wasn’t followed in all regions of the Ottoman Empire and although some regions prohibited building new places of worship, it was ignored in some of the other regions. Although there were no law on religious ghettos, the prohibition on building new places of worship by non-Muslims led to them clustering near existing ones.

In addition to other legal limitations, Christians were not considered equals to Muslims and several prohibitions were placed on them. Their testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in courts of law wherein a Muslim could be punished; this meant that their testimony could only be considered in commercial cases. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses and camels. Their houses could not overlook those of Muslims; and their religious practices were severely circumscribed (e.g. the ringing of church bells was strictly forbidden).

In the mid-19th century, the three major European powers, Great Britain, France and Russia, began to question the Empire’s treatment of its Christian minorities and pressure it to grant equal rights to all its subjects.

From 1839 to the declaration of a constitution in 1876, the Ottoman government instituted the Tanzimat, a series of reforms designed to improve the status of minorities. Nevertheless, most of the reforms were never implemented because the empire’s Muslim population rejected the principle of equality for Christians.

In the mid-1860s and early 1870s, things began to change as an intellectual class began to emerge among Armenian society. Educated in the European university system or in American missionary schools in the Ottoman Empire, these Armenians began to question their second-class status in society and initiated a movement that asked for better treatment from their government.

In one such instance, after amassing the signatures of peasants from Western Armenia, the Armenian Communal Council petitioned the Ottoman government to redress their principal grievances: “the looting and murder in Armenian towns by [Muslim] Kurds and Circassians, improprieties during tax collection, criminal behavior by government officials and the refusal to accept Christians as witnesses in trial”. The Ottoman government considered these grievances and promised to punish those responsible, though no meaningful steps were ever taken.

Following the violent suppression of Christians in the uprisings in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Serbia in 1875, the Great Powers invoked the 1856 Treaty of Paris by claiming that it gave them the right to intervene and protect the Ottoman Empire’s Christian minorities.

By the late 1870s, the Greeks, along with several other Christian nations in the Balkans, frustrated with their conditions, had, often with the help of the great powers, broken free of Ottoman rule. The Armenians remained, by and large, passive during these years, earning them the title of milleti sadika or “loyal nation”.

By the 19th century, the empire began to decline when ethno-nationalist uprisings occurred across the empire. Thus, the last quarter of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century saw some 7–9 million Turkish-Muslim refugees from the lost territories of the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands migrate to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace.

Under growing pressure, the government of Sultan Abdul Hamid II declared itself a constitutional monarchy with a parliament (which was almost immediately prorogued) and entered into negotiations with the powers. At the same time, the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople, Nerses II, forwarded Armenian complaints of widespread “forced land seizure … forced conversion of women and children, arson, protection extortion, rape, and murder” to the Powers.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the Armenians increasingly came to see the Russian Empire as the ultimate guarantor of their security. Nerses approached the Russian leadership during its negotiations with the Ottomans in San Stefano and in the eponymous treaty, convinced them to insert a clause, Article 16, stipulating that the Russian forces occupying the Armenian-populated provinces in the eastern Ottoman Empire would withdraw only with the full implementation of reforms.

Great Britain was troubled by Russia’s retention of so much Ottoman territory and forced it to enter into new negotiations with the convening of the Congress of Berlin in June 1878 in which all of the Great Powers were involved.

Armenians also entered into these negotiations and emphasized that they sought autonomy, not independence from the Ottoman Empire. They partially succeeded, as Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin contained the same text as Article 16, but removed any mention that Russian forces would remain in the provinces; instead, the Ottoman government was periodically to inform the Great Powers of the progress of the reforms.

As it turned out, the reforms were not forthcoming. Upset with this turn of events, a number of disillusioned Armenian intellectuals living in Europe and Russia decided to form political parties and societies dedicated to the betterment of their compatriots living inside the Ottoman Empire.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, this movement came to be dominated by three parties: the Armenakan, whose influence was limited to Van, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun). Ideological differences aside, all the parties had the common goal of achieving better social conditions for the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire through self-defense and advocating increased European pressure on the Ottoman government to implement the promised reforms.

By 1913, the government of the Committee of Union and Progress started a program of forcible Turkification of non-Turkish minorities. By 1914, the World War I broke out, and the Turks scored some success in Gallipoli during the Battle of the Dardanelles in 1915.

During World War I, the government of the Committee of Union and Progress continued with its Turkification policies, which effected non-Turkish minorities, such as the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide and the Greeks during various campaigns of ethnic cleansing and expulsion. In 1918, the Ottoman Government agreed to the Mudros Armistice with the Allies.

The Treaty of Sèvres —signed in 1920 by the government of Mehmet VI— dismantled the Ottoman Empire. The Turks, under Mustafa Kemal, rejected the treaty and fought the Turkish War of Independence, resulting in the abortion of that text, never ratified, and the abolition of the Sultanate. Thus, the 623-year old Ottoman Empire ended.

The main languages of what is now Turkey had until then been Greek, Armenian and Kurdish. The long political and cultural dominance of Turkish, established by the 13th century, meant that it gradually became the language of the vast majority in the country; for all that, the other three languages were still spoken by millions at the beginning of the 20th century. Massacres and mass migrations have now transformed the picture: only the Kurdish minority is still numerically significant.

Following the adoption of Islam c. 950 by the Kara-Khanid Khanate and the Seljuq Turks, who are both regarded as the ethnic and cultural ancestors of the Ottomans, the administrative language of these states acquired a large collection of loanwords from Arabic and Persian. Turkish literature during the Ottoman period, particularly Ottoman Divan poetry, was heavily influenced by Persian, including the adoption of poetic meters and a great quantity of imported words.

The literary and official language during the Ottoman Empire period (c. 1299–1922) is termed Ottoman Turkish, which was a mixture of Turkish, Persian, and Arabic that differed considerably and was largely unintelligible to the period’s everyday Turkish known as kaba Türkçe or “rough Turkish”, spoken by the less-educated lower and also rural members of society, which contained a higher percentage of native vocabulary and served as basis for the modern Turkish language.

After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey and the script reform, the Turkish Language Association (TDK) was established in 1932 under the patronage of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with the aim of conducting research on Turkish. One of the tasks of the newly established association was to initiate a language reform to replace loanwords of Arabic and Persian origin with Turkish equivalents.

By banning the usage of imported words in the press, the association succeeded in removing several hundred foreign words from the language. While most of the words introduced to the language by the TDK were newly derived from Turkic roots, it also opted for reviving Old Turkish words which had not been used for centuries.

Owing to this sudden change in the language, older and younger people in Turkey started to differ in their vocabularies. While the generations born before the 1940s tend to use the older terms of Arabic or Persian origin, the younger generations favor new expressions. It is considered particularly ironic that Atatürk himself, in his lengthy speech to the new Parliament in 1927, used a style of Ottoman which sounded so alien to later listeners that it had to be “translated” three times into modern Turkish: first in 1963, again in 1986, and most recently in 1995.

The past few decades have seen the continuing work of the TDK to coin new Turkish words to express new concepts and technologies as they enter the language, mostly from English. Many of these new words, particularly information technology terms, have received widespread acceptance.

However, the TDK is occasionally criticized for coining words which sound contrived and artificial. Some earlier changes—such as bölem to replace fırka, “political party”—also failed to meet with popular approval (fırka has been replaced by the French loanword parti). Some words restored from Old Turkic have taken on specialized meanings; for example betik (originally meaning “book”) is now used to mean “script” in computer science.

Many of the words derived by TDK coexist with their older counterparts.[citation needed] This usually happens when a loanword changes its original meaning. For instance, dert, derived from the Persian dard (درد “pain”), means “problem” or “trouble” in Turkish; whereas the native Turkish word ağrı is used for physical pain. Sometimes the loanword has a slightly different meaning from the native Turkish word, creating a situation similar to the coexistence of Germanic and Romance words in English.

The transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic was one that took place not just in the context of war and bloodshed in Anatolia and Asia Minor, but also a revolution in every sense of the word – political and social, yes, and also cultural and economic, driven by the extreme modernising and progressive vision of Mustafa Kemal.

One of the elements of the new Turkey was a new language. The older, Ottoman Turkish was a rather rich language, having drawn heavily from Persian and Arabic, and being influenced by the multi-lingual subjects of the Empire, whether Greek or Armenian or Slavic-speaking. All of that changed starting in the 1920s, and it continues to undergo shifts today, following regulations by the Turkish Language Association.

The main languages spoken in Anatolia during those times were Greek and Armenian. There are some Greek and Armenian loanwords in Turkish, but not many. As for the low number of Greek and Armenian words in Turkish, perhaps it’s related to social and religious differences between Turks and Greeks/Armenians, which made the conquerors less receptive to borrow words from those languages, unlike prestigious Persian and Arabic.

Until the early years of this century there was a large population of Christian Turkish speakers of Armenian origin in parts of Asia Minor. Their literature, in a form of Turkish with Armenian loanwords, was written and printed in the Armenian alphabet. Armenian oral poets of this region were often skilled both in Armenian and in Turkish. This population was largely killed in the genocide of 1915.

Armenians in the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Armenian population

The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire

Armenian national liberation movement

Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Armenian casualties

Hamidian massacres

Adana massacre

Armenian Question

Young Turk Revolution

Middle Eastern theatre of World War I

Ottoman labour battalions

Armenian Genocide

Rape during the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide survivors

Turkish–Armenian War

Turkish War of Independence

Confiscated Armenian property in Turkey

Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey

Armenian Genocide reparations

Denial of the Armenian Genocide

Insulting Turkishness

Armenian Genocide denial

100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Racism in Turkey

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The War on Consciousness – Ayahuasca

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 30, 2015

Ayahuasca, homepage of the great amazonian medicine

Why do people take ayahuasca?

The War on Consciousness – Graham Hancock at TEDxWhitechapel

Ayahuasca, also commonly called yagé, is a psychedelic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine, often in combination with various other plants. It can be mixed with the leaves of Chacruna or Chacropanga, dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing plant species.

The brew, first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by the native peoples of Amazonian Peru, is known by a number of different names.

It has been reported that some effects can be felt from consuming the caapi vine alone, but that DMT-containing plants (such as Psychotria) remain inactive when drunk as a brew without a source of monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as B. caapi.

It is unclear how indigenous peoples discovered the hallucinogenic properties of the plants used in the ayahuasca brew. Many indigenous Amazonian people say they received the instructions directly from plants and plant spirits.

Ayahuasca

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My trip to Yerevan, Armenia

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 30, 2015

My dear friends

I really enjoyed being in Yerevan, Armenia, these days, and I participated on the System of a Down concert the 23th and in the genocide events the 24th, but also did other stuff while being in Yerevan, and I did take some pictures:

Yerevan

Yerevan Cascade

From the Kievian Bridge in Yerevan, Armenia

Concert at Komitas Museum in Yerevan

Komitas Pantheon, Yerevan, Armenia

The Armenian Zodiac, Kino Moskva, Yerevan, Armenia

Erebuni (Yerevan), Armenia

Shengavit, the type site of the Kura Araxes culture

Armenians from around the world have been taking part in public memorial services, to commemorate the 1915 massacre of up to 1.5 million of their ancestors at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

Millions worldwide mark 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide

Children release white doves at the canonization ceremony for the victims of the Armenian Genocide at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church, on April 23, 2015 in Vagharshapat, Armenia.

Inga & Anush Arshakyans – Aprelu April

Հայ երգիչներ – Կյանք 1500000 (kyanq 1500000) – Genocide

Turkish TV Accidentally Airs Genocide Centennial Events Instead of Gallipoli

CSNBC Turkey shows footage from Armenian Genocide centennial commemorations in Yerevan during a report on Turkey’s Gallipoli celebrations.

ISTANBUL (ArmRadio)—On April 24, CNBC Turkey mistakenly aired footage from the commemorations of the Armenian Genocide centennial instead of Gallipoli celebrations during its news program.

While the anchorwoman spoke about the events marking the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, footage on the background was showing commemoration of the Armenian Genocide centenary at the Dzidzernagapert Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan.

CNBC showed Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian welcoming foreign dignitaries. Only close to the end of the report, Erdogan was shown placing flowers at the memorial of the Battle of Gallipoli.

Armenia President: United States and Israel proceed from their national interests

“For United States and Israel, interests are more important than universal human values”, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said during Pozner program

Armenian Genocide Centennial has harmed Turkey’s international standing

If any outcome of politics and successful diplomacy can be measured by such numbers, Turkey — even if it is not 20 against 2 but 17 against 4 — has won a stunning political victory in terms of the competition of the centennials. One could say that in the contest of the “G-words,” Gallipoli won over the Genocide.

However, if a rational account is made of what Turkey went through last week, it will reveal a heavy toll in terms of the diplomatic damage sustained.

“It is no use for you to argue, we have already disposed of three quarters of the Armenians; there are none at all left in Bitlis, Van, and Erzerum. We have got to finish with them. If we don’t they will plan their revenge.”

Talaat Pasha to the outraged American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau

Henry Morgenthau, The Murder of a Nation, pp. 337-338

The Encyclopædia Britannica has edited the article about the Armenian Genocide, replacing the words “Armenian massacres” with “Armenian Genocide.”

Encyclopædia Britannica replaces words “Armenian massacres” with “Armenian Genocide”

BBC – Our World – Remembering the Armenian Massacres (25/4/15)

Russian TV channels TNT and NTV were not available for the Azerbaijani public till the morning of April 25 as they broadcasted films about the Armenian Genocide.

TV channels TNT and NTV blocked in Azerbaijan for showing films about Armenian Genocide

Thousands of Turks and Armenians from around the globe on Friday commemorated in Istanbul the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, Al-Jazeera reports.

Armenians and Turks Mark Genocide Centennial in Istanbul

Serj Tankian speech on concert in Yerevan, Armenia

System Of A Down – Suite-Pee/Prison Song live (2015 Armenia)

System Of A Down – Holy Mountains live (2015 Armenia)

System Of A Down – Sardarabad live (2015 Armenia)

System Of A Down – I.E.A.I.A.I.O live (2015 Armenia)

I REMEMBER and DEMAND

– Armenian Genocide Song- Official Video

Armenian diving team underwater, Beirut, Lebanon:

Lebanese magazine Audio Kultur has released a series of posters and a limited-edition version of its April issue printed using human blood to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. The project “Still here, Still Bleeding”, named after the slogan printed across the covers and posters, was developed by the Beirut-based independent magazine to celebrate the contribution that Lebanon’s Armenian population have made to the country’s cultural landscape.

“In Lebanon these contributions have been especially substantial, and a lot of the contributors are friends, colleagues and even family members,” Tres Colacion, editor-in-chief of Audio Kultur, told Dezeen. “It’s a community that is really fully integrated into Lebanese society and, with the occasion of the 100-year anniversary, it was a project that our editorial team felt compelled to take on.”

Lebanese magazine prints posters with blood to commemorate Armenian genocide

Eiffel Towel lights was turned off on April 24 in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. The Eiffel Tower lights switched off for ten minutes in memory of the Armenian Genocide.

According to decision of the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, the Eiffel Tower’s multi-colored flashing lights will also be off the whole night in memory of the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

World leaders lay flowers and pay their respects at The Tsitsernakaberd memorial site in Armenia!

President Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes confirmed to Armenian American leaders, during a White House meeting this afternoon, that the President has chosen against recognizing the Armenian Genocide in his April 24th statement marking the worldwide centennial of this crime.

Genealogy – Face The Shadow (Armenia), Eurovision Song Contest 2015

THE NEXT STEP

“I applaud the lawsuit filed in Turkish court to regain ownership of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilcia which was confiscated during the Armenian Genocide. This ancient and sacred site must be returned to its rightful owners nearly a century after it was pillaged by the Ottoman Empire. Armenians are right to pursue all legal avenues to obtain justice and to seek the return of what is rightfully theirs.”

~ Congressman Adam Schiff
U.S. Representative for California’s 28th congressional district.

Armenians experienced unforgettable days last week during the Centennial commemorations of the Armenian Genocide. In many respects, Turkish denialists’ much-feared ‘Tsunami’ became a reality! While Armenians around the world were busy organizing commemorative events in recent years, their efforts were amplified by some unexpected developments, including Turkish President Erdogan’s irrational rhetoric and reaction.

One of the most stunning developments last week was Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu’s declaration that the Armenian “deportations were a Crime Against Humanity” — which under international law is tantamount to recognizing the Armenian Genocide. No one should be surprised if Erdogan dismisses Davutoglu after the June Parliamentary elections.

Now that the Centennial is behind us, it is high time that Armenians turn the page on Armenian Genocide recognition and begin to systematically pursue their claims from Turkey through international, regional and local tribunals.

Armenians Should Now Pursue Legal Claims Rather Than Further Genocide Recognition

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The origin of the dragon cult

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 17, 2015

Khabur

The Khabur or Khaboor River is the largest perennial tributary to the Euphrates in Syrian territory. Although the Khabur originates in Turkey, the karstic springs around Ra’s al-‘Ayn are the river’s main source of water.

Several important wadis join the Khabur north of Al-Hasakah, together creating what is known as the Khabur Triangle, or Upper Khabur area. From north to south, annual rainfall in the Khabur basin decreases from over 400 mm to less than 200 mm, making the river a vital water source for agriculture throughout history. The Khabur joins the Euphrates near the town of Busayrah.

Since the 1930s, numerous archaeological excavations and surveys have been carried out in the Khabur Valley, indicating that the region has been occupied since the Lower Palaeolithic period. Important sites that have been excavated include Tell Halaf, Tell Brak, Tell Leilan, Tell Mashnaqa, Tell Mozan and Tell Barri.

The region has given its name to a distinctive painted ware found in northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the early 2nd millennium BCE, called Khabur ware. The region of the Khabur River is also associated with the rise of the Kingdom of the Mitanni that flourished c.1500-1300 BC.

Hubur (ḪU.BUR, Hu-bur) is a Sumerian term meaning “river”, “watercourse” or “netherworld”. It is usually the “river of the netherworld”. A connection to Tiamat has been suggested with parallels to her description as “Ummu-Hubur”. Hubur is also referred to in the Enuma Elish as “mother sea Hubur, who fashions all things”. The river Euphrates has been identified with Hubur as the source of fertility in Sumer.

This Babylonian “river of creation” has been linked to the Hebrew “river of paradise”. Gunkel and Zimmern suggested resemblance in expressions and a possible connection between the Sumerian river and that found in later literary tradition in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47) likely influencing imagery of the “River of Water of Life” in the Apocalypse (Revelation 22). They also noted a connection between the “Water of Life” in the legend of Adapa and a myth translated by A.H. Sayce called “An address to the river of creation”.

Delitzch has suggested the similar Sumerian word Habur probably meant “mighty water source”, “source of fertility” or the like. This has suggested the meaning of Hubur to be “river of fertility in the underworld”. Linda Foubister has suggested the river of creation was linked with the importance of rivers and rain in the fertile crescent and suggested it was related to the underworld as rivers resemble snakes.

Samuel Eugene Balentine suggested that the “pit” (sahar) and “river” or “channel” (salah) in the Book of Job (Job 33:18) were referencing the Hubur. The god Marduk was praised for restoration or saving individuals from death when he drew them out of the waters of the Hubur, a later reference to this theme is made in Psalm 18 (Psalms 18).

In Sumerian cosmology, the souls of the dead had to travel across the desert or steppe, cross the Hubur river, to the mountainland of Kur. Here the souls had to pass through seven different walled and gated locations to reach the netherworld. The Annanuki administrated Kur as if it were a civilized settlement both architecturally and politically.

Frans Wiggermann connected Hubur to the Habur, a tributary of the Euphrates far away from the Sumerian heartland, there was also a town called Haburatum east of the Tigris.

He suggested that as the concept of the netherworld (as opposed to an underworld) in Sumerian cosmogeny lacked the modern concept of an accompanying divine ruler of a location underneath the earth, the geographical terminology suggested that it was located at the edges of the world and that its features derived in part from real geography before shifting to become a demonic fantasy world.

The Balikh River is a perennial river that originates in the spring of ‘Ayn al-‘Arus (Syria). It flows due south and joins the Euphrates at the modern town of Ar-Raqqah. After the Khabur River, the Balikh is the largest tributary to the Euphrates on Syrian soil. It is an important source of water and large parts have recently been subjected to canalization.

The beginning

Portasar (“Navel” in Armenian) Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill” in Turkish) is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. The tell has a height of 15 m (49 ft) and is about 300 m (984 ft) in diameter. It is approximately 760 m (2,493 ft) above sea level.

The antecedents to civilization in this region of the middle east were the Kebaran culture (a nomadic late paleolithic people who lived in the Levant and Sinai around 18,000 to 10,000 BC), and the Natufian culture (a mesolithic hunter-gatherer culture from about 12,500 to 9,500 BC who were unusual in that they built permanent settlements even before the dawn of agriculture).

The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a 1,300 (± 70) year period of cold climatic conditions and drought which occurred between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years BP (between 10,800 and 9500 BC). The Younger Dryas stadial is thought to have been caused by the collapse of the North American ice sheets, although rival theories have been proposed.

The Younger Dryas is often linked to the adoption of agriculture in the Levant. It is argued that the cold and dry Younger Dryas lowered the carrying capacity of the area and forced the sedentary Early Natufian population into a more mobile subsistence pattern. Further climatic deterioration is thought to have brought about cereal cultivation.

While there exists relative consensus regarding the role of the Younger Dryas in the changing subsistence patterns during the Natufian, its connection to the beginning of agriculture at the end of the period is still being debated.

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe is a site in Turkey, just north of the Syrian border, a bit south of the Euphrates river, and about 15 km northeast of the town Sanilurfa in Turkey. The site is on top of a small hill (Göbekli Tepe means “hill with a navel” or “hill with a belly” in Turkish). The site was examined in the early 1960’s by archeologists from the University of Chicago, and the University of Istanbul. It was part of a larger survey of the region, and at the time, it was dismissed as the remains of a medieval monastery.

Three decades later, a local shepherd noticed some oddly shaped stones on the ground. The news reached the curators of the local museum in Sanilurfa, about 50 km away, and eventually to the government ministry in charge of antiquities. They contacted the German Archeological Institute in Istanbul. As a consequence, Klaus Schmidt re-examined the site in 1994, and noted that various artifacts found at the site were similar to those found at nearby sites which had been carbon dated to as early as 9,000 B.C. Excavation began the next year, with a German-Turkish team.

Spectacular discoveries in recent years have illuminated the very start of mankind’s love of monuments. The earliest megalith in the world has been found in the cradle of farming. Before cultivation even began, abundant resources in the region where the Levant meets Anatolia encouraged hunting and foraging groups into a more settled lifestyle. Eventually some lived in permanent settlements.

Göbekli Tepe is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of modern times, pushing back the origins of monumentality beyond the emergence of agriculture. We are pleased to present a summary of work in progress by the excavators of this remarkable site and their latest thoughts about its role and meaning.

At the dawn of the Neolithic, hunter-gatherers congregating at Göbekli Tepe created social and ideological cohesion through the carving of decorated pillars, dancing, feasting—and, almost certainly, the drinking of beer made from fermented wild crops.

It is here at Göbekli Tepe, in what is now Turkey, that the world’s first megalithic monument has been uncovered. Its most recent building phase has been radiocarbon dated c. 8000 BC, with an earlier phase ending c. 9000 BC. Circles of T-shaped pillars are adorned with animal reliefs. These are similar to those at a later monument in Nevali Çori, 30 kilometers to the north-west of Göbekli, suggesting a continuity of population from Mesolithic to Neolithic.

Archaeologist Klaus Schmidt found that the most common bone remains at Göbekli Tepe are those of aurochs, an extinct species of ox. Aurochs were massive and terrifyingly strong. Just one required a communal effort to hunt. A hunting band capable of that feat would have to be large and well-organised, capable also of building such a monument. Schmidt sees it as the world’s first temple. Some of the T-shaped pillars have carved arms, and so may represent stylized humans.

Ekur

Ekur (É.KUR, E2.KUR, E-kur) is a Sumerian term meaning “mountain house”. It is the assembly of the gods in the Garden of the gods, parallel in Greek mythology to Mount Olympus and was the most revered and sacred building of ancient Sumer.

There is a clear association of Ziggurats with mountain houses. Mountain houses play a certain role in Mesopotamian mythology and Assyro-Babylonian religion, associated with deities such as Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag. In the Hymn to Enlil, the Ekur is closely linked to Enlil whilst in Enlil and Ninlil it is the abode of the Annanuki, from where Enlil is banished.

The fall of Ekur is described in the Lament for Ur. In mythology, the Ekur was the centre of the earth and location where heaven and earth were united. It is also known as Duranki and one of its structures is known as the Kiur (“great place”). Enamtila has also been suggested by Piotr Michalowski to be a part of the Ekur.

A hymn to Nanna illustrates the close relationship between temples, houses and mountains. “In your house on high, in your beloved house, I will come to live, O Nanna, up above in your cedar perfumed mountain”. This was carried-on into later tradition in the Bible by the prophet Micah who envisions “the mountain of the temple of Yahweh”.

Schmidt engaged in some speculation regarding the belief systems of the groups that created Göbekli Tepe, based on comparisons with other shrines and settlements. He assumed shamanic practices and suggested that the T-shaped pillars represent human forms, perhaps ancestors, whereas he saw a fully articulated belief in gods only developing later in Mesopotamia, associated with extensive temples and palaces.

This corresponds well with an ancient Sumerian belief that agriculture, animal husbandry, and weaving were brought to mankind from the sacred mountain Ekur, which was inhabited by Annuna deities, very ancient gods without individual names. Schmidt identified this story as a primeval oriental myth that preserves a partial memory of the emerging Neolithic.

It is also apparent that the animal and other images give no indication of organized violence, i.e. there are no depictions of hunting raids or wounded animals, and the pillar carvings ignore game on which the society mainly subsisted, like deer, mainly in favor of formidable creatures like lions, snakes, spiders, and scorpions.

Hursag

Hursag (transcribed cuneiform: ḫur.saḡ(HUR.SAG)) is a Sumerian term variously translated as meaning “mountain”, “hill”, “foothills” or “piedmont”. Thorkild Jacobsen extrapolated the translation in his later career to mean literally, “head of the valleys”.

Mountains play a certain role in Mesopotamian mythology and Assyro-Babylonian religion, associated with deities such as Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag. Some scholars also identify hursag with an undefined mountain range or strip of raised land outside the plain of Mesopotamia.

In a myth variously entitled by Samuel Noah Kramer as “The Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta” and later Ninurta Myth Lugal-e by Thorkild Jacobsen, Hursag is described as a mound of stones constructed by Ninurta after his defeat of a demon called Asag. Ninurta’s mother Ninlil visits the location after this great victory. In return for her love and loyalty, Ninurta gives Ninlil the hursag as a gift. Her name is consequentially changed from Ninlil to Ninhursag or the “mistress of the Hursag”.

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, is the consort goddess of Enlil.  In some texts Ninlil is also the mother of Ninurta, the heroic god who slew Asag the demon with his mace, Sharur.

After her death, she became the goddess of the wind, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms. As “Lady Wind” she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend.

Her parentage is variously described. Most commonly she is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba). Another Akkadian source says she is the daughter of Anu (aka An) and Antu (Sumerian Ki). Other sources call her a daughter of Anu and Nammu.

In Sumerian mythology, Ninhursag or Ninkharsag was a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the ‘true and great lady of heaven’ (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were ‘nourished by Ninhursag’s milk’.

Nin-hursag means “lady of the sacred mountain” (from Sumerian NIN “lady” and ḪAR.SAG “sacred mountain, foothill”, possibly a reference to the site of her temple, the E-Kur (House of mountain deeps) at Eridu. She had many names including Ninmah (“Great Queen”); Nintu (“Lady of Birth”); Mamma or Mami (mother); Aruru, Belet-Ili (lady of the gods, Akkadian).

According to legend her name was changed from Ninmah to Ninhursag by her son Ninurta in order to commemorate his creation of the mountains. As Ninmenna, according to a Babylonian investiture ritual, she placed the golden crown on the king in the Eanna temple.

As the wife and consort of Enki she was also referred to as Damgulanna (great wife of heaven) or Damkina (faithful wife). She had many epithets including shassuru or ‘womb goddess’, tabsut ili ‘midwife of the gods’, ‘mother of all children’ and ‘mother of the gods’. In this role she is identified with Ki in the Enuma Elish. She had shrines in both Eridu and Kish.

Ḫaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini. The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa. Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddesses Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art, and Bagmashtu.

Tell Halaf/Hassuna/Shulaveri Shomu/Samarra/Ubaid

Tell Halaf is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border, just opposite Ceylanpınar. It was the first find of a Neolithic culture, subsequently dubbed the Halaf culture, characterized by glazed pottery painted with geometric and animal designs. The site dates to the 6th millennium BCE and was later the location of the Aramaean city-state of Guzana or Gozan.

The site is located near the city of Ra’s al-‘Ayn in the fertile valley of the Khabur River (Nahr al-Khabur), close to the modern border with Turkey. The name Tell Halaf is a local Aramaic placename, tell meaning “hill”, and Tell Halaf meaning “made of former city”; what its original inhabitants called their settlement is not known.

Tell Halaf is the type site of the Halaf culture, which developed from Neolithic III at this site without any strong break. The Tell Halaf site flourished from about 6,100 to 5,400 BCE, a period of time that is referred to as the Halaf period. The Halaf culture was succeeded in northern Mesopotamia by the Ubaid culture. The site was then abandoned for a long period.

The Hassuna culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture in northern Mesopotamia dating to the early sixth millennium BC. It is named after the type site of Tell Hassuna in Iraq. Other sites where Hassuna material has been found include Tell Shemshara.

By around 6000 BC people had moved into the foothills (piedmont) of northernmost Mesopotamia where there was enough rainfall to allow for “dry” agriculture in some places. These were the first farmers in northernmost Mesopotamia. They made Hassuna-style pottery (cream slip with reddish paint in linear designs). Hassuna people lived in small villages or hamlets ranging from 2 to 8 acres (3.2 ha).

At Tell Hassuna, adobe dwellings built around open central courts with fine painted pottery replace earlier levels with crude pottery. Hand axes, sickles, grinding stones, bins, baking ovens and numerous bones of domesticated animals reflect settled agricultural life.

Female figurines have been related to worship and jar burials within which food was placed related to belief in afterlife. The relationship of Hassuna pottery to that of Jericho suggests that village culture was becoming widespread.

The Samarra culture is a Chalcolithic archaeological culture in northern Mesopotamia that is roughly dated to 5500–4800 BCE. It partially overlaps with Hassuna and early Ubaid. Samarran material culture was first recognized during excavations by German Archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld at the site of Samarra. Other sites where Samarran material has been found include Tell Shemshara, Tell es-Sawwan and Yarim Tepe.

At Tell es-Sawwan, evidence of irrigation—including flax—establishes the presence of a prosperous settled culture with a highly organized social structure. The culture is primarily known for its finely made pottery decorated against dark-fired backgrounds with stylized figures of animals and birds and geometric designs.

This widely exported type of pottery, one of the first widespread, relatively uniform pottery styles in the Ancient Near East, was first recognized at Samarra. The Samarran Culture was the precursor to the Mesopotamian culture of the Ubaid period.

Shulaveri-Shomu culture is a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture that existed on the territory of present-day Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Armenian Highlands. The culture is dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC and is thought to be one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures. The Shulaveri-Shomu culture begins after the 8.2 kiloyear event which was a sudden decrease in global temperatures starting ca. 6200 BC and which lasted for about two to four centuries.

The 8.2 kiloyear event is the term that climatologists have adopted for a sudden decrease in global temperatures that occurred approximately 8,200 years before the present, or c. 6,200 BCE, and which lasted for the next two to four centuries. Milder than the Younger Dryas cold spell that preceded it, but more severe than the Little Ice Age that would follow, the 8.2 kiloyear cooling was a significant exception to general trends of the Holocene climatic optimum. During the event, atmospheric methane concentration decreased by 80 ppb or an emission reduction of 15%, by cooling and drying at a hemispheric scale.

Drier conditions were notable in North Africa, while East Africa suffered five centuries of general drought. In West Asia and especially Mesopotamia, the 8.2 kiloyear event was a three-hundred year aridification and cooling episode, which may have provided the natural force for Mesopotamian irrigation agriculture and surplus production that were essential for the earliest class-formation and urban life. However multi-centennial changes around the same period are difficult to link specifically to the approximately 100-year abrupt event as recorded most clearly in the Greenland ice cores.

Shulaveri culture predates the Kura-Araxes culture and surrounding areas, which is assigned to the period of ca. 4000 – 2200 BC, and had close relation with the middle Bronze Age culture called Trialeti culture (ca. 3000 – 1500 BC). Sioni culture of Eastern Georgia possibly represents a transition from the Shulaveri to the Kura-Arax cultural complex.

In around ca. 6000–4200 B.C the Shulaveri-Shomu and other Neolithic/Chalcolithic cultures of the Southern Caucasus use local obsidian for tools, raise animals such as cattle and pigs, and grow crops, including grapes.

Many of the characteristic traits of the Shulaverian material culture (circular mudbrick architecture, pottery decorated by plastic design, anthropomorphic female figurines, obsidian industry with an emphasis on production of long prismatic blades) are believed to have their origin in the Near Eastern Neolithic (Hassuna, Halaf).

The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarised social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism. Bogucki describes this as a phase of “Trans-egalitarian” competitive households, in which some fall behind as a result of downward social mobility.

Morton Fried and Elman Service have hypothesised that Ubaid culture saw the rise of an elite class of hereditary chieftains, perhaps heads of kin groups linked in some way to the administration of the temple shrines and their granaries, responsible for mediating intra-group conflict and maintaining social order.

It would seem that various collective methods, perhaps instances of what Thorkild Jacobsen called primitive democracy, in which disputes were previously resolved through a council of one’s peers, were no longer sufficient for the needs of the local community.

Ubaid culture originated in the south, but still has clear connections to earlier cultures in the region of middle Iraq. The appearance of the Ubaid folk has sometimes been linked to the so-called Sumerian problem, related to the origins of Sumerian civilisation.

Whatever the ethnic origins of this group, this culture saw for the first time a clear tripartite social division between intensive subsistence peasant farmers, with crops and animals coming from the north, tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists dependent upon their herds, and hunter-fisher folk of the Arabian littoral, living in reed huts.

Stein and Özbal describe the Near East oikumene that resulted from Ubaid expansion, contrasting it to the colonial expansionism of the later Uruk period. “A contextual analysis comparing different regions shows that the Ubaid expansion took place largely through the peaceful spread of an ideology, leading to the formation of numerous new indigenous identities that appropriated and transformed superficial elements of Ubaid material culture into locally distinct expressions”.

The Ubaid house is a dwelling used by the Ubaid culture of the Neolithic era. The Ubaid house is the predecessor of the Ubaid temple as well as Sumerian domestic and temple architecture.

The period from 4500–4000 BC saw a period of intense and rapid urbanisation with the Ubaid culture spread into northern Mesopotamia and was adopted by the Halaf culture. Ubaid artifacts spread also all along the Arabian littoral, showing the growth of a trading system that stretched from the Mediterranean coast through to Oman.

The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation. At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called “Dark Millennium”. This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron.

The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene Epoch. It occurred around 3900 BC, ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert.

Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organized, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BC. It is associated with the last round of the Sahara pump theory.

A model by Claussen et al. (1999) suggested rapid desertification associated with vegetation-atmosphere interactions following a cooling event, Bond event 4. Bond et al. (1997) identified a North Atlantic cooling episode 5,900 years ago from ice-rafted debris, as well as other such now called Bond events that indicate the existence of a quasiperiodic cycle of Atlantic cooling events, which occur approximately every 1,470 years ± 500 years.

For some reason, all of the earlier of these arid events (including the 8.2 kiloyear event) were followed by recovery, as attested by the wealth of evidence of humid conditions in the Sahara between 10,000 and 6,000 BP.

However, it appears that the 5.9 kiloyear event was followed by a partial recovery at best, with accelerated desiccation in the millennium that followed. For example, Cremaschi (1998) describes evidence of rapid aridification in Tadrart Acacus of southwestern Libya, in the form of increased aeolian erosion, sand incursions and the collapse of the roofs of rock shelters. The 5.9 kiloyear event was also recorded as a cold event in the Erhai Lake (China) sediments.

In the Middle East the 5.9 kiloyear event contributed to the abrupt end of the Ubaid period. It was associated with an abandonment of unwalled villages and the rapid growth of hierarchically structured walled cities, and in the Jemdet Nasr period, with the first book-keeping scripts.

The Neolithic Subpluvial — sometimes called the Holocene Wet Phase — was an extended period (from about 7500–7000 BCE to about 3500–3000 BCE) of wet and rainy conditions in the climate history of northern Africa. It was both preceded and followed by much drier periods.

The Neolithic Subpluvial was the most recent of a number of periods of “Wet Sahara” or “Green Sahara”, during which the region was much more moist and supported a richer biota and human population than the present-day desert.

The Neolithic Subpluvial began during the 7th millennium BC and was strong for about 2,000 years; it waned over time and ended after the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900 BCE). Then the drier conditions that prevailed prior to the Neolithic Subpluvial returned; desertification advanced, and the Sahara Desert formed (or re-formed). Arid conditions have continued through to the present day.

Mechta-Afalou or Mechtoid are an extinct people of North Africa. Mechtoids inhabited Northern Africa during late Paleolithic and Mesolithic (Ibero-Maurusian archaeological culture).Mechtoids were assimilated during Neolithic and early Bronze Age by bearers of Afroasiatic languages. The Capsian culture, from the anthropological standpoint, is considered an indigenous development.

Neolithic Subpluvial

Sahara pump theory

Leyla-Tepe/Majkop

The Leyla-Tepe culture is a culture of archaeological interest from the Chalcolithic era. Its population was distributed on the southern slopes of the Central Caucasus from 4350 until 4000 BC. They apparently buried their dead in ceramic vessels. Similar amphora burials in the South Caucasus are found in the Western Georgian Jar-Burial Culture.

The culture has been linked to the north Ubaid period monuments, in particular, with the settlements in the Eastern Anatolia Region. The settlement is of a typical Western-Asian variety, with the dwellings packed closely together and made of mud bricks with smoke outlets.

Jar-Burial Culture, an archaeological culture that was widespread in the second century B.C. to the eighth century A.D. in the basins of the Kura and Araks rivers in Transcaucasia, particularly in Caucasian Albania.

The culture was characterized by the burial of the dead in a strongly flexed position on their sides in large clay jars. The burial inventory contained articles made of metal (bronze and primarily iron tools and weapons and bronze, silver, and gold ornaments), wood, stone, clay, glass, and paste. Roman, Arsacid, and Sassanid coins have been found in later burials.

The Jar-Burial culture belonged to a settled farming population, which also engaged in stock raising, hunting, fishing, and the production of handicrafts.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture (ca. 3700 BC—3000 BC),  a major Bronze Age archaeological culture in the Western Caucasus region of Southern Russia.

An expedition to Syria by the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed the similarity of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe artifacts with those found recently while excavating the ancient city of Tel Khazneh I, from the 4th millennium BC.

In the south it borders the approximately contemporaneous Kura-Araxes culture (3500—2200 BC), which extends into eastern Anatolia and apparently influenced it. To the north is the Yamna culture, including the Novotitorovka culture (3300—2700), which it overlaps in territorial extent. It is contemporaneous with the late Uruk period in Mesopotamia.

The Kuban River is navigable for much of its length and provides an easy water-passage via the Sea of Azov to the territory of the Yamna culture, along the Don and Donets River systems. The Maykop culture was thus well-situated to exploit the trading possibilities with the central Ukraine area.

New data revealed the similarity of artifacts from the Maykop culture with those found recently in the course of excavations of the ancient city of Tell Khazneh in northern Syria, the construction of which dates back to 4000 BC.

Its inhumation practices were characteristically Indo-European, typically in a pit, sometimes stone-lined, topped with a kurgan (or tumulus). Stone cairns replace kurgans in later interments.

In the early 20th century, researchers established the existence of a local Maykop animal style in the artifacts found. This style was seen as the prototype for animal styles of later archaeological cultures: the Maykop animal style is more than a thousand years older than the Scythian, Sarmatian and Celtic animal styles.

Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, whose views are highly controversial[citation needed], suggest that the Maykop culture (or its ancestor) may have been a way-station for Indo-Europeans migrating from the South Caucasus and/or eastern Anatolia to a secondary Urheimat on the steppe.

This would essentially place the Anatolian stock in Anatolia from the beginning, and in this respect only, agrees with Colin Renfrew’s Anatolian hypothesis. Considering that some attempt has been made to unite Indo-European with the Northwest Caucasian languages, an earlier Caucasian pre-Urheimat is not out of the question (see Proto-Pontic). However, most linguists and archaeologists consider this hypothesis incorrect, and prefer the Eurasian steppes as the genuine IE Urheimat.

Kurgan

Kurgan is the Russian word (of Tatar (Turkic) origin) for tumulus, a type of burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, often of wood. These are mounds of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Originating with its use in Soviet archaeology, the word is now widely used for tumuli in the context of Eastern European and Central Asian archaeology.

The earliest kurgans appeared in the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus, and are associated with the Indo-Europeans. Kurgans were built in the Eneolithic, Bronze, Iron, Antiquity and Middle Ages, with old traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia. Kurgan cultures are divided archeologically into different sub-cultures, such as Timber Grave, Pit Grave, Scythian, Sarmatian, Hunnish and Kuman-Kipchak.

The earliest kurgans appeared in the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus.[2] Kurgan barrows were characteristic of Bronze Age peoples, from the Altay Mountains to the Caucasus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. Kurgans were used in the Ukrainian and Russian Steppes but spread into eastern, central, and northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC.

In Sumerian mythology, Kur is considered the first ever dragon, and usually referred to the Zagros mountains to the east of Sumer. The cuneiform for “kur” was written ideographically, a pictograph of a mountain. It can also mean “foreign land”.
Mythology

Although the word for earth was Ki, Kur came to also mean land, and Sumer itself, was called “Kur-gal” or “Great Land”. “Kur-gal” also means “Great Mountain” and is a metonym for both Nippur and Enlil who rules from that city. Ekur, “mountain house” was the temple of Enlil at Nippur. A second, popular meaning of Kur was “underworld”, or the world under the earth.

Kur was sometimes the home of the dead, it is possible that the flames on escaping gas plumes in parts of the Zagros mountains would have given those mountains a meaning not entirely consistent with the primary meaning of mountains and an abode of a god. The eastern mountains as an abode of the god is popular in Ancient Near Eastern mythology.

The underworld Kur is the void space between the primeval sea (Abzu) and the earth (Ma). Kur is almost identical with “Ki-gal”, “Great Land” which is the Underworld (thus the ruler of the Underworld is Ereshkigal “Goddess of The Great Land”.

In later Babylonian myth Kur is possibly an Anunnaki, brother of Ereshkigal, Inanna, Enki, and Enlil. In the Enuma Elish in Akkadian tablets from the first millennium BC, Kur is part of the retinue of Tiamat, and seems to be a snakelike dragon. In one story the slaying of the great serpent Kur results in the flooding of the earth.

A first millennium BC cylinder seal shows a fire-spitting winged dragon—a nude woman between its wings—pulling the chariot of the god who subdued it, another depicts a god riding a dragon, a third a goddess.

Ma/Me

Ma is a Sumerian word meaning “land” that in Sumerian mythology was also used to regard Primordial Land. There seems to be some loss in records as to the transition, but the same name Ma appears again later, also tied to the Earth, in Ma being referred to as “Mother of the mountain” – in this case, Kur (Mountain) the first dragon god.

In Sumerian mythology, a me or parşu is one of the decrees of the gods foundational to those social institutions, religious practices, technologies, behaviors, mores, and human conditions that make civilization, as the Sumerians understood it, possible. They are fundamental to the Sumerian understanding of the relationship between humanity and the gods.

The underworld Kur is the void space between the primeval sea (Abzu) and the earth (Ma). Which seem a likely pairing for parentage, in a fuzzy set of records. Ma was a local goddess at Ma and a Phrygian alternative name for Cybele.

Comana was a city of Cappadocia and later Cataonia. The Hittite toponym Kummanni is considered likely to refer to Comana, but the identification is not considered proven. Its ruins are at the modern Turkish village of Şar, Tufanbeyli district, Adana Province.

Kummanni was the name of the main center the Anatolian kingdom of Kizzuwatna. Its location is uncertain, but is believed to be near the classical settlement of Comana in Cappadocia. It was the major cult center of the Hurrian chief deity, Tešup. Its Hurrian name Kummeni simply translates as “The Shrine.”

The city persisted into the Early Iron Age, and appears as Kumme in Assyrian records. It was located on the edge of Assyrian influence in the far northeastern corner of Mesopotamia, separating Assyria from Urartu and the highlands of southeastern Anatolia.

Kumme was still considered a holy city in Assyrian times, both in Assyria and in Urartu. Adad-nirari II, after re-conquering the city, made sacrifices to “Adad of Kumme.” The three chief deities in the Urartian pantheon were “the god of Ardini, the god of Kumenu, and the god of Tushpa.”

Africa

A worldwide phylogeographic analysis of the R1b haplogroup provided strong support to the Asia-to-Africa back-migration hypothesis. The analysis of the distribution of the R-V88 haplogroup in >1800 males from 69 African populations revealed a striking genetic contiguity between the Chadic-speaking peoples from the central Sahel and several other Afroasiatic-speaking groups from North Africa.

The R-V88 coalescence time was estimated at 9200–5600 kya, in the early mid Holocene. We suggest that R-V88 is a paternal genetic record of the proposed mid-Holocene migration of proto-Chadic Afroasiatic speakers through the Central Sahara into the Lake Chad Basin, and geomorphological evidence is consistent with this view.

A thorough study by Cruciani et al. (2004) which analyzed populations from Morocco concludes that the North African pattern of Y-chromosomal variation (including both J1 and R1b haplogroups) is largely of Neolithic origin, which suggests that the Neolithic transition in this part of the world was accompanied by demic diffusion of Berber-speaking pastoralists from the Algerian Desert into Eastern Morocco, although later papers have suggested that this date could have been as long as ten thousand years ago, with the transition from the Oranian, or Iberomaurusian, to the Capsian culture in North Africa.

The Iberomaurusian culture is a backed bladelet industry found throughout the Maghreb. The industry was originally described in 1909 by the French scholar Pallary, at the site of Abri Mouillah. Other names for the industry have included “Mouillian” and “Oranian”.

Recent fieldwork indicates that the culture existed in the region from around the timing of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at 20,000 BP, until the Younger Dryas. The culture is succeeded by the Capsian, which was originally thought to have expanded into the Maghreb from the Near East, although later studies have indicated that the Iberomaurusian were the progenitors of the Capsian.

The Capsian culture (named after the town of Gafsa in Tunisia) was a Mesolithic culture of the Maghreb, which lasted from about 10,000 to 6,000 BCE. It was concentrated mainly in modern Tunisia, and Algeria, with some sites attested in southern Spain to Sicily.

It is traditionally divided into two horizons, the Capsien typique (Typical Capsian) and the Capsien supérieur (Upper Capsian) which are sometimes found in chronostratigraphic sequence. They represent variants of one tradition, the differences between them being both typological and technological.

During this period, the environment of the Maghreb was open savanna, much like modern East Africa, with Mediterranean forests at higher altitudes. The Capsian diet included a wide variety of animals, ranging from aurochs and hartebeest to hares and snails; there is little evidence concerning plants eaten. During the succeeding Neolithic of Capsian Tradition, there is evidence from one site, for domesticated, probably imported, ovicaprids.

Anatomically, Capsian populations were modern Homo sapiens, traditionally classed into two variegate types: Proto-Mediterranean and Mechta-Afalou on the basis of cranial morphology. Some have argued that they were immigrants from the east, whereas others argue for population continuity based on physical skeletal characteristics and other criteria, et cetera.

Given its widespread occurrence in the Sahara, the Capsian culture is identified by some historical linguists as a possible ancestor of the speakers of modern Afroasiatic languages of North Africa which includes the Berber languages in North Africa.

Nothing is known about Capsian religion, but their burial methods suggest a belief in an afterlife. Decorative art is widely found at their sites, including figurative and abstract rock art, and ochre is found coloring both tools and corpses. Ostrich eggshells were used to make beads and containers; seashells were used for necklaces. The Ibero-Maurusian practice of extracting the central incisors continued sporadically, but became rarer.

The Eburran industry which dates between 13,000 and 9,000 BCE in East Africa, was formerly known as the “Kenya Capsian” due to similarities in the stone blade shapes.

Within Africa, the highest frequencies of the R-V88 haplogroup (and its commonest sub-clade, R-V69) were observed in the central Sahel (northern Cameroon, northern Nigeria, Chad, and Niger).

Immediately south of this region (southern Cameroon and southern Nigeria), frequencies drastically dropped to 0.0–4.8%. The central Sahel is characterized by a strong linguistic fragmentation with populations speaking languages belonging to three of the four linguistic families of Africa (Afroasiatic, Niger-Congo, and Nilo-Saharan).

When the linguistic affiliation of the populations from the central Sahel was also taken into account, a clear-cut divide was observed between those speaking Afroasiatic languages (including the Berber-speaking Tuareg, the Semitic Arab Shuwa, and Chadic-speaking populations from northern Cameroon) and the other populations (Mann–Whitney test P=1.4 × 10−3), with Chadic-speaking populations mostly contributing to this difference.

It is worth noting that, if the finding of 20% R-V88 chromosomes among the Hausa is representative, this population, encompassing by far more people than all other Chadic speakers, also encompasses the highest absolute number of V88 carriers.

In contrast to prior studies on nuclear (mostly autosomal) ins/del and microsatellite markers, the Chadic are distinguished from the Nilo-Saharan-speaking populations at the Y chromosome variation level. Repeated assimilations of Nilo-Saharan females over generations may account for these conflicting signals.

Although the presence of the haplogroup R-V88 at non-negligible frequencies in some Niger-Congo-speaking populations from the central Sahel can be accounted for by Chadic admixture favored by geographic contiguity, the presence of this haplogroup both in northern Africa and the central Sahel is especially intriguing given that >1500 km across the Sahara separate the two regions. The expansion time for the haplogroup R-V88 in Africa, under two different population models (see Materials and methods), was found to be 9.2–5.6 ky (95% CI=7.6–10.8 ky and 4.7–6.6 ky, respectively).

Diverse hypotheses have been proposed to explain the process by which proto-Chadic speakers arrived to the Lake Chad region. Ehret has put forward a model for Afroasiatic languages with a primary division between the Omotic languages of Ethiopia and an Erythraean subgroup. This, in turn, has been subdivided into Cushitic and North Erythraean, the latter including Berber, Semitic, Ancient Egyptian, and Chadic.

In his opinion, around 7000 kya proto-Chadic Afroasiatic speakers may have moved west through the Central Sahara and then farther south into the Lake Chad Basin. Blench, in turn, suggested that speakers of proto-Cushitic–Chadic language migrated east-to-west from the Middle Nile to the Lake Chad, and recent mtDNA data support this view.

However, in contrast to the mtDNA, a strong connection between Chadic and other Afroasiatic populations from Northern Africa is revealed by the Y chromosome data. This finding would indicate the trans-Saharan a more likely scenario than the inter-Saharan hypothesis, at least as far as the male component of gene pool is concerned. In this view, it is tempting to speculate that the Y chromosome haplogroup R-V88 represents a preserved genetic record of gene flow along the same axis as the proposed spread of proto-Chadic languages.

Indeed, geomorphological evidence4 from the paleolakes that existed in the Sahara during the mid-Holocene indicates that these lakes could have covered an area as large as about 10% of the Sahara, providing an important corridor for human migrations across the region.

In summary, our data indicate a significant male contribution from northern Africa (and ultimately Asia) to the gene pool of the central Sahel. The trans-Saharan population movements resulting in this genetic pattern would seem to mirror the spread of the proto-Chadic languages, and most likely took place during the early mid Holocene, a period when giant paleolakes may have provided a corridor for human migrations across what is now the Sahara desert.

At the craddle of Afroasiatic (or Northern Afroasiatic), Capsian culture, stone circles and possibly E1b1b and R1b-V88, the Upper Egypt/Nubia area, we find striking cultural parallels with the SW Europe and southern Turkey. The exact spread of these cultural elements is so far a mystery. Both “missing links” are NW Africa and West Asia south of Turkey. Whatever the case, it seems that the Nile area got West Eurasian influences in the Paleolithic, which explain the presence of R1b and possibly other haplogroups.

The earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Ibero-Maurusian or Oranian (after a site near Oran). The industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of North Africa between 15,000 and 10,000 BC.

Between about 9000 and 5000 BC, the Capsian culture made its appearance showing signs to belong to the Neolithic and began influencing the IberoMaurusian, and after about 3000 BC the remains of just one human culture can be found throughout the former region.

Neolithic civilization (marked by animal domestication and subsistence agriculture) developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean North Africa after the Levante between 6000 and 2000 BC. This type of economy, so richly depicted in the Tassili n’Ajjer cave paintings, predominated in North Africa until the classical period.

The cave paintings found at Tassili n’Ajjer, north of Tamanrasset, Algeria, and at other locations depict vibrant and vivid scenes of everyday life in central North Africa during the Neolithic Subpluvial period (about 8000 to 4000 BC). They were executed by a hunting people in the Capsian period of the Neolithic age who lived in a savanna region teeming with giant buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus, animals that no longer exist in the now-desert area.

The pictures provide the most complete record of a prehistoric African culture. Various populations of pastoralists have left paintings of abundant wildlife, domesticated animals, chariots, and a complex culture that dates back to at least 10,000 BC in Northern Niger and neighboring parts of Algeria and Libya. Several former northern Nigerien villages and archeological sites date from the Green Sahara period of 7500-7000 to 3500-3000 BC.

Some parts of North Africa began to participate in the Neolithic revolution in the 6th millennium BC, just before the rapid desertification of the Sahara around 3500 B.C. due to a tilt in the Earth’s orbit.

Clement and fertile conditions during the Neolithic Subpluvial supported increased human settlement of the Nile Valley in Egypt, as well as neolithic societies in Sudan and throughout the present-day Sahara. Cultures producing rock art (notably that at Tassili n’Ajjer in southeastern Algeria) flourished during this period. In Prehistoric Egypt, Neolithic settlements appear from about 6000 BC. Oher regions in Africa independently developed agriculture at about the same time: the Ethiopian highlands, the Sahel, and West Africa.

The beginning of the Bronze Age in Egypt is conventionally identified as the Protodynastic Period, following the Neolithic Naqada culture about 3200 BC. By the Iron Age, the historic record demonstrated the existence of the Berbers in North Africa from at least 10,000 BC. While Egypt and Sudan had entered historicity since the Bronze Age, the Maghreb remained in the prehistoric period longer. Some Phoenician and Greek colonies were established along the Mediterranean coast during the 7th century BC.

The Halfan culture flourished along the Nile Valley of Egypt and Nubia between 18,000 and 15,000 BC, though one Halfan site dates to before 24,000 BC. They survived on a diet of large herd animals and the Khormusan tradition of fishing. Greater concentrations of artifacts indicate that they were not bound to seasonal wandering, but settled for longer periods.

They are viewed as the parent culture of the Ibero-Maurusian industry, which spread across the Sahara and into Spain. The Halfan culture was derived in turn from the Khormusan, which depended on specialized hunting, fishing, and collecting techniques for survival. The primary material remains of this culture are stone tools, flakes, and a multitude of rock paintings.

About twenty archaeological sites in upper Nubia give evidence for the existence of a grain-grinding Mesolithic culture called the Qadan Culture, which practiced wild grain harvesting along the Nile during the beginning of the Sahaba Daru Nile phase, when desiccation in the Sahara caused residents of the Libyan oases to retreat into the Nile valley.

Qadan peoples developed sickles and grinding stones to aid in the collecting and processing of these plant foods prior to consumption. However there are no indications of the use of these tools after around 10,000 BC, when hunter-gatherers replaced them.

In Egypt, analyses of pollen found at archaeological sites indicate that the Sebilian culture (also known as Esna culture) were gathering wheat and barley. Domesticated seeds were not found (modern wheat and barley originated in Asia Minor and Palestine). It has been hypothesized that the sedentary lifestyle used by farmers led to increased warfare, which was detrimental to farming and brought this period to an end.

The Harifian is a specialized regional cultural development of the Epipalaeolithic of the Negev Desert. It corresponds to the latest stages of the Natufian culture. Like the Natufian, it is characterized by semi-subterranean houses. These are often more elaborate than those found at Natufian sites. For the first time arrowheads are found among the stone tool kit.

Andy Burns states “The Harifian dates to between approximately 10,800/10,500bp and 10,000/10,200bp. It is restricted to the Sinai and Negev, and is probably broadly contemporary with the Late Natufian or Pre-Pottery Neolithic A.

Microlithic points are a characteristic feature of the industry, with the Harif point being both new and particularly diagnostic – Bar-Yosef (1998) suggests that it is an indication of improved hunting techniques. Lunates, isosceles and other triangular forms were backed with retouch, and some Helwan lunates are found. This industry contrasts with the Desert Natufian which did not have the roughly triangular points in its assemblage.

There are two main groups within the Harifian. One group consists of ephemeral base camps in the north of Sinai and western Negev, where stone points comprise up to 88% of all microliths, accompanied by only a few lunates and triangles. The other group consists of base camps and smaller campsites in the Negev and features a greater number of lunates and triangles than points. These sites probably represent functional rather than chronological differences. The presence of Khiam points in some sites indicates that there was communication with other areas in the Levant at this time.”

Harifian has close connections with the late Mesolithic cultures of Fayyum and the Eastern Deserts of Egypt, whose tool assemblage resembles that of the Harifian. Fusion with animal domestication elements of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) culture is hypothesised by Juris Zarins, to have led to the Circum Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex, a group of cultures that invented nomadic pastoralism, and may have been the original culture which spread Proto-Semitic languages throughout the region.

The Harifians are viewed as migrating out of the Fayyum and the Eastern Deserts of Egypt during the late Mesolithic to merge with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) culture, whose tool assemblage resembles that of the Harifian. This assimilation led to the Circum-Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex, a group of cultures that invented nomadic pastoralism, and may have been the original culture which spread Proto-Semitic languages throughout Mesopotamia.

Continued desertification forced the early ancestors of the Egyptians to settle around the Nile more permanently and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle.

The period from 9000 to 6000 BC has left very little in the way of archaeological evidence. Around 6000 BC, Neolithic settlements appear all over Egypt. Studies based on morphological, genetic, and archaeological data have attributed these settlements to migrants from the Fertile Crescent in the Near East returning during the Egyptian and North African Neolithic, bringing agriculture to the region.

However, other regions in Africa independently developed agriculture at about the same time: the Ethiopian highlands, the Sahel, and West Africa. However, some morphological and post-cranial data has linked the earliest farming populations at Fayum, Merimde, and El-Badari, to Near Eastern populations.

The archaeological data suggests that Near Eastern domesticates were incorporated into a pre-existing foraging strategy and only slowly developed into a full-blown lifestyle, contrary to what would be expected from settler colonists from the Near East.

Finally, the names for the Near Eastern domesticates imported into Egypt were not Sumerian or Proto-Semitic loan words, which further diminishes the likelihood of a mass immigrant colonization of lower Egypt during the transition to agriculture.

Weaving is evidenced for the first time during the Faiyum A Period. People of this period, unlike later Egyptians, buried their dead very close to, and sometimes inside, their settlements.

Although archaeological sites reveal very little about this time, an examination of the many Egyptian words for “city” provide a hypothetical list of reasons why the Egyptians settled. In Upper Egypt, terminology indicates trade, protection of livestock, high ground for flood refuge, and sacred sites for deities.

From about 5000 to 4200 BC the Merimde culture, so far only known from a big settlement site at the edge of the Western Delta, flourished in Lower Egypt. The culture has strong connections to the Faiyum A culture as well as the Levant.

People lived in small huts, produced a simple undecorated pottery and had stone tools. Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were held. Wheat, sorghum and barley were planted. The Merimde people buried their dead within the settlement and produced clay figurines. The first Egyptian lifesize head made of clay comes from Merimde.

Human Y chromosome haplogroup R-V88

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago). This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia (Raghavan et al. 2013). This individual belonged to a tribe of mammoth hunters that may have roamed across Siberia and parts of Europe during the Paleolithic.

Autosomally this Paleolithic population appears to have contributed mostly to the ancestry of modern Europeans and South Asians, the two regions where haplogroup R also happens to be the most common nowadays (R1b in Western Europe, R1a in Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and R2 in South Asia).

The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa. It is found among the native populations of Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau.

The Sahara, covering about one third of the African continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, is the earth’s most extensive desert. Over the past thousands of years, the Sahara has undergone dramatic climatic oscillations including arid phases, during which it was largely uninhabitable, and humid episodes, which transformed the desert into a fertile landscape. After a hyper-arid period about 2100–12.500 BC, the Saharan region experienced a monsoonal moist climate, characterized by increased rainfall.

During the Holocene Climatic Optimum (about 8000–3000 BC), a few thousand years after the beginning of the humid period, flora and fauna repopulated the desert, and a mosaic of savannah and woodland became well established throughout much of the Sahara.

At the same time, the Sahara was home to giant lakes, the largest of which, the paleolake Megachad, may have possibly covered an area of at least 400 000 km2, more than the Caspian Sea, the biggest lake on earth today.

This greening scenario was interrupted by a number of arid episodes, and at about 3000–4000 BC, the region experienced a rapid onset of dryer conditions. These marked the beginning of a shift towards permanent aridity, with variations in the distribution and timing of these changes between the eastern and central/western Sahara. Human–environment interactions in the Sahara have been greatly influenced by these climate fluctuations.

The migration of R1b people can be followed archeologically through the presence of domesticated cattle, which appear in central Syria around 8,000-7,500 BCE (late Mureybet period), then in the Southern Levant and Egypt around 7,000-6,500 BCE (e.g. at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba). Cattle herders subsequently spread across most of northern and eastern Africa.

The wide distribution of V88 in all parts of Africa, its incidence among herding tribes, and the coalescence age of the haplogroup all support a Neolithic dispersal. Evidence of cow herding during the Neolithic has shown up at Uan Muhuggiag in central Libya around 5500 BCE, at the Capeletti Cave in northern Algeria around 4500 BCE.

But the most compelling evidence that R1b people related to modern Europeans once roamed the Sahara is to be found at Tassili n’Ajjer in southern Algeria, a site famous pyroglyphs (rock art) dating from the Neolithic era. Some painting dating from around 3000 BCE depict fair-skinned and blond or auburn haired women riding on cows.

After reaching the Maghreb, R1b-V88 cattle herders could have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, probably accompanied by G2 farmers, J1 and T1a goat herders and native Maghreban E-M81 lineages. These Maghreban Neolithic farmers/herders could have been the ones who established the Almagra Pottery culture in Andalusia in the 6th millennium BCE.

Nowadays small percentages (1 to 4%) of R1b-V88 are found in the Levant, among the Lebanese, the Druze, and the Jews, and almost in every country in Africa north of the equator. Higher frequency in Egypt (5%), among Berbers from the Egypt-Libya border (23%), among the Sudanese Copts (15%), the Hausa people of Sudan (40%), the the Fulani people of the Sahel (54% in Niger and Cameroon), and Chadic tribes of northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon (especially among the Kirdi), where it is observed at a frequency ranging from 30% to 95% of men. According to Cruciani et al. (2010) R1b-V88 would have crossed the Sahara between 9,200 and 5,600 years ago, and is most probably associated with the diffusion of Chadic languages, a branch of the Afroasiatic languages.

V88 would have migrated from Egypt to Sudan, then expanded along the Sahel until northern Cameroon and Nigeria. However, R1b-V88 is not only present among Chadic speakers, but also among Senegambian speakers (Fula-Hausa) and Semitic speakers (Berbers, Arabs).

R1b-V88 is found among the native populations of Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau. The wide distribution of V88 in all parts of Africa, its incidence among herding tribes, and the coalescence age of the haplogroup all support a Neolithic dispersal. In any case, a later migration out of Egypt would be improbable since it would have brought haplogroups that came to Egypt during the Bronze Age, such as J1, J2, R1a or R1b-L23.

The maternal lineages associated with the spread of R1b-V88 in Africa are mtDNA haplogroups J1b, U5 and V, and perhaps also U3 and some H subclades.

The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. It migrated from the Middle East to the North Caucasus, founded the Maykop culture and spread the Bronze Age to the steppes then to Europe. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs.

With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals. The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars and goats led to their progressive taming.

Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.

The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains.

The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words the “original homeland” of R1b.

The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. One branch (M335) remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment.

A second branch migrated south to the Levant, where it became the V88 branch. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel.

The third branch (P297), crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.

It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In the latter case, M73 might not be an Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.

R1b-M269 (the most common form in Europe) is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times, from the Atlantic coast of Europe to the Indian subcontinent, which comprised almost all Europe (except Finland, Sardinia and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Anatolia, Armenia, European Russia, southern Siberia, many pockets around Central Asia (notably in Xinjiang, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan), without forgetting Iran, Pakistan, northern India and Nepal. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.

Haplogroup J2

Haplogroup J2 is thought to have appeared somewhere in the Middle East towards the end of the last glaciation, between 15,000 and 22,000 years ago. Its present geographic distribution argue in favour of a Neolithic expansion from the Fertile Crescent.

This expansion probably correlated with the diffusion of domesticated of cattle and goats (starting c. 8000-9000 BCE) from the Zagros mountains and northern Mesopotamia, rather than with the development of cereal agriculture in the Levant (which appears to be linked rather to haplogroups G2 and E1b1b).

A second expansion of J2 could have occured with the advent of metallurgy, notably copper working (from the Lower Danube valley, central Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia), and the rise of some of the oldest civilisations.

Quite a few ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations flourished in territories where J2 lineages were preponderant. This is the case of the Hattians, the Hurrians, the Etruscans, the Minoans, the Greeks, the Phoenicians (and their Carthaginian offshoot), the Israelites, and to a lower extent also the Romans, the Assyrians and the Persians. All the great seafaring civilisations from the middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age were dominated by J2 men.

There is a distinct association of ancient J2 civilisations with bull worship. The oldest evidence of a cult of the bull can be traced back to Neolithic central Anatolia, notably at the sites of Çatalhöyük and Alaca Höyük. Bull depictions are omnipresent in Minoan frescos and ceramics in Crete.

Bull-masked terracotta figurines and bull-horned stone altars have been found in Cyprus (dating back as far as the Neolithic, the first presumed expansion of J2 from West Asia). The Hattians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Canaaites, and Carthaginians all had bull deities (in contrast with Indo-European or East Asian religions).

The sacred bull of Hinduism, Nandi, present in all temples dedicated to Shiva or Parvati, does not have an Indo-European origin, but can be traced back to Indus Valley civilisation. Minoan Crete, Hittite Anatolia, the Levant, Bactria and the Indus Valley also shared a tradition of bull leaping, the ritual of dodging the charge of a bull. It survives today in the traditional bullfighting of Andalusia in Spain and Provence in France, two regions with a high percentage of J2 lineages.

The region of origin of J2 is still unclear at present. It is likely that J2 men had settled over most of Anatolia, the South Caucasus and Iran by the end of the Last Glaciation 12,000 years ago. It is possible that J2 hunter-gatherers then goat/sheep herders also lived in the Fertile Crescent during the Neolithic period, although the development of early cereal agriculture is thought to have been conducted by men belonging primarily to haplogroups E1b1b and G2a.

The first expansion of J2 into Europe probably happened during the Late Glacial and immediate postglacial periods (c. 16 to 10 kya), when Anatolian hunter-gatherers moved into the Balkans. This migration would have included J2b and E-V13 male lineages and assorted J and T maternal lineages (presumably J1c, J2a1, T1a1, T2a1b, T2b, T2e and T2f1).

This population would have occupied the modern regions of western Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Bulgaria. When farmers and herders expanded from the Fertile Crescent during the Early Neolithic, they would have blended with one another before expanding towards Central Europe and Italy.

J2b seems to have split in two subclades soon after leaving Anatolia, with J2b1 being found mostly in western Anatolia and Greece, while J2b2 expanded from the Balkans to most of Europe, to Central Asia, India and back to the Middle East.

It is very likely that J2a, J1 and G2a were the three dominant male lineages the Early Bronze Age Kura-Araxes culture, which expanded from the South Caucasus to eastern Anatolia, northern Mesopotamia and the western Iran. From then on, J2 men would have definitely have represented a sizeable portion of the population of Bronze and Iron Age civilizations such as the Hurrians, the Assyrians or the Hittites.

Haplogroup G

Haplogroup G descends from macro-haplogroup F, which is thought to represent the second major migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa, at least 60,000 years ago.

While the earlier migration of haplogroups C and D had followed the coasts of South Asia as far as Oceania and the Far East, haplogroup F penetrated through the Arabian peninsula and settled in the Middle East. Its main branch, macro-haplogroup IJK would become the ancestor of 80% of modern Eurasian people.

Haplogroup G had a slow start, evolving in apparent isolation for tens of thousands of years, possibly in Southwest Asia, cut off from the wave of colonisation of Eurasia.

As of early 2014, there were 286 mutations (SNPs) defining haplogroup G, confirming that this paternal lineage experienced a severe bottleneck before splitting into happlogroups G1 and G2.

Haplogroup G1 might have originated around modern Iran, while G2 would have developed in Southwest Asia during the Upper Paleolithic, probably in the Late Glacial period (19,000 to 12,000 years ago). At that time humans would all have been hunter-gatherers, and in most cases living in small nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes.

Members of haplogroup G2 appear to have been closely linked to the development of early agriculture in the Levant part of the Fertile Crescent, starting 11,500 years before present. The G2a branch expanded to Anatolia, the Caucasus and Europe, while G2b ended up secluded in the southern Levant and is now found mostly among Jewish people.

It has now been proven by the testing of Neolithic remains in various parts of Europe that haplogroup G2a was one of the lineages of Neolithic farmers and herders who migrated from Anatolia to Europe between 9,000 and 6,000 years ago.

In this scenario migrants from the eastern Mediterranean would have brought with them sheep and goats, which were domesticated south of the Caucasus about 12,000 years ago. This would explain why haplogroup G is more common in mountainous areas, be it in Europe or in Asia.

There has so far been ancient Y-DNA analysis from only four Neolithic cultures (LBK in Germany, Remedello in Italy and Cardium Pottery in south-west France and Spain), and all sites yielded G2a individuals, which is the strongest evidence at present that farming originated with and was disseminated by members of haplogroup G (although probably in collaboration with other haplogroups such as E1b1b, J, R1b and T).

The highest genetic diversity within haplogroup G is found between the Levant and the Caucasus, in the Fertile Crescent, which is a good indicator of its region of origin. It is thought that early Neolithic farmers expanded from the Levant and Mesopotamia westwards to Anatolia and Europe, eastwards to South Asia, and southwards to the Arabian peninsula and North and East Africa.

The domestication of goats and cows first took place in the mountainous region of eastern Anatolia, including the Caucasus and Zagros. This is probably where the roots of haplogroup G2a (and perhaps of all haplogroup G) are to be found. So far, the only G2a people negative for subclades downstream of P15 or L149.1 were found exclusively in the South Caucasus region.

Uruk

Uruk (Cuneiform: UNUG; Sumerian: Unug; Akkadian: Uruk; Aramaic/Hebrew: Erech; Ancient Greek: Orchoē, Arabic: Warkā) was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river, on the dried-up, ancient channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq.

Uruk is the type site for the Uruk period. Uruk played a leading role in the early urbanization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC. At its height c. 2900 BC, Uruk probably had 50,000–80,000 residents living in 6 km2 of walled area; making it the largest city in the world at the time. The legendary king Gilgamesh, according to the chronology presented in the Sumerian king list, ruled Uruk in the 27th century BC.

The city lost its prime importance around 2000 BC, in the context of the struggle of Babylonia with Elam, but it remained inhabited throughout the Seleucid and Parthian periods until it was finally abandoned shortly before or after the Islamic conquest.

The site of Uruk was visited in 1849 by William Kennett Loftus who led the first excavations from 1850 to 1854. The Arabic name of Babylonia, al-ʿIrāq, is thought to be derived from the name Uruk, via Aramaic (Erech) and possibly Middle Persian (Erāq) transmission.

In addition to being one of the first cities, Uruk was the main force of urbanization during the Uruk period (4000–3200 BC). This period of 800 years saw a shift from small, agricultural villages to a larger urban center with a full-time bureaucracy, military, and stratified society.

The Uruk period culture exported by Sumerian traders and colonists had an effect on all surrounding peoples, who gradually evolved their own comparable, competing economies and cultures. Ultimately, Uruk could not maintain long-distance control over colonies such as Tell Brak by military force.

Geographic factors underpin Uruk’s unprecedented growth. The city was located in the southern part of Mesopotamia, an ancient site of civilization, on the Euphrates rivers.

Through the gradual and eventual domestication of native grains from the Zagros foothills and extensive irrigation techniques, the area supported a vast variety of edible vegetation. This domestication of grain and its proximity to rivers enabled Uruk’s growth into the largest Sumerian settlement, in both population and area, with relative ease.

Uruk’s agricultural surplus and large population base facilitated processes such as trade, specialization of crafts and the evolution of writing. Evidence from excavations, such as extensive pottery and the earliest known tablets of writing, support these events.

Excavation of Uruk is highly complex because older buildings were recycled into newer ones, thus blurring the layers of different historic periods. The topmost layer most likely originated in the Jemdet Nasr period (3100–2900 BC) and is built on structures from earlier periods dating back to the Ubaid period.

Kish Civilization

Semitic is an offshoot of a northern family of Afroasiatic languages, including Berber, and possibly Egyptian. It then entered the Levant and was possibly spread by what Juris Zarins calls the Syro-Arabian nomadic pastoralism complex, spreading south along the shores of the Red Sea and northeast around the edge of the “Fertile Crescent”. It is thought that Semitic speakers then crossed from South Arabia back into Eritrea.

The Kish civilization or tradition is a term coined by Ignace Gelb to indicate the early East Semitic period in Mesopotamia and the Levant starting in the early 4th millennium BC and including the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.

The East-Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC. This early East Semitic culture is characterized by linguistic, literary and orthographic similarities extending from Ebla in the west to Abu Salabikh in the East.

The personal names from the Sumerian city of Kish show an East Semitic nature and reveals that the city population had a strong Semitic component from the dawn of recorded history, Gelb consider Kish to be the center of this civilization hence the naming.

The similarities included the using of a writing system that utilized non-Sumerian Logograms, the use of the same system in naming the months of the year, dating by regnal years and a similar measuring system among many other similarities.

However Gelb doesn’t assume the existence of a single authority ruling those lands as each city had its own monarchical system, in addition to some linguistic differences for while the languages of Mari and Ebla were closely related, Kish represented an independent East-Semitic linguistic entity that spoke a dialect (Kishite), different from both pre-Sargonic Akkadian and the Ebla-Mari language. The Kish Civlization is considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC.

“Dragon bloodline”

I think I have a general handle on how the so-called “dragon bloodline” has manifested in the real world. Below I will attempt to plot, in a very general and simplistic fashion, the meandering of the main branches of this so-called dragon, however I don’t contend that there is a literal blood connection between the ancient Sumerians and Egyptian Pharaohs to the present … I doubt that there is (… though there might, and some might believe it to be so).

I simply see that there is a cultural connection apparent and that the movement of the concept of  rule by divine right and the traditions of conquering culture can be traced. The arrows below don’t represent the movements of people so much as the movements of leadership and ideas associated with “dragon culture”.

It started amid a quartet of locales, between which advanced heirarchical society apparently evolved over many centuries (circa, 5 thousand years ago?) … primarily Egypt, Canaan, Sumer and Crete.

Dragon bloodline

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The Sumerian pantheon

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 15, 2015

The Sumerian pantheon

An (god of the sky), along with Enlil (god of the air), Enki (god of water) and Ninhursag, a mother goddess of the mountains, were gods of the Sumerians. In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively.

The purely theoretical character of Anu is thus still further emphasized, and in the annals and votive inscriptions as well as in the incantations and hymns, he is rarely introduced as an active force to whom a personal appeal can be made.

According to legends, heaven and earth were once inseparable until Enlil was born; Enlil, god of the air, cleaved heaven and earth in two. An carried away heaven. Ki, in company with Enlil, took the earth. But Anu spent so much time on the ground protecting the Sumerians he left her in Heaven and then met Innin, whom he renamed Innan, or, “Queen of Heaven”. She was later known as Ishtar (Inanna). By Uras he was the father of Nin’insinna.

An (Nammu, Antu, Ki, Urash, Inanna)

An, the sky-god, was the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons, and dwelt in the highest heavenly regions. An existed in Sumerian cosmogony as a dome that covered the flat earth; Outside of this dome was the primordial body of water known as Tiamat.

By virtue of being the first figure in a triad consisting of Anu, Enlil, and Enki, Anu came to be regarded as the father and at first, king of the gods. It was believed that he had the power to judge those who had committed crimes, and that he had created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. His attribute was the royal tiara. His attendant and minister of state was the god Ilabrat. An had several consorts, the foremost being Nammu, Ki (earth), and Urash.

Anu is so prominently associated with the E-anna temple in the city of Uruk (biblical Erech) in Southern Babylonia that there are good reasons for believing this place to be the original seat of the Anu cult. If this is correct, then the goddess Inanna (or Ishtar) of Uruk may at one time have been his consort.

In the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish, Anshar (also spelled Anshur), which means “sky pivot” or “sky axle”, is a sky god. He is the husband of his sister Kishar. They might both represent heaven (an) and earth (ki).

Both are the second generation of gods; their parents being the serpents Lahmu and Lahamu and grandparents Tiamat and Abzu. They, in turn, are the parents of Anu, another sky god. During the reign of Sargon II, Assyrians started to identify Anshar with their Assur in order to let him star in their version of Enuma Elish.

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

Nammu

In the text ‘Creator of the Hoe’, she completed the birth of mankind after the heads had been uncovered by Enki’s hoe. In creation texts, Ninmah (another name for Ninhursag) acts as a midwife whilst the mother goddess Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically NAMMA = ENGUR), a primeval goddess, corresponding to Tiamat in Babylonian mythology, makes different kinds of human individuals from lumps of clay at a feast given by Enki to celebrate the creation of humankind.

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

Nammu is not well attested in Sumerian mythology. She may have been of greater importance prehistorically, before Enki took over most of her functions. An indication of her continued relevance may be found in the theophoric name of Ur-Nammu, the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur. According to the Neo-Sumerian mythological text Enki and Ninmah, Enki is the son of An and Nammu. Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”. It is she who has the idea of creating mankind, and she goes to wake up Enki, who is asleep in the Apsu, so that he may set the process going.

The Atrahasis-Epos has it that Enlil requested from Nammu the creation of humans. And Nammu told him that with the help of Enki (her son) she can create humans in the image of gods. Reay Tannahill in Sex in History (1980) singled out Nammu as the “only female prime mover” in the cosmogonic myths of antiquity.

Engur/Abzu

Engur (Cuneiform: LAGAB×HAL; Sumerian: engur; Akkadian: engurru), also called the Abzu (Cuneiform: ZU.AB; Sumerian: abzu; Akkadian: apsû) literally, ab=’ocean’ zu=’deep’ was the name for the primeval sea below the void space of the underworld (Kur) and the earth (Ma) above.

It may also refer to fresh water from underground aquifers that were given a religious fertilizing quality. Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, and other sources of fresh water were thought to draw their water from the abzu.

In the city of Eridu, Enki’s temple was known as E-abzu (house of the cosmic waters) and was located at the edge of a swamp, an abzu. Certain tanks of holy water in Babylonian and Assyrian temple courtyards were also called abzu (apsû). Typical in religious washing, these tanks were similar to the washing pools of Islamic mosques, or the baptismal font in Christian churches.

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

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

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

Ki

By Ki, An was the father of, among others, the Anunnaki gods, the most prominent of these deities being Enlil, god of the air. Ki later developed into the Akkadian goddess Antu (also known as “Keffen Anu”, “Kef”, and “Keffenk Anum”), consort of the god Anu (from Sumerian An). She was the first consort of Anu, and the pair was the parents of the Anunnaki and the Utukki.

As an earth goddess in Sumerian mythology, Ki was the chief consort of An, the sky god. In some legends Ki and An were brother and sister, being the offspring of Anshar (“Sky Pivot”) and Kishar (“Earth Pivot”), earlier personifications of heaven and earth.

Uraš

Uraš or Urash, in Sumerian mythology is a goddess of earth, and one of the consorts of the sky god Anu. She is the mother of the goddess Ninsun (“lady wild cow”) and a grandmother of the hero Gilgamesh.

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

From Sumerian texts, the language used to describe Urash is very similar to the language used to describe Ninhursag. Therefore, the two goddess may be one and the same.

Inanna/Inara/Ishtar/Ishara

Pisces (Inanna)

Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. She 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 the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, which originates from the Pisces constellation. In western astrology this sign is no longer aligned with the constellation because of the precession of the equinoxes. Pisces is represented by a pair of fish that are swimming in opposite directions, but remain held together at the tail by a cord. In astrology, Pisces is considered a feminine sign or negative sign. It is also a water sign, and is one of four mutable signs.

Being the twelfth sign, Pisces is associated with the astrological 12th house. Pisces has been traditionally ruled by the planet Jupiter, but since its discovery, Neptune has been considered a modern ruler of this sign. Some astrologers mostly use one to the exception of the other, but some consider them to be co-rulers of this sign and essentially use both.

Individuals born when the Sun was in this sign are considered Pisces individuals. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun is in Pisces roughly from February 19 to March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently there roughly from March 15 to April 13.

As a constellation, Pisces has been almost universally associated with female deities. The pisces symbol (the H ) is often assosiated with Helen of troy. Beauty and love. One of the most popular stories regarding the mythological origin of Pisces is the story of Aphrodite and Eros.

The story involves Aphrodite and her son Eros escaping from the terrible monster Typhon by turning themselves into fish and hiding underwater until it was safe to come back to the surface. As fish, they tied their tails together with a cord so that they wouldn’t lose one another while swimming in the darkness of the deep water. Upon hearing their tale, Zeus rewarded the pair by placing them among the stars as the constellation of Pisces.

Haya (Nunbarsegunu, Nisaba)

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

In the god-list AN = dA-nu-um preserved on manuscripts of the first millennium he is mentioned together with dlugal-[ki-sá-a], a divinity associated with door-keepers. Already in the Ur III period Haya had received offerings together with offerings to the “gate”. This was presumably because of the location of one of his shrines.

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

While there is plenty of evidence to connect Haya with scribes, the evidence connecting him with grain is mainly restricted to etymological considerations, which are unreliable and suspect.

There is also a divine name Haia(-)amma in a bilingual Hattic-Hittite text from Anatolia which is used as an equivalent for the Hattic grain-goddess Kait in an invocation to the Hittite grain-god Halki, although it is unclear whether this appellation can be related to dha-ià.

Haya is also characterised, beyond being the spouse of Nidaba/Nissaba, as an “agrig”-official of the god Enlil. The god-list AN = Anu ša amēli (lines 97-98) designates him as “the Nissaba of wealth”, as opposed to his wife, who is the “Nissaba of Wisdom”.

Most commonly Ninlil is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba)

Nunbarsegunu

Nunbarsegunu is an obscure mother goddess and goddess of barley in Mesopotamian (Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian) mythology. Mentioned in creation texts as the ‘old woman of Nippur’, she is identified as the mother of Ninlil, the air goddess. Ninbarsegunu instructs her daughter in the arts of obtaining the attentions of Enlil.

Nisaba

Nanibgal (NÁNIBGAL), also Nisaba or Nidaba (NÍDABA, NIDABA) was the Sumerian goddess of writing, learning, and the harvest. Her sanctuaries were E-zagin at Eresh and at Umma. On a depiction found in Lagash, she appears with flowing hair, crowned with horned tiara bearing supporting ears of grain and a crescent moon. Her dense hair is evoked in comparison in the description of similarly hairy Enkidu in the Gilgamesh epic. Her glory attracted her fall: her scribal functions were usurped by the god Nabu as he rose to power in the Old Babylonian period.

Nidaba reflects fundamental developments in the creation of Mesopotamian culture, those which take us from agriculture to accounting, to a very fine literary tradition. Nidaba was originally an agricultural deity, more specifically a goddess of grain. The intricate connection between agriculture and accounting/writing implied that it was not long before Nidaba became the goddess of writing. From then on her main role was to be the patron of scribes. She was eventually replaced in that function by the god Nabu.

As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba’s exact place in the pantheon and her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous. Traditions vary regarding the genealogy of Nidaba. She appears on separate occasions as the daughter of Enlil, of Uraš, of Ea, and of Anu. Nidaba’s spouse is Haya and together they have a daughter, Sud/Ninlil.

Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta. In some other tales, she is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

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

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

The god of wisdom, Enki, organized the world after creation and gave each deity a role in the world order. Nisaba was named the scribe of the gods, and Enki then built her a school of learning so that she could better serve those in need. She keeps records, chronicles events, and performs various other bookwork related duties for the gods. She is also in charge of marking regional borders.

She is the chief scribe of Nanshe. On the first day of the new year, she and Nanshe work together to settle disputes between mortals and give aid to those in need. Nisaba keeps record of the visitors seeking aid and then arranges them into a line to stand before Nanshe, who will then judge them. Nisaba is also seen as a caretaker for Ninhursag’s temple at Kesh, where she gives commands and keeps temple records.

The goddess of writing and teaching, she was often praised by Sumerian scribes. She is considered the teacher of both mortal scribes and other divine deities. In the Babylonian period, she was replaced by the god Nabu, who took over her functions. In some instances, Nisaba was his instructor or wife before he replaced her.

As the goddess of knowledge, she is related to many other facets of intellectual study and other gods may turn to her for advice or aid. Some of these traits are shared with her sister Ninsina. She is also associate with grain, reflecting her association with an earth goddess mother.

Enlil (Ninlil, Ereshkigal)

Enlil (nlin) (EN = Lord + LÍL = Wind, “Lord (of the) Storm”) is the God of breath, wind, loft and breadth (height and distance). Enlil was known as the inventor of the mattock (a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax or digging tool of the Sumerians) and helped plants to grow.

It was the name of a chief deity listed and written about in Sumerian religion, and later in Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian), Hittite, Canaanite and other Mesopotamian clay and stone tablets. The name is perhaps pronounced and sometimes rendered in translations as “Ellil” in later Akkadian, Hittite, and Canaanite literature. In later Akkadian, Enlil is the son of Anshar and Kishar.

The myth of Enlil and Ninlil discusses when Enlil was a young god, he was banished from Ekur in Nippur, home of the gods, to Kur, the underworld for seducing a goddess named Ninlil. Ninlil followed him to the underworld where she bore his first child, the moon god Sin (Sumerian Nanna/Suen). After fathering three more underworld-deities (substitutes for Sin), Enlil was allowed to return to the Ekur.

Enlil is associated with the ancient city of Nippur, sometimes referred to as the cult city of Enlil. His temple was named Ekur, “House of the Mountain.” Such was the sanctity acquired by this edifice that Babylonian and Assyrian rulers, down to the latest days, vied with one another to embellish and restore Enlil’s seat of worship. Eventually, the name Ekur became the designation of a temple in general.

Grouped around the main sanctuary, there arose temples and chapels to the gods and goddesses who formed his court, so that Ekur became the name for an entire sacred precinct in the city of Nippur. The name “mountain house” suggests a lofty structure and was perhaps the designation originally of the staged tower at Nippur, built in imitation of a mountain, with the sacred shrine of the god on the top.

Enlil was also known as the god of weather. According to the Sumerians, Enlil requested the creation of a slave race, but then got tired of their noise and tried to kill them by sending a flood. A mortal known as Utnapishtim survived the flood through the help of another god, Ea, and he was made immortal by Enlil after Enlil’s initial fury had subsided.

As Enlil was the only god who could reach An, the god of heaven, he held sway over the other gods who were assigned tasks by his agent and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50.

At a very early period prior to 3000 BC, Nippur had become the centre of a political district of considerable extent. Inscriptions found at Nippur, where extensive excavations were carried on during 1888–1900 by John P. Peters and John Henry Haynes, under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, show that Enlil was the head of an extensive pantheon. Among the titles accorded to him are “king of lands”, “king of heaven and earth”, and “father of the gods”.

By his wife Ninlil or Sud, Enlil was father of the moon god Nanna/Suen (in Akkadian, Sin) and of Ninurta (also called Ningirsu). Enlil is the father of Nisaba the goddess of grain, of Pabilsag who is sometimes equated with Ninurta, and sometimes of Enbilulu. By Ereshkigal Enlil was father of Namtar.

In one myth, Enlil gives advice to his son, the god Ninurta, advising him on a strategy to slay the demon Asag. This advice is relayed to Ninurta by way of Sharur, his enchanted talking mace, which had been sent by Ninurta to the realm of the gods to seek counsel from Enlil directly.

Triangulum (Enlil)

Triangulum is a small constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for “triangle”, derived from its three brightest stars, which form a long and narrow triangle. In the Babylonian star catalogues, Triangulum, together with Gamma Andromedae, formed the constellation known as MULAPIN, “The Plough”.

It is notable as the first constellation presented on (and giving its name to) a pair of tablets containing canonical star lists that were compiled around 1000 BC, the MUL.APIN. The Plough was the first constellation of the “Way of Enlil”—that is, the northernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, which corresponds to the 45 days on either side of summer solstice. Its first appearance in the pre-dawn sky (heliacal rising) in February marked the time to begin Spring ploughing in Mesopotamia.

The Ancient Greeks called Triangulum Deltoton (Δελτωτόν), as the constellation resembled an upper-case Greek letter delta (Δ). It was transliterated by Roman writers, then later Latinised as Deltotum. Greek astronomers such as Hipparchos and Ptolemy called it Trigonon (Τρίγωνον), and later, it was Romanized as Trigonum. Other names referring to its shape include Tricuspis and Triquetrum. Alpha and Beta Trianguli were called Al Mīzān, which is Arabic for “The Scale Beam”.

Eratosthenes linked it with the Nile Delta, while the Roman writer Hyginus associated it with the triangular island of Sicily, formerly known as Trinacria due to its shape. It was also called Sicilia, because the Romans believed Ceres, patron goddess of Sicily, begged Jupiter to place the island in the heavens.

In Chinese astronomy, Gamma Andromedae and neighbouring stars including Beta, Gamma and Delta Trianguli were called Teen Ta Tseang Keun (“Heaven’s great general”), representing honour in astrology and a great general in mythology.

A small constellation, Triangulum is bordered by Andromeda to the north and west, Pisces to the west and south, Aries to the south, and Perseus to the east. The centre of the constellation lies half way between Gamma Andromedae and Alpha Arietis.

The Big Dipper (US) or Plough (UK) is an asterism (not a constellation) of seven stars recognized as a distinct grouping in many cultures. These stars are the brightest of the formal constellation Ursa Major; six of them are second magnitude stars, while only Megrez (δ) is of third magnitude. The North Star (Polaris), the current northern pole star on Earth, can be located by extending an imaginary line from Merak (β) through Dubhe (α). This makes it useful in celestial navigation.

Ninlil

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, is the consort goddess of Enlil.

Her parentage is variously described. Most commonly she is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba). Another Akkadian source says she is the daughter of Anu (aka An) and Antu (Sumerian Ki). Other sources call her a daughter of Anu and Nammu.

In Enuma Elish Anshar’s spouse was Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”). They do evil, unspeakable things. Then, Abzu decides to try to destroy them. They both hear of the plan and kill him first. Tiamat gets outraged and gives birth to 11 children. They then kill them both and then are outmatched by anyone.

Marduk (God of rain/thunder/lightning) kills Tiamat by wrapping a net around her and summoning the 4 winds to make her swell, then Marduk shoots an arrow into her and kills her. Half of her body is then divided to create the heavens and the Earth. He uses her tears to make rivers on Earth and take her blood to make humans.

It is worth noting that there are clear similarities with the older Tiamat myth story, where Enki (later Ea) recognises that Apsu / Abzu is angry at the chaos the younger gods have created and intends to destroy them, so captures Absu himself. In this version Marduk is also the one to kill Tiamat, though it is she rather than Apsu who creates and sets the 11 children.

Ninlil lived in Dilmun with her family. Raped and ravaged by her husband Enlil, who impregnated her with water, she conceived a boy, Nanna/Suen, the future moon god. As punishment Enlil was dispatched to the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, where Ninlil joined him.

Enlil impregnated her disguised as the gatekeeper, where upon she gave birth to their son Nergal, god of death. In a similar manner she conceived the underworld god Ninazu when Enlil impregnated her disguised as the man of the river of the nether world, a man-devouring river.

Later Enlil disguised himself as the man of the boat, impregnating her with a fourth deity Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals. All of these act as substitutes for Nanna/Suen to ascend. In some texts Ninlil is also the mother of Ninurta, the heroic god who slew Asag the demon with his mace, Sharur.

After her death, she became the goddess of the wind, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms. As “Lady Wind” she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend.

Ereshkigal

Enki (Ninhursag)

Enki (Sumerian: EN.KI(G)) is a god in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians. He was the deity of crafts (gašam); mischief; water, seawater, lakewater (a, aba, ab), intelligence (gestú, literally “ear”) and creation (Nudimmud: nu, likeness, dim mud, make beer).

He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). 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. Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40,” occasionally referred to as his “sacred number.”

A large number of myths about Enki have been collected from many sites, stretching from Southern Iraq to the Levantine coast. He figures in the earliest extant cuneiform inscriptions throughout the region and was prominent from the third millennium down to Hellenistic times.

The exact meaning of his name is uncertain: the common translation is “Lord of the Earth”: the Sumerian en is translated as a title equivalent to “lord”; it was originally a title given to the High Priest; ki means “earth”; but there are theories that ki in this name has another origin, possibly kig of unknown meaning, or kur meaning “mound”.

Capricorn (Enki)

Enki was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). 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 also associated with the planet Mercury in the Sumerian astrological system.

Capricorn is the tenth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Capricornus. In western astrology, this sign is no longer aligned with the constellation as a result of the precession of the equinoxes. The astrological symbol for Capricorn is said to represent the horns and tail of the goat-fish or sea-goat.

In astrology, Capricorn is considered a “feminine”, negative sign. It is also considered an earth sign and is one of four cardinal signs. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. Being the tenth sign of the zodiac, Capricorn has been associated with the astrological 10th house.

Individuals born when the Sun was in this sign are considered Capricorn individuals. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun is in Capricorn roughly from December 22 to January 19. Under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently there roughly from January 15 to February 12.

Capricorn is associated with the Greek myth of the goat Amalthea, who provided the infant Zeus with milk, or ambrosia in some versions. Zeus placed her in the sky to honor her (Catasterismi). Capricorn is also associated with the god Saturn and the god Aristaeus.

The Capricorn constellation is called “šaxû ibex” in Babylonian. The sun in this month entered the suxûru-fish constellation, called the star of Tashmetum, the wife of Nabu, the god of wisdom and writing in Babylonian legends. The ancient Babylonians revered Nabu because he was the son of Marduk and his wife, Sarpanitum. Finally, Enki or Ea is Nabu’s grandfather.

The goat-fish is known from depictions on Babylonian monuments as a representation of Enki/Ea. Also linked to the Greek God, Pan.

Aquarius

Aquarius is a constellation of the zodiac, situated between Capricornus and Pisces. Its name is Latin for “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier”, and its symbol is a representation of water. Aquarius is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Aquarius.

The astrological symbol for Aquarius is said to represent waves or ripples of water. In western astrology, the sign is no longer aligned with the constellation as a result of the precession on the equinoxes. In astrology, Aquarius is considered a “masculine”, positive (extrovert) sign. It is also considered an air sign and is one of four fixed signs.

Aquarius has been traditionally ruled by the planet Saturn, and, since its discovery, Uranus has been considered a modern ruler of this sign. Being the eleventh sign of the zodiac, Aquarius is associated with the astrological 11th house.

Individuals born when the Sun was in this sign are considered Aquarius individuals. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun is in Aquarius roughly from January 20 to February 18. Under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently there roughly from February 13 to March 14.

The corresponding month in the Babylonian calendar is Arax Šabaṭu, “the destroying month”, also called arax arrat zunne, “month of the curse of rains”, associated with the Great Flood. It is dedicated to Ramman, the storm god.

The zodiacal sign of this month was called GU = Assyrian qâ, the name of a dry-measure. This was associated with Hebrew kad, “pitcher, jar”, presumably in reference to the urn of Aquarius. The name Aquarius of this sign is of occidental origin, while Babylonian astrology symbolizes it with a simple amphora, in reference to the apsû (diluvial) region of the sky.

Aquarius is one of the oldest of the recognized constellations along the zodiac (the sun’s apparent path). It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century AD astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It is found in a region often called the Sea due to its profusion of constellations with watery associations such as Cetus the whale, Pisces the fish, and Eridanus the river.

Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Ea himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase. The Babylonian star-figure appears on entitlement stones and cylinder seals from the second millennium. It contained the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age.

In Old Babylonian astronomy, Ea was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Ea”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. Aquarius was also associated with the destructive floods that the Babylonians regularly experienced, and thus was negatively connoted. In Ancient Egypt, Aquarius was associated with the annual flood of the Nile; the banks were said to flood when Aquarius put his jar into the river, beginning spring.

In the Greek tradition, the constellation became represented as simply a single vase from which a stream poured down to Piscis Austrinus. The name in the Hindu zodiac is likewise kumbha “water-pitcher”, showing that the zodiac reached India via Greek intermediaries.

In Greek mythology, Aquarius is sometimes associated with Troy. The myth has is that a young boy named Ganymede was out tending to his fathers sheep when Zeus took interest in this young beautiful boy. Zeus then turned himself into an eagle and carried Ganymede to mount Ida where Ganymede would have to serve drinks to Zeus, but one day Ganymede didn’t want to serve drinks anymore so he poured out Zeus wine and water which caused a great flood. It was then said instead of Zeus getting mad he gave Ganymede immortality and gave him the constellation Aquarius.

Ninhursag

In Sumerian mythology, Ninhursag was a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the ‘true and great lady of heaven’ (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were ‘nourished by Ninhursag’s milk’.

Nin-hursag means “lady of the sacred mountain” (from Sumerian NIN “lady” and ḪAR.SAG “sacred mountain, foothill”, possibly a reference to the site of her temple, the E-Kur (House of mountain deeps) at Eridu. Her temple, the Esagila (from Sumerian E (temple) + SAG (head) + ILA (lofty)) was located on the KUR of Eridu, although she also had a temple at Kish. She had shrines in both Eridu and Kish.

Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega Ω, has been depicted in art from around 3000 BC, though more generally from the early second millennium. It appears on some boundary stones — on the upper tier, indicating her importance. The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may happen that the two goddesses are connected.

As the wife and consort of Enki she was also referred to as Damgulanna (great wife of heaven) or Damkina (faithful wife). She had many epithets including shassuru or ‘womb goddess’, tabsut ili ‘midwife of the gods’, ‘mother of all children’ and ‘mother of the gods’. In this role she is identified with Ki in the Enuma Elish.

She had many names including Ninmah (“Great Queen”); Nintu (“Lady of Birth”); Mamma or Mami (mother); Aruru, Belet-Ili (lady of the gods, Akkadian). Ninti, the title of Ninhursag, also means “the mother of all living”, and was a title given to the later Hurrian goddess Hebat. This is also the title given in the Bible to Eve, the Hebrew and Aramaic Ḥawwah, who was made from the rib of Adam, in a strange reflection of the Sumerian myth, in which Adam — not Enki — walks in the Garden of Paradise.

Ninhursag relents and takes Enki’s Ab (water, or semen) into her body, and gives birth to gods of healing of each part of the body. Abu for the Jaw, Nintul for the Hip, Ninsutu for the tooth, Ninkasi for the mouth, Dazimua for the side, Enshagag for the Limbs.

The last one, Ninti (Lady Rib), the Sumerian goddess of life, is also a pun on Lady Life, a title of Ninhursag herself. The story thus symbolically reflects the way in which life is brought forth through the addition of water to the land, and once it grows, water is required to bring plants to fruit. It also counsels balance and responsibility, nothing to excess.

Uttu

In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar (“Lady Greenery”). Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra. Ninkurra, in turn, bore Enki a daughter named Uttu. Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn’t care for her.

Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag’s advice buried Enki’s seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. Enki, seeing the plants, ate them, and became ill in eight organs of his body. Ninhursag cured him, taking the plants into her body and giving birth to eight deities: Abu, Nintulla (Nintul), Ninsutu, Ninkasi, Nanshe (Nazi), Azimua, Ninti, and Enshag (Enshagag).

Uttu in Sumerian mythology is the goddess of weaving and clothing. She is both the child of Enki and Ninkur, and she bears seven new child/trees from Enki, the eighth being the Ti (Tree of “Life”, associated with the “Rib”). When Enki then ate Uttu’s children, Ninhursag cursed him with eight wounds and disappears. Uttu in Sumerian means “the woven” and she was illustrated as a spider in a web. She is a goddess in the pantheon.

In Hurrian mythology, the Hutena are goddesses of fate. They are similar to the Norns of Norse mythology or the Moirai of ancient Greece. They are called the Gul Ses (Gul-Shesh; Gulshesh; Gul-ashshesh) in Hittite mythology. It seems that Moira is related with Tekmor (proof, ordinance) and with Ananke (destiny, necessity), who were primeval goddesses in mythical cosmogonies. The ancient Greek writers might call this power Moira or Ananke, and even the gods could not alter what was ordained.

The concept of a universal principle of natural order has been compared to similar concepts in other cultures like the Vedic Rta, the Avestan Asha (Arta) and the Egyptian Maat.In earliest Greek philosophy, the cosmogony of Anaximander is based on these mythical beliefs. The goddess Dike (justice, divine retribution), keeps the order and sets a limit to any actions.

In Greek mythology, the Moirai (Ancient Greek: Μοῖραι, “apportioners”, Latinized as Moerae)—often known in English as the Fates—were the white-robed incarnations of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, euphemistically the “sparing ones”, or Fata; also analogous to the Germanic Norns).

Their number became fixed at three: Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable).They controlled the mother thread of lifestyle of every mortal from birth to death. They were independent, at the helm of necessity, directed fate, and watched that the fate assigned to every being by eternal laws might take its course without obstruction. The gods and men had to submit to them, although Zeus’s relationship with them is a matter of debate: some sources say he is the only one who can command them (the Zeus Moiragetes), yet others suggest he was also bound to the Moirai’s dictates.

In the Homeric poems Moira or Aisa, is related with the limit and end of life, and Zeus appears as the guider of destiny. In the Theogony of Hesiod, the three Moirai are personified, and are acting over the gods. Later they are daughters of Zeus and Themis, who was the embodiment of divine order and law. In Plato’s Republic the Three Fates are daughters of Ananke (necessity).

Ummanu

Throughout Mesopotamia, the Ummanu were the great scribes who wrote the epic poems (among them, the Enuma Elish, Edana, The Epic of Gilgamesh). They were also considered expert astrologers. The Ummanu refers not only to the scribes but also to what they wrote. The Chief Scribe of a king (such as Sargon of Akkad or Assurbanipal) was charged with recording his monarch’s glorious achievements and, by 640 BCE, the written ummanu were considered important enough to include in the King’s Lists.

Manu

After Manu descended the mountain after the water subsided, he was the sole survivor on earth, as all other creatures had been washed away by the floods. Manu then took upon the task of creating the new human race. Seeking procreation, he then started austerities and worshipped gods by performing sacrifices, offering butter, milk, curds and ghee (clarified butter) to the sacrificial fire. Within a year, his prayers were answered. A beautiful woman called Ida appeared and he married her, and together they initiated the race of Manu, as Aryans called themselves.

Mannea

The Mannaeans (country name usually Mannea; Akkadian: Mannai, possibly Biblical Minni) were an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran south of lake Urmia, around the 10th to 7th centuries BC. At that time they were neighbors of the empires of Assyria and Urartu, as well as other small buffer states between the two, such as Musasir and Zikirta.

In the Hebrew Bible (Jeremiah 51:27) the Mannaeans are called Minni. In the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906), Minni is identified with Armenia, but it could refer to one of the provinces in ancient Armenia; Minni, Ararat and Ashkenaz. According to examinations of the place and personal names found in Assyrian and Urartian texts, the Mannaeans, or at least their rulers, spoke Hurrian language related to Urartian.

Matsya

The creation of man

After six generations of gods, in the Babylonian “Enuma Elish”, in the seventh generation, (Akkadian “shapattu” or sabath), the younger Igigi gods, the sons and daughters of Enlil and Ninlil, go on strike and refuse their duties of keeping the creation working.

Abzu God of fresh water, co-creator of the cosmos, threatens to destroy the world with his waters, and the Gods gather in terror. Enki promises to help and puts Abzu to sleep, confining him in irrigation canals and places him in the Kur, beneath his city of Eridu. But the universe is still threatened, as Tiamat, angry at the imprisonment of Abzu and at the prompting of her son and vizier Kingu, decides to take back the creation herself.

The gods gather again in terror and turn to Enki for help, but Enki who harnessed Abzu, Tiamat’s consort, for irrigation refuses to get involved. The gods then seek help elsewhere, and the patriarchal Enlil, their father, God of Nippur, promises to solve the problem if they make him King of the Gods. In the Babylonian tale, Enlil’s role is taken by Marduk, Enki’s son, and in the Assyrian version it is Asshur.

After dispatching Tiamat with the “arrows of his winds” down her throat and constructing the heavens with the arch of her ribs, Enlil places her tail in the sky as the Milky Way, and her crying eyes become the source of the Tigris and Euphrates.

But there is still the problem of “who will keep the cosmos working”. Enki, who might have otherwise come to their aid, is lying in a deep sleep and fails to hear their cries. His mother Nammu (creatrix also of Abzu and Tiamat) “brings the tears of the gods” before Enki and says “Oh my son, arise from thy bed, from thy (slumber), work what is wise. Fashion servants for the Gods, may they produce their (bread?)”. Enki then advises that they create a servant of the gods, humankind, out of clay and blood.

Kingu, also spelled Qingu, meaning “unskilled laborer,” was a god in Babylonian mythology, and — after the murder of his father Abzu — the consort of the goddess Tiamat, his mother, who wanted to establish him as ruler and leader of all gods before she was slain by Marduk.

Tiamat gave Kingu the 3 Tablets of Destiny, which he wore as a breastplate and which gave him great power. She placed him as the general of her army. However, like Tiamat, Kingu was eventually slain by Marduk.

Marduk mixed Kingu’s blood with earth and used the clay to mold the first human beings, while Tiamat’s body created the earth and the skies. Kingu then went to live in the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, along with the other deities who had sided with Tiamat.

Against Enki’s wish the Gods decide to slay Kingu and Enki finally consents to use Kingu’s blood to make the first human, with whom Enki always later has a close relationship, the first of the seven sages, seven wise men or “Abgallu” (Ab = water, Gal = great, Lu = Man), also known as Adapa.

Adapa

Enki assembles a team of divinities to help him, creating a host of “good and princely fashioners”. Adapa, the first man fashioned, later goes and acts as the advisor to the King of Eridu, when in the Sumerian Kinglist, the “Me” of “kingship descends on Eridu”.

Adapa was a mortal man from a godly lineage, a son of Ea (Enki in Sumerian), the god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, who brought the arts of civilization to that city (from Dilmun, according to some versions).

Adapa, a man of Eridu, is depicted as an early culture hero. Identified with U-an, a half-human creature from the sea (Abgallu, from ab=water, gal=big, lu=man), he was considered to have brought civilization to the city during the time of King Alulim.

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

He broke the wings of Ninlil the South Wind, who had overturned his fishing boat, and was called to account before Anu. Ea, 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 Dalley 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.

Apkallu

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages, demigods who are said to have been created by the god Enki (Akkadian: Ea), the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation and to establish culture and give civilization to mankind. They served as priests of Enki and as advisors or sages to the earliest kings of Sumer before the flood.

The first of these, Adapa, the first sage’s association with water, 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 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. The word Abgallu (Ab = water, Gal = great, Lu = man, Sumerian) or Apkallu (Akkadian) survived into Nabatean times, around the 1st century, as apkallum, used to describe the profession of a certain kind of priest.

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 advisors 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: 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 have 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.

Enoch is a figure in Biblical literature. In addition to an appearance in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, Enoch is the subject of many Jewish and Christian writings.

Eridu

Eridu (Cuneiform: NUN.KI; Sumerian: eriduki; Akkadian: irîtu modern Arabic: Tell Abu Shahrain) is an archaeological site in southern Mesopotamia (modern Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq).

In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was originally the home of Enki, later known by the Akkadians as Ea, who was considered to have founded the city. His temple was called E-Abzu, as Enki was believed to live in Abzu, an aquifer from which all life was believed to stem.

In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was the home of the Abzu temple of the god Enki, the Sumerian counterpart of the Akkadian water-god Ea. Like all the Sumerian and Babylonian gods, Enki/Ea began as a local god, who came to share, according to the later cosmology, with Anu and Enlil, the rule of the cosmos. His kingdom was the sweet waters that lay below earth (Sumerian ab=water; zu=far).

The king list gave particularly long rules to the kings who ruled before a great flood occurred, and shows how the center of power progressively moved from the south to the north of the country.

In the court of Assyria, special physicians trained in the ancient lore of Eridu, far to the south, foretold the course of sickness from signs and portents on the patient’s body, and offered the appropriate incantations and magical resources as cures.

The Abzu (Cuneiform: ZU.AB; Sumerian: abzu; Akkadian: apsû) also called engur, (Cuneiform: LAGAB×HAL; Sumerian: engur; Akkadian: engurru) literally, ab=’ocean’ zu=’deep’ was the name for the primeval sea below the void space of the underworld (Kur) and the earth (Ma) above. It may also refer to fresh water from underground aquifers that was given a religious fertilizing quality. Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, and other sources of fresh water were thought to draw their water from the abzu.

In the city of Eridu, Enki’s temple was known as E-abzu (house of the cosmic waters) and was located at the edge of a swamp, an abzu. Certain tanks of holy water in Babylonian and Assyrian temple courtyards were also called abzu (apsû). Typical in religious washing, these tanks were similar to the washing pools of Islamic mosques, or the baptismal font in Christian churches.

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

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

In his connections with Inanna, Enki shows other aspects of his non-Patriarchal nature. The myth Enki and Inanna tells the story of the young goddess of the É-anna temple of Uruk, who visits the senior god of Eridu, and is entertained by him in a feast. The seductive god plies her with beer, and the young goddess maintains her virtue, whilst Enki proceeds to get drunk. In generosity he gives her all the gifts of his Me, the gifts of civilized life.

Next morning, with a hangover, he asks his servant Isimud for his Me, only to be informed that he has given them to Inanna. Upset at his actions, he sends Galla demons to recover them. Inanna escapes her pursuers and arrives safely back at the quay at Uruk. Enki realises that he has been tricked in his hubris and accepts a peace treaty forever with Uruk.

Politically, this myth would seem to indicate events of an early period when political authority passed from Enki’s city of Eridu to Inanna’s city of Uruk.

Alulim

Alulim was the first king of Eridu, and the first king of Sumer, according to the mythological antediluvian section of the Sumerian King List. Enki, the god of Eridu, is said to have brought civilization to Sumer at this point, or just shortly before.

Alalu is god in Hurrian mythology. He is considered to have housed “the Hosts of Sky”, the divine family, because he was a progenitor of the gods, and possibly the father of Earth.

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

Alalu was a primeval deity of the Hurrian mythology. After nine years of reign, Alalu was defeated by his son Anu. Anuʻs son Kumarbi also defeated his father, and his son Teshub defeated him, too. Alalu fled to the underworld.

Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian creation myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

The Sumerian King List has the following entry for Alulim: “After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug (Eridu). In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28,800 years.”

In a chart of antediluvian generations in Babylonian and Biblical traditions, Professor William Wolfgang Hallo associates Alulim with the composite half-man, half-fish counselor or culture hero (Apkallu) Uanna-Adapa (Oannes), and suggests an equivalence between Alulim and Enosh in the Sethite genealogy given in Genesis chapter 5. Hallo notes that Alulim’s name means “Stag”.

William H. Shea suggests that Alulim was a contemporary of the biblical figure Adam, who may have been derived from Adapa of ancient Mesopotamian religion.

To begin with, a tablet of purportedly pre-flood Sumerian kings exists, begins with the name Alulim (Hallo/Simpson 1971, p. 29-32), which I analyze as consisting of alu, “residence (of)” + (a)lim, “water-buffalo”; the second sign composed of the elements “power(ful)” + “water” + “face”.

Each of these kings had an impossibly long life span that identifies them as mythical personages a priori. When we compare Alu-lim with the deity we came across in Creation-1, the Hurrian Alalu, and furthermore, notice the Sumerian god Alla, about whom not much is definitely known (but who is undoubtedly a creator-god; alla is written with a sign depicting a wood-working tool = “[the] *carver”); and finally consider the so-called ‘bison’ (“gud-alim”), a well-known decorative motif.

Under these circumstances, it seems highly plausible to suggest that the Sumerian deity of the primeval ocean, Alu-lim, the “Residence of the Water-Buffalo”, had a water-buffalo as his animal avatar.

Nineveh and Jonah

Nineveh is an ancient Mesopotamian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The origin of the name Nineveh is obscure. Possibly it meant originally the seat of Ishtar, since Nina was one of the Babylonian names of that goddess. The ideogram means “house or place of fish,” and was perhaps due to popular etymology (comp. Aramaic “nuna,” denoting “fish”).

Jonah or Jonas (Latin: Ionas) is the name given in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/Old Testament) to a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BC. He is the eponymous central character in the Book of Jonah, famous for being swallowed by a fish or a whale, depending on translation. The biblical story of Jonah is repeated, with a few notable differences, in the Qur’an.

Oannes

Oannes was the name given by the Babylonian writer Berossus in the 3rd century BC 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. Oannes and the Semitic god Dagon were considered identical.

The vita of Porphyry of Gaza, mentions the great god of Gaza, known as Marnas (Aramaic Marnā the “Lord”), who was regarded as the god of rain and grain and invoked against famine. Marna of Gaza appears on coinage of the time of Hadrian.

He was identified at Gaza with Cretan Zeus, Zeus Krētagenēs. It is likely that Marnas was the Hellenistic expression of Dagon. His temple, the Marneion—the last surviving great cult center of paganism—was burned by order of the Roman emperor in 402. Treading upon the sanctuary’s paving-stones had been forbidden. Christians later used these same to pave the public marketplace.

In the 11th century, Jewish Bible commentator Rashi writes of a biblical tradition that the name Dāgôn is related to Hebrew dāg/dâg ‘fish’ and that Dagon was imagined in the shape of a fish: compare the Babylonian fish-god Oannes.

In the 13th century David Kimhi interpreted the odd sentence in 1 Samuel 5.2–7 that “only Dagon was left to him” to mean “only the form of a fish was left”, adding: “It is said that Dagon, from his navel down, had the form of a fish (whence his name, Dagon), and from his navel up, the form of a man, as it is said, his two hands were cut off.” The Septuagint text of 1 Samuel 5.2–7 says that both the hands and the head of the image of Dagon were broken off.

H. Schmökel asserted in 1928 that Dagon was never originally a fish-god, but once he became an important god of those maritime Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the folk-etymological connection with dâg would have ineluctably affected his iconography.

The fish form may be considered as a phallic symbol as seen in the story of the Egyptian grain god Osiris, whose penis was eaten by (conflated with) fish in the Nile after he was attacked by the Typhonic beast Set.

Likewise, in the tale depicting the origin of the constellation Capricornus, the Greek god of nature Pan became a fish from the waist down when he jumped into the same river after being attacked by Typhon.

Various 19th-century scholars, such as Julius Wellhausen and William Robertson Smith, believed the tradition to have been validated from the occasional occurrence of a merman motif found in Assyrian and Phoenician art, including coins from Ashdod and Arvad.

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. The Assyrian texts attempt to connect the word to the Akkadian for a craftsman ummanu but this is merely a pun.

Matsya

Matsya (Sanskrit: literally “Fish”) is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish, preceding Kurma. Often listed as the first avatar in the lists of the ten primary avatars of Vishnu, Matsya is described to have rescued the first man, Manu, from a great deluge. Matsya may be depicted as a giant fish, or anthropomorphically with a human torso connected to the rear half of a fish.

The earliest accounts of the legend associate Matsya with the creator god Prajapati (identified with Brahma). However, Puranic scriptures incorporate Matsya as an avatar of Vishnu. Matsya forewarns Manu about an impending catastrophic flood and orders him to collect all the grains of the world in a boat; in some forms of the story, all living creatures are also to be preserved in the boat.

When the flood destroys the world, Manu – in some versions accompanied by the seven great sages – survives by boarding the ark, which Matsya pulls to safety. In later versions of this story, the sacred texts Vedas are hidden by a demon, whom Matsya slays: Manu is rescued and the scriptures are recovered. The tale is in the tradition of the family of flood myths, common across cultures.

Matsya is depicted in two forms: as a zoomorphic fish or in an anthropomorphic form. In the latter form, the upper half is that of the four-armed man and the lower half is a fish (an exception is a sculpture in the Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura, which is Matsya as a fish-headed human.) The upper half resembles Vishnu and wears the traditional ornaments and the kirita-makuta (tall conical crown) as worn by Vishnu. He holds in two of his hands the Sudarshana chakra (discus) and a shankha (conch), the usual weapons of Vishnu.

The other two hands make the gestures of varadamudra, which grants boons to the devotee, and abhayamudra, which reassures the devotee of protection. In another configuration, he might have all four attributes of Vishnu, namely the Sudarshana chakra, a shankha, a gada (mace) and a lotus.

The human torso generally wears a shawl and a garland. The shawl, worn over his elbows, may be wrapped such that the switch between the human torso and fish half is hidden. Matsya may be depicted alone or in a scene depicting his combat with a demon.

A demon called Shankhasura emerging from a conch is sometimes depicted attacking Matsya with a sword as Matsya combats or kills him. Both of them may be depicted in the ocean, while the god Brahma and/or manuscripts or four men, symbolizing the Vedas may be depicted in the background. In some scenes, Matsya is depicted as a fish pulling the boat with Manu and the seven great sages (Saptarishi) on it.

The story of a great Deluge is found in many civilizations across the earth. It is often related to the Genesis narrative of the flood and Noah’s Ark. The fish motif and saving of the scriptures from a demon being additions in the Hindu tale. Similar flood myths also exist in tales from ancient Sumer and Babylonia, Greece, the Maya of Americas and the Yoruba of Africa.

Saptarishi

The Saptarishi (from saptarṣi, a Sanskrit dvigu meaning “seven sages”) are the seven rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Hindu literature. The Vedic Samhitas never enumerate these rishis by name, though later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion.

The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given by Jaiminiya Brahmana 2.218-221: Vashista, Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Visvamitra, and Agastya, followed by Brihadaranyaka Upanisad 2.2.6 with a slightly different list: Gautama and Bharadvāja, Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni, Vashiṣṭha and Kaśyapa, and Atri, Brighu. The late Gopatha Brāhmana 1.2.8 has Vashiṣṭa, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja, Gungu, Agastya, Bhrighu and Kaśyapa.

In post-Vedic texts, different lists appear; some of these rishis were recognized as the ‘mind born sons’ (Sanskrit: manasa putra) of Brahma, the representation of the Supreme Being as Creator. Other representations are Mahesha or Shiva as the Destroyer and Vishnu as the Preserver. Since these seven rishis were also among the primary eight rishis, who were considered to be the ancestors of the Gotras of Brahmins, the birth of these rishis was mythicized.

In some parts of India, people believe these are seven stars of the Big Dipper named “Vashista”, “Marichi”, “Pulastya”, “Pulaha”, “Atri”, “Angiras” and “Kratu”. There is another star slightly visible within it, known as “Arundhati”. Arundhati is the wife of vasistha.The seven Rishis in the next Manvantara will be Díptimat, Gálava, Parasurama, Kripa, Drauńi or Ashwatthama, Vyasa and Rishyasringa.

Sapta Rishis are the Hierarchy working under the guidance of the Highest Creative Intelligence, Parmatma. The present batch of the Sapta Rishis is Bhrigu, Atri, Angirasa Vashista, Pulastya, Pulalaha and Kratu. They bring down to the earth the required Knowledge and Energies to strengthen the processes of Transition (Pralaya). They are naturally the most evolved Light Beings in the Creation and the guardians of the Divine Laws.

The story of a great Deluge is found in many civilizations across the earth. It is often related to the Genesis narrative of the flood and Noah’s Ark. The fish motif and saving of the scriptures from a demon being additions in the Hindu tale. Similar flood myths also exist in tales from ancient Sumer and Babylonia, Greece, the Maya of Americas and the Yoruba of Africa.

Matsya is believed to symbolise the first stage of evolution, as aquatic life was the first beings on earth. The tale of Matsya may be interpreted as a creation myth where Manu creates beings of the world and men after they destroyed in the flood, though the creation is never the focus of the legend.

Some authors consider the tale not a flood myth, but symbolic in nature. Manu’s boat is representative of moksha (salvation), which helps one to cross over. Himalayas is treated as a boundary between the earthly existence and land of salvation beyond. God as the fish guides one to salvation. The horn of the fish is symbolic of “sacrificial values”.

The presence of fish seems to be an allusion to the Indian “law of the fishes”, an equivalent to the “law of the jungle”, when the fish seeks protection from being eaten by a larger fish. Treated as a parable, the tale advises a good king should protect the weak from the mighty, reversing the “law of fishes” and uphold dharma, like Manu, the progenitor of mankind and in particular two royal dynasties, thus an ideal king. In the tales where the demon hides the Vedas, dharma is threatened and Vishnu as the divine Saviour, rescues dharma, aided by his earthly counterpart, Manu – the king.

Matsya is the patron deity of the Meenas, who claim descent from the deity. The Meenas call Matsya Meenesh, the Lord of the Meenas or the fish (Meena) Lord. Meenas celebrates Meenesh Jayanti as birthday of Meenesh.

In Rajasthan there are many temples of Meenesh, but the first Meenesh temple was in Pushkar, Rajasthan. A Meenesh temple is also situated in Malarana chour village of Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan.

Dagan

Dagan is mentioned occasionally in early Sumerian texts but becomes prominent only in later Assyro-Babylonian inscriptions as a powerful and warlike protector, sometimes equated with Enlil. Dagan’s wife was in some sources the goddess Shala (also named as wife of Adad and sometimes identified with Ninlil). In other texts, his wife is Ishara.

Dagon was originally an East Semitic Mesopotamian (Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian) fertility god who evolved into a major Northwest Semitic god, reportedly of grain (as symbol of fertility) and fish and/or fishing (as symbol of multiplying). He was worshipped by the early Amorites and by the inhabitants of the cities of Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh, Syria) and Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra, Syria). He was also a major member, or perhaps head, of the pantheon of the Philistines.

The god Dagon first appears in extant records about 2500 BC in the Mari texts and in personal Amorite names in which the Mesopotamian gods Ilu (Ēl), Dagan, and Adad are especially common. In Ugarit around 1300 BC, Dagon had a large temple and was listed third in the pantheon following a father-god and Ēl, and preceding Baīl Ṣapān (that is the god Haddu or Hadad/Adad).

Joseph Fontenrose first demonstrated that, whatever their deep origins, at Ugarit Dagon was identified with El, explaining why Dagan, who had an important temple at Ugarit is so neglected in the Ras Shamra mythological texts, where Dagon is mentioned solely in passing as the father of the god Hadad, but Anat, El’s daughter, is Baal’s sister, and why no temple of El has appeared at Ugarit.

There are differences between the Ugaritic pantheon and that of Phoenicia centuries later: according to the third-hand Greek and Christian reports of Sanchuniathon, the Phoenician mythographer would have Dagon the brother of Ēl/Cronus and like him son of Sky/Uranus and Earth, but not truly Hadad’s father.

Hadad was begotten by “Sky” on a concubine before Sky was castrated by his son Ēl, whereupon the pregnant concubine was given to Dagon. Accordingly, Dagon in this version is Hadad’s half-brother and stepfather. The Byzantine Etymologicon Magnum says that Dagon was Cronus in Phoenicia. Otherwise, with the disappearance of Phoenician literary texts, Dagon has practically no surviving mythology.

Dagan is mentioned occasionally in early Sumerian texts but becomes prominent only in later Assyro-Babylonian inscriptions as a powerful and warlike protector, sometimes equated with Enlil. Dagan’s wife was in some sources the goddess Shala (also named as wife of Adad and sometimes identified with Ninlil). In other texts, his wife is Ishara. In the preface to his famous law code, King Hammurabi, the founder of the Babylonian empire, calls himself “the subduer of the settlements along the Euphrates with the help of Dagan, his creator”.

Hurrian

Kumarbi is the chief god of the Hurrians. He is the son of Anu (the sky), and father of the storm-god Teshub. He was identified by the Hurrians with Sumerian Enlil, and by the Ugaritians with El. From the first publication of the Kingship in Heaven tablets scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian creation myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

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

The mother goddess Hannahannah promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahannah with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth. Hebat is married to Teshub and is the mother of Sarruma and Alanzu, as well mother-in-law of the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

Poseidon

Poseidon is one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain is the ocean, and he is called the “God of the Sea”. Additionally, he is referred to as “Earth-Shaker” due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the “tamer of horses”. He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology; both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon.

In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito, “she of the Grain”, as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros (thesmos: divine order, unwritten law; “phoros”: bringer, bearer), “Law-Bringer,” as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of circa 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two mistresses and the king” may be related with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

Greek

Uranus, the planet, can, for example, be clearly associated with the Sumerian god, Anu (aka heaven), the father of Enki and Enlil. In Greek Mythology, Cronus was considered to be the son of heaven (Uranus) and earth (Gaia). Cronus’ son, Zeus, was known to the ancient Greeks as the King of the Gods, while Cronus was generally considered to be an even more ancient, pre-Hellenic deity, and thus someone seldom worshipped by the ancient Greeks.

Cronus was in Greek mythology the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of Uranus, the sky and Gaia, the earth. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

Cronus was usually depicted with a Harpe, Scythe or a Sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

Njörðr

In Norse Paganism, Njörðr is a god among the Vanir. Njörðr, father of the deities Freyr and Freyja by his unnamed Vanir sister, was in an ill-fated marriage with the goddess Skaði, lives in Nóatún and is associated with sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility.

Njörðr has been the subject of an amount of scholarly discourse and theory, often connecting him with the figure of the much earlier attested Germanic goddess Nerthus, the hero Hadingus, and theorizing on his formerly more prominent place in Norse paganism due to the appearance of his name in numerous place names. Njörðr is sometimes modernly anglicized as Njord, Njoerd, or Njorth.

Vishapakar

A vishapakar also known as vishap stones, vishap stellas, “serpent-stones”, “dragon stones”, or simply as vishaps, are characteristic menhirs found in large quantities in Armenia. They are commonly carved into cigar-like shapes with fish heads or serpents. Supposedly they are images of vishaps, mystical creatures. According to “Lonely Planet”, Vishap stones are markers to show the location of water.

Ap

Ap (áp-) is the Vedic Sanskrit term for “water”, which in Classical Sanskrit only occurs in the plural, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. The term is from PIE hxap “water”.

The Indo-Iranian word also survives as the Persian word for water, āb, e.g. in Punjab (from panj-āb “five waters”). Here, a similarity can be seen between the concept of ap (waters/river) and the Sumerian ab (ocean), which is a language that is widely believed to be a language isolate. In archaic ablauting contractions, the laryngeal of the PIE root remains visible in Vedic Sanskrit, e.g. pratīpa- “against the current”, from *proti-hxp-o-.

In the Rigveda, several hymns are dedicated to “the waters” (āpas): 7.49, 10.9, 10.30, 10.47. In the oldest of these, 7.49, the waters are connected with the drought of Indra. Agni, the god of fire, has a close association with water and is often referred to as Apām Napāt “offspring of the waters”. The female deity Apah is the presiding deity of Purva Ashadha (The former invincible one) asterism in Vedic astrology

In Hindu philosophy, the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhuta, or “five great elements”. In Hinduism, it is also the name of the deva Varuna a personification of water, one of the Vasus in most later Puranic lists.

Apas

Apas (āpas) is the Avestan language term for “the waters”, which—in its innumerable aggregate states—is represented by the Apas, the hypostases of the waters.

Apam Napat is an eminent figure of the Indo-Iranian pantheon. In the Rig Veda, Apām Napāt is the supreme god of creation. Apam Napat created all existential beings (Rig Veda 2.35.2). In Zoroastrianism, Apąm Napāt is a divinity of water.

Apām Napāt in Sanskrit and Apąm Napāt in Avestan mean “son of waters” (see Ap (water)). Sanskrit and Avestan napāt (“grandson”) are cognate to Latin nepōs and English nephew, but the name Apām Napāt has also been compared to Etruscan Nethuns and Celtic Nechtan and Roman Neptune.

In Yasht 19 of the Avesta Apąm Napāt appears as the Creator of mankind. Here, there is an evident link between the glory of sovereignty (Khvarenah) and Apąm Napāt who protects Khvarenah as the royal glory of Iranian kings. Apām Napāt is sometimes, for example in Rigveda book 2 hymn 35 verse 2, described as the supreme creator deity who originates in the cosmic waters.

Apam Napat has a golden splendour and is said to be kindled by the cosmic waters. The reference to fire may have originally referred to flames from natural gas or oil seepages surfacing through water, as in a fire temple at Surakhany near Baku in Azerbaijan (Jivanji Jamshedji Modi 1926). There is a conjecture that the word “naphtha” came (via Greek, where it meant any sort of petroleum) from the name “Apam Napat”.

Abyzou

In the myth and folklore of the Near East and Europe, Abyzou is the name of a female demon. Abyzou was blamed for miscarriages and infant mortality and was said to be motivated by envy, as she herself was infertile. In the Jewish tradition she is identified with Lilith, in Coptic Egypt with Alabasandria, and in Byzantine culture with Gylou, but in various texts surviving from the syncretic magical practice of antiquity and the early medieval era she is said to have many or virtually innumerable names.

Abyzou (also spelled Abizou, Obizu, Obizuth, Obyzouth, Byzou etc.) is pictured on amulets with fish- or serpent-like attributes. Her fullest literary depiction is the compendium of demonology known as the Testament of Solomon, dated variously by scholars from as early as the 1st century AD to as late as the 4th.

A.A. Barb connected Abyzou and similar female demons to the Sumerian myth of primeval Sea. Barb argued that although the name “Abyzou” appears to be a corrupted form of the Greek word abyssos (“the abyss”), the Greek itself was borrowed from Assyrian Apsu or Sumerian Abzu, the undifferentiated sea from which the world was created in the Sumerian belief system, equivalent to Babylonian Tiamat, or Hebrew Tehom in the Book of Genesis.

The entity Sea was originally bi- or asexual, later dividing into male Abzu (fresh water) and female Tiamat (salt water). The female demons among whom Lilith is the best-known are often said to have come from the primeval sea. In classical Greece, female sea monsters that combine allure and deadliness may also derive from this tradition, including the Gorgons (who were daughters of the old sea god Phorcys), Sirens, Harpies, and even water nymphs and Nereids.

In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, the word Abyssos is treated as a noun of feminine grammatical gender, even though Greek nouns ending in -os are typically masculine. Abyssos is equivalent in meaning to Mesopotamian Abzu as the dark chaotic sea before Creation. The word also appears in the Christian scriptures, occurring six times in the Book of Revelation, where it is conventionally translated not as “the deep” but as “the bottomless pit” of Hell. Barb argues that in essence the Sumerian Abzu is the “grandmother” of the Christian Devil.

Pisces (astrology)

Aquarius (astrology)

Constellation Aquarius

Babylonian astrology

Babylonian star catalogues

MUL.APIN

Enuma Anu Enlil

The Animals of Creation

The prediuvian kings and patriarchs

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Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 14, 2015

I find it incredibly apropos that astrology originated in the Cradle of Civilization, nestled between the Tigris and Euphrates, the map of which even resembles a woman’s womb and birth canal.  These ancient civilizations diligently observed the heavens, seeking a connection between Earth and the stars and duly noted that some, which would later be identified as planets, demonstrated such erratic movements that the Sumerians called them udu.idim.mes, i.e. wild sheep.

The earliest evidence regarding the use of astrology as applied to the affairs of state is represented by the Dream of Gudea, which dates back to 2000 BCE. A key figure in the story is the goddess, Nanshe, who possessed many of the talents later attributed to Mercury, such as knowing how to perform calculations.

Her temple was known as the “House of Stars” and she possessed a lapis lazuli tablet that contained the stars of heaven, which she consulted by placing it on her knees.  Gudea, mediator between heaven and Earth, sought guidance with regard to the threat of drought, which Nanshe provided by consulting her tablet of stars, indicating the practice of seeking answers from the cosmos.

Pisces

Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac, and it is also the final sign in the zodiacal cycle. Hence, this sign brings together many of the characteristics of the eleven signs that have come before it. Pisces, however, are happiest keeping many of these qualities under wraps.

These folks are selfless, spiritual and very focused on their inner journey. They also place great weight on what they are feeling. Yes, feelings define Pisces, and it’s not uncommon for them to feel their own burdens (and joys) as well as those of others. The intuition of the Pisces-born is highly evolved. Many people associate Pisces with dreams and secrets, and it’s a fair association, since those born under this sign feel comfortable in an illusory world.

Venus is the ruling planet of Libra and Taurus and is exalted in Pisces, while both Pluto and Mercury fall in Pisces. Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is exalted in Leo. Neptune is mostly considered the ruling planet of Pisces today because of the association with the Roman god of water and the sea, Neptune. The detriment, or the sign “opposite” to that which is deemed the ruling planet, is Mercury.

In ancient Roman mythology, Jupiter (the original ruler of Pisces) was the king of the gods, while Neptune was the ruler of the seas. When Neptune was discovered in recent times, it was attached to this sign. The pairing of these two heavenly bodies results in some unique energies being directed toward Pisces here on Earth. Those born under this sign are spiritually oriented and charitable.

A planet’s domicile is the zodiac sign over which it has rulership, and the rulers of Pisces, or those associated with Pisceans, are Jupiter, Neptune, and the moon. In esoteric astrology, Venus was considered the ruler of Pisces, and prior to the discovery of Neptune in 1846, Jupiter was said to rule Pisces.

Divine associations with Pisces include Poseidon/Neptune, Vishnu, Christ, Aphrodite, Eros, and Typhon. The symbol of the fishes is derived from the ichthyocentaurs, who aided Aphrodite when she was born from the sea.

The ichthys or ichthus, from the Greek ikhthýs (“fish”), is a symbol consisting of two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish. It was used by early Christians as a secret Christian symbol and now known colloquially as the “sign of the fish” or the “Jesus fish”.

Greeks, Romans, and many other pagans used the fish symbol before Christians. In pagan beliefs, Ichthys was the offspring of the ancient Sea goddess Atargatis, and was known in various mythic systems as Tirgata, Aphrodite, Pelagia, or Delphine. The word also meant “womb” and “dolphin” in some tongues.

Before Christianity adopted the fish symbol, it was known by pagans as “the Great Mother”, and “womb”. Its link to fertility, birth, and the natural force of women was acknowledged also by the Celts, as well as pagan cultures throughout northern Europe. In certain non-Christian beliefs the fish also has been identified with reincarnation and the life force.

Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. She 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.

A Gallus (pl. Galli) was a eunuch priest of the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis, whose worship was incorporated into the state religious practices of ancient Rome. Stephanus Byzantinus said that the name came from King Gallus. Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD) says that the name is derived from the Gallus river in Phrygia. The word “Gallus” is also the Latin word for rooster.

The name may be linked to the Gauls (Celtic tribes) of Galatia in Anatolia, who were known as Galli by the Romans. The name Gaul itself is not derived from Galli; it is, much rather, from Old French Gaule, a word used to translate Latin Gallia, but itself from an Old Frankish *Walholant, from the Germanic walha “a foreigner, a Celt, a Gallo-Roman”.

While these efforts at “folk” etymologies were widespread in classical times, it has been suggested that gallu comes from the Sumerian Gal meaning “great” and Lu meaning “man”, humans or sexually ambivalent demons that freed Inanna from the underworld. They originally seem to have been consecrated to the god Enki.

There was a category of Mesopotamian priests called kalu; in Sumerian gala. These priests played the tympanum and were involved in bull sacrifice. Another category of Mesopotamian priests called assinnu, galatur, and kurgarru had a sacred function. These transgender or eunuch priests participated in liturgical rites, during which they were costumed and masked. They played music, sang, and danced, most often in ceremonies dedicated to the goddess Ishtar.

Capricorn Mythology, What is it about?

Pisces (astrology)

Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac

Abgal or Apkallu

From Gal to Galli and Angel

Inanna and Tammuz

Constellations

Mesopotamian Astrology

Mesopotamia:  Cradle of Astrology’s Development

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