Δευτέρα, 22 Μαρτίου 2010

The Puzzling Origins Of Ancient Sumer

 By Vera Stark

This amazing group of ancient city-states turns out to be a missing link among the great early civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus.

The Sumerians had seemingly a very joyful society. The arts were well developed. The cuneiform writing is a combination of pictograms: a fish, a bird, a leaf for instance (which can be understood in any language or dialect spoken), and phonetic signs. L.A. Waddell shows that many other writing systems have developed out of the Sumerian one.
Among these systems are: Akkadian, Egyptian, Phoenician, Phrygian, Carian, Lydian, Persian, Indo-Asoka, Simbel, Hindi, Greek, Etruscan, Iberian, Brito-Phoenic, Runic, Ogamic, Welsh Bar dic and Lantwit, and British/Gothic.
Besides writing, the calendar and a surprising wealth of literature, we are indebted to the Sumerians for their “sexagesimal” mathematical system, which gave us the division of the day into 24 hours, that of the minutes and seconds into 60 units each and that of the circle into 360 degrees.
The Sumerians had a developed mythology; they saw the world as having been created by a god. Moreover, this god had established the standards by which people must live. We will come across the “law” and “law givers” several times in this article.
Their beliefs passed into the tradition of following generations and peoples in Mesopotamia; similar beliefs have also existed since ancient times in other parts of the world.
We shall now expound on Waddell’s findings, going back to shortened portions of his preface:
“Picking up the neglected records of India’s great epic of the Ancient (Aryan) Heroes, the Paranas, this writer found that the leading kings bore substantially the same names with the same achievements and occupied the same relative chronological position as leading kings of the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia.
“Further comparative scrutiny disclosed that all the kings’ names and their chronological order were identical in both . . . [the] Indo-Aryan and [the] Sumerian [lists].
“In former works I have demonstrated with full scientific proofs the identity of the Sumerians with the Aryans— ancient and modern—in Europe, Asia Minor, Syrio-Phoenicia, Indo-Persia and also as regards the ruling race in ancient Egypt—in physical type, language and writing, art and science, traditions, religion, mythology and symbolism.
“After publication of my first work announcing and establishing the Sumerian origin of the Indo-Aryans and their civilization, and of the Indian language and writing, this was confirmed some four months later by unearthing the ruins of two Sumerian cities in the Indus Valley in northwestern India. There were several sacred seals and burial amulets inscribed with the old Sumerian cursive writing, which were chiefly those of ancient Sumerian government officials and priests of this Sumerian colony of about 3100 to 2300 B.C.”1
Egyptian hieroglyphic writing was derived from the Sumerian picture writing and possessed essentially the same forms, phonetic values and meanings. The radical [root—Ed.] elements in the ancient Egyptian language were discovered to be Sumerian and Aryan.
This disclosed the unity of these three oldest civilizations and their authors: the Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Indian, each of which had hitherto been supposed to have originated wholly independently, in separate, isolated centers.
This should be enough introduction as to how Waddell reached his conclusions. Now discover with us highlights of the most famous of the ancient rulers of Mesopotamia.
 The first “Sumerian” king, a sun worshipper, traditionally pictured in Goth dress, was the historical original of the later deified legendary culture hero, known and recorded under his different titles and personal names: Dur, Ar-Thur, In-Dur, Indra, Sagg (or Sig), Zeus, Pro-Metheus, Odinn, Ad, Adamus or “Adam.” In the Copper Age this “Arthur” built in Asia Minor the first city, used “Sumerian” writing, established agriculture, monogamous marriage and brought with him a ready-made “first civilization.”
His reign (3378 to 3349 B.C.) is de rived from the date for the foundation of the first Babylonian dynasty (2023) plus other data by “dead reckoning” backwards. The connecting link between the first Babylonian dynasty and the Sumerian mainline list was the capture of the city of Isin by “Sin Muballit” (father of Khammu-Rabi or Hammurabi who reigned 2023 to 2004 B.C.2).
In the Kish Chronicle, which has been fully translated, we find for the first king, Ukusi, of Ukhu (Eagle or Sun-Hawk city) also the names Udin, In duru, Pur Sakh, Adar and others, some appearing in the Indian list with slightly different spelling. Interesting confirmation is found in the bilingual Sumer ian and Babylonian glossary tablets, where the Hawk-Lord is called Ukuzu’i, deified as the Lord (God) Sakh. And in Egyptian records it is Atmu (Atum), the deified sun as Father God of early dynastic Egypt and tutelary of Heliopolis.
His personality and achievements are preserved in Sumerian literature, in the Indian chronicles and Vedas and in the great epics of the Norsemen, the Eddas.
These records celebrate him as a supremely gifted, tall, fair and bearded hero chief of Nordic or Gothic racial type; an invincible warrior and wise statesman, who, with great creative gen ius, improved the culture of his time.
With the aid of his hardy sons and men of the same Gothic breed, he raised it up in one generation and established it firmly on a higher plane as a “civilization,” which the tides of time can never wash away.
The second Sumerian king, the son and successor of the first, was the historical original of the culture hero Azam, Bakus (Bacchus), Nimrod, Mar duk, Mukhla (Michael), Gan or Conn, Sir Gawain or “Cain,” or Enoch (connected with the city of Erech—Ed.).
In 3335 B.C., Azam descended from Cappadocia into Mesopotamia and founded his new capital Kish on the Euphrates. Except for the slight discrepancy in the dates, this confirms the tradition cited by Strabo that the god Bacchus reigned from 3373 to 3348 B.C. (approximately 74 years), an exceptionally long time, which is in agreement with his title “Ayus” in the Indian records, meaning “the Aged [One].”
Greatly extending agriculture, Bacchus, named also Lord of the Grain, vastly increased the food supply of the ancient world.
He built Nippur and Unuk or Erech and many other cities and settlements, whereby he made industrious town life possible.
In those ancient times of high cultural developments, city-states were established, complementing as well as competing with each other in moral and living standards, trade, arts and expansion.
It appears logical—and is proven to some extent—that more primitive people of scattered, nomadic tribes were originally living there.
But the ruling caste of the successive dynasties evolved from the racial new comers, the “Sumerians,” who ascended to kingship by family ties and marriages, yet occasionally decided their predominance in battle. The first dynasty, as seen by Waddell, was founded in 3378 B.C. by Ukusi of the city of Ukhu (“Adam”), which his son and heir Azaf Ama Basum (“Cain”) continued until 3337. Then this kingdom became part of the second dynasty which was founded by that same Azaf-Azag Bakus in Kish and lasted 300 years.
The last king of that line was Gishax or Issax of Uruk or Erech (Enoch), with the title of Gamesh, “Lord of Oxen,” the fifth king of the great gap in the Kish Chronicle, who reigned c. 3120 B.C. (Gilgamesh—Ed.).3
He is celebrated as an invincible hero of tremendous strength, slaying lions and wild bulls with his bare hands or taming them under his will. By victoriously overcoming trials and perils, he has set the stage and may well be the original of the half-god Herakles (Her cu les) of later cultures. (Scholars say the Flood story of the Bible is derived from the Epic of Gilgamesh.—Ed.)
Preserved parts of the Epic of Gil gamesh are still telling his story. So are innumerable Sumerian seals from around 2500 B.C., depicting him in combat with wild beasts or watering his buffaloes.
Haryashwa was the founder of the great dynasty of sea kings, the ancestors of the “Phoenicians,” well explained by Waddell, which is spoken of in the Indian Chronicles as “the able or excellent Panch (Panch-åla), who mustered ships of a hundred oars” and built the seaport of Lagash on the Persian Gulf.
Haryashwa and his descendants held the titles of king of Lagash and king of Kish, the recognized title at that time for Emperor of Mesopotamia. He also maintained the official title of Gut or Goth, expressed by the bull or head of an ox in their seals, standing for “warrior” or “restorer” (of order).
Under his reign were built granaries as insurance against famine, embankments, canals for irrigation and other outstanding improvements. He and his oldest son Magdal founded the great over seas colony of Edin in the Indus Valley. Cultivation, fruits, orchards, flocks and herds of cattle and horses as well as gold and other metals gave it the name of Su-bati (“the Good Abode”) by the Sumerians and Su-vata (“Full of Pleasure”) in Sanskrit.
The Uruash or “Panch” dynasty lasted c. 350 years, until 2751 B.C., the last king of that line being Bara-Gina or Puru-Gin, or Uruka-Gina, the father of “Sargon,” as we will see shortly.
Bara-Gina was a great and enlightened statesman and reformer. Several de tailed copies of his law codes have been unearthed from the ruins of Lagash. In one of his edicts he describes rampant aggression and corruption which had befallen the state. As a remedy he abolished a great number of tax-inspectors and cut down the fees of the extortionate priests and lay officials. All who had taken money (shekels) in place of tribute, and who had used bribery, were dismissed. He successfully sought to protect the poorer classes of his subjects against the oppression of their richer and more powerful neighbors.
This last king of the Great Gap of the Kish Chronicle was dethroned by Zaggisi, who had been local governor and priest-king at the city of Umma, to the north of Lagash, and was the son of the former governor there by the name of Ukush.
Zaggisi, who was evidently considered a usurper by the Indian annalists, as they do not mention him in the Indian main-line lists, became emperor and transferred his capital to Erech. From his votive inscriptions at Nippur we learn that he claimed to have conquered the land “from the rising of the Hargis to its setting.” This was presumably the same extent of empire over which Sargon’s father ruled. Like the latter also he claimed to be “King of Uri.” He also claims to have rebuilt during his 25 years of reign the chief temples in the land and that “he caused the lands to dwell in security, he watered the lands with the waters of joy.” (2750 to 2726 B.C.)3
Zaggisi forms by himself the so-called “Third Dynasty” in the Kish Chronicle. The term “dynasty” is used by modern writers for a change of capital. Zaggisi was dethroned by “Sargon,” and the fourth dynasty then follows as “Sargon’s” dynasty.
 The name “Sargon” is merely a Semi tized version (adopted by Assyriologists) of this great Sumerian emperor’s real name, Sagara. In the Indian List he is also called Sha-Kuni, in the Sumerian Guni or Shar-Guni (2725 to 2671 B.C.). He is not to be confused with the relatively late Semitic Assyrian King Sargon (722 to 705 B.C.), who (according to legend) sent the Jews into captivity. In the Indian Chronicle we are informed that Sagara’s father Bara-Gina or Bahuka died in exile at the hermitage of the Aryan sage and priest, where his son and heir was born. There he was tutored by Aurva in the Vedic religion and in science and the art of war (similar to Alexander the Great being tutored by Aristotle).
Emerson wrote: “The days were ever divine for the first Aryans,” and so were Aurva’s ethical teachings based on an enlightened sun-religion, in which na ture’s god, the lord of the universe, was a beneficent, vitalizing force resident in the sun. That great luminary light of the world is still recognized as the ultimate source of all mundane life. It was the source also of the Aryan ethical code, which was established more than 1,500 years before Moses:

The sun-lord is most pleased with him who does good to others; who never utters calumny or untruth; who never covets another’s wife or another’s wealth; who bears ill will to none; who neither beats nor slays any living thing; who is ever diligent in the service of God; who is ever desirous of the welfare of all creatures, of his children and his own soul; whose heart derives no pleasure from the passions of lust or hatred. The man who conforms to these duties is he who best worships the sun-lord.

On reaching manhood, Sargon wrested back his patrimonial kingdom and became a “world monarch.”
The extent of Sargon’s empire in the ancient world has hitherto been greatly underestimated. Now it is seen as having included, besides Mesopotamia, the greater part of Asia Minor and Syrio-Phoenicia; also Egypt and the Mediterranean basin, Persia and the Indus Valley with the Arabian Sea, and (perhaps) extending beyond the Pillars of Hercules to Britain.
In Sumerian “Sa-gar” is the title for “Lord of Lords.” Under this title Sargon is the father of Asa-Manja or “Manja the Shooter,” identical with “Manis the Warrior” or Manis-Tusu.
From the Indian Chronicles we deduce that King Manis-Tusu revolted against his father Sagara in his early manhood, c. 2704, when he was about 21. As crown prince of the Sumerian em pire, Manis was governor of the Indus Valley colony. As such he had control of the local Sumerian army and of the merchant fleet, which presumably also voyaged to Magan [possibly modern Oman—Ed.] and Egypt via the Arabian coast and the Red Sea. As all the “Lands of the Lower Sea” were under Sumerian rule, he would not have encountered much opposition by the local governors. It is recorded that 60,000 of “the fed sons” of the emperor followed the crown prince in his revolt, which enabled him to unite Upper and Lower Egypt and become theprabhu (pharaoh) as Menes, the founder of the First Dynasty in Egypt. He may have entered Upper Egypt by the Red Sea east of Koptos and Abydos, where his “tomb” with his inscriptions lies. Menes did vastly increase the elements of sporadic Sumerian civilization, al ready introduced by his father and other predynastic kings in Egypt, and established it firmly. It can now be seen to be of the same general kind as the Su merian of the Sargonic period in Meso potamia and in the Indus Valley.
Disinherited by his father, Manis still became emperor of Mesopotamia after the death of his brother, (Uru-) Mush, in 2655 B.C. From 2640 to 2585 B.C., the reins of both mighty empires were put into the hands of his son, the grandson of “Sargon,” with the Sumerian name of “Naram-Sin” or Naram Enzu and the Egyptian name of Narmer or Narmar. In both combined empires his emblems are “the wild bull” and “the fish monster.” Manis reconquered vast areas and defeated King Manum Dan of Magan.
Notice should also be taken of two of the widely known rulers of Mesopota mia.
King Gudea or Gudia, Gothic priest-king of Lagash, 2374 to 2368 B.C., was a very refined priest-king of high standing, the builder of numerous, large and spacious temples, for which he chose the most exquisite materials by traveling far and wide for them. Many statues of him were erected in public places and temples and are now in museums worldwide.
Sumerian art and literature reached its zenith under Gudea, and he lived in a period of profound peace and prosperity.
The language of Lagash as used by Gudea, whose voluminous records have been unearthed, is always in pure Sumerian, while bilingual glossaries were to inform Semitic-speaking subjects of events, edicts etc.
Khaminu Rabi or Great Lotus is best known as Hammurabi (Lawgiver). His name Khamu means Lotus and Rabi (dialectic for Sumerian Raba) means Great. Hammurabi established a great renaissance in Mesopotamia; exquisite examples survive to this day.

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