tigris and euphrates

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The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian

The EPIC OF GILGAMESH is the earliest great work of literature that we know of, and was first written down by the Sumerians around 2100 B.C.

Ancient Sumer was the land that lay between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, in Mesopotamia. The language that the Sumerians spoke was unrelated to the Semitic languages of their neighbors the Akkadians and Babylonians, and it was written in a syllabary (a kind of alphabet) called “cuneiform”. By 2000 B.C., the language of Sumer had almost completely died out and was used only by scholars (like Latin is today). No one knows how it was pronounced because it has not been heard in 4000 years.

What you hear in this video are a few of the opening lines of part of the epic poem, accompanied only by a long-neck, three-string, Sumerian lute known as a “ngish-gu-di”. The instrument is tuned to G - G - D, and although it is similar to other long neck lutes still in use today (the tar, the setar, the saz, etc.) the modern instruments are low tension and strung with fine steel wire. The ancient long neck lutes (such as the Egyptian “nefer”) were strung with gut and behaved slightly differently. The short-neck lute known as the “oud” is strung with gut/nylon, and its sound has much in common with the ancient long-neck lute although the oud is not a fretted instrument and its strings are much shorter (about 25 inches or 63 cm) as compared to 32 inches (82 cm) on a long-neck instrument.

For anyone interested in these lutes, I highly recommend THE ARCHAEOMUSICOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST by Professor Richard Dumbrill.

The location for this performance is the courtyard of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon. The piece is four minutes long and is intended only as a taste of what the music of ancient Sumer might have sounded like.

“The Sumerians” by Grendel Dark

أشعُر بسمو لا مُتناهٍ حين أقرأُ عن الإسلام ، يغدقُ السلامُ على روحي كأن نهر دجلةَ اتحد مع فُراتهِ وصبّ من قلبي

I feel infinite warmth when I read about Islam, peace rains upon my soul as if the Tigris River united with the Euphrates, and poured out of my heart.

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Ancient Worlds - BBC Two

Episode 1 “Come Together”

One of the earliest images of the development of agriculture.

Fragment of a vessel from the Temple of Shamash at Mari, Syria. The staetite relief depicts a man tending to a plant. (Early dynastic period I, c. 2900 BC).

Agriculture, growing crops rather than raising livestock, pre-dates the first cities by thousands of years. But at some point agricultural activity in Mesopotamia became more intensive and on a larger scale than had ever been seen before. The geography of southern Mesopotamia is such that agriculture is possible only with irrigation and good drainage, a fact which had a profound effect on the evolution of early civilisation. The need for irrigation led the Sumerians, and later the Akkadians, to build their cities along the Tigris and Euphrates and the branches of these rivers. The farmers built dams and dug canals to bring the water to the crops, on which all their lives now depended. The social consequences of this cooperation were profound; those farmers were planting the seed from which the tree of civilisation would grow.

The city of Mari, situated on the right bank of the Euphrates river, flourished in the 3rd millennium BC. Excavations discoved an enormous palace, with nearly 300 rooms and two floors and also an archive over 20.000 tablets in Akkadian language written in cuneiform. The temple of Shamash was dedicated to the Sun god, who was regarded among Mari’s most important deities.

National Museum of Damascus, Syria

Hobby Lobby accused of hypocrisy amid smuggling case

Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts chain whose devout Christian owners won a landmark Supreme Court ruling on religious freedom, is caught up in an antiquities-smuggling scandal that has opened the company to accusations of hypocrisy.

The Oklahoma City-based business agreed to pay a $3 million fine Wednesday over its role in what federal prosecutors said was the smuggling into the U.S. of ancient clay tablets, seals and other Iraqi archaeological objects that might have been looted from the war-torn country.

Online, many people piled on, with more than one saying things like: “I know Hobby Lobby’s big on the Ten Commandments, but how about ‘Thou shalt not steal’?” and “Hypocritical cretins. Preach one thing and practice another.”

Hobby Lobby, whose president, Steve Green, has been collecting ancient artifacts since 2009 and is building an $800 million Bible museum in Washington, pleaded naivete in doing business with dealers in the Middle East.

“The company was new to the world of acquiring these items and did not fully appreciate the complexities of the acquisitions process,” Hobby Lobby said in a statement. “This resulted in some regrettable mistakes.”

Federal prosecutors described a scheme that involved lying and perhaps stealing. It included a number of middlemen and involved the use of phony or misleading invoices, shipping labels and other paperwork to slip the artifacts past U.S. customs agents, prosecutors said.

Among other things, cuneiform tablets were labeled “ceramic tiles,” and items carried paperwork that said they came from Turkey or Israel. Also, artifacts were deliberately undervalued and shipped in small batches to multiple addresses in Oklahoma City to avoid drawing the attention of customs agents, prosecutors said.

Bob Murowchick, an associate professor in archaeology and anthropology at Boston University, cast doubt on the company’s claim that it didn’t know what it was doing.

“It’s like that scene in 'Casablanca’: 'I am shocked, shocked, that there is gambling going on here,’” Murowchick said.

Under the settlement with prosecutors, Hobby Lobby must return thousands of artifacts it brought to the U.S. in 2010 and 2011.

Hobby Lobby is a cultural powerhouse in the United States. Green doesn’t open his 600 stores on Sunday so his 28,000 employees may observe the Christian Sabbath.

The privately held company successfully argued before the Supreme Court in 2014 that because of the owners’ religious beliefs, it shouldn’t have to supply birth control to employees under “Obamacare.”

Because of widespread looting of cultural institutions and other sites in Iraq, U.S. law makes it a crime to possess or traffic in Iraqi archaeological treasures if they were illegally removed from the country since 1990, or if there are reasonable grounds to think so. Iraqi law also prohibits the export of the country’s antiquities.

“Our goal is, if we can cut down on the demand or make the punishment severe enough, we will have a chain reaction and people will be unwilling to loot,” Murowchick said.

According to prosecutors, Hobby Lobby agreed to buy more than 5,500 artifacts in 2010 for $1.6 million. Some shipments made it through, while others were seized.

The items included cuneiform tablets, cuneiform bricks and clay bullae, which are clay balls imprinted with a seal. Cuneiform is the wedge-shaped writing used thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia, the “Cradle of Civilization” between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now Iraq.

One shipping label listed 300 clay tiles valued at $1 each, when they were, in fact, clay bullae with a combined value of $84,120, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Hobby Lobby was warned by its own expert that acquiring antiquities from Iraq carries “considerable risk” because so many of the artifacts in circulation are stolen. Cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals were “particularly popular on the market and likely to have been looted,” the expert told the company.

In a statement, the Museum of the Bible said that none of the artifacts in the settlement were ever part of its collection and that the institution is still on track to open in November.

Achelois

unhand me, that i may find myself
as flecks of gold along the Tigris-Euphrates,
as waters for lakes to house every low moon
forming dust in my wake.

even through ache, in absence i yearn only
for my name on your lips, that you remember me so;
that even if late, i shall witness your voice
spoken with presence as presently is,

i will find your heart —
and not merely echoes.

— A. P.

A Hymn to Ninkasi (goddess of beer)

1-4 Given birth by the flowing water ……, tenderly cared for by Ninhursaja! Ninkasi, given birth by the flowing water ……, tenderly cared for by Ninhursaja!

5-8 Having founded your town upon wax, she completed its great walls for you. Ninkasi, having founded your town upon wax, she completed its great walls for you.

9-12 Your father is Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and your mother is Ninti, the queen of the abzu. Ninkasi, your father is Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and your mother is Ninti, the queen of the abzu.

13-16 It is you who handle the …… and dough with a big shovel, mixing, in a pit, the beerbread with sweet aromatics. Ninkasi, it is you who handle the …… and dough with a big shovel, mixing, in a pit, the beerbread with sweet aromatics.

17-20 It is you who bake the beerbread in the big oven, and put in order the piles of hulled grain. Ninkasi, it is you who bake the beerbread in the big oven, and put in order the piles of hulled grain.

21-24 It is you who water the earth-covered malt; the noble dogs guard it even from the potentates (?). Ninkasi, it is you who water the earth-covered malt; the noble dogs guard it even from the potentates (?).

25-28 It is you who soak the malt in a jar; the waves rise, the waves fall. Ninkasi, it is you who soak the malt in a jar; the waves rise, the waves fall.

29-32 It is you who spread the cooked mash on large reed mats; coolness overcomes ……. Ninkasi, it is you who spread the cooked mash on large reed mats; coolness overcomes …….

33-36 It is you who hold with both hands the great sweetwort, brewing it with honey and wine. Ninkasi, it is you who hold with both hands the great sweetwort, brewing it with honey and wine.

37-40 1 line damaged
You …… the sweetwort to the vessel. Ninkasi, ……. You …… the sweetwort to the vessel.

41-44 You place the fermenting vat, which makes a pleasant sound, appropriately on top of a large collector vat. Ninkasi, you place the fermenting vat, which makes a pleasant sound, appropriately on top of a large collector vat.

45-48 It is you who pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat; it is like the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Ninkasi, it is you who pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat; it is like the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates.

anonymous asked:

I'm sorry if this question sounds dumb, but: Where did ancient summerian people live ? And how do you think the environment there looked at the time ?

Hi! This isn’t a dumb question at all!

The Sumerians lived in a land known as Mesopotamia, which means “between the rivers” — the river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. Today we know this region as Iraq, Kuwait, and some nearby parts of Iran, Syria and Turkey.

As for the environment and ecology of Mesopotamia, it’s part of what’s known as the “fertile crescent” — an area of fertile land stretching from Lebanon to Kuwait. Sumerian cities were generally located in the flood-plain valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, but the language was spoken in surrounding desert, mountain, swamp, and other areas too.

I talked a little more about this in my Q&A video at around the 10:30 mark, so make sure to check that out too!

The Origins of Zodiac Symbols

Aries- The Ram appeared for the first time as the symbol for Aries in Egypt, alternating with a goose’s head; but its origin is mostly a mystery. 

Taurus- The Egyptian God Horus was the Bull of Heaven, and a white bull was sacrificed in Babylonia at the New Year to please Ramman, the god of thunder and lightning. 

Gemini- Castor and Pollux, bright stars in the Gemini constellation, were probably the original heavenly twins (referred to in Egypt as the Two Stars). 

Cancer- Cancer the Crab probably originated in Babylon; but twin turtles were associated with this sign in Egypt, where Thoth, among other things the god of astronomy, ruled the constellation.

Leo- The lion is associated with the pattern of stars in the constellation, and may originally have been suggested by it; it was probably born in Egypt at least 3000 years BC. 

Virgo- Nidaba, Egyptian goddess of grain, was probably the original of the Virgin (the Egyptian harvest began when the Moon was in Virgo). In Sumeria the figure, far from being a virgin, was that of the Great Mother, whose daughter was sometimes the guardian of the harvest. 

Libra- The image of the scales may be connected with the weighing of the Egyptian harvest for the assessment of taxes, or associated with the Babylonian conception of the weighing of one’s vices and virtues after death.

Scorpio- There is a Scorpion-man in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh (2000 BC);  the symbol appears in Mesopotamia, and a thousand years later, in Egypt; but the origin is unknown. 

Sagittarius- Of unknown origin; there was an early confusion between Sagittarius and Scorpio, for we find Centaur figures with Scorpio tails in Babylonia. 

Capricorn- The Babylonian god Ea wore a cloak designed as a fish’s skin complete with a head and tail: among his names was “Antelope of the Seas”. He came from the oceans to teach wisdom to land-strolling man. 

Aquarius- The Egyptian god Hapi watered the earth from two jugs; but there seems also an association with Ea, sometime called the God with two Streams.

Pisces- On its earliest appearance in the Babylonian zodiac, Pisces was called the constellation of the Tails; the two fishes were associated with the goddesses Anuntium and Simmah, one symbolizing the river Tigris and one the Euphrates.

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Sumerian Necklace and Ring, 2nd Millennium BC

A very rare set, made of gold and sedimentary stone beads. 

Sumer (map) was the site of the earliest known civilization, located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, in the area that later became Babylonia and is now southern Iraq from around Baghdad to the Persian Gulf.

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The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian  (via: YouTube | Peter Pringle)


Description from Peter Pringle:  “The EPIC OF GILGAMESH is the earliest great work of literature that we know of, and was first written down by the Sumerians around 2100 B.C.

Ancient Sumer was the land that lay between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, in Mesopotamia. The language that the Sumerians spoke was unrelated to the Semitic languages of their neighbors the Akkadians and Babylonians, and it was written in a syllabary (a kind of alphabet) called “cuneiform”. By 2000 B.C., the language of Sumer had almost completely died out and was used only by scholars (like Latin is today). No one knows how it was pronounced because it has not been heard in 4000 years.

What you hear in this video are a few of the opening lines of part of the epic poem, accompanied only by a long-neck, three-string, Sumerian lute known as a “gish-gu-di”. The instrument is tuned to G - G - D, and although it is similar to other long neck lutes still in use today (the tar, the setar, the saz, etc.) the modern instruments are low tension and strung with fine steel wire. The ancient long neck lutes (such as the Egyptian “nefer”) were strung with gut and behaved slightly differently. The short-neck lute known as the “oud” is strung with gut/nylon, and its sound has much in common with the ancient long-neck lute although the oud is not a fretted instrument and its strings are much shorter (about 25 inches or 63 cm) as compared to 32 inches (82 cm) on a long-neck instrument.

For anyone interested in these lutes, I highly recommend THE ARCHAEOMUSICOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST by Professor Richard Dumbrill.

The location for this performance is the courtyard of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon. The piece is four minutes long and is intended only as a taste of what the music of ancient Sumer might have sounded like.” Peter Pringle




Artemis:  He received a few negative comments regarding accuracy on another video but clearly says he’s a performer and it’s his interpretation of what it might have sounded like.  To me the fact that he has such curiosity in the instruments, music, language and history to do something like this says it all.  I admire that kind of curiosity… encourage it… embrace it.       



Sumerian heartland inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

July 18, 2016

During its 40th session held in Istanbul on July 17th, 2016, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee inscribed the Mesopotamian Marshes on the World Heritage List as both a cultural and natural site. According to a UNESCO press release, the Mesopotamian Marshes, or the Ahwar, are “made up of seven sites: three archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas in southern Iraq.” The three archaeological sites are: Eridu (the world’s first city according to the Sumerians), Ur (home of the royal Sumerian tombs), and Uruk (home of the epic of Gilgamesh). The press release states that the three sites were “Sumerian cities and settlements that developed in southern Mesopotamia between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE in the marshy delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.”

The UNESCO also highlighted the uniqueness of the Ahwar “as one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment.” The Sumerian heartland is widely considered the birthplace of human civilization, where complex urban communities were originally developed. Although this decision reflects major progress in preserving and protecting Mesopotamian antiquities, the Cultural and Achaeological City of Babylon, however, is still on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List and has not been added to the World Heritage List.

A few years ago I read a book by Merlin Stone called When God Was a Woman, in which she wrote that ‘in the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman…the female deity in the Near and Middle East was revered as Goddess—much as people today think of God…the original status of the Goddess was as supreme deity…the Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not yet been introduced into religious thought.’

As a critical thinker, I know that sometimes a lie is told when the truth is declared halfway or haphazardly. Stone, who happens to be a White female artist and college professor, never mentioned the racial make-up of the female divinities of the world’s earliest civilizations she wrote about. I don’t know understand how Stone could write a book about When God Was a Woman and then later write a book on Three Thousand Years of Racism, which focuses on uncovering evidence of racism imposed by Indo-Europeans after they conquered most of the same regions discussed in When God Was a Woman, and fail to connect the probability that the Goddesses she first wrote about were originally depicted as Black women. How can she admit that ‘historical, mythological and archaeological evidence suggests that it was these northern people who brought with them the concepts of light as good and dark as evil (very possibly the symbolism of their racial attitudes toward the darker people of the southern areas) and of a supreme male deity;’ but not admit that the Goddess of theses Black people was also Black before they and She were conquered by White people (i.e., Indo-Europeans). 

Whether this failing was accidental or intentional is irrelevant, yet one could assume that the Goddesses would originally resemble the people who worship them. According to Albert Churchward, ‘the earliest members of the human race appeared in the interior of the African continent about two million years ago, then from the region of the Great Lakes they spread over the entire continent. Groups of these early men wandered down the Nile Valley, settled in Egypt, and then later dispersed themselves to all parts of the world…As these early Africans wandered over the world, they differentiated into the various human subspecies that now inhabit our planet. The men who remained in the tropical and equatorial regions retained their dark complexions, whereas those that settled in the temperate zones lost a portion of their dusky pigmentation and developed a fairer skin.’ Provided that the original racial profile of the Nile, Indus, and Tigris-Euphrates River Valley as well as the Aegean civilizations has been clandestinely confirmed as Black/African, then the female divinities worshipped in these civilizations should also logically be Black/African. Accordingly, in the beginning, to revise Stone, God was a Black woman.”

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One of the world’s oldest civilizations, Armenia once included Mount Ararat, which biblical tradition identifies as the mountain that Noah’s ark rested on after the flood. 

According to Genesis, …the boat came to rest on a mountain in the Ararat range. Ararat, located in the heart of Armenia, was a Holy Mountain for the peoples of the ancient world. Many ancient scriptures placed the Biblical Garden of Eden in the Land of Armenia also called the Land of Ararat. Thus, the territory of the Armenian Plateau is regarded as the cradle of civilization, the initial point for the further spreading of mankind all around the world.

The oldest myths reflect the wars of ancient Armenians against the neighboring Assyrians. Haik, considered the patriarch of the Armenian people, led his army to defeat the Assyrian giant Baeleus. By approximately 2100 BC, the first Armenian state was founded known as Hayasa. Even now, Armenians call themselves Hai (pronounced high), and their country - Haik or Haiastan, in honor of Haik. The Hittite scripts also mention a Haiasa country. Meanwhile, the Assyrian cuneiform writings designate Armenia as Urartu (Arartu), which means Ararat.

The Old Testament also associates Armenia with the Mount Ararat (the Kingdom of Ararat). In ancient times, Armenia was equally associated with the rivers Tigris, Euphrates, Araks and Kura. That is why the neighboring Assyrians also called Armenia, Nairi, standing for Riverland, Country of Rivers. Haik, once thought to be just a hero of an epic legend, is presently accepted by some researches as an actual chieftain of Armens in the 3rd millennium BC. Historians proved that later Haik was deified and proclaimed the prime god in the pantheon of gods in the pagan Armenia. One of Haik’s most famous scions, Aram, considerably extended the borders of his country, transforming it into a powerful state. Since then, Greeks and Persian began to call the country Armenia, i.e. the country of Aram.

Aram’s son, Ara the Beautiful succeeded him. A very romantic Armenian legend tells that Ara was so handsome that the Assyrian Queen Semiramis (the same who founded Babylon and planted its marvelous hanging gardens) fell in love with him. Ara repeatedly rejected her love proposals until the desperate queen began war with him. The Assyrians troops won the furious battle, and Ara was killed, in despite of Semiramis’s order to preserve his life. Inconsolable Semiramis reputed to be sorceress took his body and tried in vain to enliven him. When Armenians advanced to avenge their leader, she disguised one of her lovers and spread the rumor that Gods brought Ara back to life. As a result, the war was ceased.

Under Tigranes the Great the Armenian empire reached its height and became one of the most powerful in Asia, stretching from the Caucasus to Egypt. It was the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity as its religion (c. 300) Armenians speak a unique language considered one of the archaic still spoken today, a language with a graphically unique alphabetical writing system that was introduced around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, 

Throughout most of its long history,  Armenia has been invaded by a succession of empires. Under constant threat of domination by foreign forces, Armenians became both cosmopolitan as well as fierce protectors of their culture and tradition. 

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The Student Union of Jondishapour University in Ahvaz, Iran by Kamran Diba, 1968-1972. The building is built using elongated brick indigenous to the region surrounding the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates and is built in a traditional Islamic plan, being centered around various courtyards. An exaggerated staircase leads up to a gate framed by towers, emphasizing the importance of the project as a grand entrance. The architectural language is influenced by the bold revolutionary German modernist movement and the monumentalism of Italian futurism. In addition the artist was influenced by artist Giorgio de Chirico and his operatic scenes set in desolate deserts with dramatic lighting. Through this, the structure manipulates the harsh desert light into an art form. Diba combines all of these elements into a way that mirrors the utilitarian principles of southern Persian architecture and thus retains the unique national identity of Iran.

@tigris-euphrates No, I haven’t read that but I’ll have to be sure to check him out because I 100% agree with that statement!! I understand that perhaps in the context of the society and times that the whole specific “Father/Son” analogy was needed to help the people understand the relationship, and us, being ridiculous humans, just failed to recognize that God is simply God and cannot be expected to follow the same social constructs that we follow. I’ve always found the concept of being created in God’s image really interesting, because that said, we can’t say that God is either male or female because we’re all created in God’s image, regardless of gender.