Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mesopotamia Civilization(美索不达米亚文明)

The lost civilization - Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia Civilization was one of the early civilization which had been lost in history. It was the civilization of people living in today's Iraq. Today not only the civilization, their languages, their people had been lost in time. Unlike Persia, today's Iran who was able to survive from wars and Arabization, and remained strongly in its Persian character(except religion). Like Egypt civilization, Mesopotamia civilization left without traces left in Iraq, today Iraq together with Egypt are highly arabized , except some archeological sites and artifacts remained to remind us of their existence in history....is it sad for the civilization?....

Mesopotamia (Arabic: بلاد الرافدين transliterated: Bilad Al-Rafidayn, Greek exonym: Μεσοποταμία, "land between the rivers") is a toponym for the Tigris–Euphrates region in the eastern Mediterranean, largely corresponding to Iraq, as well as northeastern Syria, some parts of southeastern Turkey, and some parts of the Khūzestān Province of southwestern Iran.
Widely considered as the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires. In the Iron Age, it was ruled by the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Neo-Babylonian Empire, and later conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It mostly remained under Persian rule until the 7th century Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire.

The urban history of Mesopotamia begins with the emergence of urban societies in northern Iraq in the early 6th millennium BCE.

A cultural continuity and spatial homogeneity for this entire historical geography ("the Great Tradition") is popularly assumed, though the assumption is problematic. Mesopotamia housed some of the world's most ancient states with highly developed social complexity. The region was famous as one of the four riverine civilizations where writing was first invented, along with the Nile valley in Egypt, the Indus Valley in Pakistan and Yellow River valley in China (Although writing is also known to have arisen independently in Mesoamerica).

Mesopotamia housed historically important cities such as Uruk, Nippur, Nineveh, and Babylon as well as major territorial states such as the city of Ma-asesblu, Akkadian kingdom, Third Dynasty of Ur, and Assyrian empire. Some of the important historical Mesopotamian leaders were Ur-Nammu (king of Ur), Sargon (who established the Akkadian Kingdom), Hammurabi (who established the Old Babylonian state), and Tiglath-Pileser I (who established the Assyrian Empire).

"Ancient Mesopotamia" begins in the late 6th millennium BC, and ends with either the rise of the Achaemenid Persians in the 6th century BCE or the Islamic conquest of Iraq in the 7th century CE.

(source: Extract from wikipedia)

Genesis Chapter 9 of the Bible, narrates the curse Noah puts on Ham for viewing him naked in his tent. The descendants of Ham (called the descendants of Canaan, Ham's son), are to be the lowest of slaves. Because his sons Shem and Japheth cover their father's nakedness, Noah blesses them and their de scendants, giving them the sons of Ham as slaves. Genesis 10 lists the descendants of the three sons of Noah which make up the three great races: the Japhethites (sons of Japheth), the Hamites (sons of Ham), and the Semites (the sons of Shem). "From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood."

Genesis Chapter 11: 1-2

1 Now all the earth had one language and the words were common [to all].

2 And men moved east, and they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they settled there.

The land of Shinar was reported to be Babylonia. It was first Sumer, Akkad, and then Babylonia. This is where the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth went after they tarried in the highlands of Armenia, after the Great flood. This is the place where Tower of Babel was built, where the Book of Genesis Chapter 11:1-9 told us that after the collapse of the tower, the common language or a unity language was gone, mankind begin to speak different languages, they are then scattered.

The video series Part 1-6 is focused on Sumer(苏美尔).

Sumer is the ancient country in southeastern Mespotamia(now in Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia, the southern part of modern Iraq). It is the birthplace of first civilization in world history. The Sumerian history lasted from 3500 BC to 2000 BC. The Assyrian and Babylonian culture continued the Sumerian civilization after the period.

Sumer was the half of Mesopotamia to the south, where Akkad to the north was the other half. The Sumerians formed city states, but constantly at war with each others and other people, due to water is a scarce resources. The stronger city state took over the smaller and weaker city states, city states become larger.

The five "first" cities said to have exercised pre-dynastic kingship:

1. Eridu (Tell Abu Shahrain)
2. Bad-tibira (probably Tell al-Madain)
3. Larsa (Tell as-Senkereh)
4. Sippar (Tell Abu Habbah)
5. Shuruppak (Tell Fara)

Other principal cities:

6. Kish (Tell Uheimir & Ingharra)
7. Uruk (Warka)
8. Ur (Tell al-Muqayyar)
9. Nippur (Afak)
10. Lagash (Tell al-Hiba)
11. Ngirsu (Tello or Telloh)
12. Umma (Tell Jokha)
13. Hamazi 1
14. Adab (Tell Bismaya)
15. Mari (Tell Hariri) 2
16. Akshak 1
17. Akkad 1
18. Isin (Ishan al-Bahriyat)

(1 - location uncertain)
(2 - an outlying city in northern Mesopotamia)

Minor cities (from south to north):

1. Kuara (Tell al-Lahm)
2. Zabala (Tell Ibzeikh)
3. Kisurra (Tell Abu Hatab)
4. Marad (Tell Wannat es-Sadum)
5. Dilbat (Tell ed-Duleim)
6. Borsippa (Birs Nimrud)
7. Kutha (Tell Ibrahim)
8. Der (al-Badra)
9. Eshnunna (Tell Asmar)
10. Nagar (Tell Brak) 2

(2 - an outlying city in northern Mesopotamia)

The Sumerian eventually battle another people from the north, who are from Arabian Peninsula, called Akkadians,who are Semitic, who spoke Semitic language( related to Hebrew and Arabic). The city states of Sumer fell under Akkadian kingdom, the capital is Akkad, which later become Babylon. The Akkadian however abandoned much of their culture and adopt Sumerian culture.The Sumerian of the city of Ur did regain control , but only for a short period, another Semitic, the Amorites, gain control and started the end of Sumerian, who disappeared from human history around 2,000 BC. Genesis 10:16 described Amorites is the descendants of Canaan, son of Ham.

But the Sumerian civilization continued to the Semitic people, who adopt the Sumerian culture,which included system of Monarchy, Law, Writing, Religion, Science and Mathematics. Who is the Sumerian? the original Sumerian or the Semitic people who adopt their culture?.......

Noted Sumerian history recorded the story of the Great Flood(similar to the Great Flood of Noah), and according to Book of Genesis, the originator of the Hebrew race is the patriarch Abraham, who originally came from the city of Ur. Is it Sumerian Ur?

Note: Middle East , Near East ancient history is the lesser read history by us(including me), despite that the happening in this region will affect our lives in other region including Asia, Europe and America as well. The history of the past was complicated but interesting. There were wars with blood of the politic, race and religion, and tears from suffering of ordinary people. There were conflicting information from various schools based on their religion, politic, and racial bias. The understanding of the ancient history will enable us to understand the modern history of the region better. The modern history in Middle East is as complicated as the ancient history. The history seems to repeat. This is my personal reading of the historical articles, it helps me to understand global problem better, and not based on media biased articles(west and east). There are various sources in the internet and books, other than wikipedia. You need to be wise personally to select the data. Middle East is not all Arab history, there are Persian, Turks, Kurds, Jews, Arameans, Copts, Yemenis, Greeks, Samaritans, Pashtuns, Turkmens....... some have lost their native languages, some races are on the way to extinction e.g. Samaritans is with 700 people left. There were IDP, political refugee....the problems are all caused by politic, war, genocides, all caused by mankind itself. It is the history of greed and power, messes left by colonists(west and east)......

The posting was to provide some historical background to understand the video.

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