Ancient Near East Cultures

Ancient Origins | 10/13/2017 | Staff
j.moomin (Posted by) Level 3
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The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’. So we may presume that these early cultures were founded by the genius of that broad racial group. The dolichocephalic Mediterranean, or “brown”, race may thus have constituted the earliest strata of the populations of Asia, Egypt and Europe.

Given the difficulty of descrying the racial identities of the peoples related to the early cultures of the Near East, we may attempt to derive a fuller view of their affiliations by resorting to sacred and mythological texts. In this regard, the Biblical ‘Table of Nations’ in Genesis 10-11 is of considerable value. Genesis 10:1 gives Shem, Ham and Japheth as the three ‘sons’ of Noah. Genesis 11:2 also mentions that Shem, Ham and Japheth originally lived together and journeyed ‘from the east’ (presumably Elam) to Shinar, or Sumer (from [Emesal dialect] Shengir=[Sumerian] Kengir). The Semitic, Hamitic and Japhetic peoples mentioned in the Bible are thus all closely related as part of the original Noachidian race.

Nations - Genesis - Semites - Elam - Iran

According to the ‘Table of Nations’, in Genesis 10:22, the earliest Semites were located in Elam, in western Iran, and contributed to the neighboring Assyrian state as well as to the formation of the Aramean and Hebrew races. The Elamite language however is, unlike the Semitic, agglutinative and bears similarities with Hurrian and Dravidian. F. Bork and G.W. Brown, for instance, have revealed the intimate linguistic relationship between Hurrian (along with its Mitanni dialect), Elamite, and Dravidian. In this context we may recall that, according to the Bhāgavata Purāna , VIII,24, the survivor of...
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