PDA

View Full Version : Origin of the Ancient Assyrians (split) //mod



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7

Vasishta
2011-02-01, 10:53
I scanned a certain introductory excerpt from a book regarding Assyrians, with this thread in mind. The resident Assyrians can weigh in on the excerpt's reliability and authenticity.


Origin of the Ancient Assyrians


- An excerpt from the book Assyrian Life and History by Margaret Elise Harkness.

The origin of the Assyrians has not yet been discovered but their religion, literature, method of writing, and science, being all of Babylonian nature, we are led to believe that the first home of the Assyrian nation was in Chaldea. This supposition is confirmed by the state ment made in the tenth chapter of Genesis, namely, that the Assyrians were of Semitic stock, and that they went out of Chaldea to found a kingdom, of which the chief cities were Nineveh, Calah, and others. 1 (Genesis,x. II, 12.)

The original Assyria, so far as we know, was a small and compact territory occupying the middle part of the basin of the Tigris, between latitudes 35 and 39, a space about one hundred miles from north to south, and seventy miles from east to west.

As time went on, the extent of the country increased ; and in 650 B.C. Assyria Proper reached its greatest limit, and stretched from latitude 35 to 38, and longitude 40 to 45. At this period of its supreme power, Assyria ruled over a large extent of Central Asia ; and the districts subject to its dominion included Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, and Asia Minor as far as Lydia, on the west ; Elam, and part of Media, on the east ; and Babylonia, and part of Arabia, on the south.

Between the period when Assyria was first founded by a colony from Chaldca, and the period when it reached its greatest fame, the extent of territory acknowledging its rule varied considerably. Sometimes a warlike monarch ascended the throne, and then conquests were made in every direction. Sometimes a series of weak kings occupied the seat of government, and then the vanquished nations asserted their independence and threw off the yoke of Assyria. Owing to these constant changes, it is impossible to define the limits of the Assyrian empire at every point of its history, and we are forced to content ourselves with indicating the minimum and maximum of Assyrian dominion.

In the seventh century before Christ, Assyria sank into decay, and remained unknown to history until about forty years ago. Then the sites of some of its most famous cities were discovered ; namely, Kalah-Shergat, supposed to represent Assur, Nimroud, the Calah of Scripture, and Kouyunjik, still indicated by local tradition as the site of Nineveh.

Great mounds, formed by the natural accumulation of the soil over the debris of ruined edifices, indicated the existence of these buried cities, and led to the excavations which have furnished us with so much valuable information concerning ancient Assyria. There, hidden from view under masses of crumbled ruins, were found monuments engraven with annals of Assyrian fame and power, and sculptures which portray the gods whom the Assyrians worshipped, and the conquests which their kings achieved.

The language in which this stone and brick literature is written is difficult to decipher for two reasons : the intricacy of the characters, and the fact that a knowledge of cognate languages is indispensable for the true translation of the words. Great scholars have, however, been found willing to undertake the task of decipherment, and by patient perseverance they have accomplished the work. The result of their labours is given briefly in this book, the pages of which are intended to form a popular guide to Assyrian history, and an introduction to the study of Assyriology.

Humanist
2011-02-01, 11:35
I scanned a certain introductory excerpt from a book regarding Assyrians, with this thread in mind. The resident Assyrians can weigh in on the excerpt's reliability and authenticity.

Origin of the Ancient Assyrians

- An excerpt from the book Assyrian Life and History by Margaret Elise Harkness.


The origin of the Assyrians has not yet been discovered but their religion, literature, method of writing, and science, being all of Babylonian nature, we are led to believe that the first home of the Assyrian nation was in Chaldea. This supposition is confirmed by the state ment made in the tenth chapter of Genesis, namely, that the Assyrians were of Shemitic stock, and that they went out of Chaldea to found a kingdom, of which the chief cities were Nineveh, Calah, and others. 1 (Genesis,x. II, 12.)

Hi Vasishta:

Thank you for your interest. The bold bit is inconsistent with the genetic data. All populations with the West Asian component as their most abundant autosomal ADMIXTURE element, including, but not limited to Georgians, Turks, Iranians, Kurds, and Assyrians, count, as their principal place of origin, the Transcaucasus. I have made many posts detailing the Y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA of Assyrians, including that of other predominantly West Asian populations over the course of the last year. Haplogroup frequencies, haplotype diversity, tMRCAs, etc., suggest a Transcaucasian origin. Again, the same Transcaucasian nexus is clearly evident by examining the plethora of autosomal data posted, including, but not limited to, ADMIXTURE analyses, MDS plots, Identical By Descent (IBD), and Allele Sharing Distance matrix (~IBS) analyses.

I believe the Armenians (or, rather proto-Armenians/Hurrians/Urartians) are the ancestral population of the Assyrians. How many millennia one must go back to the hypothesized proto-Armenian/Assyrian population, I do not know. TMRCAs are our best bet, but, unfortunately, they are imprecise, particularly the further one is removed from the present. There are no 67 marker haplotypes with tMRCAs less than 2000+ years. The great majority are much further removed. If I had to ponder a guess, I would say between 6000 and 7000 years ago, the ancestors of Armenians and Assyrians went their separate ways. Not shortly thereafter, it is possible, Akkadian came into existence.


Dienekes
January 22, 2011
Near Eastern Grape domestication (http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2011/01/near-eastern-grape-domestication.html)
Kambiz links to an interesting paper on grape domestication. From the paper:

Archaeological evidence suggests that grape domestication took place in the South Caucasus between the Caspian and Black Seas and that cultivated vinifera then spread south to the western side of the Fertile Crescent, the Jordan Valley, and Egypt by 5,000 y ago (1, 21). Our analyses of relatedness between vinifera and sylvestris populations are consistent with archaeological data and support a geographical origin of grape domestication in the Near East (Fig. 4 and Table 1).

The genetic confirmation of the archaeological inference is particularly interesting, since "wine"is part of the Proto-Indo-European lexicon, and has related forms in both Kartvelian (South Caucasian) and Semitic languages. The Transcaucasus seems a quite good place to seek early contact between these three language families. Interestingly, the area between the Black Sea and Caspian is also where genetic analysis of Indo-Aryan origins has brought me.

EliasAlucard
2011-02-01, 12:20
Like Humanist says, the genetic data suggests a Caucasus origin of the ancient Assyrians. For example, Dagestanis have Y-DNA J1c3, as well as J1, and J1c3 branched off from J1. Autosomally, there's not much difference between Armenians and Assyrians, which again, points to the Caucasus. Armenians also have J1.

Babylonian (i.e., Akkadian and Sumerian) was undoubtedly the most important influence in Assyria (Assyria was basically an extension of Babylonia; similar to the UK and the USA), both demographically and culturally, especially after Sargon of Akkad conquered Assyria (who was for some ironic reason more popular in Assyria than in Babylonia), although mythic legend has it that Sargon was originally from north Mesopotamia.

Even if the Assyrians were Babylonians who settled in the north, the Babylonians were originally from the north anyway, so we're talking about back migrations.

Ekarfi
2011-02-01, 12:39
Like Humanist says, the genetic data suggests a Caucasus origin of the ancient Assyrians. For example, Dagestanis have Y-DNA J1c3, as well as J1, and J1c3 branched off from J1. Autosomally, there's not much difference between Armenians and Assyrians, which again, points to the Caucasus. Armenians also have J1.

Babylonian (i.e., Akkadian and Sumerian) was undoubtedly the most important influence in Assyria (Assyria was basically an extension of Babylonia; similar to the UK and the USA), both demographically and culturally, especially after Sargon of Akkad conquered Assyria (who was for some ironic reason more popular in Assyria than in Babylonia), although mythic legend has it that Sargon was originally from north Mesopotamia.

Even if the Assyrians were Babylonians who settled in the north, the Babylonians were originally from the north anyway, so we're talking about back migrations.
What about Sumerian ancestry , is it more prelevent amongst Assyrians or Iraqis?

EliasAlucard
2011-02-01, 12:57
What about Sumerian ancestry , is it more prelevent amongst Assyrians or Iraqis?Probably neither carry any significant Sumerian ancestry.

Helios
2011-02-01, 12:58
Which current group(s) have significant Sumerian ancestry?

Humanist
2011-02-01, 14:20
I do agree with Elias, if he meant that Sumerian ancestry does not comprise a significant portion of any modern population's genome. The Sumerian input into any of the subsequent greater Mesopotamian populations would have been finite, and, over the course of the many millennia since, diluted. But, this of course does not mean it disappeared altogether. The modern populations I would expect to have some --although not significant-- Sumerian ancestry are the Assyrians, Iraqis, Mandaeans, Kuwaitis and Iranians.

---------- Post added 2011-02-01 at 09:47 ----------

From the Mandaean thread and also relevant to this discussion:

Near Eastern brachycephals; Syria, Armenia, and the Caucasus


The object of the present section is to deal with the general group of brachycephalic peoples, other than the Osmanli Turks, who live in the regions lying between Syria and the Caucasus, and including both. These peoples include the various groups of Syrians, the Druses, the Armenians, the Assyrians and the Caucasic peoples proper.

A separate group of brachycephalic Near Eastern people living until recently in the neighborhood of the eastern Armenians is that of the Aissores, or Assyrians, Christians who still speak the old Syric language, now used in Syria in a ritual sense only, but once widespread also in Mesopotamia. These Assyrians, Christians in Mesopotamia since their conversion in 70 AD., were, at the time of the Arab conquest of their country, granted a firman issued by the Prophet himself permitting them to practice their religion without hindrance. Under this sanction they flourished greatly, sent missionaries to China, and founded a colony, which still exists, in India. At the time of the Mongol invasions, between 1230 and 1400 A.D., their country was laid waste, and those who survived the calamity fled northward into Turkey, settling in the mountain district of Hakkiari, in Kurdish country, south of Lake Van and west of Lake Urmia. In 1914, 80,000 of them were still established there, while another 35,000 lived in Iran, near Lake Urmia, and 10,000 more had returned to the lowlands of Iraq, near Mosul. During the World War and in the two decades since, the Assyrians have suffered further political disasters which have left them homeless and have greatly reduced their numbers.

These Assyrians, whose ancestors, presumably plainsmen from Iraq, may have been no different in a physical sense from the other inhabitants of that valley, are now, after some six hundred years of living in the mountains, more brachycephalic than the Armenians. Their mean stature is about 167 cm., their cephalic index mean about 87, with series by different authors varying from 85 to 90. They are almost purely brunet, and characteristically aquiline in nasal profile. Their total resemblance to Armenians, however, is not close; the faces of the Assyrians are both shorter and narrower than those of the Armenians, and their noses are likewise smaller. It is possible that mixture with Armenians produced the initial stimulus toward hyperbrachycephaly, but whatever its immediate origin, the facial dimensions show that the basic Mediterranean type involved is western, and not Irano-Afghan.


The characters that have just been described are very close to those of the Armenid subrace of the Europid race. The Armenians themselves, from whom the name of the subrace is derived are of remarkably uniform physical type. A good description of the Armenians was published by Chantre in 1895. Essentially the same type was represented in ancient times by the Hittites and Assyrians; indeed, the type was named Assyroid by Deniker.

Wojewoda
2011-02-01, 14:51
If I had to ponder a guess, I would say between 6000 and 7000 years ago, the ancestors of Armenians and Assyrians went their separate ways.

Paul, how do you solve the problem of the language family divergence between Armenians and Assyrians? Are you inclined to believe that:

a) Assyrians lost their IE language due to some Semitic influence;
b) Armenians lost their Semitic language due to some IE influence;
c) both Assyrians and Armenians spoke some other non-IE non-Semitic language before.

And another question: we know - thank to your research - that Assyrians are very similar to Armenians. But have you ever thought about the differences betweem these two groups? Are there any for instance in terms of Y-chromosome haplogroups?

Othuroyo
2011-02-01, 15:26
To be honest, I believe our relationship with Armenians is mostly because of our shared Hurrian ancestry.

Humanist
2011-02-02, 06:30
Paul, how do you solve the problem of the language family divergence between Armenians and Assyrians? Are you inclined to believe that:

a) Assyrians lost their IE language due to some Semitic influence;
b) Armenians lost their Semitic language due to some IE influence;
c) both Assyrians and Armenians spoke some other non-IE non-Semitic language before.

And another question: we know - thank to your research - that Assyrians are very similar to Armenians. But have you ever thought about the differences betweem these two groups? Are there any for instance in terms of Y-chromosome haplogroups?

Hi Wojciech,

I will reply to your post in greater depth later, but in the meantime, this is the opinion of Dr. Roy King, regarding the relationship between Assyrian and Armenian Y-DNA:
Armenian DNA Project Page -
As per Dr. Roy King: " ... Assyrians and Armenians are practically identical [genetically] except for language which must be reflected in the I2 and perhaps E1b1b1a-V13 frequencies for the Indo-European superstratum. This is interesting in that it suggests that the Indo-European Armenian speakers came from the Balkans rather than via the Caucasus.

Dr. Roy King sampled ~100 Assyrian men. To date, only the Assyrian J1 haplogroup results have been published. I sincerely hope he publishes the entire set soon!

birko19
2011-02-02, 06:41
Paul, how do you solve the problem of the language family divergence between Armenians and Assyrians? Are you inclined to believe that:

a) Assyrians lost their IE language due to some Semitic influence;
b) Armenians lost their Semitic language due to some IE influence;
c) both Assyrians and Armenians spoke some other non-IE non-Semitic language before.

The answer is C, the Assyrians and Armenians both likely come from a Caucasian/Anatolian stock (Hurrian-Urartian), the main difference is that the Assyrians were Semetized by the early Akkadians/Amorites while the Armenians were Indo-Europeanized, of course there's more to the story but this is big big picture imo.


And another question: we know - thank to your research - that Assyrians are very similar to Armenians. But have you ever thought about the differences betweem these two groups? Are there any for instance in terms of Y-chromosome haplogroups?

Here's the current Y-DNA frequency between the two groups (Based on FTDNA, 23andMe, and other sources), as you can see, R1b, J1, J2, and G are major lineages with both populations.

Humanist
2011-02-02, 06:46
Urartu and Assyria in the 1st millennium BCE:

birko19
2011-02-02, 06:51
Also check out the map before the invasion of the Akkadians to the north (Heart of Assyria), the population in the area were actually Hurrians.

Humanist
2011-02-02, 06:57
Dr. Igor Lipovsky's, author of "Where did the Ancient Semites come from," theory regarding Assyrian origins:

[T]he Assyrians at the time of the Fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.) were a mixture of Eastern Semites (Akkadians) and Western Semites (Amorites and Arameans) with the addition of Hurrian blood. I don't think that Sumerians, Elamites and Hittites became a part of Assyrians, but I am sure that Sumerians became an integral part of Babylonians, the southern neighbors of Assyria. [T]he Israelites and residents of Syrian cities, who were deported in great quantities to Assyria were Western Semites (Amorites and Arameans) too.

[T]he ancestors of Assyrians, Eastern Semites related to Akkadians, originated from Southeastern Turkey. Later they mingled with Amorites, who came en mass to northern and central Mesopotamia in 23-21 Centuries B.C. Later they mingled with Hurrians and Maryannu (Hurrian elite of Indo-Aryan origin). Much later, (New Assyrian Kingdom and after Fall of Nineveh) the Assyrians assimilated with Arameans, who like Amorites came from Southeastern Anatolia.

sgh
2011-02-02, 08:12
Probably neither carry any significant Sumerian ancestry.

I don't know about that. I've read that the word Nineveh is of Sumerian origin which indicates their presence in the region. During certain periods of their history the Sumerians did rule the region that was to become Assyria; no doubt some of them did settle in the area. The Babylonians were a mix of various semitic groups and the Sumerians; throughout the centuries many of them ended up in Assyria either voluntarily or otherwise. During the height of the Assyrian Empire hundreds of thousands of Babylonians were brought to Assyria and assimilated into the population...so I think we Assyrians do have significant Sumerian ancestry though of course mixed/diluted with other groups.

Wojewoda
2011-02-02, 08:46
The answer is C, the Assyrians and Armenians both likely come from a Caucasian/Anatolian stock (Hurrian-Urartian), the main difference is that the Assyrians were Semetized by the early Akkadians/Amorites while the Armenians were Indo-Europeanized, of course there's more to the story but this is big big picture imo.



Here's the current Y-DNA frequency between the two groups (Based on FTDNA, 23andMe, and other sources), as you can see, R1b, J1, J2, and G are major lineages with both populations.

If both nations come from Hurrians then it would indicate that those who made Assyrians Semitic speakers had relatively large amounts of hg T and hg J1 and those who made Armenians IE speaker had relatively large amouns of J2, E1b and I.

I don't know about T, but J1 certainly has strong Semitic associations.

As far as J2, E1b and I are concerned we get Albanians (J2+E1b+I=69.5%), then Serbs (69%), then Greeks (67.5) and then Bulgarians (67%) as nations having most of these haplogroups.

So it seems that if something made Armenians speak IE instead of Hurrian then it probably came from the Balkans.

Which one of these Paleo-Balkan languages could be involved:



Ancient Greek
Ancient Macedonian
Dacian
Illyrian
Liburnian
Messapic
Paeonian
Phrygian
Thracian
Venetic


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-Balkan_languages

?

Greek?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeco-Armenian_hypothesis

Phrygian?

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/images/wiki/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Turkey_ancient_region_map_phrygia.gif



The Armenians according to Diakonoff, are then an amalgam of the Hurrians (and Urartians), Luvians and the Mushki. After arriving in its historical territory, Proto-Armenian would appear to have undergone massive influence on part the languages it eventually replaced. Armenian phonology, for instance, appears to have been greatly affected by Urartian, which may suggest a long period of bilingualism.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Armenian



The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture notes that "the Armenians according to Diakonoff, are then an amalgam of the Hurrian (and Urartians), Luvians and the Proto-Armenian Mushki who carried their IE language eastwards across Anatolia."[2]

(...)

Assyrian sources identify the Western Mushki with the Phrygians, while Greek sources clearly distinguish between Phrygians and Moschoi.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushki




Phrygian is considered to have been closely related to Greek.[1][2] The similarity of some Phrygian words to Greek ones was observed by Plato in his Cratylus (410a).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygian_language

Humanist
2011-02-02, 09:18
If both nations come from Hurrians then it would indicate that those who made Assyrians Semitic speakers had relatively large amounts of hg T and hg J1 and those who made Armenians IE speaker had relatively large amouns of J2, E1b and I.

I don't know about T, but J1 certainly has strong Semitic associations.

With regard to J1: 23andMe Scientists Harness Linguistics to Describe Origin and History of Paternal Haplogroup J1e (http://spittoon.23andme.com/2009/10/14/23andme-scientists-harness-linguistics-to-describe-origin-and-history-of-paternal-haplogroup-j1e/)

The researchers’ combined analysis of the J1e types and the ancient Semitic languages revealed some startling results. The authors found that J1e arose in Anatolia (present-day Turkey), expanding southward toward Arabia 10,000 years ago.

The linguistic evidence lends additional support. The common ancestor of all Semitic languages, called proto-Semitic, originated about 7,500 years ago, just as J1e was expanding. More importantly, the spread of proto-Semitic coincides with the spread of hunter-herders across the Near East.

So what does all this mean? The expansion of haplogroup J1e is closely tied to the expansion of the Semitic languages. And they are both linked to the expansion of hunter-herders, who journeyed from Anatolia southward into Arabia thousands of years ago. We now know just a little bit more about the ancient history of this fascinating region.

Loxias
2011-02-02, 09:27
Interesting, article.
But how would you say the high proportion of J1e in Northeast Caucasus people fit within that history?

Humanist
2011-02-02, 09:33
"This [Semitic language] phylogeny is rooted with Akkadian..." (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/suppl/2009/04/28/rspb.2009.0408.DC1/rspb20090408supp04.pdf)

Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today (http://www.aina.org/articles/assyrianidentity.pdf)

Seventh-century BC Assyria was thus divided into two major language groups: speakers of Aramaic-in practice, the entire population of the country-and speakers of Akkadian, including the largely bilingual inhabitants of the Assyrian heartland and the fully bilingual ruling class. This dichotomy was, however, largely social, not cultural, and it came to an end with the fall of the Empire and the subsequent massacre of the Assyrian aristocracy. Although Neo-Assyrian certainly continued to be spoken and written in Harran at least until the end of the reign of Nabonidus (539 BC; Schaudig 2001, 73), Aramaic now fast became the only language spoken in Assyria outside the Assyrian heartland, and eventually in the latter as well.

Humanist
2011-02-02, 09:49
Interesting, article.
But how would you say the high proportion of J1e in Northeast Caucasus people fit within that history?

Hi Loxias. It is not high frequency, actually, but rather high haplotype diversity of J1c3 (J1e) among the populations of the Caucasus, Anatolia, and northern Mesopotamia. Certain populations of the Caucasus (ie various peoples of Dagestan), Armenians, and Assyrians, display high frequencies of J1* w/DYS388=13 coupled with high diversity. But, it is the former, which is most associated with the spread of Semitic languages into Arabia.

Please, also refer to my previous post, regarding Akkadian and Aramaic. Assyrians, originally, spoke Akkadian. It was only during the 1st millennium BCE, Aramaic became our principal tongue. As it remains, in its modern form, to this day.

One individual's theory regarding proto-Semitic: (http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/proto-semitic-dating-and-locating-it/)

[L]ocated in West Asia, in the Syria/Iran/Mesopotamia arc; it’s the only place with naphtha (bitumen travels well, naphtha doesn’t) and oak trees, and enough familiarity with ice to need a word for it, and lots of hills. I would suggest that it was probably quite closely related to the Akkadian and Eblaite languages, and may just be a dialect of that region that expanded out for some unknown reason...

Attached image from the proto-Semitic article referred to above.

Humanist
2011-02-02, 10:37
Further support for the ancient nature of Armenian-Assyrian genetic relatedness. Despite very similar frequencies of haplogroup types, haplotypes, as evidenced by this study, suggest significant diversity:

Y chromosome diversity in Kurds and Assyrians living in Armenia (http://www.yhrd.org/files/3rd_y_user_workshop_talk_abstacts.pdf)
Yepiskoposyan et al 2002
Abstract

734 ethnic Armenian, 196 Kurd and 106 Assyrian men were sampled in Armenia. DNA was extracted from buccal swab and typed for six STR...

Overall, Assyrians and Kurds appear to be genetically distinct from the general Armenian population, with Fst values suggesting that Assyrians are the most differentiated group from all Armenian regional populations and from Kurds.

birko19
2011-02-02, 11:14
If both nations come from Hurrians then it would indicate that those who made Assyrians Semitic speakers had relatively large amounts of hg T and hg J1 and those who made Armenians IE speaker had relatively large amouns of J2, E1b and I.

I don't know about T, but J1 certainly has strong Semitic associations.

As far as J2, E1b and I are concerned we get Albanians (J2+E1b+I=69.5%), then Serbs (69%), then Greeks (67.5) and then Bulgarians (67%) as nations having most of these haplogroups.

As Humanist mentioned, haplogroup J1 in Assyrians is actually J1* DYS388=13, this lineage is not as common among Semitic populations which tells me there's little association there, J1c3d on the other hand (Which is not that common among Assyrians) is indeed very significant among Semitic populations such as Arabs and Jews, check out the Armenian project:

J1* --> 10%
J1c3d --> 3%

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/ArmeniaDNAProject/default.aspx?section=yresults

It's pretty much a similar case with the Assyrians, J1c3d is one of the minor lineages, J1* on the other hand is the second most dominant lineage, the former is likely associated with the Semitic expansion while the latter is a native lineage, now check out the Jewish project:

J1* --> Less than 1% (1 out of 1008)
J1c3d --> 15%

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/JewishDNAProject/default.aspx?section=yresults

The Arab project:

J1* --> 0%
J1c3d --> 48%

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/arabworlddnaproject/default.aspx?section=yresults

So I'm not even sure if the invaders added a lot to the Assyrian population, perhaps that's one reason why the Assyrians and Armenians are so similar, on the other hand, we don't have ancient Akkadian/Amorite DNA to prove this, we're going based on the speculation that J1c3d is indeed the Semitic marker.

Also it was wrong of me to put in the chart E1b by itself, we all know E1b means nothing, for example:

E1b1b1 --> East Africa and Near East
E1b1b1c1 --> Near East
E1b1b1a2 --> Balkans with some minor presence in the Near East

Among Armenians, E1b1b1c1 (Near Eastern) is actually the most common E1b subclade, the Balkan E1b (V13) is very small among them, while among Assyrians, E1b is a minor lineage in general.


So it seems that if something made Armenians speak IE instead of Hurrian then it probably came from the Balkans.

Which one of these Paleo-Balkan languages could be involved:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-Balkan_languages

?

Greek?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeco-Armenian_hypothesis

Phrygian?

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/images/wiki/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Turkey_ancient_region_map_phrygia.gif



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Armenian



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushki




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygian_language

I think it's hard to pin point exactly where the Armenians got their language from, but I always wondered whether the ancient Anatolian branch of Indo-European might have had something to do with it, perhaps the mix of that along with the ancient Urartian language created the Armenian language, this is a quote I found which is interesting:


The Armenians according to Diakonoff, are then an amalgam of the Hurrians (and Urartians), Luvians and the Mushki. After arriving in its historical territory, Proto-Armenian would appear to have undergone massive influence on part the languages it eventually replaced. Armenian phonology, for instance, appears to have been greatly affected by Urartian, which may suggest a long period of bilingualism.

http://www.ebook3000.com/Encyclopedia-of-Indo-European-Culture_35715.html

Luvian was an Indo-European language of the Anatolian branch similar to the Hittite language, it was spoken in the Western parts of Anatolia in the Hittite territories, whether the Anatolian branch comes from the Balkans or not, I don't know.

Humanist
2011-02-03, 02:09
I should add the following:

A friend of mine, Bonnie Schrack, a couple of months ago, attended the presentation of Nadia Al-Zahery's Marsh Arab study. She managed to get this bit from the presentation:

Interestingly, when the two M267 subclades, J1-M267* and J1e are considered, differential frequency trends emerge. The less represented J1-M267* primarily diffuses towards North East Mesopotamia and shows its maximum frequency in the northern area (Assyrian). In contrast, the most frequent J1e accounts for almost all the J1 distribution in South West Mesopotamia, reaching its highest value in the Marshes. By considering the STR variance associated to the two different subsets of J1 chromosomes, the highest variance for both J1-M267* and J1e(J1c3) is registered in the northern Mesopotamia area. . . . The lower variance value (0,118) registered in the Marshes Arabs is in agreement with a recent expansion event which, itself, clearly emerges from the network analysis. The presence of Y chromosomes belonging to the M267* paragroup suggests a long persistence of this haplogroup in the Mesopotamia Marsh area.

birko19
2011-02-03, 03:30
I should add the following:

A friend of mine, Bonnie Schrack, a couple of months ago, attended the presentation of Nadia Al-Zahery's Marsh Arab study. She managed to get this bit from the presentation:

Agreed that J1c3 originated in the north (Possibly around the Zagros), such migration to the south probably started taking place during the Neolithic times 10,000 years ago, but as Semitic speakers they originated in the south imo (At least in the Levant), so J1c3d originated in the southern areas where it has significance among Arabs and Jews.

I have a theory about the Semitic languages, I believe it must have been a fusion of Anatolian J1c3 (Which later developed into L147-J1c3d) and the Eastern African E1b1b1 (Which later developed into M34-E1b1b1c1), both lineages seem to meet around the Jordan/Israel/Palestine/Sinai area, that's where the Proto-Semitic language probably started, and that's where the J1c3d probably originated too.

Loxias
2011-02-03, 03:34
Agreed that J1c3 originated in the north (Possibly around the Zagros), such migration to the south probably started taking place during the Neolithic times 10,000 years ago, but as Semitic speakers they originated in the south imo (At least in the Levant), so J1c3d originated in the southern areas where it has significance among Arabs and Jews.

I have a theory about the Semitic languages, I believe it must have been a fusion of Anatolian J1c3 (Which later developed into L147-J1c3d) and the Eastern African E1b1b1 (Which later developed into M34-E1b1b1c1), both lineages seem to meet around the Jordan/Israel/Palestine/Sinai area, that's where the Proto-Semitic language probably started, and that's where the J1c3d probably originated too.

So you would say Semitic languages could be a form of creole spoken there? What do you think of the idea that the original J1c3d carrier spoke a language more closely related to Northeast Caucasian languages which acted as some form of superstratum to the E1b1b1-carried Afroasiatic language?

birko19
2011-02-03, 03:48
So you would say Semitic languages could be a form of creole spoken there? What do you think of the idea that the original J1c3d carrier spoke a language more closely related to Northeast Caucasian languages which acted as some form of superstratum to the E1b1b1-carried Afroasiatic language?

Yea, possibly.

Humanist
2011-02-03, 03:49
Not suggesting the theory is correct!!

"The similarities between the flood stories in Genesis and Gilgamesh are extremely numerous, and are summed up in this chart (Flood):"

COMPARISON OF GENESIS AND GILGAMESH
GENESIS GILGAMESH
Extent of flood Global Global
Cause Man’s wickedness Man’s sins
Intended for whom? All mankind One city & all mankind
Sender Yahweh Assembly of “gods”
Name of hero Noah Utnapishtim
Hero’s character Righteous Righteous
Means of announcement Direct from God In a dream
Ordered to build boat? Yes Yes
Did hero complain? Yes Yes
Height of boat Several stories (3) Several stories (6)
Compartments inside? Many Many
Doors One One
Windows At least one At least one
Outside coating Pitch Pitch
Shape of boat Rectangular Square
Human passengers Family members only Family & few others
Other passengers All species of animals All species of animals
Means of flood Ground water & heavy rain Heavy rain
Duration of flood Long (40 days & nights plus) Short (6 days & nights)
Test to find land Release of birds Release of birds
Types of birds Raven & three doves Dove, swallow, raven
Ark landing spot Mountain — Mt. Ararat Mountain — Mt. Nisir
Sacrificed after flood? Yes, by Noah Yes, by Utnapishtim
Blessed after flood? Yes Yes

At this point, proposing that these stories are connected by coincidence is pretty much out of the question. Consider that where Noah landed (mt. Ararat) and where Utnapishtim landed (Mt. Nisir) are only 300 miles apart. Obviously the first oral myths of these stories originated in the same area, but were eventually recorded by different cultures; Hebrew for Genesis, Sumerian (in Cuneiform) for Gilgamesh. Many conservative creationists would deny this connection: “The differences, including religious, ethical, and sheer quantity of details, make it unlikely that the Biblical account was dependent on any extant source from the Sumerian traditions”.

Though an actual world-wide flood is unlikely (there isn’t physically enough water to cover the world to the peaks of all it’s mountains, as Genesis claims), a possibility that a large flood in the area occurred is covered by the Theory of the Black Sea Flood:

“6200 BCE: Another ice age arrived. With it was a lessening of rainfall which produced difficult times for those farmers throughout the Middle East who were not situated beside a reliable water supply. Many “farming villages in Anatolia and along the Fertile Crescent were abandoned, while others dwindled.” Villagers from many cultures gravitated in large numbers to the New Euxine lake. Along the shores of the lake there would have been villages with farmers and hunters from many cultures in the region. They spoke “many different languages — Proto-Semitic, Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Kartvelian and others…“

Circa 5650 to 5500 BCE: Warmth and rain returned once more. The New Euxine lake was still landlocked and fresh. But the Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Marmara had gradually risen to a level some 426 feet (130 meters) higher than the lake. It was held back only by a small rise of land at the Bosporus River — now the Bosporus Straight near present-day Istanbul, Turkey. Eventually, the ocean level rose high enough to slosh over into the Euxine Lake. It would have cut a small channel down to the lake. “The rivulet became a gentle brook, flowing ever more swiftly, scouring and tugging more forcefully at the bottom and walls of its channel.” In a short time, the flow would reach 10 cubic miles of water per day — 200 times the flow of the present Niagara Falls. Its velocity would have reached 50 miles per hour (over 80 km/hour)! Its noise would have been audible 120 miles (200 km) away. The lake level would have risen about six inches a day. The shoreline would have expanded up to a mile each day in some areas. The effect on the multiple cultures who had settled on the lake shore would have been catastrophic.“ (Noah)

The explanation of how this influenced both Gilgamesh and Genesis is as follows:

“The Genesis flood myth is obviously based on an earlier Babylonian myth; there are many correspondences between the two legends. The Babylonian myth appears to be based on an earlier legend that, in turn, might well have been based on dimly remembered memories of the Black Sea catastrophe.”

No doubt a flood of this magnitude would have been remembered by survivors in oral traditions, until they became myths/stories, that after a few several thousand years were at some point recorded by the Sumerians to include in Gilgamesh, and was then adapted into Genesis by the Hebrews who compiled it. However, it’s also possible that these old oral legends effected both Genesis and Gilgamesh separately, explaining some of their differences, along with many remaining similarities.

Humanist
2011-02-03, 05:34
Agreed that J1c3 originated in the north (Possibly around the Zagros), such migration to the south probably started taking place during the Neolithic times 10,000 years ago, but as Semitic speakers they originated in the south imo (At least in the Levant), so J1c3d originated in the southern areas where it has significance among Arabs and Jews.

[T]hat's where the Proto-Semitic language probably started, and that's where the J1c3d probably originated too.

I do not believe proto-Semitic originated in the Levant. ;)

birko19
2011-02-03, 05:44
I do not believe proto-Semitic originated in the Levant. ;)

I know, you like mixing Chechens with Akkadians :p

Humanist
2011-02-03, 05:48
I know, you like mixing Chechens with Akkadians :p

Nasha, sarbinookh goo dima! (Translated from Assyrian: Dude, I am going to mess you up!) :D

birko19
2011-02-03, 05:54
Nasha, sarbinookh goo dima! (Translated from Assyrian: Dude, I am going to mess you up!) :D

:lol:

Humanist
2011-02-03, 21:46
Geography tells (most of) the story. Many thanks to David (Polako) for generating the data.

Populations in data set:
Adygei,AJ,AM,ASY,AZJ,Bedouin,BY,Chuvash,CY,Druze,E S,ET,ETJ,FR,FR
Basque,GE,GJ,HU,IQJ,IR,IRJ,JO,KSA,LB,Lezgin,LT,MA, MAJ,Mozabite,N Russian,No Ital,Orcadian,Pal,RO,RU,Sam,Sardinian,SJ,SY,TR,Tus can,UZJ,YE,YEJ

Principally Mediterranean Populations of the Near East:

Palestinian
1 CY 0.25159

Syrian
1 CY 0.24773

Lebanese
1 CY 0.24826

Druze
1 Druze 0.24594
2 CY 0.24679

Jordanian
1 CY 0.24854

One minor exception - See Shen et al. for possible explanation
Samaritan
1 Sam 0.20825
2 ASY 0.24952
3 CY 0.24955

Note that the predominantly Muslim populations are not their own first matches. Likely due to significant intraethnic heterogeneity.

Despite their long absence, amazingly, one can STILL clearly recognize the Mediterranean (Levantine) principal ancestral component present in Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Moroccan Jews:

Sephardi
1 SJ 0.24573
2 AJ 0.24584
3 CY 0.24588
4 Tuscan 0.24590
5 No Ital 0.24603

Ashkenazi
1 AJ 0.24409
2 SJ 0.24584
3 Tuscan 0.24600
4 No Ital 0.24607
5 CY 0.24624

Moroccan Jews
1 MAJ 0.24573
2 CY 0.24693

Principally Caucasian Populations of the Near East:

Assyrian
1 ASY 0.24430
2 AM 0.24472
3 GE 0.24509

Iranian
1 ASY 0.24713
2 GE 0.24733

Armenian
1 AM 0.24405
2 GE 0.24421

Turk
1 GE 0.24590

Georgian (note the relatively closer matches here)
1 GE 0.24225
2 AM 0.24421
3 Adygei 0.24451
4 ASY 0.24509

The Mizrahim are an interesting case. If we take a look at the most basal (in my opinion) Mizrahim Jewish group, the Iraqi Jews, the prominence of the Mediterranean (Levantine) element, after what I presume to be admixture from Assyrians and Armenians, is quite clearly discernible:
Iraqi Jews
1 IQJ 0.24499
2 ASY 0.24587
3 AM 0.24621
4 CY 0.24636
5 GE 0.24660

Now, if I could just get ASD matrix values for the Mandaeans! :D

Sargon999
2011-02-03, 22:00
Iranian
1 ASY 0.24713
2 GE 0.24733


This is merely based on the mentioned populations, right? I would imagine Iranians being closer to Afghans etc.

Edit. Just noticed Afghans are not in the data set.

Humanist
2011-02-03, 22:03
This is merely based on the mentioned populations, right? I would imagine Iranians being closer to Afghans etc.

Disagree, bud. A principally Caucasian origin of the Iranians is supported by both their high level of West Asian ADMIXTURE component and their Y-DNA.

Humanist
2011-02-05, 17:27
For Birko:

THE DIVERSITY OF THE CHECHEN CULTURE (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001860/186004e.pdf)


According to archaeological testimony and historical sources, Hurrian tribes moved southward across the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range along practically all principal routes — the Caspian and Black Sea coast and the Daryal Gorge. A part of them settled on the south Caucasian slopes.

References to them under the ethnicon of Subarei appear in Akkadian sources since the second half of the 3rd millennium B.C.. Dating to that time are two cuneal inscriptions made on Hurrian kings’ behalf — one in Akkadian and the other in Hurrite. The latter inscription, belonging to Tishari, or Tish-Adal, the king of Urkesh in the north of Mesopotamia, is the oldest known monument of the Hurrian language.

Hurrians spread almost throughout the entire West Asia in the end of the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C. from the Diyala River in the southeast to the Mediterranean coast in the west, and including Palestine and Syria south. They settled in Elam, Mesopotamia, Mari, Mitanni, Syria and Palestine. Akkadian sources initially referred to them as the Subarei, and their state as Subartu. Scholars assume that the ethnicon of “Subarei” really refers to the pre-Hurrian, possibly Sumerian, population of those areas, with which Hurrians might be ethnically connected.

Egyptian sources referred to them as Huru since the 16th century B.C., while the Bible knows the ancient non- Semitic Palestinian tribes as Khorites (from huri).

The northern border of Hurrian settlement was vague at that time because the territory of Urartians — an ethnic entity closely related to the Hurrian linguistically and genetically — lay to the north of the Hurrian lands. To all appearances, the Hurrian and Urartian were a single ethnic entity in the early 3rd millennium.

Scholars suppose the existence of another Nakh tribal group, the Etiukh,further north, in the Central and East Transcaucasia. The Etiukh created the so called Trialeti archaeological culture, which existed in Transcaucasia in the 2nd millennium B.C. and had deep-going material ties with the West Asian Hurrian world.

Hurrians are assumed to be the makers of the so-called Kura-Araxes archaeological culture, which emerged at the end of the 4th millennium B.C. in East Transcaucasia, the Kura-Araxes interfluve and the Armenian Plateau, from where it spread almost throughout the entire Transcaucasia, in certain parts of West Asia up to Syria and Palestine, and in the north to Dagestan and the southeast of Chechnya and Ossetia.

Semitic Duwa
2011-02-05, 18:00
Agreed that J1c3 originated in the north (Possibly around the Zagros), such migration to the south probably started taking place during the Neolithic times 10,000 years ago, but as Semitic speakers they originated in the south imo (At least in the Levant), so J1c3d originated in the southern areas where it has significance among Arabs and Jews.

I have a theory about the Semitic languages, I believe it must have been a fusion of Anatolian J1c3 (Which later developed into L147-J1c3d) and the Eastern African E1b1b1 (Which later developed into M34-E1b1b1c1), both lineages seem to meet around the Jordan/Israel/Palestine/Sinai area, that's where the Proto-Semitic language probably started, and that's where the J1c3d probably originated too.

One could also argue that M267 is to be associated with Afrasan elements (discrediting the uni-urheimat hypothesis for Afrasan) as it shows up in considerable frequency amongst Bejas, Copts and Guanches (most of it belongs to the L136 sub-group).
Roy King also points out an Afrasan substratum within Alarodian-derived languages (Nakho-Daghestanian merged with Hurro-Urartean).
Also, the theory according to which M267 came from the Northern slopes of the Caucasus is rather trivial as the samples found there show little diversity (which may be explained by endogamy).


So you would say Semitic languages could be a form of creole spoken there? What do you think of the idea that the original J1c3d carrier spoke a language more closely related to Northeast Caucasian languages which acted as some form of superstratum to the E1b1b1-carried Afroasiatic language?

All languages are creoles to some extent... So please, do not use this word as it is anything but appropriate (should I remind you that K'm'tic was also dismissed as "creole" for some time?).
As for the Alarodian theory, sci-fi sounds proves to be a valuable answer (what is to be done with R1b1a (V88+) in the dispersion of Afrasan? Why is M35 still considered as the unique Afrasan marker even though its V13 clade has merely no association with this linguistic family nowadays? If you are ready to dismiss J1c3d for the DYS388=13/14 folks, you have another thing coming!).

Aware_Dog
2011-02-06, 00:21
One could also argue that M267 is to be associated with Afrasan elements (discrediting the uni-urheimat hypothesis for Afrasan) as it shows up in considerable frequency amongst Bejas, Copts and Guanches (most of it belongs to the L136 sub-group).

What do you mean Uni-Urheimat? How can one language phylum have multiple sources of origin? Do you or don't you not consider Omotic as part of Afrasan?

In any case, we have discussed this before, J1 would have had to come into Eastern Africa very early (>15KYA) to have been involved in the initial dispersion of Afrasan. And there is no reason to believe that the diversity of Afrasan languages in East Africa is non-indicative of its origin there, on the contrary, diversity often is a hint to origin.
It has also already been shown how the diversity of J1 in the Sudan is extremely low. Besides, the frequency of E1b1b overlaps a lot better with Afrasan speakers than J1 frequency;

I got this from Wiki, E1b1b frequency in Afrasan speaking populations:

Cushitic 32–81%
Egyptian languages 36–60%
Berber languages 40–91%
Semitic languages 7–29%
Omotic languages >50%

Semitic Duwa
2011-02-06, 01:17
What do you mean Uni-Urheimat? How can one language phylum have multiple sources of origin? Do you or don't you not consider Omotic as part of Afrasan?

I indeed consider Omotic as part of Afrasan, yet I'm having difficulties reducing such a diverse and widespread group to a single unit.
There is more to it than a single Urheimat (as to how the influences in this family are to be qualified, I cannot say).


In any case, we have discussed this before, J1 would have had to come into Eastern Africa very early (>15KYA) to have been involved in the initial dispersion of Afrasan. And there is no reason to believe that the diversity of Afrasan languages in East Africa is non-indicative of its origin there, on the contrary, diversity often is a hint to origin.
It has also already been shown how the diversity of J1 in the Sudan is extremely low. Besides, the frequency of E1b1b overlaps a lot better with Afrasan speakers than J1 frequency;

Sudan? Fine.
Heading southwards? You will find diversity (have a look at the third map).


I got this from Wiki, E1b1b frequency in Afrasan speaking populations:

Cushitic 32–81%
Egyptian languages 36–60%
Berber languages 40–91%
Semitic languages 7–29%
Omotic languages >50%

What about the V13 clade? Let's have fun with it (supposing that it did originate in the Near-East), which language did V13 positive men carry to the Balkans?

Once more, the whole issue is highly speculative.

Lol_Race
2011-02-06, 01:50
I don't know if J1 had anything to do with pre-proto-Afroasiatic, but I doubt very much that it had anything to do with the initial dispersal of Afroasiatic. The lack of any clear correlation between geography and linguistic affiliations between the different branches of Afroasiatic suggests that the initial spread (or splits) of all of the branches occured during a relatively small time period. But J1 is of little significance in most Afroasiatic African populations. It is pretty diverse and old in Ethiopia, but its diversity is low in North Africa, Sudan and Somalia. It is also insignificant or nonexistent in southern Cushitic populations. Genetic drift could explain this, but that just sounds too far-fetched imo.

If you must associate the spread with some paternal haplogroup, I don't know why E1b1b isn't good enough. It's like the perfect candidate, lol.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 02:32
Open access study on Semitic languages (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19403539):

Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Aug 7;276(1668):2703-10. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Semitic languages identifies an Early Bronze Age origin of Semitic in the Near East.
Kitchen A, Ehret C, Assefa S, Mulligan CJ.


Abstract
The evolution of languages provides a unique opportunity to study human population history. The origin of Semitic and the nature of dispersals by Semitic-speaking populations are of great importance to our understanding of the ancient history of the Middle East and Horn of Africa. Semitic populations are associated with the oldest written languages and urban civilizations in the region, which gave rise to some of the world's first major religious and literary traditions. In this study, we employ Bayesian computational phylogenetic techniques recently developed in evolutionary biology to analyse Semitic lexical data by modelling language evolution and explicitly testing alternative hypotheses of Semitic history. We implement a relaxed linguistic clock to date language divergences and use epigraphic evidence for the sampling dates of extinct Semitic languages to calibrate the rate of language evolution. Our statistical tests of alternative Semitic histories support an initial divergence of Akkadian from ancestral Semitic over competing hypotheses (e.g. an African origin of Semitic). We estimate an Early Bronze Age origin for Semitic approximately 5750 years ago in the Levant, and further propose that contemporary Ethiosemitic languages of Africa reflect a single introduction of early Ethiosemitic from southern Arabia approximately 2800 years ago.

birko19
2011-02-06, 08:06
For Birko:

THE DIVERSITY OF THE CHECHEN CULTURE (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001860/186004e.pdf)

Khizma, you're proving my point lol.

The main important point is not to see how much Caucasian influence exists in Akkadian, but how much non-Arabic Semitic influence exists in modern Caucasian languages (Non-Arabic because Arabic did spread with Islam, so there's some of that influence)

The reason for that is because throughout history, the Hurrians in north Mesopotamia were invaded by the Akkadians, so it's common sense that languages borrow words, however the Akkadians never actually made it that far to the Caucasus (Neither have the Assyrians or Babylonians for that matter), if there's an ancient Semitic influence in Caucasian languages, I would understand your point, but there's none, further on this point, historically speaking Semitic languages are very weak in Anatolia, this in itself indicates a southern origin (Levant, Mesopotamia, and Arabia), but to say it originated in the Caucasus, Anatolia, or Zagros? No evidence for it and it makes quite a weak theory to be honest with you.

I still stick to what I believe in, something must have happened near the Sinai region between Anatolian neolithic migrants and people that entered from the Egypt area, I believe this part might very well be the birth of Semitic languages.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 08:28
Khizma, you're proving my point lol.

The main important point is not to see how much Caucasian influence exists in Akkadian, but how much non-Arabic Semitic influence exists in modern Caucasian languages (Non-Arabic because Arabic did spread with Islam, so there's some of that influence)

The reason for that is because throughout history, the Hurrians in north Mesopotamia were invaded by the Akkadians, so it's common sense that languages borrow words, however the Akkadians never actually made it that far to the Caucasus (Neither have the Assyrians or Babylonians for that matter), if there's an ancient Semitic influence in Caucasian languages, I would understand your point, but there's none, further on this point, historically speaking Semitic languages are very weak in Anatolia, this in itself indicates a southern origin (Levant, Mesopotamia, and Arabia), but to say it originated in the Caucasus, Anatolia, or Zagros? No evidence for it and it makes quite a weak theory to be honest with you.

I still stick to what I believe in, something must have happened near the Sinai region between Anatolian neolithic migrants and people that entered from the Egypt area, I believe this part might very well be the birth of Semitic languages.

Proving what point, brother? I never said Chechens and Akkadians are the same folks. I only posted an article on the Chechen language. :lol:

Honestly, I think you are debating with someone that does not necessarily disagree with you.

Semitic Duwa
2011-02-06, 10:18
I don't know if J1 had anything to do with pre-proto-Afroasiatic, but I doubt very much that it had anything to do with the initial dispersal of Afroasiatic. The lack of any clear correlation between geography and linguistic affiliations between the different branches of Afroasiatic suggests that the initial spread (or splits) of all of the branches occured during a relatively small time period. But J1 is of little significance in most Afroasiatic African populations. It is pretty diverse and old in Ethiopia, but its diversity is low in North Africa, Sudan and Somalia. It is also insignificant or nonexistent in southern Cushitic populations. Genetic drift could explain this, but that just sounds too far-fetched imo.

If you must associate the spread with some paternal haplogroup, I don't know why E1b1b isn't good enough. It's like the perfect candidate, lol.

It is pretty diverse in Eastern Africa... That most people consider as the Afrasan Urheimat (look at Humanist's post for example)... But that's insignificant of course, how fancy.
It reaches considerable frequencies amongst Bejas, Guanches and Copts... But that's irrelevant of course (even though the P56 clade correlates with non-semitic branches of the Afrasan family:thumbsup:)

And we haven't even adressed R1b1a (V88+).. Oh yeah, I forgot:
It's supposedly marker of agricultural expansionism within Africa which in turn influenced Bantu migrations (themselves being based on agriculture):whoco:

birko19
2011-02-06, 13:40
Proving what point, brother? I never said Chechens and Akkadians are the same folks. I only posted an article on the Chechen language. :lol:

Honestly, I think you are debating with someone that does not necessarily disagree with you.

Then I'm glad we agree khizma :thumbsup:

Humanist
2011-02-06, 13:49
Then I'm glad we agree khizma :thumbsup:

:p :thumbsup:


The self-destination is Noxche, the Chechens live in the Chechen Republic (734,5 th.p.) and Dagestan (57,9 th.p.).

The Noxche language is considered one of the most difficult and oldest languages in the Caucasus. Its roots can be traced most closely to the ancient Mesopotamians. A cuneiform-style of writing is evident on some of the stone inscriptions, dating at least to 2,800 BC. The Noxche language, as we know it today, is most linked to some of the words used by the ancient Akkadians, and can be traced at least to 1200 BC. It is not related to Russian, Slavic, Indo-European or Turkish languages. But linguistic influences from invaders and traders over the centuries, including Mongolian and Arabic, are evident in many words. The Noxche language has a complicated grammar and sounds which are not like any other Caucasus tongue, although our language belongs linguistically to the Nakh branch of Caucasian languages, which include Ingush (galgai) and Batsbi (found in present day Georgia).

Learn Chechen (nice eye candy) ;) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4q9aeAqYEM)

Atesh
2011-02-06, 14:05
Which current group(s) have significant Sumerian ancestry?

Turks (http://storm.ca/~cm-tntr/sumer_turk1of5.html) claim Sumerian (http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/42TurkicAndSumer/SumerLanguageContentsEn.htm) ancestry.
It's just a theory, so people don't have to get swagged away by their anti-turkism.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 14:09
Turks (http://storm.ca/~cm-tntr/sumer_turk1of5.html) claim Sumerian (http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/42TurkicAndSumer/SumerLanguageContentsEn.htm) ancestry.
It's just a theory, so people don't have to get swagged away by their anti-turkism.

Hey bro. Thank you.

Unurautare
2011-02-06, 14:15
Turks (http://storm.ca/~cm-tntr/sumer_turk1of5.html) claim Sumerian (http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/42TurkicAndSumer/SumerLanguageContentsEn.htm) ancestry.
It's just a theory, so people don't have to get swagged away by their anti-turkism.

Somehow I really dislike seeing that kind of ultra-nationalist fairy-tales promoted,then again,whatever.

Atesh
2011-02-06, 14:22
Somehow I really dislike seeing that kind of ultra-nationalist fairy-tales promoted,then again,whatever.

Your reply is common for european people and rahter typical. Everything that deviates from what you (think you) know or accept as 'the truth', especially when it comes from Turkish scholars is branded as either 'ultra-nationalist' or 'turanist myths'. Again, I'm not stating this is a plain fact, I'm just stating it's a theory. Anyway, I don't want to get into a discussion about this since that's ot.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 14:29
Some more of Lipovsky (http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/LipovskyI01.pdf):

The movement of the Indo-Europeans to the south and east resulted in the displacement of the Semites from their original homeland in the northwest of Mesopotamia.But the Semites were not the only ones whom the Indo-Europeans forced to abandon their native regions. An analogous situation happened to the Hurrians in eastern Anatolia. Highly oppressed by the Indo–Europeans in that region, they were also forced to go to the south and settle in northern Syria and Mesopotamia. Hurrian names appeared quite early in northern Mesopotamia, already at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. This ethnic group created several of their own states, the strongest of which were the Mitanni. To date, the language and ethnic origins of the Hurrians remain a mystery. Many historians consider the Hurrians to be of Indo-European origin, just like the Hittites, however a linguistic analysis of their language has not been able to confirm this. Most likely, the Hurrians were one of the autochthonous peoples from southern Trans-Caucasia and eastern Anatolia,related to the ethnic groups which later constituted the country of Urartu. It may also be the case that they, as other peoples native to the Trans-Caucasia, had already assimilated the culture and language of the advancing Indo-Iranians. Their most probable heirs in the modern world are only the Armenians.

Unurautare
2011-02-06, 14:31
Your reply is common for european people and rahter typical. Everything that deviates from what you (think you) know or accept as 'the truth', especially when it comes from Turkish scholars is branded as either 'ultra-nationalist' or 'turanist myths'. Again, I'm not stating this is a plain fact, I'm just stating it's a theory. Anyway, I don't want to get into a discussion about this since that's ot.

I'm just used to hungarians bs about the same things,I can search sites for you if you insist,knowing they are butthurt about their identity,just like pseudo-turks. I see that site also has some claims on etruscans(and probably every other civilization on Earth),keep up the good work.

Lol_Race
2011-02-06, 14:43
It is pretty diverse in Eastern Africa... That most people consider as the Afrasan Urheimat (look at Humanist's post for example)... But that's insignificant of course, how fancy.
It reaches considerable frequencies amongst Bejas, Guanches and Copts... But that's irrelevant of course (even though the P56 clade correlates with non-semitic branches of the Afrasan family:thumbsup:)

And we haven't even adressed R1b1a (V88+).. Oh yeah, I forgot:
It's supposedly marker of agricultural expansionism within Africa which in turn influenced Bantu migrations (themselves being based on agriculture):whoco:
It is diverse in Ethiopia, not Somalia or Sudan. Although Bejas have a lot of J1, diversity is very low, which is indicative of a recent MRCA for their J1.

I don't like connecting the spread of an entire language family to the spread of a haplogroup, it is very simplistic. R-V88 may correlate well with Chadic in Africa and J1 with Semitic in the Middle East, but if we had to choose a candidate for the initial dispersal of Afroasiatic, E1b1b is definitely our best bet IMO.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 14:49
Just read this on DNA-Forums. If true, it would certainly be another very important piece to consider:


Liseranius, on 06 February 2011 - 09:40 AM, said:
The highest diversity of T haplogroup is found around the Black Sea at the moment.

N=77
R1b 25%
J1 17%
J2 16%
T 13%
G 10%
E1b 6%
R1a 4%
R2a 4%
F3 1%
I 1%
L2 1%
Q1b 1%

Humanist
2011-02-06, 15:05
A comparison of Dienekes' K15 ADMIXTURE results from November for a few populations:

Atesh
2011-02-06, 15:16
I'm just used to hungarians bs about the same things,I can search sites for you if you insist,knowing they are butthurt about their identity,just like pseudo-turks. I see that site also has some claims on etruscans(and probably every other civilization on Earth),keep up the good work.

It's quite logical for Hungarians to claim such a thing since they are our Hunnic brothers. And yes, Etruscans were probably proto-Turks despite what many Westerners claim, all evidence point out to a population which had nothing to do with Europeans, that's for sure. I never heard Turks and Hungarians claiming Egyptian, Mayan or Chinese civiliation. I know you dislike Hungarians because they claim Transylvania, but it doesn't change the fact that they are the most related to the Sumerians of all 'european' nations.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 15:30
It's quite logical for Hungarians to claim such a thing since they are our Hunnic brothers. And yes, Etruscans were probably proto-Turks despite what many Westerners claim, all evidence point out to a population which had nothing to do with Europeans, that's for sure. I never heard Turks and Hungarians claiming Egyptian, Mayan or Chinese civiliation. I know you dislike Hungarians because they claim Transylvania, but it doesn't change the fact that they are the most related to the Sumerians of all 'european' nations.

Anatolian Turk-Sumerian claims are one thing, and Hungarian-Sumerian claims are another. The Sumerians were never exterminated. They were simply absorbed into Akkadian society. After the Akkadian Empire's demise, its predominantly Sumero-Akkadian population founded the sister states of Assyria and Babylonia. I suggest to Hungarians, claiming a Sumerian link, to begin comparing their Y-DNA to Assyrian, Iraqi Arab, and Mandaean Y-DNA. I have never compared Assyrian and Hungarian Y-DNA, but we do know there are some similarities between Assyrian and Turkish paternal lines.

Sargon999
2011-02-06, 15:32
It's quite logical for Hungarians to claim such a thing since they are our Hunnic brothers. And yes, Etruscans were probably proto-Turks despite what many Westerners claim, all evidence point out to a population which had nothing to do with Europeans, that's for sure. I never heard Turks and Hungarians claiming Egyptian, Mayan or Chinese civiliation. I know you dislike Hungarians because they claim Transylvania, but it doesn't change the fact that they are the most related to the Sumerians of all 'european' nations.

The Hungarian connection to modern day Turks and Turkic populations is quite understandable however claiming Etruscans to be proto-Turks as in Turkic is certainly illogical. Herodotus mentioned them [the Etruscans] coming from the centre of Anatolia, being most likely more related to Assyrians than Turkic populations.

Their phenotype do not even resemble Turkic populations.

Unurautare
2011-02-06, 15:36
It's quite logical for Hungarians to claim such a thing since they are our Hunnic brothers. And yes, Etruscans were probably proto-Turks despite what many Westerners claim, all evidence point out to a population which had nothing to do with Europeans, that's for sure. I never heard Turks and Hungarians claiming Egyptian, Mayan or Chinese civiliation. I know you dislike Hungarians because they claim Transylvania, but it doesn't change the fact that they are the most related to the Sumerians of all 'european' nations.

:rolleyes: They can claim whole Europe for all I care,they have no right to it,I dislike them for other reasons like oppressing my kin or lying their asses off most of the time when it comes to history (although their own chronicles say exactly what happened but they fancy bs over it). Sorry I have no interest in debating further fairy-tales,I had enough 'experience' with huns.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 15:48
By the way, I kind of look like this dude. :p Was it you, Sargon, who called me a Sumeranoid? :lol: Or was that sgh?

Sargon999
2011-02-06, 15:56
By the way, I kind of look like this dude. :p Was it you, Sargon, who called me a Sumeranoid? :lol: Or was that sgh?

:lol: must have been sgh

Atesh
2011-02-06, 16:23
The Hungarian connection to modern day Turks and Turkic populations is quite understandable however claiming Etruscans to be proto-Turks as in Turkic is certainly illogical. Herodotus mentioned them [the Etruscans] coming from the centre of Anatolia, being most likely more related to Assyrians than Turkic populations.

Their phenotype do not even resemble Turkic populations.

You think so? I think they do resemble Turkic populations quite well, even if we concider that these statues are more then two millenia old, but that's just my opinion.

Sargon999
2011-02-06, 16:37
You think so? I think they do resemble Turkic populations quite well, even if we concider that these statues are more then two millenia old, but that's just my opinion.

Then they would resemble a third of the modern world well.

"But a new set of genetic studies being reported seems likely to lend greater credence to Herodotus's long-disputed account. New and independent sources of genetic data suggest that Etruscan culture was imported to Italy from somewhere in the Near East.

One study is based on the mitochondrial DNA of residents of Murlo, a small former Etruscan town whose population may not have changed all that much since Etruscan times."

Origins of the Etruscans: Was Herodotus right? (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/health/03iht-snetrus.1.5127788.html)

Atesh
2011-02-06, 16:48
Then they would resemble a third of the modern world well.

"But a new set of genetic studies being reported seems likely to lend greater credence to Herodotus's long-disputed account. New and independent sources of genetic data suggest that Etruscan culture was imported to Italy from somewhere in the Near East.

One study is based on the mitochondrial DNA of residents of Murlo, a small former Etruscan town whose population may not have changed all that much since Etruscan times."

Origins of the Etruscans: Was Herodotus right? (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/health/03iht-snetrus.1.5127788.html)

That may well be likely.

"An even more specific link to the Near East is a short statement by Herodotus that the Etruscans emigrated from Lydia, a region on the eastern coast of ancient Turkey."

"In Murlo particularly, one genetic variant is shared only by people from Turkey".

Whatever they exactly might have been is still unkown but they could have links with modern Near Easterners since they are not Indo-European either, nor do they speak an Indo-European language. The Etruscans were eventually obsorbed by the massive Indo-European invasion and hence what was left assimilated into the 'Roman' culture. It delights me to see non-Indo-European presence in Europe so far back in time, since Indo-Europeans have always been present in parts of Asia but not vice versa. Fascinating..

Semitic Duwa
2011-02-06, 17:04
It is diverse in Ethiopia, not Somalia or Sudan. Although Bejas have a lot of J1, diversity is very low, which is indicative of a recent MRCA for their J1.

I don't like connecting the spread of an entire language family to the spread of a haplogroup, it is very simplistic. R-V88 may correlate well with Chadic in Africa and J1 with Semitic in the Middle East, but if we had to choose a candidate for the initial dispersal of Afroasiatic, E1b1b is definitely our best bet IMO.

Hmph, then you'll acknowledge that linking this highly diverse group with only one marker is highly controversial if not simplistic.
Several urheimats have been proposed for proto-Afrasan, which imho shows that there are clearly seperate streams within Afrasan which could be a creole between two or three families, in which case the "initial" dispersion becomes virtual and hard to locate.

Humanist
2011-02-06, 17:37
Whatever they exactly might have been is still unkown but they could have links with modern Near Easterners since they are not Indo-European either, nor do they speak an Indo-European language.

ASD matrix values. Again. Compare Tuscan values, and those of other Italian populations, for Assyrians and Armenians.

ASSYRIAN
1 ASY 0.24430
2 AM 0.24472
3 GE 0.24509
4 CY 0.24525
5 IQJ 0.24587
6 GJ 0.24597
7 Tuscan 0.24625
8 TR 0.24626
9 SJ 0.24635
10 UZJ 0.24637
11 Adygei 0.24651
12 AJ 0.24663
13 No Ital 0.24679
14 Lezgin 0.24683
15 RO 0.24712
16 IR 0.24713
17 Druze 0.24716
18 AZJ 0.24724
19 Sardinian 0.24736

ARMENIAN
1 AM 0.24405
2 GE 0.24421
3 ASY 0.24472
4 CY 0.24503
5 Adygei 0.24558
6 Tuscan 0.24565
7 No Ital 0.24590
8 TR 0.24594
9 GJ 0.24602
10 Lezgin 0.24607
11 SJ 0.24614
12 RO 0.24614
13 IQJ 0.24621
14 AJ 0.24621
15 UZJ 0.24636
16 Sardinian 0.24691


The Etruscans were eventually absorbed by the massive Indo-European invasion and hence what was left assimilated into the 'Roman' culture. It delights me to see non-Indo-European presence in Europe so far back in time, since Indo-Europeans have always been present in parts of Asia but not vice versa. Fascinating..

Agreed. Note the Armenian and Assyrian positions, in the Tuscan list of matches:

1 Tuscan 0.24390
2 Sardinian 0.24428
3 No Ital 0.24435
4 ES 0.24466
5 FR 0.24475
6 RO 0.24476
7 HU 0.24494
8 FR Basque 0.24504
9 RU 0.24520 (2 samples)
10 CY 0.24524
11 AM 0.24565
12 BY 0.24565
13 GE 0.24583
14 Orcadian 0.24586
15 SJ 0.24590
16 AJ 0.24600
17 LT 0.24600
18 ASY 0.24625

Populations in data set:
Adygei,AJ,AM,ASY,AZJ,Bedouin,BY,Chuvash,CY,Druze,E S,ET,ETJ,FR,FRBasque,GE,GJ,HU,IQJ,IR,IRJ,JO,KSA,LB ,Lezgin,LT,MA,MAJ,Mozabite,NRussian,NoItal,Orcadia n,Pal,RO,RU,Sam,Sardinian,SJ,SY,TR,Tus can,UZJ,YE,YEJ

Humanist
2011-02-06, 19:44
Tell Feheriye excavation in Northern Syria (2009) (http://www.fecheriye.de/campaigns_2009.php?l=ger)

Recently discovered Middle Assyrian Texts from Tell Fecheriye!
Middle Assyrian Tablet.The excavations in 2009 yielded new important text finds from the Middle Assyrian period. Twelve cuneiform tablets were excavated in a fill under the oldest floor of the Middle Assyrian “House 1”. Due to this stratigraphic context the texts date earlier than “House 1” which was in use during the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I (1233-1197).
The unfired tablets are in a fragmentary state of preservation but of remarkable size, the biggest one measuring 18 by 27 cm. So far, only three of them have been restored during the last week of the previous excavation campaign. However, a very preliminary reading from the photographic documentation already leads to some very interesting results.
The texts document the distribution of a huge amount of grain to family households. The metrological system applied to this ration list is typical for the reign of Shalmaneser I (1263-1234). The individuals listed bear mostly Assyrian names but also Hurrian names and some names of so far unknown ethnolinguistic affiliation are attested. Remarkable are Assyrian names with a distinct local patronymic. These show that people of Assyrian origin were living for more than one generation in Tell Fecheriye or its close vicinity. The texts thus confront us with a situation that brings us to the very beginning of the Middle Assyrian occupation in Habur headwater region. They mirror the activities of a regional administration which might have been then established early under Assyrian control.

---------- Post added 2011-02-06 at 14:51 ----------

Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today (Dr. Parpola) (http://www.nineveh.com/parpola_eng.pdf)

The long-term strategic goal of Assyria thus was not the creation of an empire upheld by arms, but a nation united by a semi-divine king perceived as the source of safety, peace and prosperity. As we have seen, this goal was achieved through a systematically implemented assimilation and integration policy geared to delete the ethnic identities of the conquered peoples and to replace them with an Assyrian one. The efficacy of this policy is strikingly demonstrated by the fate of the tens of thousands of Hurrians who were deported from their homeland and resettled in Assyria in the middle Assyrian period. A few centuries later, the descendants of these people had been so completely absorbed into the Assyrian society that no trace of their Hurrian ancestry, except for a few garbled personal names, remains in the Neo-Assyrian sources (Rollig 1996). They now were in every respect ethnic Assyrians, indistinguishable from their fellow citizens.


Between 830 and 640 BC, an estimated 4.5 million people from all parts of the Empire were removed from their homes and settled elsewhere, mostly in the Assyrian heartland and the big urban centers there (Oded 1979). These deportations may originally have had purely political and economic goals, but in the long run they ended up having far more extensive linguistic, social and cultural consequences.

Humanist
2011-02-09, 21:43
The Akkadian Empire: (http://www.worldology.com/Iraq/ancient_mesopotamia.htm)

Akkadian Empire (2270-2083 BC): Akkadians were a Semitic people that had long been based in Mesopotamia, in the city of Akkad. In 2270, Sargon became king of Akkad, and proceeded to elevate the city-state into an empire, by conquering vast amounts of territory, covering all of Mesopotamia, and stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the west to Elam (SW Iran) in the southeast. The Semitic Akkadian language became widely used as the official language, while literature (the written word) primarily remained Sumerian. Subsequent kings after Sargon maintained the scope of the empire, and the Akkadians continued the advanced ways of the Sumerians, including technology (agriculture in particular) and sophisticated political and economic organization. To this they added a more advanced and powerful military.

Humanist
2011-02-10, 07:11
From the "Jews with Haplogroup G (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_with_Haplogroup_G_(Y-DNA))" article:


Haplogroup G Men Already Present among Jews When Judaism Began?
One of the basic questions is whether haplogroup G persons were already living in lands occupied by the Jews of the Hebrew Bible -- corresponding mostly to the modern state of Israel -- when distinctly Jewish states first came into existence about 1350 BCE. By this point in time, the major G haplogroup divisions were in existence, but only ancient DNA can today confirm the geographical spread of G then...The presence of haplogroup G to some extent in all populations throughout the Middle East does not rule out the possibility that G persons were living in Jewish lands during the formative years of the religion.
In the pre-Jewish period the Hurrians once controlled Jerusalem through rulers such as Abdi-Heba The Hurrian kingdom at times stretched from today's Syria to the eastern Persian Gulf. Farther back in time in the prehistorical period, movements into the Middle East that may have resulted in population admixture are completely unknown due to the absence of written materials.

Haplogroup G Assimilated into Early Jewish Populations?
In the Hebrew Bible there are references to intermarriages with Egyptian male slave In the time of Joshua about 3400 years ago, Israelites were also described as settling among the Hittites, an ancient Anatolian people—probably the ones inhabiting Mount Lebanon -- and also among the Amorites who were associated with Mesopotamia and intermarrying with persons from both these groups. The Assyrian king, Shalmaneser, during the tenure of Hoshea as King of Israel in the 700s BCE carried the Israelites off to his kingdom and replaced the Israelites who were living in Samaria with persons brought from various Babylonian locales. This event also led to a permanent population of Jews within today's Iran. The presence of the non-Israelites in Samaria could have provided an opportunity for additional population admixture on the return of the Israelites. In the 500s BCE, Israelites were carried into exile in Babylon on more than one occasion. This provided another opportunity to obtain accretions from regional peoples though the sources do not address whether this happened. During the period of the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem, persons from various towns in today's Syria and Iraq were among the Babylonian captives returning to Israel who could not show how they were descended from Israelites. Not all the Israelites returned to Israel from Babylonia.
In the 500s BCE at the end of the Babylonian exile, Cyrus allowed additional Jews into Persia. In 135 CE, there was yet another wave of emigration into Persia by Jews fleeing the Roman persecutions. At the time of the original emigrations, Jews intermarried with the local population. The Assyrians also deported Jews to Armenia, and 10,000 Jews moved there on their own.
The omnipresent ancient slave trade provided another opportunity for admixture with Jews because the covenant given to Abraham and his descendants had required that Jewish slaves would be required to undergo circumcision. There is a strong implication that the slaves became Jewish.

Humanist
2011-02-10, 23:23
Major regions where G2c is not found (http://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Haplogroup_G2c_%28Y-DNA%29)

G2c was not found in an unpublished survey of...Assyrians (n=106) collected in Armenia...

Humanist
2011-02-12, 13:13
A past Eurogenes K10, heat map, for some components:

On the map, Iraq represents Assyrian values.

West Asian
GE 80%
AM 61%
ASY 52%
TR 48%
IR 48%
CY 33%
SY 29%
LB 24%
JO 20%
PS 10%
SA 8%
YE 4%

SW Asian
KSA 53%
YE 40%
JO 32%
SY 29%
LB 28%
ASY 21%
IR 20%
CY 19%
PS 17%
TR 11%
AM 11%
GE 0%

I do not have the African country values at hand, so, I am referring to this component as SW Asian 2:

SW Asian 2
SA 25%
YE 6%
SY 4%
JO 3%
LB 2%
PS 2%
IR 1%
ASY 1%
TR 1%
CY 1%
GE 0%
AM 0%

This particular component peaks, in the populations below, in the Turkish and Iranian samples:

TR 16%
IR 13%
YE 6%
LB 5%
SY 4%
JO 3%
SA 2%
GE 2%
PS 1%
ASY 1%
AM 0%
CY 0%

A component most abundant in Palestinians:

PS 55%
YE 42%
JO 21%
LB 14%
SY 12%
IR 9%
SA 7%
CY 2%
TR 1%
GE 0%
AM 0%
ASY 0%

A component most abundant in Cypriots:

CY 24%
AM 13%
ASY 11%
GE 10%
TR 9%
PS 9%
LB 8%
SY 8%
JO 8%
SA 1%
IR 1%
YE 0%

A second component most abundant in Cypriots:

CY 15%
LB 13%
ASY 11%
AM 11%
SY 10%
JO 9%
TR 8%
PS 5%
IR 4%
YE 2%
SA 2%
GE 0%

Humanist
2011-02-12, 13:41
Dr. McDonald's component estimates.

Humanist:
82% Georgian/18% Bedouin OR
92% Armenian/8% Bedouin

Sargon:
62% Armenian/38% Druze OR
90% Armenian/10% Bedouin OR
61% Druze/39% Georgian

Birko:
75-80%Armenian-Georgian/16-23% Bedouin/3-6% India-Sindhi-Pathan

Humanist
2011-02-13, 15:14
An article from the 1960s.

On the Original Home of the Semites
Author(s): Jehoshua M. Grintz
Source: Journal of Near Eastern Studies


[N]one of the other Semites (Hebrews, Arameans, Assyrians, Babylonians) ever considered themselves to be Arabian in origin, nor is there any historical evidence to support their supposed "Arabness." On the contrary, to the extent that anything can be culled from historical tradition, it bears witness to the precise reverse. The Bible-which in this respect may well have preserved the common Semitic tradition-states that all of Noah's sons came from "The Land of the East" and Ararat, and Yoktdn, the forefather of the southern Arabians was "Eber's son," while Ishma'el, Midian, and so on, are also represented as being of northern origin.

The evidence from inscriptions points in the same direction. These, too, to the extent that they contain any information on this point, indicate that the region inhabited by the early Semites was in the north, and only gradually did they move south until they occupied Arabia. The first Semites about whom we have historical knowledge are the "Babylonians" "Akkadians" (there were of course Semites in Mesopotamia even before they founded the kingdom of Akkad).

[W]e know of no era when the Assyrians dwelt either in Arabia or on its borders, of no period wherein there existed any Aramean kingdom on the Arabian border; before these peoples were settled in the northern or central portions of Mesopotamia and its adjacent areas. A generation or two ago it was still possible for Wellhausen and his school to toy with the fantastic notion that the Israelites, Edomites, etc., all came from Arabia.9 Today, however, after the rich archeological finds of a few years ago in north Mesopotamia, no serious scholar doubts the verity of the Biblical tradition, which states that the Hebrews-Abraham's and Lot's forebears-lived at Harran and its immediate environs.10 In short, this entire hypothesis, which rests upon an analogy with the Arabs, is at the very least misleading. Those people who are later called Arabs may well have come to dwell in Arabia from one of the neighboring lands (and we shall see below that as far as the "Sons of Yoktan" are concerned, this is certain), but as already emphasized there is no proof that any Semitic people (other than the Arabs) ever migrated from this well-nigh barren desert wilderness. Also, the theory of the Bedouin knocking at the doors of the neighboring civilization, until at long last he conquers it and himself becomes sedentary, is merely an unsupported conjecture divorced from all reality.

And in fact that the Armenoid type among the Jews is not the result of chance or the fruit of a historically late combination, but well rooted in the nation's beginnings, we have conclusive proof from all the other Semites (with the exception of the Arabs of north Arabia) as well. All the information which we are able to obtain concerning their physiognomy points to the same type that is discernible among the Jews to this day, but not among the northern Arabs.

The Arameans: First of all one must note that the Armenians, who are so closely akin to the Israelites anthropologically, are situated in a land which until their arrival was by far Aramean. [B]efore we come to study the extent of the "Armenianness" of the Israelites, we must first attempt to ascertain what proportion of the Armenians are Arameans? Now, wherever the opportunity to study this problem has presented itself, the results have been as one would expect. The Chaldeans, who inhabit Mesopotamia and (to some measure) speak Aramaic to this day,are completely Armenoid in type. Dr.Krishner, who studied 178 Chaldean male skulls in Tel-Nof near Mosul, found-as with the Armenians-two high points: one of 83 and one of 86. This is true for the Chaldean women as well as for the rest of the facial signs, skin color, hair, form of limbs, etc.41 The Assyrians (Aysuri),42 who claim descent from the ancient Assyrians and who speak Aramaic, are of the same type, as well as the Lebanese (83, 86),43 the Nusairis of Syria (84, 87), the Yezidians of Mesopotamia (83, 87), the Damascenes, the inhabitants of Maclula, IHums, Hama, Haleb, the Alauaites (some of whom also speak Aramaic) of Tripoli, Saphatene, and Beshri44-i.e. almost the entire area which was once Aramean. Besides this, Parr further discovered that the blood index of these groups is also similar to that of the Armenians.45 Langdon unearthed something of very real interest to us in his excavations of the Babylonian Kish, on theborder of Sumer and Akkad. He found the original inhabitants of Kish (as all the other Sumerians) to be basically "dolychocephalic," but from the eighth century B.C. on-at which time the land was overrun by the Aramaic migrations from the north-the "brachycephalic" skulls become more and more common.46 The same picture presents itself as when we come to more ancient times.

That the ancient Assyrians were of the Armenoid stock one need hardly argue. Their pictures and statues bear enough evidence to this assertion. But the same is true with regard to the Babylonians. "Some time after the Sumerian period, people of Alpine type (the variety of that race known as Armenoid) with the broad heads, prominent noses and full beards, became much more numerous and in fact obtrusive. In Babylonian times sculptorsbegan to represent their kings with great full beards and an extreme Armenoid type of countenance.

Humanist
2011-02-13, 16:44
Where is my friend, Atesh? :) I am sure he will find this article of interest, considering his posting in this thread. I know this was posted elsewhere on the forum, but it is also relevant to the origin of the ancient Assyrians:

Sumerian: A Uralic Language

Simo Parpola (Helsinki)


The Sumerians thus came to Mesopotamia from the north, where the Uralic language family is located (Fig. 11), and by studying the lexical evidence and the grammatical features which Sumerian shares with individual Uralic languages, it is possible to make additional inferences about their origins. The closest affinities of Sumerian within the Uralic family are with the Volgaic and Finnic languages, particularly the latter, with which it shares a number of significant phonological, morphological and lexical isoglosses. The latter include, among other things, a common word for "sea, ocean" (Sumerian ab or a-ab-ba, Finnic aava, aappa), and common words for cereals, sowing and harvesting, domestic animals, wheeled vehicles, and the harness of draught animals (Fig. 12). A number of these words also have counterparts in Indo-European, particularly Germanic languages. These data taken together suggest that the Sumerians originated in the Pontic-Caspian region between the mouth of the Volga and the Black Sea, north of the Caucasus Mountains, where they had been living a sedentary life in contact with Indo-European tribes. I would not exclude the possibility that their homeland is to be identified with the Majkop culture of the North Caucasus, which flourished between 3700 and 2900 BC and had trade contacts with the late Uruk culture (Fig. 13). Placing the Sumerian homeland in this area would help explain the non-Uralic features of Sumerian, for the Kartvelian languages spoken just south of it are ergative and have a system of verbal prefixes resembling the Sumerian one. The Sumerian words for wheel and the harness of draft animals that it shares with Uralic show that its separation from Uralic took place after the invention of wheeled vehicles, which were known in the Majkop culture since about 3500 BC.

About 3500 BC, the Indo-European Yamnaya culture that had emerged between the Danube and the Don began to expand dynamically to the east, reaching the Caucasian foreland by about 3300 BC. This expansion is likely to have triggered the Sumerian migration to Mesopotamia. It would have proceeded through the Caucasus and the Diyala Valley, and since wheeled transport was available, could easily have been completed before the end of the Late Uruk period (c. 3100 BC). The arrival of the Sumerians would thus coincide with the destruction of the Eanna temple precinct at the end of the Uruk IVa period.

The lexical parallels between Sumerian and Uralic thus open up not only completely new possibilities for the study of Sumerian, but also a chance to identify the original homeland of the Sumerians and date their arrival in Mesopotamia. In addition, they provide a medium through which it becomes possible to penetrate into the prehistory of the Finno-Ugric peoples with the help of very ancient linguistic data. Of course, it is clear that the relevant evidence must first pass the test of verification or falsification before any part of it can be generally accepted and exploited.

OldPretan
2011-02-14, 12:30
The latter include, among other things, a common word for "sea, ocean" (Sumerian ab or a-ab-ba, Finnic aava, aappa),

Aqua becomes Ap/ab in Indic. Punjab - quinque aquae (Latin) - pump afon [avon](Welsh)- five axes (a common word for river in SW England - area of Belgic settlement). Is this another deep word? Finnish already has wet - water.

Humanist
2011-03-29, 17:06
A few bits regarding Assyrian origins written by an Assyrian, George Bebla:

[T]he first peoples to colonize Assyria were people living in the foothills fringing Assyria, that is the Taurus and Zagros Mountains, not the Semite Akkadians.

While the Assyrian plains were occupied by these ethnically unidentified people [Subaraeans], the land itself did not have a common name. Later on, it became known as Subartu, a name that was changed by Ashur-uballit I (c. 1354-c. 1318), who, for the first time, named it the Land of Ashur.

The statement that the settlers of Assyria spoke an Akkadian dialect is very important in understanding the identity of the different peoples living in Mesopotamia. It is an indication that these original people, that is the settlers from the foothills of the north and east of Assyria who were ethnically unidentified, mixed with the Akkadians, who had moved in during the Sumerian and Akkadian domination... Later, that is after Ashur-uballit I changed the name of the land from Subartu to Assur, these speakers of Akkadian, became known as Assyrians, as were those living in the south, later known as Babylonians.

Humanist
2011-04-04, 20:27
Found these very interesting bits, drawing a possible parallel between Nestorian (Assyrian Church of the East) and Sumerian architecture, from the book by Daniel T. Potts, Mesopotamian civilization: the material foundations: (http://www.amazon.com/Mesopotamian-Civilization-Material-Foundations-Potts/dp/0801433398)

Humanist
2011-04-29, 06:04
A recent paper (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1721218) on Assyrian identity discussed the possible Mandaean-Assyrian link:


William Wigram, who served as the head of the Anglican mission, wrote that the “ancient magical arts” continued to be practiced by Assyrians, whose “nearly every village” housed an elderly witch or wizard capable of casting spells that “were almost verbally identical with the spells on the most ancient tablets of Babylon and on those copied from Nineveh.”133

The anthropologist Lady Ethel Drower described a “race and religion” of Mandai or Mandaeans consisting of about 5,000 persons who worshipped God as prophesied by John the Baptist in public, and preserved in their secret scriptures the memory of the Assyro-Babylonian religion they traced to Assyrian Harran.136 Drower judged it impossible to doubt that the Mandaeans were “an aboriginal cult” of Assyria and Babylon, “maintaining a continuous and unbroken ritual tradition” going back to the worship of Šameš, Ea, and Marduk with ritual ablutions on the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates.137 Building on Drower’s work, a scholar of Semitic languages in 1910 traced Mandaean light-god Mana Rabba to the Assyro-Babylonian Ea, his emanation Manda de hayye and his son Hibil Ziwa with Ea’s son Marduk, stating: “Ea, the god of profound knowledge, father of the mediator Marduk, enthroned in the world-sea, whose holy element is water, is the Ea of the brilliant ocean of heaven, as comes out in the Ayar-yora and the heavenly Jordan of the Mandaeans.”138

The Assyriologist and Aramaist Jonas Greenfield wrote in a 1963 review of one of Drower’s works that there are “Assyro-Babylonian elements that can be found in both [the] vocabulary and ritual usage” of the Mandaeans, indicating a survival of Assyro-Babylonian “beliefs.”144 Tamara Green of City University of New York confirmed in 1992 that the Assyro-Babylonian deity Nabu was “considered as the Lord of wisdom and knowledge” among the Mandaeans.145 A German scholar traced the Mandaeans to a mixture of Babylonian astrology and magic, influences from the period of Persian rule, and Judeo-Christian beliefs and symbols perhaps derived from the Syrian (or Assyrian) Christians.146 Similarly, an Italian scholar who translated several Mandaean texts into English found that “some Mandaean texts ... take a positive view of the planets and ... the everyday life of the Mandaeans involves (or involved) them in constantly consulting the stars,” although other texts suggest that “the ancient gods, astral and planetary, worshipped in the entire Mesopotamian area demons.”147 [B]New scholarship on Mandaean magic reveals invocations of Assyrian deities, demons, and curses.148

Professor Hannibal Travis, Florida International University College of Law, On the Existence of National Identity Before ‘Imagined Communities’: The Example of the Assyrians of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia.

That is all terrific. But, they remain just words.

A comparison of the S Iraqi Mandaean to the Assyrian participant average, current as of the April 27th K=10 Dodecad update:

Comp. Asy Man
W_Asian 51 50
SW_Asia 24 24
S_Europ 23 21
S_Asian 2 4
E_Asian 0 0
N_Europ 0 0
NW_Euro 0 0
NE_Asia 0 0
W_Afric 0 0
E_Afric 0 0

Cherkess
2011-04-29, 06:12
Marsh Arabs are said to be descendants of the Sumerians.

EliasAlucard
2011-04-29, 06:35
A recent paper (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1721218) on Assyrian identity discussed the possible Mandaean-Assyrian link:



Professor Hannibal Travis, Florida International University College of Law, On the Existence of National Identity Before ‘Imagined Communities’: The Example of the Assyrians of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia.

That is all terrific. But, they remain just words.

A comparison of the S Iraqi Mandaean to the Assyrian participant average, current as of the April 27th K=10 Dodecad update:

Comp. Asy Man
W_Asian 51 50
SW_Asia 24 24
S_Europ 23 21
S_Asian 2 4
E_Asian 0 0
N_Europ 0 0
NW_Euro 0 0
NE_Asia 0 0
W_Afric 0 0
E_Afric 0 0I guess Fred Aprim was right in speculating the Mandaeans may be the descendants of the ancient Babylonians? Or they're just descendants of the Assyrians because their genome profile seems identical to ours.

Certainly, their genome profile indicates indigenous Mesopotamian ancestry and no other admixture, unlike many Iraqi "Arabs".


Marsh Arabs are said to be descendants of the Sumerians.That has never been investigated genetically or verified properly.

Cherkess
2011-04-29, 07:00
Iraqi Arabs are not of Mesopotamian stock, the ones in North probably. However by both phenotype and genotype they are mostly of Arabian stock mixed with some Iranic. They don't match well with Mesopotamian populations at all. I think it's safe to assume that the majority of Iraqi Arabs are rather Arabian who lived in the area in pre-Islamic times and some came as migrants during the Arabian conquests.

As for the Marsh Arabs that seems might be the case where they need to study the genetics of the population of that group. However it's often claimed they are. They might be who knows, the Sumerians lived in that region.

Humanist
2011-04-29, 07:01
I guess Fred Aprim was right in speculating the Mandaeans may be the descendants of the ancient Babylonians? Or they're just descendants of the Assyrians because their genome profile seems identical to ours.

Regarding their origins, and as documented by Lady Drower, S Iraqi Mandaean priests once stated:

Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran, E.S. Drower, Leiden, 1962


I had long been concerned with this question of origins. When I questioned the priests and got the answer 'We came from the North', I did not attach much literal value to the answer, for dwellers in the Middle East cannot distinguish between religion and race, and the divine ancestors naturally resided in the north, the seat of the gods.

But there seemed something more than this in their refusal to acknowledge Lower Iraq as the original home of the race. There is an arrogance, almost worthy of the present 'Nordic' propaganda, about the following, culled from the seventh fragment of the eleventh book of the Ginza Rba:

All the word calls the north a highland and the south a lowland. For the worlds of darkness lie in the lowlands of the South....Whose dwelleth in the North is light of colour but those who live in the lowlands are black and their appearance is ugly like demons.

The Babylonian genome, in my opinion, has been best preserved by Iraqi Jews. They appear to be a mix of Levantine and Mesopotamian stock. Presumably a combination of the deported Judaeans, Babylonians, and other converted peoples of the immediate region.

From today's Harappa project (http://www.harappadna.org/2011/04/harappa-1-90-k11-admixture-ref3/) update:

K=11 (S Asian, Onge, E Asian, SW Asian, European, Siberian, W African, Papuan, American, San/Pygmy, E African)


HRP00xx Sasi Onge Easi Swas Euro Sibe Wafr Papu Amer San Eafr
HRP0042 19% 0% 0% 64% 4% 1% 3% 2% 1% 1% 6%
HRP0037 21% 0% 1% 61% 15% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 2%
HRP0010 25% 0% 0% 59% 15% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0082 25% 0% 0% 58% 16% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0081 26% 0% 0% 58% 16% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
HRP0043 25% 2% 2% 51% 17% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0059 30% 1% 1% 48% 18% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0030 29% 1% 2% 46% 19% 2% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
HRP0046 33% 0% 0% 46% 17% 3% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0%
HRP0018 29% 0% 2% 46% 19% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%

Assyrians in red.
Iraqi/Egyptian Jewish in blue.

HRP0010 Assyrian (Humanist)
HRP0018 Iranian
HRP0030 Iranian
HRP0037 Iraqi/Egyptian Jewish
HRP0042 Iraqi Arab (S Iraq)
HRP0043 Iraqi Arab (Baghdad)
HRP0046 Iranian
HRP0059 Iraqi Kurd
HRP0081 Assyrian
HRP0082 Assyrian

---------- Post added 2011-04-29 at 02:00 ----------

Here is the abstract to the paper referred to in my earlier post:

On the Existence of National Identity Before ‘Imagined Communities’: The Example of the Assyrians of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia (2011)

Hannibal Travis
Florida International University College of Law


Studies on nationalism and the emergence of modern ethnic identities rarely examine sources dating from the period 0 CE (A.D.) and 1453 CE, or the period between the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the mid-first millennium CE and the Age of Discovery in the mid-second millennium CE. Testing generally accepted theories of national and ethnic distinctiveness against these sources reveals that a similar case exists for the existence of an Assyrian identity and/or nation as for a Greek, Kurdish, Jewish, or Persian identity or nation. Assyrian populations, religions, and political formations survived in present-day Iraq, Iran, and Turkey from 0 CE well into the 1800s CE.

Commentators on modern nationalism in relation to Assyrian identity have assumed, with little evidence, that the non-Arab, non-Jewish peoples of the East lacked the agency or the intellect to maintain a consistent identity, and that these peoples relied in their ignorance and indolence concerning their own identities on the theories of Western missionaries and colonial officials. After a long tradition of historical and cultural work assumed nations and peoples as subjects of analysis without critically examining the linguistic, cultural, or religious foundation of these groups of individuals or families, a new generation of scholars emerged who questioned this approach by positing that nations and peoples emerged in conjunction with modern capitalistic cultural forms and secular nationalistic liberalism. This theory, however, has the risk of degenerating into a vulgar instrumentalism, which assumes that identity entrepreneurs can manufacture ethnic, racial, or religious identity for their own purposes and little objective foundation. Thus, more recent studies point out the flaws in grounding national and ethnic distinctions in modern nationalism by compiling evidence that nations and peoples perceived themselves and were perceived by other collectivities as such long before the rise of European humanism or the Enlightenment.

This study attempts to show that the longevity and diversity of national and ethnic distinctions undermines a one-size-fits-all explanation such distinctions in the manner of Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities.” The evidence from the Assyrian case suggests that the undifferentiated hordes of Asia did not coalesce and order themselves in modern times and under Western influence into nations created and sustained by advanced technology. This “Imagines Communities” narrative suffers from hindsight bias and an exaggerated Eurocentrism. It also insults and infantilizes the peoples and nations of premodern eras and non-Western regions by assuming they lacked the intelligence with which modern Europeans constructed national cultures, laws, literatures, schools, and economies. Historians have long since disproved such ideas.

By examining translations of and academic commentary on Aramaic, Greek, Roman, and Persian literature and inscriptions, among other sources, this Essay demonstrates that the British Empire invented neither the modern Assyrians as a people, nor the territory of modern Assyria that was considered for statehood by the League of Nations after World War I. Rather, the identification of present-day northern Iraq, northwestern Persia, and southeastern Turkey as “Assyria” draws support from the Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian usage of the second and third millennia BCE, and the Greek, Roman, Persian, and Aramaic usage in the first millennium CE. Finally, the contribution of ancient Assyria to the cultures, languages, and religions of the non-Muslim populations of contemporary Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, especially Assyrian Christians, Mandaeans, and Yezidis, may no longer be doubted. This contribution is present in these peoples' daily vocabularies, place-names, and indigenous beliefs.

Humanist
2011-04-29, 08:57
I posted this clip in the Mandaean thread a few weeks back:

Mandaeans of S Iraq (1936) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNwq8hXbMm0)

Vasishta
2011-04-29, 12:16
From today's Harappa project (http://www.harappadna.org/2011/04/harappa-1-90-k11-admixture-ref3/) update:

K=11 (S Asian, Onge, E Asian, SW Asian, European, Siberian, W African, Papuan, American, San/Pygmy, E African)


HRP00xx Sasi Onge Easi Swas Euro Sibe Wafr Papu Amer San Eafr
HRP0042 19% 0% 0% 64% 4% 1% 3% 2% 1% 1% 6%
HRP0037 21% 0% 1% 61% 15% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 2%
HRP0010 25% 0% 0% 59% 15% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0082 25% 0% 0% 58% 16% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0081 26% 0% 0% 58% 16% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
HRP0043 25% 2% 2% 51% 17% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0059 30% 1% 1% 48% 18% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
HRP0030 29% 1% 2% 46% 19% 2% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
HRP0046 33% 0% 0% 46% 17% 3% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0%
HRP0018 29% 0% 2% 46% 19% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%

Assyrians in red.
Iraqi/Egyptian Jewish in blue.

HRP0010 Assyrian (Humanist)
HRP0018 Iranian
HRP0030 Iranian
HRP0037 Iraqi/Egyptian Jewish
HRP0042 Iraqi Arab (S Iraq)
HRP0043 Iraqi Arab (Baghdad)
HRP0046 Iranian
HRP0059 Iraqi Kurd
HRP0081 Assyrian
HRP0082 Assyrian[
You owe us Brown people big time, bud :thumbsup:! Also, do I know the two other Assyrians (the recent project participants)? Excellent post either way. The Onge run wasn't much use for non South Asians, though but it did help to infer a vital component - ASI. Zack's work is quite a break-through as far as South Asian genetics is concerned. Anyway, I'll not veer this thread off-topic further.

Semitic Duwa
2011-04-29, 12:50
To be honest, I believe our relationship with Armenians is mostly because of our shared Hurrian ancestry.

You hit them deep, pilgrim.

We should add "Urartean" to that... That is to say, their language was related to North-East Caucasian ones and there is a fair degree of similarity between these languages and Akkadian.

Humanist
2011-04-29, 16:06
Diogenes asks:

Why do Druze and Assyrians have less of this NC component? Is it because they have been more recently isolated due to their different culture and religion? Or have they from ancient times been more isolated from outside influences due to environmental (eg mountains) or cultural idiosyncrasies and thus have kept distinctive cultures/religions?

The Samaritan NC value, given geography, is also anomalous, in my opinion.

Sample E African, W African, MPC, NW African, NC, African F
Assyrian 0% 0% 81% 0% 19% 0%
Druze 0% 0% 80% 0% 20% 0%
Assyrian 0% 0% 79% 0% 21% 0%
Samaritan 0% 0% 76% 0% 24% 0%

Of course, religion has played a huge part in it. But, it absolutely does not tell the whole story. Possible contributing factors/explanations:

1.Post#75 (https://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=335701&postcount=75):

[T]he first peoples to colonize Assyria were people living in the foothills fringing Assyria, that is the Taurus and Zagros Mountains, not the Semite Akkadians.

While the Assyrian plains were occupied by these ethnically unidentified people [Subaraeans], the land itself did not have a common name. Later on, it became known as Subartu, a name that was changed by Ashur-uballit I (c. 1354-c. 1318), who, for the first time, named it the Land of Ashur.

The statement that the settlers of Assyria spoke an Akkadian dialect is very important in understanding the identity of the different peoples living in Mesopotamia. It is an indication that these original people, that is the settlers from the foothills of the north and east of Assyria who were ethnically unidentified, mixed with the Akkadians, who had moved in during the Sumerian and Akkadian domination... Later, that is after Ashur-uballit I changed the name of the land from Subartu to Assur, these speakers of Akkadian, became known as Assyrians, as were those living in the south, later known as Babylonians.

Please see the attachment. Dr. McDonald's "spots on the map." NOTE the margin of error! The longitudinal error is by far the greater of the two.

1=Cypriot Turk
2=Syrian Arab Muslim
3=Iraqi Arab (Baghdad and South)
4=Mandaean (S Iraq)
5=Iraqi Kurd
6=Turk
7=Assyrian (West and East)

2.Hurrian/Mitanni Dominance - please see the second attachment. The Middle and Neo Assyrian eras came afterward.

3. From my post in another thread (https://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=343473&postcount=44) (third attachment):

Here is a map including R-M269 frequencies. The Armenian frequency (27%) is backed by ~1000 samples (see Weale et al. and Armenian FTDNA project). The Assyrian frequency (27%) is based on FTDNA, SMGF, and 23andMe Assyrians. The Iranian frequencies are reliable. Please see the thread created by Humata/DMXX. The South Talysh (44%) sample is only 18, however.


I should have included the Druze in my R-M269 map. If I am not mistaken, they have ~25% R-M269.

Also, from the recently published paper, Increased Resolution of Y Chromosome Haplogroup T Defines Relationships among Populations of the Near East, Europe,and Africa Mendez et al.

PS21* frequency (https://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=342350&postcount=2)
Assyrians = ~10%
Druze = ~8%

The fourth attachment is a PC plot of the "kinship R matrix" based on the Y-DNA frequencies for populations (after removal of outliers) from Mendez et al.

Assyr (Assyrians), Druze (Druze), Egy(Egyptians), IraqA (Iraqis), Jord (Jordanians), Pal (Palestinians), Syr (Syrians), Turk (Turks), BulJ (Bulgarian Jews), IraqJ (Iraqi Jews), ItaJ (Italian Jews), KurdJ (Kurdish Jews) MorJ (Moroccan Jews), TurJ (Turkish Jews), Yem (Yemenites), YemJ(Yemenite Jews).

4.Post #7 (https://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=288603&postcount=7):
Near Eastern brachycephals; Syria, Armenia, and the Caucasus

The object of the present section is to deal with the general group of brachycephalic peoples, other than the Osmanli Turks, who live in the regions lying between Syria and the Caucasus, and including both. These peoples include the various groups of Syrians, the Druses, the Armenians, the Assyrians and the Caucasic peoples proper.


The characters that have just been described are very close to those of the Armenid subrace...The Armenians themselves, from whom the name of the subrace is derived are of remarkably uniform physical type. A good description of the Armenians was published by Chantre in 1895. Essentially the same type was represented in ancient times by the Hittites and Assyrians; indeed, the type was named Assyroid by Deniker.

5.Israel Resettled By Foreigners - 2 Kings 17:24-40

After the Israelites were deported, foreigners from the Assyrian empire were sent to resettle the land. This policy helped Assyria keep peace in conquered territories.


24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.

6.The Druze have been a closed community for the last ~1000 years. With the advent of Islam in the mid-first millennium CE, Assyrians effectively became a closed community. One must look even further back in time for the Samaritans. Samaritan endogamy is legend. Their absurdly low intraethnic ASD matrix (https://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=290560&postcount=32) values attest to the extremely closed nature of their society.

Cherkess
2011-04-29, 16:19
Iraqi Arabs are not inbred it seems. This because they have Arabian and Persian. I would assume safely that the majority descent from Arabian and Yemenite tribes. If you compare the Iraqi Arab culture to that of the Syrians, you can see that the Syrians are Arabized. This is not true of Iraqi Arabs whose culture is very similar to that of the Gulf and Yemen. As well many Iraqi Arabs take pride in being the descendants of Yemen. In fact several Iraqi tribes directly claim descent from Yemenis. Even the system is similar to that of the Yemenis. Some of course claim Northern Arabian origins as well. In total it seems that the Iraqi Arabs are not genetically the relatives of the Christian or Jewish populations, a myth that has become shattered due to genetic tests. We know because of the Mongol and later Persian invasions which made Iraq become deserted literally there was very few people in the region. By the 15th and 17th centuries nomadic Arabian tribes like the Banu Tamim, Bani Truf, Al-naum. Some like the Lakhmid and Banu Asad were already present in Iraq since pre-Islamic times. Some came in the 19th century and settled. Hence why the genetics of Iraqi Arabs are Arabian mostly. Persian tribes also moved in and often intermarried with the Arabians. So Iraqi Arabs are true Arabians with minor Persian admix. As well Bahrainis are very close to Iraqi Arabs genetically.

Humanist
2011-04-30, 01:56
Iraqi Arabs are not inbred it seems. This because they have Arabian and Persian. I would assume safely that the majority descent from Arabian and Yemenite tribes. If you compare the Iraqi Arab culture to that of the Syrians, you can see that the Syrians are Arabized. This is not true of Iraqi Arabs whose culture is very similar to that of the Gulf and Yemen. As well many Iraqi Arabs take pride in being the descendants of Yemen. In fact several Iraqi tribes directly claim descent from Yemenis. Even the system is similar to that of the Yemenis. Some of course claim Northern Arabian origins as well. In total it seems that the Iraqi Arabs are not genetically the relatives of the Christian or Jewish populations, a myth that has become shattered due to genetic tests. We know because of the Mongol and later Persian invasions which made Iraq become deserted literally there was very few people in the region. By the 15th and 17th centuries nomadic Arabian tribes like the Banu Tamim, Bani Truf, Al-naum. Some like the Lakhmid and Banu Asad were already present in Iraq since pre-Islamic times. Some came in the 19th century and settled. Hence why the genetics of Iraqi Arabs are Arabian mostly. Persian tribes also moved in and often intermarried with the Arabians. So Iraqi Arabs are true Arabians with minor Persian admix. As well Bahrainis are very close to Iraqi Arabs genetically.

Yes. I agree. All three of the Iraqi Arabs tested at 23andMe, if Dr. McDonald's "spots on the map" are any indication, have a definite link to Arabia and/or the southern Levant. Vast swaths of Iraq do appear to have been recently (read: < 1000 years) repopulated by Arabian migrants.

Genetic links that may (and do) appear between Iraqi (and other) Arabs and Assyrians, may be the remnants of whatever group (Akkadians, Amorites, etc.) Semitized the northern Mesopotamian peoples many millennia ago. I recently wrote the following:
----------------------------------------------------
ASD Matrix median values (generated by Polako)

YEMENI JEWS
1 YEJ 0.24437
2 ASY 0.24820
3 CY 0.24830
4 SY 0.24838
5 KSA 0.24842

YEMENI
1 CY 0.25242
2 ASY 0.25265
3 GJ 0.25310
4 YEJ 0.25322
5 AM 0.25328
29 YE 0.25592

SAMARITAN
1 Sam 0.20825
2 ASY 0.24952
3 CY 0.24955
4 AM 0.25062
5 GJ 0.25072

The Yemeni Jewish-Assyrian match made me reassess the potential implications of the Samaritan-Assyrian match. The Yemeni Jews and Samaritans might represent two of the least admixed Arabian/southern Levantine populations from antiquity. If so, our most probable explanation may predate events in the 1st millennium BCE. The "Middle Eastern" component from David's recent Neolithic ADMIXTURE run, I believe, may support this. Perhaps the ASD matrix match between Assyrians and the two populations is most attributable to a long (read: ~3000+ years), and well preserved Arabian/Levantine component.

Humanist
2011-04-30, 03:38
I guess Fred Aprim was right in speculating the Mandaeans may be the descendants of the ancient Babylonians? Or they're just descendants of the Assyrians because their genome profile seems identical to ours.


I meant to add this to my response. Mandaeism may have served as something of a transition faith (if one existed) for some Assyrians, from Assyro-Babylonian religion and/or Judaism and Christianity:

The Nestorian (Assyrian) Church

South of Ctesiphon and east of Seleucia (near modern Baghdad) there was a village called Kokhe (the name derives from the Syriac for Kukhyata, meaning huts), where the first great [Assyrian]/Babylonian Christian Church of Kokhe was built.

The Chronicle of Seert (ninth or tenth century, S. H. Moffett, p.183), attributes the foundation of the first Christian Church in Kokhe of Ctesiphon to Mar Mari, a disciple of the Apostle Mar Adai. Presenting Kokhe as part of Ctesiphon means that the Great Church of Kokhe was founded by Mar Mari before the River Tigris changed its bed, that is before 79 and 116 AD.

"Mandaean"

Other scholars derive the term mandaiia from Mandā d-Heyyi (Mandaic manda ḏ-hiia "Knowledge of Life", reference to the chief divinity hiia rbia "the Great Life") or from the word(bi)manda, which is the cultic hut in which many Mandaean ceremonies are performed (such as the baptism, which is the central sacrament of Mandaean religious life). This last term is possibly to be derived from Pahlavi m’nd mānd ("house").

The Acts of Mar Mari

Summary: Mar Addai asked [Mar(Saint)]Mari to christianize Babylonia, now under Parthian rule. Mari left Edessa his native city, along with some of his disciples, for missionary activities. On his way he converted the city of Nisibis to the East of the Tigris and its regions, then Arbela in Assyria and its surroundings, before reaching Babylonia. In the latter’s capital Seleucia-Ctesiphon [Mar Mari] established what became later the cradle of Christianity in Mesopotamia.


Mandaeism's woman priest, Miriai
Reading the Story of Miriai on Two Levels: Evidence from Mandaean Anti-Jewish Polemic about the Origins and Setting of Early Mandaeism (http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1194&context=facsch_papers&sei-redir=1#search=%22miriai+mandaean%22)

The story of Miriai is found in the Book of John, as well as being alluded to in the Canonical Prayerbook. In the former, it occurs immediately after the chapters about John the Baptist. The story tells of a girl named Miriai, descended from the “priest-kings” of Judea, who had as one of her duties cleaning in the “temple”. They live in or near the “ruins of Jerusalem”. One day, Miriai’s parents leave her at home and go to the synagogue.5 Rather than listening to her parents’ instruction that she stay at home with the door bolted, instead she goes out, and does not end up going to the “house of the people” (a way of referring to the synagogue that is polemicized against in the Rabbinic corpus).6 Instead, she ends up at a Mandaean place of worship (maškna) and finds both asleep and as a result is late getting home, and so her parents discover her absence. Her father castigates her (calling her some colorful names) and insinuates that she has fallen in love with a man and is sneaking out to meet him. Whether her illicit love affair is literal or metaphorical (or both) becomes ambiguous, since reference is soon made to Miriai having forsaken Judaism for her lord, and phylacteries for a man with a headband. In the chapter that follows, Miriai is depicted as a tree flourishing along the Euphrates, one that attracts birds to dwell in it. Eventually she is presented as a Mandaean priest and teacher.

Let us set aside questions about whether this story may have a basis in history, and ask instead what it tells us about the understanding of the relationship between “Judaism” and “Mandaism” in the time in which it was written. On the one hand, if we read the story against the backdrop of Mandaism as we know it today, it appears plainly to be a story about conversion. Miriai is drawn to Mandaism and this is understood to involve the forsaking of Judaism. Yet it is important to not jump too quickly to the conclusion that the story assumes that Mandaism and Judaism are independent, clearly defined and inherently separate religious communities. The Mandaeans in this story are, at the very least, located in close proximity to this Jewish community in Judaea (More likely, Judaean Babylonia). One possible understanding of the story is that the Mandaeans’ gathering is an alternative meeting to the synagogue, attended by other members of the Jewish community, or perhaps even some of the same members who also frequent the synagogue. Just as there is a tendency to read the Gospel of John as the story of two distinct religious communities in conflict, a closer inspection of that Christian text, as perhaps also of the Mandaean story of Miriai, may prove to reflect instead a story about two communities that are in bitter conflict because they were, or had been until very recently, partially or entirely overlapping circles.

From the Mandaean text, the Haran Gawaita

The birth of Jesus is narrated briefly, and-'He perverted the words of the Light and changed them to darkness and converted those who were mine and perverted all the cults ('bidatha)....He and his brother established themselves on Mount Sinai and took unto themselves all nations and brought the people unto themselves and were called Christians (krastinaiia) and were called after Nazareth (Nisrath mdinta).'

Apologies for the font color and bold text. :)

Humanist
2011-05-01, 07:21
I had not come across this map before. Thanks, Ted!

Humanist
2011-05-16, 17:03
Continuing the possible Assyrian-Mandaean link:

Dienekes' PCA plots, for the first time, allowed for the comparison of the Mandaean's PCA placement with other Dodecad participants. In the first PCA, the Mandaean (DOD460) nearly occupies the same position as Birko:

0.0095 0.0082
0.0095 0.0080

In the second, he is extremely close to another Assyrian, this time, DOD243:

0.0074 -0.0138
0.0073 -0.0136
--------------------------------------------
Mandaean history, as told by the Mandaeans:
Harran Gawaita

The interior of Harran admitted them, that city which has Nasurai* in it, so that there should not be a road (passage?) for the kings of the Yahutaiia (Babylonians). Over them (the Nasurai*) was Malka Ardban. And they served themselves from the sign of the Seven and entered the mountain of the Madai (the Median Mountains), a place where they were free from domination of all races. And they built mandis (mandia) and dwelt in the call of the Life and in the strength of the high King of Light.

After the fall of Nineveh, the last Assyrian king, Assur-uballit II, the nobility, and what remained of the Assyrian forces fled to the final Assyrian stronghold, Harran. The Chaldean King Nabopolassar of Babylonia (Yahutaiia), and his Median allies (Madai), led by King Cyaxares (Grandfather of future Queen Mandana of Madai, mother of Cyrus the Great, King of Anshan), followed and laid siege to Harran. In 609 BCE Necho II of Egypt, after defeating a Judaean force attempting to obstruct his army's path, came to the aid of the Assyrians. At Carchemish (on the Euphrates) in 605 BCE the Assyrian-Egyptian forces were finally defeated by the Babylonian (now led by King Nebuchadnezzar II) and Median alliance. The Egyptians retreated, and it is said Assur-uballit II and the remnants of the Assyrian forces were never heard from again.

After Assyria's defeat its lands were divided. Many areas (and populations) came under Babylonian domination. Other parts became part of the land of the Madai. Including, of course, the place many of our ancestors fled to, when Timur's hordes laid waste to our villages, Hakkari.


* Akkadian: naṣāru
[Army → Military]
to guard, protect , to defend , to safeguard ; to watch , to beware of , to cherish , to preserve / conserve + , to prize , to treasure.

The Mandaeans, in their texts, refer to both the Jews and Babylonians as "Yahutaiia." In this particular paragraph of the Harran Gawaita, it is believed they are referring to the Babylonians.

Names and other events are frequently, in Mandaean texts, not what they appear. Possibly, for example, the King (Malka) Ardban. Scholars have suggested the completely out of chronology Parthian era Ardbans. None appear a good fit. Malka Ard-ban, may, perhaps, mean something along the lines of King "Creator of the Earth or City."

Akkadian: ban, N builder / maker.
banû (4) : (deity) : to create (a person, grain , creation ...) 5) D : : to erect (a city)
Words for "earth" - Arabic=ard; Akkadian=irt-situ


When Assyria conquered Babylon in the Sargonid period (8th-7th centuries BCE), Assyrian scribes began to write the name of Ashur with the cuneiform signs AN.SHAR, literally "whole heaven" in Akkadian, the language of Babylon. The intention seems to have been to put Ashur at the head of the Babylonian pantheon, where Anshar and his counterpart Kishar ("whole earth") preceded even Enlil and Ninlil. Thus in the Sargonid version of the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian national creation myth, Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, does not appear, and instead it is Ashur, as Anshar, who slays Tiamat the chaos-monster and creates the world of humankind.

Or, did King "Ardban" actually exist? Between Nineveh and Harran was Arban.

The British Museum's description of the "Carnelian cylinder seal of Mushezib-Ninurta," makes reference to the ruler of Shadikanni (Arban):
Neo-Assyrian, 9th century BC
From Sherif Khan (Tarbisu), northern Iraq

The owner of this seal can be identified from the cuneiform inscription which translates: 'Seal of Mushezib-Ninurta, governor, son of Ninurta-eresh, ditto, son of Samanuha-shar-ilani, ditto.' Samanuha-shar-ilani was ruler of Shadikanni (Arban in eastern Syria), in 883 BC, and an Assyrian vassal - subject to the firm control of Assyria, and enjoying the wealth and security that such political domination provided.

The image is similar to two wall reliefs from the throne room of King Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC) at Nimrud. The king, shown in mirror image, is protected by guardian genii sprinkling holy water from a bucket using what may be a fir cone or sponge. A stylized tree stands in the centre, symbolizing nature and the land of Assyria. Above is a god in the winged disc probably representing the sun-god Shamash or the supreme god of Assyria, Ashur.

And, what of the "sign of the Seven" reference, and the tura d'madai (mountains of Media)? The most ancient map of the world known to exist, may offer some clues:


The Babylonian Map of the World is a diagrammatic labeled depiction of the known world from the perspective of Babylonia. The map is incised on a clay tablet, showing Babylon somewhat to the north of its center; the clay tablet is damaged, and also contains a section of cuneiform text.

It is usually dated to the 6th century BC. It was discovered at Sippar, southern Iraq, 60 miles (97 km) north of Babylon on the east bank of the Euphrates River, and published in 1899. The clay tablet resides at the British Museum.

It is conjectured that the [seven] island locations, though possibly referring to real areas, may also represent a mythological interpretation of the world.

Babylon is in the center of the map; parallel lines at the bottom seem to represent the southern marshes, and a curved line coming from the north, northeast appear to represent the Zagros Mountains.

There are seven small interior circles at the perimeter areas within the circle, and they appear to represent seven cities.

Seven triangular sections on the external circle (water perimeter), represent named islands, but the damaged clay tablet has lost the three islands on the tablet's lower edge.

The three islands are named:

island-"place of the rising sun"
island-"the sun is hidden and nothing can be seen"
island-"beyond the flight of birds"

Humanist
2011-05-22, 19:53
This may not be of significance (ie the "light" theme is ubiquitous in Christianity and Gnosticism) but, given the other similarities between Church of the East Christianity and the Mandaean religion I found it interesting that the translated Chinese stele inscription refers to Nestorianism as the "religion of light" or "luminous doctrine." Photo attached (from The Changing World of Christianity (http://www.amazon.com/Changing-World-Christianity-Dyron-Daughrity/dp/1433104520)).

The role of "light" in Mandaeism (Mandaean Associations Union site (http://www.mandaeanunion.org/History/EN_History_007.htm)):

The Mandaean worldview is stamped by gnostic dualism. A World of Light (nhura) and a World of Darkness (hshuka) exist in mutual hostility. The World of Light is a world of light and brilliance, of goodness and truth, and eternity without death. Heading the World of Light is a sublime being, The King of Light “Life” (Haii). Countless number of light beings “angels” (uthra) surrounds this God. The World of Darkness is a similar construction to the World of Light, but it stems originally from the chaos or ‘dark waters’. The World of Darkness is full of evil and falsehood. Hostile relations between light and darkness, life and death, good and evil have always existed. These relations led to the creation of the earthly world (Tibil). Earth was created as a result of joint actions from darkness and light. Basically, it was an evil act with the interference by the World of Light to tilt the balance in its favor. The Mandaean literature narrates different versions as to how this took place.

The high point of creation is the creation of the first man Adam , whose body ( adam pagria ) was produced by the evil beings, the wicked spirit-ruha- and the planets.

(“We shall capture Adam and seize him And detain him with us in the world.

We shall install him in our assembly, We shall seize and lay hold of his heart.”) ginza Rba-Right III

This purpose is prevented by the beings of light, in that they create for Adam a “companion”, the soul or ‘inner’ (hidden) Adam (adam kasya), and impart to him the secrets of the world.

As Birko can attest, the similarities between our Assyrian-Aramaic dialect and Mandaic (at least with regard to the terms above) are significant. Most of the Mandaic words referred to in the preceding paragraphs are identical, or extremely similar in meaning in our Assyrian-Aramaic dialect. The two I am unfamiliar with are in red. All other words in bold, I am absolutely familiar with. Perhaps Birko, whose grasp of Assyrian-Aramaic is superior to mine, is familiar with the two.

Humanist
2011-06-04, 04:38
The Mandaeans, under the Mandaean name, are first referred to in external sources during the 1st millennium of the common era. Yet, in their texts, they refer to themselves as Mandaeans, even when providing accounts of their history, dating as far back as the period immediately following the Fall of Nineveh. Babylonians-Chaldeans, Jews, Medes, etc., are all mentioned. The Assyrians, however, are not.

Abstracted from : Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran, E.S. Drower, Leiden, 1962
(http://www.farvardyn.com/mandaean2.php)

With the help of Ruha, the 'Yahutaiia' (here Chaldeans) built a strong new city with seven walls, 'each more magnificent than its fellow'. This city ('Baghdad') is destroyed utterly later by the powers of light, aided by the 'Madai' [Medes] and seven guards (natria) from 'Mount Parwan'. A descendant of King Ardban [Cyrus???] is set up in 'Baghdad', and his rule established over the four corners of the world. [B]Satraps are set up over the provinces, and these all have Mandaean names. This rule is throughly approved of by the Powers of Light.

Satraps and Cyrus The Great
(http://pguyou.free.fr/satraps/page6.html)

Assyria or mat Ashur (the land of god Ashur) was long-destroyed by the time Achaemenid rule shaped history. Today its capital Ashur may vanish beneath water, threatened by earth’s most destructive element; mankind. An area west from River Tigris formed a satrapy together with Babylonia named Athura meaning “Assyria”, while another portion fell within Media’s satrapy ‘’Mada’’. Assyrian influences tenaciously remained. Its god Ashur adopted by Babylonia became Marduk, then evolved into Ahura-Mazda. Aramaic still ruled as lingua franca and the calendar with its months and names remained intact thanks to Assyrian vassals become conquerors; Babylonia and Media.*11 Assyrians were active under Achaemenid power with governors administrating Athura and other personages whose Assyrian names are recognizable appear in the Book of Nehemiah (circa 450 B.C.) citing a Sanballat as satrap of Samaria in 400 B.C. Xenophon mentions a certain Belesys, satrap of Syria. This name is identified by certain scholars with the above Gubâru, a Persian name and Belesys a Babylonian name. Most scholars agree the above Gobyras/ Gubâru was the first Achaemenid satrap of Athura and the latter satraps eventually his descendants yet others maintain there were two Gobyras.

Armenia’s origins and even its name “Armenia” linger in mystery alike Persepolis' tunnel system leading darkly beneath the throne hall. It is not understood so far from whence they came or how during the 7th century B.C. this Indo-European speaking people dominated Urartu’s non Indo-European Hurrian nation.*12 It is not even clear how Armenia jointed Achaemenid territories though we know Urartu fell subject to the Medes possibly around 605 and was subsequently annexed by Cyrus. He once captured Armenia’s king, apparently releasing him for reasons of friendship towards the king’s son Tigran, a companion, according to Xenophon. Keeping its mysteries, the land simply folded into the 13th satrapy. Armenian contingents partook in Cyrus’ Lydian and Babylonian campaigns. Some privileged governance remained with native Lords and Orontids as satraps, the latter claiming Assyrian descent.*13 From Armenia, Pactyica *14 and on to the Euxine, expected tribute was four hundred talents, Armenia also supplying 20,000 foals. This corresponded to that which as tribute had previously been imposed by the Medes.

Humanist
2011-06-06, 12:45
Still on the topic of Assyrians and Mandaeans, because, as one can see, I believe the two may share an ancient relationship.


Exploring Our Matrix

The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Mandaean Calendar and the Egyptian Calendar
The Mandaeans use a solar calendar which consists of 12 months, each consisting of exactly 30 days, with an additional 5 days added at the end of the year which do not belong to any month. Apparently, this same calendar was used in ancient Egypt throughout most of its history. An additional day once every 4 years was added to the calendar before the first century C.E. The Jews down the ages have used a lunar calendar for the most part, and advocates of a solar calendar took an approach not entirely unlike that of the Egyptians, but aiming for a 364-day year, as in the case of the calendar advocated in the Book of Jubilees.

Does this evidence show a connection between the Mandaeans and Egypt which goes back earlier than the first century B.C.E.? Could the Mandaeans have adopted the calendar without ever having lived in Egypt, just through reading or hearing about it? The latter seems unlikely. Other minor details of Mandaean belief (e.g. the name Ptahil, which resembles that of the Egyptian deity Ptah) might also make a connection with Egypt plausible. This need not mean actually living in Egypt proper, since Egypt's territorial holdings reached much further. Would living in the vicinity of the Jordan during the Ptolemaic era have been enough to account for this similarity? Could the Mandaeans simply have come up with the same solution to the problem of the calendar independently of the Egyptians?

The question I'm most interested in is whether the Mandaean calendar allows us to figure out anything at all about the origin and history of the Mandaeans.


The Fascinating Balanced Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life
5/24/2010 21:09:00
By Benjamin Daniali

The 360 has been a sacred number in Assyria, and the Assyrians based their calendar on 12 x 30 days = 360 days. Fact or fiction, ever since Assyrians stopped using their ancient 360 day calendar, they have not lived life of a happy sovereign nation.

Dr. Simo Parpola

A schematic year of 360 days divided into twelve months of 30 days each is encountered not only in the Assyrian cultic calendar Inbu bel arhi but also in the late second- millennium astronomical text Mul Apin; in the latter, it is correlated with a division of the solar year into four seasons of equal length, corresponding to the later division of the ecliptic into twelve zodiacal signs of 30 degrees each.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wiki

Fundamental tenets

According to E.S. Drower, the Mandaean Gnosis is characterized by nine features, which appear in various forms in other gnostic sects:[12]

A supreme formless Entity, the expression of which in time and space is creation of spiritual, etheric, and material worlds and beings. Production of these is delegated by It to a creator or creators who originated in It. The cosmos is created by Archetypal Man, who produces it in similitude to his own shape.
Dualism: a cosmic Father and Mother, Light and Darkness, Right and Left, syzygy in cosmic and microcosmic form.
As a feature of this dualism, counter-types, a world of ideas.
The soul is portrayed as an exile, a captive: home and origin being the supreme Entity to which the soul eventually returns.
Planets and stars influence fate and human beings, and are also places of detention after death.
A saviour spirit or saviour spirits which assist the soul on the journey through life and after it to 'worlds of light'.
A cult-language of symbol and metaphor. Ideas and qualities are personified.
'Mysteries', i.e. sacraments to aid and purify the soul, to ensure rebirth into a spiritual body, and ascent from the world of matter. These are often adaptations of existing seasonal and traditional rites to which an esoteric interpretation is attached. In the case of the Naṣoreans this interpretation is based upon the Creation story (see 1 and 2), especially on the Divine Man, Adam, as crowned and anointed King-priest.
Great secrecy is enjoined upon initiates; full explanation of 1, 2, and 8 being reserved for those considered able to understand and preserve the gnosis.

Mandaeans believe in marriage and procreation, and in the importance of leading an ethical and moral lifestyle in this world, placing a high priority upon family life. Consequently, Mandaeans do not practice celibacy or asceticism. Mandaeans will, however, abstain from strong drink and red meat. While they agree with other gnostic sects that the world is a prison governed by the planetary archons, they do not view it as a cruel and inhospitable one.


The Fascinating Balanced Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life
By Benjamin Daniali

The body of the Assyrian Tree is constructed by nine great gods, all of whom are Ashur’s powers. And Ashur, the creator of himself and the universe is the Almighty God, unseen but existent, Ashur is the source of all manifest divine powers. Ashur could not be known directly neither by human nor even by gods, all of whom he created. His nature is not fully comprehendible, but Ashur is the “sum total” of all gods. The nine powers of Ashur (the great gods) each have a name, number, and function.

And if one is curious to ask why nine, the answer would be, the Assyrians believed nine was an optimum number. Systems built based on nine, mysteriously and magically were more optimum.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wiki

Priests and laymen
There is a strict division between Mandaean laity and the priests. According to E.S. Drower (The Secret Adam, p. ix):

[T]hose amongst the community who possess secret knowledge are called Naṣuraiia—Naṣoreans (or, if the emphatic ‹ṣ› is written as ‹z›, Nazorenes). At the same time the ignorant or semi-ignorant laity are called 'Mandaeans', Mandaiia—'gnostics'. When a man becomes a priest he leaves 'Mandaeanism' and enters tarmiduta, 'priesthood'. Even then he has not attained to true enlightenment, for this, called 'Naṣiruta', is reserved for a very few. Those possessed of its secrets may call themselves Naṣoreans, and 'Naṣorean' today indicates not only one who observes strictly all rules of ritual purity, but one who understands the secret doctrine.



The Fascinating Balanced Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life
By Benjamin Daniali
[T]he Assyrians doctrines were guarded as “secrets of heaven and earth” that were passed on to a limited number of initiates only. The use of terms such as, mūdû mūdâ likallim lā mūdû aj īmur, “Let the learned instruct the learned, the ignorant my not see.” And, pirištu ša ilāni rabûti, “Secret of the great gods” resemble the confidentiality of their knowledge same as the Tree of Life in Christianity and Judaism.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Exploring Our Matrix

The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Holy Spirit as Wife of Adonai in Mandaeism
I've been spending some time this evening working on the Mandaean Book of John. In looking up a passage in the important but puzzling text known as Haran Gawaita (which can be found online here and here, and which I am embedding below), Ruha [d-Qudsa] (i.e. the Holy Spirit) is referred to as the wife of Adonai, the Jewish God. Both are viewed negatively in Mandaeism.


The Fascinating Balanced Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life
By Benjamin Daniali

The winged disk displayed in the [Figure 4] is similar to Ashur, but she is Ištar, the mother representing the love, spirit, and energy.

"The portrayal of the Word of God as a female entity in Judaism (Shekhinah) has a parallel in Mesopotamia: Ištar as the Word of God. In the Assyrian oracles, called the 'words of Ištar,” the goddess speaks as the mother aspect of the supreme god, but can also be viewed as god’s 'spirit’ or 'breath,’ which resides in the heart of the prophet, inspires him or her, and speaks through his or her lips, thus being the functional equivalent of the Biblical 'Spirit of God’ (the 'Holy Spirit’). It should be noted that the Biblical Holy Spirit was likewise originally female, and the masculine gender of the Christian Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity) is only the result of a relatively late (4th century) development. Thus, in both cases, the word of God is viewed as a female entity that unites with a human: with the prophet in Assyria, and with the Zaddiq in Jewish mysticism. The Christian Holy Spirit has been equated with the Old Testament prophetic Spirit since the early second century and made explicit in the formulation of the Nicene Creed (4th century): 'We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who … has spoken through the prophets.’” [5]

In our modern Assyrian language, the Holy Spirit “Rookha d’ Ghoodcha” is female in gender.

Again, regarding their claimed northern origins:

Abstracted from : Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran, E.S. Drower, Leiden, 1962
I had long been concerned with this question of origins. When I questioned the priests and got the answer 'We came from the North', I did not attach much literal value to the answer, for dwellers in the Middle East cannot distinguish between religion and race, and the divine ancestors naturally resided in the north, the seat of the gods.

But there seemed something more than this in their refusal to acknowledge Lower Iraq as the original home of the race. There is an arrogance, almost worthy of the present 'Nordic' propaganda, about the following, culled from the seventh fragment of the eleventh book of the Ginza Rba:

'All the word calls the north a highland and the south a lowland. For the worlds of darkness lie in the lowlands of the South....Whose dwelleth in the North is light of colour but those who live in the lowlands are black and their appearance is ugly like demons.'

Less direct evidence is furnished by the references, so common in the texts, to 'black water' which 'burns like fire'. This can be nothing else but the black oil seepages and outcrops of burning oil and gas so common in oil-bearing districts.



Iraq’s Mosul [Nineveh] to Produce 200,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day
Posted on 05 January 2011.

The Province of Nineveh [Ninawa], of which Mosul is the capital, will soon turn into a major oil producing region in Iraq, with output estimated at 200,000 barrels a day, an Iraqi oil official said.

According to the report from Azzaman, the official, who refused to be named, said the crude will mainly flow from two fields currently being developed by state-run firms: Najma and Qaiyara.

“We cannot underestimate a volume like this,” he added.

Mosul is known to be among Iraq’s oldest oil producing areas but much of the provincial territory remains unexplored.

The field of Ain Zala is Iraq’s oldest oil-producing field, but the machinery and equipment have not changed since production started there more than 70 years ago.

The official said foreign investment in the province’s natural resources “will reduce currently high unemployment rates” and bring economic prosperity to Mosul, one of Iraq’s most unstable cities.

See attachments. The areas around and between Mosul and Kirkuk appear prime candidates.

When adjusting the McDonald "spot on the map" for the Iraqi Mandaean (Panjwin, Iraq) --the exact "spot on the map" predicted for Birko's cousin-- the adjusted location is extremely close to Assur (modern Shirqat), which, as one can see, is situated within proximity of the Iraqi oil sources. McDonald's spots on the map for the Assyrians, and the Mandaean, had an eastern bias. Assyrian genomes, and the Iraqi Mandaean genome, are not consistent with an average origin from what is today Iran. See the Dodecad values below. Dr. McDonald's average margin of error is 170 miles. As the longitudinal errors, as he himself stated, and as discussed in a recent academic paper on the topic of these sorts of analyses/predictions, are considerably, on average, greater than the latitudinal errors, a due west correction, in my opinion, is not at all unreasonable.


POP W_Asia Nw_Afri S_Euro Ne_Asi Sw_Asi E_Asia N_Euro W_Afri E_Afri S_Asia
POP W_Asia Nw_Afri S_Euro Ne_Asi Sw_Asi E_Asia N_Euro W_Afri E_Afri S_Asia
IRN 51.0 0.2 14.0 3.0 15.0 0.4 6.0 0.0 0.1 11.0
HUM 52.2 0 21 0 22.7 0 0 0 0 4.1
MAN 50.4 0.0 21.4 0.3 24.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.9
ASY 51.0 0.0 23.0 0.0 24.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.8
ARM 56.0 0.0 26.0 0.0 17.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 1.0


ASY is the Assyrian average. I listed my values as well, to demonstrate Assyrians can also have South Asian values ~4%. The component values in red clearly show the difference between the Iranian genome and that of the Assyrian and lone Iraqi Mandaean.

Humanist
2011-06-11, 12:51
Posting this Simo Parpola bit again regarding the Sumerians, in light of my father's Dr. McDonald results:


The Sumerians thus came to Mesopotamia from the north, where the Uralic language family is located, and by studying the lexical evidence and the grammatical features which Sumerian shares with individual Uralic languages, it is possible to make additional inferences about their origins. The closest affinities of Sumerian within the Uralic family are with the Volgaic and Finnic languages, particularly the latter, with which it shares a number of significant phonological, morphological and lexical isoglosses. The latter include, among other things, a common word for "sea, ocean" (Sumerian ab or a-ab-ba, Finnic aava, aappa), and common words for cereals, sowing and harvesting, domestic animals, wheeled vehicles, and the harness of draught animals. A number of these words also have counterparts in Indo-European, particularly Germanic languages. These data taken together suggest that the Sumerians originated in the Pontic-Caspian region between the mouth of the Volga and the Black Sea, north of the Caucasus Mountains, where they had been living a sedentary life in contact with Indo-European tribes. I would not exclude the possibility that their homeland is to be identified with the Majkop culture of the North Caucasus, which flourished between 3700 and 2900 BC and had trade contacts with the late Uruk culture. Placing the Sumerian homeland in this area would help explain the non-Uralic features of Sumerian, for the Kartvelian languages spoken just south of it are ergative and have a system of verbal prefixes resembling the Sumerian one. The Sumerian words for wheel and the harness of draft animals that it shares with Uralic show that its separation from Uralic took place after the invention of wheeled vehicles, which were known in the Majkop culture since about 3500 BC.

About 3500 BC, the Indo-European Yamnaya culture that had emerged between the Danube and the Don began to expand dynamically to the east, reaching the Caucasian foreland by about 3300 BC. This expansion is likely to have triggered the Sumerian migration to Mesopotamia. It would have proceeded through the Caucasus and the Diyala Valley, and since wheeled transport was available, could easily have been completed before the end of the Late Uruk period (c. 3100 BC). The arrival of the Sumerians would thus coincide with the destruction of the Eanna temple precinct at the end of the Uruk IVa period.


Most likely fit is 14.7% (+- 8.8%) Mideast (various subcontinents)
and 79.5% (+- 8.5%) Mideast (all Caucasus Area)
which is 94.3% total Mideast
and 0.6% (+- 0.8%) Europe (various subcontinents)
and 5.1% (+- 1.0%) S. Asia (various subcontinents)

The following are possible population sets and their fractions, most likely at the top:

Bedouin = 0.098 Armenian= 0.860 Finland= 0.000 S_India= 0.042
Bedouin = 0.101 Armenian= 0.845 Sardinia= 0.009 S_India= 0.045
Bedouin = 0.101 Armenian= 0.851 Finland= 0.000 N_India= 0.047
Bedouin = 0.102 Armenian= 0.848 Basque= 0.001 N_India= 0.048
Bedouin = 0.108 Armenian= 0.826 Sardinia= 0.014 N_India= 0.052
Bedouin = 0.113 Armenian= 0.790 Sardinia= 0.025 Sindhi= 0.071
Bedouin = 0.099 Armenian= 0.845 Lithuani= 0.000 Sindhi= 0.055
Bedouin = 0.107 Armenian= 0.824 Basque= 0.009 Sindhi= 0.060
Druze= 0.351 Armenian= 0.592 Chuvash= 0.000 Sindhi= 0.057
Druze= 0.293 Armenian= 0.673 Tuscan= 0.000 S_India= 0.034


And a bit from an old journal, discussing the origin of the Assyrians, is attached.

Not suggesting there is anything to it. Just found it interesting.

Humanist
2011-06-11, 13:10
Hey, even Klyosov found a link. ;)

Proceedings of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy 2011 June Volume 4, No. 6 (http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_70/10723000/10723072/1/print/10723072.pdf)


In fact, those similarities do exist, albeit in a rather weak form because thousands
of years passed since then. Still now most of R1b1a2 haplotypes in the Caucasus
(in Armenia, Dagestan, Georgia) belong to the ancient L23 subclade (with a
common ancestor in the Caucasus of around 6,000 ybp), and have a characteristic
DYS393=12 allele, unlike DYS393=13 in most of European R1b1b2 haplotypes.
From the Caucasus, R1b1a2-L23 and R1b1a2-M269 bearers went South over the
mountains, to Anatolia (a common ancestor of 6,000 ybp), and then split into
three major routes. One went further South, to Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and
became the Sumers. Many present-day Assyrians, descendants of ancient
Sumers, still have their R1b1a2 haplotypes. Another went westward, across AsiaMinor,
and came to Europe, to the Balkans and Mediterranean Sea region around 4500 ybp.
The third group went across Northern Africa and Egypt (and,incidentally,
might have left some R1b1b2 Pharaohs there) to the Atlantic and
went across Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula around 4800 ybp. They became the
Bell Beakers, and moved up North into the continental Europe. The Bell Beaker
culture in Europe had lasted between about 4400 and 3800 ybp.

Edit: By the way, North Mesopotamian/Assyrian R-M269 haplotypes are both DYS393=12 and DYS393=13.


ASY 12 23 12 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 14 28 16 9 10 11 11 25 16 19 29 15 15 15 18 11 12 19 23 16 16 17 17 37 38 12 12
ASY* 12 24 12 10 11 14 12 12 12 13 14 28
ASY 12 24 13 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 17 9 10 11 11 26 16 19 30 15 16 16 17 11 11 19 22 16 16 16 16 35 39 12 12 11 9 15 16 8 10 10 8 11 11 12 23 23 16 10 12 12 14 8 12 22 20 14 12 11 13 11 11 12 12
ASY 12 24 13 11 11 14 12 12 13 13 14 30
ASY 12 24 14 10 12 15 12 12 12 12 13 26 15 9 9 11 11 25 15 19 29 16 16 17 17 12 10 19 23 15 15 18 18 35 35 12 12
ASY 12 24 14 10 12 14 12 12 12 13 14 29 16 9 9 11 11 25 15 19 27 15 15 17 18 11 11 19 23 16 12 12 13 13
ASY 12 24 14 11 12 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 17 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 27 15 15 17 17 11 11 19 21 18 15 18 17 35 37 12 11 11 9 15 16 8 10 10 8 11 11 12 23 23 18 10 12 12 16 8 12 23 20 13 12 11 13 11 11 12 12
ASY* 12 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 12 13 29 16 9 10 11 11 25 14 20 28 15 16 16 17 12 12 19 23 16 15 18 17 37 38 13 12 9 9 16 16 8 10 10 8 12 10 12 23 23 15 10 12 12 16 8 12 22 20 13 12 11 13 12 11 12 12
IQJ 12 25 14 10 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29 19 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 16 16 12 11 19 23 16 16 17 17 36 38 12 12
CHA 12 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 12 14 28 18 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 16 16 11 11 19 23 15 16 17 16 37 38 12 12
ASY 12 26 14 11 11 14 12 12 13 13 14 29
ASY 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 11 14 13 30 16 9 9 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 15 17 17 11 12 19 23 16 15 18 17 36 36 12 12
ASY 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 15 9 9 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 17 18
ASY 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30
ASY 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 16 9 9 11 11 26 15 19 29 15 15 17 18 11 12 19 23 15 15 18 17 34 35 12 12
ASY 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 16 9 9 11 11 25 14 20 29 14 15 17 18 11 12 19 23 16 15 18 17 36 36 12 12
ASY* 13 24 14 11 11 15 12 12 12 12 13 28

Humanist
2011-06-18, 20:47
Some more. Connecting the Assyrian and Mandaean point. If we are both Assyrians, the midpoint should make sense, no?


Erbil (http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5479/) Citadel Town, which is situated dramatically on top of an artificial, 32-meters high earthen mound, and visually dominating the expansive modern city of Erbil, is believed to have been in continuous existence for 7000 years or even more. Thus, it may be regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world. Because of its past fortifications and steeply inclined mound, which is at some locations nearly 45 degrees, it has managed to survive numerous sieges and fierce attacks.

warwick
2011-06-22, 00:53
Hey, even Klyosov found a link. ;)

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Humanist
2011-06-22, 00:57
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

:lol::lol: Good one!!

warwick
2011-06-22, 01:00
:lol::lol: Good one!!

Yeah. I think it's an old saying but my high school math teacher was really fond of saying it, usually around the time he returned exams.

Humanist
2011-06-22, 03:53
If a Mod reads this, please split this thread off, so that we may discuss the related, but distinct question of possible Assyrian and Mandaean ancient relatedness separately.


The major [Mandaean] feast is the Parwanaiya or Panja, which is celebrated in the last 5 days of the 8th month (šumbulta) and corresponds with the Persian farvardagān (MPers. frawardīgān [q.v.] “feast of the Frawahrs [Fravašis]”). The latter is divided into two five-day periods, the Panj-e keh “Lesser Five” and Panj-e meh “Greater Five.” The common features of the Panja are ablutions and baptism (among the Mandaeans a favorite occasion for celebration) and ceremonies (prayers, hymns, and meals) for the deceased or their souls, who are believed to visit their relatives at this time (the text of the Panja ritual is now published by B. Burtea, 2005). It is assumed that the Mandaean Panja replaced the Babylonian-Assyrian spring festival, the Akitu, under Persian influence and thus lost its old seasonal connection. This may have occurred under Yazdegerd III (r. 633-51), to whom a calendar reform is ascribed, according to Biruni (973-after 1050, q.v.; see CALENDARS i.), and who set the leap days at the end of the 8th month, Ābān.

(Kurt Rudolph)
Originally Published: July 28, 2008


These are the five intercalary days of Parwanaia, or Panja, the happiest time of the whole year, during which the great baptismal river feast is held. It falls at the time when the river is swollen by melting snows from the north, i.e. during the first warm days of spring. In 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935 Panja fell on April 5th but in 1936 it fell on April 4th. Each of the five days is dedicated to a spirit of light and, as the doors of the world of light are open during Panja by night as well as by day, prayers may be offered at night. On other nights of the year no prayer may be said after sunset. One night during Panja is an especial night of grace, like the night of Dehwa d Shishlam Rba, and any right petition made to the lords of light will be granted.

Panja is a religious festival rather than a season of carnival, and Subba who live far from a priest travel long distances in order to be baptized as many times as their means allow, and join in the lofanis, zidqa brikhas, and dukhranas for the dead. The dead, assembling at the sacred meals and summoned by the mention of their names in the ritual, are refreshed by the spiritual double of the foods, and bless the living. The uneasy souls of those delayed upon the road to the worlds of light because they died an unclean death, or on a mbattal day, or without the proper death-ceremonies and clothing, are represented by proxies at the ceremonies of ahaba d mania and others, and clothed, purified, and sustained are furthered on their way through the mataratha. Families save up to pay the fees necessary for these ceremonies; indeed, they regard the barriers between them and their dead relatives, back to distant ancestors and the spirits of light who begot them, as down during the five days of holiness. The soul of a person who dies during this period, when it emerges from the tomb on the third day, passes without hindrance through the mataratha, and the costly death-masiqta is not necessary for such a one. Hence relatives of a person dangerously ill long that he should die at this time, and I have noted that in a small hamlet three persons died of different diseases in one year at this season. No doubt, if a person is dangerously ill, a baptism in the river might be expected to produce the desired result. The patient himself is anxious to leave the world at this season, for no demons or wild beasts (zangoyi) will have power to harm his soul on its journey, and it accomplishes the long and difficult journey to the Gate of Abathur in a single day.

Abstracted from : Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran, E.S. Drower, Leiden, 1962

Again, whether it is of any significance, I have not an idea. Just throwing it out there. The presiding deity for the intercalary period of the Babylonians was Ashur.

I should also take a moment to once again add I am not suggesting it is only Mandaeans who are possibly former Assyrians. I have stated before that I believe it is possible Assyrians (to whatever extent) were followers of the Mandaean faith before adopting Christianity.

Edit: Humata, if you read this, it is difficult not to suspect a Zoroastrian/Median-Persian origin of the FTDNA Mandaean's Y-DNA line. He is H. Not much H in Iran, but at least it has some presence.

warwick
2011-09-08, 19:37
I was considering the issue of ancient origins and thought it might be worth considering that within any regional area, such as the Middle East, it is important to remember what the genetic distances actually signify. Most of this variation is neutral variation, without functional significance. Secondly, although we can generate numbers that represent genetic distance, the distances are relatively small. In particular, it is worth noting that the variation of all the populations outside of Africa reflects an effective population size of approximately 6-7 thousand individuals.

Thus, although for historical and genealogical purposes we can make connections to ancient and recent cousins, we cannot conclude that the distinctions between our own and neighboring ethnic groups necessarily represent any real or substantive differences, based on any existing DNA evidence.

Essentially, this reconnects to my post in another thread, in which I pointed out how many genetic results are oversold. Genetic results can show that populations are very likely connected to ancient populations of their region, but they do not demonstrate substantive phenotypic differences that result in behavioral or cognitive distinctions within regional groups.

In fairness, I also apply this criticism to the so-called "Cohen" papers, the claims that Jews are not admixed, and additional claims such as the notorious claim that 10% of the Med. is Phoenician.

The papers do show geographic origins, and by extension, likely connections to ancient peoples, but they do not show "distinctness" from neighboring groups.

The genetic distance numbers between populations are close and are frequenctly misinterpreted.

Correction:

The effective population size outside of Africa is lower than I stated:

For CEU, JPT, and HCB, the estimate of effective population size, adjusted for SNP ascertainment bias, was ∼3100, whereas the estimate for the YRI was ∼7500, consistent with the out-of-Africa theory of ancestral human population expansion and concurrent bottlenecks.
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/4/520.short

Humanist
2011-11-18, 20:11
From the "Chronicles" of Michael the Great, patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church(died 1199).


Ces royaumes primitifs furent anéantis par le
royaume des Perses, qui commença avec Cyrus et finit avec ce Darius qui fut
tué par Alexandre ; et, pendant l'espace' de 231 ans que dura l'empire des Perses,
tout le peuple des régions de l'Asie fut réduit sous la domination des Perses.
Après Alexandre, il faut y joindre l'époque des descendants de Seleucus et
d'Antiochus, qu'on appelle rois des Syriens. Leur durée se prolongea 220 ans,
jusqu'au commencement de l'empire des Romains avec Gaïus et Augustus,
époque à laquelle parut le Sauveur de l'Univers, le Christ, Fils de Dieu. II y
avait donc 550 ans', que notre peuple n'avaitplus de rois. Or, quand la doctrine
vivifiante de l'Evangile parut, ce peuple y adhéra* et la professa avec empres-
sement; et alors ils négligèrent et méprisèrent totalement les autres livres,
dans lesquels étaient consignés les souvenirs de leurs anciens rois, et, dans un
zèle ardent pour la religion, ils mirent au feu tous les livres dans lesquels était
compilé le souvenir de ces rois; parce qu'au nom des rois et à la série de leurs
règnes étaient aussi entremêlées les histoires diaboliques de leur paganisme;
et, pour ce motif, ils détournèrent leur visage, comme d'une odeur fétide, de tous
ces livres, et ils les mirent au feu pour que le souvenir n'en fût pas conservé à
leurs enfants et aux générations à venir. C'est ce que rappelle le livre des Actes
des saints Apôtres quand il dit' : « Ceux qui croyaient apportaient les livres de
leurs pères et les brûlaient aux pieds des Apôtres, livres dont le prix était
estimé à de grandes sommes d'argent ». En beaucoup d'endroits et pendant
plusieurs générations, après l'apparition salutaire de l'Evangile, les saints Pères
firent cela avec un zèle constant. Partout où se trouvait un papier contenant le
souvenir d'histoires païennes, ou des récits concernant leurs' dieux, il était
jeté au feu. C'est ainsi que le souvenir des rois païens 4isparut de notre écri-
ture, parce que nos pères s'attachèrent complètement au Christ-Dieu et abju-
rèrent toutes les erreurs du paganisme. Et, pour ce motif, ils proclament,
après le Christ, le premier roi qui crut et fut baptisé au nom du Christ, Cons-
tantin le Victorieux, et, après lui, successivement, tous les rois fidèles et ortho-
doxes. Quant à ceux qui, par la suite, s'écartèrent de l'orthodoxie, ils les consi-
dérèrent comme des étrangers. D'ailleurs nous ne devons pas nous glorifier
dans la royauté temporelle, mais dans le Christ, dont le royaume n'est pas de
ce monde*.

Google Translation:
These kingdoms were destroyed by the primitive
kingdom of the Persians, which began with Cyrus and Darius, which ends with what waskilled by Alexander, and while space 'that lasted 231 years of the Persian empire,all the people of the regions of Asia was reduced under the dominion of the Persians.After Alexander, it must be added the time of the descendants of Seleucus andAntiochus, called the Syrian kings. Duration lasted 220 years,
until the beginning of the Roman Empire with Augustus and Gaius,
time when the Savior appeared in the Universe, Christ, Son of God. II y
was therefore 550 years old, that our people n'avaitplus kings. But when the doctrinequickening of the Gospel appeared, the people embraced it * and occupation with EMPRESment, and then they totally neglected and despised the other books,which were recorded in the memories of their ancient kings, and in a
ardent zeal for religion, they began to fire all the books in which was
compiled the memory of these kings, because the name of kings and the series of theirkingdoms were also intertwined stories of their devilish paganism;
and for that reason, they turned away their faces, like a foul odor, all
these books, and they began to fire so that the memory was not stored at
their children and future generations. This is noted in the book of Acts
of the Holy Apostles when he says': "Those who believed brought the books
their fathers and burned the feet of the Apostles, books whose price was
estimated to be large sums of money. " In many places and for
several generations after the appearance of the Gospel beneficial, the Fathers
did this with a zeal constant. Wherever there was a paper containing the
memory of pagan stories, or stories about their 'gods, it was
thrown into the fire. Thus the memory of the pagan kings 4isparut our scriptures
ture, because our fathers devoted themselves completely to God and Christ-abju
rèrent all the errors of paganism. And for that reason, they proclaim,
after Christ, the first king who believed and was baptized in the name of Christ, Cons-Tantin the Victorious, and after him, successively, all the kings faithful and ortho-paradoxes. As for those who subsequently moved away from orthodoxy, they con-dérèrent as foreigners. Moreover we must not glorify us
in the temporal kingdom, but in Christ, whose kingdom is not of
the world *.

Humanist
2011-11-18, 21:41
A few items. Some posted previously in other threads. Some items not previously posted.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277

Hatra - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Iraq
Governorate of Ninawa
N35 35 17.016 E42 43 5.988


Although there are few texts referring to the obscure beginnings of Hatra, it seems that a smallish Assyrian settlement grew up in the 3rd century BC becoming a fortress and a trading centre.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Satraps and Cyrus The Great (http://pguyou.free.fr/satraps/page6.html)


Assyria or mat Ashur (the land of god Ashur) was long-destroyed by the time Achaemenid rule shaped history. Today its capital Ashur may vanish beneath water, threatened by earth’s most destructive element; mankind. An area west from River Tigris formed a satrapy together with Babylonia named Athura meaning “Assyria”, while another portion fell within Media’s satrapy ‘’Mada’’. Assyrian influences tenaciously remained. Its god Ashur adopted by Babylonia became Marduk... Assyrians were active under Achaemenid power with governors administrating Athura and other personages whose Assyrian names are recognizable appear in the Book of Nehemiah (circa 450 B.C.) citing a Sanballat as satrap of Samaria in 400 B.C. Xenophon mentions a certain Belesys, satrap of Syria. This name is identified by certain scholars with the above Gubâru, a Persian name and Belesys a Babylonian name. Most scholars agree the above Gobyras/ Gubâru was the first Achaemenid satrap of Athura and the latter satraps eventually his descendants yet others maintain there were two Gobyras.

Urartu fell subject to the Medes possibly around 605 and was subsequently annexed by Cyrus. He once captured Armenia’s king, apparently releasing him for reasons of friendship towards the king’s son Tigran, a companion, according to Xenophon. Keeping its mysteries, the land simply folded into the 13th satrapy. Armenian contingents partook in Cyrus’ Lydian and Babylonian campaigns. Some privileged governance remained with native Lords and Orontids as satraps, the latter claiming Assyrian descent.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On The Role of Aramaic in the Assyrian Empire
Hayim Tadmor

When the territories west of the Euphrates were conquered...Aramaic became the second language of the empire, alongside Akkadian. *Assyrian reliefs beginning from the time of Tiglath-pileser III provide numerous portrayals of a scribe writing on a tablet or a board, side by side with another scribe writing on papyrus or a parchment scroll. Th[e] pictorial rendition undoubtedly corresponds to the phrases "Assyrian scribe" (tupsharru Ashuraya) and "Aramaic scribe" (tupsharru Aramaya) that occur together in the various documents, referring to officials in the imperial service.
Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today
Parpola

By about 700 BC, the Aramaic alphabet effectively replaced cuneiform as the [Assyrian] Empire's everyday writing system.
---------------------------------------------------
Post Empire


The Melammu Project:

Aramaic = Assyrian language

5th century BCE
Achaemenid Empire
Greek philosophers and scholars

Thucydides reports that the Persian Artaphernes, who was carrying a message from the Great King to Sparta, was taken prisoner, brought to Athens, and the letters he was carrying were translated from the Assyrian language.

Thucydides 4.50.2:
He was conducted to Athens, where the Athenians got his dispatches translated from the Assyrian character (Assuriôn grammatôn) and read them.
--------------------------------------------------
http://www.jewfaq.org/alephbet.htm

[T]he Hebrew alphabet that [Jews] use today is referred to as Assyrian Script (in Hebrew, K'tav Ashuri).
--------------------------------------------------
Assyrians after Assyria
by Dr. Simo Parpola, University of Helsinki


When the Greek historian Xenophon 200 years after Nineveh's fall passed through the Assyrian heartland and visited the sites of two great Assyrian cities, he found nothing but ruin...

Karen Radner, 'Nineveh, Assyria's capital in the 7th century BC', Knowledge and Power, Higher Education Academy, 2011 [http://knp.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/essentials/nineveh/]


From the reign of Sennacherib (r. 704-681 BC) onwards, Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire. It was then considered to be the world's largest city: according to the Old Testament book of Jonah, it was home to 120,000 people and took three days to cross.

Water For Nineveh
Like every irrigation system, these waterworks needed constant maintenance and repair. So when Nineveh fell to the Babylonian and Median armies in 612 BC the complex quickly ceased to function properly as no-one was financing or organising the regular upkeep that was necessary. This collapse contributed to the rapid abandonment of the city because without artificial irrigation it could not provide a home for its many inhabitants. Nineveh soon became a ghost town.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Median “Empire”, the End of Urartu and Cyrus’ the Great Campaign in 547 B.C. (Nabonidus Chronicle II 16)
by Prof. Mag. Dr. Robert Rollinger
Institut für Alte Geschichte und *
Altorientalistik
Innrain 52
Universität Innsbruck

Footnote 26, page 7:

MacGinnis 2000, 335f. See also Jursa 2003 with further evidence. That also after 614 B.C. important elements of Assyrian culture remained alive in Aššur has recently been shown conclusively by Oelsner 2002, 32f who pointed to the fact that the gods Aššur and his wife Seru (Šeru’a) are still mentioned in Aramaic inscriptions of the second and third centuries A.D. originating from Parthian Aššur. For the survival of the Assyrian culture in Tell Sheikh Hamad/Dur-Katlimmu after 612 B.C. see now Kühne 2002.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Magic bowls are a type of amulet consisting of an incantation written on an earthenware bowl. (…) The incantations are most commonly written in black ink within the bowl, spiraling from the bottom upwards. (…) the most common form of using magic bowls was to bury them upside down under the floor of the house. (Unikat. Cf. Dan Levene: A Corpus of Magic Bowls. Incantation Texts in Jewish Aramaic from Late Antiquity. London: Kegan Paul, 2003. pp. 2-3).

Such bowls have a rather narrow chronological range. Based on the script of the text, comparisons with other pottery, and the context of those found in situ, they appear to have been in fairly popular use from the fifth to the eighth centuries C.E. (Michael G. Morony: “Magic and Society in Late Sasanian Iraq”. In: Scott Noegel & al.: “Prayer, Magic, and the Stars in the Ancient and Late Antique World”. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003. p. 83).

Out of a sample of 411 bowl texts (both published and unpublished), nearly two thirds are Aramaic (62 percent), while most of the rest are divided between Mandaic (23 percent) and Syriac (13 percent)...(Ibid., pp. 93-94).

[T]he texts written on these bowls are viewed as constituting a genre because of what they have in common: a set of shared assumptions about the causes of evil and how to avert it. The content of these inscriptions reveals traditions going back to Neo-Assyrian and Babylonian protective rituals and therapeutic magic. (Ibid., pp. 84-86).

http://www.meyerbuch.com/bildsuch.asp?ID=2961
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George Percy Badger. The Nestorians and their rituals (1842-1844)


[T]he following extract from the Khudra plainly teaches that the Nestorians refer the origin of their priesthood to a much higher antiquity, and that they regard the Christian priesthood to be a continuation, through Christ, of that same ordination which was first given to man by God Himself in the beginning of the world.

"Blessed is He Who hath given to the priesthood a degree ascending up to heaven. O glorious priesthood, open to me the store of your riches, that from your wealth I may fill the treasury of my thoughts. Thou wast highly exalted, but didst stoop low, and wast given to those of dust, O Thou mirror which hast been handed down to all generations! To the former people [the Jews] the horn of oil ; but to us the priesthood of Christ."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cambridge Prof. Geoffrey Khan. *The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Barwar.


As already shown by Krotkoff (1985: 124–126), a number of lexical items in the NENA [Northeastern Neo-Aramaic] dialects, especially those relating to agriculture, can be traced back beyond Classical Aramaic to Akkadian or even Sumerian.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My questions emerge out of a research project (my dissertation based at Princeton) which centers on a Syriac martyr's legend of the 7th century AD -- Mar Qardagh of Arbela, Sasanian marzban of northern Iraq under Shapur II in the 360's AD. The text has several interesting connections with traditions/memories of Assyria, beginning with Qardagh's genealogy traced from the royal house of "Athor" (Assyria) via Sennacherib on his mother's side and Nimrod on his father's side.

According to his hagiographer, Qardagh's cult began at a place called Melqi (MLQI) in the vicinity of Arbela, where there was a fire temple and church complex that was later converted into a church and market complex and eventually became a monastery. But the site appears to have declined (or changed names??) during the medieval period, and modern scholarship has been unable to locate it. The story of the saint's life and his travels in the highlands north and east of Arbela make a location immediately to the NE of Arbela an attractive hypothesis.

Is the cult site of Mar Qardagh at "Melqi" described in the Nestorian literary sources identical with "Milqia", site of an Ishtar temple, noted in the Assyrian sources? If so, we have a very interesting case of long-term continuity in the religious topography of north Mesopotamia. Joel Walker , 4 Nov 1997/Melammu Project
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now the saint of God, when he saw that they were busy with such deliberations, began to show them the truth of the Christian faith, and many of them on the other. *And under the count of an election they found a new village leader, whose name was Razmarduk. *Now through zeal clothed with God was the thorn bush of the Megušdom weeded out of every village, and the faith in Jesus Christ conquered it and was planted against it. *And he distanced them from those gods of lies, “they have ears, but do not hear; they have mouths, but do not speak; and have eyes, but do not see”.
The Chronicle of Arbela, Ch.5, Bishop Noh of Arbela (163-179 A.D.) Translated by Peter Kawerau
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The present article focuses on the pottery excavated in the Red House in Tell Sheikh Hamad (North-Eastern Syria). The Full assemblage has been analysed and published by Kreppner (2006). The excavation took place between 1993 and 2000. The Red House covers an area of approximately 5400 square meters (ca. 6458 square yards) and is composed of three wings with 90 rooms (Fig. 2).

CONCLUSIONS
The Red House demonstrates that a high standard residence existed even after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The four cuneiform texts written in Assyrian script dating to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II prove that Assyrians inhabited the Red House during the time of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (Radner: 2002: 17). The fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire neither interrupted ceramic production, nor caused a change in wares and forms.

The analysis of the development of forms within the stratigraphical sequence (Fundbereiche 7.1, 4, 3.18, 3.19, 3.20) confirmed that the most frequent types of the Red House pottery are exactly those which were found both in the younger and the older stratigraphical units. Thus, a continuity of pottery production is proven from the mid seventh throughout the sixth as far as the beginning of the fifth centuries B.C.

As to the Red House, pottery of Neo-Babylonian style was not introduced. Contrary to various assumptions, also after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire during the so called „Post”-Assyrian period – the clay used for pottery was continuously prepared with straw temper and the forms known from the seventh century were also used during the sixth century B.C.

The current state of research does not allow a definite periodisation because comparable data covering the ninth, eighth, seventh or the fifth centuries B.C are still lacking. Probably it will be revealed that during this period the development of forms was much slower than this has been assumed so far. To sum up, an Iron Age pottery assemblage of a completely excavated and well dated household of higher standard from Northern Mesopotamia has now been analysed for the first time.

THE CONTINUITY OF CERAMIC PRODUCTION AFTER THE FALL OF THE NEO-ASSYRIAN EMPIRE. NEW DATA FROM THE RED HOUSE OF TELL SHEIKH HAMAD.
FLORIAN JANOSCHA KREPPNER. 2008.

Offprint from Proceedings of the 4th International Congress of the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

Humanist
2011-11-19, 10:39
From the "Chronicles" of Michael the Great, patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church(died 1199).

Here is the same passage, as I posted above. Except, this is an Assyrian's translation to English, from the original Assyrian-Aramaic, as opposed to a translation from the original Assyrian-Aramaic to French, and then to English by Google Translate.

Translation by user "Zokhe," from an Assyrian forum:


In that time dawned the savior of all, the Messiah, Son of God. Therefore that people of ours for a span of 50 years were bereft of kings. On that account, the life giving teaching of the Evangelyon (New Testament) arose. And to it this people gladly adhered and were made disciples of. And they completely rejected and despised the remaining books that had the memories of their first kings. And in their heated zeal of the fear of God, they burned all the books that were stored in them the memories of the kings. This because they were interwoven with the names of their kings and their chronologies and in the demonic stories of their heathenism. And because of this, as alike from a stink[foul odor], they turned their faces from all of these books. And they burned them in the fire so that their memories would not be retained to their children and to the generations to come. And of this retells the book of Praksis (Acts) of the holy saints in that it says, those, the faithful were bringing books of their forefathers and were burning them in front of the legs of the Apostles. Those whose worth which were considered many tens of thousands of "kespho - money"

http://i39.tinypic.com/20idsu1.jpg

---------- Post added 2011-11-19 at 06:21 ----------


[A]ssyrian traditions, and Assyrian religion persisted alongside Christianity in all its major cities until late Antiquity.
TABLE III. [Some] Assyrian theophoric personal names from Parthian Assur, Hatra and Ţūr-Abdīn. Beyer 1998 Simo Parpola, Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today

Name Year/CE
Addu-nūr
`Abd-Allāya
Garam-Allāt 235
`Awīd-Allāt
Tēm-Allāt
Ahī-Assur 221
Assur-ah-iddin
Assur-amar
Assur-dayyān 200
Assur-hananī
Assur-hēl
Assur-šama` 184
Assur-`a 221
Assur-natan 184
Assur-tariş 200
`Aqīb-Assur 220
‘Ēnī-`al-Assur
Re'ūt-Assur 112
Assur-Bēl-dayyān 222
Bēl-abī 192
Bēl-barak
Bēl-`aqab 97
Malā-Bēl 221
Sattar-Bēl 195
Šōzib-Bēl
`Abed-Iššār
Natun-Iššār
`Awīd-Iššār 141
Ba-Nabû-ehdet 112
Bar-Nabû
Nabû-banā
Nabû-dayyān 188
Nabû-yāb
Nabû-gabbār
Nabû-kātōb 235
Nabû-`aqab
`Abed-Nabû 195
Bar-Nanāya 195
Bar-Nērgol 108
Nērgol-dammar 195
`Abed-Nērgol
`Abed-Šalmā(n) 235
`Aqab-Šameš 217
Han-Šameš
Ilāh-Šameš
Meqīm-Šameš
Natūn-Šameš 195
Rapā-Šameš
Šamšāy
Šameš-`aqab 205
Šameš-barak 237
Šameš-yāb 162
Šameš-zabad 128
Ba-Serū 217

Humanist
2011-11-20, 09:50
[Konstantin] Tseretely further writes; "In correspondences between the Georgian King Irakli II and Mar Shimoun in the years 1769 and 1770 Mar Shimoun refers to himself as the "Assyrian Catholicos" and the King identifies Mar Shimoun's people as "Assyrians."

According to another source the Georgian King Irakli II in 1770's established contacts with the Yezidies and used the Assyrian Archbishop Ishaya as mediator. Irakli II sent a letter to the Yezidi leader Choban-Agha in which he proposed a non-Muslim coalition of the Yezidies, Armenians and Assyrians against the Ottoman Sultan.

In a letter dated May 26, 1784 adressed to the Russian General Paul S. Potemkin, the Russian Colonel Stephan D. Burnashev writes "There are 100 villages inhabited by Assyrians in the domain of the Khan of Urmiye, in addition , some 20,000 families reside within the borders of Turkey."

[H]oratio Southgate in 1843 visited the Syrian Orthodox communities of Turkey and reported they identified themselves as Assyrians in the form of "Suryoyo, Othoroyee". He writes:

"I observed that the Armenians did not know them under the name which I used, SYRIANI; but called them ASSOURI, which struck me the more at the moment from its resemblance to our English name ASSYRIANS, from whom they claim their origin, being sons, as they say, of Assour, (Asshur,) who 'out of the land of Shinar went forth, and build Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resin between Nineveh and Calah; the same is a great city..
(Horatio Southgate, "Narrative of a Visit to the "Syrian" Jacobites Church", 1844 P 80).

Assyrians from the fall of Nineveh to the Present. William Warda.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Armenian "Assorie", Assyrian in the English, is kept to this day to designate all Assyrians, irrespective of their religious appellations [Chaldeans, Syriacs/Aramaeans, "Nestorians"].

Arthur S. Chavoor (Nineveh 4th Quarter 1982)
Publish Date: 10/1/1982

Humanist
2012-03-03, 00:55
Continuing.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Theophanes Continuatus: http://www.archive.org/stream/theophanesconti00theogoog#page/n17/mode/2up

Leo V the Armenian. *Emperor of Byzantium from 813 to 820. *According to the Theophanes Continuatus*, he was of mixed heritage. *Part Armenian, part Assyrian.


http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x372/paulgiva78/121164/theophanis_continuati_leo.jpg

*Wiki:
Theophanes Continuatus (Greek: συνεχισταί Θεοφάνους) or Scriptores post Theophanem (Οἱ μετὰ Θεοφάνην, "those after Theophanes") is the Latin name commonly applied to a collection of historical writings preserved in the 11th-century Vat. gr. 167 manuscript.[1] Its name derives from its role as the continuation, covering the years 813–961, of the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, which reaches from 285 to 813. The manuscript consists of four distinct works, in style and form very unlike the annalistic approach of Theophanes.[2]
The first work, of four books consists of a series of biographies on the emperors reigning from 813 to 867 (from Leo the Armenian to Michael III). As they were commissioned by Emperor Constantine VII (r. 913–959), they reflect the point of view of the reigning Macedonian dynasty. The unknown author probably used the same sources as Genesios.[2] The second work is known as the Vita Basilii (Latin for "Life of Basil"), a biography of Basil I the Macedonian (r. 867–886) written by his grandson Constantine VII probably around 950. The work is essentially a panegyric, praising Basil and his reign while vilifying his predecessor, Michael III.[3] The third work is a history of the years 886–948, in form and content very close to the history of Symeon Logothetes, and the final section continues it until 961. It was probably written by Theodore Daphnopates, shortly before 963.[4]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In his account of the revolt of Thomas the Slavonian (820-823) against the Emperor Michael II (820-829), the Byzantine historian Genesius* lists a variety of peoples from whom the armies of the rebel had been drawn: Saracens, Indians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Medes, Abasgians, Zichs, Vandals, Getae, Alans, Chaldoi, Armenians, adherents of the heretical sects of the Paulicians and the Athinganoi.

The Armenians in the Byzantine Empire

*Wikipedia: Joseph Genesius

Genesius (Greek: Γενἐσιος, Genesios) is the conventional name given to the anonymous Greek author of the tenth century chronicle, On the reign of the emperors. His first name is sometimes given as Joseph, combining him with a "Joseph Genesius" quoted in the preamble to John Skylitzes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The Ramessides, Medes, and Persians"
Emmet Sweeney
2007


Pliny the Elder (c. AD 70), while utilizing the work of Strabo, already prefers the name Assyria for the Empire. His contemporary Flavius Josephus likewise consistently refers to the Empire as Assyria, and uses Syria in referring to the Seleucid Empire and the Roman province of Syria. This terminology anticipates the situation after the reign of Trajan, who after his campaign against the Parthians (AD 116) created a province called Assyria in the east, probably annexing the semi-independent state of Adiabene which the Assyrians had succeeded in establishing in their ancient homeland.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A bit from the "Reports of the Immigration Commission (1911) - United States. Immigration Commission (1907-1910)"


Assyrian.

Some of them on coming to the United States as immigrants insist that they are not Syrians, but Assyrians. It is believed that they are more properly to be considered as East Syrians...

[A]lthough so good an authority as Deniker holds that they belong to an entirely distinct race, which he calls the "Assyroid." In any case, they belong to the Syrian stock (Semites) linguistically.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nebo and Bel are the pagan gods most frequently mentioned in the Doctrina Addai, and they were indeed "the main gods of Edessa," against whose cult the Christian writers of the fourth and fifth centuries inveighed the most insistently. The text also mentions other deities worshipped in Edessa and in neighboring, Syriac-speaking locales. In his general instruction to the people of the city, Addai said:

I see that this city is filled with paganism which is contrary to God. Who is this [man-] made idol Nebo which you worship, and Bel which you honor? Behold there are those among you who worship Bath Nical, like the inhabitants of Haran your neighbors, and Taratha, like the inhabitants of Mabug, and the Eagle, like the Arabs, and the sun and the moon, like the rest of the inhabitants of Haran who are like you.

To appreciate what Nabu meant to Assyrians, the entire bit below should be read.


Nabu

The intimate association of Nabu with Marduk in the city of Babylon leads as a natural consequence to a similar association in Assyria, when once the Marduk cult had for political reasons become established in the north. The kings invoke the favor of Bel (meaning Marduk) and Nabu, especially when dealing with the affairs of Babylonia, as they invoke Ashur and Ishtar. Just as we have certain kings devoted to Nin-ib and Shamash by the side of Ashur, so there are others whose special favorite is Nabu. In the days of Ramman-nirari III. (812-783 B.C.) the Nabu cult reached its highest point of popularity in Assyria. From the manner in which the king speaks of the god, one might draw the conclusion that he attempted to concentrate the whole Assyrian cult upon that god alone. He erects a temple to the god at Calah, and overwhelms the deity with a great array of titles. The dedicatory inscription which the king places on a statue of Nebo closes with the significant words, 'O Posterity! trust in Nabu. Trust in no other god.' Still we must not press such phrases too hard. Ramman-nirari III. had no intention of suppressing Ashur worship, for he mentions the god elsewhere, and assigns to him the same rank as the other kings do, but so much we are justified in concluding, that next to Ashur and Ishtar he feels most strongly attached to Nabu. That the Babylonian Nabu is meant, is clear from such designations as 'the offspring of E-sagila, the favorite of Bel,' 'he who dwells at E-zida,' which appear among the epithets bestowed upon the god; and the temple in Calah, which one of the last kings of Assyria, Ashuretililani, is engaged in improving, bears the same name E-zida, as Nabu's great temple at Borsippa. We have already set forth the reasons for the popularity of the Nabu cult in Assyria. Suffice it to recall that the peculiar character of the god as the patron of wisdom placed him beyond the reach of any jealousy on the part of the other members of the pantheon. So Ramman-nirari III. extols Nabu as the protector of the arts, the all-wise who guides the stylus of the scribe, and the possessor of wisdom in general. He is not merely the originator of writing, but the source of all wisdom, and for this reason he is spoken of as the son of Ea. Attributes of mere brutal force are rarely assigned to Nabu, but as befits a god of wisdom, mercy, nobility, and majesty constitute his chief attractions. By virtue of his wisdom, Sargon calls him 'the clear seer who guides all the gods,' and when the last king of Assyria—Saracus, as the Greek writers called him—invokes Nabu as the 'leader of forces,' he appears to have in mind the heavenly troops rather than earthly armies. Such patrons of learning as Sargon and Ashurbanabal were naturally fond of parading their devotion to Nabu. The former significantly calls him the 'writer of everything,' and as for Ashurbanabal, almost every tablet in the great literary collection that he made at Nineveh closes with a solemn invocation to Nabu and his consort Tashmitum, to whom he offers thanks for having opened his ears to receive wisdom, and who persuaded him to make the vast literary treasures of the past accessible to his subjects.

Morris Jastrow, Jr., Ph. D.

The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Boston: Ginn & Company. 1898.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hippolitus: (170 – 235 AD)


Hippolytus of Rome was the most important third-century theologian in the developing orthodox church in Rome, where he was probably born. He is described as a disciple of Irenaeus. He came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival bishop of Rome.

Hippolitus: Refutation of All Heresies
BOOK VII.

CHAP. XIX.--THE HERESY OF PREPON; FOLLOWS EMPEDOCLES; MARCION REJECTS THE GENERATION OF THE SAVIOUR.


The principal heresy of Marcion, and (the one of his) which is most free from admixture (with other heresies), is that which has its system formed out of the theory concerning the good and bad (God). Now this, it has been manifested by us, belongs to Empedocles. But since at present, in our times, a certain follower of Marcion, (namely) Prepon, an Assyrian, has endeavoured to introduce something more novel, and has given an account of his heresy in a work inscribed to Bardesanes, an Armenian, neither of this will I be silent. In alleging that what is just constitutes a third principle, and that it is placed intermediate between what is good and bad, Prepon of course is not able to avoid (the imputation of inculcating) the opinion of Empedocles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On both Assyrians and Chaldeans. The clip, at the bottom of the post, is a Mandaean priest saying a few words about their faith. Whether it is related to what is written below is open to debate. Mandaeans, before becoming what is now a largely Arabic-speaking community, spoke a Babylonian-Aramaic dialect as a vernacular. Their particular dialect of Aramaic, Mandaic, has many loanwords from Akkadian. A great deal of those loans are specific to the religion of our forefathers. See the paragraph, farthest below, for a list of some Akkadian loanwords in Mandaic.*

Hippolitus: (170 – 235 AD)

Hippolitus: Refutation of All Heresies
BOOK V.

CHAP. II.--NAASSENI ASCRIBE THEIR SYSTEM, THROUGH MARIAMNE, TO JAMES THE LORD'S BROTHER; REALLY TRACEABLE TO THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES; THEIR PSYCHOLOGY AS GIVEN IN THE "GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS;" ASSYRIAN THEORY OF THE SOUL; THE SYSTEMS OF THE NAASSENI AND THE ASSYRIANS COMPARED; SUPPORT DRAWN BY THE NAASSENI FROM THE PHRYGIAN AND EGYPTIAN MYSTERIES; THE MYSTERIES OF ISIS; THESE MYSTERIES ALLEGORIZED BY THE NAASSENI.


"Now earth," say the Greeks, "gave forth a man, (earth) first bearing a goodly gift, wishing to become mother not of plants devoid of sense, nor beasts without reason, but of a gentle and highly favoured creature." "It, however, is difficult," (the Naassene) says, "to ascertain whether Alalcomeneus, first of men, rose upon the Boeotians over Lake Cephisus; or whether it were the Idaean Curetes, a divine race; or the Phrygian Corybantes, whom first the sun beheld springing up after the manner of the growth of trees; or whether Arcadia brought forth Pelasgus, of greater antiquity than the moon; or Eleusis (produced) Diaulus, an inhabitant of Raria; or Lemnus begot Cabirus, fair child of secret orgies; or Pallerie (brought forth) the Phlegraean Alcyoneus, oldest of the giants. But the Libyans affirm that Iarbas, first born, on emerging from arid plains, commenced eating the sweet acorn of Jupiter. But the Nile of the Egyptians," he says, "up to this day fertilizing mud, (and therefore) generating animals, renders up living bodies, which acquire flesh from moist vapour." The Assyrians, however, say that fish-eating Oannes was (the first man, and) produced among themselves. The Chaldeans, however, say that this Adam is the man whom alone earth brought forth. And that he lay inanimate, unmoved, (and) still as a statue; being an image of him who is above, who is celebrated as the man Adam, having been begotten by many powers, concerning whom individually is an enlarged discussion.

In order, therefore, that finally the Great Man from above may be overpowered, "from whom," as they say, "the whole family named on earth and in the heavens has been formed, to him was given also a soul, that through the soul he might suffer; and that the enslaved image may be punished of the Great and most Glorious and Perfect Man, for even so they call him. Again, then, they ask what is the soul, and whence, and what kind in its nature, that, coming to the man and moving him, it should enslave and punish the image of the Perfect Man. They do not, however, (on this point) institute an inquiry from the Scriptures, but ask this (question) also from the mystic (rites). And they affirm that the soul is very difficult to discover, and hard to understand; for it does not remain in the same figure or the same form invariably, or in one passive condition, that either one could express it by a sign, or comprehend it substantially.

But they have these varied changes (of the soul) set down in the gospel inscribed "according to the Egyptians." They are, then, in doubt, as all the rest of men among the Gentiles, whether (the soul) is at all from something pre-existent, or whether from the self-produced (one), or from a widespread Chaos. And first they fly for refuge to the mysteries of the Assyrians, perceiving the threefold division of the man; for the Assyrians first advanced the opinion that the soul has three parts, and yet (is essentially) one. For of soul, say they, is every nature desirous, and each in a different manner. For soul is cause of all things made; all things that are nourished, (the Naassene) says, and that grow, require soul. For it is not possible, he says, to obtain any nourishment or growth where soul is not present. For even stones, he affirms, are animated, for they possess what is capable of increase; but increase would not at any time take place without nourishment, for it is by accession that things which are being increased grow, but accession is the nourishment of things that are nurtured. Every nature, then, as of thins celestial and (the Naasene) says, of things celestial, and earthly, and infernal, desires a soul. And an entity of this description the Assyrians call Adonis or Endymion; and when it is styled Adonis, Venus, he says, loves and desires the soul when styled by such a name.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le-kjGp1xxQ

*
In the area of loanwords, Mandaic inherited from Akkadian an abundance of termini technici concerning religion, but also many words in other areas. Despite the limitation in its attested lexicon, due to the loss of texts, Mandaic shows more Akkadian borrowings than any other Aramaic dialect. The Mandaean gnostic sect recruited from a Babylonian population, and a stock of Akkadian words had belonged to the idiom of that geographical area for some centuries. Particular borrowings in Mandaic are: priest classes, cult, divination, and magic terms: brʾyʾ < bartū “diviner,” zʾbʾ 2 “esoteric priests,” gynyʾ “sacrifice,” ʿkwrʾ < ekurru “temple,” prykʾ < parakku “altar, shrine,” pyšrʾ < pišru “dissolving of a magic bond,” ʾšp < ašāpu “to bewitch,” šʾptʾ < šiptu “incantation”; terms concerning the gnostic doctrine and cult: gynyʾ < ginû “sanctuaries,” zywʾ < zīmu “brilliance,” nʾndbyʾ < nindabû “offering,” nʾṣwrʾyʾ “watcher of secrets,” nʾṣyrwtʾ “secrecy” < niṣirtu; architectional terms: ʾngrʾ < agāru “wall,”roof,” kšwrʾ < gušūru “beam, post”; body parts: gysʾ 2 “side”; ktʾ < qātu “hand, handle,” šʾyryʾnʾ < “vein, artery”; directions of the wind, name of winds, astronomical terms: šʾrʾ <šārū “direction of the wind,” stʾnʾ < ištānu north(wind), ywniʾ 2 <ūmu 3 “storm,” tʾlyʾ < attala “eclipse.”

Dr. Christa Müller-Kessler

Originally Published: July 20, 2009
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Melammu Project

Achaemenid Empire

Demotic Chronicle 30-31 (= P.Cairo 50153.2):

[Darius] wrote the words … of the laws of Egypt and they wrote a copy in a papyrus roll in script of Assyria [sh ˀIšr = Aramaic] and of epistles [sh šˀ.t = Demotic].
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Assyriologist, Dr. Simo Parpola (1:50 of the clip, here):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbjfCTtcCms


[T]he Assyrian identity has better been preserved in the eastern part of the old [Neo] Assyrian Empire. Which was the so called Assyrian heartland. In the neighborhood of today's Mosul. There we have the so called Plain of Nineveh.

The late Assyriologist, H.W.F. Saggs, "The Might that Was Assyria" p. 290.


The destruction of the Assyrian empire did not wipe out its population. They were predominantly peasant farmers, and since Assyria contains some of the best wheat land in the Near East, descendants of the Assyrian peasants would, as opportunity permitted, build new villages over the old cities and carry on with agricultural life, remembering traditions of the former cities. After seven or eight centuries and various vicissitudes, these people became Christians.

Simo Parpola, "Assyrians after Assyria"


Assyria was a vast and densely populated country, and outside the few urban centers life went on as usual.

And, certainly posted several times before, but it is again relevant:

Geoffrey Khan, on the Assyrian-Aramaic dialect of Barwar (2008):


As already shown by Krotkoff (1985: 124–126), a number of lexical items in the NENA [Northeastern Neo-Aramaic] dialects, especially those relating to agriculture, can be traced back beyond Classical Aramaic to Akkadian or even Sumerian.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Approximate McDonald green spots for the nine Assyrians, w/ median intersecting point noted in yellow. Along with Nineveh Plain area map:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_plain_of_nineveh_median_intersecting_poin t.jpg

My rough Dodecad K12b spot ("C"):

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/arbil_humanist.jpg

Wikipedia:
Adiabene (Syriac: Hadyab ܚܕܝܐܒ) was a metropolitan province of the Church of the East between the 5th and 14th centuries, with more than fifteen known suffragan dioceses at different periods in its history. Although the name Hadyab normally connoted the region around Erbil and Mosul, the boundaries of the East Syrian metropolitan province went well beyond the Erbil and Mosul districts. Its known suffragan dioceses included Beth Bgash (the Hakkari region of eastern Turkey) and Adarbaigan (the Ganzak district, to the southeast of Lake Urmi), well to the east of Adiabene proper.

Zert
2012-03-03, 01:07
Hey, I found a huge, old book on the net lately, it's part of a series.
Volume one focuses on Assyria, but I can't seem to find its full text on the net. This part (Vol. II) also mentions Assyria often though:
http://www.archive.org/details/sevengreatmonarc1900rawl

This is Vol. III, for those interested:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16167

I'll try to find Vol. I too.
Edit: Found the 'Chaldaea' part of Vol. I:
http://www.hotfreebooks.com/book/The-Seven-Great-Monarchies-Of-The-Ancient-Eastern-World-Vol-1-of-7-Chaldaea-George-Rawlinson--4.html
+Assyria:
http://www.hotfreebooks.com/book/The-Seven-Great-Monarchies-Of-The-Ancient-Eastern-World-Vol-2-of-7-Assyria-George-Rawlinson.html

The rest of the parts are on that site too, just change the url so that the volume matches the empire.

Humanist
2012-03-03, 03:20
To follow up on my post above, here are a few pertinent maps. Although these maps pertain to conditions in the region in modern times, what is today N Iraq sits at the northern reaches of the Fertile Crescent (see image, farthest below).

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5301/5888175509_4fbbb46315_o.jpg

http://www.fas.usda.gov/pecad2/highlights/2003/01/Iraq_update/iraq_cropprod03jan_index_files/wheatbarleymapiraq.jpg

http://www.fas.usda.gov/pecad2/highlights/2003/01/Iraq_update/iraq_cropprod03jan_index_files/lc_2000_b.jpg

http://www.fas.usda.gov/pecad2/highlights/2003/01/Iraq_update/iraq_cropprod03jan_index_files/NDVI_02pctdiff_3yravg.jpg

http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Counprof/Iraq/pics/Figure%209.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Map_of_fertile_cresent.svg/488px-Map_of_fertile_cresent.svg.png

---------- Post added 2012-03-02 at 22:51 ----------

If we include the Syrian Arab Muslims (orange), and Iraqi Mandaeans (blue), an equally fascinating phenomenon appears to reveal itself. The distribution/pattern appear (roughly speaking) sensitive to the yellow, or "Nomadic herding; no cultivation possible without heavy irrigation" parts.

http://www.mapcruzin.com/free-maps-middle-east/middle_east_rainfall_1973.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/all_populations_mcdonald_21612_removed_fertile.jpg

Humanist
2012-03-03, 23:00
This study, on select 8th and 7th century BCE Neo-Assyrian settlements in northern Mesopotamia, may also be of relevance:

Landscape and Settlement In the Neo-Assyrian Empire

by Jason Ur
Harvard University


[M]any of these settlements may well be the kapru of Neo-Assyrian texts (Fales and Postgate 1995: 31), which were probably small hamlets or villages. Such settlements are well attested in the so-called Assyrian Domesday book, which appears to have functioned as a register (housed in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh) of tax-exempt land during the seventh century B.C.

NJP = North Jazira Plain (Iraq)

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_settlements_chart.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/settlements_late_neo_assyrian.jpg

Humanist
2012-03-20, 23:09
Mapping patterns of long-term settlement in Northern Mesopotamia at a large scale (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/03/12/1115472109)
Bjoern H. Menzea, and Jason A. Ura

Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138; and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

Published online before print March 19, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1115472109

Abstract


The landscapes of the Near East show both the first settlements and the longest trajectories of settlement systems. Mounding is a characteristic property of these settlement sites, resulting from millennia of continuing settlement activity at distinguished places. So far, however, this defining feature of ancient settlements has not received much attention, or even been the subject of systematic evaluation. We propose a remote sensing approach for comprehensively mapping the pattern of human settlement at large scale and establish the largest archaeological record for a landscape in Mesopotamia, mapping about 14,000 settlement sites—spanning eight millennia—at 15-m resolution in a 23,000-km2 area in northeastern Syria. To map both low- and high-mounded places—the latter of which are often referred to as “tells”—we develop a strategy for detecting anthrosols in time series of multispectral satellite images and measure the volume of settlement sites in a digital elevation model. Using this volume as a proxy to continued occupation, we find a dependency of the long-term attractiveness of a site on local water availability, but also a strong relation to the relevance within a basin-wide exchange network that we can infer from our record and third millennium B.C. intersite routes visible on the ground until recent times. We believe it is possible to establish a nearly comprehensive map of human settlements in the fluvial plains of northern Mesopotamia and beyond, and site volume may be a key quantity to uncover long-term trends in human settlement activity from such a record.

Humanist
2012-03-23, 14:18
Drought is a recurring challenge in the Middle East (http://www.pnas.org/content/109/10/3862.short)

Kaniewski et al.

PNAS March 6, 2012 vol. 109 no. 10 3862-3867


The critical role of water availability in ancient Mesopotamia is well-documented in archaeological and historical records (10, 11). In Northern Mesopotamia, the end of the Late Uruk colony period at ca. 5.2 kyr BP and the desertion of the Akkadian imperialized landscape at ca. 4.2 kyr BP (12) have fueled debate on the complex interactions between hydrologic instability, human adaptation/migration, and urban origin/decline (13–15).


On the Khabur Plains of northeastern Syria (the northern Jazira), rain-fed (> 250 mm/y−1) agriculture has been practiced since the earliest domestication of plants (22). Access to reliable and permanent water/groundwater resources was the key ecological constraint to cultivation and settlement then, and is still the case throughout much of the Middle East and worldwide in semiarid to arid zones (23).


At Wadi Jarrah, the end of sedentary agricultural village settlement and regional abandonment are coincident with lower cultivation from AD 1400 onward, and also with the high development of DSS and drought-driven major hydrological changes. Most negative scores in the PCA-Axis 1 are recorded between ca. AD 1550 and 1960, after an isolated peak at ca. AD 1400 (Fig. 3). The lowest temperatures, as suggested by the lowest scores of the WAST/COST ratio, were recorded during the LIA (Fig. 3). The area became drier andcooler. Precipitation and groundwater were probably insufficient to maintain sustainable agriculture. Tribal pastoralists may have taken advantage of the abandonment of the drying river alluviums to intensify their raids, accelerating the end of agricultural settlement at abandoned village loci (48). Around Tell Leilan, rare but significant Islamic artifacts, unglazed pottery production, and clay pipe fragments, document nomadic occupations of the area at this time, probably by sheep and camel herders. These nomadic settlements and regional abandonments are recorded at several places on the Khabur Plains, and adjacent northern Iraq during the LIA (43). The climate change adds an important factor within long-standing debates about the nature of the late Ottoman agro-political economy (64).

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/NMeso.jpg

Humanist
2012-03-25, 13:48
Tell Baqrta Project
Dr. Konstantinos Kopanias


This site lies on the road that connected Arbela with middle Mesopotamia and controls an important pass on the hill chain south of Erbil. On the surface lie thousands of pottery sherds and hundreds of lithics, which indicate that the site was in use from the Chalcolithic down to the Parthian and Islamic period, but not during later periods. Tell Baqrta was probably walled during some periods of its long history, and had two main access points, which are still visible.

See purple marker:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/arbil.jpg

---------- Post added 2012-03-25 at 09:10 ----------

Tell Nader Project
Dr. Konstantinos Kopanias


Tell Nader lies at the fringes of Erbil (36.173148°, 44.075490°)...


A sample of the obsidian finds was sent to Dr. Tristan Carter (ibid.) at the McMaster University in Canada for a non-destructive analysis with an Energy-Dispersive XRF Spectrometer. The initial analysis shows that the material originates mainly from southeastern Anatolia.

Additions in red and blue.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/arbil2.jpg

Humanist
2012-03-28, 00:17
From the same source as above:


[A]s literacy dawns over the horizon of prehistory the first ethnic group whom we know to have inhabited the region are the Hurrians. This is not to say there were not other groups. There almost certainly were. Texts over these millennia relating to the eastern frontiers of Mesopotamia (for instance Ur III administrative documents and the Shemshara archives) contain a large number of personal names whose linguistic affiliation has not yet been established and it is, in my view, probable that parent languages will one be day be recognised and reconstructed for at least some of them. Be that as it may, the Hurrians are the earliest definable group for whose presence in the region we currently have evidence; followed closely by the Sumerians.

newtoboard
2012-03-28, 00:20
Urartu and Assyria in the 1st millennium BCE:

Intresting maps. Didn't know Urartu stretched so far east. So I am guessing Azeris have thie Urartu ancestry as well(do they have cuacasian albanian one as well?). Makes sense why armenian, assyrian, azeri mtdna is so close.

Humanist
2012-03-28, 00:40
Intresting maps. Didn't know Urartu stretched so far east. So I am guessing Azeris have thie Urartu ancestry as well(do they have cuacasian albanian one as well?). Makes sense why armenian, assyrian, azeri mtdna is so close.

Hey. I would rely on confirmed archaeological sites (see below for (orange) Urartian sites). Assyria extended as far as Egypt, at one time. So, I am sure you can see the potential folly in relying too much on political borders. But yes, the three populations you mention, do indeed share a common ancient substratum, it would appear. If the mtDNA record is any indication.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/archaeological_urartu.jpg

newtoboard
2012-03-28, 01:17
Hey. I would rely on confirmed archaeological sites (see below for (orange) Urartian sites). Assyria extended as far as Egypt, at one time. So, I am sure you can see the potential folly in relying too much on political borders. But yes, the three populations you mention, do indeed share a common ancient substratum, it would appear. If the mtDNA record is any indication.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/archaeological_urartu.jpg

I presume the urartians were non IE, non Semitic, non Caucasian speaking?

Lurdish mtdna seems to be a little different I believe. A bit more U5 and W. I'd say that is a reflection of greater Indo-Iranian heritage in Kurds than Azeris.

ZephyrousMandaru
2012-03-28, 01:28
To be honest, I believe our relationship with Armenians is mostly because of our shared Hurrian ancestry.

Yes, but the Hurrians preceded the Assyrians did they not? And if they did, then they would've been contemporaneous with Assyrians. I.E., Assyrians are actually not descended from the Hurrians per say, but rather a pre-Assyrian, pre-Hurrian proto-population. I think the same would apply, at least to some degree, to the Pre-Islamic Levant.

Humanist
2012-03-28, 01:31
I presume the urartians were non IE, non Semitic, non Caucasian speaking?

Give this a read, when you have an opportunity:

The Urartian Substratum in Armenian
by JAC Greppin - 2008


One wonders how Hurrians fits in here. It appears that the Hurrians, first known in Syria, pressed westward (from Central Asia, as some hint [Burney and Lang 1971]) south of the Caspian Sea in the later third millennium, eventually being stopped by the Hittite nation in central Anatolia. The Urartians, a millennium later, were not able to press farther westward because of the pressure from the northward pushing Assyrian culture. Accordingly, the Urartians, having established major cities and fortresses in the south-Caspian region, turned northwest and came into the sub-Caucasus, where they eventually founded major citadels from Van to Erebuni. Apparently the Urartians were pushed farther northward by the Armenians after the eighth-sixth centuries, and found their permanent home in Daghestan. There their language seems closest to the Lezgian branch of the Daghestani group. Yet the Daghestani group was already in place certainly by the early fourth millennium and Urkesh was settled by 2400 (Steinkeller 1998:96, Salvini 1998), and Urartian could not be a part of the Daghestani group, and in fact it seems closest to the Lezgian group within proto-Daghestani. The Lezgian group was already well-formed by the time Urartians intruded, and Urartian became a separate Lezgian language along with the already established nine other languages in the Proto-Lezgian group. It seems unlikely that these Urartians came south into the sub-Caucasus forming this culture stretching from Yerevan to Van and further. Rather, it seems to be the opposite of that: Lezgian was part of a larger group (coming from Central Asia?) certainly by the fifth millennium into the Caucasus and the sub-Caucasus, a time when the first hints of a permanent culture were forming there. The Urartians established a colony in the sub-Caucasus and the rest of that proto-Daghestani group passed under the Caspian Sea on its way into the Caucasus, where they remained in the area now called Daghestan.

Because it seems clear that there is a relationship between Hurrian, Urartian and languages of Daghestan, we can accept the views of many that the Hurrians and Urartians were affiliated with the Early-Trans-Caucasian culture which was in place as early as 5000 BC. Obviously, the ETC culture was not original in the Caucasus had to come from somewhere. Considering the westward direction the people at Urkesh were going, a Central Asia origin is quite reasonable.

Following Buccellati's discoveries at Urkesh (2007), which showed, as always suspected, that it was a city related to the Hurrian culture as known in central Anatolia, we can make further hypotheses. Buccellati suggests that great Urkesh was destroyed sometimes around 2300, though the site was inhabited under Akkadian suzerainty until 1300. But somehow it revived itself a few hundred years afters it near total destruction in 2300 and then rolled dramatically into central Anatolia at the very end of the second millennium. These are the Hurrians whom we know from a cuneiform literature who in the late third millennium extended themselves well into Hittite territory and further developed their writing under the influence of the Hittite and Akkadian civilizations that surrounded these westward invading Hurrians. That the Hurrians came from the East has been suggested at least since Burney and Lang (1971). It is hard to imagine that a people in Syria (the 'Hurrians' of Urkesh), having a large and prosperous culture, could have been destroyed and then revived themselves a few centuries later and stormed successfully into central Anatolia. It is likely that the people of Urkesh and the later known Hurrians were two separate but related peoples, but of similar (Central Asian?) origin. Indeed, the title of the kings at Urkesh was enda (see Ivanov 2002 and Wegner 2007:232-33), a term not used among the Hurrians of central Anatolia, who, only a few centuries later, used the more common word ewri.

There is cause to think that there were at least three Hurro-Urartian invasions into eastern Anatolia and Daghestan in the third millennium or earlier. One was the invasion by the Hurrian-like people of Urkesh, perhaps as early as the late fifith millennium. They were routed in the mid third millennium and moved north into the Caucasus, becoming one of the North-East Caucasian peoples, bearing a language, quite similar to Anatolian-Hurrian and at least a part of the Daghestani group (but I think more precisely the Lezgian group). The actual Hurrians who penetrated central Anatolia seem not to have reached the Caucasus, but were absorbed in central Anatolia, not to be heard of again and, because of their south central location, had only a doubtful effect on the Armenians. That Urkesh is secondarily related to the Hurrian people of central Anatolia is sure, and that can imply that the Urkesh people are also related to the Daghestani Early Trans Caucasian culture certainly appears likely. Considering that the people who populated Urkesh came as early as the fifth millennium, as suggested by Buccellati, there are enough millennia open for a later non-Urkesh Hurrian population to come in to Central Anatolia, and then the later arrival of the Urartians, who seem clearly to be a form of our existing Lezgian group, and whose vocabulary appears in Armenian as reconstructed loan words.

---------- Post added 2012-03-27 at 20:35 ----------

Who Were the Hurrians? Volume 61 Number 4, July/August 2008

by Andrew Lawler

New discoveries in Syria suggest a little-known people fueled the rise of civilization (http://www.archaeology.org/0807/abstracts/urkesh.html)


But Piotr Michaelowski, an Assyriologist at the University of Michigan, notes that Hurrian, like Sumerian, is a language unrelated to Semitic or Indo-European tongues that dominated the region during and after the third millennium B.C. Perhaps, he suggests, the Hurrians were earlier inhabitants of the region, who, like the Sumerians, had to make room for the Semitic-speaking people who created the world's first empire based at Akkad in central Mesopotamia around 2350 B.C.

Humanist
2012-03-28, 02:36
A THEORETICAL MODEL FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY AND SOCIAL IDENTITY IN THE OLD ASSYRIAN COLONIES OF ANATOLIA

Gil J. STEIN, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago


Located in the lower town of the powerful Anatolian city-state of Kanesh or Nesa, karum-Kanesh was the primary Old Assyrian colony in a system of approximately 30 enclaves (Fig. 1).

The Anatolian city-states of this period seem to have been highly selective in their appropriation of Assyrian ideologies, material culture, and organizational forms. If anything, the cultural influences would seem to have gone the other way, so that the homes of the Assyrian merchants were filled with items and styles of Anatolian material culture. This is highly significant, because it reflects, at least in part, the lack of Assyrian political or economic dominance over the communities in which they resided.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assur_trade_colonies.jpg

---------- Post added 2012-03-27 at 22:00 ----------

More on the Assyro-Babylonian religion in the CE:

The Legend of Mar Qardagh : Joel Walker

Footnote


A. Salveson, “The Legacy of Babylon and Nineveh in Aramaic Sources,” in The Legacy of Mesopotamia, ed. S. Dalley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 151–52. The original excavator marveled over this remarkable continuity in cultic architecture. See W. Andrae, Das wiedererstandene Assur (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs Verlag, 1938; 2d rev. ed., Munich: Verlag C. H.Beck, 1977), 254: “Es ist fast wunderbar, zu sehen, wie genau sich die alte Gestalt dieses [Assyrian temple] offenbar gänzlich dem Erdboden gleichgemachten Kultbaues wieder erhob.” For the inscriptions to the god Assur and his consort “Sherua,” see B. Aggoula, Inscriptions et graffites araméens d’Assour (Naples: Istituto universitario orientale, 1985), 41–43 (nos. 17–20). Other finds in the Parthian level at Assur also testify to the survival of the ancient Assyrian cults. For the graffito showing a Parthian nobleman sacrificing before a statue of Nanai, “the daughter of Bel, the master of the gods,” see Aggoula, Inscriptions et graffites araméens, 37–41; Andrae, Assur, 259–60 (fig. 239).

Humanist
2012-03-28, 09:26
Project / Collection: Iraq Heritage Program Description: Overview of the Global Heritage Fund's conservation work in Iraq


NIMRUD(Calah)

Calah (modern names: Tell Nimrud) is an ancient Assyrian city located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, just above its confluence with the Upper Zab River. It lies approximately 30km southeast of Mosul, in the north of modern Iraq. The ancient ruins cover an area of approximately 360 ha and reputedly supported a population of over 60,000. Calah was one of four major Assyrian royal cities in the region and can be considered to be in roughly the centre of the Assyrian homeland (Roaf, 1990).

The site consists of a roughly rectangular low mound surrounded by a city wall. Rising above the general level of the city are two major tells, the much taller of which is the acropolis (Tell Nimrud), where the ancient palaces and temples of the city have been uncovered through a series of major excavations. The second major tell is Tulul el-'Azar, otherwise known as Fort Shalmaneser. Tulul el-'Azar preserves the largest palace thus far excavated, a composite military and residential structure located in the southeast corner of the site.

The site was occupied from as early as the Halaf and Ubaid periods (5th Millennium B.C.). While evidence for continuous occupation of the site is apparent in the material remains, the site is only attested as a royal city beginning in the Middle Assyrian period (1300 B.C., +/-). Assur-Nasir-Pal II, a major ruler of the 9th Century described the former city of Calah (Kalhu) as a creation of Shalmaneser I (1271-1242 B.C.), noting that the city had fallen into decay and lay prostate when he became king (Mallowan, 1966: 74). The Middle Assyrian period was one of the rare times when the north of Iraq and the interior of Syria (Assyria in the classic sense) had been unified under one rule.

Assur-Nasir-Pal II again made Calah an important royal city, when he chose the city as the administrative capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 883-612 BC). Under Assur-Nasir-Pal II (883-859 BC) and Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC), his son, the Assyrians exerted direct control to the west as far as the Euphrates. In 828 BC, the crown prince Assur-Danin-Apla, started a rebellion against the Shalmaneser III and attempted to wrest control of the city from Shalmaneser III. This rebellion pitted the royal court at Calah against the rest of Assyria. Eventually, the rebellion would be defeated by one of Shalmaneser III's younger sons, Shamsi-Adad V (823-811 BC), who used Calah as his base of operations. On the death of Shamshi-Adad V, his queen Sammuramat (Semiramis) would assume the regency and rule Assyria until her son Adad-Nirari III (810-783 BC) came of age. After Adad-Nirari III, there is no evidence of a strong monarch until Tiglath-Pileser III (744-727), who extended the empire from Assyria into Palestine and Damascus.

Thereafter the Neo-Assyrian Empire continued to grow. It would assume its greatest extent in the seventh century BC under Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) and his son Assur-Bani-Pal (669- c. 627 BC), when the empire controlled everything from Lower Egypt and the Levant in the southwest to the Northern and Central Zagros of Western Iran on the eastern frontier. In between, the Assyrian kings controlled southern Turkey, the Syrian Interior and all of Iraq including Babylonia and Chaldea. In 612 BC, the Assyrian Empire finally fell to the combined efforts of the Median and Babylonian armies and the acropolis was burnt to the ground.

After the fall of the Assyrian Empire and destruction of Calah., unknown Assyrians chose to try and re-establish the city by rebuilding some of its monuments.

Humanist
2012-03-30, 08:15
Betrachtungen zur Siedlungs und Bevölkerungsstruktur des Unteren Khabur Gebietes in der neuassyrischen Zeit, in H. Kühne (Hrsg.), Umwelt und Subsistenz der assyrischen Stadt Dur-Katlimmu am Unteren Habur (Syrien), BATSH 8, Wiesbaden, 2008, 189-214.

by Daniele Morandi Bonacossi


The study of the pottery collected during the surface surveys has allowed to assume even if only in a limited number of sites (36%) a substantial continuity in the settlement activity in the region during the decades that immediately followed the downfall of the Assyrian empire (end 7th-mid 6th century). The ensuing picture seems to be one of a general, widespread reduction in settlement, particularly of the rural occupation of the region, and of a possible progressive decay of the canal system. The latter would have been accompanied by a parallel drop in agricultural production, and thus by a falling back on poorer patterns of life and subsistence.

Nevertheless, this general tendency, which confirms in substance, even if not in size, the picture of depopulation and economic depression already postulated in the historical debate on the Assyrian homeland, may be countered by several significant indicators of economic vitality in the region. In other words these clues do not allow us – at least in this part of Upper Mesopotamia – to postulate any real desertification of the territory. First of all we may notice the continuity of settlement attested in nearly all the central sites of the region, even if perhaps on smaller areas than in the 7th century (in particular in the site of Sheikh Hamad). Setting this datum vis-à-vis the collapse of the regional hydraulic network and the strong fall in rural settlement we gain the following picture: a rural landscape which previously was unitary and substantially continuous, had been split up in a host of smaller agricultural areas, possibly irrigated by local canals fed by the Khabur; similarly, the region had been divided up in a series of cantonal districts gathered around the major centres.

The reconstruction of the demographic structure of the valley in the Neo-Assyrian period and the regional population patterns and trends of development between the 14th and the 7th centuries BC is the last object of the present article. The reconstruction of the areas occupied by single sites in the region has made it possible to estimate the order of size of the population existing in the lower valley of the Khabur during the Late Assyrian age as around 24,000 inhabitants.

Humanist
2012-03-30, 11:16
The Provinces of Central Assyria within the Empire

Compared to the rest of the Empire, the Central Assyrian provinces are small in size. This reflects historical developments as the provinces in this oldest part of the state had been established at a much earlier time and survived, in most cases unchanged, sometimes merged with a neighbouring province into a bigger unit (e.g. Assur and Libbi-ali; Nineveh and Halahhu), from the Middle Assyrian period.

But while the land controlled by these provinces was much more limited than that of the new provinces created in the 9th and especially in the 8th century, it was intensely developed agricultural land without any of the empty space occupied elsewhere in the Empire by desert or mountains.

THE ASSUR-NINEVEH-ARBELA TRIANGLE : Central Assyria in the Neo-Assyrian Period (2011)

Karen Radner, University College London


Halahhu (place)
District in the northwest of the province of Nineveh

Nineveh (place)
Assyrian province and its capital city of the same name, on the banks of the river Tigris PGP , opposite the modern-day city of Mosul in northern Iraq. One of the most important cities of northern Mesopotamia from the 3rd millennium BC, it was the main residence of the Assyrian kings from the reign of Sennacherib onwards.

McDonald's ~ green spots (again)
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_plain_of_nineveh_median_intersecting_poin t.jpg

MediaWarLord
2012-03-30, 11:24
Can somebody here concrete summarize for me who the ancient Assyrians were? Were they from Anatolia, (South) Mesopotamia, the Caucasus Mountains, the Iranian Plateau, the Levant or Arabia? Or just an admixture of all it?

I don't understand this. Please explain.

Humanist
2012-03-30, 13:17
Can somebody here concrete summarize for me who the ancient Assyrians were?

The original, dominant stock? Semitized "Subareans," in my opinion.

http://my.fit.edu/~rosiene/babylon.jpg

http://www.euratlas.net/history/ancient_orient/cd_2200_2100.jpg

http://my.fit.edu/~rosiene/akkad.jpg

See "Areas hit by the conquests of Sargon and Naram-Sin," on the upper Tigris

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_RgYyITO8eJg/TBrSt8_8vII/AAAAAAAAA5w/-Ymai2If0gg/s1600/Ancient_Akkadian_Empire_large.png

https://marikaintegratedproject09.wikispaces.com/file/view/akkadfall_pic_for_wikispacefall.jpg/69169657/711x473/akkadfall_pic_for_wikispacefall.jpg

http://www.transanatolie.com/English/Turkey/Anatolia/mitanni.gif

http://christiankonnections.com/assets/images/autogen/a_Empire__Assyrian_.gif

MediaWarLord
2012-03-30, 13:26
The original, dominant stock? Semitized "Subareans," in my opinion.

http://my.fit.edu/~rosiene/babylon.jpg

http://www.euratlas.net/history/ancient_orient/cd_2200_2100.jpg

http://my.fit.edu/~rosiene/akkad.jpg

See "Areas hit by the conquests of Sargon and Naram-Sin," on the upper Tigris

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_RgYyITO8eJg/TBrSt8_8vII/AAAAAAAAA5w/-Ymai2If0gg/s1600/Ancient_Akkadian_Empire_large.png

https://marikaintegratedproject09.wikispaces.com/file/view/akkadfall_pic_for_wikispacefall.jpg/69169657/711x473/akkadfall_pic_for_wikispacefall.jpg

http://www.transanatolie.com/English/Turkey/Anatolia/mitanni.gif

http://christiankonnections.com/assets/images/autogen/a_Empire__Assyrian_.gif
As far as I know Subareans (Subartu) were the most Southern Hurrian group, right?

Humanist
2012-03-30, 13:38
As far as I know Subareans (Subartu) were the most Southern Hurrian group, right?

Difficult question. Unfortunately, what we do not know, far outweighs what we do know. There is no consensus, as far as I know, regarding the question you ask. I would refer you to this recent post of mine, a page or two back:



Posted 2012-03-27, 19:17 | Report #113
From the same source as above:


[A]s literacy dawns over the horizon of prehistory the first ethnic group whom we know to have inhabited the region [Arbil and its environs] are the Hurrians. This is not to say there were not other groups. There almost certainly were. Texts over these millennia relating to the eastern frontiers of Mesopotamia (for instance Ur III administrative documents and the Shemshara archives) contain a large number of personal names whose linguistic affiliation has not yet been established and it is, in my view, probable that parent languages will one be day be recognised and reconstructed for at least some of them. Be that as it may, the Hurrians are the earliest definable group for whose presence in the region we currently have evidence; followed closely by the Sumerians.

MediaWarLord
2012-03-30, 13:52
the Hurrians are the earliest definable group for whose presence in the region we currently have evidence; followed closely by the Sumerians. Yeah, that's why I wrote earlier on this site that the Mesopotamia was Aryanized by the Hurrians (according to me proto-Aryans) from the (Kurdish) Mountains. Later the Sumerians and Akkadians came and assimilated them (or wiped them out).

According to me the original Assyrians were a a product of Hurrians and Semitic speaking people.

Humanist
2012-03-31, 18:12
A love charm invoking Dilibat

Ištar (Venus) : Love charms

7th century CE

Incantation Bowl from Nippur (Aramaic):

In your name, O Lord of heaven and earth. Appointed is this bowl to the account of Anūr … bar Parkōi, that he be inflamed and kindled and burn after Aḥath bath Nebāzak. Amen. Everlasting presses which have only been pressed upon … a man of his heart. Take … and hot herbs which they cannot sunwort … ... and peppers … them and the rites of love which you have sprinkled upon … She shall sprinkle them upon this Anūr … bar Parkōi until that he be inflamed and burn after Aḥath bath Nebāzak. … ... and in lust and in the mysteries of love, in order that … ... take pieces from his heart and the charm … his name. In the name of the angel Raḥmiel and in the name of Dilibat the passionate, … the gods, the lords of the mysteries. Amen, Amen, …

Montgomery, James A. Aramaic Incantation Texts from Nippur. Museum Publications of the Babylonian Section 3. Philadelphia: University Museum 1913.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sureth
ṭliba : a fiancé , a betrothed man , a spouse , a suitor , a beau , a man engaged to marry

ṭlibta : a fiancée , a betrothed girl or unmarried woman , a sweetheart

Humanist
2012-04-01, 22:39
Krotkoff, Georg, 1985, ‘Studies in Neo-Aramaic Lexicology’, in A. Kort and S. Morschauser, Biblical and Related Studies Presented to Samuel Iwry, Winona Lake, pp.123-134.

(Diacritical marks do not appear.)



The extraordinary tenacity of agricultural terminology is illustrated by the two terms mara 'spade, hoe' and rusta 'shovel, spade.' The former has a well documented history: Sumerian mar, Akkadian marru...


This term [missara] can be traced through older Aramaic mesara to Akkadian musarum, where it is most likely the reflect of Sumerian mu-sar 'garden.' The semantic and phonetic stability of this lexeme is remarkable...


Eastern Neo-Aramaic has been treated as a change-of-life baby of classical Syriac, an attitude based on the impression provided by the heavy overlay of OS [Syriac Liturgical tongue] in the missionary literature. It is, however, important to realize that Aramaic of the Targum and the Talmud is equally important for the elucidation of lexical problems of NA. Structurally, NA has achieved its own independent status, but the elements which are now part of its structure derive from different areas in time and space. Some features belong to immediately preceding periods of the history of the language, while others are of great antiquity. This is very obvious in the vocabulary, but applies also to structural elements. As a case in point, the infinite pattern of Akkadian (palaxu) has experienced a renaissance in NA (plaxa), bypassing the intermediate stages of Aramaic.

Humanist
2012-04-02, 00:19
Early history of Assyria

Strictly speaking, the use of the name "Assyria" for the period before the latter half of the 2nd millennium BC is anachronistic; Assyria [as against the city-state of Ashur] did not become an independent state until about 1400 BC. For convenience, however, the term is used throughout this section. In contrast to southern Mesopotamia or the mid-Euphrates region (Mari), written sources in Assyria do not begin until very late, shortly before Ur III. By Assyria ( a region that does not lend itself to precise geographic delineation) is understood the territory on the Tigris north of the river's passage through the mountains of the Jabal Hamrin to a point north of Nineveh, as well as the area between Little and Great Zab (a tributary of the Tigris in northeast Iraq) and to the north of the latter. In the north, Assyria was later bordered by the mountain state of Urartu; to the east and southeast its neighbour was the region around ancient Nuzi (near modern Kirkuk, "Arrapchitis" [Arrapkha] of the Greeks). In the early 2nd millennium the main cities of this region were Ashur (160 miles north-northwest of modern Baghdad), the capital (synonymous with the city god and national divinity); Nineveh, lying opposite modern Mosul; and Urbilum, later Arbela (modern Irbil, some 200 miles north of Baghdad).

In Assyria, inscriptions were composed in Akkadian from the beginning. Under Ur III, Ashur was a provincial capital. Assyria as a whole, however, is not likely to have been a permanently secured part of the empire, since two date formulas of Shulgi and Amar-Su'ena mention the destruction of Urbilum. Ideas of the population of Assyria in the 3rd millennium are necessarily very imprecise. It is not known how long Semitic tribes had been settled there. The inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia called Assyria Shubir in Sumerian and Subartu in Akkadian; these names may point to a Subarean population that was related to the Hurrians. Gasur, the later Nuzi, belonged to the Akkadian language region about the year 2200 but was lost to the Hurrians in the first quarter of the 2nd millennium. The Assyrian dialect of Akkadian found in the beginning of the 2nd millennium differs strongly from the dialect of Babylonia. These two versions of the Akkadian language continue into the 1st millennium.

http://www.angelfire.com/nt/Gilgamesh/content.html

Humanist
2012-04-07, 18:03
Assur and Middle Assyrian period. Late Middle Assyrian, and Neo Assyrian expansion not shown:

Province/equivalent, Location, Province since, Time under independent Assyrian rule, Generations
1. Aššur Assyria c. 2300 1500 50
2. Nīnuwa (Nineveh) Assyria c. 1360 750 25
3. Dūr-Šarrukīn Assyria ? 750 25
4. Kilīzi Assyria c.1330 720 24
5. Kalhu Assyria c.1310 700 23
*6. Halahhu Assyria c.1310 700 23
7. Apku Assyria c.1310 700 23
8. Arbail (Arbela) Assyria c. 1310 700 23
9. Šibanība Assyria c. 1310 700 23
10. Šīmu Assyria c.1310 700 23
11. Talmūsa Assyria c. 1310 700 23

Sources:

Assyrian Identity In Ancient Times And Today - Simo Parpola, Helsinki

Assyrian empire builders - People, gods & places - http://knp.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/peoplegodsplaces/

Radner, K., 'Provinz: Assyrien', in M. P. Streck et al. (eds.), Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 11/1-2, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006, 42-68.

*
Halahhu: An Assyrian district northwest of Nineveh. [Speculative placement]


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyria_mapA.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyria_mapB.jpg

---------- Post added 2012-04-07 at 13:59 ----------

Maps from Radner:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/map1.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/map2.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/map3-1.jpg


Radner, K., 'Provinz: Assyrien', in M. P. Streck et al. (eds.), Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 11/1-2, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006, 42-68.

Humanist
2012-04-10, 04:56
Of relevance. Prof. McGrath is a Mandaean scholar, and the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University.

From his blog:


Question:
How do we date the Mandean sources? How old are they?


Prof. McGrath:
Scribal colophons help with dating at least some of them, providing a terminus ante quem. Jorunn Buckley dates some of the earliest to the third century CE. Others are significantly later, to be dated to the early Islamic era - and some which I have not looked into and/or have not yet been published might turn out to be later still. But even some of the later ones date in their present form to that later period, but may in some instances show signs of incorportating earlier traditions and perhaps even earlier written sources.

It is hard to be more specific, since the answers differ depending on which text is being discussed, and despite being known for centuries, there has been much less scholarly study of these questions than one would have expected.

Humanist
2012-04-14, 05:49
History of Syria: Including Lebanon And Palestine


In the course of the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries Hurrians were so widely spread over Syria that Egyptians began to call Canaan Khuru. Remains of their material culture are represented by a characteristic painted pottery with designs in white on a dark background and by a special type of architecture and glyptic art. The Horites of the Old Testament, until recently considered one of the insignificant tribes of old, were none other than the Hurrians. The translation of the name into “cave-dwellers is now found erroneous. The Hivites were probably identical to the Horites.

The Hurrians are the ones supposed to have bequeathed to the Assyrians those physical features which distinguish them from their Semitic cousins to the south, the Babylonians. The so-called Semitic features of the Jews are in reality Hittite-Hurrian. After the Hittite conquest of Mittani the Hurrians were included under the vague term “Hittite.” In eastern Syria the remnants of the Hurrians were absorbed by the Aramaeans.

Until the present day, according to anthropological researches, the prevailing type among the Lebanese Maronites and Druzes is the short-headed brachycephalic one. The same is true of the [Alawites] in north-western Syria. This is in striking contrast to the long-headed type prevailing among the Bedouins of the Syrian Desert and the North Arabians.

The Hittites, whose features on the monuments are like those of the Hurrians, were originally an Anatolian people in the area of the Halys River (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C4%B1z%C4%B1l%C4%B1rmak_River). They called their land Khatti and their capital (the City of Khatti) Khattushash, modern Boğazköy, ninety miles east of Ankara. The English name comes from the Hebrew Hitti. The site of their earlier capital Kushshar is still unidentified. Around 2000 BC the Khattic tribes were overpowered by Indo-European invaders. The admixture of the Anatolian aborigines with the Indo-European conquerors produced the Khattians of Asia Minor. The facial type represented by prominent nose and retreated forehead and chin was that of the aborigines. It still prevails in eastern Anatolia and among the Armenians.

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Syria : Druze


The first Druze settlers probably arrived in the Jabal Druze from Mount Lebanon and Aleppo at the end of the seventeenth century. Their chief concerns were to establish communities where they would not be molested by Ottoman authorities or the Sunni population, and that were defensible against Bedouin raids.

The Druze Between Palestine and Israel


[I]t is also a fact that a small community of Druze has existed near Aleppo since the beginning of the movement and survives in a dozen or so villages to this day. The family name "Halabi" (meaning someone from Aleppo) is very common among the Druze, and as the eminent Lebanese Druze scholar, Sami Makaram, suggested to this reviewer, there are strong grounds for supporting Junbalati origin among the Druze of this region.

A Visit to the Druze Village Daliat El Carmel


The Druze have lived in the Galilee and Carmel area for a thousand years. Even though the Druze language is Arabic, their religion and culture is separate and unique. They speak a special dialect of Arabic that sounds much like Syrian dialects of Arabic.

[U]Atlantic Modal Haplotype
13-24-14-11-11-14-12-12-12-13-13-29

Druze modal and secondary haplotype (Shlush et al.)
13-24-14-11-xx-xx-12-12-xx-13-13-29
12-24-14-11-xx-xx-12-12-xx-13-13-29

Alawite modal and secondary haplotype (Dönbak et al.)
13-24-14-11-11-15-xx-xx-xx-14-13-30
13-24-14-11-11-15-xx-xx-xx-13-13-29

Assyrian modal haplotype (FTDNA)
13-24-14-10-11-14-12-12-12-14-13-30

Humanist
2012-04-14, 16:31
George V. Yana


What is sure, Fiey writes, is that the diocese of Ba Nuhadra [the Plain of Nineveh] had existed for a long time when the catholicos Isaac organized the Syrian Church of the East in 410, and placed this diocese among the affiliates of Arbil.

The administrative center of Ba Nuhadra, the seat of the bishop, was most probably at a place presently called Tell Khishaf, six kilometers from Alqosh, and that is where the legend places the first Episcopal seat.

See "A," on the map below:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/tell_khishaf.jpg

Humanist
2012-04-14, 23:02
A couple of comments, from Geoffrey Khan, of Cambridge, regarding the Assyrian-Aramaic vernacular. Most of what is stated is not new. But, I thought I would post it anyway:


[M]y own conclusions concerning the historical background of the language spoken by the Assyrian communities today is that it is not a direct descendant of the earlier literary forms of Aramaic, such as Syriac. Rather it is a descendant of a vernacular language that was spoken in the Mesopotamian area. This vernacular is related to the literary forms of Aramaic but has also been influenced by other languages, which include, in the ancient period, the spoken ancient Assyrian [Akkadian]. In later periods it has come under increasing influence of non-Semitic languages, especially Kurdish.

Judging by the core morphology of the dialects spoken by Assyrian Christians, the earlier vernacular from which they are historically derived would be classified by most scholars as a variety of Aramaic. The issue, however, is that this was not like any variety of Aramaic that has survived in literary texts, such as Syriac.

Humanist
2012-04-15, 00:15
I found the Arthur J. Maclean bit (second below) amusing, and thought back to this bit, from one of Hannibal Travis' papers:

Hannibal B. Travis. Professor of Law at Florida International University.

On the Existence of National Identity Before ‘Imagined Communities’: The Example of the Assyrians of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia:


This “Imagined Communities” narrative suffers from hindsight bias and an exaggerated Eurocentrism. It also insults and infantilizes the peoples and nations of premodern eras and non-Western regions by assuming they lacked the intelligence with which modern Europeans constructed national cultures, laws, literatures, schools, and economies. Historians have long since disproved such ideas.

The Nestorians and Their Muslim Neighbors: A Study of Western Influence on Their Relations
John Joseph


Coakley notes a dispute that Rassam had with Arthur J. Maclean of the Anglican mission in Qochanis in 1889 over the names 'Syrians' and 'Assyrians.' When Maclean argued against the term 'Assyrians' - 'Why should we invent a name when we have such a very convenient one, used for centuries, at our hand?' It was understandable, he agreed, that someone living so close to the ruins of Nineveh, 'should have a fit of enthusiasm of Old Assyria,' but 'is it common sense to cast aside the name used by the people themselves [Suraye] and to invent another for them of very doubtful applicability?' Rassam's position was that 'Syrian' was wrong; the correct form was 'Assyrian,' but preferred, 'Chaldean.'

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Why should we invent a name when we have such a very convenient one [Suraye], used for centuries, at our hand?”

Precisely!

Wikipedia:
Hormuzd Rassam (1826 – 16 September 1910) (Syriac: ܗܪܡܙܕ ܪܣܐܡ), was a native Assyrian Assyriologist, British diplomat and traveler who made a number of important discoveries, including the clay tablets that contained the Epic of Gilgamesh, the world's oldest literature.

Hormuzd Rassam was born into a Chaldean Catholic and ”Nestorian” family. He chose the denomination of his mother, Chaldean Catholicism.

"Hormuzd Rassam in Mosul ca. 1854."
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Hormuzd.Rassam.reclined.jpg

Humanist
2012-04-15, 02:49
Joel Walker , 4 Nov 1997/Melammu Project


The Legend of Mar Qardagh : Joel Walker

Footnote

A bit more from, "The Legend of Mar Qardagh"


The veneration of Mar Qardagh offers an intriguing case study in the origins and evolution of an East-Syrian martyr cult. This investigation requires looking deep into the pre-Christian history of Melqi, the ancient shrine near Arbela that hosted the annual festival of Mar Qardagh. Qardagh's hagiographer introduces his hero as coming from “the stock of the kingdom of the Assyrians,” the descendant via his father of the “renowned lineage of the house of Nimrod,” and via his mother of the “renowned lineage of the house of Sennacherib.” While this royal “Assyrian” lineage has attracted the notice of several previous commentators, this chapter introduces new evidence for its significance by demonstrating that the late Sassanian buildings at Melqi stood directly over the ruins of a major Neo-Assyrian temple, the Akitu-shrine of the goddess Ishtar of Arbela.

Not a single iconographic depiction of Mar Qardagh has been published, and the history of the saint's cult after the tenth century remains sketchy. Although veneration of Mar Qardagh has continued into modern times, the location of the saint's original cult site has been lost, perhaps irretrievably. Its disappearance from the literary record coincides with the turmoil that befell the Arbela region in the generation following the Mongol conquest of Iraq in 1258.

The history of Christian settlement at Melqi after ca. 1200 is equally difficult to trace. Although scribes continued to copy the Qardagh legend into the twentieth century, no text after the hymn to the daughter of Ma nyo (twelfth or thirteenth century) mentions the saint's monastery. The disappearance of “Beth Mar Qardagh” from the literary record mirrors the general turmoil that engulfed the Christians of the Arbela region in the wake of the Mongol conquest of Iraq in 1258.

Few of the Christian villages and monasteries of Adiabene survived these troubled times...It is probable that the monastery of Mar Qardagh at Melqi was also abandoned during this period. Its location, like that of many monasteries and Christian villages in the region, was gradually forgotten.

The reading and copying of the History of Mar Qardagh ensured that veneration of Mar Qardagh endured long after the abandonment of the saint's monastery at Melqi. After ca. 1300, the East-Syrian Christian community explored in this book was reduced to a fraction of its former geographic range...The only substantial evidence for the cult of Mar Qardagh during these centuries comes from manuscripts, such as the large hagiographical collection copied at Alqosh in northern Iraq in 1707.

Humanist
2012-04-16, 13:19
The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran their cults, customs, magic, legends, and folklore
by E. S. Drower 1937


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/manda1.jpg


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/manda2.jpg


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mandaeans_christians.jpg

Humanist
2012-04-16, 16:52
A bit more from, "The Legend of Mar Qardagh"


[Mar]Qardagh's hagiographer introduces his hero as coming from “the stock of the kingdom of the Assyrians,” the descendant via his father of the “renowned lineage of the house of Nimrod,” and via his mother of the “renowned lineage of the house of Sennacherib.” While this royal “Assyrian” lineage has attracted the notice of several previous commentators, this chapter introduces new evidence for its significance by demonstrating that the late Sassanian buildings at Melqi stood directly over the ruins of a major Neo-Assyrian temple, the Akitu-shrine of the goddess Ishtar of Arbela.

Also, from Lady Drower's "The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran their cults, customs, magic, legends, and folklore." 1937


This, kneaded in the hand and baked in ashes like the fatira is a roll about 4 inches long. In a recent article ('The Kaprana' in Orient and Occident l , The Gaster Anniversary Volume, London, Taylor's Foreign Press, 1937) I have pointed out the similarity of the sa [dough] to the Nestorian [Assyrian Christian] kaprana, a dough object of identical shape which plays a part in the Qurbana, and appears to be a relic of some ancient fertility and life cult. That the sa is a phallic emblem one would suspect from its form and size. The reference which puzzled Lidzbarski (Q. 107), pihla d *l shum hiia pla, obviously refers to it.

Humanist
2012-04-17, 01:38
Continuing.


Also, from Lady Drower's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._S._Drower) "The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran their cults, customs, magic, legends, and folklore." 1937

Lady Drower



The Christian idea of a cross with an implication of blood-sacrifice is contrary to the whole Mandaean belief; indeed, this sign was not at first associated, even by the Christians, with the instrument of Christ's passion, but was a 'life' or 'sun' symbol. In the Parsi ritual meal the sign of the cross is made over the ritual meal for the dead (JJM., p. 401), and Modi suggests that it is symbolic of the four points of the compass. This idea is corroborated by the Nestorian ritual, for the priest, as he places four wafers on the paten in the form of a cross, murmurs the words, 'From East to West, from North to South'. It probably represents the journey and return of the sun, symbolizing resurrection. (See Chap. VI, note 14.)


The 'feeding of the multitude' with five loaves and fish, by the shores of the Lake of Galilee, and the meal of Acts vi. 13, seem to record ritual meals. Tertullian mentions a ritual use of milk and honey. The Agape, or love-feast of the early Christians, is still kept up in the Nestorian Church. These feasts were so much a feature of primitive Christianity that Pliny the Younger, in his Rescript to Trajan, A.D. 104, mentions them as its chief characteristic. In the Canons of Hippolytus, the agape is a 'memorial feast for the dead'. Notice breads are common to the Sraosh baj, the Christian meal just mentioned, and the present-day Nestorian qurbana, suggesting connexion with the five intercalary days.

“Auspicious latitudes”


[T]he Assyrians had the habit of dividing the yearly cycle into 360 equal parts or "time degrees", as the Assyriologist Simo Parpola explains:

"A schematic year of 360 days divided into twelve months of 30 days each is encountered not only in the Assyrian cultic calendar Inbu bel arhi but also in the late second- millennium astronomical text Mul Apin; in the latter, it is correlated with a division of the solar year into four seasons of equal length, corresponding to the later division of the ecliptic into twelve zodiacal signs of 30 degrees each.”

"Splitting Of Time - 7 Intercalary Months"


The Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, early Egyptians and Israelites all used lunar/solar calendars...Five additional days were included to complete the solar year. The last five days were generally associated with religious festivities.

"Babylonian Calendar" (Wikipedia)

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/calendar_mesopotamian.jpg


Lady Drower


It is likely that the Jewish Passover meal in spite of orthodox interpretation and the text now attached to it, was originally a revivification and fertility rite. The hands stretched over the bread in witness, the word fatir applied by Iraqi Jews to the masoth. and most of the details of procedure suggest this. Moreover Jewish mention of the dead (dukhrana, hashkabd) is linked in Iraq to a ritual meal eaten in memory of the deceased. This meal must include 'wheat' (i.e. bread), 'fruits of the earth', and 'fruits of trees'.

The Nestorian dukhrana with its distribution in the church of bread and other foods and of meat by the church door, its reciting of names of the dead, and the use of the kaprana (i.e. the sa [dough] or phallus) in the qurbana, is close to Mandaean ritual in many particulars. The word dukhrana is also applied to a love-feast, or public distribution of meat which follows the dukhrana in church. In this, every member of the community shares.

See Ishtar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar).

Ishtar (Wikipedia)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/British_Museum_Queen_of_the_Night.jpg

Lady Drower


Preparation of the Bread

[T]he [Mandaean] bread-maker marks the 'named' loaves, the Darun proper, with three rows of three marks :


o o o
o o o
o o o

while uttering the words 'good thoughts, good words, good deeds' 'making three marks at each recital' (JJM., p. 279). (The Nestorian marking of the loaves for sacrament with similar marks is extremely close to this. I do not know whether the 'signing' of the fafiri is allied to it; it may be.)

A few additional examples of the ties to the Mesopotamian religion of old, in Mandaeism. See this earlier post (http://www.ww.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=754424&postcount=106), for some Akkadian loans in Mandaic pertaining to religion.

Lady Drower



Habshaba. Literally, 'the-first-of-the-week'. In the spoken Syriac of the Assyrians the word is pronounced as in Mandaean Hoshabba.

Each day is governed by a planet. The day is divided into two parts of twelve, twelve day-hours and twelve night-hours. Certain melki also govern the days, and hence have a planetary character, for instance, Sunday, which is governed by Shamish, is also associated with the personified Habshaba, 7 First-Day-of-the-Week, a malka who is sometimes identified with other saviour-spirits. He 'takes purified souls in his ship to Awathur and to the World of Light. The gate of the World of Light is ajar on this day and Hoshaba (Habshaba) takes the souls by means of electricity into the midst of the world of light.'

I was told that 'Hoshaba' descends into Mataratha (Purgatories) on Sunday, returning with seven Mandaean souls to the world of light. 'The revolving wheels of light whirl more swiftly on this day, thus assisting the souls in their ascent.' The story is based on the prayer for Sunday (Q., p. 184), uqarqil sMbqh^ &c., the qarqil taken as meaning revolution of a wheel.

Writings preserved by the priests enumerate the planetary aspects not only day by day but hour by hour, so that life may be conducted successfully. To quote from one:

'The Day of Habshaba. The First Hour is of Shamish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamash). Favourable (shapir) for building a new house, going on the road, putting on a new garment, eating bread, approaching kings and governors, drinking wine, and buying and selling. The Second Hour is of Libat (Venus). Sit in thy own city. Favourable for being with thy wife, eating new bread, riding horses, visiting physicians,' &c.

Not every hour of Sunday is good, for instance, on the sixth hour of Sunday night a traveller is likely to fall amongst thieves; for Nirigh. (Mars) governs this hour, although the general aspect of the day is sunny.

Monday (Trin Habshaba) is governed by Sin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin_(mythology)) ; Tuesday (Thlatha Habshaba) by Nirigh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nergal); Wednesday (Arba Habshaba) by 'Nbu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabu); and Thursday (Hamsha Habshaba) by Bil (Bel) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bel_(god)), also by Melka Ziwa 'from the morning of Thursday till Friday noon, when Liwet has power'.Friday (Yuma d Rahatia) is the day of Libat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar), and Yuma d Shafta or Saturday is the day of Kiwan. Friday afternoon and night are supposed to be unlucky and under the general influence of the King of Darkness.


As with the Mandaeans, disease, pollution, transgression against taboo, and breaking of social laws necessitated purifications received at the hands of a priest. The baru and ashipu priests of Babylonian and neo-Babylonian times, like Mandaean priests, wore white (http://youtu.be/Gw9ShOvB1qc).


The Tree is a common religious symbol in Mandaean books for Divine Life, and the souls of Mandaeans are not seldom represented as birds, taking refuge in the shelter of a Vine, or Tree, against the tempests of the world.

Humanist
2012-04-18, 03:12
Continuing from the last few posts above.

Do not take this seriously. Just playing around with my photo editing software.

Wikpedia:
Ishtar is the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love, and sex.

[H]er cult involved sacred prostitution...[A]nd she herself was the "courtesan of the gods."

Ishtar was the patron deity of Nineveh and Arbil. Not Ashur.

If you are particularly shy, please do not proceed.




http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/ishtar_1a.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/anatomyoffemalereproductivesystem.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/6a00e55060d36c88340120a6572568970b-800wi.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mso1.jpg

Humanist
2012-04-19, 18:51
The Nestorians And Their Rituals (1842-1844, 1850). George Percy Badger


The Nestorians of the present day have scarcely any other books beside the Church Rituals...

Grateful, as we should be, for the mass of learning and devotion hitherto preserved to this ancient community in their Rituals and other ecclesiastical compositions, still one cannot forbear deeply regretting the irreparable shipwreck of so large an amount of Nestorian science and genius. For although it cannot be fairly presumed that any important truth, or any useful discovery in art or nature, has been snatched away from the curiosity of modern ages, still how many interesting occurrences may it in all probability be conceived, have been buried in oblivion through the successive catastrophes, which have swept away so much of the labour of past ages from the knowledge of the world.

Humanist
2012-04-25, 11:13
From the "NewChronology" message board. As in, New Chronology v. Conventional Chronology of the ancient Near East.

The individual below is referring to a lecture, "Karkamish revisited (http://www.soas.ac.uk/nme/ane/lcane/seminars/19mar2012-karkamish-revisited.html)," delivered by Prof. David Hawkins, School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London. Prof. Hawkins presented a paper on the same topic, in January of this year, at the "Karkemish: Attività della Missione Archeologica congiunta turco-italiana" conference in Italy. Hawkins' paper is listed here, in the conference program (http://www.archeologia.unibo.it/NR/rdonlyres/96D533D3-BB2C-4F71-BD25-51CA8CB72387/0/Karkemishprogram.pdf) ("The new Luwian hieroglyphic stele from Karkemish: at the origins of the Suhi-Katuwa dynasty").

Now, the post made to the "NewChronology" message board:

Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:27 pm


Prof. Hawkins gave a talk yesterday on recent developments at Carchemish. The outer town is in Syria and some recent excavations have taken place there. The inner town and citadel mound are in Turkey and after extensive mine clearance, an Italian-Turkish team was due to start excavations last year, but due to problems with permits, only the expedition leader (Nicolo Marchetti) was allowed on the site! Nevertheless, he managed to find a new stela! It mentions Great King of Carchemish Uratarhundas, son of Great King Sapazitis (the first sylable was formerly uncertain and this name was written X-pa-zitis), and Suhis (I?), a Country Lord of Carchemish, who erected the stela and seems to have been a kinsman of Uratarhundas, and it mentions a war against Sura which Hawkins now takes to be Assyria.

The stela is similar in content to Stela A4b (picture in CoD, p.136, fig.6.7). Hawkins dates the stela in the 10th century BC, as does Peter James (CoD, p.135), but James equates Uratarhundas with Talmi-Teshub, Great King of Carchemish of the Empire period, on the basis that their names mean the same in different languages (Luwian and Hurrian respectively). Sapazitis would then be the Luwian name of Ini-Teshub, father of Talmi-T, but without equivalence of meaning. The Empire period Hittites are linked to the Egyptians, so a 10th century date would not suit NC. However, it may be possible to put all these characters in the 9th century but that would be the subject for another post.

ZephyrousMandaru
2012-04-25, 12:09
It's good to be back.

Humanist
2012-04-26, 00:44
More interesting bits from the "NewChronology" Yahoo group:

Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:44 pm


The joint German-Iraqi excavations at Assur in the 1980s to early 2000s have so far mostly been published as preliminary articles in German although there is some info on the web in English. A new article in English in an Italian journal is of interest: A. Hausleiter, 'Ashur in the 2nd and 1st Millenia BC, Archaeological Challenges', Mesopotamia 46 (2011), pp.59-70.

One of their "challenges" seems to be, what to do with the Mittani period. On NC, Mittanian and Middle Assyrian pottery styles run in parallel whereas OC tries to put Mittanian before MA (which to some extent it can be). The table on p.63 shows the following stratigraphic sequence of strata (time running upwards):

VA Middle to Neo-Assyrian transition (11/10th century)
VI MA (14-11th centuries)
VII Burials with Nuzi and MA pottery
? MA pottery
VIII Two buildings
IX Mitanni/MA transition
IX Mitanni period (16-15th centuries)

Where I have put a ? for the stratum number, the table makes the most unusual comment, "not assigned: maximum range between IX and VII". This relates mainly to pottery from a lane (numbered 2A6) between some buildings, which ought to be fixed into the sequence by the stratigraphy. On p.65 this lane is stated to have both Mittanian and MA pottery and it is noted that "The clear and fairly abrupt transition between Mittanian and Middle Assyrian pottery within the deposits of the lane 2A6 appears in any case remarkable." If there is really this clear transition, it should come in the second half of Str. IX (the Mittani/MA transition) and there would be no problem for OC. So, why is it floating between IX and VII?

One aspect of the problem must be that Nuzi ware (Mittanian) was found in Str. VII, long after the supposed Mitt/MA transition. I suggest this confusion is caused by the OC idea that MA pottery follows Mittanian instead of running parallel with it.

Humanist
2012-04-26, 09:11
A Sealed Double Cremation at Middle Assyrian Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria

Peter Akkermans & E. Smits (2008)

In: D. Bonatz, R.M. Czichon & F.J. Kreppner (eds.) Fundstellen – Gesammelte Schriften zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altvorderasiens ad honorem Hartmut Kühne. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag (2008), pp. 251-261.


Recent excavation at Tell Sabi Abyad in Syria has exposed a very substantial part of a Middle Assyrian fortified farmstead or dunnu, dated ca. 1225-1120 BCE. From its foundation early in the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, the dunnu was maintained by a number of high-ranking officials affiliated with the Assyrian royal house and each bearing the titles of “grand vizier” and “king of Ḫanigalbat”: successively, Aššur-iddin, Šulmānu-mušabši and Ilī-padâ.

An extraordinarily rich cremation which dates somewhere between 1180-1140 BCE (building level 4) and which must be associated with the local administration at the site. So far, 38 graves have been uncovered in the dunnu at Tell Sabi Abyad, of which 29 were inhumations and nine were cremations.

The cylinder-seal impression* on the obverse of the sealing shows a galloping, winged horse followed by a foal (fig. 1), produced in the typical Middle Assyrian iconographic style of the 12th century BCE (see e.g. Matthews 1990, 1992).

Special attention is drawn to the presence of the (burnt) third phalange of a lion, which points to the inclusion of a lion-skin cloak on the funeral pyre. The dead may either have rested upon the skin or it may have covered them as a shroud. This find recalls the occurrence of bear claws in Neolithic cremation graves in northwestern Europe (see e.g. Parker Pearson 1999: 7; Smits 2000).

The richness of finds in this grave is remarkable, when taking into account that almost all other cremations at Tell Sabi Abyad contained either simply a small number of beads or no goods at all (there is only one other cremation with a comparable inventory; cf. Akkermans/Wiggermann, in print). Before it was stated that this cremation contained the burnt remains of two young adults – a man and a woman. Both persons must have died at more or less the same time and both were subsequently cremated and buried together. In view of their sex and age, it is tempting to consider them as spouses, tied to each other both in the terrestrial world and in the hereafter. Although the dead remain unknown to us, they undeniably must have been people of status and wealth. Moreover, the clay sealing with its typical Middle Assyrian representation suggests that they (or their mourners who carried out the burial) were affiliated with the Assyrian administration at Tell Sabi Abyad. Further proof in this respect is provided by the location of the grave in the immediate vicinity of the buildings of the living – it is unlikely that any outsiders to the local community were allowed to bury their dead here. The burial vessel, too, is entirely of Middle Assyrian style and origin in terms of shape and finish, as is the jewellery found in it (see e.g. Ohuma/Numoto 2001). In short, there can be no doubt that both the dead and their mourners were part of the local community at Tell Sabi Abyad, the more so if we take into account the sheer magnitude and obvious visibility of the practice of cremation: The burning and burial were not individual acts but involved the entire community. Somewhere on the site there must have been a large funeral pyre, on which the deceased were placed together, fully dressed and equipped with adornments and covered by a lion-skin cloak. A ram was slaughtered for the occasion and its meat was consumed by the mourners either shortly before or during the fire; the remains were thrown into the flames. After the corpses had been burnt, the remains selected for burial from the surface of the extinguished pyre were stored in an urn which was subsequently covered and sealed and finally buried in a specific area very close to the houses of the living.

*
"Fig. 1...[R]econstruction of the seal impression."

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/middle_assyrian_cremation_seal_reconstruction.jpg


The location:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/figure1big.jpg

Humanist
2012-04-26, 11:12
A Sealed Double Cremation at Middle Assyrian Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria

Peter Akkermans & E. Smits (2008)

In: D. Bonatz, R.M. Czichon & F.J. Kreppner (eds.) Fundstellen – Gesammelte Schriften zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altvorderasiens ad honorem Hartmut Kühne. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag (2008), pp. 251-261.

Recent excavation at Tell Sabi Abyad in Syria has exposed a very substantial part of a Middle Assyrian fortified farmstead or dunnu, dated ca. 1225-1120 BCE. From its foundation early in the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, the dunnu was maintained by a number of high-ranking officials affiliated with the Assyrian royal house and each bearing the titles of “grand vizier” and “king of Ḫanigalbat”: successively, Aššur-iddin, Šulmānu-mušabši and Ilī-padâ.

The fortress of Ili-pada.
Middle Assyrian architecture at Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria
Peter M.M.G. Akkermans (2006)

In: P. Butterlin, M. Lebeau, J.-Y. Monchambert, J. Montero & B. Muller (eds.), Les espaces Syro-Mésopotamiens. Dimensions de l’expérience humaine au Proche-Orient ancien. Turnhout: Brepols (2006), pp. 201-211.


The fortress had many faces...: it was a military outpost on the western frontier of Assyria; it was an administrative center in control of the westernmost province of the kingdom; and it provided custom facilities on the route from Carchemish to the Assyrian capital of Assur.

However, it was not only the interests of the Assyrian state but also the private interests of the Assyrian officials themselves that were served at Sabi Abyad. For much of its lifetime, the fortress was in the hands of Ili-pada*, grand vizier of Assyria, viceroy of Hanigalbat, member of one of the most prominent lineages of Assyria, and related to the royal family. The stronghold was Ili-pada's rural estate, used by him for the agricultural exploitation of many dozens of square kilometres in the Balikh valley and elsewhere. The occurrence of texts belonging to Assur-iddin, Ili-pada's father and likewise grand vizier, suggests that the estate had been family property for a long time; it may have served as the family's power base in the province, which presented them with the revenues to finance their private court in the capital and to support their political ambitions.

Fig. 4: "Artistic reconstruction of the Middle Assyrian fortress at Tell Sabi Abyad."

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/tell_sabi.jpg



* Wikipedia :
Two of his sons were to follow him in attaining high office. Mardukija became governor of Katmuḫi and served his term as limmu early, during the reign of Aššur-dan I, his nephew and Ilī-padâ’s grandson. [I]Ninurta-apal-Ekur, after a period stationed in Babylonia, presumably on official business, was to triumph in his campaign to succeed Enlil-kudurri-usur as Assyrian King, thereby establishing a royal line that endured until at least the eighth century.

---------- Post added 2012-04-26 at 06:57 ----------

The Assyrian King's list, beginning with Ili-pada's son, mentioned above:

Ninurta-apal-Ekur (1182 BCE to 1180 BCE) --> Ashur-dan I --> Ninurta-tukultī-Aššur --> Mutakkil-Nusku --> Ashur-resh-ishi I --> Tiglath-Pileser I --> Asharid-apal-Ekur --> Assur-bel-kala --> Eriba-Adad II --> Shamshi-Adad IV --> Ashurnasirpal I --> Shalmaneser II --> Ashur-nirari IV --> Ashur-rabi II --> Ashur-resh-ishi II --> Tiglath-Pileser II --> Ashur-dan II --> Adad-nirari II --> Tukulti-Ninurta II --> Ashurnasirpal II --> Shalmaneser III --> Shamshi-Adad V --> Adad-nirari III --> Shalmaneser IV --> Ashur-dan III --> Ashur-nirari V (755 BCE to 745 BCE). The line is broken by Tiglath-Pileser III.

Humanist
2012-04-26, 22:16
A Sealed Double Cremation at Middle Assyrian Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria

Peter Akkermans & E. Smits (2008)


Special attention is drawn to the presence of the (burnt) third phalange of a lion, which points to the inclusion of a lion-skin cloak on the funeral pyre. The dead may either have rested upon the skin or it may have covered them as a shroud. This find recalls the occurrence of bear claws in Neolithic cremation graves in northwestern Europe (see e.g. Parker Pearson 1999: 7; Smits 2000).


The Archaeology of Death and Burial (1999)
by Mike Parker Pearson

page 7

Not sure why the author is referring to the European bear claws as Neolithic. Unless it is the "Smits (http://books.google.com/books?id=lq-6DcQwfu0C&pg=PA257&lpg=PA257&dq=The+Cremation+Graves+from+Leer-Westhammerich&source=bl&ots=XWT7MB2wu_&sig=XZNH5YsVNtFkAM2wUWsvQDW4MDo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ka2ZT7vlAsOw6AHF6uXDBg&ved=0CEoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=The%20Cremation%20Graves%20from%20Leer-Westhammerich&f=false)" source one must refer to.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/pearson_cremation.jpg

Humanist
2012-04-28, 15:21
A terrific new paper I came across.


Beyond Aššur: New Cities and the Assyrian Politics of Landscape

by Ömür Harmansah (2012)
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Brown University

Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 365: 53-77.

Abstract

This article investigates the making of Assyrian landscapes during the late second and early first millennia b.c.e. From the late 14th century b.c.e. onward, the Assyrians designated the emergent core of their territorial state as the “Land of Aššur” in their royal inscriptions. However, over the course of the next several centuries, the cultural geography of the Land of Aššur was continuously redefined while gradually shifting northward from the arid environs of the city Aššur to the well-watered and resourceful landscapes around the confluence of the Tigris and the Upper and Lower Zab Rivers. Contemporaneously, the landscapes of the Upper Tigris basin (southeastern Turkey) and the Jazira witnessed extensive settlement and cultivation as Assyrian provinces and frontiers. Drawing on archaeological survey evidence and a critical reading of the textual accounts of urban foundations, this paper argues that such mobility of Assyrian landscapes was part and parcel of broader processes of environmental and settlement change in Upper Mesopotamia. Assyrian annalistic texts point to an elaborate rhetoric of landscape that portrays state interventions in the form of city foundations and building programs, construction of irrigation canals, planting of orchards, opening of new quarries, and settlement of populations. Furthermore, the making of commemorative monuments such as rock reliefs and stelae allowed the Assyrian state to inscribe symbolically charged places in foreign landscapes and incorporate them into the narratives of the empire. By drawing attention to the long-term trends of settlement in Upper Mesopotamia during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages and the agency of landscapes, the article contextualizes the Assyrian political rhetoric of development at the time of a highly fluid world of geographical imagination.


[T]he formative stage of Assyria and its political landscapes relates to the broader shifts in settlement and cultural geography in Upper Mesopotamia and is particularly entangled with the formation of Syro-Hittite states of south-central and southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.


It is important to note here that the ceramic chronologies for the Late Bronze Age to Iron Age transition in Assyrian geographies are still not well understood, and the Middle Assyrian–Late or Neo-Assyrian distinction still relies heavily on historical accounts or political periodizations rather than on firm and independent archaeological dating. There is a common assumption that Middle Assyrian = Late Bronze Age, and Neo-Assyrian = Iron Age, but this does not hold well and leaves the 12th–10th centuries b.c.e. ambiguously in between. See the discussion in Duistermaat 2008; Anastasio 2011.


The earliest attestation of the “Land of Aššur” in royal inscriptions is from the time of Arik-dīn-ili (1307–1296 b.c.e.). One is a stone tablet from the temple of Šamaš at Aššur (Grayson 1987:120–21, text A.0.75.1, lines 3, 10, 12–13, 47). The tablet is in the Vorderasiatische Museum, Berlin (Inv. VA 5917). Here, the Assyrian king Arik-dīn-ili and other former kings are referred as lugal. kur.dingir.a-šur, “King of the Land of Aššur.” On an inscribed brick from Aššur, Arik-dīn-ili and his father Enlil-nārāri and grandfather Aššūr-uballit are all referred to as man.kur.aš-šur (Grayson 1987: 125, text A.0.75.7).


The following pages discuss how Assyrian landscapes were reimagined and reconfigured during the late second and early first millennia b.c.e. It is proposed that this process cannot be evaluated in isolation within the political-historical framework of the Assyrian Empire, but it must be correlated to the broader environmental processes and settlement shifts in Upper Mesopotamia. During this time, there is an identifiable northward shift in the geopolitical definition of the “Land of Aššur.” I propose here that this spatial shift is not only more or less contemporaneous but also in symmetry with the southward shift of the “Land of Hatti” during the dissolution of the Hittite Empire. As discussed elsewhere, the political center of gravity in the Hittite Empire had gradually moved southward in the last two centuries of the empire, resulting in the Hittite king Muwatalli II’s attempt to move the capital from Hattuša to Tarhuntašša in Rough Cilicia (Singer 1998).


[T]he emerging territorial state of the Assyrians was named after the city of Aššur and its titulary deity, the city Aššur itself became gradually marginal to the newly cultivated and urbanized zone of Assyria to the north.

Figure 1

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/landscape_assyria.jpg



In the 16th to 14th centuries b.c.e., the Jazira was at the heart of the Mitannian state and part of a cultural and economic network along with the rest of the northern Syro-Mesopotamian polities (Akkermans and Schwartz 2003: 346). The archaeological evidence from several excavated sites in the Assyrian core territories and the Jazira shows a continuous stratigraphy of “Mitannian” and “Middle Assyrian” material assemblages...


Based on textual evidence, the Assyrian acquisition of the grain-growing region of Nineveh-Nimrud-Arbela was under way by the middle of the 14th century b.c.e., at the time of Aššūr-uballit I (1353–1318 b.c.e.). In his royal inscriptions from Aššur, the early 13th-century king Adad-nārārī I (1295–1264 b.c.e.) boasts that he had captured the Mitannian royal city of Taʾidu, probably located somewhere in the Upper Habur Valley, and carried out extensive rebuilding in this city.

^^ The above bit is of great significance, and should be understood by all who ponder the question asked by Vasishta.


Tarbisu is usually identified with the modern site of Sherif Khan, northwest of Nineveh, and Kaḫat with Tell Barrī. The famous temple of the Hurrian weather god Tešhub at Kaḫat (Tell Barrī) was restored by Šalmaneser I (Pecorella 1990: 55).


The switch from urban to rural seems to have been most dramatic in the transition from Mitanni to Middle and Late Assyrian (Lyon 2000: 102).


Recent survey work and salvage excavations in the Upper Tigris basin in southeastern Turkey shows that a series of fortified settlements delineated the Anatolian frontier of the Assyrian Empire, where the countryside was found populated with agricultural settlements in the Early Iron Age.


In the late second to early first millennium b.c.e., the region was a geopolitically crucial frontier zone between Assyria, Šubria, and Urartu, as well as the Syro-Hittite states to the west such as Melid (Malatya). In 882 b.c.e., Aššur-nāṣir-apli II refounded the city of Tušḫan as one of the provincial centers within the region. This city is now identified with the site of Ziyaret Tepe in the Diyarbakır province in Turkey...


The Middle Assyrian material presence in the Upper Tigris region has been documented by archaeological excavations at sites such as Ziyaret Tepe (Tušḫan) (Matney and Bauer 2000: 120–21), Üçtepe (Tīdu) (Köroğlu 2002), and Grê Dimsê (Karg 2001), as well as by the surveys in the region. Radner and Schachner (2001: 763–66) suggest that this frontier zone was already settled by Assyrians at the time of Adad-nārārī I and Šalmaneser I, while the river Tigris formed a natural boundary between Assyria and the independent kingdom of Šubria to the north. The three cities of Tušḫan, Tīdu, and Sinābu formed strongholds that controlled this Assyrian frontier zone.

Based on survey evidence from the region, B. J. Parker (2001) suggests that during the Iron Age, Assyrians brought in a new system of agricultural settlement into a limited area in the Upper Tigris basin around the floodplain, where they systematically populated the countryside with agricultural villages.


Assyrians continuously searched for alternatives to the city of Aššur for their political capital. Aššur and its arid Middle Tigris steppe hinterland lies well outside the margins of the reliable rainfall zone and could not support a growing population with its limited agricultural hinterland...

Assyrians of the Late Bronze Age were attracted to the well-watered, arable lands of the Upper Tigris and Habur basins, especially the region around Nineveh and Arbela (in the environs of modern Mosul and Erbil), not only for agricultural reasons but also for the region’s proximity to the metal and timber resources to the north (fig. 2). The Nineveh-Arbela area is also rich with stone quarries, offering a good variety of building stones. The decline of the Mitannian state after the mid-14th century b.c.e., succumbing to the pressures of the Hittite kings, especially and most effectively at the time of Šuppiluliuma I (1344–1322 b.c.e.), allowed the Assyrians to advance and take hold of these territories...

Figure 2

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyria2.jpg


The image of the city Aššur as an ancestral land of dwelling and belonging, as well as the symbolic power of its deity, were transported across the territories of the empire through the representations of the state and its royal discourse. The story of Aššur in the second millennium b.c.e. then involves a continuous delocalization of the cult and its sacred realm, and its physical redistribution to the edges of the empire as an agent of colonization and sanctification of landscapes at the same time.

When the Land of Aššur physically shifted northward to the Upper Tigris basin, Aššur acquired the status of being a place of antiquity, a place of historical value to the Late Assyrian kings, who benevolently continued to renovate and rebuild its archaic sanctuaries.


[T]he Assyrians continued to settle the region east of the Tigris during the Iron Age, incorporating the tributary valleys of the river such as the Lower and Upper Zab and the better irrigated terrains with rich soils in between them (Wilkinson 2003: fig. 7.1).


During the fifth year of his reign, in 879 b.c.e., Aššur-nāṣir-apli initiated the construction of a new capital city at the modern site of Tell Nimrūd, ancient Kalḫu, 65 km upstream from Aššur (Oates and Oates 2001) (figs. 4–5). The administrative-political center of the empire was finally moved for good from the Middle Tigris region to the fertile, undulating agricultural land near the confluence of the Tigris and the Upper Zab.


Despite the economic difficulties and climatic fluctuations at the close of the Late Bronze Age, the “Land of Aššur” was redefined in the well-watered and well-supplied Ninūwa-Kalḫu-Arbela region near the confluence of the Tigris and Zab Rivers.


At the time when broader shifts of settlement were taking place in Upper Mesopotamia, these landscape projects created a collective sense of identity and territorial unity under the continuously but subtly changing definition of the Land of Aššur, sometimes at the expense of ancestral cities. Furthermore, the landscape commemorations linked the present to a collectively shared past. Through the memorialization of the past in inscribed public monuments, both in Assyrian cities and at the frontiers, the Assyrian conceptualization of history and the extent of its home landscape “Land of Aššur” are articulated in the mind of the public.

Humanist
2012-04-30, 02:59
Ezekiel 23:12

The "she" here is Israel. Same passage. Different versions.

New International Version (1984)

She too lusted after the Assyrians--governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men.

English Standard Version (2001)

She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.

New Living Translation (2007)

She fawned over all the Assyrian officers--those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms, those charioteers driving their horses--all of them attractive young men.

Humanist
2012-05-03, 07:00
Sites, routes and geography in Central Anatolia

by Gojko Barjamovic

Published in I. Singer (ed.), ipamati kistamati pari tumatimis. Luwian and Hittite Studies Presented to J. David Hawkins on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. Tel Aviv: Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology. 2010: 10-25



In the Assyrian Colony Period, the shortest route between the copper-producing areas in the Pontic region and the west would have crossed the river at Kapalikaya. Indeed, the intenstive surveys conducted by Omura and his team in the area have revealed a string of large sites dated to the MB period along the Kilicozu Cay leading south from Delice to Koprukoy. Upon crossing the Kizilirmak, a route would have led west via Afsar, Boyali Kulhoyuk and Polatli to the Sakarya River and Kepen. In all likelihood this was the 'Copper Road' plied by the Assyrian traders between Durmitta and Parsuhanda, and it seems highly likely that Kapalikaya represents the main stopping point on that route, namely the city of Wahsusana.

Wahsusana is the most commonly attested toponym in the Assyrian sources after Assur and Kanes, and is known to have been a reloading point for goods travelling from Durhumit/Durmitta to the west. A ferry is mentioned in the texts in relation to Wahsusana, and a bridge may have crossed the river at the city as well. In Hittite times the crossing at Wahsusana may have fallen out of use, as only a single passage in what appears to be a fragment of the ‘Joint Annals’ refers to the place on a route connecting it to the Sakarya River and Arzawa. Presumably, this itinerary follows the ancient Assyrian trade route, although the road systems in Hittite times may have favored the crossing at Kesikkopru and aimed for the route south of the Tuz Golu.

The site of Kapalikaya fits well with what we know about the MB city of Wahsusana. Its location, prominent size (ca. 700 by 500 m) and ceramic assemblage all point to its importance during the Colony Period and corresponds to what is known about the place and its topography in the Assyrian sources: Wahsusana was a large walled city with a sizeable Assyrian population that controlled a ferry on the ‘Copper Road’ connecting the eastern and western parts of Central Anatolia. It was destroyed, apparently only a few years prior to the destruction of karum Kanes Level II (Dercksen 2001:61; Veenhof 2008:136- 140; Barjamovic et al. forthcoming). Although it was rebuilt and continued to house an Assyrian colony, Wahsusana, unlike most of the other politically prominent polities in Anatolia attested in the Assyrian sources, never gets mentioned by Anitta or Hattusili I. Presumably it played no significant political role and did not stand in the way of their expansionist ambitions. An Assyrian letter refers to the initial destruction of the trading colony in Wahsusana and the resulting loss of the merchant archives kept there. This makes the site a highly promising candidate for future excavations. Plainly, the idea of a settlement comparable to that at Kültepe, where intact houses, workshops and archives were buried under the rubble of a fallen city offers a tempting prospect.

TRAVELLING IN TURKEY
Unlike the Syro-Mesopotamian area where numerous excavations and a profound continuity in the local toponomy allow for a detailed understanding of the political and historical geography, significant political and cultural breaks in Anatolian history mean that scholars can still disagree about even the most fundamental aspects of how to interpret the early political developments in the region...

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/kapalikaya.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/river.jpg

Possible location of one of the sites mentioned above, Wahsusana:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/wahsusana.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-07, 11:03
How to reach the Upper Tigris: The Route through the Tur Abdin.

State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 15 (2006) 273-305.

Professor Karen Radner (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/history/about_us/academic_staff/dr_karen)
Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History



In the 13th century BC, after the military triumph of the Assyrian kings Adad-nērārī I (1300-1270) and Shalmaneser I (1269-1241) over their weakened neighbor Mittani (called “Hanigalbat” by the Assyrians), the former Hurrian kingdom was swiftly integrated into the Assyrian Empire. Hence, the wide plain east of the Euphrates which is traversed by the rivers Hābūr and Balīh — the so-called Jezirah — became Assyrian, as well as the Upper Tigris region.

It was certainly the fact that the mountain range looks rather imposing from a southern perspective which has led to the still widespread opinion that the Tūr Abdīn can be taken as Mesopotamia’s northern border, not only geographically but also culturally speaking. Thus, the mountain range is often identified as the northern perimeter of the Mittani empire. However, as has been already stated, new excavations in the Upper Tigris region (especially Giricano, Ziyaret Tepe and also Üçtepe / Kurkh5) have proven the Mittani occupation of the area and confirmed the Assyrian presence in the 2nd and 1st millennium BC; it is therefore necessary to consider the Tūr Abdīn as an integral part of the Mesopotamian topography, and not as a frontier zone.

Today, the Tūr Abdīn, a limestone mountain range with an altitude between 900 and 1400 m, is best known for its numerous monasteries and churches, forming a unique enclave in a region which has been under Islamic rule for the past twelve hundred years. While the buildings remain, the 20th century saw the departure of many Christian families, and today the area is no longer predominantly Syriac, neither in language nor religion.

We will see that place names such as Midyāt, Mardin, Savur / Sawrō, Kīvakh, Azakh and Kfartūthō can be identified with Aramaic toponyms already attested in the Assyrian age. Many sites, however, have been renamed by the Turkish authorities in the 20th century and, with the exodus of the Syriac speaking population, begin to be forgotten.

The Assyrians designated the Tūr Abdīn as Kāsiēri, hence adapting a locally used toponym that is also attested in the Hittite sources as Kāsiāri / Gāsiāri and refers to an area under Hurrian (Mittani) control. It is therefore well possible that the toponym is derived from the Hurrian language.

The last Assyrian campaign to Kāsiēri is recorded for 855 in the inscriptions of Shalmaneser III (858-824): “In my fifth regnal year, I ascended to Kāsiēri and captured eleven fortified cities”. After this, the Assyrian control over the Kāsiēri region seems to be firmly established — there is no more mention of fights (or any other activities for that matter) in the Assyrian royal inscriptions.

It is important to note that beyond the area where the Syriac language and culture has helped to preserve the ancient Aramaic toponymy, going back to the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, the old place names have rarely been retained and identifications on the basis of etymology are generally quite problematic. The changing toponymy is, of course, also an indication that the population has changed again and again — in contrast to the Tūr Abdīn region which, typically for a mountain region, has served as a retreat area.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/tur_abdin2.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-07, 20:49
Continuing from the previous post:

"Syriac [Orthodox] monastery dated back to 4,000 years"

Hurriyet Daily (Turkey)- Jan 3rd 2010


A recent lab analysis revealed that the Dayrulzaferan monastery, three kilometers of the east slope of southeastern Mardin city, has a long history dating back nearly 4,000 years, reported Radikal daily.

In an analysis conducted by Anatolia University on samples of bones, soil and stones taken from the Sun Temple showed that the monastery is approximately 3,830 years old. The result has been updated in International Science Literature.

The Assyrian monastery:

http://www.mardinimiz.com/english/images/25.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-49AzvNOWfAU/T6einF1HZrI/AAAAAAAvkCs/gDTVELrQQx8/s520/DEYRULZAFARAN%20MANASTIRI%20BAKIM%20ONARIM%20VE%20 YA%C5%9EATMA%20DERNE%C4%9E%C4%B0.jpg


Sargon, I believe you have photos of this monastery, no? :)

Zert
2012-05-07, 21:10
Continuing from the previous post:

"Syriac [Orthodox] monastery dated back to 4,000 years"

Hurriyet Daily (Turkey)- Jan 3rd 2010



The Assyrian monastery:


Awesome.

Do you know what the methods are with which they can determine the age of structures?

Sargon999
2012-05-07, 21:36
Sargon, I believe you have photos of this monastery, no? :)

Yes indeed. I visited this monastery two years ago. It is really antique and beautiful and attracts tourists also. So not only Assyrians come to visit this monastery. The bishop of the monastery is Mor Filixinos Hasyo Saliba Özmen, a great and humble man.

I've attached some pictures I took. Are you able to read in Syriac?

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg209/scaled.php?server=209&filename=cimg1760.jpg&res=landing
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg818/scaled.php?server=818&filename=cimg1744t.jpg&res=landing
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg37/scaled.php?server=37&filename=cimg1748y.jpg&res=landing
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg20/scaled.php?server=20&filename=cimg1740f.jpg&res=landing
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg29/scaled.php?server=29&filename=cimg1746w.jpg&res=landing



Awesome.

Do you know what the methods are with which they can determine the age of structures?

"In an analysis conducted by Anatolia University on samples of bones, soil and stones taken from the Sun Temple showed that the monastery is approximately 3,830 years old. The result has been updated in International Science Literature.

The monastery is founded over the ancient Sun Temple that probably dates back to the days when Mardin was first inhabited.

According to Assistant Professor Niyazi Meriç, an academic from the Engineering Department at Anadolu University, the luminescence method was used to discover the age of the monastery during the work at Luminescence Resources Laboratory."
- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=assyrian-monastery-dated-back-to-4000-years-2010-01-03

---------- Post added 2012-05-07 at 22:49 ----------

Also I must add that I was very much fascinated, as I was travelling in the area, over our people's ability to build such great places with very limited resources. Ancient water channels, buildings, sculptures, scripts, etc.

Humanist
2012-05-08, 05:52
20th century physical anthropology, regarding the Assyrian stock, based on reliefs, art, etc.


The characters that have just been described are very close to those of the Armenid subrace of the Europid race. Facial characters of the Armenid type are illustrated in Figs 32A and 33. The Armenians themselves, from whom the name of the subrace is derived are of remarkably uniform physical type. A good description of the Armenians was published by Chantre in 1895. Essentially the same type was represented in ancient times by the Hittites and Assyrians; indeed, the type was named Assyroid by Deniker. The fact there are strong resemblances between many Jews and Armenians was pointed out a t meeting of the Royal Anthropological Society in 1895 and is generally accepted.

It is thought, however that another subrace besides the Armenid enters into the composition of the European Jewish stock, and perhaps entered into that of the Hittites and Assyrians. This is the Orientalid subrace, which includes many of those commonly called by the vague name 'Arabs'. It is seen in its most typical form in the interior of Arabia, but also among the population of Syria and Iraq. The Orientalids are slender people of moderate stature. In certain respects they differ markedly from the Armenids, for they are very dolichocranial, with prominent occiput, and the nose is narrow, with compressed alae. The selltion is situated high up towards the forehead. The profile of the nose is sometimes straight, but often somewhat aquiline(that is to say convex, with a nearly straight or slightly convave border to the nasal septum). The face is long and narrow, and tend to appear oval in front view. The lower lip is not everted. The slit between the lids of the open eye is wide on the side towards the nose, so that the visible part of the eyeball has the form of an almond, the iris is black. The hair is almost black, the skin rather swarthy.

The question arises, when did the amalgamation with the Armenid stock occur? Even the patriarchs themselves were not endogamous, for Abram's second wife, Hagar, was Egyptian, and the angel of the Lord promised that her progeny would be multiplied exceedingly(Genesis, xvi, 10). When the Hebrews returned to Egypt to Palestine, they almost certainly found a large Armenid element among the population of that country, for the Hittites and the Assyrians were Armenids, and there were no rigidly fixed national boundaries that would prevent the interpenetration of ethnically distinct types. There is evidence in the Bible that the early Jews intermarried with people of other stocks. Solomon, it will be remembered, 'loved many strange women', including Hittites(I Kings, x, 1). Conquering nation in this part of the world were accustomed to remove whole populations and replace them with their own nationals. This happened, for instance, when the Assyrians brought a new Armenid stock to Samaria after removing most of the inhabitants (the 'Lost Tribes') to Mesopotamia in 722 B.C. It is noteworthy that the Jewish prisoners of the Assyrians at this period, as represented in Assyrian sculptures, were already 'thoroughly Jewish' (that is to say, partly Armenid) in appearance.

The hybridization of the early Jews is not surprising, for at first they were, not denied the opportunity of intermarriage with 'proselytes of righteousness'. Nevertheless, during the exile in Babylon(586-538 B.C.), that frenzied prophet Ezekiel attributed the downfall of Judah largely to the wrath of God at the intermarriage of the Jews with strangers. The Lord instructed him to tell the people of Jerusalem, '...thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite...Thou hast played the whore with the Assyrians' Ezekiel, xvi). It is particularly interesting that two Armenid peoples, the Hittites and Assyrians, are mentioned in this passage. Nevertheless, those who were not taken away to Babylon are thought to have intermarried freely with the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, and intermarriage continued after the return from exile(Ezra, x, 11; Nehemiah, xiii,23). There thus arose a people of mixed Orientalid and Armenid stock, united principally by religious bonds.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The anthropological features of Armenian and Assyrian (Aissori) women
By C.U. ARIËNS KAPPERS


The stock from which both peoples originate is the Subarean or Ponto-Zagrian stock (E. SPElSER 2), to which the proto-Armenians (Hittites) and probably the majority of the ancient Assyrians belong.

Of the anthropological status of the Hittites and ancient Assyrians little is known since hitherto no skulls of these peoples are found with certainty.

The only way to know something about their somatic, especially cephalic features is to study ancient sculptures and mural engravings.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On the Original Home of the Semites

Jehoshua M. Grintz

Journal of Near Eastern Studies


[W]e know of no era when the Assyrians dwelt either in Arabia or on its borders, of no period wherein there existed any Arameans kingdom on the Arabian border; before these peoples were settled in the northern or central portions of Mesopotamia and its adjacent areas. A generation or two ago it was still possible for Wellhausen and his school to toy with the fantastic notion that the Israelites, Edomites, etc., all came from Arabia.9 Today, however, after the rich archeological finds of a few years ago in north Mesopotamia, no serious scholar doubts the verity of the Biblical tradition, which states that the Hebrews-Abraham's and Lot's forebears-lived at Harran and its immediate environs.10 In short, this entire hypothesis, which rests upon an analogy with the Arabs, is at the very least misleading. Those people who are later called Arabs may well have come to dwell in Arabia from one of the neighboring lands (and we shall see below that as far as the "Sons of Yoktan" are concerned, this is certain), but as already emphasized there is no proof that any Semitic people (other than the Arabs) ever migrated from this well-nigh barren desert wilderness. Also, the theory of the Bedouin knocking at the doors of the neighboring civilization, until at long last he conquers it and himself becomes sedentary, is merely an unsupported conjecture divorced from all reality.

That the ancient Assyrians were of the Armenoid stock one need hardly argue. Their pictures and statues bear enough evidence to this assertion.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arab contacts:

Early Assyrian contacts with Arabs and the impact on Levantine vassal tribute

by Ryan Byrne


Prosopographic evidence for the presence of Arabs in Mesopotamia proper is wanting before the late eighth century B.C.E., and even then it is rare. We might contrast this absence with the Assyrian attestation of Arabs in western Syria as early as 853 B.C.E. in the case of Shalmaneser III's engagement at Qarqar and in northern Transjordan in 733 B.C.E. during Tiglath-pileser III's rout of the Arab queen Samsi. Thus, before the reign of Sargon II, the most probable place for an Assyrian to meet an Arab was on campaign in the central Levant.

Humanist
2012-05-08, 06:56
Akkadian and Sumerian Language Contact

by Gábor Zólyomi

forthcoming in Stefan Weninger, ed., Semitic Languages. An International Handbook (HSK 36). Berlin — New York, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 387–393


A distinctive development of Akkadian phonology is the gradual merger and loss of the five reconstructed Proto-Semitic ‘guttural’ consonants */!/, */h/, */hø /, */"/, and */g/ by the 2nd millennium B.C.E. (cf. GAG § 23; Huehnergard 1998, 38!40, 587; Kouwenberg 2006). As Sumerian had no such phonemes, this development has been considered a prime example of Sumerian substrate influence on Akkadian.

In the Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, the presence of the newly emerged /e/ in turn caused every /a/ in the stem and the pronominal affixes of the verb to change to /e/, a development known as ‘Babylonian Vowel Harmony’ (Kouwenberg 2001, 226). As a similar rule causing the assimilation of different vowels within a word played an important role in Sumerian (see Keetman 2005, 11!13), Keetman suggested that Babylonian Vowel Harmony might reflect the influence of Sumerian (2004, 11).

These developments started in about the 24th century B.C.E. and were completed by the first part of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. They therefore overlap in time with the period of assumed asymmetrical bilingualism. One is therefore tempted to assume that these phonological changes may in fact reflect the influence of a Sumerian speaking population gradually shifting to Akkadian. Hasselbach finds that contrary to expectations the orthography indicates the loss of gutturals and the phonemicization of /e/ in texts from the north first, but not from the south. She does, however, note the possibility that the Akkadian of the southern texts ‘might have been a learned literary language that was not native to this area’.

In addition to loanwords, there exist a number of Sumerian and Akkadian idioms which correspond to each other word for word, e.g. šag-še — gid = ana libbim šadadum ‘to consider earnestly’ (lit. ‘to draw to the heart’) (cf. Edzard 2003, 175!176).

Humanist
2012-05-08, 08:15
Hurrian as a living language in Ugaritic society
by Juan-Pablo Vita

D. A. Barreyra Fracaroli, and G. del Olmo Lete (eds.), Reconstructing a Distant Past. Ancient Near Eastern Essays in Tribute to Jorge R. Silva Castillo, Aula Orientalis-Supplementa 25, Sabadell – Barcelona 2009, 219-231.

From 1.6, of the paper:


All of the above allows us to assert that Hurrian is the second ethnic, linguistic and cultural component basic to the kingdom of Ugarit (Vita 1999: 456). The Hurrian texts found in Ras Shamra particularly show the importance of Hurrian religion and mythology in the cult of Ugarit. The Ugaritc pantheon includes, indeed, some deities which in all probability are Hurrian, such as Išḫara or Pidrayu, they also have their practical application in texts such as the Ugaritic ritual RS 24.260 (1.115) dedicated to Išḫara (ušḫr). The Hurrian pantheon itself is known in Ugarit thanks to canonical and ritual lists and, despite great difficulties in the proper understanding and interpretation of the texts, it is possible to attempt their reconstruction with the presence of deities such as Teššub, Kumarb/wi or Šawuška (Laroche 1968a: 518-527; 1968b; Mayer 1996; Dietrich – Mayer 1997; del Olmo 1999: 82-86).

Map, showing location of Ugarit (modern ~ Latakia Governorate, in NW Syria, bordering Turkey). Not from paper. The Latakia Governorate has an Alawite majority population:

http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/activity/mycenaean_Trace/media/MapUluBurun.gif


The Assyrian R1b modal is most similar to the Alawite R1b modal. Compare the ancestral homeland of the Alawites (orange), with the location of Ugarit:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/syrian-uprising-one-year-of-bloodshed/images/alawitemap.jpg


N Mesopotamian (Assyrian and one Jewish man from Zakho)
N=6 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30
N=1 12 23 12 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 14 28
N=1 12 24 13 11 11 14 12 12 13 13 14 30
N=1 12 24 13 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30
N=1 12 24 14 10 12 14 12 12 12 13 14 29
N=1 12 24 14 11 12 14 12 12 12 13 13 29
N=1 12 24 14 10 12 15 12 12 12 12 13 26
N=1 12 24 15 11 11 14 12 12 12 12 14 27
N=1 12 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 12 14 28
N=1 12 25 14 10 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
N=1 12 26 14 11 11 14 12 12 13 13 14 29
N=1 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 11 14 13 30
N=1 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30

Alawite
n=12 13 24 14 11 11 15 xx xx xx 14 13 30
n=5 13 24 14 11 11 15 xx xx xx 13 13 29
n=3 12 25 14 11 11 14 xx xx xx 13 13 29
n=2 12 24 14 12 11 14 xx xx xx 14 13 30
n=2 13 24 14 11 11 15 xx xx xx 12 13 28
n=1 12 23 14 10 11 14 xx xx xx 14 13 30
n=1 12 24 14 10 10 14 xx xx xx 12 13 29
n=1 12 24 14 10 11 14 xx xx xx 13 13 29
n=1 12 24 14 11 11 14 xx xx xx 14 13 30
n=1 12 24 14 12 11 14 xx xx xx 13 13 29
n=1 12 25 14 12 11 14 xx xx xx 14 13 30
n=1 13 24 14 10 11 15 xx xx xx 14 13 30
n=1 13 24 14 11 11 15 xx xx xx 15 13 31
n=1 13 24 14 11 10 15 xx xx xx 15 13 31
n=1 13 24 16 10 11 14 xx xx xx 14 13 30

---------- Post added 2012-05-08 at 03:25 ----------

Interesting tidbit:

Wikipedia -
The Hurrian songs are a collection of music inscribed in cuneiform on clay tablets excavated from the Hurrian city of Ugarit which date to approximately 1400 BC. One of these tablets, which is nearly complete, contains the Hurrian hymn to Nikkal (also known as the Hurrian cult hymn or A Zaluzi to the Gods, or simply h.6), making it the oldest surviving substantially complete work of notated music in the world. While the composers' names of some of the fragmentary pieces are known, h.6 is an anonymous work.

Hurrian Hymn played on a lyre (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viMbnj_Ei2A)

"Michael Levy gives an interpretative rendition of the oldest known recorded hymn, a Hurrian melody."

Humanist
2012-05-08, 14:42
A couple of comments, from Geoffrey Khan, of Cambridge, regarding the Assyrian-Aramaic vernacular. Most of what is stated is not new. But, I thought I would post it anyway:

[M]y own conclusions concerning the historical background of the language spoken by the Assyrian communities today is that it is not a direct descendant of the earlier literary forms of Aramaic, such as Syriac. Rather it is a descendant of a vernacular language that was spoken in the Mesopotamian area. This vernacular is related to the literary forms of Aramaic but has also been influenced by other languages, which include, in the ancient period, the spoken ancient Assyrian [Akkadian]. In later periods it has come under increasing influence of non-Semitic languages, especially Kurdish.

Judging by the core morphology of the dialects spoken by Assyrian Christians, the earlier vernacular from which they are historically derived would be classified by most scholars as a variety of Aramaic. The issue, however, is that this was not like any variety of Aramaic that has survived in literary texts, such as Syriac.


A New Attempt at Reconstructing Proto-Aramaic

Part II (2011)

Sergey Loesov

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow


The etymology of the -ē suffix

How does this evidence square with our ideas about the origin of the -ē suffix? There is no consensus about its etymology, except that it was not the masculine-plural-definite nominal ending in Proto-Aramaic (save perhaps for the nisba nouns). Three theories have been enjoying support since the late 19th century: 1) *-ayyāʔ > -ē; 2) generalization of the -ē that since prehistoric times had been used to the right of the nisba āy- in the whole of Aramaic; 3) borrowing of the Assyrian [Akkadian] masculine plural ending -ē.

Theory (1), being the weakest claim, is the most appealing one, but it has no phonological justification. A shift ayyā > -ē is attested nowhere in historical Aramaic, and the last-syllable stress makes it improbable in prehistoric times as well (Rosenthal 1936:76 fn.6, pace Nöldeke 1904 and Cantineau 1931).

Theory (2) is based on the assumption that kaŝdāyē < *kaŝdāyayyā should be “a natural Aramaic development, a simplification of the overly cumbersome *-ayayyâ” (Kaufman 1974:128 fn. 58). Thus this theory presupposes two unexplained (and to my mind improbable) developments: the ad hoc contraction -ayyā > -ē in this particular surrounding and the subsequent generalization of -ē to combine with all the relevant nominal bases.

Theory (3), shared by the present writer, is a strong claim, therefore it requires typological and historical justifications. The borrowing hypothesis will look more plausible if we relate it to the fact that the morpheme in question (i.e., the postpositive article of Proto-Aramaic) was going to forfeit its pristine discourse function in the whole of Middle Eastern Aramaic. It is natural to ask whether this shared loss had its beginnings in the immediate common ancestor of the Eastern Aramaic languages.

Aramaic (both Old and Middle) has two productive derivational morphemes almost certainly borrowed from Akkadian: the nominal abstract suffix -ū(t) and the causative verbal prefix š-/s-. The -ū(t) suffix is highly expansive, to the degree of becoming “parasitisch” (Barth 1894:415), while š-/s- is hardly attested with more than a dozen Aramaic roots (cf. Loesov 2009:490 f., a review of data gleaned from reference tools). Given this evidence and the above typological considerations, the borrowing of the plural nominal ending -ē from Akkadian into Proto-Eastern-Aramaic does not look as improbable as it would seem on first sight.

Humanist
2012-05-08, 23:28
The origin of ergativity in Sumerian, and the'inversion'in pronominal agreement: a historical explanation based on Neo-Aramaic parallels

by Eleanor Coghill


The 'passive to ergative' is a well known diachronic path, attested in various languages. In this section, we shall demonstrate how this path can create a precise 'inversion' in agreement patterns, using the North Eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) dialects. In NENA dialects, both the subject and the object can be marked with suffixes on the verb. This system is of course not unknown in other Semitic languages. But strikingly, in NENA, the function of the subject and the object suffixes displays precisely the same 'inversion' between past and present that we find in Sumerian.

Moreover, in some other Neo-Aramaic dialects [e.g. Kerend], the parallel with Sumerian is even more striking, because it also extends to the intransitive preterite conjugation.

Humanist
2012-05-09, 02:24
Moving around Babylon: On the Aramean and Chaldean Presence in Southern Mesopotamia

in Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva, Ess, Margarete van, and Marzahn, Joachim (Eds.), Babylon Wissenskultur in Orient und Okzident, Berlin, Boston (DE GRUYTER) 2011, 91–112

by Mario Fales


Differently from the long-attested Arameans, the Chaldeans (Kaldu) are – quite surprisingly – not documented in the written sources before 878 BC. Their place names, and especially those of their vast territorial and political enclaves, were characterized by the noun Bıt, “household”, followed by the linguistically West Semitic personal name of an eponymic ancestor figure.


History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria Volume 8 (1903)

Maspero, G. (Gaston), 1846-1916; Sayce, A. H. (Archibald Henry), 1845-1933


This was the signal for a general insurrection in Chaldaea and the eastern part of the empire. Merodach-baladan, who had remained in hiding in the valleys on the Elamite frontier since his defeat in 709 B.C., suddenly issued forth with his adherents, and marched at once to Babylon ; the very news of his approach caused a sedition, in the midst of which Mardukzakirshumu perished, after having reigned for only one month. Merodach-baladan re-entered his former capital, and as soon as he was once more seated on the throne, he endeavoured to form alliances with all the princes, both small and great, who might create a diversion in his favour. His envoys obtained promises of help from Elam ; other emissaries hastened to Syria to solicit the alliance of Hezekiah, and might have even proceeded to Egypt if their sovereign s good fortune had lasted long enough. But Sennacherib did not waste his opportunities in lengthy preparations. The magnificent army left by Sargon was at his disposal, and summoning it at once into the field, he advanced on the town of Kish, where the Kalda monarch was entrenched with his Aramaean forces and the Elarnite auxiliaries furnished by Shutruk-nakhunta. The battle issued in the complete rout of the confederate forces. Merodach-baladan fled almost unattended, first to Guzurnmanu, and then to the marshes of the Tigris, where he found a temporary refuge ; the troops who were despatched in pursuit followed him for five days, and then, having failed to secure the fugitive, gave up the search.2 His camp fell into the possession of the victor, with all its contents chariots, horses, mules, camels, and herds of cattle belonging to the commissariat department of the army : Babylon threw open its gates without resistance, hoping, no doubt, that Sennacherib would at length resolve to imitate the precedent set by his father and retain the royal dignity for himself. He did, indeed, consent to remit the punishment for this first insurrection, and contented himself with pillaging the royal treasury and palace, but he did not deign to assume the crown, conferring it on Belibni, a Babylonian of noble birth, who had been taken, when quite a child, to Nineveh and educated there under the eyes of Sargon. While he was thus reorganising the government, his generals were bringing the campaign to a close : they sacked, one after another, eighty-nine strongholds and eight hundred and twenty villages of the Kalda ; they drove out the Arabian and Aramaean garrisons which Merodach-baladan had placed in the cities of Karduniash, in Urak, Nipur, Kuta, and Kharshag-kalamma, and they re-established Assyrian supremacy over all the tribes on the east of the Tigris up to the frontiers of Elam, the Tumuna, the Ubudu, the Gambulu, and the Khindaru, as also over the Nabataeans and Hagarenes, who wandered over the deserts of Arabia to the west of the mouths of the Euphrates. *The booty was enormous : 208,000 prisoners, both male and female, 7200 horses, 11,073 asses, 5230 camels, 80,100 oxen, 800,500 sheep, made their way like a gigantic horde of emigrants to Assyria under the escort of the victorious army. Mean while the Khirimmu remained defiant, and showed not the slightest intention to submit : their strongholds had to be attacked and the inhabitants annihilated before order could in any way be restored in the country. The second reign of Merodach-baladan had lasted barely nine months.

The blow which ruined Merodach-baladan broke up the coalition which he had tried to form against Assyria. Babylon was the only rallying-point where states so remote, and such entire strangers to each other as Judah and Elam, could enter into friendly relations and arrange a plan of combined action. Having lost Babylon as a centre they were once more hopelessly isolated, and had no means of concerting measures against the common foe : they renounced all offensive action, and waited under arms to see how the conqueror would deal with each severally.


The southern peoples, the Arameans and Chaldeans, are among the several groups Assyrians descend from. The naming tradition, described in the paragraph at top, survived for the better part of three millennia.

Several examples can be found by referring to a map of some Assyrian settlements below. The map is obviously no longer current.

http://www.atour.com/news/assyria/images/VMAAB-lg.jpg


* The figures were often exaggerated.

Humanist
2012-05-09, 03:48
Colours in Late Bronze Mesopotamia. Some Hints on Wall Paintings from Dur Kurigalzu, Nuzi and Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta

by Sara Pizzimenti

in: R. Matthews et al. (eds), Proceedings of the 7th ICAANE, 12-16 April 2010, the British Museum and UCL, London, Vol. 2, Wiesbaden 2012: 303-318.

Abstract

Archaeological excavations of the Mesopotamian palaces usually give us a monochrome image faded by time. Rare discoveries of painted wall-plaster allow us to restore the original colours to this image. The 2nd millennium BC provides more examples of palatial wall paintings belonging to the three prominent cultures of the Late Bronze Period: Mitannian at Nuzi, Kassite at Dur Kurigalzu, and Middle Assyrian at Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta. By analysing these fragmentary painted plasters and the careful reconstructions made by different scholars, it is possible to note some differences in the use of colours and drawn patterns. The aim of this paper is to analyse and compare wall paintings belonging to these three main cultures and attempt to find analogies and differences especially in connection to the use of colours.


The wall paintings of Nuzi and Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta seems to have a similar compositional pattern, and therefore it is possible that the Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta wall paintings are directly influenced by those of Nuzi, or, generally, by the Mitannian culture and tradition (Albenda 2005: 129). They both use the same compositional pattern, consisting of a series of panels alternating different subjects, or chromatically alternated, and topped by a quite continuous frieze. If in Nuzi paintings a strong rigid pattern is characteristic, recognisable such as the constant size of the panels, this feature becomes to be less rigid in Middle Assyrian paintings of Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta, where the panels have different width, foretelling the grater freedom of the Neo-Assyrian ornamental paintings.8 On the other part the Dur Kurigalzu wall paintings are totally different, being characterised by the appearance of the human figure.

Conclusions

A visual coherence given by an iconographic, chromatic and iconological equilibrium and symmetry is present both in the ornamental wall paintings at Nuzi and Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta. Iconographically the scene is composed following a principle of balance and symmetry. This balance has also a chromatic correspondence in a black/white and red/blue opposition, and an iconological correspondence in the male and female elements opposition, opposite de facto, with Adad and Ishtar in the Nuzi paintings and with the Ishtar’s double nature in those of Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta. Extremely different are the Dur Kurigalzu paintings, where there is not this principle of balance and opposition, but where the use of colour is no more ‘evocative’ but aims to imitate reality. Finally, it is possible to point out a conscious use of colour in all the Late Bronze Age wall paintings, according to the subject represented. A symbolic and ‘evocative’ use of colour seems to be preferred in ornamental wall paintings, while an imitation of reality is present in figurative ones.

Humanist
2012-05-09, 12:40
Moving around Babylon: On the Aramean and Chaldean Presence in Southern Mesopotamia

in Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva, Ess, Margarete van, and Marzahn, Joachim (Eds.), Babylon Wissenskultur in Orient und Okzident, Berlin, Boston (DE GRUYTER) 2011, 91–112

by Mario Fales


Differently from the long-attested Arameans, the Chaldeans (Kaldu) are – quite surprisingly – not documented in the written sources before 878 BC. Their place names, and especially those of their vast territorial and political enclaves, were characterized by the noun Bıt, “household”, followed by the linguistically West Semitic personal name of an eponymic ancestor figure.


The southern peoples, the Arameans and Chaldeans, are among the several groups Assyrians descend from. The naming tradition, described in the paragraph at top, survived for the better part of three millennia.

Several examples can be found by referring to a map of some Assyrian settlements below. The map is obviously no longer current.

The Lost History of Christianity

Philip Jenkins


Nestorians, too, had their venerated monasteries, especially the house of Beth 'Abhe, near Mosul [Nineveh], which had some three hundred brothers. Just how commonplace smaller monasteries and hermitages must have been across northern Mesopotamia is obvious from the ninth-century work the Book of Governors, by the bishop Thomas of Marga. Thomas's stories often involve abbots and churchmen visiting religious houses, many of which have dropped out of the historical record. Today, they survive only as fragmentary remains under Iraqi village mosques.

Once their Mongol rulers converted to Islam, conditions became equally difficult for the Christians of Mesopotamia and Syria. Between 1290 and 1330, the story of Christianity in these parts, like that in Egypt, becomes a litany of disasters and ever-more draconian penal laws. One edict commanded that

the churches shall be uprooted and the altars overturned and the celebrations of the Eucharist shall cease and the hymns of praise and the sounds of calls to prayer shall be abolished; and the chiefs of the Christians and the heads of the synagogues of the Jews and the great men among them shall be killed.

Churches suffered mass closure or destruction, even at such ancient centers as Tabriz and Arbela, Mosul and Baghdad. Bishops and clergy were tortured and imprisoned. Mobs attacked and tortured the patriarch Yaballaha III. 47

Humanist
2012-05-09, 20:39
Ditransitive constructions in the Neo-Aramaic dialect of Telkepe

Eleanor Coghill, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge


Due to the huge diversity among the dialects, it is impossible to give a description of ditransitivity that would be valid in all respects for more than a small proportion of the dialects.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More from: A New Attempt at Reconstructing Proto-Aramaic

Part II (2011)

Sergey Loesov

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow


As I have just mentioned, all Eastern Aramaic varieties display the decline of status, i.e. collapse of the Proto-Aramaic nominal definiteness paradigm, while it is fully alive in the whole of Middle Western Aramaic and even nowadays its vestiges hold on in Western Neo-Aramaic. I propose to relate this double-edged grammatical innovation of the Eastern Aramaic noun (vis-à-vis the Proto-Aramaic one) to the contact of Eastern Aramaic with the Neo-Assyrian variety of Akkadian. It follows from our historical records that Assyrian may have been a substrate language for Proto-Eastern-Aramaic. Assyrian (as the rest of Akkadian) did not have morphological means to encode definiteness, so the Eastern Aramaic loss of definiteness as a value of the nominal inflection could be attributed to the substrate influence. As I suggest, Assyrian masc. pl. suffix *-ē replaced (save for certain monosyllabic bases) the Aramaic masc. pl. definite ending *-ayyā: this may have been partly due to a putative Imālah pronunciation of *-ayyā (i.e., somewhat akin to *-ē), but mostly because *-ayyā is the only Proto-Aramaic inflectional marker of the noun that looks completely alien (in terms of phonological shape) to the Assyrian repertoire of nominal inflection in the plural (compare a table in Loesov 2011:439 with Hämeen-Anttila 2000:77 ff.), therefore it may have been unusual and difficult for the Akkadian-Aramaic bilinguals. This replacement, coupled with the insufficient sensitivity of Assyrian-Akkadian bilinguals to the morphological encoding of definiteness, will have triggered promotion of other “full” (i.e., definite) endings into the indiscriminate use and the consequent decline of morphological definiteness. That is to say, accepting Greenberg’s commonsense diachronic typology of definiteness markers, we can explain the speedier bleaching (i.e., desemanticization) of the Eastern Aramaic definite endings by the contact of Proto-Eastern-Aramaic with Akkadian.


If the borrowing pedigree of the -ē suffix is accepted as plausible, it has to be juxtaposed (or even confronted) with the probable suggestion that Akkadian more or less stopped being spoken as a mother tongue during the early first millennium B.C., and this happened due to infiltration of Arameans rather than conquest. This means that within a few generations speakers of Akkadian had been progressively losing their language. Schematically: children used to speak Akkadian worse than their parents, grandchildren had only a passive command of Akkadian, the grand-grand-<…>children would be unable to follow the performance of a native speaker of Akkadian. Sociolinguistically, this is what “Aramaization of Assyria” means. We know next to nothing about the actual progress of this Aramaization, but we have to posit that this was a process wherewith Akkadophones were losing Akkadian and acquiring Aramaic. Speculatively, one can reckon with alternative scenarios, those of a catastrophic development. Speculatively, there could have occurred a mass extermination of Akkadophones (around the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 614-609 BC), one could also imagine Akkadophones being confined to isolated language pockets and gradually dying out (cf. Hackl forthcoming), yet all this does not square well with our historical data, among other things because Neo-Assyrian political elite included speakers of Aramaic (cf. the Assurbrief KAI 233).


[I]t looks like the grammatical pressure of Aramaic as the mother tongue of the writers of Akkadian was sometimes irresistible. An example is the marking of direct object. Akkadian had probably lost most of its erstwhile distinctions between the nominative and the accusative case of the noun soon after 1500 B.C., thus leaving the difference between the subject and the direct object morphologically unmarked, and this is a state of affairs intolerable for most of Aramaic throughout its history. As is well known, in Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian the preposition ana ‘to, for’ sometimes appears as a marker of direct object (nota accusativi). In this function, ana is a loan translation of the Aramaic preposition *la with the basic motion meaning ‘to(wards)’. In Aramaic, as in various other West Semitic languages, *la developed into the regular marker of indirect object (semantically speaking, this is addressee/recipient). As we will learn in a forthcoming part of this study, in the whole of Eastern Aramaic (and probably already in Proto-Eastern-Aramaic), *la further became a marker of direct object (in this function, *la was initially used with personal and definite/referential direct objects), having ousted without a trace the Proto-Aramaic nota accusativi*ʔiyyāt, still dominant in the whole of Middle Western Aramaic. At a certain point of Aramaic-Akkadian contact (no doubt when there were already a large number of bilinguals) this accusative *la was loan-translated into Akkadian as ana. The earliest instance in the core Akkadian I know of occurs in the Middle Assyrian Laws...

Razor Blade
2012-05-09, 21:01
Good thread. From the bottom of my heart, I wish dearly that within the next decade or two a miraculous event occurs and the Assyrian people are finally granted the state they have deserved for so long in their ancestral homeland.

Humanist
2012-05-10, 10:01
[I]mportant changes had taken place in the composition of the imperial power elite. In the letter just quoted, the summoning of the sons of the old families to court is presented as a token of the king's love towards Nineveh; the writer thus reveals that the court positions, which the old family aristocracy traditionally held, were no longer renewed or self-evident. The writer tells us that when he recently saw the goddess Istar being carried in procession to her temple, he found no members of the old families of Nineveh among the carriers...

Simo Parpola. 2007c “The Neo-Assyrian Ruling Class,” in Thomas R. Kämmerer (ed.), Studien zur Ritual und Sozialgeschichte im Alten Orient / Studies on Ritual and Society in the Ancient Near East. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Bd. 374. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 257-274

Humanist
2012-05-10, 11:39
Tel Reḥov in the Assyrian Period: Squatters, Burials, and a Hebrew Seal (2011)

Amihai Mazar and Shmuel Aḥituv

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Various parts of Stratum III dwellings were excavated in Areas A, B, and J. All came to an end with the Assyrian conquest, yet there was no evidence of destruction by fire and the finds were rather scarce, with only random complete pottery vessels on the floors. The most telling evidence for the conquest was two human skeletons found among the tumble above the floors of rooms in Area A. One was a female skeleton found lying decapitated (perhaps intentionally) above a concentration of clay loom weights. The other was a fragmentary skeleton, including a skull, found thrown into the corner of a room (Mazar 1999: 32; Fig. 21). These scenes may be taken as evidence of a massacre that took place in the city following the conquest. Since the corpses remained in the abandoned houses, it is obvious that there was no one capable of recovering and burying them. As far as I know, no similar evidence of a massacre has been found in any of the Iron Age cities conquered by the Assyrians in the Land of Israel, aside, possibly, from Lachish.

Burials [Only one of the crania remained sufficiently intact for analysis, apparently]


The northern end of Burial 8200 (the easternmost of the two) was damaged by erosion. This burial pit contained the skeleton of a young male (estimated age 18–20 years), found lying on his back, with his knees bent and his head near the edge of the southern side of the pit. The skull was identified by Israel Hershkowitz as an Armenoid type; thus, the deceased could have originated from northern Syria or Eastern Anatolia. Near the eastern (right) side of the head, a long iron sword was vertically placed. An inscribed West Semitic seal was found on the deceased’s chest. Just to the west of the skeleton’s legs was a rich concentration of finds: an Assyrian shaped bottle, a Judahite decanter, an Assyrian-shaped bronze bowl, an iron dagger, an iron ring, an iron bracelet, a fragment of an iron object with a bronze ring attached to its upper part, and a small bronze fibula.


Interpretation
The burials belong to a period following the destruction of the Israelite city at Reḥov; a closer date during the Assyrian domination (732–ca. 640/630 b.c.e.) cannot be defined. The presence of Assyrian-shaped vessels in four of these five burials probably indicates that they were of soldiers or officials in the Assyrian administration and their family members. Since only small parts of the upper mound at Tel Reḥov have been excavated, it is impossible to say how many such tombs were dug on the mound, yet their number could be large, since they were found in three widely dispersed excavation areas. They could be related to an Assyrian period settlement; though no evidence for such a settlement was found in Areas A, B, and J, it could have been a small settlement or an administrative complex at the top of the mound.


The seal presents a riddle: why was it placed on the chest of the deceased? It is not feasible that this was his own seal, since all indications are that he was a foreigner. The only possible explanation seems to be that the seal was also looted or found during the warfare in the Land of Israel. It is impossible to say whether the seal originated in Northern Israel or in Judah.

Humanist
2012-05-10, 13:37
Posted in another thread. Relevant here as well:


Also, feel free to add news/info on possible future sources of aDNA. It does not really matter how likely or not.

Site: Ziyaret Tepe (Assyrian provincial capital of Tushhan) (http://www3.uakron.edu/ziyaret/index.html)
Location: Diyarbakır Province, SE Turkey
Date: August 3, 2011

http://blogs.uakron.edu/ziyaret/files/2011/08/chelsea-and-grave.jpg

Project Director, Dr. Timothy Matney, of the U. of Akron, replies to a question, regarding the remains:


Source: Assyrian burial discovered in Bronze Palace. (http://blogs.uakron.edu/ziyaret/2011/08/03/assyrian-burial-discovered-in-bronze-palace/)

The Tushan dig is in the news.

Archaeologists discover lost language (http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/archaeologists-discover-lost-language/)


Researchers working at Ziyaret Tepe, the probable site of the ancient Assyrian city of Tušhan, believe that the language may have been spoken by deportees originally from the Zagros Mountains, on the border of modern-day Iran and Iraq.

In keeping with a policy widely practised across the Assyrian Empire, these people may have been forcibly moved from their homeland and resettled in what is now south-east Turkey, where they would have been set to work building the new frontier city and farming its hinterland.

Humanist
2012-05-11, 06:46
A Sealed Double Cremation at Middle Assyrian Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria

Peter Akkermans & E. Smits (2008)

In: D. Bonatz, R.M. Czichon & F.J. Kreppner (eds.) Fundstellen – Gesammelte Schriften zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altvorderasiens ad honorem Hartmut Kühne. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag (2008), pp. 251-261.



*
"Fig. 1...[R]econstruction of the seal impression."

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/middle_assyrian_cremation_seal_reconstruction.jpg


The location:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/figure1big.jpg


Archaeologists from Mainz University uncover ancient governor's palace in Turkey

International excavation project discovers hitherto undisturbed cremation sites

21.10.2008


Within the scope of an international rescue excavation project, a team of four archaeologists specialized in Middle Eastern affairs headed by Dr. Dirk Wicke (Institute of Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies) have unearthed parts of a Neo-Assyrian governor's palace dating back to the 9th to 7th cent. B.C. in a two-month excavation program amongst the ruins on Ziyaret Tepe. The discoveries were extraordinary. The site in the south-east of Turkey (Diyarbakir province) is at risk from the construction of the Ilisu Dam.

But the most unusual discovery was the excavation of cremations in pits within the extensive courtyard area. Five installations have been found to date, two of which were undisturbed and contained opulent burial goods. In the rectangular graves of approximately 1.50 m x 2.00 m in size, for example, a considerable layer of ash and burned bones as well as numerous bronze vessels, sumptuous stone and ivory receptacles, carved ivory objects, seals, and beads were found. These items indicate the high status of the people buried here. They are believed to have been residents of the palace. These objects are very similar to those found in the Assyrian capitals of Assur and Kalhu/Nimrud in modern day Iraq.

The location of the Assyrian provincial capital of Tushan (Ziyaret Tepe, Turkey):

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/tushan.jpg

---------- Post added 2012-05-11 at 02:08 ----------

Posted 2012-03-09, 18:55 #39 (http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=766145&postcount=39)

Humanist:

I think there stands a good chance we are reaching faulty conclusions as a result of a fundamental misunderstanding of history, and its players.

Humanist
2012-05-11, 08:02
2,900-Year-Old Gravestone Reveals Ancient Belief System



A 2,900-year-old gravestone from the ancient kingdom of Sam'al, located in what is today southeastern Turkey, has shed light on an ancient religious belief heretofore unknown.


Though the city of Sam'al was influenced by local Semitic cultures in many ways - including their language - Kuttamuwa and Panamuwa are names that show the Indo-European cultural influence. Also, Kuttamuwa was cremated, a practice shunned by Semitic tribes of that era. Apparently Kuttamuwa had his stele made while he was still alive, and last summer the archeological team found it, translating its inscription like this (there are question marks for translations they aren't sure of yet):


I, Kuttamuwa, servant of Panamuwa, am the one who oversaw the production of this stele for myself while still living. I placed it in an eternal chamber(?) and established a feast at this chamber(?): a bull for [the storm-god] Hadad, ... a ram for [the sun-god] Shamash, ... and a ram for my soul that is in this stele.


Written in an alphabet derived from Phoenician, the language is a West Semitic dialect similar to Aramaic and Hebrew.


According to archeologist Schloen: "Kuttumuwa's inscription shows a fascinating mixture of non-Semitic and Semitic cultural elements, including a belief in the enduring human soul-which did not inhabit the bones of the deceased, as in traditional Semitic thought, but inhabited his stone monument, possibly because the remains of the deceased were cremated. Cremation was considered to be abhorrent in the Old Testament and in traditional West Semitic culture, but there is archaeological evidence for Indo-European-style cremation in neighboring Iron Age sites."


Again, apologies for the colors and bold text. Law school = a lot of highlighting. :)

Humanist
2012-05-11, 09:29
From another thread, but again, relevant to the topic. The order of presentation is a bit of a mess. Sorry. But, when people speak of Mitanni, and other peoples from the north, in my opinion, it would serve them well to be familiar with what is contained below. Shepherding, warriors, horses, and the word "danna", and other terms, may be particularly significant.


Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which dominated many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi. Robert Drews writes that the name 'maryannu' although plural takes the singular 'marya', which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names. Maryannu was also an alternate Egyptian name for Mitanni, where the word undoubtedly originated.

Akkadian (Old/Standard Babylonian)
maqqadu : [Legal] : right of pasture

martianni [Army → Military]: (Nuzi [Hurrian-Akkadian] dialect) : men , warriors , braves , fighters

mār damqi , mār banî , rubû , bir kabti ° (?) (feminine : mar'at damqi *): a nobleman , an aristocrat , a high official in the kingdom , a titled person

marru : spade , shovel

rā'i immeri : a shepherd

Arabic
Emir (pronounced [eˈmiːr], Arabic: أمير‎ ʾAmīr (Feminine: Emira, أميرة ʾAmīrah), meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world.

Sureth (Assyrian-Aramaic vernacular)
mâṛiya: pasture place

mâṛiyana: grazer, pasturer

ṛiya : shepherd


Checked the Sureth online dictionary for my dialect:

ܡܲܪܥܘܼܝܹܐ
Eastern phonetic : maruyi
[Country → Agriculture]
English : (transitive verb) : to pasture , to put out to pasture , to feed (animals) on growing grass , to tend cattle in a pasturage , to let animals graze in a pasture land , to act as a shepherd

maṛa: metal spade

mara (pl. marâwata, marwata) : master, owner

marta: mistress, lady

Mar: The title received by Assyrian men consecrated as Bishops of the different Assyrian churches in Mesopotamia, for the better part of the last two millennia.

Sumerian
an: n., sky, heaven; the god An; grain ear/date cluster ('water' + 'high') v., to be high. adj., high. prep., in front.

en: n., dignitary; lord; high priest; ancestor (statue); diviner [EN archaic frequency: 1232; concatenates 3 sign variants] .v., to rule. adj., noble

maš; máš: interest (of a loan); rent; profit; produce, yield (of a field) (ma4, 'to leave, depart, go out', + šè, 'portion') [MAŠ archaic frequency: 133].

nun: n., prince, noble, master (ní, 'fear; respect',+ un, 'people' ?) v., to rise up (n, 'to be high',+ u5, 'to mount; be on top of; raised high'). adj., great, noble, fine, deep.

(giš/urudu) mar, gar: n., wagon; winnowing shovel; spoon (ma(3); ñá,'to go', + flowing motion; Akk. marru "shovel; spade"; Orel & Stolbova #1738 *mar- 'hoe') v., to sow, scatter; to coat, apply; to don; to immerse; to enclose, lock up.

Phoenician
jbr: warrior. Pronounced "jabbur."

Sureth
gabbara: hero; Orion.

Wikipedia: “Orion, sometimes subtitled The Hunter, is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. Its name refers to Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.”

Sumerian
kabar, kapar[PA.DAG.KISIM×GAG]: shepherd boy (ká, 'gate', + bar, 'to open').

gába-ra: shepherd boy/girl (Akk. loanword from kaparrum).

sisi (ANŠE.KUR.RA): horse (reduplicated si, 'to stand upright').

Akkadian (Old/Standard Babylonian)
sīsû : horse
sūsānu : [Professions] horse-trainer , chariotman , groom

Sureth (Assyrian-Aramaic vernacular)
susa (pl. susǎwata, suse): horse

Wikipedia:


Kikkuli, "master horse trainer (assussanni, virtually Sanskrit aśva-sana-) of the land Mitanni" was the author of a chariot horse training text written in the Hittite language, dating to the Hittite New Kingdom (around 1400 BC). The text is notable both for the information it provides about the development of Indo-European languages and for its content.

From: The Kikkuli Text. Hittite Training Instructions for Chariot Horses in the Second Half of the 2nd Millennium B.C. and Their Interdisciplinary Context. By Peter RAULWING


Kikkuli “from the land of Mittani” has provided a program for the Hittites to build endurance and stamina reaching the limits of the physical capacity of the horses, as he demands up to 150 km daily (and this on several successive days), if we equate the measurement of 1 DANNA used in the Kikkuli Text with the Sumerian equivalent of 10,7 km.

Sumerian
danna, dana: road-length measure, double hour (twelfth part of a full day) = the time it takes to march a length of 1 danna (Akkadian etymology from 'place of strength or safety') [DANNA archaic frequency: 2].

Akkadian (Old/Standard Babylonian)
dannu: strong, powerful ; stable
adānu [Time] : fixed date, time limit

Sureth (Assyrian-Aramaic vernacular)
dana: time; point in time; period of time
dəna, dena : debt, loan


[A]ll the Luvian words where the etymological /tsu-/ is to be postulated (e.g. *zuwana/i- ëdogí, *azu(wa)- ëhorseí, and *zurni ëhornsí) are written with the sign L 448, conventionally transliterated as sǔ (Melchert 1987: 201-02).

From, “The University of Chicago. Sociolinguistics of the Luvian Language." Volume 1. 2008.


The word aššuššanne‘horse-trainer’ combines the Hurrian suffix -anne with an Indo-Aryan-sounding root aššušš (cf. Sanskrit áśva-* ‘horse’). Indeed, it was probably the Hurrians who introduced “the light horsedrawn chariot with spoked wheels, the training of horses to draw it, its use as a platform for firing the composite bow, and the development of scale-armour for men and horses to counter it” (cf. Sherratt 1980:125).

From, Fournet and Bomhard's "Indo-European Elements in Hurrian."

See the suggested etymology of "Maryannu", at top. Then read through the Akkadian, Sumerian, and Sureth words (the words for noble/bishop, pasture, spade, horse, time("dana"), etc.), and the bit below.

Mitanni (Naharin)


The Mitanni were an Indo-European (Hurrian) people whose kingdom in northern Mesopotamia flourished from about 1600 (Second Intermediate Period) until it was conquered by the Hittite King Suppiluliumas during the reign of Akhenaten. At its peak, the empire stretched from Kirkuk (ancient Arrapkha) and the Zagros mountains in western Iran in the east, through Assyria to the Mediterranean sea in the west. Its center was in the region of the Khabur River, where its capital, Wassukkani was probably located. Under King Saustatar (contemporary with Thutmose III), the Mitanni empire included such cities as Alalakh in northern Syria, and Nuzi, Kurrukhanni, and Arrapkha in Mesopotamia. The northern boundary dividing the Mitanni from other Hurrian states and the Hittites was never clearly fixed.

Originally the Mitanni were probably part of the Aryan people who finally settled in India, but it appears they, and some other of their race (including the Hurri), turned and settled in Mesopotamia instead. Their kingdom was a feudal state led by a Hurrian or Aryan warrior. The upper class in the cities consisted of a chariot-warrior caste, the maryannu, which bred horses on large country estates. The nobles received their land as an inalienable fief: land could not be sold. To get around this law, landowners arranged to sell land by "adopting" buyers for a prearranged sum of money. Sheep were raised for their wool, and the palace collected textiles to be exported to foreign markets. The social structure and legal system were well-organized and patterned after the Babylonian.

An Assyrian, singing about his homeland (Bet Nahrain) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHXONSbxESI).


Manetho derived the word “Hyksos” from two Egyptian words which translated as “Shepherd Kings”. Although this etymology is now rejected, there are good grounds for believing that the Ptolemaic scribe had tapped into a genuine Egyptian tradition about the Hyksos, a tradition which somehow linked them with shepherds. Why link a nation of military conquerors with the humble occupation of the shepherd?

The land most famous in the ancient Near East for its shepherds and sheep was Assyria. A bas-relief on the stairways of the Apadana at Persepolis portrays the subject peoples of the Achaemenid Empire delivering their tribute to king Xerxes. Each region brings the tribute upon which the economic strength of that nation is based. The Lydians, for example, with their long side-locks, deliver measures of gold-dust to the Great King. The Assyrians are there too. They bring fleeces and live sheep. (John Hicks, The Persians (Time Life, 1978) pp. 36-7) The Assyrian kings of the Neo-Assyrian epoch were regularly portrayed wearing robes trimmed with woollen fringes and grasping in their right hands the Assyrian symbol of royal authority and power — the shepherd’s crook. The pharaohs of Egypt also used the shepherd’s crook as a symbol of kingly authority, but its use in this context appears to have been unknown before the Hyksos Age. Who then could have introduced such a royal symbol to Egypt but the sheep-rearing people of northern Mesopotamia, the Assyrian Shepherd Kings?

Ages in Alignment by Emmet Sweeney


Shalmaneser, king of all people, prince, vice-regent of Aššur, strong king, king of Assyria, king of all the four quarters, sun(god) of all people, ruler of all lands, the king who is the desired object of the gods, chosen of the god Enlil, trustworthy appointee of Aššur, attentive prince, who gives income and offerings to the great gods, pious one, who ceaselessly provides for the Ekur, faithful shepherd who leads in peace the population of Assyria, exalted overseer who heeds the commands of the gods, the resplendent one who acts with the support of Aššur and Šamaš, the gods his allies, and at the beginning of his reign conquered the upper sea and the lower sea, who has no rival among the princes of the four quarters, who indeed has seen remote and rugged regions and trodden upon the mountain peaks in all the highlands; son of Ashurnasirpal (II), appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur, son of Tukultī-Ninurta (II), appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur, son of Adad-nārārī (II) who was also appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur:

When Aššur, the great lord, chose me in his steadfast heart and with his holy eyes and named me for the shepherdship of Assyria, he put in my grasp a strong weapon which fells the insubordinate, he crowned me with a lofty crown, and he sternly commanded me to exercise dominion over and to subdue all the lands insubmissive to Aššur. At that time, in my accession year and in my first regnal year, after I nobly ascended the royal throne, I mustered my chariots and troops. I entered the pass of the land Simesi and captured the city Aridu, the fortified city of Ninnu. I erected a tower of heads in front of the city. I burned ten cities in its environs. While I was residing in the same city Aridu, I received tribute of teams of horses from the people of the lands/mountains Ḫargu, Ḫarmasa, Sirišu, Ulmānu, and Simerra.

Annals of Shalmaneser III, King of Assyria (Fort Shalmaneser, 857 b.c.)

Humanist
2012-05-11, 12:22
Ezekiel 23:12

The "she" here is Israel. Same passage. Different versions.

New International Version (1984)

She too lusted after the Assyrians--governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men.


Tel Reḥov in the Assyrian Period: Squatters, Burials, and a Hebrew Seal (2011)

Amihai Mazar and Shmuel Aḥituv

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Tel Reḥov in the Assyrian Period: Squatters, Burials, and a Hebrew Seal (2011)

Various parts of Stratum III dwellings were excavated in Areas A, B, and J. All came to an end with the Assyrian conquest, yet there was no evidence of destruction by fire and the finds were rather scarce, with only random complete pottery vessels on the floors. The most telling evidence for the conquest was two human skeletons found among the tumble above the floors of rooms in Area A. One was a female skeleton found lying decapitated (perhaps intentionally) above a concentration of clay loom weights. The other was a fragmentary skeleton, including a skull, found thrown into the corner of a room (Mazar 1999: 32; Fig. 21). These scenes may be taken as evidence of a massacre that took place in the city following the conquest. Since the corpses remained in the abandoned houses, it is obvious that there was no one capable of recovering and burying them. As far as I know, no similar evidence of a massacre has been found in any of the Iron Age cities conquered by the Assyrians in the Land of Israel, aside, possibly, from Lachish.

Burials [Only one of the crania remained sufficiently intact for analysis, apparently]
The northern end of Burial 8200 (the easternmost of the two) was damaged by erosion. This burial pit contained the skeleton of a young male (estimated age 18–20 years), found lying on his back, with his knees bent and his head near the edge of the southern side of the pit. The skull was identified by Israel Hershkowitz as an Armenoid type; thus, the deceased could have originated from northern Syria or Eastern Anatolia. Near the eastern (right) side of the head, a long iron sword was vertically placed. An inscribed West Semitic seal was found on the deceased’s chest. Just to the west of the skeleton’s legs was a rich concentration of finds: an Assyrian shaped bottle, a Judahite decanter, an Assyrian-shaped bronze bowl, an iron dagger, an iron ring, an iron bracelet, a fragment of an iron object with a bronze ring attached to its upper part, and a small bronze fibula.

Interpretation
The burials belong to a period following the destruction of the Israelite city at Reḥov; a closer date during the Assyrian domination (732–ca. 640/630 b.c.e.) cannot be defined. The presence of Assyrian-shaped vessels in four of these five burials probably indicates that they were of soldiers or officials in the Assyrian administration and their family members. Since only small parts of the upper mound at Tel Reḥov have been excavated, it is impossible to say how many such tombs were dug on the mound, yet their number could be large, since they were found in three widely dispersed excavation areas. They could be related to an Assyrian period settlement; though no evidence for such a settlement was found in Areas A, B, and J, it could have been a small settlement or an administrative complex at the top of the mound.

The seal presents a riddle: why was it placed on the chest of the deceased? It is not feasible that this was his own seal, since all indications are that he was a foreigner. The only possible explanation seems to be that the seal was also looted or found during the warfare in the Land of Israel. It is impossible to say whether the seal originated in Northern Israel or in Judah.

Burials [Only one of the crania remained sufficiently intact for analysis, apparently]

An Assyrian with a Hebrew seal? Perhaps there is a deeper Assyrian-Hebrew connection, lost to us through the passage of time.

I am reminded of this:

"Recent Evidence from Assyrian Sources for Judaean History from Uzziah to Manasseh"

Stephanie Dalley

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament June 2004 vol. 28 no. 4 387-401


When the Assyrians at Jerusalem in 701 BCE were trying to persuade its people to surrender peacefully, the Assyrian rab shakeh, literally ‘the cupbearer’, a very high ranking officer and courtier, addressed the people in Hebrew. This upset the Judaeans who were negotiating on their behalf, and they pleaded with the rab shakeh to speak in Aramaic. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the day, but presumably was less familiar to many citizens than their native Hebrew language. Commentators have admitted that they cannot think of a convincing way to explain why that Assyrian high official knew Hebrew. This reminds us of the royal inscription of Tiglath-pileser III (c. 732), whose scribes surprisingly wrote the Hebrew form of Azariah’s name Azari-yau, rather than the Aramaic form Idri-yau. How did it happen that top Assyrians were conversant with Hebrew during the reigns of at least four Assyrian kings?

At last we can propose a convincing explanation. It comes from excavations carried out at Nimrud by an Iraqi team of archaeologists in 1988 and 1989. They were digging to clear an area of the Northwest Palace of Assurnasirpal, one of the exceptionally fine Assyrian palaces which was also used by Tiglath-pileser and Sargon. Three tombs came to light, packed with an astonishing wealth of grave goods: jewelery and various containers of gold and rock crystal. Some of them were inscribed, and the inscriptions revealed the identity of the people whose skeletons were still there.

‎[I]t is fairly certain that one queen Yabâ or Yapâ (the sign BA is often to be read pa in Neo-Assyrian), the chief consort of Tiglath-pileser III, used the Akkadian translation of her name, Banītu, when she became the queen mother to her son Shalmaneser V. Yabâ means ‘beautiful’ in Hebrew, and Banītu has the same meaning in Akkadian. The translation of women’s names, using both the foreign name and the Akkadian translation of it, is quite well attested (Dalley, forthcoming). Therefore we now think that one of the skeletons was that of Yabâ/Banītu. The other was called Atalya, and she was the chief consort of Sargon, according to her inscriptions. The wording of the title for chief consort of a particular king seems to be unambiguous, and the wealth of grave goods showed that this was no also-ran.

‎Atalya is almost certainly a Hebrew name. In the Old Testament, variant writings show that it has a long and a short form, Atal-yau and Atalya,and the long form shows the theophoric element Yahweh is part of the name. So she was presumably Hebrew, although the element Atal is not elsewhere attested in Old Testament Hebrew. Yabâ’s name may be a Hebrew one, but there are other possibilities. The excavators deduced that the two ladies must have been closely related because they were placed together in a single sarcophagus. If this deduction is correct, and Atalya is Hebrew, Yabâ must also be Hebrew; it shows that both ladies were Hebrews.

The Assyrian Rab-shakeh delivering the ultimatum to the Israelites, as imagined by an artist:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3g3sPnDKCh0/Tw5DNBjliPI/AAAAAAAAB6o/cgMEv9UbSGs/s1600/hez+Assyrian-Rabshakeh-demanding-the-surrender-of-Jerusalem-001.jpg


Attempting to tie this to DNA. As I have said many times before, and will continue to say, hey, you never know:

Cohanim
http://www.jewishr1b.org/Images/R1b-Cohanim.png


PHYLIP L584 tree
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/r_l584_1_12_11_-1.jpg


L943 SNP connection
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/l943.jpg


Given that the Israelites may have originated in the region around Haran (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haran), in what is today SE Turkey (old Mitanni, Hittite, Hurrian...country), this connection may be from around the early 1st millennium BCE. Or, it may be from the Sassanid period (Asuristan Province), among other possibilities.

Humanist
2012-05-11, 14:59
Tel Reḥov in the Assyrian Period: Squatters, Burials, and a Hebrew Seal (2011)

Amihai Mazar and Shmuel Aḥituv

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Various parts of Stratum III dwellings were excavated in Areas A, B, and J. All came to an end with the Assyrian conquest, yet there was no evidence of destruction by fire and the finds were rather scarce, with only random complete pottery vessels on the floors. The most telling evidence for the conquest was two human skeletons found among the tumble above the floors of rooms in Area A. One was a female skeleton found lying decapitated (perhaps intentionally) above a concentration of clay loom weights. The other was a fragmentary skeleton, including a skull, found thrown into the corner of a room (Mazar 1999: 32; Fig. 21). These scenes may be taken as evidence of a massacre that took place in the city following the conquest. Since the corpses remained in the abandoned houses, it is obvious that there was no one capable of recovering and burying them. As far as I know, no similar evidence of a massacre has been found in any of the Iron Age cities conquered by the Assyrians in the Land of Israel, aside, possibly, from Lachish.

Burials [Only one of the crania remained sufficiently intact for analysis, apparently]

The northern end of Burial 8200 (the easternmost of the two) was damaged by erosion. This burial pit contained the skeleton of a young male (estimated age 18–20 years), found lying on his back, with his knees bent and his head near the edge of the southern side of the pit. The skull was identified by Israel Hershkowitz as an Armenoid type; thus, the deceased could have originated from northern Syria or Eastern Anatolia. Near the eastern (right) side of the head, a long iron sword was vertically placed. An inscribed West Semitic seal was found on the deceased’s chest. Just to the west of the skeleton’s legs was a rich concentration of finds: an Assyrian shaped bottle, a Judahite decanter, an Assyrian-shaped bronze bowl, an iron dagger, an iron ring, an iron bracelet, a fragment of an iron object with a bronze ring attached to its upper part, and a small bronze fibula.

Interpretation
The burials belong to a period following the destruction of the Israelite city at Reḥov; a closer date during the Assyrian domination (732–ca. 640/630 b.c.e.) cannot be defined. The presence of Assyrian-shaped vessels in four of these five burials probably indicates that they were of soldiers or officials in the Assyrian administration and their family members. Since only small parts of the upper mound at Tel Reḥov have been excavated, it is impossible to say how many such tombs were dug on the mound, yet their number could be large, since they were found in three widely dispersed excavation areas. They could be related to an Assyrian period settlement; though no evidence for such a settlement was found in Areas A, B, and J, it could have been a small settlement or an administrative complex at the top of the mound.

Relevant bits below (click on the spoiler tags above to read more from the previous post on the topic):
Near the eastern (right) side of the head, a long iron sword was vertically placed.

Burial 8200 [the burial in question] is particularly rich.


"Shock and Awe: Assyrian Battle Strategies..." (2010)


New research, conducted by Dr. Amy Barron of the University of Toronto, is shedding light on the weapons and battle tactics used by the Assyrians during the first millennium BC.

There are depictions of swords in reliefs, but she believes that those were used for ceremonial occasions – not actual battles. “I think the long swords (are things) the officers carry and the kings carry, they’re sort of a sign of status."

From, "A History of Art for Beginners and Students: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture"
Clara Erskine Clement


Fig. 3.—Fragment of an Assyrian Tile-painting.

Assyrian tile-painting was more durable than the wall-painting; but in all the excavations that have been made these have been found only in fragments, and from these fragments no complete picture has been put together. The largest one was found at Nimrud, and our illustration is taken from it.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24726/24726-h/images/img03.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-11, 17:15
A bit OT, but something I have never come across. A loyalty oath!


Moreover, the king was present in the form of his images: In all major sanctuaries of Assyria, his statues and steles took their place next to the divine image; they were also erected at other prominent locations, such as city gates. And maybe most importantly, each and every inhabitant of Assyria was personally tied to the king by the means of a loyalty oath; such oaths were imposed at the time of the new king's ascension to the throne, but were repeated in the context of important state events such as the election of a crown prince. The oath was perceived as a spiritual essence, and the oath-taking ceremony included the ritual drinking of water which was thought to cause the oath itself to enter the body; this was meant to prevent "from within" any breach of the agreement.

Karen Radner
University College London

2003 The Trials of Esarhaddon: the Conspiracy of 670 BC. In P. Miglus and J.M. Cordoba (eds.), Assur und sein Umland. Isimu: Revista sobre Oriente Proximo y Egipto en la antiguedad 6 (2003) 165-184 [published 2007].

Humanist
2012-05-11, 23:06
Kavuşan Höyük (Diyarbakır) 2007


From the Neo-Assyrian period there are simple cremations, cremations in pots and simple inhumations. These three types of burials are arranged in clusters with, for example, no inhumations among the cremations. The cremation jars were buried upright, with the tops covered with sherds or inverted bowls. All the jars were of the same fabric but came in a variety of shapes from kraters to collared jars. Gifts included metal bracelets, rings and earrings, and a bronze stamp seal with the name of a woman, Nulara. The inhumations were all infant burials.

Humanist
2012-05-12, 09:57
Part of the story. Our cousins to the south, the Iraqi Mandaeans. Images of some dolichocephalic, mesocephalic, and subbrachycephalic Mandaean men, and a few Mandaean women (source: Henry Field):



http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/mandaean2.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean3.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean4.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean5.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean6.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean7.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean8.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean9.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean10.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean12_lowmeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean11_lowmeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean13_lowmeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean14_lowmeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean15_lowmeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean16_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean17_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean18_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean19_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean20_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean21_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean22_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean23_himeso.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean24_subbra.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean25_subbra.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean_w1.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean_w2.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean_w3.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean_w4.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean_w5.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean_w6.jpg



For comparison to the Iraqi Mandaean men above, here are a few Assyrian men (not necessarily representative). Elias, this is not OT.


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/asy_nose2.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/web3-2.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyrian_12412.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Jan24_03.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/MARYOSIPKHNANISHU.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/387622_1740383807041_1762069549_924767_1265317184_ n.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/webasy7.jpg
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/webasy2.jpg

ZephyrousMandaru
2012-05-12, 10:30
I think I'm also quite long-headed, but not to the point of being dolichocephalic. At least I don't think, I think I might be mesocephalic like one of the Mandaeans.

Humanist
2012-05-12, 16:42
In the less frequent J1-M267* clade, only marginally affected by events of expansion, Marsh Arabs shared haplotypes with other Iraqi and Assyrian samples, supporting a common local background.

"In search of the genetic footprints of Sumerians: a survey of Y-chromosome and mtDNA variation in the Marsh Arabs of Iraq"

Al-Zahery et al., BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:288

Humanist
2012-05-12, 19:05
Variation of a VNTR in the DAT1 gene in seven ethnic groups of the Middle East was used to infer the history and affinities of these groups. The populations consisted of Assyrian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Armenian, Turkmen, and Arab peoples of Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait. Three hundred forty subjects from these seven ethnic groups were screened for DAT1. DAT1 VNTR genotyping showed 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 alleles in the samples. Analysis of these data revealed differentiation and relationship among the populations. In this region, which covers an area of 2-2.5 million km^sup 2^, the influence of geography and especially of linguistic characteristics has had potentially major effects on differentiation. Religion also has played a major role in imposing restrictions on some ethnic groups, who as a consequence have maintained their community. Overall, these ethnic groups showed greater heterogeneity compared to other populations.


The relationship probability was lowest between Assyrians and other communities. Endogamy was found to be high for this population through determination of the heterogeneity coefficient (+0,6867), Our study supports earlier findings indicating the relatively closed nature of the Assyrian community as a whole, which as a result of their religious and cultural traditions, have had little intermixture with other populations.

"Variation of DAT1 VNTR alleles and genotypes among old ethnic groups in Mesopotamia to the Oxus region"

Banoei et al., Human Biology. February 2008, v. 80, no, I, pp. 73-81.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Semitic populations (Assyrians and Syrians) significantly differ from each other according to both indices.

A third feature is that the Semitic populations (Assyrians and Syrians) are very distinct from each other according to both axes. This difference supported also by other methods of comparison points out the weak genetic affinity between the two populations with different historical destinies.

When interpreting genetic results we need to take into account historical and archaeological data (e.g., in case of Assyrians and Syrians, who are Semitic speaking populations with different historical background).

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/PC_YEPISKOPOSIAN2.jpg

"Genetic Testing of Language Replacement Hypothesis in Southwest Asia"

Yepiskoposian et al., Iran and the Caucasus, Volume 10, Number 2, 2006, pp. 191-208(18)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although the paper below was a bit of a disappointment, it may have some redeeming value (i.e. Zoroastrian Y-DNA data):


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/lash_iran.jpg

"Y chromosome diversity among the Iranian religious groups: A reservoir of genetic variation."

Lashgary et.al

Ann Hum Biol. 2011 May;38(3):364-71. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Humanist
2012-05-12, 20:31
I have referred to the book below in other threads.

Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World

Patricia Crone & Michael Cook


The unusual division of labour between Christianity and paganism was a result of the differing impact of foreign rule on the two provinces. Assyria, which had neither the fabled wealth nor the strategic importance of Babylon, had been left virtually alone by the Achaemenids and Seleucids; condemned to oblivion by the outside world, it could recollect its own glorious past in a certain tranquillity. Consequently when the region came back into the focus of history under the Parthians, it was with an Assyrian, not a Persian let alone Greek, self-identification: the temple of Ashur was restored, the city was rebuilt, and an Assyrian successor state returned in the shape of the client kingdom of Adiabene. The Sasanids put an end to the autonomy of this kingdom, but they did not replace the local rulers with a Persian bureaucracy: though reduced to obedient servants of the Shahanshah, a native aristocracy therefore survived. Like the provincials of the west, the Assyrians stuck to their genealogy, but unlike them they could not merely go heretical: even a heretical Zoroastrian was still conceptually a Persian, and vis-a-vis the Persians the Assyrians therefore needed a different religion altogether. On the other hand, even an orthodox Christian was still only a Greek by association; vis-a-vis the Greeks a heresy therefore sufficed. Consequently, after a detour via Judaism, the Assyrians adopted Christianity and found their heresy in Nestorianism.


[W]hereas the Assyrians had a clear memory of their own past, the Babylonians did not. One might indeed have expected the Babylonian identity to vanish altogether, and if it did survive it was not because it remembered itself in isolation, but because it transcended itself and won universal respect: the Greeks bowed in deference to Babylonian astrology and borrowed it without disguising its Chaldean origin, and consequently the Chaldeans could borrow Greek philosophy without losing their identity. The fusion of Greek and Babylonian paganism generated a variety of astrological religions which, unlike the parent paganism, could hold their own against the supreme truths of Zoroastrianism, and which unlike Christianity were possessed of an ethnic label: an Assyrian had only an identity, a Christian had only a truth, but a Chaldean had both identity and truth. In Chaldea pagans therefore survived.


Christianity did, of course, spread to Babylonia; but whereas in Assyria it was a way of sanctifying a provincial identity, in Babylonia it was a way of desanctifying two. To the highly cosmopolitan environment of lower Iraq, Christianity, like Manichaeism, was a protest against ethnic religions, not a way of acquiring one: Manichaeism transcended the Chaldean and Persian truths by combining them as lesser insights within a larger and more grandiose scheme of things, and Christianity did the same by rejecting both as identical. The Christians of lower Iraq never lacked identity: they included Persians, Greeks, Elamites, Arameans, Qatraye, Arabs and others. Like the Assyrians, they might call themselves Suryane in contradistinction to the pagans; but they never shared any single identity between them: the only identity there was to inherit was Chaldean, and on conversion the Chaldean renounced his ethnicity as Magian and his culture as Zoroastrian. The Assyrian Christians have a genuine precedent for their name, but Christians were only called Chaldeans by way of abuse.

Silesian
2012-05-12, 21:22
The Assyrians were bitter enemies of the Hebrews/Israelites.

There seemed to be a closer connection with Indo-Aryan tribes and Armenians.

"The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to those tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel and which disappeared from Biblical and all other historical accounts after the kingdom was destroyed in about 720 BC by ancient Assyria"

Sennacherib-Taylor prism account
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_prism



Sennacherib's account

Some of the Assyrian chronicles, such as the baked-clay Taylor prism now preserved in the British Museum, and the similar Sennacherib prism, preserved in the Oriental Institute, Chicago, date from very close to the time. (see also: Military history of the Neo-Assyrian Empire)[1] (The Taylor Prism itself bears the date "the month of Tammuz; eponym of Galihu, governor of Hatarikka" which is Tammuz in the year 689 BC, according to the Assyrian Eponym List). Assyrian accounts do not treat it as a disaster, but a great victory — they maintain that the siege was so successful that Hezekiah was forced to give a monetary tribute, and the Assyrians left victoriously, without losses of thousands of men, and without sacking Jerusalem. Part of this is indeed confirmed in the Biblical account, but it is still debated fiercely by historians. In the Taylor Prism, Sennacherib states that he had shut up Hezekiah the Judahite within Jerusalem, his own royal city, like a caged bird.

"Egypt and Nubia then came to the aid of the stricken cities. Sennacherib defeated the Egyptians ..."

“ Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took 46 of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless number. From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young, male and female..."


According to the bible;

2 Kings 19:

35. That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

Sennacheribs son's when they encountered trouble, always fled in to the communities to the North.Why?

"Esarhaddon"was the youngest son of Sennacherib.

"Esarhaddon remained crown prince, but was forced into exile at an unknown place beyond Hanilgalbat (Mitanni)..."

2 Kings 19:37

37 "One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king."

This does not refer to any specific mountain or peak, but rather a mountain range within the region of Ararat, which was the name of an ancient proto-Armenian kingdom also known as Urartu.

Humanist
2012-05-12, 22:28
According to the bible;

2 Kings 19:

35. That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

Sennacheribs son's when they encountered trouble, always fled in to the communities to the North.Why?

"Esarhaddon"was the youngest son of Sennacherib.

"Esarhaddon remained crown prince, but was forced into exile at an unknown place beyond Hanilgalbat (Mitanni)..."

2 Kings 19:37

37 "One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king."

This does not refer to any specific mountain or peak, but rather a mountain range within the region of Ararat, which was the name of an ancient proto-Armenian kingdom also known as Urartu.

Thanks for the post, Silesian.

Further reading on Esarhaddon, if you are interested:The Trials of Esarhaddon: the Conspiracy of 670 BC. (http://ucl.academia.edu/KarenRadner/Papers/424842/2003_The_Trials_of_Esarhaddon_the_Conspiracy_of_67 0_BC._In_P._Miglus_and_J.M._Cordoba_eds._Assur_und _sein_Umland._Isimu_Revista_sobre_Oriente_Proximo_ y_Egipto_en_la_antiguedad_6_2003_165-184_published_2007_) In P. Miglus and J.M. Cordoba (eds.), Assur und sein Umland. Isimu: Revista sobre Oriente Proximo y Egipto en la antiguedad 6 (2003) 165-184 [published 2007].

Silesian
2012-05-13, 00:29
Thanks for the post, Silesian.

Further reading on Esarhaddon, if you are interested:The Trials of Esarhaddon: the Conspiracy of 670 BC. (http://ucl.academia.edu/KarenRadner/Papers/424842/2003_The_Trials_of_Esarhaddon_the_Conspiracy_of_67 0_BC._In_P._Miglus_and_J.M._Cordoba_eds._Assur_und _sein_Umland._Isimu_Revista_sobre_Oriente_Proximo_ y_Egipto_en_la_antiguedad_6_2003_165-184_published_2007_) In P. Miglus and J.M. Cordoba (eds.), Assur und sein Umland. Isimu: Revista sobre Oriente Proximo y Egipto en la antiguedad 6 (2003) 165-184 [published 2007].

I see some Assyrians have ydna G1 ;) and some have L584+, while others R2 and J1c3. Besides the quirky rh +/- alleles look what else is in that neck of the woods.

"Haplogroup G1 has an extremely low frequency in almost all countries except Iran and the countries adjoining Iran on the west."

R1b+G1+R2+J1c3=[F3] :thumbsup:

F3 (P96, M282) - In South Iran and South India. Armenia, and rare in Netherlands.

F3* M89+ P96+ M282+
164203 Melik-Grigoryan, Alashkert, Turkey
164944 Manoog Baghdoyan, 1850-1917, Aintab, Turkey

"Haplogroup F's descendant haplogroups also show a pattern of radiation from South Asia (haplogroups H, F* and K) or the Middle East ,{maybe close to the Assyrians?:p}(haplogroups G and IJ)."

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/F-YDNA/default.aspx?section=yresults

Humanist
2012-05-13, 14:40
Posted 2012-03-27, 19:17 | #113

[A]s literacy dawns over the horizon of prehistory the first ethnic group whom we know to have inhabited the region [Arbil and its environs] are the Hurrians. This is not to say there were not other groups. There almost certainly were. Texts over these millennia relating to the eastern frontiers of Mesopotamia (for instance Ur III administrative documents and the Shemshara archives) contain a large number of personal names whose linguistic affiliation has not yet been established and it is, in my view, probable that parent languages will one be day be recognised and reconstructed for at least some of them. Be that as it may, the Hurrians are the earliest definable group for whose presence in the region we currently have evidence; followed closely by the Sumerians.


Akkadian and Sumerian Language Contact

by Gábor Zólyomi

forthcoming in Stefan Weninger, ed., Semitic Languages. An International Handbook (HSK 36). Berlin — New York, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 387–393

Akkadian and Sumerian Language Contact

by Gábor Zólyomi

forthcoming in Stefan Weninger, ed., Semitic Languages. An International Handbook (HSK 36). Berlin — New York, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 387–393

These developments started in about the 24th century B.C.E. and were completed by the first part of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. They therefore overlap in time with the period of assumed asymmetrical bilingualism. One is therefore tempted to assume that these phonological changes may in fact reflect the influence of a Sumerian speaking population gradually shifting to Akkadian. Hasselbach finds that contrary to expectations the orthography indicates the loss of gutturals and the phonemicization of /e/ in texts from the north first, but not from the south. She does, however, note the possibility that the Akkadian of the southern texts ‘might have been a learned literary language that was not native to this area’.

If we do not concern ourselves with the question of Sumerian origins for a moment:

"t has become increasingly clear that at moments, people from Sumer moved into areas to the north and east."

[I]Exploring Sumer

Geoff Emberling

To appear in the catalogue of the exhibit Before the Flood (Barcelona and Madrid)
ed. Pedro Azara (2012)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I see some Assyrians have ydna G1 ;)...

"Haplogroup G1 has an extremely low frequency in almost all countries except Iran and the countries adjoining Iran on the west."

:)

Men in my group (DYS494=8), include a fellow Assyrian, an Iranian, a Hemshin Armenian, more Armenians, a Welshman, an Anglo-American, and a Saudi man. Some Palestinian men may also be a part of my group. Apart from the Assyrian from Iraq, my nearest match, based on 67 GD, is the Welshman. At 111 markers, the GD between the Welshman and Humanist = 57.

Three men in the G project, with 111 STRs tested, and within 80 GD of my haplotype:

GD=57 Wales G1a4...DYS494=8
GD=74 Saudi Arabia G1c1...DYS446 less than 13
GD=80 Anglo-American? G2a3a1 - only predicted L14+

Marko's G1 tree, from last year:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/G_tree_marko-1.png

Humanist
2012-05-14, 00:43
G6PD deficiency is the most common known human enzyme deficiency, most frequently in areas with a high incidence of malaria, such as Africa, the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. This is due to the fact that being a carrier for G6PD deficiency is thought to confer some resistance to malaria. Because the genetic mutations are sex-linked, most cases occur in males. Females who carry one mutation are generally not affected because the copy of the gene on the other X chromosome is functioning normally and compensates for the defect. Affected males can pass the mutation to a daughter, but it is unlikely that she would have symptoms, for this reason.

http://www.jewishgenetics.org/?q=content/g6pd-deficiency


Assyrian

N G6PD %
63 6 9.5% Chaldean Catholic
31 4 12.9% "Nestorian"

94 10 10.6% (Amin-Zaki et al.)


A few other populations of significance:

Non-Middle Eastern
Armenian 3.1% (N=?) Akoglu et al.

Middle East and Egypt
Alawites 11.4% (N=105) Say et al.
Lebanon 3.1% (N=549) Taleb et al.
Saudi Arabia 15.0% (N=306) Gelpi et al.
Kuwait 20.4% (N=255) Shaker et al.
Egypt 26.4% (N=500) Ragab et al.

Humanist
2012-05-14, 14:12
Bits from "The Assyrian Heartland" 2012

Dr. Friedhelm Pedde
Assur-Projekt, Berlin




Because of its geographical position and favorable climate, with sufficient rainfall for rain-fed agriculture, large parts of Assyria consist of rich farmland. Other parts are covered with grass and offer good conditions for breeding livestock. In antiquity the hills were covered with trees. These favorable conditions explain why Assyria was settled from the Neolithic period onwards, as the evidence from Nineveh clearly shows.


The Assyrian heartland was poor in mineral resources. Material and labor shortages in Assyria were the main motivations for the many military campaigns of the Assyrian kings in all directions.


Traces of destruction are found not only in the capitals, but also at smaller sites in Assyria. However, in most cases there are signs of continuity over the subsequent few generations. The immediately post-Assyrian period is the subject of ongoing investigation.


Assur

An unusual find consisted of two rows with stela – an Assyrian calendar system – mentioning the names of the Assyrian kings and officials of the Assyrian state, beginning in the Middle Assyrian period with Eriba-Adad I (1390-1364 BC) and ending in the Neo-Assyrian period with the wife of Assurbanipal (668-627 BC). At least one king, Assur-bel-kala (1073-1056 BC), was buried in a tomb under the Old Palace. It is not known, however, where all the other kings from the earlier periods were entombed (Lundstrom 2009).


Nineveh

In the 7th century BC Nineveh was the capital of the Neo-Assyrian empire. Situated on the east bank of the Tigris across from Mosul.

The first known Western visitor there was Benjamin of Tudela, who wrote an account of it in 1178, though this was not published until 1543 in Constantinople.


Besides the Assyrian capitals and the other large, well-known Assyrian sites, there are many other settlements containing Middle and Neo-Assyrian material (Green 1999; Atlaweel 2008; Hausleiter 2010f). Most of these are small and excavations have been limited, so that only a few preliminary findings have been published.

The year 1178. That is rather late in our history. The Church of the East was quickly approaching its date of effective demise in Assyria, when the first Western visitor may have appeared.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The Assyrians Abroad" 2012

Dr. Bradley J. Parker
Director: Upper Tigris Archaeological Research Project (UTARP), University of Utah


[F]amilies were not split up when deported but, rather, family groups were allowed to stay together and settle in the same area. Second, provincial officials were obliged to provide provisions and equipment to deportees traveling through their area. Third, upon arriving at their destination, deportees were given land, which often consisted of fields and garden plots, a dwelling, and in some cases one or more animals. And fourth, provincial governors were responsible for protecting deportees resettled in their provinces.

Humanist
2012-05-14, 16:38
The Early Integration of the Eurasian Steppes with the Ancient Near East: Movements and Transformations in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Philip L. Kohl 2006


[T]he advent of the well-known early bronze cultures of the caucasus – the maikop and novosvobodnaya cultural formations of the northern caucasus and the velikent and kura-araxes cultural formations of the north-eastern and southern caucasus – marked a radical change in the production and exchange of metals throughout the entire interconnected area. Chernykh’s circumpontic metallurgical province (cmp) emerged to replace the no longer functioning carpatho-balkan metallurgical province. Its emergence and the advent of these early bronze caucasian cultures must be related also to roughly simultaneous developments that occurred farther south involving the greater integration of the anatolian plateau and western iran into a larger mesopotamian world. Colonists and traders from southern mesopotamia moved north and east far beyond the southern mesopotamian alluvium, a movement now referred to as the uruk expansion (algaze 1993; stein et al. 1996; paléorient 1999; avilova, antipina and teneishvili 1999; rothman 2001; etc.), and greatly influenced the development of the early bronze cultures on the edge of the steppes.


The high chronology favoured here is based on fairly extensive and consistent series of calibrated radiocarbon determinations (Rassamakin 1999, 163–4; Chernykh 2000, 74–5; Trifonov 2001, 76–7; also for Transcaucasia, cf. Kavtaradze 1983; 1999; and the partial uncalibrated list of Kushnareva 1997, 52, which, of course, must be corrected), as well as typological parallels linking Maikop materials, in particular, with the ‘Uruk’-related remains to the south.


[T]he recent discovery of the grave of the ‘Signore di Arslantepe’ (Frangipane 1998; 2000) with its wealth of bronze weapons, bronze, silver and gold ornaments, and local Mesopotamian-related and ‘Transcaucasian’ (Kura- Araxes) vessels underscores the degree to which our knowledge of Kura- Araxes metallurgy and social differentiation is partial and distorted.

The Maikop ‘culture’ clearly has multiple roots, a classic example of the hybrid nature of an archaeological culture. Many Russian archaeologists (for example, Munchaev 1994, 169) have documented striking ceramic parallels between early Maikop vessels and those found farther south in Syria and northern Mesopotamia (Amuq F and Gawra XII-IX), and it has been claimed that some of the spherical Maikop vessels may have been turned on a slow wheel, a technological development that may also reflect direct borrowing from the south. Perhaps most significantly, microlithic chipped stone tools were found in the great Maikop kurgan, and Munchaev (1994, 170, 189) relates their late presence there to the long-rooted Mesopotamian tradition of depositing such archaic artefacts beneath the floors of public buildings or temples (for example, in the earlier Yarim Tepe II and at Uruk itself); in other words, the fact that such a symbolic Mesopotamian practice is attested in the richest known ‘royal’ or chiefly Maikop burial must have significance not only for the earlier dating of the Maikop culture, but also for determining its cultural affiliation and formation.


The Maikop culture clearly has multiple origins or is syncretic in character, with local roots that extend naturally north onto the steppes and with surprisingly close and novel connections with northern Mesopotamia.


For example, Avilova, Antonova and Teneishvili (1999, 57–8) calculate that approximately 7400 gold and 1000 silver artefacts have been found in Maikop-related kurgans in the north-western Caucasus. Such precious artefacts practically disappear in the northern Caucasus towards the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, while at the same time the number of gold and silver artefacts in Anatolia and Transcaucasia (and, not incidentally, in Mesopotamia, such as at the Royal Cemetery at Ur) sharply rises (calculated at about 32000 objects). This shift not only reflects changes in the production and supply of precious metals, but also the movements of peoples with their leaders or chiefs south, across or around the Great Caucasus range.


Whether it was the search for more arable land to support their burgeoning populations and/or their displacement with the arrival of new groups from the north with four-wheeled, oxen-driven wagons, the Kura-Araxes peoples moved over some extended period during the late 4th and the early 3rd millennium BC far to the south-west across the Anatolian plateau to the Amuq plain and beyond to today’s northern Israel and to the south-east into north-western Iran and along the Zagros mountains and onto the Iranian plateau as least as far as Kermanshah. This spread of ‘Early Transcaucasian’ settlements has long fascinated archaeologists (see, for example, the map in Roaf 1990, 80), many of them speculating on the ethnic/linguistic identity of these migrants and interpreting them as ancestral to Hurrians or Hittites or other later historically attested peoples...


New relevant radiocarbon dates from the southern Levant suggest that Khirbet Kerak ware may first have appeared ca. 2800–2700 BC or almost simultaneous with its appearance farther north (Philip and Millard 2000, 284). The overall pattern seems reasonably clear: an initial spread across eastern Anatolia to the upper Euphrates basin at the very end of the 4th and beginning of the 3rd millennium followed by a relatively rapid diffusion (during the course of a century or so?) farther south-west ultimately to the eastern Mediterranean coast.


Settlement pattern data for southern Central Asia, such as it is (cf. the calculations and caveats in Kohl 1984, 143–6, 151–4, 159–60; also now the more systematic work in the Murghab delta by Gubaev, Koshelenko and Tosi [1998]), supports the following conclusions:

1. There is scant evidence for occupation of the lowland plains of Margiana prior to the Middle Bronze period or datable to the second half of the 3rd millennium and later periods (Salvatori 1998, 52).

2. The total known occupied area for the plains of Margiana and northern and southern Bactria during Middle and Late Bronze Age times considerably exceeds the known occupied area for earlier Chalcolithic and Bronze Age remains from the piedmont strip of southern Turkmenistan or even also north-eastern Iran (excluding the Gorgan plain), a fact that essentially precludes the possibility of deriving the former exclusively from the latter, as has been postulated (by Biscione 1977, for example).

3. The most notable disjunction in the settlement pattern data in terms of location, size and nature of settlements from southern Central Asia from Neolithic through Iron Age times or throughout later prehistory occurs precisely during this initial major occupation of the lowland plains of Bactria and Margiana beginning in the last centuries of the 3rd millennium BC.

Humanist
2012-05-14, 22:50
I am not suggesting that the two are necessarily connected. But, I did find it interesting.

Wikipedia:


Many Indo-European religious branches show evidence for horse sacrifice, and comparative mythology suggests that they derive from a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) ritual.

In most instances, the horses are sacrificed in a funerary context, and interred with the deceased. There is evidence but no explicit myths from the three branches of Indo-Europeans of a major horse sacrifice ritual based on a mythical union of Indo-European kingship and the horse. The Indian Aśvamedha is the clearest evidence preserved, but vestiges from Latin and Celtic traditions allow the reconstruction of a few common attributes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A Neo-Assyrian Text Describing a Royal Funeral

Dr. John MacGinnis, Cambridge


[ ... ] The father my begetter in kingly oil I gently laid [in] that secret tomb. I sealed·the entrance to the sarcophagus, his resting-place with tough bronze and cast it for a potent spell. Objects of gold and silver, everything worthy of a tomb, the regalia that he used to love, I showed to Shamash [the sun god] and placed with my father in the tomb. I offered gifts to the princely Anunnaki and the spirits who dwell in the underworld.

[ ... ] 9 times (?) [ ... ] to Gilgamesh unridden horses I slaughtered and put them in the tomb...



Commentary


Furthermore, it seems that Ur-Nammu [Sumerian king, Ur III] arrived in the underworld by means of a chariot and this cannot but remind us of the ED [Early Dynastic] burials from Ur, Kish, Abu Salabikh and elsewhere where skeletons of equids/bovids and/or the remains of chariots have been excavated.


This discussion of the nature of the text naturally raises the question of its date. Even if some of the literary material is older, the lists of garments firmly date the text to the Neo-Assyrian period and the conclusion of von Soden that it was written in the reign of either Esarhaddon or Ashurbanipal [7th c. BCE] is still most likely.

Humanist
2012-05-15, 11:46
"The Importance of Metallurgical Data for the Formation of a Central Transcaucasian Chronology," and "The Beginnings of Metallurgy"

Dr. Giorgi Leon Kavtaradze (http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Giorgi_Kavtaradze/)
Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History & Ethnology


The mainly sixth millennium chronology of the early farming culture of Shulaveri-Shomu Tepe in central Trans-Caucasia is based on calibrated radiocarbon evidence. These calibrated dates partially solve the discrepancy between the Near Eastern archaeological parallels of this culture, dated to the seventh-sixth millennia, and the uncalibrated radiocarbon dates of the Shulaveri-Shomu Tepe culture, which were largely {p. 541:} placed in the fifth millennium. We bear in mind the assumption about the special closeness of this culture in all stages of its existence with the Hassuna culture on the one hand and with the Umm Dabaghiah -Tell Sotto culture of the pre-Halafian period on the other.

It seems that the decorations of the Umm-Dabaghiah pottery are not as analogous to the ornaments of the Arukhlo/Nakhiduri I,[4] when compared to the pottery of an earlier site, Imiris Gora.[5] Some Georgian archaeologists argue that similarities can also be observed between the small figurines of the upper levels of Khramis Didi Gora — a site which belongs to the final stage of the Shulaveri-Shomu Tepe culture — and similar figurines that were discovered in the layers of the Hassuna, Samara and Halaf cultures.[6] All of these Mesopotamian sites are dated mainly to the sixth millennium. The Shulaveri-Shomu Tepe culture, both from the perspective of typological and chronological data, can be compared with them; that all were at the same stage of development is not doubted.


It should be possible to draw on the dates obtained for the Near Eastern strata in which Trans-Caucasian elements first appear and hence, to establish the relative chronology of Kura-Araxes culture of Trans-Caucasia. Put simply, the Kura-Araxes culture at its point of origin is logically earlier than its manifestations in the Near East. In the construction of a comparative chronology, the regional variants of the Kura-Araxes culture must be taken into account. The earliest Kura-Araxes material discovered in Level XI at Pulur (Sakyol), as stated above, seems contemporaneous with the middle layers of Amiranis Gora in south-western central Trans-Caucasia.[40] At the same time, Pulur (Sakyol) XI has close parallels with Arslantepe VI B especially in regard to the forms and incised decorations of pot stands.[41] {p. 547:}

One could speculate that the infiltration of the Kura-Araxes population into the Near East stimulated Mesopotamian sea commerce in the Arabian Gulf of the Jamdat Nasr period. Their presence may have triggered political disruption in eastern Anatolia, northern Syria and western Iran. The desertion of the Uruk sites in these areas brought about economic changes especially in regard to distribution and trade in metal ores and other artifacts; probably increasing local control over these resources.[42]


Not only the territories inhabited by Northeastern Caucasian languages speakers coincided with the Caucasian homeland of the Kura-Araxes culture, but also the Hurrians, living in upper Mesopotamia in the late-third millennium B.C., may have had their earliest homeland in eastern Anatolia, in one of the earliest centres of the same culture. C. Burney was the first to put forward the suggestion that the people of eastern Anatolia in the Early Bronze Age could be identified as Hurrians and that they were the main population component of the Early Trans-Caucasian or Kura-Araxes culture.[57] Over time, the material culture of the Hurrians became all but indistinguishable from other Near Eastern cultures where they settled.[58] Their characteristic painted ware was similar to other contemporary, Near Eastern painted pottery types.[59]


The discovery of the south Transcaucasian obsidian in the southern Iran and of south Iranian or south [p. 87] Mesopotamian ornaments in Transcaucasia can be considered as the reflection of one and the same phenomenon - the existence of trade connections between southern Transcaucasia on the one hand and south-western Iran and southern Mesopotamia on the other which determines the coexistence of the late Karmirberd and early Sevan-Userlik cultures of southern Transcaucasia and of the final part of the Trialeti culture in the 18th Century B.C. (Kavtaradze 1992: 51f;cf. Kushnareva 1994: 117).

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Image11.gif-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is also this study, from the "Resources Vault" section of the forum, posted a few weeks back:
"Migration from Transcaucasia to the southern Levant during the 3rd millennium BCE." (http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showthread.php?t=30865)

Humanist
2012-05-15, 12:46
Continuing the theme from above. Originally posted in the Dodecad thread, here (http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showpost.php?p=859338&postcount=4440).

The "Caucasus" and "Gedrosia" components (left and right respectively) added for the following populations (map locations are rough):

Abkhazians
Armenians_D
Assyrians_D
Bulgarian_D
Cypriots
Druze
Georgians
Greek_D
Iranian Jews
Iraqi Jews
Iraqi Mandaeans
Romanians
Samaritans
S Italian Sicilian_D
Turkish_D
Yemen Jews

Different colors are meant to reflect the different concentrations of the two components observed in the populations. Components rounded to nearest whole %.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/farming3_cauc_ged.jpg

Polako
2012-05-15, 13:11
^ I think metallurgy is probably one of the main advantages that these (presumably R1b) Eastern Anatolians or Caucasians had when expanding west and south.

I wonder why they didn't move north though, into the steppe. Maybe someone else was there, with their own metal gadgets?

Humanist
2012-05-16, 03:54
More from: The Early Integration of the Eurasian Steppes with the Ancient Near East: Movements and Transformations in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Philip L. Kohl 2006


It is roughly at this same time or perhaps slightly later towards the middle of the 4th millennium that the earliest evidence for wheeled transport is documented, stretching across a vast interconnected region from northern Europe to southern Mesopotamia (Bakker et al. 1999). The precise determination of which area or which archaeological culture first developed wheeled vehicles may prove impossible to document archaeologically simply because the technology diffused as rapidly as it did across this vast contiguous area. Clay models of disk wheels have been found at the Late (or post-) Tripolye site of Velyka Slobidka on the Dniester, and two early pre-Pit-Grave kurgan burials with the actual remains of wooden wheels have been found respectively in the lower Don (Koldyri, burial 7, kurgan 14) and Kuban (Starokorsunskaya, burial 18, kurgan 2) areas, and Rassamakin (2002, 53) believes that their appearance in these latter areas was due to ‘the migration or resettlement of groups from the agricultural population’ farther west. The available evidence, in other words, seems to suggest that wheeled vehicles only appeared shortly after the collapse of the gigantic settlements and may indeed have been developed by these same peoples as they began to develop a more mobile economy.

Additional evidence is needed to support this interpretation. Ultimately, however, I would argue that the question of the origins of this innovation is much less significant than the phenomenon of convergence, the almost simultaneous evidence for the early use of wheeled vehicles stretching from northern Germany and southern Poland south across Anatolia to southern Mesopotamia, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC or immediately after the collapse of the gigantic Tripolye settlements. Wheeled vehicles can be used for different purposes by different cultures (or different purposes by the same culture) across this interconnected area; they can serve military purposes, function to transport traded goods, such as semi-processed metal ores and ingots, and facilitate the development of a new more mobile way of life based principally on cattleherding.


It is also obvious that for the most part these dispersals do not represent armed military invasions and that the movements involved considerable assimilation with pre-existing local traditions, exacerbating the archaeologists’ task of recognising them. Populations expanded and intermingled with one another. In these processes, social structures obviously must have changed. It is an archaeological truism today to note that pottery styles do not equate with peoples, and the temptation to do so must be resisted. Nevertheless, the very frequency of distinctive, seemingly intrusive ceramics and other items of material culture, such as the highly specific andirons, suggest that this phenomenon, however short-lived, must have been reasonably substantial. At Beth Shean, for example, the Khirbet Kerak pottery constitutes more than 60% of the total ceramic assemblage in levels 11–9 before dropping off to 38% in level 8 and essentially disappearing in level 7 (as summarised in de Miroschedji 2000, 259). At the type site of Khirbet Kerak (Beth Yerah), these wares constituted 20–30% of the sherds found on the site. The site itself is 20–25 ha in size or considerably larger than any known Kura-Araxes site in Transcaucasia. Site size too, as we have seen with the gigantic Tripolye settlements, cannot simplistically be equated with social complexity. The data, however, are suggestive that the ‘peoples of the hills’ transformed themselves as they spread across large areas of the ancient Near East.

It is unclear what was driving these dispersals. Possibly, they were in search of new sources of metal in Jordan or in Cyprus (cf. the recently excavated Kura-Araxes-related hearth stands and evidence for migrants from south-western Anatolia at the Early Bronze Age site of Marki Alonia: Frankel 2000; Frankel and Webb 2000; Webb and Frankel 1999). They may have been skilled metallurgists, but why leave a metalliferrous region like the Caucasus for unknown sources? Moreover, Khirbet Kerak materials are not found in the metal-bearing Wadi Feinan area south of the Dead Sea (de Miroschedji, 2000, 264). Perhaps they were simply in search of more and better arable land with natural population increases, replicating on a much larger scale the movements from the highlands to the plains that may have characterised the initial spread of Kura-Araxes settlements within Transcaucasia? Possibly, but why did they move and not others?

Another factor may also have been at work. Some peoples were not only moving south out of the Caucasus, but others seem to have been moving into Transcaucasia from the north – at least at some point in the first half of the 3rd millennium (see the new calibrated dates for the ‘early kurgan cultures’ of Transcaucasia: Kavtaradze 1999, 81; and the discussion in Trifonov 2001, 79–80). It is hard to distinguish cause from effect here: did peoples move into the rich Alazani and Kura valleys because others had moved out or were the Kura-Araxes peoples moving south due to the incursions of peoples from farther north? Current evidence suggests that the dispersal to the south of the Kura-Araxes culture predated the arrival of the peoples burying their leaders in large ‘royal’ kurgans, but we must remember that all these movements represented protracted processes, not events, that took place during several centuries. The higher dating of the earliest ‘royal’ kurgans in eastern Georgia suggests that these processes may partially overlap with one another and that, consequently, there may have been some synergistic relationship between them.

I am curious whether these migrations from the north are responsible, at least in part, for the "North European" observed among Caucasians. Or, does the component in Caucasians have a more recent origin. Say, maybe, < 2500 years.

K12b "Caucasus" and "N European" (Caucasians in blue, Armenian Highland in red)


POP CAU NEU
GEO 74 9
ABK 70 11
OSS 57 19
ADY 57 20
BAL 57 19
ARM 56 3
ASY 52 1
CHE 51 23
DRZ 50 1
IRJ 49 0
SAM 49 0
IQJ 48 0
KUM 46 19
MAN 46 0

Humanist
2012-05-16, 06:04
Relevant to Assyrian origins. Also, Sumerian origins and all other ancient peoples.

Brachycephalization of Georgians

Craniometry of the Caucasus in the Feudal Period
Malkhas G. Abdushelishvili
Current Anthropology
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Aug. - Oct., 1984), pp. 505-509

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/craniometry_georgia.jpg

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brachycephalization of Armenian Highlanders

On the Origin of the Armenians (In the Light of Non-Metric Cranial Traits Data)
Alla Movsesian and Nvard Kochar
Iran & the Caucasus
Vol. 8, No. 2 (2004), pp. 183-197


We can now postulate the genetic integrity of the contemporary and ancient populations of Armenia, starting from the Bronze period at least. This is corroborated by the data of craniometry, differentiating the contemporary and ancient groups only by value of the cephalic index.


“Their (ancient specimens) dolichocrany in this case does not impede the establishment of genetic links through the late development of brachycephalization.” The genetic ties between the epochs become even more evident when we examine the data on the discrete varying traits, subject to neither the epochal variation nor to the influence of the environmental factors.

Note: The "Antique Period" refers to these crania:


Relics of late third century B.C. - second century A.D. were discovered on the southern bank of the lake Sevan, near the village of Karchaghbyur (19 crania), as well as Shirakavan, district Ani (18 crania).


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/armenian_crania1.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/armenian_crania2.jpg
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What we are seeing here, I believe, is the brachycephalization of many of the northern populations, including Druze (before migrating south), Alawites, Anatolian Turks, Armenians, Georgians, Assyrians...

Southern and central populations, such as Iraqi Mandaeans, Iranian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Samaritans, and others, are all relatively long-headed (CI < 80, with a nonnegligible frequency of CI ≤ 75*). The first three are more or less similar to Assyrians genetically, particularly the Mandaeans, in my opinion.


* For example, this Iraqi Mandaean, with a CI of 73.1 (source: Henry Field):

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Iraqi%20Mandaeans/Mandaean10.jpg
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few examples from the literature, on the subject of intra-population cephalic index change:

1.
Secular change in body height and cephalic index of Croatian medical students (University of Rijeka)

Buretić-Tomljanović et al.

Am J Phys Anthropol., Volume 123, Issue 1, pages 91–96, January 2004


A significant increase of dolichocephalic and mesocephalic and a significant decrease of brachycephalic head shape were found in both sexes. These results suggest a continuity of the debrachycephalization process observed in our population at the past midcentury.

2.
Brachycephalization in Japan has ceased

Kouchi M.

Am J Phys Anthropol. 2000 Jul;112(3):339-47.


Somatometric data are presented which show that the rapid brachycephalization in Japan has recently ceased. The causes of brachycephalization are investigated in relation to the secular change in height. Increases in head breadth have been the main cause of brachycephalization, and its pattern of secular change is very similar to that in height. Associations between head breadth, height, and year of birth were examined by partial correlation coefficients and through a comparison of students and the general population. Brachycephalization is thought to result from increases in the growth rate for head breadth caused by improvements in nutritional levels, as seen in increases in height. Increases in height over the last 100 years have been accompanied by brachycephalization in Japanese and Koreans, but by debrachycephalization in many European populations. Increases in lateral growth in Asian heads may be related to the facial flatness which is characteristic to northern Mongoloid populations.

3.
Evidence for temporal and social differences in cranial dimensions in Edo-period Japanese

Nagaoka et al.

International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. Article first published online: 27 OCT 2010


This study examined the craniometric traits of the Edo-period (AD1603–1867) human skeletons from the Hitotsubashi site in Tokyo, compared them with temporally and socially various populations, and attempted to detect the morphological differentiation patterns that the Edo-period Japanese exhibited over time and under those social/environmental conditions. The materials measured here were the townsmen's crania from the Hitotsubashi site, which were dated back to the early half of the Edo period. The observations revealed that the Hitotsubashi samples were more dolichocephalic than any other Edo series and were different from subsequent Edo series in terms of larger maximum cranial length and smaller maximum cranial breadth. The Hitotsubashi samples were definitely in contrast with those of Tentokuji and Shirogane, both of which included a samurai (warrior) class of the late to final Edo period and exhibited the most brachycephalic crania. It is reasonable to assume that the temporal and social situations were possibly related to the observed cranial variation and that the temporal changes in cranial dimensions in pre-modern Japan might have reflected the nutritional and environmental conditions.

Humanist
2012-05-16, 08:46
A Survey on the Racial Types of Anatolian Skeletal Remains

Dr. Armağan Saatçioğlu


As to the Hittite problem, there is some controversy on this subject. In 1930, they were mentioned by Kansu to have mixed racial factors. Although some authors considered them to be Armenoid, based only upon the carvings on the Hittite monuments, this suggestion was later rejected, since none of the Hittite skeletons were of this type (Krogman, 1937). Şenyürek (1941), who studied the Hittite skulls of Alişar, Kusura and Aslantepe and those of Hisarlık III that were of the same period, mentioned that most of the Anatolian population of Chalcholithic and the Copper Age were dolichocephalic and mesocephalic (brachycephalics: 16 percent) and no change in the Anatolian racial constitution was observed during these periods, while in the Bronze Age, the percentage of the brachycephalics suddenly rose (to 42 percent), and he suggested that the Hittites must have been invaders of the Alpine type who came to Anatolia in 2000 B.C. This opinion found support among some anthropologists (Tunakan, 1965). Archaeologists, historians and Hittitologists of today, too, generally agree on this, though there exist controversial opinions on the place from which the Hittites came (Araz, 1974; Kınal, 1962).

However, Cappieri (1970), who made some further studies on the Anatolian skeletal remains of the Late Neolithic and Calcholithic, has written that the theory that the Hittite Civilization is the product of a population extraneous to the genetical Type of the Anatolian Proto-Mediterraneans, involves the hypothesis of a very large mass migration of a compact group of tribes from the distant regions up the Central Plateau, through difficult and tortuous routes, and based upon his results on the biometrical comparisons he had made between the Hittite skeletons (16 skulls from Osmankayası dated to 1700-1400 B.C. and 13 skulls from Alişar dated to 1600) and those of four of the other Anatolian settlements (Hisarlık, Kusura, Kumtepe and Polatlı), some very far from the Central Plateau, he suggested that the high level of somatic homogeneity (92.8 percent of the mean differences were insignificant) shows, even in the second millennium B.C. lack of any genetic intrusion in the Anatolian type. Mentioning also that the brachycephalic skulls of this period had been encountered in the Troy region of Anatolia at an earlier date than in the Hittite region and even before their existence in the Near-East, he suggested that these indicate an evolutive process of brachycephalization rather than immigration.

Indeed, as we have seen, 20 percent of the Çatalhöyük population were of the Alpine type. Although this percentage decreases, when Hacılar, too, is taken into account, it is interesting as showing the existence of the Alpine type in Anatolia in the Neolithic as well. The investigations on the origin of the Alpine type indicate that the earliest representatives of this type were encountered in a Neolithic settlement in Israel. Although there is some controversy on the original type, it is generally admitted that the Alpine type appeared as a result of the evolution of a dolichocephalic race (Ferembach, 1966, 1967). Therefore, the Anatolian brachycephalics, too, can be considered autochton (see Ferembach, 1972).

Humanist
2012-05-16, 12:12
Genetic links between the Caucasus, N Mesopotamia, and S Mesopotamia (from the Al-Zahery thread):

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.

The J1* frequencies of the Marsh Arabs and SW Iranians were unexpected. Also, I had not previously observed J1* in Yemeni. The R-L584 Iranian from Khuzestan on 23andMe may not be so exceptional after all.

Top 10 J1*, in frequency, from Al-Zahery et al.


# Country/Region (Population) N %
1 Iraq (Assyrian) 28 17.9
2 Turkey (Assyrian) 25 16.0
3 Ethiopia (Amhara) 48 10.4
4 Iran (Assyrian) 31 9.7
5 Iran [Khuzestan] 47 8.5
6 Iraq (Marsh Arab) 143 7.0
7 Turkey/Area 4 82 6.1
8 Turkey/Area 3 83 6.0
9 Algeria 20 5.0
10 Yemen 62 4.8


2.

I created this image (map), and posted it on the forum a few months ago, before the 5 cases of S Caucasian J1* w/ DYS388=13 and DYS438=11 were published in Balanovsky et al. Too bad there is no data reported for DYS438 in the Sumerian paper. I contacted Nadia Al-Zahery several months ago, and shared the information regarding J1* with DYS438=11 with her. She did not respond.

[The green area was marked as a very rough center of the known cases up to that point (early Spring, 2011)]

http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=109793&d=1317869923

http://i-cias.com/e.o/atlas/ill-maps/sumer_4mBCE_city_states.gif

"Map showing the Ur III state and its influence sphere" 21st to 20th century BCE.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Ur_III.svg/783px-Ur_III.svg.png

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/figures/1471-2148-11-288-1.jpg

Polako
2012-05-16, 12:50
Well, we're definitely seeing these two things in Admixture experiments...



Ultimately, however, I would argue that the question of the origins of this innovation is much less significant than the phenomenon of convergence, the almost simultaneous evidence for the early use of wheeled vehicles stretching from northern Germany and southern Poland south across Anatolia to southern Mesopotamia, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC or immediately after the collapse of the gigantic Tripolye settlements.



Another factor may also have been at work. Some peoples were not only moving south out of the Caucasus, but others seem to have been moving into Transcaucasia from the north – at least at some point in the first half of the 3rd millennium.

But I have a feeling that the algorithm is having problems working out the direction of gene flow sometimes.

The West Asian cluster in Dienekes' K7 run looks suspiciously like the South Central Asian cluster from a couple of studies in recent years, which then disappeared when more South Asian references were added in subsequent analyses.

Maybe it's a composite of sorts, and actually a signal of steppe movements to the west, east and south?

Humanist
2012-05-16, 15:58
A few bits from physical anthropology, based on Henry Field's work on Iranian groups (see Ancient and modern man in Southwestern Asia), including Assyrians originally inhabiting (though not principally indigenous to) an area in the NW of the country (and Hakkari, Turkey?). I have included information on other populations, where necessary for some context:


The Assyrians are the tallest...

The Lurs of central Luristan have the longest heads, the Kurds of Sulaimaniya the shortest. In breadth the Lurs of Khurrumabad are the narrowest, the Assyrians the widest. The Assyrians are hyperbrachycephalic...

The nasal profile is one of the most important racial criteria in Southwestern Asia, with particular emphasis on the convex and straight categories. For example, more than two-thirds of all Kurds of Iraq and Iran, the Lurs of Pusht-i-Kuh and the Bakthiari tribesmen possesses convex noses. About half of the Assyrians and the Lurs of central Luristan had straight noses.

The majority of all the Kurds of Iraq and Iran and most of the Lurs and Assyrians (97.17 %) were leoptorrhine. Very few platyrrhine individuals were recorded or seen. The Bakhtiari are divided into mesorrhine (49.66 %) and leptorrhine tribesmen. Their convex nasal profile links the Bakthiari with the Iranian Plateau Race and upholds my observations that this convexity is concentrated among the peoples of Western Iran. Eight of the nine groups are leptorrhine, with near uniformity among the Assyrians, many of whom are fair-haired, light-skinned, and possess blue eyes.

*The blond element in those four groups is linked either to the peoples of the Caucasus or to the dwellers in the Altai or Pamirs.

*These mountain peoples are all related to some degree, although the Assyrians probably belong to a different racial stock with links in the Caucasus.

Recorded CI for Assyrians listed in Field's study (Location (approximate coord.), recorder, sample, CI, map label):

Habbaniya Camp, Iraq (33.37N 43.56E): Field, 532, 84.01 (“A”) Refugees and descendants of refugees who previously inhabited parts of Hakkari, Turkey, and Urmia, Iran.
Hinaidi Camp, Iraq (33.28N 44.48E): Field, 106, 85.17 (“B”) Refugees and descendants of refugees who previously inhabited parts of Hakkari, Turkey, and Urmia, Iran.
Lake Urmia, Iran (37.60N 45.47E): Pantiukhov, 10, 87.0 (“C”)
Tbilisi, Georgia (41.70N 44.79E): Pantiukhhov, 11, 87.0 (“D”)
Mosul, Iraq (36.34N 43.13E): Krischner, 39, 87.0 (“E”)
Lake Urmia, Iran (37.60N 45.47E): Deniker, 33, 88.7 (“C”)
Hakkari, Turkey (37.58N 43.73E): Chantre, 22, 89.5 (“F”)

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_CI_map.jpg
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Note regarding admixture in Assyrians. Specifically, here, "Nestorians.":

*

1.

I certainly agree about the links with the Caucasus. But, I absolutely disagree with any suggestion that this is of relatively recent origin (in significant part). If anybody has any doubts about it, read through the last several pages of this thread, please.

From another thread, on the topic of admixture in Assyrians whose most recent ancestors came from north/northwest of northern Iraq (Hakkari, Turkey and Urmia, Iran).

I calculated the median fastIBD population values for the six 100% "Nestorian" Assyrians. I included the one Ancient Church of East member as well, as they are a recent split from the Church. This is based on the Balkans/West Asian run data. Turkey was the most common country of past residence, for the ancestors of these particular Assyrians.

“Nestorian” (6)

Assyrian_D 4.19

Armenians_16 0
Armenians_Y -0.01
Kurd_D -0.04
Armenian_D -0.07
Kurds_Y -0.08
Iranian_D -0.145
Turks -0.175
Greek_D -0.2
Cypriots -0.215
Georgians -0.225
Iranians_19 -0.255
Bulgarian_D -0.3
Abkhasians_Y -0.31
Turkish_D -0.34
Romanians_14 -0.34
Adygei -0.35
North_Ossetians_Y -0.35
Bulgarians_Y -0.355
Romanian_D -0.38

2.

Also, from the Dienekes' "fastIBD analysis of Afroasiatic groups [45 inferred clusters]." Assyrians and Iraqi Mandaeans occupied cluster 4.

Note the position of Assyrians, relative to the Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, and Egyptians below, from the fastIBD run of Afroasiatic groups.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4Pc47nT1Fos/TxsYtZpGoYI/AAAAAAAAAtY/DhsZ5FIADFo/s1600/heatmap.png

3.

From David's recent "Population genetics meets art at Eurogenes (aka. genetic clines across Western Eurasia)" entry. The northernmost speaker of a Babylonian-Aramaic dialect is the sole Iraqi Mandaean participant in Eurogenes. The other "Babylonians" are Iraqi Jews.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/eurogenes_32412b_.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-18, 14:23
I mention northern and southern Mesopotamia a lot. The below map, in my opinion, captures the broad outlines of the regions well:

Domination and Resilience in Bronze Age Mesopotamia
by Tate Paulette
Published in Surviving Sudden Environmental Change: Answers from Archaeology (Eds. J. Cooper and P. Sheets). University Press of Colorado. 2012

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mesopotamia.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-18, 19:56
The number of three hundred thousand is allowed for the whole body of the Nestorians, who, under the name of Chaldeans or Assyrians, are confounded with the most learned or the most powerful nation of Eastern antiquity.

http://archive.org/stream/historyofthedecl00893gut/pg893.txt

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Volume 4 (1784)

by Edward Emily Gibbon

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Edward_Emily_Gibbon.jpg


If he had just left out the "confounded" bit. :)

---------- Post added 2012-05-18 at 15:11 ----------


[T]he name did not vanish, but continued to exist throughout history in the memories of some Assyrians, as well as their neighbors. I feel confident that if ever DNA samples can be secured, this proposition finally will be proved to those who do not accept it.

Richard N. Frye

Professor Emeritus, Harvard University (http://history.fas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/emeriti.php)

EliasAlucard
2012-05-20, 09:32
Like Humanist says, the genetic data suggests a Caucasus origin of the ancient Assyrians. For example, Dagestanis have Y-DNA J1c3, as well as J1, and J1c3 branched off from J1. Autosomally, there's not much difference between Armenians and Assyrians, which again, points to the Caucasus. Armenians also have J1.

Babylonian (i.e., Akkadian and Sumerian) was undoubtedly the most important influence in Assyria (Assyria was basically an extension of Babylonia; similar to the UK and the USA), both demographically and culturally, especially after Sargon of Akkad conquered Assyria (who was for some ironic reason more popular in Assyria than in Babylonia), although mythic legend has it that Sargon was originally from north Mesopotamia.

Even if the Assyrians were Babylonians who settled in the north, the Babylonians were originally from the north anyway, so we're talking about back migrations.I've revised my view since I posted this.

Dagestanis carry J-M267* and not J-P58+, correct Humanist? Not sure where I got it from that Dagestanis carry J-P58+ but probably Wikipedia. Also, the Assyrian culture, although a sub-branch of the Babylonian culture, the same is not true for the Assyrian genepool, because modern Iraqis have less genetic Y-STR diversity (and I'm sure also less Y-SNP!) of J-P58+ as well as having a greater genetic distance to Caucasus folks and Europeans than Assyrians have. So the most accurate conclusion in my opinion would be that there was a proto-Afro-Asiatic genepool somewhere in Anatolia or the northern Levant (as corroborated by linguistic palaeontology) and that it branched off by further migrations to the Arabian peninsula and Africa. And these proto-Afro-Asiatic descendants (Cushites, Egyptians etc.) became less genetically similar as they mixed with Negroes, whereas Assyrians haven't changed much genetically since the Neolithic because there's been very little geneflow fron non-Caucasoid races to the Assyrian genepool.

The Semitic Babylonians came from the "north" before they settled down in southern Iraq, probably from Ebla, which was an east Semitic dialect not influenced by Sumerian, unlike Akkadian which became strongly influenced by Sumerian (and vice versa).

Humanist
2012-05-20, 17:11
The Semitic Babylonians came from the "north" before they settled down in southern Iraq, probably from Ebla, which was an east Semitic dialect not influenced by Sumerian, unlike Akkadian which became strongly influenced by Sumerian (and vice versa).

One must examine the question of the origins of the Kassites, to understand the later Babylonian eras (e.g. Neo-Babylonians):

Wikipedia


The Kassites were an ancient Near Eastern people who gained control of Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire after ca. 1531 BC to ca. 1155 BC (short chronology). Their Kassite language is thought to have been related to Hurrian,[1] and not Indo-European or Semitic although the evidence for its genetic affiliation is meager due to the scarcity of extant texts.

The original homeland of the Kassites is not well known, but appears to have been located in the Zagros Mountains in Lorestan in what is now modern Iran, although, like the Elamites, Gutians and Manneans, they were unrelated to the later Indo-European/Iranic Medes and Persians who came to dominate the region a thousand years later.[2][3]

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Kassite_Babylonia_EN.svg/661px-Kassite_Babylonia_EN.svg.png

ZephyrousMandaru
2012-05-20, 17:24
Do you think that the Kassites may have been the ones to add the "Baloch/West_Central_Asian/Gedrosia" component that's observed in Assyrians?

Humanist
2012-05-20, 17:35
Do you think that the Kassites may have been the ones to add the "Baloch/West_Central_Asian/Gedrosia" component that's observed in Assyrians?

It is possible.

Humanist
2012-05-20, 22:32
Dagestanis carry J-M267* and not J-P58+, correct Humanist?

And yes. That is correct. P58 is rare in the Caucasus.

Zert
2012-05-22, 11:57
Not entirely on-topic, but has anyone seen this?
http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/archaeologists-discover-lost-language/
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/ancient-language-discovered-on-clay-tablets-found-amid-ruins-of-2800-year-old-middle-eastern-palace-7728894.html

Sargon999
2012-05-22, 12:19
Not entirely on-topic, but has anyone seen this?
http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/archaeologists-discover-lost-language/
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/ancient-language-discovered-on-clay-tablets-found-amid-ruins-of-2800-year-old-middle-eastern-palace-7728894.html

Yeah I saw it the other day. Pretty interesting and I think there might be many more such forgotten languages in the region.

Humanist
2012-05-22, 13:27
Not entirely on-topic, but has anyone seen this?
http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/archaeologists-discover-lost-language/
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/ancient-language-discovered-on-clay-tablets-found-amid-ruins-of-2800-year-old-middle-eastern-palace-7728894.html

Yeah. Thanks for the links.

Discussion is here (http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showthread.php?t=32822).

Humanist
2012-05-22, 15:24
Perhaps this contributes to why Sumerian words are still a part of our lexikon:


The [Babylonian] temple functioned as of old. Astronomy experienced a scientific revolution in the 2nd century BC. Cuneiform and even Sumerian was still taught in the schools. The largest temple tower ever built was not the ziqqurat of Nebuchadnezzar, but the one built by Anu-uballit/Nikarchos in Hellenistic Uruk. The last manuscript of the Gilgamesh epic discovered so far was written about 130 BC in Babylon.57

'Multi-ethnicity and ethnic segregation in Hellenistic Babylon,' in: Ton Derks & Nico Roymans eds., Ethnic Constructs in Antiquity. The Role of Power and Tradition (Amsterdam University Press) 101-115. 2009
Dr. R.J. van der Spek (http://www.let.vu.nl/en/about-the-faculty/academic-staff/staff-listed-alphabetically/staff-l-s/prof-dr-r-j-van-der-spek/index.asp)

Humanist
2012-05-22, 20:51
An older paper:


The few LBA burials uncovered thus far at Sabi Abyad indicate an interesting variability in the treatment of the dead. Apart from the mass interment, which is no doubt of an exceptional nature, three types of formal burial behaviour are recognised. A true cemetery may have existed in the close vicinity of the site, but at least some of the dead, both children and adults, were buried within or at the margins of the settlement. What reasons underlie the choice of burial treatment is not yet clear. Simple pit graves and pot inhumations have a long history and are found throughout the second millennium (and before) in Mesopotamia and Syria. Cremation burials, however, hardly appear in earlier times in these regions. Whereas cremations are commonly found in second millennium Anatolia, in Syria cremations, although already present at the end of the second millennium, seem to constitute a mainly first millennium (Iron Age) feature of burial treatment. In view of the cemeteries at e.g. Hama or Carchemish, cremations are commonly associated with Hittite presence or influence (see Moorey 1980:6), but in the east, e.g. at Assur or Babylon, we find these graves in Neo- Assyrian times (Haller 1954:52ff; Reuther 1926:189).

EXCAVATIONS AT TELL SABI ABYAD, NORTHERN SYRIA: A REGIONAL CENTRE ON THE ASSYRIAN FRONTIER

Peter M.M.G. Akkermans and Inge Rossmeisl (1990)

Humanist
2012-05-24, 05:03
Posted previously, but I wish to tie-in what Parpola states regarding the Sumerians, with a few bits I posted several days back:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/IE5500BP.png


Sumerian: A Uralic Language

Simo Parpola (Helsinki)


The Sumerians thus came to Mesopotamia from the north, where the Uralic language family is located (Fig. 11), and by studying the lexical evidence and the grammatical features which Sumerian shares with individual Uralic languages, it is possible to make additional inferences about their origins. The closest affinities of Sumerian within the Uralic family are with the Volgaic and Finnic languages, particularly the latter, with which it shares a number of significant phonological, morphological and lexical isoglosses. The latter include, among other things, a common word for "sea, ocean" (Sumerian ab or a-ab-ba, Finnic aava, aappa), and common words for cereals, sowing and harvesting, domestic animals, wheeled vehicles, and the harness of draught animals (Fig. 12). A number of these words also have counterparts in Indo-European, particularly Germanic languages. These data taken together suggest that the Sumerians originated in the Pontic-Caspian region between the mouth of the Volga and the Black Sea, north of the Caucasus Mountains, where they had been living a sedentary life in contact with Indo-European tribes. I would not exclude the possibility that their homeland is to be identified with the Majkop culture of the North Caucasus, which flourished between 3700 and 2900 BC and had trade contacts with the late Uruk culture (Fig. 13). Placing the Sumerian homeland in this area would help explain the non-Uralic features of Sumerian, for the Kartvelian languages spoken just south of it are ergative and have a system of verbal prefixes resembling the Sumerian one. The Sumerian words for wheel and the harness of draft animals that it shares with Uralic show that its separation from Uralic took place after the invention of wheeled vehicles, which were known in the Majkop culture since about 3500 BC.

About 3500 BC, the Indo-European Yamnaya culture that had emerged between the Danube and the Don began to expand dynamically to the east, reaching the Caucasian foreland by about 3300 BC. This expansion is likely to have triggered the Sumerian migration to Mesopotamia. It would have proceeded through the Caucasus and the Diyala Valley, and since wheeled transport was available, could easily have been completed before the end of the Late Uruk period (c. 3100 BC). The arrival of the Sumerians would thus coincide with the destruction of the Eanna temple precinct at the end of the Uruk IVa period.

The lexical parallels between Sumerian and Uralic thus open up not only completely new possibilities for the study of Sumerian, but also a chance to identify the original homeland of the Sumerians and date their arrival in Mesopotamia. In addition, they provide a medium through which it becomes possible to penetrate into the prehistory of the Finno-Ugric peoples with the help of very ancient linguistic data. Of course, it is clear that the relevant evidence must first pass the test of verification or falsification before any part of it can be generally accepted and exploited.

Previous posts:

The Early Integration of the Eurasian Steppes with the Ancient Near East: Movements and Transformations in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Philip L. Kohl 2006


[T]he advent of the well-known early bronze cultures of the caucasus – the maikop and novosvobodnaya cultural formations of the northern caucasus and the velikent and kura-araxes cultural formations of the north-eastern and southern caucasus – marked a radical change in the production and exchange of metals throughout the entire interconnected area. Chernykh’s circumpontic metallurgical province (cmp) emerged to replace the no longer functioning carpatho-balkan metallurgical province. Its emergence and the advent of these early bronze caucasian cultures must be related also to roughly simultaneous developments that occurred farther south involving the greater integration of the anatolian plateau and western iran into a larger mesopotamian world. Colonists and traders from southern mesopotamia moved north and east far beyond the southern mesopotamian alluvium, a movement now referred to as the uruk expansion (algaze 1993; stein et al. 1996; paléorient 1999; avilova, antipina and teneishvili 1999; rothman 2001; etc.), and greatly influenced the development of the early bronze cultures on the edge of the steppes.

The high chronology favoured here is based on fairly extensive and consistent series of calibrated radiocarbon determinations (Rassamakin 1999, 163–4; Chernykh 2000, 74–5; Trifonov 2001, 76–7; also for Transcaucasia, cf. Kavtaradze 1983; 1999; and the partial uncalibrated list of Kushnareva 1997, 52, which, of course, must be corrected), as well as typological parallels linking Maikop materials, in particular, with the ‘Uruk’-related remains to the south.

[T]he recent discovery of the grave of the ‘Signore di Arslantepe’ (Frangipane 1998; 2000) with its wealth of bronze weapons, bronze, silver and gold ornaments, and local Mesopotamian-related and ‘Transcaucasian’ (Kura- Araxes) vessels underscores the degree to which our knowledge of Kura- Araxes metallurgy and social differentiation is partial and distorted.

The Maikop ‘culture’ clearly has multiple roots, a classic example of the hybrid nature of an archaeological culture. Many Russian archaeologists (for example, Munchaev 1994, 169) have documented striking ceramic parallels between early Maikop vessels and those found farther south in Syria and northern Mesopotamia (Amuq F and Gawra XII-IX), and it has been claimed that some of the spherical Maikop vessels may have been turned on a slow wheel, a technological development that may also reflect direct borrowing from the south. Perhaps most significantly, microlithic chipped stone tools were found in the great Maikop kurgan, and Munchaev (1994, 170, 189) relates their late presence there to the long-rooted Mesopotamian tradition of depositing such archaic artefacts beneath the floors of public buildings or temples (for example, in the earlier Yarim Tepe II and at Uruk itself); in other words, the fact that such a symbolic Mesopotamian practice is attested in the richest known ‘royal’ or chiefly Maikop burial must have significance not only for the earlier dating of the Maikop culture, but also for determining its cultural affiliation and formation.

The Maikop culture clearly has multiple origins or is syncretic in character, with local roots that extend naturally north onto the steppes and with surprisingly close and novel connections with northern Mesopotamia.

For example, Avilova, Antonova and Teneishvili (1999, 57–8) calculate that approximately 7400 gold and 1000 silver artefacts have been found in Maikop-related kurgans in the north-western Caucasus. Such precious artefacts practically disappear in the northern Caucasus towards the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, while at the same time the number of gold and silver artefacts in Anatolia and Transcaucasia (and, not incidentally, in Mesopotamia, such as at the Royal Cemetery at Ur) sharply rises (calculated at about 32000 objects). This shift not only reflects changes in the production and supply of precious metals, but also the movements of peoples with their leaders or chiefs south, across or around the Great Caucasus range.

Whether it was the search for more arable land to support their burgeoning populations and/or their displacement with the arrival of new groups from the north with four-wheeled, oxen-driven wagons, the Kura-Araxes peoples moved over some extended period during the late 4th and the early 3rd millennium BC far to the south-west across the Anatolian plateau to the Amuq plain and beyond to today’s northern Israel and to the south-east into north-western Iran and along the Zagros mountains and onto the Iranian plateau as least as far as Kermanshah. This spread of ‘Early Transcaucasian’ settlements has long fascinated archaeologists (see, for example, the map in Roaf 1990, 80), many of them speculating on the ethnic/linguistic identity of these migrants and interpreting them as ancestral to Hurrians or Hittites or other later historically attested peoples...

New relevant radiocarbon dates from the southern Levant suggest that Khirbet Kerak ware may first have appeared ca. 2800–2700 BC or almost simultaneous with its appearance farther north (Philip and Millard 2000, 284). The overall pattern seems reasonably clear: an initial spread across eastern Anatolia to the upper Euphrates basin at the very end of the 4th and beginning of the 3rd millennium followed by a relatively rapid diffusion (during the course of a century or so?) farther south-west ultimately to the eastern Mediterranean coast.


It is roughly at this same time or perhaps slightly later towards the middle of the 4th millennium that the earliest evidence for wheeled transport is documented, stretching across a vast interconnected region from northern Europe to southern Mesopotamia (Bakker et al. 1999). The precise determination of which area or which archaeological culture first developed wheeled vehicles may prove impossible to document archaeologically simply because the technology diffused as rapidly as it did across this vast contiguous area. Clay models of disk wheels have been found at the Late (or post-) Tripolye site of Velyka Slobidka on the Dniester, and two early pre-Pit-Grave kurgan burials with the actual remains of wooden wheels have been found respectively in the lower Don (Koldyri, burial 7, kurgan 14) and Kuban (Starokorsunskaya, burial 18, kurgan 2) areas, and Rassamakin (2002, 53) believes that their appearance in these latter areas was due to ‘the migration or resettlement of groups from the agricultural population’ farther west. The available evidence, in other words, seems to suggest that wheeled vehicles only appeared shortly after the collapse of the gigantic settlements and may indeed have been developed by these same peoples as they began to develop a more mobile economy.

Additional evidence is needed to support this interpretation. Ultimately, however, I would argue that the question of the origins of this innovation is much less significant than the phenomenon of convergence, the almost simultaneous evidence for the early use of wheeled vehicles stretching from northern Germany and southern Poland south across Anatolia to southern Mesopotamia, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC or immediately after the collapse of the gigantic Tripolye settlements. Wheeled vehicles can be used for different purposes by different cultures (or different purposes by the same culture) across this interconnected area; they can serve military purposes, function to transport traded goods, such as semi-processed metal ores and ingots, and facilitate the development of a new more mobile way of life based principally on cattle herding.

It is also obvious that for the most part these dispersals do not represent armed military invasions and that the movements involved considerable assimilation with pre-existing local traditions, exacerbating the archaeologists’ task of recognising them. Populations expanded and intermingled with one another. In these processes, social structures obviously must have changed. It is an archaeological truism today to note that pottery styles do not equate with peoples, and the temptation to do so must be resisted. Nevertheless, the very frequency of distinctive, seemingly intrusive ceramics and other items of material culture, such as the highly specific andirons, suggest that this phenomenon, however short-lived, must have been reasonably substantial. At Beth Shean, for example, the Khirbet Kerak pottery constitutes more than 60% of the total ceramic assemblage in levels 11–9 before dropping off to 38% in level 8 and essentially disappearing in level 7 (as summarised in de Miroschedji 2000, 259). At the type site of Khirbet Kerak (Beth Yerah), these wares constituted 20–30% of the sherds found on the site. The site itself is 20–25 ha in size or considerably larger than any known Kura-Araxes site in Transcaucasia. Site size too, as we have seen with the gigantic Tripolye settlements, cannot simplistically be equated with social complexity. The data, however, are suggestive that the ‘peoples of the hills’ transformed themselves as they spread across large areas of the ancient Near East.

It is unclear what was driving these dispersals. Possibly, they were in search of new sources of metal in Jordan or in Cyprus (cf. the recently excavated Kura-Araxes-related hearth stands and evidence for migrants from south-western Anatolia at the Early Bronze Age site of Marki Alonia: Frankel 2000; Frankel and Webb 2000; Webb and Frankel 1999). They may have been skilled metallurgists, but why leave a metalliferrous region like the Caucasus for unknown sources? Moreover, Khirbet Kerak materials are not found in the metal-bearing Wadi Feinan area south of the Dead Sea (de Miroschedji, 2000, 264). Perhaps they were simply in search of more and better arable land with natural population increases, replicating on a much larger scale the movements from the highlands to the plains that may have characterised the initial spread of Kura-Araxes settlements within Transcaucasia? Possibly, but why did they move and not others?

Another factor may also have been at work. Some peoples were not only moving south out of the Caucasus, but others seem to have been moving into Transcaucasia from the north – at least at some point in the first half of the 3rd millennium (see the new calibrated dates for the ‘early kurgan cultures’ of Transcaucasia: Kavtaradze 1999, 81; and the discussion in Trifonov 2001, 79–80). It is hard to distinguish cause from effect here: did peoples move into the rich Alazani and Kura valleys because others had moved out or were the Kura-Araxes peoples moving south due to the incursions of peoples from farther north? Current evidence suggests that the dispersal to the south of the Kura-Araxes culture predated the arrival of the peoples burying their leaders in large ‘royal’ kurgans, but we must remember that all these movements represented protracted processes, not events, that took place during several centuries. The higher dating of the earliest ‘royal’ kurgans in eastern Georgia suggests that these processes may partially overlap with one another and that, consequently, there may have been some synergistic relationship between them.

Humanist
2012-05-24, 19:52
Hurro-Uratian Archaeology, Languages, and Genes: A Y Chromosome Model of Northeastern Caucasian Language Spread

Roy King M.D., Ph.D. and Peter Underhill Ph.D.


Diakonoff and Starostin (1986) argued that the Hurrian and Urartian languages of Northern Syria, Northern Iraq, Eastern Anatolia and Armenia were genetically related to the languages of the Northeastern Caucasus, such as Lezgi and Chechen. Thus, according to their model, the Northeast Caucasian languages were distributed during the Bronze and Iron ages over a much larger geographic area than that of their current distribution. Similarly Y-chromosome lineages J2a-M410 and J1-(dys388=13) lineages demonstrate their maximal Y-STR diversity in Eastern Anatolia/Northwestern Iranian samples of contemporary Turkish and Neo-Assyrian populations.

Note: Assyrians are not principally indigenous to NW Iran*. They are referring to Assyrians living in Urmia (read: my extended family).

*For example, looking at the question exclusively from the autosomal perspective, my grandmother is from Urmia, and her Dodecad "SW Asian" component is > 21%.

Humanist
2012-05-24, 22:27
Familiarity with Assyrian art ordinarily does not extend beyond a few depictions of an Assyrian king or two. Here are some pieces, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Neo-Assyrian collection:

Female head with rosette diadems
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 8th–7th century B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Ivory Dimensions: 1.97 x 1.22 in. (5 x 3.1 cm) Classification: Ivory/Bone-Sculpture Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1952 Accession Number: 52.23.3

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_met1.jpg



Head of a beardless royal attendant, possibly a eunuch
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 721–705 B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Khorsabad (ancient Dur-Sharrukin) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Gypsum alabaster Dimensions: 21 1/2 x 19 in. (54.6 x 48.3 cm) Classification: Stone-Relief Credit Line: Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1933 Accession Number: 33.16.2

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyrian_met2.jpg



Head
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 8th–7th century B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Ivory Dimensions: 1.3 x 0.71 x 0.59 in. (3.3 x 1.8 x 1.5 cm) Classification: Ivory/Bone-Sculpture Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1957 Accession Number: 57.27.6

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyrian_met3.jpg



Plaque with striding man
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 9th–8th century B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Ivory Dimensions: 10 x 3.74 x 0.28 in. (25.4 x 9.5 x 0.71 cm) Classification: Ivory/Bone-Relief Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1958 Accession Number: 58.31.1

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyrian_met4.jpg



Plaque
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 9th–8th century B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Ivory Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.89 x 0.47 in. (16.51 x 4.8 x 1.19 cm) Classification: Ivory/Bone-Relief Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1961 Accession Number: 61.197.4

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyrian_met5.jpg



Bearded warrior holding a spear
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 9th–8th century B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Ceramic Dimensions: 5 3/4 x 1 7/8 in. (14.6 x 4.8 cm) Classification: Ceramics-Sculpture Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1954 Accession Number: 54.117.24

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyrian_met7.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-25, 02:04
Following up on the second to last post, regarding Assyrian indigeneity. Specifically, as it relates to Iran.

Near Eastern brachycephals; Syria, Armenia, and the Caucasus

Carleton Coon


A separate group of brachycephalic Near Eastern people living until recently in the neighborhood of the eastern Armenians is that of the Aissores, or Assyrians, Christians who still speak the old Syriac language, now used in Syria in a ritual sense only, but once widespread also in Mesopotamia. These Assyrians, Christians in Mesopotamia since their conversion in 70 AD., were, at the time of the Arab conquest of their country, granted a firman issued by the Prophet himself permitting them to practice their religion without hindrance. Under this sanction they flourished greatly, sent missionaries to China, and founded a colony, which still exists, in India. At the time of the Mongol invasions, between 1230 and 1400 A.D., their country was laid waste, and those who survived the calamity fled northward into Turkey, settling in the mountain district of Hakkari, in Kurdish country, south of Lake Van and west of Lake Urmia. In 1914, 80,000 of them were still established there, while another 35,000 lived in Iran, near Lake Urmia, and 10,000 more had returned to the lowlands of Iraq, near Mosul. During the World War and in the two decades since, the Assyrians have suffered further political disasters which have left them homeless and have greatly reduced their numbers.

Their total resemblance to Armenians...is not close...

[T]he [Assyrian] facial dimensions show that the basic Mediterranean type involved is western, and not Irano-Afghan.

newtoboard
2012-05-25, 02:29
Following up on the second to last post, regarding Assyrian indigeneity. Specifically, as it relates to Iran.

Near Eastern brachycephals; Syria, Armenia, and the Caucasus

Carleton Coon

What is this trying to say? I wouldn't expect Assyrians to have Irano -Afghan features which some believe are a result of West Asian farmers and Indo-Iranian nomads.

Humanist
2012-05-25, 02:50
What is this trying to say? I wouldn't expect Assyrians to have Irano -Afghan features which some believe are a result of West Asian farmers and Indo-Iranian nomads.

I believe he meant to contrast it with his bit on Armenians. See below:


Thus the Armenoid race is a product of the same principle of hybridization which has produced Dinarics in Europe,151 the chief difference being that among the Armenians the Mediterranean factor involved is Irano-Afghan...

newtoboard
2012-05-25, 03:07
I believe he meant to contrast it with his bit on Armenians. See below:

Interesting. I don't really no how much weight to put in that statement. Especially when I have heard irano-afghan is a hybrid of a nordid and armenoid phenoytpe before.

Humanist
2012-05-25, 03:56
Interesting. I don't really no how much weight to put in that statement. Especially when I have heard irano-afghan is a hybrid of a nordid and armenoid phenoytpe before.

Yeah. As a sole basis of evidence, physical anthropology is certainly not ideal.

Humanist
2012-05-25, 06:09
Neolithic Migrations in the Near East and Aegean 2009

Dr. Roy King


Even though the location of the homeland of the Afro-Asiatic languages is under debate, most scholars would agree that the homeland of proto-Semitic is in the southern Levant and, as indicated by its lexical features, that it was associated with a Late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic society. The earliest toponyms in present-day Israel are almost all Semitic in derivation, while those of the northern Levant are mostly non-Semitic of unknown linguistic affiliation, characterized by suffixal forms such as -uqa, -ija, -ik, -ka, -ashe. Likewise, it has been argued that the earliest onomastic data from northern Mesopotamia are pre-Akkadian and pre-Sumerian, with features such as syllabic duplication (e.g. divine names such as Kubaba, Zababa, Bunene, and Inana). This has led some to term this substratum the “Banana” language.

Northward, Hurrian, the language found in tablets from northern Syria and northern Mesopotamia from 2200 BCE, and Urartian, the language of the Iron Age kingdom centered on Lake Van in eastern Anatolia, have been shown by both lexical and grammatical analysis to be affiliated with the Northeast Caucasian languages such as Lezgi and Chechen. These languages are ergative, agglutinative, predominantly suffixing, and verb final.

As Diakanoff and Starostin have shown, the Hurro-Urartian languages share many lexical isoglosses with the Northeastern Caucasian family. Furthermore, there are mutual borrowings between Northern Caucasian and Afro-Asiatic that must have occurred before the dispersion of the Afro-Asiatic languages.

Humanist
2012-05-25, 10:13
Nineveh, Babylon and the Hanging Gardens: Cuneiform and Classical Sources Reconciled

Stephanie Dalley
Iraq
Vol. 56, (1994), pp. 45-58
Published by: British Institute for the Study of Iraq


Aphrodisias on the Meander river [modern W Turkey] may also have preserved Assyrian traditions, for a labelled sculpture showing Ninos, which was found by excavation there, may imply a refounding of the city by a group of emigrant Assyrians.

Arbela, which was the administrative capital of Assyria during the centuries of Persian and Seleucid rule, may have kept archives of cuneiform records that dated back to the Assyrian kings.

It may also be worth considering whether there were translations into Aramaic of some royal inscriptions. A recent study of one of the proverbs in the Legend of Ahiqar has suggested that it is connected to specific military and political events which took place at the end of Sennacherib's reign or in the first year of Esarhaddon.

Huri
2012-05-25, 11:21
Familiarity with Assyrian art ordinarily does not extend beyond a few depictions of an Assyrian king or two. Here are some pieces, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Neo-Assyrian collection:

Female head with rosette diadems
Period: Neo-Assyrian Date: ca. 8th–7th century B.C. Geography: Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Culture: Assyrian Medium: Ivory Dimensions: 1.97 x 1.22 in. (5 x 3.1 cm) Classification: Ivory/Bone-Sculpture Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1952 Accession Number: 52.23.3

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_met1.jpg


I guess those flowers on clothing was a very trendy thing in the ancient times :p
The same on this Urartian woman's statue.

http://armeniansworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/nkar_6231.jpg

Nude figure of a women wearing an elaborate crown and necklace, with remains of a blue inlay in the eyes. From Rusahinili, Kingdom of Ararat, 8th-7th century BCE.

Excavated by Clayton and Raynolds in 1880; WA 119447

Humanist
2012-05-25, 15:07
I guess those flowers on clothing was a very trendy thing in the ancient times :p
The same on this Urartian woman's statue.

http://armeniansworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/nkar_6231.jpg

Nude figure of a women wearing an elaborate crown and necklace, with remains of a blue inlay in the eyes. From Rusahinili, Kingdom of Ararat, 8th-7th century BCE.

Excavated by Clayton and Raynolds in 1880; WA 119447

Thanks for posting the image. That looks like an image of Inanna/Ishtar. See one depiction of the Sumerian Inanna, below:

http://inanna.virtualave.net/BLR82.jpg


In Sumer, she was known as Inanna. In Assyria and Babylonia, Ishtar. The equivalent female deity among the Hurrians, was Šauška. Given that she is from Urartu, I am curious whether she has any relation to the latter. Anyway, interesting nonetheless. Thanks again.


The Indo-European Elements In Hurrian

by Arnaud Fournet


[T]he deep connections between the Akkadian goddess Ištar and the Hurrian goddess Šauška...are held as strong indications that the Hurrians must have been on the spot and that they must have taken part [in] the construction of the Mesopotamian civilization from the start."

---------- Post added 2012-05-25 at 11:02 ----------

Speaking of Indo-European, Sumerian, Hurrian, Inanna, and Šauška. :)



Russian

со́ска (sóska) f inanimate: a rubber nipple attached to bottle to feed an infant

сосок (sosók) m : projection of mammary gland

Humanist
2012-05-25, 18:43
Posted previously, but I wish to tie-in what Parpola states regarding the Sumerians, with a few bits I posted several days back:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/IE5500BP.png


Sumerian: A Uralic Language

Simo Parpola (Helsinki)

Previous posts:

The Early Integration of the Eurasian Steppes with the Ancient Near East: Movements and Transformations in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Philip L. Kohl 2006


If there is a connection, I do not know. But, I do find the DNA Tribes grid affinity distribution interesting, if one considers all of what has been posted in this thread. For instance, the map at top.


Images of my Shaded World Grid, below. Northeast Mesopotamia is the deep red square. Three of the slightly lighter shade of red outline Mesopotamia, with an additional square extending to the Pontus.

Red=most consistent with genome (DNA Tribes' ~30K SNPs).

Note, also, the location of the squares north of the Pontus.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/DNA_Tribes_SNP_Analysis/shaded_world_grid2a.jpg

ZephyrousMandaru
2012-05-25, 19:05
^ I still think McDonald's Plots are accurate, the 1 is positioned a little too far to the north.

Huri
2012-05-25, 19:25
Thanks for posting the image. That looks like an image of Inanna/Ishtar. See one depiction of the Sumerian Inanna, below:

http://inanna.virtualave.net/BLR82.jpg


In Sumer, she was known as Inanna. In Assyria and Babylonia, Ishtar. The equivalent female deity among the Hurrians, was Šauška. Given that she is from Urartu, I am curious whether she has any relation to the latter. Anyway, interesting nonetheless. Thanks again.


The Indo-European Elements In Hurrian

by Arnaud Fournet



---------- Post added 2012-05-25 at 11:02 ----------

Speaking of Indo-European, Sumerian, Hurrian, Inanna, and Šauška. :)

Thank you very much, that's really very interesting to find similar things in ancient cultures. Sure people lived side by side and were being influenced by one another.
I'm interested in the field of costume design and for now I'm studying ancient and folk costumes :) Here are more examples of similar flowers on clothes and headpieces in Urartian culture.
http://armeniansworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Urartian_Art_04a.jpg

http://armeniansworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/nkar_2107.jpg

As to the deities, I don't know much, but it does not surprise me, as Sumerians had a very strong connection to Armenia, so it makes sense.
They called Ararat - Aratta. The Sumerians also in the epic poems describe the Great Flood and the rebirth of life after the terrible deluge that fell from the Highlands of Armenia unto the lands of Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. The Sumerians had a very close connection with the Land of Ararat and considered it as their ancestral homeland (many historians and archaeologists are convinced that the Sumerians initially lived in Northern Mesopotamia and Armenian Highland).

Together with costumes, one also has to study ancient history :p

Humanist
2012-05-25, 21:10
^ I still think McDonald's Plots are accurate, the 1 is positioned a little too far to the north.

McDonald's maps are more precise. But, I must respectfully disagree that the "1" is placed a little too far north. The nature of the grid does not permit precision. But, Assyria is NE Mesopotamia. Please see below. Using Cyprus as a reference. Also, the fact that the "2" squares are where they are, suggest that the nearest affinities lie to the immediate south and west of the "1" box (excluding the Pontus box).

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/shaded_world_grid2c.jpg

newtoboard
2012-05-26, 04:03
Regarding Mesopotamia do you think J2a originated there? From what I recall Turkey, Armenia and Iran all exhibit diversity in J2a if not more than than Mesopotamia.

Humanist
2012-05-26, 05:42
New Light on Assyro-Aramaic Interference: the Assur Ostracon, in F.M. Fales – G.F. Grassi (Eds.), CAMSEMUD2007. Proceedings of the 13th Italian Meeting of Afro-asiatic Linguistics, Padova 2010, 189-204.


The Assur ostracon was written by an individual named Bel-eṭir, who is known from contemporary texts in cuneiform as a military, and specifically as a cohort commander (rab kiṣir) of king Assurbanipal, active in southern Mesopotamia (Fig. 3), presumably during the years in which the Assyrian ruler was engaged in warfare against his brother, Šamaš-šum-ukin, king of Babylonia (645-640 BC). An Assyrian letter indicates that the king had dispatched 200 horsemen under Bel-eṭir and Arbaya — who is also mentioned in the ostracon (l. 2), in the region of Uruk (see l. 3), to assist the local pro-Assyrian governor, Nabûušabši — who might be the same person as the Nabû-zer-ušabši mentioned in l. 19 of our text. We may at this point tackle the actual contents of the text. Bel-eṭir should have been in retirement from the battlefield in his city of birth, Assur, when he wrote this letter to a former army crony of his, Pir-Amur(ru).

[T]he most interesting feature of this text is also the most obvious one. The Assur ostracon written by and to individuals also known in the contemporary Neo-Assyrian correspondence as officials of the Empire; due to their rank, these people must have absolutely been expected to speak/read Assyrian [Akkadian] on official matters, but this private letter was thought out and written in Aramaic. We are not dealing here with a family letter, in which private ideas and were exchanged among members of a tight-knit foreign community — as, e.g., in a number the letters in Aramaic from Achaemenid Egypt — but with a letter traded between “army buddies”, endowed with fully Assyrian names. These people chose to chew the fat, to set forth their private problems, and to ask for present support, in the vernacular, not in the official language of “work”.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P.-A. Beaulieu 2006, “Official and Vernacular Languages: The Shifting Sands of Imperial and Cultural Identities in First Millennium B.C. Mesopotamia”, in S.L. Sanders (Ed.), Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures, Chicago 2006, pp. 187-216.


What were the effects of...Aramaicization on the Assyrians? The spread of the Aramaic language could apparently provoke adversarial reactions among the Assyrian ruling classes. Expression of such resentment occurs in an oft-quoted letter sent probably by Sargon II to the scribe Sin-iddina of Ur, who had previously asked the king if he could send him letters in Aramaic. The royal answer was "why do you not write and send me messages in Akkadian?"

[C]onversation reported in 2 Kings 18:26, between one of the officials sent by Sargon's successor, Sennacherib, to besiege Jerusalem, and Eli-akim, the head of Hezekiah's household, in which the latter asks the Assyrian to speak Aramaic: "Then Eli'akim the son of Hilki'ah, and Shebnah, and Jo'ash, said to the Rab'shakeh, -- Pray, speak to your servants in the Aramaic language, for we understand it; do not speak to us in the language of Judah [Hebrew] within the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

Humanist
2012-05-26, 09:44
Regarding Mesopotamia do you think J2a originated there? From what I recall Turkey, Armenia and Iran all exhibit diversity in J2a if not more than than Mesopotamia.

Neolithic Migrations in the Near East and Aegean (2009)

Dr. Roy King


J2, based on 10 STRs, has the highest variance in the Mediterranean (.63), southeastern (.70) and eastern Anatolia (.63), and among Assyrians from northwestern Iraq (.58).

Humanist
2012-05-27, 02:34
Excavation report of Sounding C (all squares), 2010

A Late Bronze Age – Iron Age graveyard and other burials at Tell Fekheriye

Peter V. Bartl


Despite stratigraphic discrepancies, varying grave types, which could point to different ethnic groups with different customs, and the fact that the exact date the younger graveyard was abandoned is still a matter of debate even if it can be postulated that the set of pottery accompanying the deceased overlaps with even younger periods until the Roman-Parthian period, a certain continuity and strong local tradition can still be observed.

In 2010, an additional radiocarbon analysis of several inhumations was conducted presenting only three samples with clear results due to the bad state of preservation. Nevertheless, they confirmed a date between 1250 and 900 BC forming a good basis for the further study of these graves (Fig 10).

Accordingly, the better part of these graves can approximately be dated to the end of the Middle Assyrian or early Late Assyrian period and therefore to the Late Bronze-Age – Iron Age transition. During that period the Middle Assyrian houses were used as a graveyard for a possible Assyrian or Assyrianised (?) population. After the abandonment of the area as living quarters, debris accumulated and only scarce building activities can be observed. The area seems to have been used as a graveyard over a considerable amount of time. Maybe this can be seen within the context of a declining settlement size and shift of settlement activities to Tell Halaf. Yet the importance of the settlement as a religiously charged site at the source of the Khabur River remained, and might have led to a ‘specialisation’ of the settlement as a temple and palace town, an argument supported by the sparse early Iron-Age settlement remains. So far, our knowledge is limited to the so called bit-hilani palace in the north of the site along with references to the weather god of the Khabur and his wife Šala being worshiped in the city of Sikāni, which might be identified with the Neo-Assyrian occupation at Tell Fekheriye.

The location:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/tell_fecheriye.jpg

newtoboard
2012-05-27, 03:20
Neolithic Migrations in the Near East and Aegean (2009)

Dr. Roy King

Interesting. I agree with an Anatolian origin. Its not surprising the most northern Mesopotamian would have a high diversity given their proximity to Anatolia.

Humanist
2012-05-28, 05:27
A few bits from physical anthropology, based on Henry Field's work on Iranian groups (see Ancient and modern man in Southwestern Asia), including Assyrians originally inhabiting (though not principally indigenous to) an area in the NW of the country (and Hakkari, Turkey?). I have included information on other populations, where necessary for some context:


The Assyrians are the tallest...

The Lurs of central Luristan have the longest heads, the Kurds of Sulaimaniya the shortest. In breadth the Lurs of Khurrumabad are the narrowest, the Assyrians the widest. The Assyrians are hyperbrachycephalic...

The nasal profile is one of the most important racial criteria in Southwestern Asia, with particular emphasis on the convex and straight categories. For example, more than two-thirds of all Kurds of Iraq and Iran, the Lurs of Pusht-i-Kuh and the Bakthiari tribesmen possesses convex noses. About half of the Assyrians and the Lurs of central Luristan had straight noses.

The majority of all the Kurds of Iraq and Iran and most of the Lurs and Assyrians (97.17 %) were leoptorrhine. Very few platyrrhine individuals were recorded or seen. The Bakhtiari are divided into mesorrhine (49.66 %) and leptorrhine tribesmen. Their convex nasal profile links the Bakthiari with the Iranian Plateau Race and upholds my observations that this convexity is concentrated among the peoples of Western Iran. Eight of the nine groups are leptorrhine, with near uniformity among the Assyrians, many of whom are fair-haired, light-skinned, and possess blue eyes.

*The blond element in those four groups is linked either to the peoples of the Caucasus or to the dwellers in the Altai or Pamirs.

*These mountain peoples are all related to some degree, although the Assyrians probably belong to a different racial stock with links in the Caucasus.



Recorded CI for Assyrians listed in Field's study (Location (approximate coord.), recorder, sample, CI, map label):

Habbaniya Camp, Iraq (33.37N 43.56E): Field, 532, 84.01 (“A”) Refugees and descendants of refugees who previously inhabited parts of Hakkari, Turkey, and Urmia, Iran.
Hinaidi Camp, Iraq (33.28N 44.48E): Field, 106, 85.17 (“B”) Refugees and descendants of refugees who previously inhabited parts of Hakkari, Turkey, and Urmia, Iran.
Lake Urmia, Iran (37.60N 45.47E): Pantiukhov, 10, 87.0 (“C”)
Tbilisi, Georgia (41.70N 44.79E): Pantiukhhov, 11, 87.0 (“D”)
Mosul, Iraq (36.34N 43.13E): Krischner, 39, 87.0 (“E”)
Lake Urmia, Iran (37.60N 45.47E): Deniker, 33, 88.7 (“C”)
Hakkari, Turkey (37.58N 43.73E): Chantre, 22, 89.5 (“F”)

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_CI_map.jpg
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Note regarding admixture in Assyrians. Specifically, here, "Nestorians.":

*

1.

I certainly agree about the links with the Caucasus. But, I absolutely disagree with any suggestion that this is of relatively recent origin (in significant part). If anybody has any doubts about it, read through the last several pages of this thread, please.

From another thread, on the topic of admixture in Assyrians whose most recent ancestors came from north/northwest of northern Iraq (Hakkari, Turkey and Urmia, Iran).

I calculated the median fastIBD population values for the six 100% "Nestorian" Assyrians. I included the one Ancient Church of East member as well, as they are a recent split from the Church. This is based on the Balkans/West Asian run data. Turkey was the most common country of past residence, for the ancestors of these particular Assyrians.

“Nestorian” (6)

Assyrian_D 4.19

Armenians_16 0
Armenians_Y -0.01
Kurd_D -0.04
Armenian_D -0.07
Kurds_Y -0.08
Iranian_D -0.145
Turks -0.175
Greek_D -0.2
Cypriots -0.215
Georgians -0.225
Iranians_19 -0.255
Bulgarian_D -0.3
Abkhasians_Y -0.31
Turkish_D -0.34
Romanians_14 -0.34
Adygei -0.35
North_Ossetians_Y -0.35
Bulgarians_Y -0.355
Romanian_D -0.38

2.

Also, from the Dienekes' "fastIBD analysis of Afroasiatic groups [45 inferred clusters]." Assyrians and Iraqi Mandaeans occupied cluster 4.

Note the position of Assyrians, relative to the Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, and Egyptians below, from the fastIBD run of Afroasiatic groups.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4Pc47nT1Fos/TxsYtZpGoYI/AAAAAAAAAtY/DhsZ5FIADFo/s1600/heatmap.png

3.

From David's recent "Population genetics meets art at Eurogenes (aka. genetic clines across Western Eurasia)" entry. The northernmost speaker of a Babylonian-Aramaic dialect is the sole Iraqi Mandaean participant in Eurogenes. The other "Babylonians" are Iraqi Jews.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/eurogenes_32412b_.jpg


A phenomenon I observed today at my cousin's consecration ceremony reminded me of the post above (CI plasticity).

While all of the older men were obviously brachycephalic (and in many instances hyperbrachycephalic), including my own (American-born) generation, a handful of teenage Assyrian boys I noticed at the ceremony appeared to have lower cephalic indices (although not necessarily subbrachycephalic). The occiput appeared to be the most significant factor. Although the 17-year-old boy below, on the left, did not possess (based on a rough visual measure) the lowest CI among the teenage Assyrian boys I noticed at the ceremony, his occipital region does provide an idea of what I am referring to. His mother and father are Assyrian. Beyond that, I do not know about his ancestral background.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/assyrian_CI.jpg

Humanist
2012-05-28, 08:51
One must examine the question of the origins of the Kassites, to understand the later Babylonian eras (e.g. Neo-Babylonians)

The Spacial Organization of Mesopotamian Cities

Elizabeth C. Stone

State University of New York at Stony Brook


This site [Nippur] – which together with the other southern and central Babylonian cities had been partially or completely abandoned during the latter part of the Old Babylonian and the early Kassite periods – grew to great size under the late Kassite kings.

newtoboard
2012-05-28, 17:00
The Spacial Organization of Mesopotamian Cities

Elizabeth C. Stone

State University of New York at Stony Brook

The people from the Zagros?

Humanist
2012-05-29, 03:18
[T]he longlasting hostility between Assyria and Elam, going back to the reign of Tiglath-pileser III (745–727 B.C.E.), reached its climax and ended in an (actually short-lived) Assyrian supremacy. The Assyrian royal inscriptions, which represent the main source for Neo-Elamite history, record five military campaigns against Elam, undertaken between 664 and 647 or 646 B.C.E. The last campaign against Huban-haltaš III (Assyrian Ummanaldaš) culminated in the sack of Susa and surpassed all previous campaigns in extent and cruelty, perhaps because of Elamite support for Babylonia in the revolt of Šamaš-šuma-ukīn (652–648 B.C.E.). Apart from the tremendous material destruction, a substantial part of the population, livestock, and property was carried off. Ashurbanipal also recovered from Susa a statue of the goddess Nanaya of Uruk, which had been taken away from that city during an Elamite raid in the distant past; he sent it back to the Eanna temple in Uruk. Would it be too far-fetched to see this historical event evoked by the name of the Elamite captive, which in all probability was not her original name?

Faist, Betina, 2009, "An Elamite deportee", In: Galil, G. et al. (eds.), Homeland and Exile. Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honour of Bustenay Oded, Vetus Testamentum (Supplement) CXXX, Leiden / Boston: Brill, pp. 59-69.

---------- Post added 2012-05-28 at 22:35 ----------

Interesting bit, and topical.

Footnote 17, from "An Elamite deportee," above.


Oded, Mass Deportations, p. 12, pointed out that “deportees or aliens settled permanently on foreign soil were given to adopting names of the type commonly found in the lands of their exile”. In our case, since the woman was evidently enslaved, it is most probable that she was renamed by her new owners. Changing a name in the Mesopotamian onomasticon has been discussed by D. O. Edzard, “Name, Namengebung”, RlA 9 (1998–2001), pp. 109–110, but without taking into consideration the replacement of the name in the case of deportees and other displaced persons.

Humanist
2012-05-30, 12:58
The Politics of Marriage: Appeasement, Integration and Adaptation in the Church of the East

Thomas Lecaque


During this early period, Eastern and Western Syriac Christianity remained in sync, not yet divided by later Christological controversies or by differing practice.

The Gospel of Thomas, and his legends, were particularly influential in Syriac Christian asceticism, which “was apparently not derived from the example of Jesus, who is portrayed in the Gospels as homeless and poor, but also as one who ‘came eating and drinking’ to such an extent that he was stigmatized as ‘a man gluttonous and wine-imbibing’ (Lk 7:34).»1 They took John the Baptist* as their example instead, and in terms of apostles they did not follow Paul but Thomas, whose ascetic lifestyle went to the extreme.

This strict view of marriage and procreation brought the CoE into conflict with two of the other major religions on Mesopotamia, and brought unwanted comparisons with the third. To Babylonian Judaism and Zoroastrianism, marriage is an incredibly important part of worship.

Ephrem the Syrian [Assyrian] noted that “although Manichaeism** and East Syrian Christianity proceeded from very different premises and basic beliefs, their goals and practice of the highest religious ideals were confusingly similar,” and in the Zoroastrian view both faiths hindered Ahura Mazda’s growth.1


* Wikipedia:
Mandaeans recognize several prophets. Yahya ibn Zakariyya, known by Christians as John the Baptist, is accorded a special status, higher than his role in Christianity and Islam. Mandaeans do not consider John to be the founder of their religion but revere him as one of their greatest teachers, tracing their beliefs back to Adam.

Mandaeans maintain that Jesus was a mšiha kdaba "false messiah"[20] who perverted the teachings entrusted to him by John.


** Wikipedia:
Manichaeism taught an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. Through an ongoing process which takes place in human history, light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light from which it came. Its beliefs, based on local Mesopotamian gnostic and religious movements[2], contained elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism.

Humanist
2012-06-01, 00:11
The Jews of Babylonia, and Judaism in general, are also relevant to the topic of this thread.

Posted in the "Resources" section of the forum:

1.

The Survival of Babylonian Wissenschaft in later tradition

M. J. GELLER
2000


The Babylonian Talmud records an amusing anecdote which can only be appreciated by someone aware of an Akkadian idiom. A noted rabbi named Raba, who flourished in the early fourth century AD, is quoted as saying that when he saw asses carrying away dust, that he struck his hand on their backs and said, “Hurry, righteous ones, to perform the will of your Master.” What is the joke? Raba’s pun is an allusion to the Akkadian phrase which appears several times in Seleucid chronicles and records, namely that “the dust of Esagil was removed,” indicating rebuilding works in Babylon. A local Babylonian hearing Raba’s words would have understood it to mean that Raba approved of the renovation of the temple, although it is clear from the context that Raba actually has in mind that Babylon will become a wasteland. On one hand these observations might suggest that Rabbis may have actually visited Babylon in the fourth or fifth centuries, and that building works were still ongoing. On the other hand, it is also clear that the Babylonian Talmud is hardly conscious of its role as witness to Babylonian life in the Parthian period, nor is much appreciation expressed for the greatness that was Babylon. The Talmud serves, somewhat ironically, as a major source of information for the end of Mesopotamian antiquity.


2.

An Aramaic Incantation Bowl from Khafaje

Edward M. Cook
BASOR 285 (1992).
Hebrew Union College


An incantation bowl written in [Babylonian] Jewish Aramaic found at Tell Khafaje in lraq mentions "Sargon" and describes an angelic being as magical intercessor.

The incantation itself, though brief, is of particular interest because it contains a magical use of the name "Sargon" and describes an angelic being in terms very unlike the usual incantations of the same period. The language is typical Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Sasanian period (third-seventh century C.E.) with some conservative features in the orthography...


3.

[I]Neo-Assyrian Astronomical Terminology in the Babylonian Talmud

The Journal of the American Oriental Society 130.2 (2010)
Jonathan Ben-Dov
Haifa University


It is an ongoing scholarly endeavor to detect the afterlife of ancient Mesopotamian traditions in the late antique literature of Syria and Mesopotamia. 1 Local Mesopotamian traditions did not cease with the demise of the cuneiform culture but rather persisted into the Aramaic speaking cultures that flourished in Mesopotamia subsequently. Special significance should be given to those cases where an Akkadian term is reduplicated in Aramaic usage—either as a loanword or as a translated cognate—thereby attesting more clearly to the cultural continuation.

This short note highlights one such case in which, albeit not without difficulties, the technical vocabulary of cuneiform scientists is adopted by a Jewish sage of the late third to early fourth century c.e. It also supplements the discussion by Wacholder and Weisberg, 2 who reflected on the similar methods of proclaiming the new moon in ancient Mesopotamia and in the rabbinic tradition. While these two authors claimed quite specifically that the Jewish calendrical tradition is dependent upon its Mesopotamian roots, their argument proves little more than generic similarity of an observation-based lunar calendar. In the text discussed here, however, the case for direct continuity is clearer, due to the use of a technical term and to the fact that the Jewish sage in question lived on Mesopotamian soil.


4.

Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty as the Source for the Canon Formula in Deuteronomy 13:1

Journal of the American Oriental Society 130 (2010): 337–347.
Bernard M. Levinson


The purpose of this study is to propose a Neo-Assyrian origin for the so-called “canon formula” found in Deut. 13:1 (lxx 12:32). Sections of Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty, also known as the Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon (VTE), have previously been recognized as a literary model for both the curses of Deut. 28 and the Deuteronomic series of three laws governing apostasy from a prophet or oneiromancer, a family member, or an entire city (Deut.13:2–12). Here I propose a similar origin for the canon formula of Deut. 13:1, as part of Deuteronomy’s larger project of creative literary reworking. In what follows, I suggest that the adjuration to loyalty of the adê provided a literary model for the authors of Deut. 13. Those authors transformed the Neo-Assyrian formula requiring exclusive loyalty to the “word of Esarhaddon” (abutu ša Aššur-aḫu-iddina) into one that demanded fidelity to “the word (”הדבר") of Israel’s divine overlord, Yahweh, as proclaimed by Moses.

Humanist
2012-06-01, 02:47
I mention northern and southern Mesopotamia a lot. The below map, in my opinion, captures the broad outlines of the regions well:

Domination and Resilience in Bronze Age Mesopotamia
by Tate Paulette
Published in Surviving Sudden Environmental Change: Answers from Archaeology (Eds. J. Cooper and P. Sheets). University Press of Colorado. 2012

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mesopotamia.jpg


Traversed by two major rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates (figure 7.2), this arid land has long supported a subsistence economy centered on cereal cultivation and the herding of sheep and goats. Rainfall is typically meager and erratic, with a high frequency of drought years,but impressive agricultural yields can be achieved across much of the region.On the alluvial plains of Southern Mesopotamia, this is possible only withthe aid of irrigation, but in Northern Mesopotamia rain-fed agriculture (also known as “dry farming”) is the norm.

Throughout Mesopotamian history, settlement has been concentrated within the two agricultural zones—Southern and Northern Mesopotamia—but these zones are separated by a broad band of arid steppe...


From David's most recent Eurogenes update (colors and circles added). The Iraqi Jews pull toward the Levant.

We have a good many Tigridians. We need more Euphrateans. :)


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mesopotamia_53112_b.jpg


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/euphrates.jpg

ZephyrousMandaru
2012-06-01, 03:23
^ Damn, I'm close to that Jordanian. I wonder what his/her ancestry painting is.

Nader
2012-06-01, 03:34
I heard by friends from Iraq that christians from Mosul city have a large % of Haplogroup J, mainly J1C3. Some have data about christians in Mosul? Because in Mosul have mix of arab christians and assyrians.

Humanist
2012-06-01, 05:20
Many thanks to David ("Polako") (http://bga101.blogspot.com/) for trying out the new PCA software, SPA (Spatial Ancestry Analysis) (http://genetics.cs.ucla.edu/spa/) through his Eurogenes project.

A model-based approach for analysis of spatial structure in genetic data (http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v44/n6/abs/ng.2285.html)

Yang et al.

Nature Genetics 44, 725–731 (2012) doi:10.1038/ng.2285

A bit more about it from ScienceDaily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112531.htm):


ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — Understanding the genetic diversity within and between populations has important implications for studies of human disease and evolution. This includes identifying associations between genetic variants and disease, detecting genomic regions that have undergone positive selection and highlighting interesting aspects of human population history.

"If we know from where each individual in our study originated, what we observe is that some variation is more common in one part of the world and less common in another part of the world," said Eleazar Eskin, an associate professor of computer science at UCLA Engineering. "How common these variants are in a specific location changes gradually as the location changes.

"In this study, we think of the frequency of variation as being defined by a specific location. This gives us a different way to think about populations, which are usually thought of as being discrete. Instead, we think about the variant frequencies changing in different locations. If you think about a person's ancestry, it is no longer about being from a specific population -- but instead, each person's ancestry is defined by the location they're from. Now ancestry is a continuum."

The team reports the development of a simple probabilistic model for the spatial structure of genetic variation, with which they model how the frequency of each genetic variant changes as a function of the location of the individual in geographic space (where the gene frequency is actually a function of the x and y coordinates of an individual on a map).


The last sentence in bold is a bit ambiguous, I think. It is not a question of where you are from (read:inhabit), but rather, where your genes are from, relative to the other samples in the data set. Otherwise, I would plot in America, Iran, Ukraine, etc.

Humanist
2012-06-01, 07:40
From David's most recent Eurogenes update (colors and circles added). The Iraqi Jews pull toward the Levant.

We have a good many Tigridians. We need more Euphrateans. :)


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mesopotamia_53112_b.jpg


I was reading the article on Iraqi Jews on Wikipedia, and I came across this:


The cumulative effect of the Mongol incursions is that most of the pre-existing Jewish community either died or fled, and the later Jewish community consisted largely of immigrants from other places, principally Aleppo.

I am not that familiar with Iraqi Jewish history. Not sure if we can rely on Wikipedia, but the genetic data does suggest a Levantine pull.

Humanist
2012-06-01, 08:53
A couple of bits from Simo Parpola, on Assyrian asceticism:


Beside transcendental meditation, the worship of the Goddess involved extreme asceticism and mortification of flesh...and other ecstatic techniques which could result in altered states, visions and inspired prophecy.

[T]here is evidence that asceticism and seclusion from the world played a significant role in the life of Assyrian prophets. In oracle 9 the prophetess presents her concern for the life of the king as the exertions of Gilgamesh...where the hero roams the desert as an ascetic clad in animal skins...

Humanist
2012-06-01, 17:35
The Mandaeans did not originate in Basra, in the deep south. Their own origin tales state this clearly. They say they were from the north, in some proximity to Iran (or Iranians), and in an oil rich area. The genetic evidence supports their claim. However, how far north? Are we talking from Basra to Babylon/Baghdad? Or from Basra to, say, in the neighborhood of Kirkuk? If it is the latter, the distribution of samples in David's analysis continue to appear reasonable.

Note the location of the "supergiant oilfield" in the north:

http://www.war-evolution.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/iraq-oil-map-kurdistan.jpg

Updating a map I created previously, and posted in this thread, with additional Assyrian sites, from the period of early Neo-Assyrian expansion (crosses):

Aššur c. 2300

Nīnuwa (Nineveh) c. 1360

Kilīzi c.1330

Kalhu (Nimrud) c.1310

Arbail (Arbela) c. 1310

Halahhu: An Assyrian district northwest of Nineveh. (Speculative Location) c. 1310

Apku (Tell Abu Marya)
c.1310

Šibanība (Tell Billa)
c. 1310

Šīmu
c.1310

Talmusa (Gir-e Pan)
c. 1310

Habrūri
c. 930 (already MA)

Arrapha (Kerkuk)
c. 900 (already MA)

Lahiru (Eski Kifri)
c. 900 (already MA)

Lubda (Tawuq?)
c. 900 (already MA)

Katmuhi/Šahuppa
c.900

Raqmatu
899

Naşībina (Nisibin)
896

Gūzāna / Hanigalbat
894


http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Assyria_-1.jpg

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mesopotamia_53112_b.jpg

Humanist
2012-06-01, 21:57
The fortress of Ili-pada.
Middle Assyrian architecture at Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria
Peter M.M.G. Akkermans (2006)

In: P. Butterlin, M. Lebeau, J.-Y. Monchambert, J. Montero & B. Muller (eds.), Les espaces Syro-Mésopotamiens. Dimensions de l’expérience humaine au Proche-Orient ancien. Turnhout: Brepols (2006), pp. 201-211.



Fig. 4: "Artistic reconstruction of the Middle Assyrian fortress at Tell Sabi Abyad."

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/tell_sabi.jpg



* Wikipedia :

---------- Post added 2012-04-26 at 06:57 ----------

The Assyrian King's list, beginning with Ili-pada's son, mentioned above:

Ninurta-apal-Ekur (1182 BCE to 1180 BCE) --> Ashur-dan I --> Ninurta-tukultī-Aššur --> Mutakkil-Nusku --> Ashur-resh-ishi I --> Tiglath-Pileser I --> Asharid-apal-Ekur --> Assur-bel-kala --> Eriba-Adad II --> Shamshi-Adad IV --> Ashurnasirpal I --> Shalmaneser II --> Ashur-nirari IV --> Ashur-rabi II --> Ashur-resh-ishi II --> Tiglath-Pileser II --> Ashur-dan II --> Adad-nirari II --> Tukulti-Ninurta II --> Ashurnasirpal II --> Shalmaneser III --> Shamshi-Adad V --> Adad-nirari III --> Shalmaneser IV --> Ashur-dan III --> Ashur-nirari V (755 BCE to 745 BCE). The line is broken by Tiglath-Pileser III.


http://knp.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/images/essentials/royalfamily/assyrian-royal-family.gif


Esarhaddon's many sons


So far, we have encountered three of Esarhaddon's children: Assurbanipal, the crown prince and later king of Assyria; his elder brother Šamaš-šumu-ukin, the crown prince and later king of Babylon; and the princess Šerua-eṭirat. Many more sons and daughters of Esarhaddon are attested, yet whether they too were Ešarra-hammat's children is unknown. One son, Sin-nadin-apli PGP , was at one point before 677 BC considered a good choice for Assyrian crown prince (SAA 4: 149) and even seems to have ascended to that position. It is not known what happened to him then but he was most probably dead by 672 when Assurbanipal was appointed crown prince. Two other sons, Aššur-mukin-paleya PGP and Aššur-etel-šame-erṣeti-muballissu PGP , were appointed to prestigious offices, to match their illustrious names ("Aššur is the one who established my [i.e., the father's] reign" and "Aššur, the prince of heaven and earth, is the one who keeps him alive"), at the temple of Marduk PGP of Babylon PGP and the moongod of Harran PGP after their brother Assurbanipal came to the Assyrian throne. These and other princes are mentioned in Esarhaddon's correspondence with his scholarly advisors. While some letters deal with suitable dates for encounters between the father and his children, many others concerning their health seem to imply that Esarhaddon passed on his frail constitution to his offspring. The names of two sons in particular suggest they were in poor health from birth onwards: The name Šamaš-metu-uballiṭ "Šamaš resurrected the dead one" points to the fact that the baby survived his birth against all odds, while the name Aššur-taqiša-libluṭ "O Aššur, you have granted (a son); may he live!" is essentially a prayer for the life of a sickly newborn boy.


Karen Radner, 'The royal family: queen, crown prince, eunuchs and others', Knowledge and Power, Higher Education Academy, 2010

Humanist
2012-06-02, 04:12
More on Mandaean origins:

1.

Iranian Scripts for Aramaic Languages: The Origin of the Mandaic Script

by Charles G. Haeberl
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University
2006


After comparison with the other Aramaic scripts of the Parthian Empire, we can only come to the conclusion that the Parthian chancery script influenced and perhaps even gave rise to new scripts for formerly unwritten Aramaic languages such as Elymaic, Characenean, and Mandaic. If, as the evidence suggests, these three scripts derived from the Parthian chancery script, and their adoption followed the Arsacids' gradual abandonment of Hellenism from 53 C.E. onward, then the Mandaeans must have adopted their script at some point during the latter half of the period of Arsacid rule, and more specifically between the second half of the first century and the end of the second century, the terminus ante quem for the composition of Mandaic texts given by the colophons. While the written literature of the Mandaeans continued to grow during the Sassanian era and even into the Islamic period, its origins should be sought within the Arsacid era.


2.

THE COLOPHONS IN THE CANONICAL PRAYERBOOK OF THE MANDAEANS

Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley
Bowdoin College
1992


R. Machuch [a Mandaean scholar] dates the [Mandaean] migration to the first century C.E., under the Parthian king Artabanus III (ca. 12-38 C.E.), while K, Rudolph [another Mandaean scholar], and others, more conservatively assume that Artabanus V (213-ca. 227 C.E.) is meant. Whatever the precise date, it is certain that one of the earliest Mandaean scribes, Zazai, was active around 270 C.E. And that he is the last scribe in four of the eight CP [Canonical Prayerbook] colophons.


3.

Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran

E.S. Drower, Leiden
1962


I had long been concerned with this question of origins. When I questioned the priests and got the answer 'We came from the North', I did not attach much literal value to the answer, for dwellers in the Middle East cannot distinguish between religion and race, and the divine ancestors naturally resided in the north, the seat of the gods.

But there seemed something more than this in their refusal to acknowledge Lower Iraq as the original home of the race. There is an arrogance, almost worthy of the present 'Nordic' propaganda, about the following, culled from the seventh fragment of the eleventh book of the Ginza Rba:

'All the word calls the north a highland and the south a lowland. For the worlds of darkness lie in the lowlands of the South....Whose dwelleth in the North is light of colour but those who live in the lowlands are black and their appearance is ugly like demons.'

---------- Post added 2012-06-02 at 00:10 ----------

1.

More from Drower:


That this was a mountainous country and stretched to Harran is clearly indicated, also, that not all the 'Madai' were Nasurai. Noteworthy also is the fact that the expression 'Manda d Hiia' does not occur, nor the expression 'Mandai' for Mandaeans. It may be argued that 'Madai' refers to the Mandaeans, but in that case, Mandaean cannot mean 'gnostic' but refers to nationality.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/harran.jpg


^^ A connection? Maybe. The DNA data does nothing to dismiss the possibility.


2.

Assyrians after Assyria
Dr. Simo Parpola, University of Helsinki
The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project (State Archives of Assyria)


Under the Achaemenid Empire, the western areas annexed to Babylonia formed a satrapy called Athura (a loanword from Imperial Aramaic Athur, "Assyria"), while the Assyrian heartland remained incorporated in the satrapy of Mada (Old Persian for "Media"). Both satrapies paid yearly tribute and contributed men for the military campaigns and building projects of the Persian kings. Assyrian soldiers participated in the expedition of Xerxes against Greece (480 BC) according to Herodotus, and Assyrians from both Athura and Mada participated in the construction of the palace of Darius at Susa (500-490 BC).


3.

Wikipedia article on Achaemenid Assyria:


In 520 BC the two Assyrian Provinces of Mada and Athura revolted against the Persian Empire.[30] Though the revolt was quickly suppressed, it illustrated that the two regions acted in unison, suggesting perhaps a cultural link. Having said this a rebellion could occur in several different parts of an Empire for geographical reasons and it may have been that the whole of the Mesopotamia region became swept with rebellion.

The Assyrians continued to serve the Persians under King Darius who was at his time considered the greatest ruler, often styling himself as "King of Kings." He ruled as a king over many other powerful subordinates and, as such, it was believed that a great palace should be built at the Persian city of Susa. The Assyrians were employed in the construction of this building, albeit with many other tributary peoples as well as Persians themselves. The Western Assyrians of Athura were closer to Mount Lebanon, where fine trees could be found and timber processed for Darius' grand Palace. The Eastern Assyrians of Mada were charged with excavating gold.

In the late 4th century BC Alexander the Great led his Greco-Macedonian army to conquer the Achaemenid Empire. The empire's vast territory and numerous tributary peoples ensured that rebellion would be a constant problem. This new Greek Empire relied upon the administrative system put in place by the Persians to govern these new lands; consequently, the Assyrian lands of Athura and Mada were administrated as such by their own Satraps.


4.

The Ramessides, Medes, and Persians
Emmet John Sweeney

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/mada_athura.jpg

Humanist
2012-06-02, 06:34
Posted before, of course. But again relevant, in light of the autosomal plots recently created by David (Eurogenes (http://bga101.blogspot.com/)).

Compare the beginning of the history of the Mandaeans (there is much more to it), with the end of the Assyrian Empire. The possible parallels are very interesting.

Lady Drower:


The manuscript [Harran Gawaitha] is broken, the beginning is missing, and it bears marks of shameless editing. Owing to this last, it is difficult to date it from internal evidence. Unlike the 18th book of the Ginza, it assigns 4,000 years to Arab rule before the advent of the 'lying Messiah', but, like the Ginza, says that 'the mud brick in the wall' will proclaim him. Bar Khuni in his 'Scholion' (A.D. 792) repeats the same legend.

On the other hand, tarmida is used in its ancient sense of 'disciple'. It is written after the Arab invasion, but the attacks on Islam are not so venemous as those on the Yahutaiia, which word is used throughout as meaning both 'Chaldeans' and 'Jews'.

The roll purports to be a history and prophecy combined, and is looked upon with the utmost reverence by the Mandaeans, though on account of its dangerously polemical character it has been always kept secret.

It starts in the middle of a sentence:


'The interior of the Haran (i.e. Harran) admitted them, that city which has Nasurai in it, so that there should not be a road (passage?) for the kings of the Yahutaiia (Chaldeans). Over them (the Nasurai) was King Ardban. And they served themselves from the sign of the Seven and entered the mountain of the Madai, a place where they were free from domination of all races. And they built mandis (mandia) and dwelt in the call of the Life and in the strength of the high King of Light.'

Still more inexplicable is the assertion that the Egyptians were co-religionists, and that the original ancestors of the Mandaean race went from Egypt to the Tura d Madai [Mountains of Madai]. Yearly, a ritual meal is eaten in memory of the Egyptian hosts who perished in the waters when following the wicked Jews.


The end of the Assyrian Empire:


Ashur-uballit II, was the last king of the Assyrian empire. He reigned in the last capital city of Harran from 612 BC to 609 BC, having fled Nineveh during the siege and capture of that city by the Babylonian[Chaldean] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Babylonian_Empire)-Median army in 612 BC. In alliance with Egyptian forces, Ashuruballit's army was able to defend Harran from the combined Babylonian-Median attack for a brief period following the destruction of Nineveh; however, when the Egyptian army had to return their homeland in 610 BC, the Babylonians and Medians swept into Harran and sacked it. Assyria again called upon Egypt, who came to their assistance. King Josiah of Judah allied himself with Babylon and tried to block the way of the forces of Egypt under Pharaoh Necho II. Josiah was defeated at Meggido, and was killed in the battle. Pharaoh Necho marched on together with Ashur-uballit II, to besiege Carchemish. They were defeated and the Egyptians retreated into northern Syria. Ashur-uballit II disappears from history, bringing an end to the Assyrian empire.

Humanist
2012-06-02, 20:08
From the Sumerian, Akkadian, and Aramaic thread:

Was reading Lady Drower's book on the Mandaeans, and came across this Mandaic term.

Mandaic
sadra/ksuia: the sacred shirt.

“The shirt...should measure 6 dhras for a living person. The dhra is the length of the forearm from elbow to fingertip.”

Sureth
ṣadra : chest
ṣudra : shirt; blouse
īdā : hand/arm

Sumerian
šu-da: hand and forearm, as a unit of measurement, ell/cubit (cf., kùš) ('hand' + 'arm').

kùš: ell/cubit = 1/2 meter = 30 fingers [šu-si] = distance from elbow to fingertips; forearm; channel (cf., šu-da) (ku, 'to base, found, build', + many).

Akkadian
ša-irti : [Human → Body] 1) child at the breast , wet nursing ; 2) (adjective) pectoral ; 3) army : breastplate , cuirass for the protection of the chest

šupālītu : [Clothing] 1) : undergarment , an underwear , a shirt

Humanist
2012-06-03, 01:56
The Doctrine of Addai, the Apostle (1876)

George Phillips



Preface

The MS of which a portion is here edited, belongs to the Imperial Public Library of St. Petersburg. It is in fine condition, written in a bold Estrangelo character, comprising several works besides the one now published, and is apparently of the sixth century. It is the only known MS which contains the Syriac text of "The Doctrine of Addai, the Apostle," entire. There exists in the British Museum a MS of this work, which forms one of the ancient Syriac documents edited and translated by the late Dr. Cureton, and published after his death. That MS., however, is very imperfect. It does not contain so much as a half of the entire text, and consequently the value of the work in so mutilated a condition is greatly impaired.

So also Orientals with the appearance of merchants passed into the country of the Romans to see the signs which Addai did, and those of them who became disciples, received from them the hand of the priesthood, and in their own country of the Assyrians they taught the sons of their people, and houses of prayer they built there secretly, because of the danger arising from the worshippers of fire and the adorers of water. But Nersai, the king of the Assyrians, when he had heard of these things which Addai the Apostle had done, he sent to Abgar, the king; either send me the man who hath done these signs with thee, that I may see him and hear his discourse, or send me an account of all these things which thou hast seen him do in thy city.

Humanist
2012-06-03, 04:33
From a few posts back, and some additional information:

Lady Drower:


That this was a mountainous country and stretched to Harran is clearly indicated, also, that not all the 'Madai' were Nasurai. Noteworthy also is the fact that the expression 'Manda d Hiia' does not occur, nor the expression 'Mandai' for Mandaeans. It may be argued that 'Madai' refers to the Mandaeans, but in that case, Mandaean cannot mean 'gnostic' but refers to nationality.


Wikipedia:


In the late 4th century BC Alexander the Great led his Greco-Macedonian army to conquer the Achaemenid Empire. The empire's vast territory and numerous tributary peoples ensured that rebellion would be a constant problem. This new Greek Empire relied upon the administrative system put in place by the Persians to govern these new lands; consequently, the Assyrian lands of Athura and Mada were administrated as such by their own Satraps.

Satraps and Cyrus the Great:


An area west from River Tigris formed a satrapy together with Babylonia named Athura meaning “Assyria”, while another portion fell within Media’s satrapy ‘’Mada’’. Assyrian influences tenaciously remained. Its god Ashur adopted by Babylonia became Marduk...Assyrians were active under Achaemenid power with governors administrating Athura and other personages whose Assyrian names are recognizable appear in the Book of Nehemiah(circa 450 B.C.)...


Lady Drower (Mandaean text):


"Satraps are set up over the provinces, and these all have Mandaean names. This rule is thoroughly approved of by the Powers of Light."

Humanist
2012-06-03, 06:43
Additionally, Muller-Kessler and Kwasman (2000, 164 fn. 15) see a survival of an ‘‘Akkadian magical ritual concept’’ in the sequence of eating bread, drinking water, and anointing with oil found in an incantation text, which in turn parallels the Mandaean ‘‘sacraments’’ of the ritual oil, bread, and water in the baptism ritual (Drower 1937, 114).

In short, the testimony of external witnesses, ambiguous as it is, tends to support the Mandaeans’ own traditions, including that of a migration to southern Mesopotamia in pre-Islamic times.

Mandaeism in Antiquity and the Antiquity of Mandaeism
Charles G. Haberl
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Religion Compass Volume 6, Issue 5, Article first published online: 8 MAY 2012