The Sumerian animal round is the earliest whole zodiac we know. They painted the main myth in the sky, as yearly ritual about Inanna the new moon, her sister Ereshkigal in Underworld and the herd Dumuzi. The ritual was called Inanna steps down
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Tense shifts 3100 BC
Observe that the excavations tell us that the civilisation began in the upper end of Tigris in the lower mountains 6000 to 5500 BC. They believe Jarmo, Hassuna, Samarra to be the oldest. In lower the area they build several cities 5500 to 4000 BC like El Obeid and Eridu.
The excavations tell Eridu was build before 4000 BC about the same size as my little town with 5000 inhabitants. Uruk was a town of about 40000 inhabitants in third millennium. The history of the town tells that Inanna become goddess there after her father, which they believe to be a tense shift with new rituals and then perhaps 3100 BC.
These motives are from an artefact found in the Egyptian Delta.
In the upper row are the Sumerians bald figures and the figures in stems and on standards are Sumerian. The "Eastern New Moon-symbol" was invented then. A few finds show that there might have been struggles between Sumerians and Egyptians in the Delta before 3000 BC. They also picture the Sumerians in long coats while the Egyptians have a curly hair and some of them are Africans.
Another source tells about mining in Sinai around 3400 BC and copper and turquoise were the goals. Maybe the name Sinai is Sumerian and should be read SIN-AI = moon mountain. Lately they have found remains in the area after some shrine made for the moon god.
This Sumerian seal is of the same age as the scenes above.
We can compare the temple facade with the same motives in Egypt then. On both sides are pillars we can call satelles and they are perhaps territory symbols as well as symbols of seasons. We see them in the Hittitian symbolism too more than thousand years later.
At this time we see an evolution towards by ritual lead communities everywhere. Part of this was the beginning civilisation, which means that wherever there was population enough they formed cities. I call it petrifaction to a stony world compared with those living in the ban of nature. In an ecosophical perspective civilisation is not good for pure nature since it leads to mono-culture and root out unwanted bio life. .
Nevertheless, from that day beginning a description of human behaviour in the traditional way is meaningful. We have artefacts, remains of establishments and at best written facts from the cultures.
Sumer is the right place to begin and we can see what their intelligence was about. It is often hidden as they wrote for their time and people and not for highly educated westerners with the demands for sophisticated solutions in every sense. My conclusion is that simplifying and making understandable to everyone sophisticated them. Behind it all was a clear strategy how to lead people still today our educated academics often believe that they are chosen to educate the people Oh Boy now I got some more enemies among the academic I think, but something it costs to be true scientist.
The Sumerian written language was invented 3300 BC they tell, but many symbols and ideograms existed long before that. Before the systematic syllable writing I think the stage was like the simple symbolising we mostly see in our rock-carvings. Longer sentences are very rare and I find most of them on Dal see moreIconography
If we translate the Sumerian word LUGAL it is "man big" ... The word order is inverted compared with our normal order, but is the same as in Celtic. Seeing it as a primitive image of a leader or Goliath is easy. I am sure they used it also for men like Gilgamesh, inventor of cities with walls around. But Gilgamesh as archetype and idol is surely much older than that. Gudea was a beloved builder of society and temples. We can compare some parts of Exodus and temple building with what Gudea tells about building the Ningirsu temple in Lagash.
Nearer to ourselves we come when thinking about Abraham Lincoln, Vivaldi, Newton, Churchill ... and many others who still are LUGAL locally or globally ... I think we should pay respect to the great men in the past. The same counts for abstractions like LUGAL at the Evenstorp carving. In our time it do not give us much to think about the person. The idea / work the person invented is the interesting part
In the Sumerian writing we often see a simplified structure telling us how society is and what leads it. Sophistication was up to the needs at the time. Their city-states counted perhaps to more than hundred thousand inhabitants. At that size ritual can still rule them. But as they grew bigger some like Sargon of Akkad became ruler over many cities. Then religion faded and the feudal nobility became the worldly class with needs for democracy among equals note that democracy is invented for the equal upper class.
People in general lived in their small societies and had maybe the geronsia = elders' board = circle = ring. In sparsely populated Scandinavia we see signs of communities with one or two male leaders, sometimes a couple, sometimes a female, sometimes a male leader and maybe we can draw the same conclusions in some parts of Mesopotamia too.
The westerners mostly carry out the Sumerian contributions to the global traditions. We got many myths already during the Sumerian time. That is before ca 2000 BC. The Babylonian continued where the Sumerians left and they influenced the Levant and Anatolia in the Hittitian time.
Tales about Etana were very popular and are found in many versions in the library of Assurbanipal ... they sent 25000 tablets to London. Still, they believe the library to have been much bigger.
"Know your limits" ... told in the Sumerian way.
Etana felt the pain of his wife when giving birth and tried to fly to the upper gods for help. Perhaps we find small pieces of it in the line "with pain a mother shall give birth to the child".
We could see it in another metaphor in is the old saying, "Do not fly higher than the wings bear". Etana and the Sumerians analysed many things and found that man has to know his limits and some pains we have to bear. This is of course meant as metaphor and not literally. In Danish they say, "You have to take the good with the bad".
Greeks' flyer Phaeton had perhaps more skill as he reached the sun, but did not know what a sun is. Even that metaphor we see in Scandinavian rock carvings. The Sumerian attitudes as they tell it was overall more naive view on everything. We cannot know if that mind was in the writer or in the very clever Sumerians. They did not need to be more clever than we since they surely had a few with super intelligence during the thousands of years they developed society.
The theme of searching in the underground for help has also its myth with Gilgamesh. He tried to help his mate Enkidu, i.e. his body. That is fellowship to the death not wanting to leave anything untried to save a fellow.
The Bible is naturally the best carrier of the Sumerian heritage. It would fill a book to analyse that. We can tell Sumerian motives such as Creation ... Adam, Eve and the Serpent ... about Noah ... resurrection perhaps shared with Egypt ... the first Job ... indirectly ideas like Mary ... Moses including the tradition of laws on tablets ... the shamanism of Moses ... surely the calendar of Jews ... in the world of literacy the literacy itself including writing in syllables ... the hero's themes with the dragon or a journey through difficulties ... book of agriculture ... the debate or word struggle ... a library with poetry as well as prosaic texts ... in organising society tools like assembly and collegium with meetings.
Some of all that we got then, other matters have influenced our culture in time and space. For instance the myths about Inanna including the part with marriage, as a way to keep peace within groups or between cities. Other smaller myths are not mentioned.
Success is not only giving fortune but usually it also leads to a problem-machine. New problems occur with increasing population and success in farming. They were forced to make system or ritual of it. They needed new words and new easily understood myths animating how agriculture works.
One cannot just make a story it must be true and follow reality otherwise it will not work over time. Many factors had to be weighed in. Some symbolism we can understand other is more like a mystery. In the evolution it was natural that the myths become more humanlike so that priests and others could animate rituals in a suite. Then get all people into a procession literally leading them to work in the fields.
We should not forget that all this was also meant as education of the children. Surely in their society the children followed their parents almost everywhere.
When looking at this picture, the feeling human automatically wants to save the filly.
We want to help the mare that got wings when defending her little one. The invisible part is that the lion perhaps has its own little ones. In our Nordic symbolism it is the struggle between two serpents. What is good may be bad for the other and vice versa.
We always expect they are fighting and do not want to think about co-operation. The Sumerian symbol for treaty was much like two embracing serpents. In the Edda we find the guarantee for treaties in fellowship, friendship, marriage and sometimes in taking hostage. That is always to quit a gift with a gift and be all square. That wisdom has faded out in our days. Such things had to be defined and when we see many twins some of them are symbolising just fellowship, comradeship and partnership.
When I originally wrote this part, old Sumer was in flames. In mind were the poisoned Curds and the Arabs in the marshes Saddam Hussein forced away from perhaps ten thousand years of culture. If any place on earth should be holy, it is the land from the marshes to the Gulf. The actions of UN and the western world in Iraq do not impress me, because they are short-sighted just protecting "their oil".
To my mind come a poem about a "sitting" perhaps inspiration to the English nurse, who knows. Nanshe was the goddess of Lagash (Tello). Usually they portray her as if she were telling stories for children or singing a song:
She knows the orphan,
she knows the widow,
she knows man oppressing mankind.
She is a mother to the orphan.
Nanshe cares for the widow,
creates justice for the poor.
She is the queen,
who takes the refuge in her knee,
find shelter for the weak.
What is not published or commonly known do not exist. That is the subjective truth. When I was young, few knew about the Sumerians and that they gave us the means of civilisation in unofficial company with Egypt. They told us that the Jews developed the Bible and the Greeks the worldly ideology and sciences.
Now at least I know better, that the Jews and Greeks are only children around the feet of Nanshe, Enki, Inanna and the other Sumerian idols.
The Jewish act like Hitler these days, so being sceptical about religion is easy when we see to what it leads. I usually remind them about the prophet Amos giving a good advice to beer-heavers and Jewish. "Do not boost yourself" ... otherwise you have the hangover afterwards. It is more than an anachronism when they say they are chosen and then oppress others.
As a child I learned early that justice is for the chosen ... as Jesus also learnt that, but what a fool to give in. I think the will to live have to be intact to the last moment. Otherwise, we are compromising too often.
My surroundings set very hard demands on me then, but people could not practice the moral of Christianity in their own life. That made me a doubter. For a time in my youth I was a true sceptic when reading Descartes and others. In the end I learnt to be tolerant to everything, but I have a goat eye too. That is to try to figure if some is planing some evil act against me. To be prepared is to have a good defence.
In our era Adam Smith told the pure truth about real capitalism. If we forget the social dimension, society will get a hangover with criminality and poverty ... as I see from TV walking on the street in London the centre of capitalism in Europe might not be easy. Every time you have to look out for poor sleeping people on the street. That is if you want to stay out of the hospital with a broken leg and days of income spoiled.
When we read Sumerian texts, seeing them as lovely and naive is easy. The filters in our eyes ask for power intrigues and battles everywhere. Sumer had that too, but clever as they where they could se the proportion that wartime is short in human life. Prosperity would not grow if war were the rule.
The Sumerians have fostered my thinking to see what is normal reference and ordinary people to compare with and they are always majority. They have also taught me that we need no force to govern if the ideas of ruling are hidden in pleasant rituals for seasons and life. To use the fist is a sign of no order in the mind of the individual. If an assembly leading a big state take their people into war, it is just multiplied nonsense.
The Babylonians were direct heirs to the Semitic Akkads and the Sumerians in lower Mesopotamia. Sorting it out for us to understand clearly is difficult. Babylonians were a little different and there is also the time factor. However not more different than that they had a Sumerian renaissance when they found the old Sumerian libraries around 700 BC..
The Hittites and the Hurrites/ Mitanni were neighbouring cultures rising at the same time as Babylon. They were not new enemies because they are surely the "mountain-people" Sumerians called their enemies. Nevertheless, we have to remember that Anatolian culture is much older than in the lowlands. The excavations in Jarmo and Hassuna have the oldest dating about 5000 BC and then some Anatolian cities were 3000 years old!
For a short time around 1600 BC the Hittites conquered Babylon and we see much of the influences in their art about that time. They picture the "original hill" in the Sumerian style. We see in the guidelines of rituals and organisation of society that the Hittites borrowed many things from the south as far as we see with present knowledge.
The satelle is significant for the Hittites since they seemingly made it a symbol of each federal community with the attendant belonging to the feudal herd. The priest-king was the leader of the herd and ritual master of the people. We see the satelle in Sumerian symbolism for smaller settlements. But the Hittites made system out of it and kept together many cities in a federation and that was their invention.
In sparsely populated Europe it developed to the Irminsul or the more normal "pole of the village". Maybe they had rings on it as in Sumer and we get something like a Maypole/ Midsummerpole. In legal terms that mean a thing with people coming together much for fun, but perhaps also for a few discussions about common matter. I suppose our local folklorist would not agree because no pole is found and then we have got it from Germany in the seventeenth century, of course?
Nevertheless we have the Gerum volador in Bohuslaen and many more simple poles as small evidence, but there are much more. If I understand the old words right some place names in Greece and Italy means they had Irminsul too. Maybe they called it "faesula"?
I think this symbol from the neo Hittitian period symbolised a meeting.
The bigger symbol at left means surely priest-king since we see it in the symbol in place of the priest-king in the seal. The other three in row we see for instance on some ritual text in three places. I suppose that it is the season feasts. Compare even with the Sumerian poles above and I suggest the pole and the rings symbolise the season feast that kept the society together with the priest-king as "yearman"
However, the priest kings had it in their top-hats about 1500 BC too. We stand there with no written comments from any of the cultures about their many ritual symbols. They left it to set ants in my hair I think sometimes when the explanations are somewhere but will not be born.
When we look at official seals as the Hittitian aedicula we may be sure that every little symbol has a meaning connected to the legal power. Ramesses III says in his testament "that he is a stand-in for the god and that he stands on his servants". His nearest servants had titles like master of the footstool, the bearer of the sandals, the bearer of the sunshade and they could be many. Ordinary people were feet under the officials and priests. That is exactly what the AEDICULA pictures.
In time perhaps the Phoenicians were the first to influence us more directly from the Mesopotamian sphere as we can see clearly. They copied also a lot of arts and customs from Egypt. That is because we have not sufficient material to see the influence on Scandinavia in the late Stone Age and early Bronze Age.
Later the Greeks were a bridge to the Ionian culture. They had trade with Anatolia to get minerals and metals from the Minoan culture onwards. The Celts were carriers as they had direct contact with Phrygia and brought the headgear to the French.
Do herbs talk?
... are they intelligent? Imagine what a noise it would be in nature if all species were chattering loudly like that being on two feet. Yeah, he amplifies his noise by sitting in a can on wheels and boost out to nature his excrements of consuming oil. If asked he say, "It was not me. It was the can or ... It was the machine." The Sumerians perhaps would have made a synergetic picture of what man really is.
Our vocabulary and science are very poor and we have to generalise and talk very roughly about everything. Our concept in language is to picture the unknown with the known. Then we lack words if a new area of problems has to be described.
Our primal reaction received by learning and our culture is that herbs should not have intelligence and feelings. I think at least a branch of scientists in biology know that we have to talk about bio-intelligence. In my college psychology we learned that intelligence is the capacity to solve problems of future, individually or for the society. Then we can state that bio-intelligence is the capacity to preserve a specie ad eternity. The measure of intelligence becomes survival as the proven success.
The modern science has shown that the herbs and other being have very advanced solutions in their survival. Many species have complicated teamwork or symbiosis with other species. Their intelligence need not be more complicated than to preserve the specie ad eternity. It is that little fire within every organised molecule inside the skin-sack. I think especially the herbs have generosity far over their needs, as we grass-eaters all are living on that.
Many beings can communicate, if they have an interested partner or opponent, of course. Communication is always a two-way business. Herbs can no English, but they always show how they feel if we want to understand. Once I had a hibiscus blooming mostly the entire year. It gave me pleasure for twelve years.
They say that normally they are flowers only for a season, and the flower-shop wants of course to sell me a new flower every year. My secret was surely that I loved it and cared for it. However, feelings are not enough. I watered it from my aquaria with nourishing water.
The main answer was the rich blooming. However, during a short period the answer was negative. Some day after the watering it got yellow leafs. An oak in front of our house showed the same symptom. At that time I was analysing ecology and thinking it in the terms of acid rain or water was natural.
That led me to test my aquaria and see that the water was sometimes too acid. My hibiscus and our oak "told" me that something is wrong. Those with green fingers know to look for unnatural colours and behaviours in vegetation. The real specialist can tell which species prefer slightly acid and which prefer basic soil and about other factors for their growth as light and warmth.
I based my general statements by analysing what I can follow from my little biosphere at home all the day and night. All living beings have the limits of "too little or too much". That means that locally can almost everything be too much. Too much water drowns and too much suns burns ... the actions of foolish urban men about whom we shall not talk.
Too few nowadays know about the essence of living. They are not aware of their own little fire inside. If we have a real fire in us, we are fighting seriously to preserve our species and look before us and try to foresee consequences of our deeds. This is a quest and problem in every era. We see it behind the Sumerian thinking and trying to make the first-time-act as secure as possible with the underlying thought of foreseeing.
We are thinking and acting in the same way, however we do not think about it. It is only when we analyse the world of ideas we become aware of such things.
People sometimes wonder how they tamed animals? For us used to live with animals it is no problem. Perhaps we have to scale further down and take the example Galapagos Island where the animals are tame by themselves. That means that the animals have to learn to be frightened when they see man, in the same way as they have learnt to fear predators. It is not heritage but learning by being in a tribe that preserves the knowledge how to behave in different situations.
Furthermore in taming it is a question about learning and perhaps loving the animal and to get under its skin to understand the specie. Learn to know its behaviour and especially when it is young and play with mates. Naturally it is also the game of love, how to get a friend of opposite sex.
If you have a dog, try to kneel to its plane. Set your hands in front of you and knock slightly on the ground. The dog knows the message and believes you are asking for fun. Then it does the same and then turn around waiting you to follow. This is valid for a free dog, but if it is on guard and defending its territory, look out!
Animals love to be "washed", that means rubbed or stroked in the fur. Behind their ears they have an area they hardly reach themselves. That is their own behaviour individually or in-groups. Even a human become one in the group if he is following the behaviour in the tribe.
I had fishes that liked a stroke or two, perhaps to clean from microscopic "guests". When they are asking for food, they are waging near the glass or making moves as if they were eating. When they are bored or do not know what to do they yawn like dogs, cats and humans.
When we treat an animal like a playmate, it becomes a dear friend. If you treat it like a bull on the rodeo or bullfighters' arena, it may become your enemy. Only men with poor self-respect need to be macho in front of a bull or a little fish with no fair chance. Mostly it is just cruelty to animals and nothing else. If we treat even what we need to eat with respect, we automatically respect every being in our biosphere.
We are all set against the wall and have no vocabulary to get other beings into our world. That includes using space-time as a reference to every moving element in the living space. Those tied to the eternal ideas of Plato or the division of body and soul ( in fact that is derived from the pair Gilgamesh -- Enkidu) have a long way to walk. That is provided they want to express a modern or very ancient sight on the biosphere we are living in. That concept implies that relativity, thermodynamic and quantum mechanics should be scientific guidelines. We cannot use the excuse that we do not understand it as long as we use it including the bad effects.
I already mentioned that pharaoh Akhenaten the sun-lover was before his time, because the tradition bearers had already formed an approved tradition preferred by majority and Mights.
... I think that linguists and others caring for exact traditional language are looking on my sentences to see if I form them in wrong order. It is just one of the aspects that we control us in many ways to keep our explanations within unspoken limits. An archaeologist wrote about the truth allowed by the state also in writing history.
Most of it is pure self-censure and cannot be found in any law ... as the main pact is freedom of speech and opinion! A state wants to use history as propaganda in selling the nation on the global agenda. Then golden glitter and high buildings seem to be preferred.
Old opinions and learning cover our eyes and restrict our mouth. It just will not talk about the unknown. Tradition is the strongest force in historical behaving of man. Hard or good rulers may come, but in the long-run tradition preserve all old fashions. In Anatolia they carry out the very old traditions in many localities.
The Turkish are the bearers in spite of that we know they are newcomers and have been there for only a thousand years. I think we can prove that thesis of tradition in many places. We can prove it also by seeing that ritual figures and tools remained the same for thousands of years in cultures with carriers of the traditions.
Added 11 September 2001
Originally I was seeking for explanations to our Scandinavian rock carvings. Much water has been running since then and it is time to update and make a better overlook concerning the entire Old World. My interest is ritual astronomy and the ideas behind all this and I want to bring light to why mankind developed this way.