26

It seems like this was the 'polite' gesture of greeting in ancient Sumeria, and is actually the meaning of a Sumerian phrase for greeting: She faces in the direction of the cultic activity, her right arm bent at the elbow, hand raised before the face, in a well-known gesture of pious greeting, comparable to those depicted in presentation scenes, ...


20

According to historian A. Roger Ekirch's At Day's Close, peoples in pre-industrial societies actually went to bed as soon at it was too dark to work, and slept (and still do sleep in such areas today) in two fourish-hour phases, interrupted by a short period of activity. He found numerous references to this in literature, from Medieval literature to Homer. ...


18

I found about 50 different sources for your quote, all verbatim copies of each other and without any indication of which those tablets were, who discovered them or any hint to catalogue numbers. I truly hate the internet sometimes, please treat this answer as a guess, there's no way to verify exactly which tablets the quote is about. One of the tablets is (...


17

This thesis is manifestly false, and is indicative of the weaknesses of "Guns, germs and steel". For example, the making of iron tools was probably passed up the Nile, to Kush and Meroe, and then across to East Africa; they were making iron tools well before 1000 AD; evidence of iron work by the Nok of Nigeria exists as earlier than 400 BC. Nok culture - ...


15

You are looking at a poor translation: There were three classes of individuals under the law. A mushkenu was a landless freed man who had to accept monetary compensation for corporal injuries done to him. He often owed a type of feudal duty to a landholder or patron.


14

The 1877 work by Richard Lepsius entitled Die Babylonisch-Assyrischen Langenmafe Nach Der Tafel Von Senkereh states that the two tablets you refer to (of squares and cubes) were discovered by Loftus in 1854 and at that time they were in the collection at the British Museum. It also states that Rawlinson and Smith's work of 1875 on cuneiform inscriptions, ...


12

The Babylonians and Assyrians had several versions of a king list, at least one of which enumerated the kings from the Old Babylonian period down to the Neo-Assyrian period. There is also a much older Sumerian king list, copies of which were discovered in Neo-Assyrian sites, so it is evident that these texts were still being copied and read many centuries ...


11

You weren't kidding. I found those exact two sentences plagerized verbatim all over the Internet. Truly sad. I did manage to find a least a couple of references with more information though. The Handy Math Answer Book was not only original enough to modify the sentence a bit, but included some alternate dates, and a very nice extra aside about one object ...


11

This is a great question, but I am finding it to be very difficult to answer. The 4th and 3rd millennia's are proving to be very challenging in terms of finding historical documentation relating to specific cities (as this timeframe is often considered Pre-History). That being said, it does seem that archaeology has provided us with some clues as to how ...


11

SUMERIAN CULTURE IN MESOPOTAMIA: It is important to note that the Sumerian people did not migrate to Mesopotamia until after about 3250 BC near the end of the Uruk Period. … After about 3250 BC, another people migrated from its homeland, located probably northeast of Mesopotamia, and began to intermarry with the native population. The newcomers, who ...


11

There are many theories & interpretations, but relatively little evidence to support most of them. Of course, there are no written sources from the Ubaid period to support them. You are absolutely right that there hasn't been a great deal of published material on the subject. However, a good, and relatively recent (2006), paper on the subject is A ...


10

Yes, you do understand correctly. The best preserved tablets containing the standard Akkadian version were discovered in the Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh by Hormuzd Rassam in 1853. These tablets are now held in the British Museum: The Flood Tablet - Epic of Gilgamesh - Library of Ashurbanipal - image source British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) However, ...


9

Every 1000 years or so you can expect a large "1000-year-flood" near large rivers. So it shouldn't shock anybody if the first few millenia of Sumer's history might have included one or two such big flood events. It is a floodplain, after all. Periodic floods were what make agriculture productive enough to create their culture there in the first place. There ...


7

Sumerian word for incense is na-IZI (qutrēnu = incense) is to be read na-de3. According to the book Kitchen Witchery: A Compendium of Oils, Unguents, Incense, Tinctures. By Marilyn F. Daniel (Pg- #53) and enenuru.proboards, it's consists of: 3 parts Cedar 2 parts Juniper 2 parts Cypress 2 parts Tamarisk This incense was burned during magical rites, or ...


5

It appears the consensus is indicating multiple colors. In Mesopotamia the seven stages of a ziggurat were each painted a different color, the colors being emblematic of the seven planets Handcock Mesopotamian Archaeology p 273 The Uses of Symbolism in Greek Art ...By Janet M. Macdonald The above quote from a book in 1922, and it appears to be ...


5

Sura, or at least that area, was within the Roman province of Mesopotamia as of the reign of Septimius Severus when he conquered the area around 200CE. The province fell to the Sasanians, as you mentioned, about 50 years later. Trajan conquered the area north of Sura about a hundred years earlier and created the original province of Mesopotamia; however, ...


4

According to this syllabary of Sumerian, and just how one wishes to pronounce Bad-Tibira, one possible Sumerian transcription is this: Whether this is also an accurate transcription of "Fortress of the Copper-Smiths" I cannot say.


4

Wikipedia seems to be saying that that entire area up to the Euphrates is considered part of Syria (or "Greater Syria" if you prefer). You are correct that the English name for this particular desert (and only that desert), is "The Syrian Desert". Historically anywhere that is mostly uninhabited is going to have fairly vague political boundaries. If there's ...


4

I have to admit this will not be an entirely satisfactory answer and I hope someone else can contribute a fuller one. However, I have taken several evening or weekend classes in Egyptology, including learning basic hieroglyphics, and read books on the subject, but I have never come across reference to surviving Ancient Egyptian annals. As far as I know their ...


4

The use of zero should be a clue that "Ubaid 0" was identified later in the timeline of Ubaid archaeology, and was an attempt to fit an earlier phase into an existing structure. Eridu was first excavated in 1855, 1918, and 1919, then Tell al'Ubaid in 1919; but Tell El'Ouelli wasn't excavated until 1976-1989. The name "Ubaid period" was adopted at a ...


3

If with Mesopotamia you mean the ancient civilisations in Babylonia and Assyria before the Persian conquest (that is: before 535 BC), then we need to say that there were no coins at all. In a Mesopotamian context, a shekel is a unit of weight, not a struck coin. The first coins in the world were minted in Lydia around 600 BC. In Babylonia, coins began to ...


3

If we accept that Turkey is part of Mesopotamia (at least some of it) and that the ninth picture in this page comes from Turkey, then a Mesopotamian beehive from 8000 BC looks exactly as the statue's tiara. However this is only a tentative answer, as I do not know very much about it.


3

Jules Oppert's student Francois Lenormant wrote his thesis on these tables; the handwritten (!) document begins with a transcription of the tables of squares. A very small excerpt may also be found on p. 256 of the travel report by William Loftus himself. A picture of the table in question was published by Lipsius here. Edit. Neugebauer writes that ...


3

Here is a 3d Model of a Sumerian Seal (Cylinder Seal VA-243) Here is the resulting print


3

"How would" is hypothetical and I can't delve into that here. "How did they?" That is answerable, but apparently not to satisfaction. We do not know for sure. But as far as we understand the texts, it seems to have been not very precise in these very early times. Take note that "Sumerians" is referring to a time period really early. With texts ranging from ...


2

Try ETCSL Sign names and embedding texts are also shown on this site.


2

They were well aware of earlier empires, and many Kings of the subsequent empires would intentionally style themselves as the 'rightful successors' to the previous ones, by taking the names of earlier monarchs(eg. Sargon), or using many of the same titles(eg. King of the Four Quarters).


2

There's a ton of information in this lecture by Gil Stein, descriptions of historical bee hives start at around 18 minutes in. In the ancient middle east bee hives would have looked like long ceramic cylinders (which are still used by some traditional beekeepers in the area today).


2

This idea developed into the Winckler-Caetini Theory. It was also called the Desiccant theory. It supposed that Arabia was a fertile region as recently as neolithic times. Desertification caused these waves of emigration, Winckler says at roughly 1000 year intervals (Winckler, 1907). This would be Kish, Amorites, Aramaeans, Israelites, and Islam. The theory ...


2

We know that Assur-danin-pal rebelled even before the death of his father, King Shalmaneser III. We know that it was a serious rebellion that spread to at least 27 cities, including Ashur Nineneh, and Arbela. We know that it took four years to put the rebellion down [Kuhrt, 1995, Vol 2 p490]. It seems that the rebellion was eventually put down by Assur-...


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