Sumerians — "blackheads." This nation, which emerged in southern Mesopotamia in the middle of the III-rd millennium BC, out of nowhere, now called the "father of modern civilization", and in fact until the mid-19th century, none of it did not even know. Time has erased from the annals of the history of Sumer and, if not for linguists, maybe we would never know about Sumer.
But I'll start, I suppose, with 1778th year, when the Dane Carsten Niebuhr, who led the expedition to Mesopotamia 1761st year, published copies of the royal cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis. He first suggested that the 3 columns in the label — it's three different cuneiform script, containing the same text.
In 1798, the year another Dane, Friedrich Christian Munter conjectured that the letter of the 1st class — it's written in Old alphabet (42 characters), class 2 — syllabary, third — ideographic characters. But the first is not able to read the text of the Dane and a German, Latin teacher at Göttingen Grotenfendu. Attention was attracted by a group of seven cuneiform characters. Grotenfend suggested that the word is king, and the other characters have been selected on the basis of historical and linguistic similarities. Eventually Grotenfend made the following translation:
Xerxes, the great king, king of kings:
Darius, the king's son, the Achaemenid
However, only 30 years later, the Frenchman Eugène Burnouf and Norwegian Christiania Lassen find the right equivalent for almost all cuneiform signs in Group 1. In 1835 was the second multi-lingual inscription found on a rock at Behistun in 1855, Edwin Norris could decrypt 2nd type of writing, consisting of hundreds of syllabic signs. The inscription was on the Elamite language (nomadic tribes known as the Bible or the Amorites amorityanami).
On the 3rd type was even more difficult. It was a completely forgotten language. One sign there could designate and style and a whole word. According to the speaker only as part of a syllable, whereas vowels may appear as separate characters. For example the sound "p" could be referred to six different characters, depending on the context. January 17, 1869 the first year linguist Jules Oppert said that the language of group 3 is …. Sumerian … So there must be a Sumerian people … But there was also a theory that this is a man-made — "sacred language" of the priests of Babylon. At 1871m, the Archibald Says Pulikov first Sumerian text, the royal inscription Shulga. But only in 1889 the definition of Sumerian accepted everywhere.
SUMMARY: What we now call the Sumerian language — in fact an artificial construct built on analogies with the words people have adopted the Sumerian cuneiform — Elamite, Akkadian and Old Persian texts. Now think of the ancient Greeks distort foreign names and the potential accuracy of the sound of the "restored Sumerian." Strange, but the Sumerian no ancestors or descendants. Sumerian sometimes called the "Latin of ancient Babylon" — but you have to realize that Sumerian was not the ancestor of the powerful language of the group from his roots were only a few dozen words.
The appearance of the Sumerians.
I must say that the southern Mesopotamia is not the best place in the world. The complete absence of forest and mineral resources. Bogs, frequent floods followed the Euphrates river bed change due to the low shores and, as a consequence, the complete absence of roads. The only thing there was in abundance this cane, clay and water. However, combined with fertile soils, fertilizers flood that was enough to at the end of III-rd millennium BC there flourished the first city-states of ancient Sumer.
We do not know where they came from the Sumerians, but when they appeared in Mesopotamia there were living people. Tribes in Mesopotamia in ancient times, lived on the islands, towering in the marshes. They built their settlements on artificial embankments. Drain the surrounding marshes, they created the ancient system of irrigation. As indicated by finds at Kish, they used guns microlithic
Imprint shumeriyskoy cylinder seal depicting a plow The earliest settlement discovered in southern Mesopotamia, was near El Obeid (near Ur), on a river island, which rises above the marshy plain. Population living here, hunting and fishing, but goes on to more advanced types of services: the breeding and farming
El-Obeid culture existed for a long time. Its roots in the ancient local culture of Upper Mesopotamia. However, the first elements appear shumeriyskoy culture.
The skulls of the burials found that the Sumerians were not odnorasovym ethnicity: meet and brachycephalic ("rounder") and dolichocephalic ("long-headed"). But this could be the result of confusion, and the local population. So we can not even confidently assign them to a particular ethnic group. Now with some confidence we can say only that the Semites of Akkad and shumeriytsy southern Mesopotamia drastically different from each other both in their appearance, and language classes.
In ancient communities southern Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC. e. Almost all products are produced here is consumed locally and reigned subsistence farming. Widely used clay and reeds. In ancient times of clay molded containers — first by hand, and later on the special pottery wheel. Finally, out of clay made in a number of important building material — brick, which was prepared with a mixture of reeds and straw. This brick is sometimes dried in the sun and sometimes burned in a special oven. By the beginning of the third millennium BC. e. include ancient buildings dating from the original large brick, one side of which forms a flat surface, and the other — convex. Major revolution in technology has made the discovery of metals. One of the first metals known to the people of southern part of Mesopotamia, was copper, whose name occurs in both shumeriyskom and in Akkadian. Somewhat later came bronze, which was made of a copper alloy with lead, and later — with tin. Recent archaeological discoveries indicate that already the middle of the third millennium BC. e. Mesopotamia was known iron obviously meteorite.
The next period shumeriyskoy Archaic period is called the place of Uruk transformation drawings cuneiform characters. the most important sites. For this era characterized by a new type of ceramic. Clay vessels, equipped with high handles and long spout may reproduce ancient metal prototype. Vessels are made on a potter's wheel, but in its ornamentation are much more modest than the painted ceramics time El-Obeid. However, economic life and culture in this era are further developed. There is a need in the preparation of documents. In this regard, there is still a primitive art (pictorial) script, traces of which remain on cylinder seals of the time. Labels have a total of up to 1500 picture characters that gradually grew drevneshumeriyskaya writing
Clay cuneiform tablet after the Sumerians left a lot of clay cuneiform tablets. Perhaps it was the first in the world of bureaucracy. The earliest inscriptions belong to 2900 BC and provide economic record. Researchers complain that the Sumerians left a lot of "business" records and "lists of the gods," but did not bother to write "philosophical basis" of his belief system. Therefore, our knowledge only interpretation "cuneiform" sources, most of them translated and transcribed by the priests later cultures, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh or the poem "Enuma Elish" dating from the beginning of the II-nd millennium BC. So, perhaps, we read the original digest, like the adaptive version of the Bible for today's children. Especially considering that most of the texts compiled from several separate sources (due to poor preservation).
Stratification, which took place within rural communities, led to the gradual disintegration of the communal system. The growth of productive forces, the development of trade and slavery, finally, predatory wars promote excretion from the mass of a small group of community members slave-owning aristocracy. Aristocrats who owned slaves, and some of the land called "big men" (lugal), which opposes the "little people", that is, free the poor in rural communities.
The earliest evidence of the existence of slave states in Mesopotamia dates to the beginning of the third millennium BC. e. According to the documents of this period, it was a very small state, or rather, the primary public education, which were led by kings. In the principality had lost its independence, ruled by the highest representatives of slave-owning aristocracy who wore ancient poluzhrechesky title "tsatesi" (epsilon). Economic basis of these ancient slave states was centralized in the hands of the state land fund of the country. Communal lands being processed free peasants who were considered the property of the state, and their population was required for the latter to carry all kinds of duties
Dissociation of the city-states created a problem with accurate dating of events in ancient Sumeria. The fact that each city-state had its own record. A extant lists of kings, mostly written no earlier Akkadian period and represent a mixture of fragments of various "temple lists" has led to confusion and errors. But in general it looks like this:
2900 — 2316 BC — The heyday of the Sumerian city-states
2316 — 2200, before RH — association Sumerian dynasty ruled by the Akkadian (Semitic tribes of the northern part of the South have adopted the Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia)
2200 — 2112, before RH — Interregnum. Period of fragmentation and invasions of nomadic Kuti
2112 — 2003, before RH — Sumerian Renaissance, a period of flourishing culture
2003 to RH — the fall of Sumer and Akkad under the onslaught of the Amorites (Elamites). Anarchy
1792 — the rise of Babylon under Hammurabi (Old Babylonian kingdom)
After his fall, the Sumerians left that picked up a lot of other people who came to this earth — religion.
Religion of Ancient Sumer.
Goddess IshtarDavayte touch Sumerian Religion. It seems the origins of religion in Sumer were purely materialistic, not "ethical" roots. The cult of the gods was not to the "purification and holiness" and was intended to ensure a good harvest, the military successes, etc. … The most ancient Sumerian gods mentioned in the ancient tablets "with lists of the gods" (III-middle of the first millennium BC), represented the forces of nature — the sky, the sea, the sun, moon, wind, etc., and then there were the gods — patrons of cities, farmers, shepherds, etc. The Sumerians claimed that everything in the world belongs to the gods — the temples were not the seat of the gods, must take care of the people — as the breadbasket of the gods — the barn.
The main deity of the Sumerian pantheon was AN (sky — masculine) and CI (land — feminine). Both a beginning of the primordial ocean, which has generated a mountain of strongly connected heaven and earth.
On the mountain of heaven and earth
An begot [gods] Anunnaki
From this union was born and god of the air — Enlil, divided the sky and the earth.
There is a hypothesis that early in the maintenance of order in the laypeople in church functions Excavations Nippure.Enki, the god of wisdom and the sea. But then, with the rise of the city-state of Nippur, which was considered the god Enlil, it was he who took the leading place among the gods.
Unfortunately not reached us, no Sumerian creation myth. The turn of events presented in the Akkadian myth "Enuma Elish", according to the researchers does not match the concept of the Sumerians, in spite of the fact that most of the stories of the gods and it was borrowed from the Sumerian beliefs.
Life was hard at first to the gods, have to do everything ourselves, there was no one to serve them. Then they created a people for servitude itself
It would seem, An, like other gods, creators had to have a leading role in Sumerian mythology. And, indeed, it was revered, although likely symbolically. His temple in Ur called E.ANNA — "House of AN". The first kingdom called "the kingdom of Anu." However, the representations of Sumerian, An almost does not interfere in the affairs of men, and so the main role in "everyday life" turned to other gods, led by Enlil. However, Enlil was not all-powerful, as the supreme power belonged to the advice of the fifty major gods, among which stands out the seven major gods "controlled the destiny."
It is believed that the structure of the Gods repeated "earthly hierarchy" — where rulers ensi, ruled together with the "council of elders" in which there is a group of the most worthy ..
One of the foundations of the Sumerian mythology, the exact meaning of which is not set to be "ME" played in the religious-ethical system of Sumerian huge role. In one of the more than a myth called "ME", from which it was possible to read and decipher the lower half. Here concepts such as justice, kindness, peace, victory, lies, fear, handicrafts, etc. , All somehow related to social life Some researchers believe that the "Me" — This is the prototype of all life, radiated gods and temples, "the divine right."
Generally Sumerian gods were as people. These relationships occur courtship and war, rape, love, deception, and anger. There is even a myth of the man who mastered the dream goddess Inanna. Notably, all but a myth imbued with sympathy for the man.
Interestingly, the Sumerian paradise is not intended for people — the abode of the gods, where the unknown sorrow, old age, sickness and death, and the only issues that matter to the gods — is the problem of fresh water. Incidentally, in ancient Egypt the concept of paradise was not all. Sumerian hell — Chur — the gloomy dark underground world, where the way where were three ministers — "man door", "man of the underground river", "carrier." Reminiscent of ancient Greek Hades and Sheol of the Hebrews. This empty space separating the land from the primeval ocean is filled with shades of the dead, wandering without hope of return and demons.
In general, the views of Sumerian, reflected in many later religions. (More >>>) but now we are much more interested in their contribution to the technical aspects of modern civilization.
The story begins in Sumer
School in DvurecheOdin major experts on Sumer, Professor Samuel Noah Kramer, in his book "History begins at Sumer" listed 39 items in which the Sumerians were the pioneers. In addition to the first system of writing, as we have said, he had included in the list of the wheel, the first school, the first bicameral parliament, the first historians, the first "farmer's almanac", first appeared in Sumerian cosmogony and cosmology, has its first collection of proverbs and aphorisms, for the first time were literary debate, the first time the image was created, "November", where the first book catalogs, were walking the first money (silver shekels as "bullion by weight"), for the first time began to be taxes, the first laws were adopted and implemented social reforms, there was a medicine , and the first attempts were made to achieve peace and harmony in society
In the medical field from the Sumerians from the beginning were very high standards. In Layyardom found in the library of Ashurbanipal Nineveh was a clear procedure, it was a large medical department, which includes thousands of clay tablets. All medical terms based on words borrowed from the Sumerian language. The treatment is described in a special handbook, which contained information about the hygienic rules on operations, such as the removal of cataracts, the use of alcohol for disinfection with surgery. Sumerian medicine different scientific approach to the diagnosis and prescription of treatment, both therapy and surgery
Sumerians were excellent travelers and explorers — they attributed the invention of the world's first ship. In an Akkadian dictionary of Sumerian words contain at least 105 different types of vessels signs — according to their size, purpose and by type of goods. One inscription unearthed at Lagash, raised the possibility of repair of ships and lists the types of materials that the local ruler Gudea brought for the construction of the temple of his god Ninurta circa 2200 BC. Latitude range of these products is amazing — from gold, silver, copper — and to diorite, carnelian and cedar. In some cases, these materials are transported over thousands of miles.
The first brick-kiln was also built in Sumer. The use of such a large furnace makes burn pottery, that gave them great strength due to internal pressure, without poisoning the air plyu and ash. The same technology was used for the smelting of metals from ore, such as copper — for this ore is heated to a temperature of over 1500 degrees Fahrenheit in a closed furnace with a small supply of oxygen. This process, known as smelting, was necessary in the early stages, when the stock was depleted natural native copper. Researchers of ancient metallurgy were very surprised at how quickly the Sumerians had learned methods of ore, smelting and casting. These advanced technologies have been mastered by them only a few centuries after the appearance of the Sumerian civilization.
Even more striking was the fact that the Sumerians mastered methods of making alloys — the process by which various metals are chemically connected by heating in an oven. Sumerians learned to produce bronze — solid, but easy to work metal, which changed the whole course of human history. Ability to fuse copper and tin was a great achievement for three reasons. First, it was necessary to select a very precise ratio of copper and tin (bronze Sumerian analysis showed the optimal ratio — 85% copper 15% tin). Second, in Mesopotamia had no tin. (Unlike, for example, from the Tiwanaku) Thirdly, tin does not occur in nature in its natural form. To extract it from the ore — tin stone — requires a complex process. This is not the sort of thing which can be opened by accident. The Sumerians were about thirty words for different kinds of copper of different qualities, to refer to the same tin they used the word AN.NA, which literally means "stone of heaven" — which many see as evidence that the Sumerian technology was a gift of the gods.
Were found thousands of clay tablets that contained hundreds of astronomical terms. Some of these tablets containing mathematical formulas and astronomical tables, by which the Sumerians could predict the solar eclipse, the various phases of the moon and the trajectory of the planet. The study of ancient astronomy discovered a remarkable accuracy of these tables (known as ephemeris). No one knows how they were calculated, but we can ask — why this was necessary?
"The Sumerians were measured rising and setting of the visible planets and stars relative to Earth's horizon, using the same heliocentric system that is used now. We have adopted them as the division of the sky into three segments — the northern, central and southern (or the ancient Sumerians — the" way of Enlil "" The Way of Anu "and" the way of Ea "). Virtually all modern concepts of spherical astronomy, including full spherical 360-degree circle, the zenith, the horizon, the axis of the celestial sphere, the poles, the ecliptic, equinox, etc. — all of a sudden originated in Sumer.
All the knowledge about the movement of the Sumerians Sun and the Earth were created by them are united in the world's first calendar created in the city of Nippur, the solar-lunar calendar begins in 3760 BC. Sumerians 12 lunar months is about 354 days, and then added another 11 extra days to get a full solar year. This procedure, called intercalation, performed annually, until, after 19 years, the solar and lunar calendar is not combined. The Sumerian calendar was drawn accurately to key days (for example, the New Year always falls on the vernal equinox). It is surprising that such a developed astronomy was not at all necessary that the people of the just.
General mathematics Sumerians had a "geometric" roots and is very unusual. Personally, I do not understand how such a number system could arise in primitive peoples. But it is better to try it for yourself .. (Details).
Sumerians used a sexagesimal number system. Used to represent numbers of two characters: the "wedge" is 1, 60, 3600 and further to 60 degrees, "the hook" — 10, 60 x 10, 3600 x 10, and so on the basis of digital recording has been put positional principle, but if you are counting on the foundations, think that the numbers in Sumer is displayed as 60 degrees, you are mistaken.
The base in the Sumerian system takes not 10 but 60, but then, this ground strangely replaced by the number 10, then 6, and then again at 10, etc. In this way, the position of lining up in the following order:
1, 10, 60, 600, 3600, 36000, 216000, 2160000, 12960000.
This cumbersome sexagesimal system allowed the Sumerians to calculate fractions and multiply the number in the millions, square roots and raised. In many ways, this system is applied even exceeds our current decimal system. First, the number 60 has ten simple dividers, while the 100 — only 7. Secondly, it is the only system that is ideal for geometric calculations, and this explains the fact that it continues to be applied in our time here, for example, the division of the circle into 360 degrees.
We seldom realize that not only our geometry but also the method of calculation and the current time, we have to Sumerian sexagesimal number system with a base. Division hours in 60 seconds was not arbitrary — it is based on the sexagesimal system. Echoes of the Sumerian number system are preserved in the division of day for 24 hours, at 12 months, feet by 12 inches, and the existence of dozens of both measures. They are also found in the modern system of accounts, which are allocated separately numbers from 1 to 12, and then followed by a number such as 10 +3, 10 +4, etc.
Now we do not be surprised that the zodiac was also another invention of the Sumerians, the invention which was later assimilated by other civilizations. But the Sumerians did not use the signs of the zodiac, linking them to each month, as we do now in the horoscopes. They used them in a purely astronomical sense — in terms of the deviation of the Earth axis, the motion of which divides the full cycle of precession in 25,920 years, the 12 periods of 2160 years. At twelve the Earth moves in its orbit around the sun painting the sky, forming a large sphere of 360 degrees different. The concept of the zodiac originated by dividing the circle into 12 equal segments (areas of the zodiac) to 30 degrees each. Then the stars in each group were combined in the constellation, and each gets its name, the date of their respective names. Thus, there is no doubt that the first time the concept of the zodiac used in Sumeria. Mark of the zodiac signs (representing an imaginary picture sky), and arbitrary division of the 12 sectors show that the corresponding zodiac signs used in other, more recent cultures, could be the result of self-development.
Studies Sumerian math, much to the surprise of scientists, have shown that their number system is closely linked to the precession cycle. Unusual mobile principle Sumerian sexagesimal number system focuses on the number 12,960,000, which is exactly equal to 500 large precessional cycles occurring over 25,920 years. The lack of any kind whatsoever other than those astronomical, the possible applications for the product numbers 25920 and 2160 can only mean one thing — this system is specially designed for astronomical purposes.
It seems that scientists decline to answer the uncomfortable question, which is: how the Sumerians, whose civilization lasted 2,000 years, can see and record the cycle of celestial movements, continued 25 920 years? And why is the beginning of their civilization in the mid-period between shifts zodiac? Or is it that they had inherited from the gods of astronomy?
Category: Mystery stories