Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com – Mesopotamia has long been regarded as the cradle of human civilization, and ruins of this important civilization are still being unearthed.
Sumerians were excellent astronomers, mathematicians, builders, and they were familiar with medicine, farming, and much more. Studies of priceless cuneiform clay tablets have offered proof our ancestors were more sophisticated than previously thought. We should also not forget one of the earliest systems of writing was invented by the Sumerians.
General view of Tell Brak, Syria. Credit: Bertramz – CC BY 3.0
“A Sumerian epic poem entitled “Inanna and Enki” says that the art of writing was among many basic elements of civilization, transferred from Eridu, the City of the Kings, to Uruk. The writing was dedicated to the people of earth by Enki, God of Wisdom.
According to Mesopotamian beliefs, writing is considered to be a gift of the gods, and as such, writing means both power and knowledge.” 1
The Sumerians are long gone, but their legacy has survived, and there is no doubt the Sumerians change the ancient world.
The Sumerian civilization was founded in the Mesopotamia region of the Fertile Crescent, situated between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where the first humans settled between 4,500 to 4,000 B.C.
Old startling satellite images now reveal one of the Mesopotamian cities may be much older than previously thought. Anthropologist Dr. Jesse Casana, who studied the satellite images, is convinced the city in question, known from Sumerian records as Tell Brak is 4,000 years older than the ancient Egyptian pyramids.
The images came from an American spy satellites used for photographic surveillance. Credit: Smithsonian Channel
Previous scientific studies reveal Tell Brak, located in the Upper Khabur region of northeast Syria on the fertile plains near the Tigris river, is one of northern Mesopotamia’s largest ancient sites and among the world’s earliest cities.
It was first photographed from the air by Fr Pierre Poidebard in the 1920s and was first excavated by Sir Max Mallowan in 1937-8.
From 2011, archaeological research at Tell Brak was funded by a British Academy Research Development Award (BARDA).
In ancient times, Tell Brak was considered an international city. It was home to several civilizations, including the Sumerians, Babylonians, Akkadians, and the Mittani. The city was finally abandoned in c. 2,000 B.C.
The curious ancient eye idols that have no parallels in either Syria or Mesopotamia were unearthed in Tell Brak.
Is it really possible that the ancient history of Tell Brak should be re-written? Dr. Casana’s groundbreaking discovery discussed in the documentary ‘The Life of Earth: The Age of Humans’ raises important questions about humans’ ancient past. If his theory can be confirmed ancient history of this region must be viewed in a different light.
Eye idols from the Eye temple unearthed at Tell Brak. Credit: Public Domain
Dr. Casana empathizes the 50-year-old satellite images are invaluable due to the fact that the region in the Middle East was far less industrialized when they were taken.
“We were able to document something like 10,000 previously unknown archaeological sites that, through the history of 150 years of archaeologists working in the Middle East, no one had ever documented,” Dr. Casana explained.
Dr. Casana suggests Tell Brak could be the world’s ‘first city’ being established around 6,500 B.C. According to archaeologists, pottery found at the site dates back to then.
Excavations and surface surveys have revealed that Tell Brak developed as an urban hub shortly before more famous cities in southern Mesopotamia like Uruk, home to the legendary hero Gilgamesh.
See also: More Archaeology News
Climate changes in the region most likely played a vital role for the earliest inhabitants. When the last Ice Age ended around 10,000 years ago, the climate was much warmer, leading to a great expansion of grassland. The higher temperature made it possible for people to settle in the region and abandon their hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Instead, ancient humans became farmers, and later they organized a society that eventually became a powerful civilization.
Tell Brak became an important trade center and remained a commercial center that survived during the Akkadian period.
To confirm the theory of Dr. Casana, archaeologists need to continue excavation work at the site, which has not been possible due to the Syrian Civil War. If more ancient artifacts dating back to 6500 B.C. can be unearthed at the site, there are serious reasons to re-consider the age of Tell Brak. Maybe it is one of the world’s oldest ancient cities, as Dr. Casana suggests.
Written by Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com Staff Writer
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