Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Canaanites

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Remnants from an ancient Canaanite found in the Sidon excavation site. A genetic analysis found that the Canaanites survived a divine call for their extinction and that their descendants live in Lebanon. CreditClaude Doumet-Serhal/Sidon Excavation

There is a story in the Hebrew Bible that tells of God’s call for the annihilation of the Canaanites, a people who lived in what are now Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories thousands of years ago. (What we call the Syrian Nation, one people)

“You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,” God said in the passage. “But you shall utterly destroy them.”

But a genetic analysis published on Thursday has found that the ancient population survived that divine call for their extinction, and their descendants live in modern Lebanon (along all the eastern Mediterranean seashore).

“We can see the present-day Lebanese can trace most of their ancestry to the Canaanites or a genetically equivalent population,” said Chris Tyler-Smith, a geneticist with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who is an author of the paper. “They derive just over 90 percent of their ancestry from the Canaanites.”

Dr. Tyler-Smith and an international team of geneticists and archaeologists recovered ancient DNA from bones belonging to five Canaanites retrieved from an excavation site in Sidon, Lebanon, that were 3,650 to 3,750 years old.

The team then compared the ancient DNA with the genomes of 99 living people from Lebanon that the group had sequenced. It found that the modern Lebanese people shared about 93 percent of their ancestry with the Bronze Age Sidon samples.

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The Sidon excavation site in Lebanon. Archaeologists retrieved bones from five Canaanites that were 3,650 to 3,750 years old. CreditClaude Doumet-Serhal/Sidon Excavation

The team published its results in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

“The conclusion is clear,” said Iosif Lazaridis, a geneticist at Harvard who was not involved in the study. “Based on this study it turns out that people who lived in Lebanon almost 4,000 years ago were quite similar to people who lived there today, to the modern Lebanese.”

Marc Haber, a postdoctoral fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England and lead author on the study, said that compared with other Bronze Age civilizations, not much is known about the Canaanites.

“We know about ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks, but we know very little about the ancient Canaanites because their records didn’t survive,” he said. Their writings may have been kept on papyrus, which did not stand the test of time as clay did. What is known about the Canaanites is that they lived and traded along the eastern coast of the present-day Mediterranean, a region that was known as the Levant.

“What we see is that since the Bronze Age, this ancestry, or the genetics of the people there, didn’t change much,” Dr. Haber said. “It changed a little, but it didn’t change much and that is what surprised me.”

At first the team was not sure if it would be able to retrieve DNA from the ancient skeletons, which were recovered from the hot and humid excavation site within the last 19 years.

Dr. Haber had chosen more than two dozen bones from the site that looked promising and had them investigated for genetic material. It turned out that only five contained ancient DNA.

All of those came from the petrous part of the temporal bone, which is the tough part of the skull behind the ear, from five different individuals.

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Ancient DNA recovered from bones in the excavation site was sequenced for a new study.CreditClaude Doumet-Serhal/Sidon Excavation

After extracting that DNA, the team members compared it with a database that contained genetic information from hundreds of human populations. They then further compared their results with the genomes of the modern-day Lebanese population sample, which revealed what happened to the ancient Canaanite population.

Genetics has the power to answer questions that historical records or archaeology are not able to answer,” Dr. Haber said.

He said researchers thought that migrations, conquests and the intermixing of Eurasian people — like the Assyrians, Persians or Macedonians — with the Canaanites 3,800 to 2,200 years ago might have contributed to the slight genetic changes seen in modern Lebanese populations. Still, the Lebanese retain most of their ancestral DNA from the Canaanites.

“It confirms the continuity of occupation and rooted tradition we have seen on-site, which was occupied from the 4th millennium B.C. right to the Crusader period,” Claude Doumet-Serhal, an archaeologist and director of the Sidon Excavation who is a co-author on the paper, said in an email.

She said that the archaeologists had found about 160 burials to date at their excavation site, which is in the heart of modern Sidon. They include graves and burials where a person was placed in a large jar, and they date to between 1900 and 1550 B.C. The genetic results further support the archaeological findings.

“We were delighted by the findings,” Dr. Doumet-Serhal said. “We are looking at the Canaanite society through 160 burials and at the same time uncovering a common past for all the people of Lebanon, whatever religion they belong to.”

Note 1: Lebanon and Syria were the crossroad (carrefour) of all people fleeing persecution and occupation by warrior nations or extremist radical religious sects since antiquity, the temporary melting pot until many transferred again to greener pasture. I won’t be surprised if most European people have many Canaanite genetic traces.

Note 2: One hundred years later, Israel could Not find any trace of their presence in Palestine: they were at best nomadic people who never settled near cities or by the seashore

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The most ancient and intrepid mariners: The Chaldean of the Near East

The Chaldeans are the people who inhabited the Near East region of current Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.

Their civilization is traced for 6,000 years as people who first settled in City-States and roamed the rivers and seas.

They are mostly known as establishing several empires in Iraq such as Ur, Akkad, and Babylon… and establishing trade outposts (turned City-States) along the coast of the Arabic/Persia Gulf, Persia, India, and the Far East.

The Delta of Basra, where the mighty two rivers of Tigres and Euphrates meet, was their starting adventure in trading with neighboring countries

Several renowned archeologists confirm that the Chaldean mariners reached America (North and South) from two main directions.

1. The first route was along the Pacific Polynesian Islands and New Zealand all the way to Peru… (Prof. A.H. Keane)

2. The second route was through the Bering Strait at a point between Alaska and Kamchatka Peninsulas (Archeologist Hume Bolden)

The descendents of the Chaldeans on the western sea shores are the Phoenicians, extending their streak of City-States from Acre, Tyr, Sidon, Byblos,  Tripoli, Arwad, Ugarit, Izmir… all the way along the Turkish sea-shore and on to the Black Sea.

The Phoenicians were the master of all the Mediterranean Sea for 12 centuries and built 70 trading outposts or cities along the shores and traded in the Black Sea.

1, In Tripoli they had Sabratha and Lepis Magna

2. In Tunisia: Utica (Old city), Carthage (Kart Hadasht or New City), and Hadrumete

3. In Algeria: Rachgoun, Circa, Hippone

4. In Morocco: Lixus, and Mogador

5. In Spain: Cadiz (tin mine city) Cerrodel del Villar, Toscano, Charreras, Malaga and Adra

6. In France: Massalia (Marseille)

7. In Sardegna: Tharros, Sulcis and Nora

8. In Sicily: Motye

9. In Crete: Tarsus and Tekke

10. Cyprus

11. Malta…

The French President Georges Bidault delivered this keynote address to the UNESCO General Assembly”

“The Phoenicians have set the example and given a valuable lesson on how to go beyond the Mediterranean Sea basin… Thanks to them, the sea has ceased to be the abyss and was rendered a roadway…

Thanks to the Phoenicians, inquiry, discovery, industry, and progress have become accessible and feasible…”

Short description of the maritime periplus of the mariners Hanno (around Africa), Ophir, Himilco (Amber of the Baltic), and Necho (Cape of Good Hope)… will be posted in a follow-up article.

It is to be noted that the other branch of the Chaldeans were the Canaanites who settled inland and built the city-states of Askelon, Jerusalem, Damascus, Hama ,Mari, and Aleppo… along with many cities on the Euphrates and Al Assy Orontes Rivers.

As the Chaldean reached the Americas from the East (through the Pacific Ocean), the Phoenician landed in South and North America westward through the Atlantic Ocean, thousands of years before the European colonialists. Read part 2  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/6000-years-of-peaceful-contribution-to-mankind-by-late-charles-corm/

Note 1:  One of the sources  “6,000 years of peaceful contributions to mankind” by Charles Corm

Note 2: Zenon or Zeno, founder of the Stoic philosophy https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/phoenicia-who-is-zenon-of-kition/

The written language has been invented seven thousand years ago in southern Iraq and the kingdoms of Sumer, Babylon, Akkad and Assyria managed to have sophisticated administrative systems, precise calendars, and astronomic knowledge.  The alphabet was discovered five thousand years ago in the City-State of Byblos (Phoenicia, and current Lebanon).  

The Phoenicians instituted a maritime civilization and were the masters of the Mediterranean Sea for over 6 centuries (1300 to 600 BC) in trades, commerce and artisanal skills; they established “democratic” City-States where the City-State inhabitants would elect representatives in the noble and aristocratic classes.  The Phoenicians built trading centers or villages along the coasts and in all the Islands.

The Canaanites, of which the Phoenicians were the maritime branch, had established City-States along the main rivers (Euphrates and Al Assy rivers) such as Marie, Homs, Hama, Jerusalem, Antiochus…The Phoenicians built Thebes in Greece, centuries before Athens existed.  Alexander would completely destroy Thebes before leading his army to current India’s borders.

Pre-Socratic philosophers immigrated from the eastern part of the Mediterranean City-States (current Turkey, Syria, and lebanon) to Athens in order to educate its noble citizens to the art of rhetoric, dialectic, and math in order for the aristocratic class to having an edge for successfully running to political positions. They were paid handsomely as teachers and that is why they flocked to Athens:  Democratic Athens had high demand of the intellectual and administrative skills of the Phoenicians.

In China, Confucius was instituting his moral system for good governance and the raising of the “good man”: “Practice good morality in society before studying sciences and acquiring knowledge.”

Socrates battled with the sophism (wise attitudes) of these teachers who turned philosophy into an art of rhetorical clever communication; Socrates instituted a school of rational dialogue.  Platon, a disciple of Socrates, transcribed the dialogues and instituted his own school of philosophy in Athens.  Aristotle, was a student at Platon’s school for 18 years and he established the experimental method (empiricism) for rational investigations (into cause and effects phenomena and categorized matters and scientific fields of studies, backed by advances in arithmetic and geometry.

Aristotle’s works would have gone into oblivion, as so many manuscripts of famous scholars, if not for the Phoenician scholars who translated, commented, interpreted Aristotle’s works into their Aramaic language (spoken by Jesus), later called Syria.  The newly built city of Alexandria became a lighthouse of knowledge; scholars translated scientific, religious, and philosophical manuscripts and invented new fields of sciences.

In India of the 3rd century BC, the monarch Asoka ruled for 35 years and sent missionaries and delegates to all the known civilized world such as Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Persia and resurrected the Buddhist religion that was verging into oblivion amid the Hindu continent.  Asoka chiselled in 84,000 huge stone columns the principles and laws of Buddhism and his laws (dharma) dispersed thousands upon thousands of these columns at every major road intersections.  The island of Sri Lanka became Buddhist at that period.

Hundreds of Christian sects dominated the landscape of the Near East, from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. Every sect had its particular religious books for sources of belief and a style of living.  Mostly, they relied on the Jewish laws and differed on the nature of Jesus.  The Virgin Mary was rarely mentioned as source of devotion or as a saint.  

In Alexandria around 320, a priest known as Arius explained that Jesus is a distinct entity than God and that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from God.  This line of theology is accepted by the Goths, the Ostrogoth, and all the people in Germany and in Eastern and central Europe.

In 325, Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity (barely representing 10% of the population) should be the official religion of the Byzantium Empire, though he remained pagan.  The New Christian Church was modified to include three Gods (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for Virgin Mary) as the pagans were accustomed to worshiping trinity of  Gods.  The pagan symbolism and pageantry were included in Catholicism after the conclave of Nicaea.  

Since this conclave, the Roman/Byzantium Empire was wracked in civil wars among dozens of Christian sects or schisms known as heretics and supported by various monarchs and princes.  Among those sects we have the Homeans, the Anomoean, the Monophysitism, the Nestorians (that would advance with its message into China and translate its version of the New Testaments into Chinese), … One of the schism settled in Mecca (Arabic Peninsula); the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad was the Patriarch of the sect and Muhammad was his closest assistant. The Roman/Byzantium Empire would wage internal religious/political battles ways into the 13th century.  Frequently, two Popes would be elected, backed by a coalition of monarchs.  Then another cycle of internal religious wars would restart in the 16th century with Protestantism, Calvinism, and Huguenot.

In the 6th century AC, the Roman scholar and politician Anicius Boethius (Boece) translated and commented Aristotle’s works into latin.  Aristotle’s works had to wait the Arab/Islamic Empire to settle in Damascus (around 660) before his works are resurrected from oblivion. Why?

Prophet Mohammad had encouraged and demanded that Moslems seek knowledge, even from China. Muhammad said that many verses in his message are confusing and needed the interpretation of scholars.  Muhammad said: “Science is more meritorious than prayer.  A single man of  science has more power over demon than a thousand devotees.  Among the servants of God, only scholars fear God.”  Thus, Moslem scholars undertook to translate available knowledge into the Arabic slang of Mecca from the Syriac manuscripts relying heavily on the “Syrian” scholars and later, on the persian scholars during the Abbassid dynasty.  

There is this anecdote told by Calif Al Maamun: “I met Aristotle in my dream and I ask him “What is considered good?”  Aristotle replied: “What is good to reason.”  I asked: “And after reason?  He replied: “What is shown as good in revelation”  I said: “And after?”  He replied: “Good is what consensus agrees on” I said: “And after?”  Aristotle said: “There is no more of what after.”

The Syrians, Christians and Moslems, endeavored to translating the works of Platon, Aristotle, Galen, Plutarch, and Plotin (the Enneades that summarize Aristotle’s theology).  Geometry of Euclides, astronomy and medicine are taught in freshly built Arabic universities.  In the 7th century, Al Kindi wrote: “Though the Greek scholars fell short in sciences, they opened up the instruments for acceding to multiple types of knowledge.”   Al Farabi insisted on the necessity of separating intellectual speculation from rational reflection.  Ibn Sina (Avicenna) wrote in the 10th century, 300 manuscripts, of which 50 are in scientific fields and 40 in medicine; one particular medical book, the  “Canon of medicine” was taught in western Europe as a fundamental course till the 18th century.  The physician Ibn Zhur (Avenzoar), living in Andalusia, is reputed in all Europe.  The geographer Al Idrissi is considered in Europe as the “geography professor”.  Ibn Bajja made the apology of sciences and learned people; he said: “Ignorant people see the world as if they lived in a cavern and the only light they received was a diffused one:  They could discriminate among colors, and thus, have no coherent knowledge of the real nature.”

In the 12th century, many tribes in Central Asia and the Caucasus converted to Islam and were the backbone of the Islamic army by then.  These new converts believed literally in the Koran and refused any rational interpretations or commentaries.  Islamic civilization started its steady decline since then, except in Iran and Andalusia (Spain).

Papal Rome, backed by rich merchants, galvanized the Christians into a series of crusading campaigns in the Near East.  The official purpose was to liberating Jerusalem from the Moslem “infidels”; the tacit goal was capturing Egypt for direct maritime route for the spice and aroma trade coming from Far Eastern Asia Islands.  The rich merchant families and nobility in Europe got addicted to spices and aromatic products and prices were increasing by frequent wars along the land caravans in Moslem Kingdoms.  Three targeted campaigns to invading Egypt failed and the merchants were reluctant to investing in the established mini Christian Kingdoms in the Near East.  The fourth crusading campaign in 1204 sacked Constantinople and reduced the Byzantine Emperors to figure heads.

Then Ibn Rushd was born in the 12th century in Cordoba (Islamic Andalusia) and wrote: “Have no fear searching for truth in sciences.  Truth cannot contradict truth; sciences is in accord with God’s revelations; God has nothing to fear when you use your rational intelligence to discovering the universe and the causes of phenomenon”:   That is basically what Ibn Rush (known as Averroes) tried to convey to civilization through his abundant writings in medicine, sciences, astronomy, philosophy, jurisprudence, and theology.  Ibn Rush, known as “Al hafid” (the grandson of the famous judge of the city) published abundant books; among them, 88 volumes on Aristotle’s works in 20,000 pages supplied with commentary and interpretation.

Moise ibn Maimuna (Maimonides), 12 years younger than Ibn Rushd and originally from Cordoba, was at the period settled in Cairo and was the official physician of the Caliph.  Maimonides was the direct beneficiary of Ibn Rushd rational and scientific works.  He wrote: “We may dispense of Platon’s works:  Aristotle’s works suffice since they are the foundations and roots of scientific rational methods.  Aristotle’s works cannot be comprehended without the commentaries of Ibn Rushd.”

In 1497, Papal Rome encouraged the institution of a university in Padoua (Italy) to teaching Aristotle’s works and be translated directly from ancient Greek.  It was a strategy of ignoring the influence of Islamic culture that was spreading in Catholic Europe.  The Renaissance scholars dared not communicate the sources and references of their knowledge and learning. Since then, European scholars have continued this custom of deliberately ignoring seven centuries of Islamic civilizations when accounting for western Europe civilization.

Jerusalem: Ur Salam (City of Peace) (May 2, 2009)

 

Recent archeological works by Kathleen Kenyon discovered a wall surrounding the city of Jerusalem dating from the 18th century BC; water was diverted through underground canals from the fresh source of Guihon to Siloe cisterns inside the walls.

The sea people called Philistines had devastated the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, destroyed the nascent Greek fleet and settled in Gaza and the southern coastline of Palestine around the 12th century.  The entire eastern coastline from north Syria to Sinai was dominated by the Canaanites.  Thus, in southern Palestine the Canaanites had to flee northward and retreat inside toward Jerusalem, one of their 25 City-States. Jerusalem was then inhabited by over ten thousand urban dwellers, a huge number for the period.

Around 11th century BC Moses arrived with his nomadic tribes and his successors endeavored to settle in part of Palestine and battled with the Philistines.  The Canaanites aristocracy aided David to enter Jerusalem and was his administrative supporters.  David thus had two high priests (Ebyatar and Sadoq), two military leaders (Joab and Benayahou), and two heirs apparent (Adoniyyahou and Salomon). David had also two formal sanctuaries for the Jews and the Canaanites.  David adopted the God of the Land El and the demy-Gods of the Sun (Shahar) and the Moon (Shalem) were worshipped.  The Jewish Yahweh (God of thunders) was relegated to the background and played a support function in times of urgent need.

The Jews had no such concept of “throne” and the Canaanite aristocracy provided a throne to David and his solar God was Justice personified and a divinity of the order “sadeq”; thus, Milki Sadeq was the King of Jerusalem when Abraham came to Canaan and paid the tenth (one tenth) to Melki Sadeq.

Salomon supporters of the Canaanites assassinated Adoniyyahou and Joab and Ebyatar was pursuit. Salomon relied on the King of Tyr to building his Temple for the Sun God facing east.  The dedication read: “The divinity of the Sun has announced: Yahweh has decided to live in the shadow. A house has been renovated for his dwelling”.  The God Sun sent two messengers of Right and Justice to destroy Sodom.  In this event as in others, Yahweh shares the responsibility as a subordinate to the Sun God.  Slowly but surely, Yahweh acquired a convincing divinity by the period that preceded the exile to Babylon.

In 587 BC the Babylonian King Nabukhodonor destroys part of the Temple.  The Persian King Cyrus repatriates the Jews in 538 and restores the temple. Alexander enters Jerusalem in 332 and Judea falls under the Ptolemy dynasty.  The Seleucid dynasty dominates Jerusalem from 200 to 142.  Judas Maccabe revolted in 164 and enters Jerusalem which falls to the Hasmonide dynasty until the Roman Pompeii takes Jerusalem in 63 BC.  The zealot Jews take over Jerusalem for two years in 66 AC. The Roman General Titus enters Jerusalem in the year 70 and burns the Temple.  Jerusalem is named Aelia Capitolina.  Bar Kokheba recaptures Jerusalem in 131.  Emperor Hadrian enters Jerusalem and the Jews are definitely dispersed and forbidden to enter Jerusalem.

 Emperor Constantine consecrates the Anastasis (The Saint Sepulcher).  The Persian King Chosroe destroys Jerusalem in 614.  Emperor Heracles re-takes the city in 628.  The Caliph of Islam Omar enters Jerusalem in 638. The Dome of the Rock is built in 691.  The mosque Al Aqsa is built in 705.  The crusaders enter the city in 1099.  The Sultan Sallah el Din enters the city in 1187 and chased out the crusaders.  The Turkish Sultan Selim 2 enters the city in 1244 and gives Jerusalem a religious function and dots it with many religious schools (madrassa).  The Ottoman Empire captures the city in 1516.  The Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds the walls and enlarges the city with newer walls. In 1967 the Zionist State of Israel enters Jerusalem.  Begin declares that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel in 1980.

The State of Israel is flaunting all UN resolutions to stop destroying Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem that is proposed to be the Capital of the Palestinian State.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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