History 104A, September 7: Dating in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

               I was just checking the next group meeting.  It's September 16th,

          so I'll get it in the back of my head.  All right.  The PowerPoint I

          was using is up on-line.  I just wanted to show you and then we can

          continue.  If you have a Mac, you'll get nicer fonts.

               We were dealing with these questions here.  I think we finished

          off trying to describe some of the differences in religion.  Also

          identifying to that, it could be speculated that the old testament was

          dramatically influenced by the geography of Mesopotamia considering

          that was where basically the Habiru tribes i.e. often identified with

          the Hebrews stem from and certainly Abraham, the father of the Jewish

          people, came from and also the Muslim period of time.  I'm sorry,

          better said, the Arab people came from the City of UR.  The new

          testament, with a little different sense of salivation, a God that was

          a God that was good, certainly comes out of the Middle East but some

          feel tremendously influenced by the Isis of Cyrus of ancient Egypt

          with a greater sense of a God of salivation, a God that is good and

          perhaps all powerful.  Now, what happens with the third major religion

          in the world, I guess we call it that, the Muslim religion?  Again,

          coming out of Arabia, coming out of that area of the Middle East

          through to Mesopotamia, we basically return.  And again, this is not a

          theological interpretation, but a historical one -- we return to a God

          that is all powerful and one that is basically feared but merciful.

          And so the Muslim faith places their mercy on or asked God for their

          mercy.  With that in mind, we are then taking the influence of


          geography here.  And as I indicated, some of things in the differences

          to identify why Egypt, as with Christianity, was far more spiritual,

          even though Christianity did not develop in Egypt and had a basic

          influence from Persia as well, which we'll talk about later with these

          Zoroastrian faith.  The Mesopotamia we identified was materialistic.

          And by materialistic, we mean more directed towards economics which

          basically translates to living for life today.  And as we touch on the

          economics, what we're referring to is, because of the constant change

          in the area, because of the numerous city states as they're called,

          because you have a city that dominates the landscape and the area, you

          have a society with a lot of trade, a lot of wealth, with a concern

          more for this life and therefore a materialistic approach to life;

          meaning, looking at this life and how much wealth we can achieve.  In

          Egypt, a good life would be continued into the afterlife, at least

          that was the interpretation.

               Politics -- well, what was the basic difference the political

          world of the Nile River and the political world of the Tigress

          Euphrates?  Anybody?  What did we say had happened very early in

          Egyptian history politically?  A unification between the south or

          upper Egypt and lower Egypt somewhere around 3,000 BCE.  Mesopotamia

          did see unification but much later and constant taking over by

          different groups.  It was not the same group that dominated, not the

          same basic culture, not the same basic individuals.  So basically the

          dominance came from small city states.  The leadership and politics

          were small city late, the Lugal L-U-G-A-L.  The ruler who was a king


          but often a priest as well.  Priest/kings dominated the city and

          determined the distribution of goods and services and determined who

          could come into the cities.  In Egypt you have the pharaoh that

          controlled all of the area perhaps with some breakdown of that control

          during what is known as the middle kingdom.  The dates of the middle

          kingdom vary depending on who you read, and sometimes they talk about

          them as intermittent periods, intermissions.  Basically the middle

          kingdom goes from about 2400 to basically 1800 BCE.  Others could take

          the middle kingdom, despite the invasion of the Hyksos around the

          middle of -- those were the people that came in using wheeled

          chariots, horse drawn carriages, were able to cross the Sinai

          peninsula and were able to take over the land until they were kicked

          out in 1580 BCE when the Egyptians restored their own culture to its

          country or nation and extended its nation into an entire period that

          we know as the new kingdom.  I'm talking fast, I realize, so let me

          put that in more direct terms and slower.

               The old kingdom starts with the first dynasty of Mayonnaise, the

          Greek name for Narma N-A-R-M-A at around 3,000-3100 depending on who

          you read, and continues about to 2400 with different dynasties.  We

          then move into the middle kingdom where, as I indicated, we have more

          of a nobles controlling but still the pharaoh ultimately in control.

          And then the new kingdom from about 1800 sometimes going to 1200, and

          other people take it to about 600, 800s, the times vary.  The new

          kingdom is also known as the empire period because Egypt extends out

          from its boundaries here into setting borders for protection from


          other groups into the -- and I'm going to use the term levant for what

          we sometimes refer to as the Middle East -- and I used that word

          before -- where more trade took place and there was an exchange of

          more cultures and different groups of people.  Throughout the Egyptian

          period a pharaoh controlled.  Except for that short 200-year period,

          the fact is that Egypt remained Egyptian; meaning, basically the

          culture which we today pretty much identify as Hamitic peoples.

               Mesopotamia, the first major city politically developed.  First

          cities, are Samaritan.  And they are not unified.  Of course we

          mention one of the major cities of the area Ur where Abraham came

          from.  They control the surrounding area and they were in constant

          warfare with other Samaritan cities.  Also in the more northern area

          where a group of Semites in the Akkadian area here.  This area is

          basically Semitic but basically city states.  The difference --

          appearance, dramatic appearance between the groups of people.  Semites

          have very sharp angular features, are much heavier bearded than the

          Samaritans.  The Samaritans looked like people from Mars, aliens.

          Translation, they were round, smooth, with big eyes.  Did they come

          from outer space?  Who were they?  We don't know.  We -- the culture,

          the language, the approach the life, the looks are distinctive.  And

          so they are one of the mysterious peoples of history.  Who are some of

          the others perhaps that are still around today that we consider to be

          mysterious or historical because we don't know a lot about where they

          came from and they don't seem to fit?  One are the Basque.  Where are



          A    In Spain.

               THE PROFESSOR:  In Spain or at least in the Pyrenees.  They don't

          like to think of themselves as Spain.  There's a big Basque

          independent movement.  How many have heard of the Basques?  And the

          other people the Etruscans whose language I'm beginning to understand,

          they're beginning to translate recently.  Anybody know where the

          Etruscans were?  They were north Rome and basically took over Rome

          right after Rome was founded.  And a lot of the Roman culture is based

          on this mysterious people called the Etruscans.

               In any case, we're not going into others.  History still has a

          lot of questions and we lack a lot of knowledge.  And this is a book

          that one of my students years ago provided me with, a book -- in fact

          she's still teaching English here, Juliana Bosak.  Has anybody had

          Miss Bosak for English?  In any case, the book indicates that the

          Samaritans came from Hungary.  Of course Juliana is Hungarian; and so

          she would have known about it.  It's an interesting philosophy all the

          way from here that settled down into this area.  I can't give you some

          of the arguments made.  We always like to solve the mysteries and

          certainly if it provides the Hungarian people with a sense of

          greatness today, to say that they were the makers of civilization, the

          first major civilization in the world, then I guess it makes

          Hungarians superior to the Russian occupation years back.

               Any of you of Hungarian descent?  No Hungarians?  Everybody is

          Irish.  The Irish have a way of spreading their genetics, their DNA.

          How many of you have Irish blood in you?  Wow, not that many in this


          class, only about seven.  German?  How many have German?  Almost the

          same.  They say the German origin in America, the German blood is the

          largest in the country.  German mixtures or German people are the

          largest.  Sorry.  I do bounce back and forth but that's my fluttering

          mind.  Inquiring minds want to know, I guess.  That is the theme of

          the National Inquirer.  I won't ask you how many people read the

          National Inquirer, but I will go off the subject to tell that you my

          name did appear in the National Inquirer.  My claim for fame, not

          because I came from outer space or not because I have a tail like a

          monkey, but I didn't know it was there until the vice president of the

          college called me up to tell me, which I think tells you a little

          about our administration.

          Q    What was it?

               THE PROFESSOR:  What was it for?  Yeah, a good point, nothing

          dramatic.  I used to be the record keeper for power lifting in the

          United States.  And there was a woman across the bay about 5-foot 2

          who was lifting in the 148-pound classes at 84 years of age.  She was

          German origin and had a pretty heavy German accent.  Boy, you should

          have heard her yell at the referee if he gave her a red flag.  She was

          breaking all the records between 80 and 89, like how many people are

          competing between the ages of 80 and 89 in weight lifting.  She was on

          the Letterman show and traveled through Europe lifting weights.  And

          so they called me up to see if her lifts were legitimate, if she

          really had the records.  I indicated, yes.  By the way, it was

          interesting because they really insisted that it be tape recorded.


          They have proof that it came from somebody else and they were

          recording what they said.  So they asked me what I felt about her

          breaking the records and how impressive it was.  Look, for my sense of

          existence, forget about breaking records at 80, I just hope I'm alive

          at that age.  It was just a quote, but yes, I'm famous on every

          supermarket counter.

          Q    Power lifting, is that just the amount of weight?

               THE PROFESSOR:  Power lifting is a sport where the lifts are the

          squat deep knee bend, the bench press, and dead lift, in comparison to

          Olympic lifts which are the clean and jerk overhead and the snatch

          which is one motion overhead.

               In any case, where were we?  Okay.  So basically here we had

          priest kings ruling the cities.  And people moved from city to city.

          We have translations of the cuneiform tablets that tell us about

          people asking permission to move into the city.  And there were

          welfare programs, which meant that people who needed help received it

          from the prince kings.  And there were large storage bins within the

          major temples which were called ziggurats, which were sort of step

          kinds of pyramids but not as high, made out of clay.  I'll show you

          some pictures of those later.  So people came to the cities basically

          to be fed and taken care of and be given land.  And there were slaves,

          but most people were somewhat free in their movement.  In Egypt we

          also had a welfare program which in the English terms is called the

          dole, where during the season of the dry season, without crops, people

          were put to work.  It's sort of like a WPA project during the


          Depression.  And that's how the pyramids were built.  The Biblical

          implication that hundreds of thousands of slaves worked and built the

          pyramids and that interpretation has been passed on seems not to be

          acceptable by most historians today.  Most of the work were, the labor

          was done as individuals who were paid for it with food, grain, if you

          will, that they could not grow on their own at that particular time.

          Those storage bins were empty for the people.  Tens to hundreds of

          thousands of people worked to build the pyramids and the temples and

          the tombs.

               One of the major differences in life perhaps is the role of women

          in ancient Egypt versus, well, the role of women in the Mesopotamia

          region.  Women played a fierce part and role in Egyptian life and

          often were quite wealthy, involved in business, and as you know, at

          least one element of history, Roman history, women did serve from time

          to time as pharaohs.  Among the names of famous Egyptian women --

          Cleopatra -- most of you have heard of her affair with Julius Caesar

          and of course later Mark Antony.  But in the new kingdom, a woman who

          was pharaoh whose name is well-known for extending the empire and

          builds a phenomenal temple off the Nile in the Cairo/Memphis area

          there -- and that's not Tennessee, in case you're curious -- a woman

          named Hat Shep Sut, H-A-T S-H-E-P S-U-T.  To identify herself as

          pharaoh and having to follow perhaps the male tradition, she put on or

          wore a false beard.  Of course if she had taken steroids, she would

          have had her own real beard.  I sort of add that as long as we're

          talking about weight lifting.  And it was her and her son Thut-Moses


          T-H-U-T M-O-S-E-S who expanded much of the Egyptian empire into the

          Middle East.  And one of the famous friezes, the relief of him shows

          him riding a chariot, the horses rearing up.  We gave you sort of a

          semi time line in ancient Egypt.  Let's talk a little more about the

          time line in Mesopotamia.

               We identified that the first peoples there were the Samaritans.

          And we identified that perhaps somewhere around 3500 BCE the Samaritan

          cities began to appear.  The first totally unification of the area

          that you're looking here in the blue was the Akkadian from 2350 --

          that's at its peak.  General life identified starting out at about

          2400 BCE and lasting until about 2250 BCE.  I think I mentioned in

          class the head of this unification was an individual by the name of

          Sargon S-A-R-G-O-N, and they were Semitic.  So the Semitic groups now

          pretty much dominated the region from then on.

               The next major empire was the Babylonian empire.  This is old

          Babylon.  There are two Babylonians, the later Babylonian empire also

          known was the Chaldean.  The new Babylon is the Babylon that is

          mentioned in the Bible.  The Babylonian empire, as you can see,

          controlled much of the Fertile Crescent right through to you the

          Levant right through to this area here in Palestine and exists from

          1950 to about 1600 BCE.  Obviously there is a gap where the city

          states return.  The individual most famous as a Babylonian ruler is a

          man named Hamurabi H-A-M-U-R-A-B-I or it could be H-A-M-M-U-R-A-B-I.

          I've always been fascinated by the last part of the name which is like

          rabbi because Hamurabi was seen as a teacher, a leader, and most of


          all, which, by the way, rabbis are, a lawgiver.  Hamurabi set up

          throughout the empire various columns, if you will, or carved rock

          stones and you can see one of them with his picture on it in the

          Egyptian museum or at least a replica of it where the law code was

          actually placed for people to read.  Now, obviously, it is not quite

          as extensive as the law today which takes up how many volumes of

          books, I don't know.  It, at least, was supposedly considered the

          first codification of the law common to all.  While we say common to

          all, there were class differences.  I'm going to read you something a

          little bit later to distinguish between what that law was like versus

          the mosaic law, the law of Moses.

               We later have learned, about the 1950s that his law stemmed from

          earlier law codes from Samaria.  Samaria had extensive law codes and,

          by the way, schools to train priests and scribes and also

          professionals such as lawyers.  Children did go to school.  And I'm

          sure we have letters in the cuneiform describing children writing home

          for more money for college and things of that nature.  Again, back to

          2000 BCE, a formalized education -- I'm sorry.  Back to 3,000 BCE, a

          formalized educational system did exist in the area of Samaria.

          Hamurabi ruled in around 1800 BCE, and as I say, is famous and may

          have been responsible for the language gardens of Babylon.

          Q    Do we know how they dated it back then?

               THE PROFESSOR:  That's a good question.  They dated it back then

          based on the reigns of the kings.

          Q    So the whole years?


               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah.  It would basically start over.  This is

          the first year of the pharaoh Thut-Moses the third's reign.  A lot of

          the building and the artwork in any monarchy, if you will, is

          propaganda.  And when a new pharaoh took over or perhaps a new

          dynasty, they often wiped out the name of the pharaoh who built the

          monument and they put their own in there.  And so we saw changes in

          dates and changes in the kinds of things that were produced.  So there

          is at least some confusion, which again, leaves us to Velikovsky's

          arguments that dates in the ancient Egypt that are being used for the

          other parts of the Middle East are certainly more questionable than

          the history books tend to describe.  And the same thing is true again

          even in the middle ages where this is more of an accurate dating

          system.  Most people who are illiterate have no sense of what the year

          is.  When they talk about the people, they may not even know that it

          is the year of so and so.  They see it as the year the floods came,

          the year New Orleans was destroyed.  Those are the kinds of ways it

          was definitely talked about and described.

               Yes, it sort of reminds me of a story.  The history teacher I had

          when I was in college for Roman and Greek history identified that he

          was on a tour in Rome.  And as they were going along mentioned -- the

          crowd didn't know he was a professor -- said, oh that building was

          built in 32 BC.  And one woman said, Well, how do know?  Well, there's

          a cornerstone there.  Now, cornerstones put the date of the building,

          but there's no way somebody would have put a cornerstone in that would

          have said, built before Christ, because there was no calendar.  He was


          doing it as a wise ass, like we history professors are, just like you

          looked at me in sort of strange way, but that's okay.

          Q    So they put those dates on afterwards?

               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah, we could, sometimes with a plaque or

          whatever.  They certainly wouldn't have carved it into a cornerstone.

          Usually cornerstones are put into the foundation of the building when

          it's built, not for a block with the history information that tells

          you it's historical, more so it would have had to have been -- how do

          we do it?  XXXIIII?  No.  XXXXXIV; right?  That's 44; right?

          A    Yeah.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Sorry.

               The hanging gardens of Babylon.  The area was dry.  And it is

          believed that this is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world

          was really a ziggurat.  Can you see what I'm doing here?  Ziggurats

          were temples that were built for the Gods, storage places, and the

          places where also the priest kings lived, the Lugals.  The kings, they

          were nowhere here as large was the pyramids.  And they sometimes had

          fortifications and they had ramps for religious ceremonies for people

          to walk up.  They were not like the Egyptian pyramids, burial chambers

          either in or underneath.  And the hanging gardens is believed -- were

          sort of like I guess where 1216 is, in building one, that little patio

          that was by the board's office.  They have all those flowers around it

          and flowers hanging over it, in the sense because they believed that

          Hamurabi's wife came from the north and was used to much more color

          and flowers.  And also it's often argued that the ziggurats, like the


          pyramids, were built because many of these people came from

          mountainous areas and plateaus.  And in a sense, they were trying to

          remember their homeland rather than living in flat desert regions.

          The pyramids, as I said, these were built from clay bricks and

          therefore were much more likely to be destroyed.  The pyramids started

          out in a similar fashion -- excuse my bad drawing here -- but from

          stone.  The first pyramid was the largest pyramid was the great

          pyramid and that was about 480 feet high.  They were started out

          basically as what's known as mastabas and originally made out of stone

          carved.  There were rooms here with drawings of the people.  Perhaps

          in the earlier period, people were actually buried with them so they

          could join them in their afterlife, some artifacts.  Of course, very

          few burial areas have not been ravaged and robbed and ripped off.

          That was the uniqueness of King Tut's tomb found in the 1922 year

          period where the inner chamber had never been touched.  The outer

          chambers had been.  And so they found it intact and that was a very

          unique finding of wealth and surprised the world.  Of course, we know

          about the curse of King Tut and all the people that died or families

          that were harmed who worked on the excavation, but that's another


          Q    Is that true?

               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah.  We don't know if the curse did it, the

          curse of the mummy.

          Q    So people died?

               THE PROFESSOR:  A lot of training and unexplained deaths similar



          to what happened to people who were witnesses to the Kennedy

          assassination.  Never mind.  I'm not big on conspiracy theories.

          There are a lot of coincidences that people find in my mind, but

          that's okay.

               Under the mastabas, they often had burial chambers with

          sarcophaguses that people couldn't get it to and some other artifacts

          in that.  This was the average burial started in 2800, 2900 period.

          But as time went on, they began to build the mastabas on mastabas.

          And then they smoothed them out with limestone creating the pyramid

          system.  For about 200 years the pyramids were built from about 2800

          to about 2600 BCE, pits underneath, burials inside.  Questions of

          course have been raised.  No. 1 -- how could they see inside these

          pyramids in these chambers?  Well, you could light candles

          quote/unquote, but they would very rapidly burn out because the oxygen

          was very low or nonexistent.  It's believed that they did their

          building inside and their paintings inside there and in tombs with

          basically metal mirrors that reflected the sunlight.  And the way the

          pyramids were built without pulleys, without the metal is, they took

          the stone from the barges, from southern Egypt on barges, blocks as

          heavy as 20 tons, unloaded them in the Gaza area G-I-Z-A area, I'm

          sorry.  And in they began the process of building the mastaba first by

          just building sand, first putting the first layers down, and then they

          could roll them up with large amounts of labor on logs with people

          pulling laying the second layer, again covering the area with sand

          rolling them up and building on top of each other until we got to


          480 feet, which is a big movement that must have gone way out to have

          moved those large stone cuttings, boulders, whatever you want to call

          them.  And so that's the explanation we give.  We do not believe

          historically that they were done from people from outer space with

          levitation machines or anything.

               The next empire in the Middle East, if you will, is an

          interesting one called the Hittites, H-I-T-T-I-T-E-S.  The Hittites --

          well, you can see here, the Turkey area.  And they were the first to

          use iron coming out of the mountains.  They have the iron weapons

          which trumped the cooper and the bronze.  Bronze is a mixture of

          copper and tin and therefore they were quite interior.  They also were

          more effective using the horse drawn carriages, chariots that moved

          much more readily.  The Hittites did have, from 1500 to about 1200

          BCE, large ties with Egypt.  And they did exchange a lot of goods and

          trade from this region here.  The Hittite kingdom then, the next major

          kingdom in the area.

               With the fall of the Hittites at around 1200, we had a bunch of

          city states and also the emergence of smaller nations and perhaps the

          most well-known was the Phoenician.  I don't think I have a map of the

          Phoenician empire.  In any case, the Phoenician empire was in this

          area here.  We talked about them perhaps tied to the Philistines.  We

          mention their coming in around the 1200 perhaps the destruction of the

          Crete.  The Phoenician empire was a seafaring people who we do know

          reached the shores of Britain where they exchanged in Britain tin,

          bringing the tin that was more rare here to mix with the bronze -- I'm


          sorry, with the copper produces bronze.  The Phoenicians of course are

          also well-known for the development of a formalized alphabet and for

          something that you may or may not be familiar with which made a lot of

          money for them or wealth, royal purple.  Using the mollusks, a sort of

          shellfish off the coast of Phoenicia, they're able to develop this dye

          that provided purple and brought some color to people's clothing.  At

          least it was expensive and therefore became the royal purple of the

          monarchies of the rulers.  And their empire goes to about 1,000 BCE at

          which time we begin our look, which I guess we'll do next time, at the

          empire of Israel and Judaea, the empire of David.  Okay, see you then.