Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fiery Swords, Gold and other realities

Date Line March 6, 2007

As previously cited, Genesis 2:11 states the river Pishon encompasses the land of Havilah – where there is gold, bdellium and onyx stone; but where is this River Pishon?

Archaeologists now believe that only one site – Tepe Gawra on the Iranian plateau – yielded worked gold prior to 3000 BCE. Which is to say, the gold referenced in the land of Havilah most probably is from the Iranian plateau.

We also know there are substantial onyx reserves in central Anatolia; and that also forces the “Garden of Eden” to have been a reference to farming in Anatolia.

As it happens, Tepe Gawra is one of the oldest cities in the region, and level Gawra VIII ended at about 3750 BCE – only ten years after the beginning of the Hebrew Calendar, and what we can view as the beginning of the expulsion period.

Eastern Anatolia is the largest and highest region – average altitude of 1,500-2,000 m / 4,920-6,560 ft – it is here Noah’s Mount Ararat is located. This area is the nation’s most thinly populated region – long, severe winters, steep slopes and eroded soil render farming difficult; summer wheat and barley are the dominant crops.

Why did Noah’s ark come to ground on Mount Ararat? Well, as the song tells us, “The corn was as high as an elephant’s eye.” When spinning a yarn – putting what was known, that territories like the Adriatic flooded – one points to a image all listeners can identify.

Mount Ararat is the tallest mountain (technically: stratovolcano) in Anatolia, or, for that matter, throughout the Middle East. It is self-evident that the waters were deep and no ground was uncovered.

Obviously, Biblical authors – writing in the first millennium BCE – could sell an idea which would not have been bought at the time they assert the floods occurred, circa 2300 BCE. However, clearly, they could assert facts which were known from divergent sources.

In the context of divergent sources, we have the flaming swords of Eden – the “Curse of Akkad”, circa 2100 BCE, alluded to 'flaming potsherds raining from the sky' as causing the fall of a great city.

In other inscriptions, we find similar stories of fire in the sky – these could easily be volcanic activity; but there is also a meteor crater evidence from the biblical date of the “Garden.”

As for the “flood”, the Tales of Gilgamesh – with their deluge story – date from that period. There is also strong evidence of a sudden climate change causing the downfall of Anatolian societies. These droughts went as far south as Egypt, and thus provide a basis for the seven years of famine dream interpretation by Joseph (Ge 41).

The key point to consider is that each of the biblical stories has a basis, or association, to factual events which are spun by the writer to fit the unification narrative which brought together the various peoples.
As we move on, let us keep in mind the words of Gautama Buddha:
* Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
* Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
* Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
* Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
* Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
* But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

And with those words in mind, recall these words of caution were spoken about the time of the Babylon Diaspora – a time when the bible was penned in a form approximating that we find it in today.

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