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11750Re: [ANE-2] Re: Dilmun is Umm Daleimin/Qurnah?

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  • Walter Mattfeld
    Dec 15, 2009
      Dear David,

      I disagree. Behind all myths are historical kernels, real places and events
      and people. Dilmun existed as early as circa 3200 BC-2300 BC on tablets at
      Uruk. Sargon of Agade (2300 BC) said he _conquered Dilmun_ as part of the
      Sea Land he "sieged" (the area about Basra and Qurna is called the Sea Land
      by PhD scholars) Why would Sargon claim to have conquered a "mythical" place
      that didn't exist and make a "fool" of himself? I am familiar with Bibby and
      his supporters and find all of them in error. Esarhaddon said it was 30 beru
      from Aphek to Raphia for his marching army (places identified by
      archaeologists as west of Israel), calculated by modern scholars as being
      220 kilometers or 132 miles apart from each other. Bahrain is over 400 miles
      from Sumer's border at Ur and Eridu. However, 220 kilometers east of Ur and
      Eridu is the mouth of the Shatt al Arab, placing Dilmun in the marshes
      between Sumer and Elam, _not_ Bahrain, 400 miles away (which would be over
      60+ beru for Esarhaddon).

      Regards, Walter

      On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 8:49 AM, David Hall <dqhall59@...> wrote:

      > Hello Walter:
      > The major Sumerian mounds have been found north and west of the Shat
      > al-Arab (Arab Canal) and Qurneh. Tell Laham like Eridu and Ur is far west
      > of Qurneh near the mouths of the two rivers were the spring flood was the
      > greatest.
      > http://www.bibleorigins.net/QurnahEdenMap.html
      > The rivers flooded every spring as the snow melted in the mountains of
      > Turkey and Iran adding water to the Euphrates and Tigris. The flooding has
      > been less extensive in the 21st century after the Turkish government built
      > numerous dams on its portions of the rivers. Iraqi government efforts to
      > drain the marshlands between the two rivers changed the appearance of the
      > land.
      > Since Gilgamesh was obviously a myth, trying to locate its "true" location
      > is an impossible task as no place contains a secret medication for eternal
      > life. Gilgamesh looking for the secret of eternal life in Dilmun is likened
      > to Ponce de Leon looking for the fountain of youth in Florida. The word
      > Dilmun was used in documents dating from as early as c. 2500 B.C. These
      > mythologists were not always accurate in their descriptions.
      > There are no Sumerian mounds in the vicinity of Qurneh.
      > There were natural springs in the northern part of Bahrain that attracted
      > mariners, settlers, and the eyes of a hero if he were to catch a glimpse of
      > a young woman bathing in the fountain. Since Gilgamesh is a myth, it is no
      > wonder there is difficulty in you proving where Dilmun was. Tablets from Ur
      > and lower Iraq indicated trading by boat to and from Dilmun including a
      > trade in copper that was believed to be from Oman according to the nickel
      > content of Sumerian copper being similar to the nickel content of copper
      > from Oman. Geoffrey Bibby found evidence at Bahrain linking it to the Magan
      > (Oman) copper trade with the Sumerians of Iraq. Both Sumerian and Indus R.
      > civilization weights were found at Bahrain.
      > New Analyses of Old Babylonian Metalwork from Tell Sifr, by P. R. S.
      > Moorey, J. E. Curtis, D. R. Hook and M. J. Hughes
      > Iraq, Vol. 50, (1988), pp. 39-48
      > Looking for Dilmun, by Geoffrey Bibby, New York, 1970.
      > David Q. Hall
      > Falls Church, Virginia
      > ________________________________
      > From: wrwmattfeld <wrmattfeld411@... <wrmattfeld411%40gmail.com>>
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sun, December 13, 2009 5:31:45 PM
      > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Dilmun is Umm Daleimin/Qurnah?
      > Hall's notion that the shore of the Persian Gulf in antiquity was near
      > Eridu and Ur in antiquity has been challenged of late (1970s-1990s) by some
      > scholars who argue that the ancient texts have been misunderstood (seas are
      > lagoons) and ancient sites have been found revealing that this area,
      > Qurnah-Basrah (called the Sea Land in ancient texts), was _never_ under the
      > Persian Gulf's waters. Cf. the below excerpts:
      > Professor Potts on the term 'sea' being applied by the ancients to
      > marshlands or swamps with their lagoons as well as the open sea of the
      > Persian Gulf and thus it is an error to think Ur and Eridu which are
      > described as near a 'sea,' are implying the Persian Gulf, instead 'the sea'
      > is actually an area of lagoons and marshes (I understand that the "sea"
      > Dilmun is located in is the Sealand or marshland east of Sumer and the mouth
      > of the Euphrates at either Ur or Eridu):"The same caveats noted by Waetzoldt
      > must also be applied to the accounts of Sennacherib' s campaign against Elam
      > in 696 B.C., according to which 'ships of my warriors reached the swamps at
      > the mouth of the river where the Euphrates carries its waters into the
      > fearful sea'...In all these cases, however, whether Ur and Eridu in the
      > third millennium, or the expedition of Sennacherib against Elam, references
      > to 'the sea' must be treated cautiously. Not only has Waetzoldt shown that,
      > in early
      > sources, the same terms are used for marsh/swamp and open water, but more
      > recently S.W. Cole has demonstrated clearly that a large marsh around the
      > site of Borsippa, southwest of Babylon and far from even the northernmost
      > line of the Gulf, projected by de Morgan or Larsen, was routinely called the
      > 'sea' (Akkadian tamirtu) in texts dating to the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian
      > and Achaemenid periods (Cole 1994:81-109) . Clearly, therefore, references
      > to 'the sea' are ambiguous and must be examined more closely in conjunction
      > with other types of evidence before they are taken to refer to the open
      > waters of the Gulf itself. Indeed, this point is brought home forcibly by
      > the very designation of southernmost Mesopotamia from the early second
      > millennium B.C. onwards."(p. 36. "The Progradation of the Tigris-Euphrates
      > Delta." pp. 30-41. D. T. Potts. Mesopotamian Civilization: The Material
      > Foundations. Ithaca, New York. Cornell University Press. 1997)
      > Professor Potts (1997) has challenged the above notion that a "vast sea"
      > extended from near Ur and Eridu to the Persian Gulf. He understands that
      > ancient sites with traces of _irrigated fields_ found near the Hawr al
      > Hammar Lagoon existed in the 2d millennium B.C. and that they would have
      > been "underwater" had a vast sea existed. He argues that these sites were
      > strung-out in a line paralleling the Euphrates river south of the lagoon
      > (today the Euphrates is north of the Lagoon). If he is right, then this may
      > explain the "mystery" of Dilmun being sited near a "river" in a marshland
      > environment. In one myth Enki is portrayed as espying maidens standing on
      > the bank of a river in the midst of the marshlands. When he attempts sex,
      > one maid cries out "no man take me in the marshes." Over time a succession
      > of maidens appear at the river's bank and are accosted by Enki, who is said
      > to glide down a river through the marshes to the river's bank which is
      > described
      > as being at Dilmun! The Euphrates presence in the marshlands east of Ur and
      > Eridu, if rightly argued by Potts, would seem to align "Dilmun's river" in a
      > marsh environment with any of the 2d millennium B.C. sites south of the
      > present-day Hawr al-Hammar Lagoon. One of these sites is Tel al-Lahm, which
      > is shown as being connected to the Euphrates via the Id-Nun canal which
      > begins at Ur (cf. map figure 1.12. p. 28. D.T. Potts. Mesopotamian
      > Civilization: The Material Foundations. Ithaca, New York. Cornell University
      > Press. 1997). Potts (map figure 1.17, p. 37) shows the boundary of lands
      > inundated by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and this line passes to the
      > south of Tell al-Lahm, so this site lies within the so-called mat tamti
      > "Sealand," the marshes and lagoons east of Ur and Eridu. The presence of
      > irrigated fields at some of the sites south of the Hawr al-Hammar Lagoon
      > reveals that apparently there existed sizable patches of land near these
      > sites, they
      > were not simply tiny islands in the midst of the marshes. In fact Potts has
      > argued that the Hawr al-Hammar may be a recent phenomenon, coming into
      > existence about 1870 (cf. pp. 36-41).
      > Potts (1997) on Georges Roux's discoveries (1960) near the Hor al-Hammar
      > Lagoon:
      > "In cuneiform sources southernmost Mesopotamia was known as mat tamti(m)
      > (Sumerian KUR A.AB.BA), the 'Sealand'... While B. Meissner could claim in
      > 1920 that the lack of mounds in this region made it certain that it had been
      > under water (Meissner 1920:4), G. Roux's survey of the Hor al-Hammar (fig.
      > 1.17) showed that this was purely the result of insufficient exploration
      > (Roux 1960:30), for there is in fact a string of mounds 'extending in an
      > almost straight line from Tell Lahm to a point 23 miles north of Basrah'
      > which, Roux suggests 'provides a strong argument against the classical
      > theory according to which the whole of this region was under sea-water from
      > prehistoric times to the dawn of the Christian era' (Roux 1960:30). The
      > existence of sites such as Tells Kirbasi, al-Lahm, Aqram and Abu Salabikh in
      > the area of the modern Hor al-Hammar underscores the fact that, from at
      > least the early second millennium B.C. onwards, this was a populated area
      > which,
      > while it may have been marshy, was certainly not submerged beneath the
      > Gulf. Rising no more than 2 meters above the water line, Tell Kirbasi is
      > today periodically surrounded by water, yet it is difficult to imagine that
      > a site like this was located on an island in the Kassite period, for there
      > is little reason to suppose that if this were the case, Tell Kirbasi or
      > indeed the Sealand generally would have been cited as a source of cattle and
      > cereals. Thus, de Morgan's suggested shoreline in the time of Sennacherib
      > would place under water sites such as Tell al-Lahm which we now know were
      > occupied during the Neo-Assyrian period! The discovery of a cylinder of
      > Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.) at Tell al-Lahm...moreover, confirms that 150 years
      > after Sennacherib' s time, the region was most definitely not submerged, and
      > indeed Sanlaville's sea-level curve shows that sea-levels throughout the
      > second millennium B.C. were only marginally higher (less than 1 meter) than
      > they are today, while from the Neo-Assyrian through the latter part of the
      > Parthian era, they were, contrary to de Morgan's belief, significantly lower
      > than modern levels.
      > That is not to say, however, that the entire area of southernmost
      > Mesopotamia was dry land, or that references to 'the sea' in Sennacherib' s
      > account or in texts relating to Ur and Eridu do not refer to some inland
      > body or bodies of water which actually existed...more recently Adams has
      > suggested, 'We may have to deal in in the past, as to a lesser extent we
      > still do today, not with a well-defined shoreline but with a progression of
      > swamps and more and more open, more brackish or saline lagoons' (Adams
      > 1981:16). Nevertheless, this does not necessarily mean that the Hor
      > al-Hammar itself existed when the sites found by Roux were inhabitated. As
      > Roux himself remarked, the existence of relict canals near Tell Abu Salabikh
      > and a well at Tell Aqram suggest that this region was once cultivated, as
      > indeed the Kassite cuneiform sources cited above confirm, and drier than it
      > is today." (pp.37-38. Potts)
      > "Finally, had the Gulf actually reached the area of Ur, Eridu or Tello, one
      > must ask whether these sites could have then existed. W. Nutzel has noted
      > that the tidal pattern in the northern Gulf affects the waters of the Shatt
      > al-Arab in that salt-waters enters it at least as far as Abdul Khasib, circa
      > 10 kilometers east of Basra. The interchange of salt and sweet water would
      > have made irrigation from such water impossible, for none of the staple
      > cereals grown in antiquity would have been able to tolerate water with such
      > a high salt content. Therefore, settlements must always have been situated
      > outside the zone affected by such an interchange. The very existence of
      > sites like Ur, or for that matter, the mounds discussed above in the Hor
      > al-Hammar district, Nutzel argues, precludes the possibility that salt-water
      > was present in close proximity to them (Nutzel 1980:98-9)." (p. 39. D. T.
      > Potts. Mesopotamian Civilization: The Material Foundations. Ithaca, New
      > York. Cornell University Press. 1997)
      > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, David Hall <dqhall59@.. .> wrote:
      > >
      > > Qurnah was likely underwater in the Early Bronze Age. The ancient
      > coastline was closer to Ur. This is why there are no Sumerian mounds in the
      > vicinity of Qurneh. Years of the rivers dumping clay and silt sediments at
      > their mouths and forming new land in the delta pushed the land further out
      > into the gulf... [snip]
      > > David Q. Hall

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