Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot

The ‘Dynastic Race’ and the Biblical ‘Japheth’ – Part I: After the Deluge

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The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’. So we may presume that these early cultures were founded by the genius of that broad racial group. The dolichocephalic Mediterranean, or “brown”, race may thus have constituted the earliest strata of the populations of Asia, Egypt and Europe.

Mediterranean dolichocephalic types 1897.

Mediterranean dolichocephalic types 1897. ( Public Domain )

Genesis as a Genealogical Resource

Given the difficulty of descrying the racial identities of the peoples related to the early cultures of the Near East, we may attempt to derive a fuller view of their affiliations by resorting to sacred and mythological texts. In this regard, the Biblical ‘Table of Nations’ in Genesis 10-11 is of considerable value. Genesis 10:1 gives Shem, Ham and Japheth as the three ‘sons’ of Noah. Genesis 11:2 also mentions that Shem, Ham and Japheth originally lived together and journeyed ‘from the east’ (presumably Elam) to Shinar, or Sumer (from [Emesal dialect] Shengir=[Sumerian] Kengir). The Semitic, Hamitic and Japhetic peoples mentioned in the Bible are thus all closely related as part of the original Noachidian race.

According to the ‘Table of Nations’, in Genesis 10:22, the earliest Semites were located in Elam, in western Iran, and contributed to the neighboring Assyrian state as well as to the formation of the Aramean and Hebrew races. The Elamite language however is, unlike the Semitic, agglutinative and bears similarities with Hurrian and Dravidian. F. Bork and G.W. Brown, for instance, have revealed the intimate linguistic relationship between Hurrian (along with its Mitanni dialect), Elamite, and Dravidian. In this context we may recall that, according to the Bhāgavata Purāna , VIII,24, the survivor of the “flood”, Manu (the counterpart of Noah) is himself called Satyavrata, King of Drāvida.

able of Nations according to Genesis 10.

Table of Nations according to Genesis 10. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Ancient Near East Cultures

As regards the extent of the diffusion of proto-Dravidian culture, we may rely on Lahovary’s pioneering research into the ‘Mediterranean race’, which he identified with the Dravidian, and considered as being the original inhabitants of the ancient Near East “in its largest meaning”, that is, including “Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Caucasia, Persia, Mesopotamia with its extensions towards India, as well as Arabia and the African regions facing Arabia, i.e. from the Nile valley to the high tablelands of East Africa”.

Although the Hurrians are attested in historical records only from the eastern Semitic Old Akkadian period (ca. 2340-2200 BC) and more particularly in the following Sumerian Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC), the fact that the Hurrians, as Wilhelm has shown, are in all probability identical to the Subarians may advance their presence in Mesopotamia to a much earlier date.

Of the early Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia, Eridu - which dates from around 5400 BC - shows marked Elamite affinities. The relics from the Ubaid culture have, interestingly, been described by Landsberger as indicative of a predominantly agricultural society, which later mingled with a more ‘professional’ Sumerian stratum that included scribes, physicians, and judges.

The approximate area of Hurrian settlement in the Middle Bronze Age is shown in purple

The approximate area of Hurrian settlement in the Middle Bronze Age is shown in purple ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Subarians were traditionally identified as a northern highland people, though they may have moved south to Elam as well. According to Speiser, the original name of Ku’ara (near Eridu) in the early dynasty of Uruk (ca. 2900-2400 BC) – “HA.A” – may also be of Subarian, or proto-Hurrian origin. The very term “subari” or, more precisely, “suwari”, is related to Suvalliyat (Suvariya)/Sūrya, which is also the Hititte/Indic name of the sun-god. Hurri then would be the Iranian pronunciation of the same name, as the Iranian name of the sun-god, “Hvare”, suggests. And the entire Hurrian ethnos may have been characterised by sun-worship. It is possible that the proto-Hurrians, or proto-Dravidians, typified the original Noachidian family.

Noah, Family and Ark. D. Morelli

Noah, Family and Ark. D. Morelli ( Public Domain )

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Comments

Either the man stylized on the pottery has six fingers, or his thumb is represented as the same length as his other four fingers. Either way I find it curious.

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