Between 7,000-5,000 Years ago, rise of unequal hierarchy elite, leading to a “birth of the State” or worship or power, strong new sexism, oppression of non-elites, and the fall of Women’s equal status

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and slaves:

“Something Weird Happened to Men 7,000 Years Ago, it fell to one man for every 17 women: fighting between patrilineal clans. Around 7,000 years ago – all the way back in the Neolithic – something really peculiar happened to human genetic diversity. Over the next 2,000 years, and seen across Africa, Europe, and Asia, the genetic diversity of the Y chromosome collapsed, becoming as though there was only one man for every 17 women. This points to a social, rather than an environmental, cause, and given the social restructures between 12,000 and 8,000 years ago as humans shifted to more agrarian cultures with patrilineal structures, this may have had something to do with it.” ref

“Slavery predates written records and has existed in many cultures. Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations because it requires economic surpluses and a substantial population density. Thus, although it has existed among unusually resource-rich hunter-gatherers, such as the American Indian peoples of the salmon-rich rivers of the Pacific Northwest coast, slavery became widespread only with the invention of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution about 11,000 years ago.” ref

When the First Farmers Arrived in Europe, Inequality Evolved

“Forests gave way to fields, pushing hunter-gatherers to the margins—geographically and socially. There is no clear genetic evidence of interbreeding along the central European route until the (Linear Pottery culture 5500–4500 BCE or 7,522-6,522 years ago) LBK farmers reached the Rhine. And yet the groups mixed in other ways—potentially right from the beginning. A tantalizing hint of such interactions came from Gamba’s discovery of a hunter-gatherer bone in a farming settlement at a place called Tiszaszőlős-Domaháza in Hungary. But there was nothing more to be said about that individual. Was he a member of that community? A hostage? Someone passing through?” ref

“With later evidence, the picture became clearer. At Bruchenbrücken, a site north of Frankfurt in Germany, farmers, and hunter-gatherers lived together roughly 7,300 years ago in what Gronenborn calls a “multicultural” settlement. It looks as if the hunters may have come there originally from farther west to trade with the farmers, who valued their predecessors’ toolmaking techniques—especially their finely chiseled stone arrowheads. Perhaps some hunter-gatherers settled, taking up the farming way of life. So fruitful were the exchanges at Bruchenbrücken and other sites, Gronenborn says, that they held up the westward advance of farming for a couple of centuries.” ref

“There may even have been rare exceptions to the rule that the two groups did not interbreed early on. The Austrian site of Brunn 2, in a wooded river valley not far from Vienna, dates from the earliest arrival of the LBK farmers in central Europe, around 7,600 years ago. Three burials at the site were roughly contemporaneous. Two were of individuals of pure farming ancestry, and the other was the first-generation offspring of a hunter and a farmer. All three lay curled up on their sides in the LBK way, but the “hunter” was buried with six arrowheads.” ref

“Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. Mesopotamia occupies most of present-day Iraq and Kuwait. The historical region includes the head of the Persian Gulf and parts of present-day Iran, Syria, and Turkey.” ref

“The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BCE or 5,121 years ago) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BCE or 2,560 years ago, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BCE or 2,353 years ago, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. Later the Arameans dominated major parts of Mesopotamia (900 BCE – 270 CE).” ref

“Around 150 BCE or 2,171 years ago, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with western parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In 226 CE, the eastern regions of Mesopotamia fell to the Sassanid Persians. The division of Mesopotamia between Roman (Byzantine from 395 AD) and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines.” ref

“A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BCE and 3rd century BCE, including Adiabene, Osroene, and Hatra. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BCE or 12,021 years ago. It has been identified as having “inspired some of the most important developments in human history, including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops, and the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy, and agriculture“. It has been known as one of the earliest civilizations to ever exist in the world.” ref

City-States seem to likely start in Mesopotamia

“As time went on, many small villages became the first cities, one of them being Eridu, according to the Mesopotamians themselves. Scholars, however, consider Uruk to be the first city in history. Other Sumerian cities include Ur, Lagash, Adab, Kish, Larsa, Nippur, Kullah, and Adab among others.” ref

“In 4000 BCE or 6,021 years ago. came the first villages and the beginning of towns. By 3,500 BCE or 5,521 years ago, the Sumerian city-states began forming, all centered around temples to the gods. By this time, Sumerian people had invented writing, the wheel, irrigation and water control, and sailboats. One of the names for Mesopotamia is the “cradle of civilization,” as the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was the birthplace of civilization as we know it.” ref

“Sumer’s city-states were first ruled by priest-kings, known as Ensi. As society grew more complex, however, and city-states began battling over land and water rights, a secular kingship began, with the rule of a city-state in the hands of a Lugal, or strong man. The Lugal supervised wars and oversaw important trade with other lands. Trade brought in goods such as metal ores that were unobtainable in Sumer itself. It was probably the necessity of record-keeping in long-distance trade that spurred the development of cuneiform writing.” ref

“While the archeological record reveals the life of common Sumerians, the Sumerian King List provides some detail of Sumer’s kings. The King List, a cuneiform document that lists and briefly describes all the kings of the region beginning with Etana of Kish, who ruled c. 3100 BCE or 5,121 years ago. A scribe in the city of Lagash wrote the document around 2100 BCE or 4,121 years ago at the instigation of a king who wished to legitimate his rule by connecting his name with the known kings and their great deeds.” ref

“Sumer’s city-states warred with each other continually for land, water rights, and other natural resources. One king might create a larger alliance, but no one managed to rule them all until Eannutum of Lagash, who managed to subdue most of the city-states of Sumer under his rule. Lugalzagesi of Umma then held that proto-empire together until he was overthrown by Sargon the Great circa 2234 BCE or 4,255 years ago. Sargon, a Semite rather than a Sumerian, originated from northern Mesopotamia.” ref

“The Akkadian Empire dominated Sumer for the next 150 years. Sumer, however, would rise again during the Sumerian Renaissance of 2047-1750 BCE or 4,068 years ago. Sumer’s civilization provided the world with many firsts: first legal codes, court system, schools, proverbs, moral and ethical ideas, mathematical systems, libraries, bronze, writing, astrological signs, our division of time into hours and minutes and many technological innovations.” ref

Divine right of Kings

“Historically, many Notions of rights have been authoritarian and hierarchical, with different people granted different rights and some having more rights than others. For instance, the right of a father to receive respect from his son did not indicate a right for the son to receive a return from that respect. Analogously, the divine right of kings, which permitted absolute power over subjects, provided few rights for the subjects themselves.” ref

Pre-Christian conceptions of the Divine Right of Kings

Divine Right of Kings and Zoroastrianism (Iranian world)

The Indo-Iranian languages (also Indo-Iranic languages or Aryan languages) constitute the largest and southeasternmost extant branch of the Indo-European language family.

Khvarenah Ahura Mazda the god reportedly gives divine kingship to Ardashir.” Khvarenah is an Iranian and Zoroastrian concept, which literally means glory, about the divine right of the kings. This may stem from early Mesopotamian culture, where kings were often regarded as deities after their death. Shulgi of Ur was among the first Mesopotamian rulers to declare himself to be divine. In the Iranian view, kings would never rule, unless Khvarenah is with them, and they will never fall unless Khvarenah leaves them. For example, according to the Kar-namag of Ardashir, when Ardashir I of Persia and Artabanus V of Parthia fought for the throne of Iran, on the road Artabanus and his contingent are overtaken by an enormous ram, which is also following Ardashir. Artabanus’s religious advisors explain to him that the ram is the manifestation of the khwarrah of the ancient Iranian kings, which is leaving Artabanus to join Ardashir.” ref

Roman Empire (Italic languages)

Italic languages form a branch of the Indo-European language family, whose earliest known members were spoken on the Italian Peninsula in the first millennium BCE.

“The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified Roman emperors and some members of their families with the “divinely sanctioned” authority (auctoritas) of the Roman State. The official offer of cultus to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pious respect for traditional Republican deities and mores. Many of the rites, practices, and status distinctions that characterized the cult to emperors were perpetuated in the theology and politics of the Christianised Empire.” ref

Christian conceptions of the Divine Right of Kings

“In European Christianity, the divine right of kings, divine right, or God’s mandation is a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy of a monarchy. It stems from a specific metaphysical framework in which a monarch is, before birth, pre-ordained to inherit the crown. According to this theory of political legitimacy, the subjects of the crown have actively (and not merely passively) turned over the metaphysical selection of the king’s soul – which will inhabit the body and rule them – to God. In this way, the “divine right” originates as a metaphysical act of humility and/or submission towards God. The Divine Right has been a key element of the legitimation of many absolute monarchies.” ref

“Significantly, the doctrine asserts that a monarch is not accountable to any earthly authority (such as a parliament) because their right to rule is derived from divine authority. Thus, the monarch is not subject to the will of the people, of the aristocracy, or of any other estate of the realm. It follows that only divine authority can judge a monarch, and that any attempt to depose, dethrone or restrict their powers runs contrary to God’s will and may constitute a sacrilegious act. It is often expressed in the phrase by the Grace of God, which has historically been attached to the titles of certain reigning monarchs. Note, however, that such accountability only to God does not per se make the monarch a sacred king.” ref

Uruk period

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE or 6,022-5,122 years ago; also known as the Protoliterate period) existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, after the Ubaid period and before the Jemdet Nasr period. Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. The late Uruk period (34th to 32nd centuries BCE) saw the gradual emergence of the cuneiform script and corresponds to the Early Bronze Age; it has also been described as the “Protoliterate period”. During this period, pottery painting declined as copper started to become popular, along with cylinder seals. However, the Anu/ White Temple ziggurat at Uruk. The original pyramidal structure, the “Anu Ziggurat” dates to around 4000 BCE or 6,022 years ago, and the White Temple was built on top of it circa 3500 BCE or 5,522 years ago.” ref

“The traditional chronology is very imprecise and is based on some key soundages in the Eanna quarter at Uruk. The most ancient levels of these soundages (XIX–XIII) belong to the end of the Ubaid period (Ubaid V, 4200–3900 or 3700 BCE); pottery characteristic of the Uruk period begins to appear in levels XIV/XIII. The Uruk period is traditionally divided into many phases. The first two are “Old Uruk” (levels XII–IX), then “Middle Uruk” (VIII–VI). These first two phases are poorly known, and their chronological limits are poorly defined; many different chronological systems are found in scholarship.” ref 

“From the middle of the 4th millennium BCE, it transitions to the best-known period, “Late Uruk”, which continues until around 3200 or 3100 BCE. It is in fact in this period that the features which are generally seen as most characteristics of the civilization of the Uruk period occur: high technological development, the development of important urban agglomerations with imposing monumental structures (the most characteristic of these is Level IV of Eanna), the appearance of state institutions, and the expansion of the Uruk civilization throughout the whole Near East.” ref

Jemdet Nasr period

“This phase of “Late Uruk” is followed by another phase (level III of Eanna) in which the Uruk civilization declined and a number of distinct local cultures developed throughout the Near East. This is generally known as the Jemdet Nasr period, after the archaeological site of that name. Its exact nature is highly debated, and it is difficult to clearly distinguish its traits from those of the Uruk culture, so some scholars refer to it as the “Final Uruk” period instead. It lasted from around 3000 to 2900 BCE.” ref

Alternative chronology

“In 2001, a new chronology has been proposed by the members of a colloquium at Santa Fe, based on recent excavations, especially at sites outside Mesopotamia. They consider the Uruk period to be the “Late Chalcolithic” (LC). Their LC 1 corresponds to the end of the Ubaid period and ends around 4200 BCE or 6,222 years ago, with the beginning of LC 2, which is the first phase of the Uruk period. They divide “Old Uruk” into two phases, with the dividing line placed around 4000 BCE or 6,022 years ago. Around 3800 BCE or 5,822 years ago, LC 3 begins, which corresponds to the “Middle Uruk” phase, and continues until around 3400 BCE or 5,422 years ago, when it is succeeded by LC 4. It rapidly transitions to LC 5 (Late Uruk), which continues until 3000 BCE or 5,022 years ago. Some other chronological proposals have also been put forward, such as by the ARCANE team (Associated Regional Chronologies for the Ancient Near East).” ref

“Although the chronology of the Uruk period is full of uncertainties, it is generally agreed to have a rough span of a thousand years covering the period from 4000 to 3000 BCE or 6,022-5,022 years ago and to be divided into several phases: an initial urbanization and elaboration of Urukian cultural traits marks the transition from the end of the Ubaid period (Old Uruk), then a period of expansion (Middle Uruk), with a peak during which the characteristic traits of the ‘Uruk civilization’ are definitively established (Late Uruk), and then a retreat of Urukian influence and increase in cultural diversity in the Near East along with a decline of the ‘center’.” ref

“Some researchers have attempted to explain this final stage as the arrival of new populations of Semitic origin (the future Akkadians), but there is no conclusive proof of this. In Lower Mesopotamia, the researchers identify this as the Jemdet Nasr period, which sees a shift to more concentrated habitation, undoubtedly accompanied by a reorganization of power; in southwestern Iran, it is the Proto-Elamite period; Niniveh V in Upper Mesopotamia (which follows the Gawra culture); the “Scarlet Ware” culture in Diyala. In Lower Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic Period begins around the start of the 3rd millennium BCE, during which this region again exerts considerable influence over its neighbors.” ref

Lower Mesopotamia

“Lower Mesopotamia is the core of the Uruk period culture and the region seems to have been the cultural center of the time because this is where the principal monuments are found and the most obvious traces of an urban society with state institutions developing in the second half of the 4th millennium BCE, the first system of writing, and it is the material and symbolic culture of this region which had the most influence on the rest of the Near East at this time. However, this region is not well-known archaeologically, since only the site of Uruk itself has provided traces of monumental architecture and administrative documents which justify seeing this region as the most dynamic and influential. At some other sites, construction from this period has been found, but they are usually known only as a result of soundages. In the current state of knowledge, it remains impossible to determine whether the site of Uruk was actually unique in this region or if it is simply an accident of excavation that makes it seem more important than the others.” ref

“This is the region of the Near East that was the most agriculturally productive, as a result of an irrigation system which developed in the 4th millennium BCE and focused on the cultivation of barley (along with the date palm and various other fruits and legumes) and the pasturing of sheep for their wool. Although it lacked mineral resources and was located in an arid area, it had undeniable geographic and environmental advantages: it consisted of a vast delta, a flat region transected by waterways, resulting in a potentially vast area of cultivatable land, over which communications by river or land were easy.” ref 

“It may also have become a highly populated and urbanized region in the 4th millennium BCE, with a social hierarchy, artisanal activities, and long-distance commerce. It has been the focus of the archaeological investigation led by Robert McCormick Adams Jr., whose work has been very important for the understanding of the emergence of urban societies in this region. A clear settlement hierarchy has been identified, dominated by a number of agglomerations which grew more and more important over the 4th millennium BCE, of which Uruk seems to have been the most important by far, making this the most ancient known case of urban macrocephaly, since its hinterland seems to have reinforced Uruk itself to the detriment of its neighbours (notably the region to the north, around Adab and Nippur) in the final part of the period.” ref

“The ethnic composition of this region in the Uruk period cannot be determined with certainty. It is connected to the problem of the origins of the Sumerians and the dating of their emergence (if they are considered locals of the region) or their arrival (if they are thought to have migrated) in lower Mesopotamia. There is no agreement on the archaeological evidence for a migration, or on whether the earliest form of writing already reflects a specific language. Some argue that it is actually Sumerian, in which case the Sumerians would have been its inventors and would have already been present in the region in the final centuries of the 4th millennium at the latest (which seems to be the most widely accepted position). Whether other ethnic groups were also present, especially Semitic ancestors of the Akkadians or one or several ‘pre-Sumerian’ peoples (neither Sumerian nor Semite and predating both in the region) is also debated and cannot be resolved by excavation.” ref

Urban Uruk

“Out of these urban agglomerations, it is Uruk, the period’s eponymous site, which was the largest by far, according to our current knowledge, and it is the main one from which the chronological sequence of the period has been constructed. It may have covered 230–500 hectares at its peak during the Late Uruk period, more than the other contemporary large settlements, and it may have had a population of between 25,000 and 50,000 people. The architectural profile of the site consists of two monumental groups located 500 meters apart.” ref

“The most remarkable constructions are located in the sector called the Eanna (after the temple which was located there in subsequent periods and possibly already at this stage). After the ‘Limestone Temple’ of level V, a programme of construction hitherto unparalleled was begun in level IV. Thereafter, the buildings were vastly larger than earlier, some had novel designs and new construction techniques were used for the structure and the decoration. Level IV of the Eanna is divided into two monumental groups: in the west, a complex centered on the ‘Temple with mosaics’ (decorated with mosaics made of painted clay cones) of level IVB, subsequently covered by another building (the ‘Riemchen Building’) of level IVA.” ref 

“To the east, there is a very important group of structures—notably a ‘Square Building’ and the ‘Riemchen Temple Building’, which were subsequently replaced by other buildings with original plans, like the ‘Hall with Pillars’ and the ‘Hall with Mosaics’, a square ‘Grand Court’ and two very large buildings with a tripartite plan, ‘Temple C’ (54 x 22 m) and ‘Temple D’ (80 x 50 m, the largest building known from the Uruk period). The second monumental sector was attributed to the god Anu by the excavators of the site, because it was the location of a sanctuary for this god some 3000 years later. It is dominated by a series of temples built on a high terrace after the Ubayd period. The best-preserved of these is the “White Temple” of level IV, which measures 17.5 x 22.3 m and gets its name from white plates that covered its walls. At its base, a building with a labyrinthine plan, called the ‘Stone building’, was built.” ref

“The function of these buildings, which are unparalleled in their size and the fact that they are gathered in monumental groups, is debated. The excavators of the site wanted to see them as ‘temples’, influenced by the fact that in the historic period, the Eanna was the area dedicated to the goddess Inanna and the other sector was dedicated to the god An. This conformed to the theory of the ‘temple-city’ which was in vogue during the inter-war period. It is possible that this is actually a place of power formed by a complex of buildings of different forms (palatial residences, administrative spaces, palace chapels), desired by the dominant power in the city, whose nature is still unclear.” ref

“In any case, it was necessary to invest considerable effort to construct these buildings, which shows the capacities of the elites of this period. Uruk is also the site of the most important discoveries of early writing tablets, in levels IV and III, in a context where they had been disposed of, which means that the context in which they were created is not known to us. Uruk III, which corresponds to the Jemdet Nasr period, sees a complete reorganization of the Eanna quarter, in which the buildings on the site were razed and replaced by a grand terrace, which ignores the earlier buildings. In their foundations, a deposit which is probably of a cultic nature (the Sammelfund) was found, containing some major artistic works of the period (large cultic vase, cylinder seals, etc.).” ref

Other sites in Lower Mesopotamia

“Outside Uruk, few sites in southern Mesopotamia have yielded levels contemporary with the Uruk period. Soundages carried out on the sites of most of the key cities of Mesopotamia in the historic period have revealed that they were occupied in this period (Kish, Girsu, Nippur, Ur, perhaps Shuruppak and Larsa, and further north in Diyala, Tell Asmar and Khafajah). The sacred quarter of Eridu, site of the main monumental structures of the Ubaid period in Lower Mesopotamia, is poorly known for the Uruk period though Uruk Period pottery was found there. The only important structure from the end of the 4th millennium BCE so far known from the region outside Uruk is the ‘Painted Temple’ on the platform of Tell Uqair, which dates to the end of the Uruk period or perhaps the Jemdet Nasr period, and consists of two terraces superimposed on one another with a building of around 18 x 22 m identified as having a cultic function.” ref 

“More recently, a level belonging to the Uruk period has been revealed on the tell southeast of the site of Abu Salabikh (‘Uruk Mound’), covering only 10 hectares. This site was surrounded by a wall which has been only partially revealed and several buildings have been brought to light, including a platform which supported a building, only traces of which remain. As for the site of Jemdet Nasr, which has given its name to the period of transition from the Uruk period to the Early Dynastic period, it is divided into two main tells and it is on the second (Mound B) that the most important building has been brought to light, which contained a substantial cache of administrative documents—more than 200 tablets with impressions of cylinder seals.” ref

Neighboring regions

“The sources relating to the Uruk period derive from a group of sites distributed over an immense area, covering all of Mesopotamia and the neighboring regions up to central Iran and southeastern Anatolia. The Uruk culture itself is certainly characterized mainly by sites of southern Mesopotamia and others which seem to have directly resulted from migrations from this region (the ‘colonies’ or ’emporia’), which are clearly part of the Uruk culture. But the phenomenon which is known as the Uruk expansion is detected on sites situated across a vast zone of influence, covering the whole Near East, regions which were not all really part of the Uruk culture, which was strictly-speaking limited to Lower Mesopotamia. The relations of some areas with the Uruk culture are very unclear, such as the little-known cultures of the Persian Gulf in this period, and Egypt whose exact relations with the Uruk culture were distant and are the object of debate, as well as the Levant, where the influence of southern Mesopotamia remains barely perceptible. 

“But in other areas the Uruk culture is more evident, such as Upper Mesopotamia, northern Syria, western Iran, and southeastern Anatolia. They generally experienced an evolution similar to that of lower Mesopotamia, with the development of urban agglomerations and larger political entities and they were strongly influenced by the culture of the ‘center’ in the later part of the period (c. 3400–3200 BCE or 5,422-5,222 years ago), before a general strengthening of their own regional cultures took place at the turn of the 3rd millennium BCE. The interpretation of the expansion of the Uruk culture into neighboring regions poses numerous problems and many explanatory models (general and regional) have been proposed in order to explain it.” ref

Susiana and the Iranian Plateau

“The region around Susa in the southwest of modern Iran, is located right next to lower Mesopotamia, which exercised a powerful influence on it from the 5th millennium BCE, and might be considered to have been part of the Uruk culture in the second half of the 4th millennium BCE, either as a result of conquest or a more gradual acculturation, but it did retain its own unique characteristics. The Uruk period levels at Susa are called Susa I (c. 4000–3700 BCE or 6,022-5,722 years ago) and Susa II (c. 3700–3100 BCE or 5,722-5,122 years ago), during which the site became an urban settlement. Susa I saw the beginning of monumental architecture on the site, with the construction of a ‘High Terrace’, which was increased during Susa II to measure roughly 60 x 45 meters.” ref 

“The most interesting aspect of this site is the objects discovered there, which are the most important evidence available to us for the art of the Uruk period and the beginning of administration and writing. The cylinder seals of Susa I and Susa II have a very rich iconography, uniquely emphasizing scenes of everyday life, although there is also some kind of local potentate which P. Amiet sees as a ‘proto-royal figure,’ preceding the ‘priest-kings’ of Late Uruk. These cylinder seals, as well as bullae and clay tokens, indicate the rise of administration and of accounting techniques at Susa during the second half of the 4th millennium BCE. Susa has also yielded some of the most ancient writing tablets, making it a key site for our understanding of the origins of writing. Other sites in Susiana also have archaeological levels belonging to this period, like Jaffarabad and Chogha Mish.” ref

“Further north, in the Zagros, the site of Godin Tepe in the Kangavar valley is particularly important. Level V of this site belongs to the Uruk period. Remains have been uncovered of an ovoid wall, enclosing several buildings organized around a central court, with a large structure to the north which might be a public building. The material culture has some traits which are shared with that of Late Uruk and Susa II. Level V of Godin Tepe could be interpreted as an establishment of merchants from Susa and/or lower Mesopotamia, interested in the location of the site on commercial routes, especially those linked to the tin and lapis lazuli mines on the Iranian Plateau and in Afghanistan.” ref 

Further east, the key site of Tepe Sialk, near Kashan, shows no clear evidence of links with the Uruk culture in its Level III, but beveled rim bowls are found all the way out to Tepe Ghabristan in the Elbourz and at some sites in Kerman further to the southeast. In this region, the retreat of the Uruk culture resulted in a particular phenomenon, the Proto-Elamite civilization, which seems to have been centered on the region of Tell-e Malyan and Susiana and seems to have taken over the Uruk culture’s links with the Iranian plateau.” ref

Upper Mesopotamia and northern Syria

“Several important sites of the Uruk period have been excavated in the Middle Euphrates region, during the salvage campaigns preceding the construction of hydroelectric dams in the area. It is largely as a result of the findings of these excavations that ideas of an “Uruk expansion” have arisen. The best-known site is Habuba Kabira, a fortified port on the right bank of the river in Syria. The city covered around 22 hectares, surrounded by a defensive wall, roughly 10 percent of which has been uncovered. A study of the buildings on this site shows that it was a planned settlement, which would have required significant means. The archaeological material from the site is identical to that of Uruk, consisting of pottery, cylinder-seals, bullae, accounting calculi, and numerical tablets from the end of the period.” ref 

“Thus this new city has every appearance of being an Urukian colony. Around 20 residences of various sorts have been excavated. They have a tripartite plan, arranged around a reception hall with a foyer opening onto an internal courtyard, with additional rooms arranged around it. In the south of the site is a hill, Tell Qanas, which has a monumental group of several structures identified speculatively as ‘temples’ on an artificial terrace. The site was abandoned at the end of the 4th millennium BCE, apparently without violence, during the period when the Uruk culture retreated.” ref

“Habuba Kabira is similar in many ways to the nearby site of Jebel Aruda on a rocky outcrop, only 8 km further north. As at Habuba Kabira, there is an urban center made up of residences of various kinds and a central monumental complex of two ‘temples’. It is beyond doubt that this city too was built by ‘Urukians’. A little further north, is a third possibly Urukian colony, Sheikh Hassan, on the middle Euphrates. It is possible that these sites were part of a state implanted in the region by people from southern Mesopotamia and were developed in order to take advantage of important commercial routes.” ref

“In the Khabur valley, Tell Brak was an important urban center from the 5th millennium BC, one of the largest of the Uruk period, since it covered over 110 hectares at its height. Some residences from the period have been uncovered, along with pottery typical of Uruk, but what has received the most attention is a succession of monuments which are definitely for cultic purposes. The ‘Eye Temple’ (as its final stage is known) has walls decorated with terracotta cones which form a mosaic and with inlays of colored stones and a platform which might have been an altar and is decorated with gold leaf, lapis lazuli, silver nails, and white marble in a central T-shaped room. The most remarkable find are over two hundred “eye figurines” which give the building its name. These figurines have enormous eyes and are definitely votive deposits.” ref 

“Tell Brak has also produced evidence of writing: a numeric tablet and two pictographic tablets showing some unique features in comparison to those of southern Mesopotamia, which indicates that there was a distinct local tradition of writing. A little to the east of Tell Brak is Hamoukar, where excavations began in 1999. This vast site has provided the normal evidence found at sites under Urukian influence in Upper Mesopotamia (pottery, seals) and evidence of the existence of an important urban center in this region in the Uruk period, like Tell Brak. Further to the east again, the site of Tell al-Hawa also shows evidence of contacts with lower Mesopotamia.” ref

“On the Tigris, the site of Nineveh (Tell Kuyunjik, level 4) was located on some major commercial routes and was also within the Urukian sphere of influence. The site covered roughly 40 hectares—the whole area of Tell Kuyunjik. The material remains of the period are very limited, but beveled rim bowls, an accounting bulla, and a numerical tablet characteristic of the Late Uruk period have been found. Nearby, Tepe Gawra, which was also important in the Ubayd period, is an important case of the changing scale of monumental architecture and of political entities between the end of the 5th millennium and the first half of the 4th millennium BC (Level XII to VIII). The excavations there have revealed some very rich tombs, different kinds of residences, workshops, and very large buildings with an official or religious function (notably the ’round structure’), which may indicate that Tepe Gawra was a regional political center. However, it declined before the Uruk expansion into Upper Mesopotamia.” ref

Southeast Anatolia

“Several sites have been excavated in the Euphrates valley in the south east of Anatolia, near the region of the Urukian sites of the middle Euphrates. Hacınebi, near modern Birecik in Şanlıurfa, was excavated by G. Stein and was located at the crossroads of some important commercial routes. Beveled rim bowls appear from phase B1 (c. 3800/3700 BCE or 5,822-5,722 years ago) and they are also present in phase B2 (3700–3300 BCE or 5,722-5,322 years ago), along with other objects characteristic of Late Uruk, like mosaics of clay cones, a terracotta sickle, an accounting bulla imprinted with the pattern from a cylinder seal, an uninscribed clay tablet, etc. This material co-exists with local pottery, which remains dominant throughout. The excavator of the site thinks that there was an enclave of people from Lower Mesopotamia who lived on the site alongside a majority population of local people.” ref

“Other sites have been excavated in the region of Samsat (also in the Euphrates valley). An Urukian site was revealed at Samsat during a hasty rescue excavation before the area was flooded as a result of the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Fragments of clay cones from a wall mosaic were found. A little to the south is Kurban Höyük, where clay cones and pottery characteristic of Uruk have also been found in tripartite buildings. Further to the north, the site of Arslantepe, located in the suburbs of Malatya, is the most remarkable site of the period in eastern Anatolia. It has been excavated by M. Frangipane. During the first half of the 4th millennium BC, this site was dominated by a building called ‘Temple C’ by the excavators, which was built on a platform.” ref 

“It was abandoned around 3500 BCE or 5,522 years ago and replaced by a monumental complex which seems to have been the regional center of power. The culture of Late Uruk had a discernible influence, which can be seen most clearly in the numerous sealings found on the site, many of which are in a south Mesopotamian style. Around 3000 BCE or 5,022 years ago, the site was destroyed by a fire. The monuments were not restored and the Kura–Araxes culture centered on the southern Caucasus became the dominant material culture on the site. Further west, the site of Tepecik has also revealed pottery influenced by that of Uruk. But in this region, the Urukian influence becomes increasingly ephemeral, as one gets further from Mesopotamia.” ref

The ‘Uruk expansion’

“After the discovery in Syria of the sites at Habuba Kabira and Jebel Aruda in the 1970s, which were rapidly decided to be colonies or trading posts of the Uruk civilization settled far from their own lands, questions arose about the relationship between Lower Mesopotamia and the neighboring regions. The fact that the characteristics of the culture of the Uruk region are found across such a large territory (from northern Syria to the Iranian plateau), with Lower Mesopotamia as a clear center, led the archaeologists who studied this period to see this phenomenon as an “Uruk expansion”. This has been reinforced by the political situation in the modern Near East and the impossibility of excavating in Mesopotamia. Recent excavations have focused on sites outside Mesopotamia, as a ‘periphery’, and with an interest in how they related to the ‘center’, which is paradoxically the region in this period which is least well-known—limited to the impressionistic discoveries of the monuments of Uruk. Subsequently, theories and knowledge have developed to the point of general models, drawing on parallels from other places and periods, which has posed some problems in terms of getting the models and parallels to fit the facts revealed by excavations.” ref

Guillermo Algaze adopted the World-systems theory of Immanuel Wallerstein and theories of international trade, elaborating the first model that sought to explain the Uruk civilization. In his view, which has met with some approval, but has also found many critics, the ‘Urukians’ created a collection of colonies outside Lower Mesopotamia, first in Upper Mesopotamia (Habuba Kabira and Jebel Aruda, as well as Nineveh, Tell Brak, and Samsat to the north), then in Susiana and the Iranian plateau. For Algaze, the motivation of this activity is considered to be a form of economic imperialism: the elites of southern Mesopotamia wanted to obtain the numerous raw materials which were not available in the Tigris and Euphrates floodplains, and founded their colonies on nodal points which controlled a vast commercial network (although it remains impossible to determine what exactly was exchanged), settling them with refugees as in some models of Greek colonization.” ref

“The relations established between Lower Mesopotamia and the neighboring regions were thus of an asymmetric kind. The inhabitants of Lower Mesopotamia had the advantage in the interactions with neighboring regions as a result of the high productivity of their lands, which had allowed their region to “take off” (he speaks of “the Sumerian takeoff”) resulting in both a comparative advantage and a competitive advantage. They had the most developed state structures and were thus able to develop long-distance commercial links, exercise influence over their neighbors, and perhaps engage in military conquest.” ref

“Algaze’s theory, like other alternative models, has been criticized, particularly because a solid model remains difficult to demonstrate while the Uruk civilization remains poorly known in Lower Mesopotamia aside from the two monumental complexes that have been excavated at Uruk itself. We are therefore poorly placed to evaluate the impact of the development of southern Mesopotamia, since we have almost no archaeological evidence about it. Moreover, the chronology of this period is far from established, which makes it difficult to date the expansion. It has proven difficult to make the levels at different sites correspond closely enough to attribute them to a single period, making the elaboration of relative chronology very complicated. Among the theories that have been advanced to explain the Uruk expansion, the commercial explanation is frequently revived.” ref

“However, although long-distance trade is undoubtedly a secondary phenomenon for the south Mesopotamian states compared to local production and seems to follow the development of increased social complexity rather than causing it, this does not necessarily prove a process of colonization. Some other theories propose a form of agrarian colonization resulting from a shortage of land in Lower Mesopotamia or a migration of refugees after the Uruk region suffered ecological or political upheavals. These explanations are largely advanced to explain the sites of the Syro-Anatolian world, rather than as global theories.” ref

“Other explanations avoid political and economic factors in order to focus on the Uruk expansion as a long term cultural phenomenon, using concepts of koine, acculturation, hybridity, and cultural emulation to emphasize their differentiation according to the cultural regions and sites in question. P. Butterlin has proposed that the links tying southern Mesopotamia to its neighbors in this period should be seen as a ‘world culture’ rather than an economic ‘world system’, in which the Uruk region provided a model to its neighbors, each of which took up more adaptable elements in their own way and retained some local traits essentially unchanged. This is intended to explain the different degrees of influence or acculturation.” ref

“In effect, the impact of Uruk is generally distinguished in specific sites and regions, which has led to the development of multiple typologies of material considered to be characteristic of the Uruk culture (especially the pottery and the beveled rim bowls). It has been possible to identify multiple types of site, ranging from colonies that could be actual Urukian sites through to trading posts with an Urukian enclave and sites that are mostly local with a weak or non-existent Urukian influence, as well as others where contacts are more or less strong without supplanting the local culture. The case of Susiana and the Iranian plateau, which is generally studied by different scholars from those who work on Syrian and Anatolian sites, has led to some attempted explanations based on local developments, notably the development of the proto-Elamite culture, which is sometimes seen as a product of the expansion and sometimes as an adversary.” ref

“The case of the southern Levant and Egypt is different again and helps to highlight the role of local cultures as receivers of the Uruk culture. In the Levant, there was no stratified society with embryonic cities and bureaucracy, and therefore no strong elite to act as local intermediaries of Urukian culture, and as a result, Urukian influence is especially weak. In Egypt, Urukian influence seems to be limited to a few objects which were seen as prestigious or exotic (most notably the knife of Jebel el-Arak), chosen by the elite at a moment when they needed to assert their power in a developing state.” ref

“It might be added that an interpretation of the relations of this period as center/periphery interaction, although often relevant in the period, risks prejudicing researchers to see decisions in an asymmetric or diffusionist fashion, and this needs to be nuanced. Thus, it increasingly appears that the regions neighboring Lower Mesopotamia did not wait for the Urukians in order to begin an advanced process of increasing social complexity or urbanization, as the example of the large site of Tell Brak in Syria shows, which encourages us to imagine the phenomenon from a more ‘symmetrical’ angle.” ref

Egypt: Egypt-Mesopotamia relations

Egypt-Mesopotamia relations seem to have developed from the 4th millennium BCE, starting in the Uruk period for Mesopotamia and in the pre-literate Gerzean culture for Prehistoric Egypt (circa 3500-3200 BCE or 5,522-5,222 years ago). Influences can be seen in the visual arts of Egypt, in imported products, and also in the possible transfer of writing from Mesopotamia to Egypt, and generated “deep-seated” parallels in the early stages of both cultures.” ref

War in Ancient Mesopotamia

“If we decided to go back to a time period such as Ancient Mesopotamia, the time period from around 2900 to 2200 BCE, War was an enormous part of daily life in Ancient Mesopotamia. Much of the artifacts left behind from this time period are war-related. Nearly every civilization and king of the time believed in expansionism, which they justified by saying they were commanded by the gods to conquer cities, or the gods gave them cities (which they would have to take by force). This was a way of life — conquering and avoiding being conquered. It is easy to deduce these ideas from the written accounts, the iconography, and the excavated weaponry from Akkad and Sumer.” ref

“Each Sumerian city became a city-state, independent of the others and protective of its independence. At times one city would try to conquer and unify the region, but such efforts were resisted and failed for centuries. As a result, the political history of Sumer is one of almost constant warfare. The Mesopotamians believed their kings and queens were descended from the City of Gods, but, unlike the ancient Egyptians, they never believed their kings were real gods. Most kings named themselves “king of the universe” or “great king.” Another common name was “shepherd“, as kings wanted to be seen as protectors of the people they are said to look after but likely just a way of a politician getting people on their side, to control them like in statism where groups of underlings accept their oppression identity of being their people.” ref 

Ps. Progressed organized religion, to me, starts approximately 5,000-year-old belief system) 

Women were much more prominent in religion before 5,500. Tthere is what is believed to be a female shaman burial with a matching carved ivory female head belonging to the Pavlovian culture  29,000 to 25,000 a variant of the Gravettian/(Gravettian culture 33,000 to 22,000 years ago), dated to 29,000 to 25,000-years old Dolní Vestonice, Moravia, Czech Republic. A carved ivory figure in the shape of a female head was discovered near the huts. The left side of the figure’s face was distorted image is believed to be a description of elder female’s burial around 40 years old, she was ritualistically placed beneath a pair of mammoth scapulae, one leaning against the other. Surprisingly, the left side of the skull was disfigured in the same manner as the aforementioned carved ivory figure, indicating that the figure was an intentional depiction of this specific individual. The bones and the earth surrounding the body contained traces of red ocher, a flint spearhead had been placed near the skull, and one hand held the body of a fox. This evidence suggests that this was the burial site of a shaman. This is the oldest site not only of ceramic figurines and artistic portraiture but also of evidence of early female shamans. Archaeologists usually describe two regional variants: the western Gravettian, known namely from cave sites in France, Spain and Britain, and the eastern Gravettian in Central Europe and Russia. The eastern Gravettians — they include the Pavlovian culture — were specialized mammoth hunters, whose remains are usually found not in caves but in open air sites. The origins of the Gravettian people are not clear, they seem to appear simultaneously all over Europe. Though they carried distinct genetic signatures, the Gravettians and Aurignacians before them were descended from the same ancient founder population. According to genetic data, 37,000 years ago, all Europeans can be traced back to a single ‘founding population’ that made it through the last ice age. Furthermore, the so-called founding fathers were part of the Aurignacian culture which was displaced by another group of early humans members of the Gravettian culture. Between 37,000 years ago and 14,000 years ago, different groups of Europeans were descended from a single founder population. To a greater extent than their Aurignacian predecessors, they are known for their Venus figurinesref refrefref

5,500 -3,000 Years Ago – (Egypt), found nude badarian cultural artifact Female figurine with bird traits as well as her arms are raised as either she is flying or her arms are a bull’s horns. Could this be a representation of Nut a nude goddess of the sky who depicted as having bird arms or a bull. She was the sky and a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. Moreover, among her jobs was to envelop and protect Ra sun god as well as re-birthing of Ra every morning. about 5,200–5,000 years ago there is more elaborate grave goods in burials and there is writing. 

Predynastic Period— the Naqada culture— derives its name from the site of Naqada, in Upper Egypt with a vast cemetery of more than 3,000 graves with an unusual nature compared with those previously known in Egypt, humble burials consisted of little more than the body of the deceased in foetal position, wrapped in an animal skin, sometimes covered by a mat, and most often deposited in a simple pit hollowed out of the sand. None of the offerings accompanying the deceased corresponded to the usual hallmarks of pharaonic civilization, pottery vessels of black-topped polished red ware, zoomorphic schist palettes, combs and spoons of bone or ivory, and flint knives and other artefacts.

The first Naqada phase (Amratian) lies between 6,000 and 5,500 years ago, followed by the second phase (Gerzean), from 5,500 to 5,200 years ago, and the final Predynastic phase runs from 5,200 to 5,000 years ago. several thousand Predynastic graves between them (15,000 for the whole Predynastic Period). Naqada III extended all over Egypt and was characterized by some notable firsts: The first hieroglyphs, The first graphical narratives on palettes, & The first truly royal cemeteries. 

The Amratian 6,000 to 5,500 years ago is not different from the earlier Badarian possibly around 7,000 years ago flourishing around 6,400 to 6,000 years ago. The burial rituals and the grave goods that both may share a connection. In general, the Amratian dead were buried in simple oval pits in a contracted position, lying on the left side with the head pointing south, looking towards the west. A mat was placed on the ground below the deceased, and sometimes the head rested on a pillow of straw or leather. Another mat or the skin of an animal, covered or enclosed the deceased and most covered the offerings.

Although simple burials of single individuals were in the majority, multiple burials were also fairly frequent, most notably involving a woman (possibly the mother) and a newborn infant. Compared with the previous period, larger burial places appeared, provided with coffins of wood or earth, and more lavishly equipped. Although plundered, the Amratian tombs of Hierakonpolis are remarkable for their rectangular form and unusual size. In two instances, the inclusion of magnificent disc-shaped porphyry maceheads probably indicates the burials of powerful individuals.

The Amratian culture differs from the Badarian in terms of types of grave goods and consequent signs of hierarchy. Pottery holds white painted designs comprising geometrical, animal, and vegetal motifs seem to be the beginnings of an iconography at the core of pharaonic civilization. Human figures were present into two different types with hunting most prominent, and the second is the victorious warrior. The depiction comprises two human figures among plant motifs; the larger figure, with stalks or plumes fastened in his hair, lifts his arms above his head, while his virility is unequivocally marked by a penis or penis sheath. Interlaced ribbons descending from between his legs may represent decorated cloth.

A white line emerges from the larger figure’s chest and wraps around the neck of the second figure, a much smaller person with long hair. A swelling on the back of the smaller figure could represent bound arms suggest conqueror and the vanquished domination appears to be the prototype of traditional scenes of victory in the pharaonic phase. The graves and the funerary offerings indicate not so much increasing hierarchization as a tendency towards social diversity in the Naqada I culture.

The offerings in this period appeared initially to be intended simply to mark the identity of the deceased. It is not until the Naqada II phase 5,500 to 5,200 years ago (and even more so Naqada III) that larger accumulations of funerary artefacts are clearly in evidence. The funerary statuettes are particularly significant. Both men and women are represented standing, more rarely seated, with emphasis on the primary sexual characteristics. Only a few of the thousands of excavated tombs contained such statuettes, and usually they occurred only singly, groups of two or three in one tomb being comparatively rare.

The maximum number found in a single burial was a set of sixteen figurines. Based on an analysis of the other offerings, the tombs that contained multiple statuettes were not particularly rich in other respects, and such small sculpted figures were sometimes the sole funerary offering. The use of copper and flint knives as funerary offerings raises the same kind of question during the Naqada II phase. Found on small throwsticks of carved ivory or on the tips of hippopotamus or elephant tusks, the one repeated feature of these representations is the presence of a triangular beard, often balanced by a sort of ‘phrygian’ cap pierced by a suspension hole.

Unlike women, men were no longer being solely identified by their primary sexual characteristics, but by a secondary sexual characteristic and the social status that this conferred on them. The beard was evidently a symbol of power, and, in the form of the ceremonial ‘false beard’, it later became strictly reserved for the chins of kings and gods. Another symbol of power that characterizes the Naqada I phase is the disc-shaped macehead, usually carved from a hard stone, but sometimes also occurring in softer materials such as limestone, terracotta, or even unfired pottery, and cosmetic palettes constituted the item of choice for funerary equipment during the Amratian.

These palettes exploded into a diversity of forms, from a simple oval shape, sometimes incised with figures of animals, to complete zoomorphs (animal imagery or deities depicted in animal form). The picture derived from the analysis of the tombs and their contents is of a structured and diversified society, with a tendency towards hierarchical organization traits of pharaonic civilization can already be seen in embryonic form. The Naqada II phase was characterized primarily by expansion, as the Gerzean culture extended from its source at Naqada northwards towards the Delta (Minshat Abu Omar) and southwards as far as Nubia.

There was a distinct acceleration of the funerary trend first seen in the Amratian, whereby a few individuals were buried in larger, more elaborate tombs containing richer and more abundant offerings. Gerzean cemeteries comprise a wide range of grave types, ranging from small oval or round pits, poorly provided with offerings, to burials in pottery vessels and the construction of rectangular pits subdivided by mud-brick partitions, with specific compartments for offerings. There were coffins of wood and air-dried pottery, as well as the first indications of the wrapping of the body in strips of linen. Early ‘mummification’ of this type is attested in a double tomb at Adaïma, an Upper Egyptian site near Hierakonpolis.

The Naqada II burials generally remained simple, but multiple burials, containing up to five individuals, became more common. Funerary rituals appear to have become more complex, sometimes involving dismemberment of the body, a practice that was not attested in the preceding period. A tomb at Naqada had a series of long bones and five crania were arranged along the tomb walls, and at Adaïma there are some examples of skulls detached from their torsos. The possibility of human sacrifice at Naqada, and two cases of throat slitting followed by decapitation have been identified at Adaïma.

Possible evidence for self-sacrifice could be an early prelude to the mass human sacrifices around the Early Dynastic royal tombs at Abydos, which represented a turning point in the emergence of the Egyptian kingship of the Dynastic Period. Art depictions of a boat represents both a mode of travel and a status symbol which from this date onwards connected to the Nile, flowing from the north to the south, had also been transformed into a mythical river on which the first gods sailed.

The links between the human and cosmic orders were already being established. During the Naqada II phase, an artifact as the macehead had become mysteriously charged as a symbol of power, and in the pharaonic period it was the weapon characteristically held by the victorious king. The Naqada III phase, 5,200 to 5,000 years ago, is the last phase of the Predynastic Period, The Emergence of the Egyptian State (5,200 to 4,686 years ago).

It was during this period that Egypt was first unified into a large territorial state, and the political consolidation that laid the foundations for the Early Dynastic state of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties must also have occurred then. In the latter part of this phase there is evidence of kings preceding those of the 1st Dynasty, in what is now called ‘Dynasty o’. They were buried at Abydos near the royal cemetery of the 1st Dynasty. State Formation and Unification from the Naqada II phase onwards, highly differentiated burials are found in cemeteries in Upper Egypt (but not in Lower Egypt).

Élite burials in these cemeteries contained large quantities of grave goods, sometimes made from exotic materials such as gold and lapis lazuli. These burials are symbolic of an increasingly hierarchical society, probably representing the earliest competition and the aggrandizement of local polities in Upper Egypt, as economic interaction and long-distance trade developed. Found two large niched mud-brick tombs and a cemetery with Early Dynastic graves and the sudden appearance of a new style of ‘royal’ burial at the end of Naqada III, together with the more impoverished (earlier) burials in the cemeteries far to the north, probably coinciding with the absorption of the Naqada polity into a larger one.

In contrast, in the Umm el-Qaeab region of Abydos the graves in one area (Cemeteries U and B and the ‘royal cemetery’) evolved from fairly undifferentiated burials in early Naqada times, to an élite cemetery in late Naqada II, and finally to the burial place of the kings of Dynasty o and the 1st Dynasty. One Naqada III tomb, U-j, dating to 5,150 years ago with 150 small labels found with what appear to be the earliest known hieroglyphs and possible with traces of what could be a wooden shrine in the burial chamber and an ivory model sceptre demonstrate that this was the tomb of a ruler, possibly King Scorpion.

There are rich burial suggesting that élite individuals of considerable means were being buried at Hierakonpolis, but that they were still not of the same class as the rulers at Abydos. Whereas Naqada was politically insignificant in the Early Dynastic Period, Abydos was the most important center for the cult of the dead king, and Hierakonpolis remained an important cult center associated with the god Horus, symbolic of the living king. All ceremonial objects were found in or near the area Egyptians establish camps and way stations in the northern Sinai, but the ceramic evidence also suggests that they established a highly organized network of settlements in southern Palestine where an Egyptian population was in residence.

The importance of the Delta for Egyptian contact with south-west Asia is also suggested by enigmatic evidence from Buto. Lower Egyptian Predynastic culture at this site, ceramic clay ‘nails’ and a so-called Grubenkopfnagel (a tapering cone with a concave burnished end) that resemble artefacts used in the Mesopotamian Uruk culture to decorate temple façades. Possibly demonstrating contact with the Uruk culture network may have taken place via northern Syria, as the earliest Predynastic items at Buto contain sherds decorated with whitish stripes characteristic of the Syrian ware. Both imported and Egyptian-made cylinder seals, an artefact type unquestionably invented in Mesopotamia, are found in a few élite graves of the Naqada II and III phases.

Beads and small artefacts in lapis lazuli, which could only have come from Afghanistan, are first found in Upper Egyptian Predynastic graves. Mesopotamian motifs also appear in Upper Egypt (and Lower Nubia), including the motif of the héros dompteur (a victorious human figure between two lions/ beasts), painted on the wall of a Tomb at Hierakonpolis, which dates to Naqada II. Other typically Mesopotamian motifs, such as the niched palace façade and high-prowed boats, are also found on Naqada II and III artefacts and also in the rock art.

The styles of these motifs are more characteristic of the glyptic art of Susa in south-west Iran than of the Uruk culture, and the fact that such artefacts are not found in Lower Egypt has raised the possibility of some southern route of contact between Susa and Upper Egypt. In Lower Nubia there are numerous burials containing many Naqada craft goods were probably obtained through trade and exchange. The early Egyptian state was a centrally controlled polity ruled by a (god-) king from the Memphis region.

What is truly unique about the early state in Egypt is the integration of rule over an extensive geographic region, in contrast to contemporaneous polities in Nubia, Mesopotamia, and Syria– Palestine. Although there is seeming evidence of foreign contact around 4,000 years ago, the Early Dynastic state that emerged in Egypt was unique and indigenous in character. Graves and tombs, found in this region from the 1st Dynasty onwards funerary evidence suggests that the Memphis region was the administrative center of the state and also indicates that the early Egyptian state was highly stratified in its social organization. In the south, Abydos remained the most important cult center.

The kings of the 1st Dynasty were buried at Abydos, another indication of the Upper Egyptian origins of this state. From the very beginning of the Dynastic Period the institution of kingship was a strong and powerful one and would remain so throughout the major historical periods. Nowhere else in the ancient Near East at this early date was kingship so important and central to control of the early state. The nature of early Egyptian civilization was expressed primarily through monumental architecture, especially the royal tombs and funerary enclosures at Abydos, and the large tombs of high officials at North Saqqara. Formal art styles, which are characteristically Egyptian, also emerged in the Naqada III/ Dynasty o and Early Dynastic periods.

References 1,2,3,4

Ian Shaw. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated History) (p. 66). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston:  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.”

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email:

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