Mythos 47 – Osiris and Cecrops

 

Dust Storm in India 2010

Dust Storm in India 2010

During the last glacial maximum the world was cold, dry, and inhospitable, with frequent storms and a dust-laden atmosphere. The dustiness of the Last Glacial Maximum atmosphere is a prominent feature in ice cores; dust levels were as much as 20 to 25 times greater than at present. This was probably due to a number of factors: reduced vegetation, stronger global winds, and less precipitation to clear dust from the atmosphere.(1)T. Claquin, et al. (2003) “Radiative Forcing of Climate by Ice-Age Atmospheric Dust” Climate Dynamics, Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 193-202 In Africa and the Middle East, many smaller mountain glaciers formed, and the Sahara, Arabian, and other sandy deserts were greatly expanded in extent.(2)Steven Mithen (2004) After the Ice: a global human history, 20.000–5.000 BC. Page 3 At the time, civilization in Egypt would have likely been limited to the Mediterranean coast and the small stream that would have constituted the Nile River.

The Mediterranean coast would have been progressively flooded as the glaciers melted between 19,000 and 6,000 years ago. The Nile would have flooded as the glaciers of the Ethiopian highlands melted, and flowed north to the Mediterranean between 18,000 and 11,000 years ago.(3)A. C. Hamilton (1982) Environmental history of East Africa: a study of the Quaternary. The White Nile is believed to have formed around 12,500 years ago, when the aquifer under White Nile Rift, through which the river now flows, filled with water from the Ethiopian glacial melt.(4)Terje Tvedt (2004) The Nile: an annotated bibliography. At around the same time, the Victoria Nile appears to have reopened, once Lake Victoria (Nyanza) had refilled. Around 17,300 years ago Lake Victoria had entirely dried out, however it began refilling circa 14,700 years ago and around 12,500 years ago is believed to have reopened the Victoria Nile,(5)J. C. Stager and T. C. Johnson (2008) “The late Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria and the origin of its endemic biota.” Hydrobiologia, Volume 596, Issue 1, Pages 5-16 which flows north ultimately joining the White Nile River. This means that the small Nile River of the Last Glacial Maximum would have been inundated with water around 12,500 years ago, drowning whatever settlements had been built along its now submerged shores.

5,000 year old Ruins of Byblos

Ancient Ruins of Byblos on Lebanese Coast

The site where Osiris’ Sarcophagus was found, the city of Byblos (جبيل‎ / Jubayl) in Lebanon, is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The site is believed to have been occupied since at least 10,800 years ago,(6)E. J. Peltenburg, et al. (2004) Neolithic revolution : new perspectives on southwest Asia in light of recent discoveries on Cyprus however as it is a coastal community, and the sea level was rising at the time, it is likely that the oldest parts of the city were submerged. According to legend, Byblos was founded by the Titan Cronus. This legend was passed down from 3,200 years ago by Sanchuniathon via Philo of Byblos and Eusebius of Caesarea. Eusebius is a historic person; a Roman Historian who lived around 1,700 years ago. In his book Praeparatio Evangelica, he included excerpts from a work by Philo of Byblos from around 1,900 years ago, which included a translation of Sanchuniathon’s work from around 3,200 years ago. No older copies of either Philo’s or Sanchuniathon’s works have survived, causing some historians in the 1,800’s to dismiss both as the invention of Eusebius. This view was reversed when the excerpts of Sanchuniathon turned out to be supported by the Ugaritic mythological texts excavated at Ras Shamra in Syria since 1929.(7)O. Eissfeldt (1952) Sanchunjaton von Berut und Ilumilku von Ugarit

Unlike most Phoenician records, Sanchuniathon’s writings did apparently survive, because they were in Egypt, not in Phoenicia (Lebanon) which was leveled by the Assyrians circa 2,600 years ago, or the Phoenician colony of Carthage (Tunisia) which was destroyed by the Romans around 2,150 years ago. According to Philo’s translation, Sanchuniathon claimed that Byblos had been founded by Cronus, however Philo had translated the word Elus to be Cronus, indicating Sanchuniathon had meant the Canaanite god Ēl. Both Ēl and Cronus were considered by the ancient Greeks to be local versions of the Egyptian god Geb, the father of Osiris.

Depiction of Cecrops from 500 BC

Depiction of Cecrops on an Athenian red-figure kylix, from circa 500 BC

This is virtually identical to the origin story of Athens which records the city being founded by Cecrops, a creature that was half aquatic snake and half human.(8)Strabo (circa 24 AD) Geography 7.7.1 The description of Cecrops and of its activities is identical to other ancient merpeople teachers, such as the Sumerian Anunna/Abgal, the Indonesian Suphanna Matcha, the Egyptian Osiris, and the Vedic-Aryan Apām Napāt. Cecrops was recorded as having founded Athens, and taught his subjects the art of navigation, and to improve administration, to have divided them into the four tribes. Athens has been occupied continuously since at least 7,000 years ago,(9)S. Immerwahr (1971) The Athenian Agora XIII: the Neolithic and Bronze Ages meaning that the region was still in the hands of the indigenous pre-Greek Pelasgian culture at the time. As the Aegean Sea was rising with the rest of the world’s ocean level between 19,000 and 6,000 years ago, it is possible that remains of earlier parts of the city were lost to the sea.

References   [ + ]

1. T. Claquin, et al. (2003) “Radiative Forcing of Climate by Ice-Age Atmospheric Dust” Climate Dynamics, Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 193-202
2. Steven Mithen (2004) After the Ice: a global human history, 20.000–5.000 BC. Page 3
3. A. C. Hamilton (1982) Environmental history of East Africa: a study of the Quaternary.
4. Terje Tvedt (2004) The Nile: an annotated bibliography.
5. J. C. Stager and T. C. Johnson (2008) “The late Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria and the origin of its endemic biota.” Hydrobiologia, Volume 596, Issue 1, Pages 5-16
6. E. J. Peltenburg, et al. (2004) Neolithic revolution : new perspectives on southwest Asia in light of recent discoveries on Cyprus
7. O. Eissfeldt (1952) Sanchunjaton von Berut und Ilumilku von Ugarit
8. Strabo (circa 24 AD) Geography 7.7.1
9. S. Immerwahr (1971) The Athenian Agora XIII: the Neolithic and Bronze Ages