Mythos 9 – Ubaid Civilization

 

Given the destruction of almost all ancient libraries our ancestors ever built it is surprising that any ancient records exist. Several collections of stories descend from our ancestors that are set in the Pre-historic era, although even in the early historic era, we aren’t sure what was happening on most of the planet. The surviving records include the stories found in ancient texts such as the Book of Coming Forth by Day, Aegyptiaca, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Dumuzid and Ĝeštinana, Babyloniaca, the Ṛigveda, the Avesta, the Rāmāyaṇa, the Mahābhārata, and the Records of the Grand Historian. Additional records have been found in the reconstructed King Lists of Egypt and Sumer. Most of these stories have been dismissed as myths, however some of them do seem to line up with what scientists have found regarding the planet’s past.

Map of the Ubaid Cultural Region Circa 7,900 to 6,300 Years Ago

Map of the Ubaid Cultural Region Circa 7,900 to 6,300 Years Ago

The oldest civilization that we have translated records for is the Sumerian civilization from the land that is now known as Iraq. The name Iraq has been used since the Arabs conquered the Sassanian Empire (Iran and Iraq), prior to which the Persians called the region Erāq,(1)W. Eilers (1983) “Iran and Mesopotamia” in E. Yarshater (Editor) The Cambridge History of Iran and before them the Babylonians called the region Erech. The Babylonian name was based on the older Akkadian name of the region’s major city Uruk, which the earlier Sumerians founded under the name of Unug. Later the Greeks would name the region Mesopotamia, meaning ‘between rivers’, although by then the region had been home to many civilizations, including the Ubaid, Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hurrians, Mitanni, and Persians.

The oldest surviving ruins and relics currently known from Mesopotamia are the remains of the Ubaid civilization, circa 8,500 to 5,800 years ago.(2)Robert A. Carter and Graham Philip (2010) ‘Deconstructing the Ubaid’ in Beyond the Ubaid: Transformation and Integration in the Late Prehistoric Societies of the Middle East, Page 2 These people built the oldest known cities and towns in Mesopotamia, and their pottery and other artifacts were traded from the Mediterranean coast to Oman.(3)Harriet E. W. Crawford (1998) Dilmun and its Gulf Neighbours It is unknown when they first started building towns and cities in Mesopotamia, as this region has been subject to repeated flooding, and the layers below 8,500 years ago show signs of a massive flood that left a layer of alluvium across southern Mesopotamia.(4)Robert Adams and Henry T. Wright (1989) ‘Concluding Remarks’ in Elizabeth Henrickson, and Ingolf Thuesen, editors Upon This Foundation – The ’Ubaid Reconsidered, Pages 451-456

References   [ + ]

1. W. Eilers (1983) “Iran and Mesopotamia” in E. Yarshater (Editor) The Cambridge History of Iran
2. Robert A. Carter and Graham Philip (2010) ‘Deconstructing the Ubaid’ in Beyond the Ubaid: Transformation and Integration in the Late Prehistoric Societies of the Middle East, Page 2
3. Harriet E. W. Crawford (1998) Dilmun and its Gulf Neighbours
4. Robert Adams and Henry T. Wright (1989) ‘Concluding Remarks’ in Elizabeth Henrickson, and Ingolf Thuesen, editors Upon This Foundation – The ’Ubaid Reconsidered, Pages 451-456