mardi 30 janvier 2018

Why N. Mesopotamia / E. Anatolia Might Fit Better then S. Mesopotamia, Genesis 11

First, forget about Shinear being Sumer. Sumerians may have called their land Sumer because they claimed to overlordship over all Shinear, or it may ba a homophone or there may be some other glitch. But Sumer indicating Southern Mesopotamia only while North Mesopotamia was divided between Akkadians and Elamites and perhaps some more, that is a non-clue.

Next, Shinear means Mesopotamia.

This being so, S. Mesopotamia (where Sumer is, and perhaps Babylon would be its limit to N. Mesopotamia) and N. Mesopotamia are equally feasible. Real S. Mesopotamia were the delta lands which since back then have continued in a united delta of Shatt el Arab. The confluence between Euphrates and Tigris is just N. of Basra, which did not exist even the ground for in very Ancient times.

Now, here is the interesting stuff. There are two indications differentiating Babel of Nimrod from Babylon.

The first one is, we suppose that Babel of Nimrod, mentioned in Genesis 10, is equal to Babel of Confusion, mentioned in Genesis 11. Note very well, we would here have another example of a figure already shown between Genesis 1 and 2. One verse in chapter 10 is expanded to a full narrative in part of chapter 11.

Genesis 10:[10] And the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon, and Arach, and Achad, and Chalanne in the land of Sennaar.

Actually it is only the first half of the verse which corresponds to first half of chapter 11.

Note, Babylon is in Akkadian Bab-Ilu, "gate of the gods" or "of God", and in Hebrew that would be Bab-El (in the sense "gate of God"). A perfect homophone for that other Babel which means "babble" or "confusion".

So, we can identify Nimrod's Babylon with the Babel, with some safety of guessing. Nimrod meant it as Bab-El - a gate up to God - and Moses (with his predecessors, perhaps Abraham on this point of narrative) comments "And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded" like "let's ignore Nimrod's confused point, here is another confusion which is more important" or was at least more important in practical terms back then.

Now, why can't the Babel of Confusion be "Babylon" as in 32°32′11″N 44°25′15″E?

Because of previous verse : "And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city."

You can take it weakly and say "they ceased to build the city back then, but resumed building later". I take it strongly and say "they ceased to build the city and even made sure it would not be resumed by burying it in sand" - as you know my hobby horse the Babel of Confusion is Göbekli Tepe.

Would this mean the tying of Nimrod of Babylon - 32°32′11″N 44°25′15″E - is wrong? No. Babylon is a concept more than a locality. Babylon as 32°32′11″N 44°25′15″E was one of the ensuing materialisations of that concept, the one relevant for Daniel under Nebuchadnezzar's rule. Even 41°54′08″N 12°27′12″E seems to have been materialising the concept, to St Peter, at least according to the Catholic reading of I Peter 5:13. So, like the Babylon power has moved since Daniel's time from Babylon to Susa, from Susa to ... Pella? ... Alexandria? ... and from whereever the Greek manifestation was to Rome, the same power can easily have moved from Göbekli Tepe to Babylon, from 37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E to 32°32′11″N 44°25′15″E. The move South is 313'12", the move East is 329'54", and since 300 minutes are 5 degrees, it is for both directions a bit more than 5 degrees, and clearly less than 6 degrees.

So, if original Babylon was Göbekli Tepe, it is no huge mystery why Babylon as historically known would have the same name, while the covering of Göbekli Tepe in sand fits the verse 8 very well.

Now, here is what could be a clincher.

Genesis 11:2 And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it.

It does not say "they found the plain land called Shinear", it says they found a plain in Shinear.

At 32°32′11″N 44°25′15″E you won't find a plain, because everything everywhere around is a plain. You could just as well "find" a grain of sand in Sahara or a drop of water in the Ocean.

At 37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E, the land can still be considered as Shinear, since Shinear is Mesopotamia, the land between Euphrates and Tigris, but you can't consider the whole landscape as a plain. This means, the plain is sth which you can actually find, something which can actually surprise you.

Attribution of image : 37.223056,38.9225 on Google maps + turning 90° to the right.

I consulted the terms, it seems this is covered by fair use and even printed books under 5000 copies would be OK without specific permission.

Thank you very much, Google maps!

So, the area is hilly, but there is a plain somewhere here. It does not need to remain a complete plain to our times, especially if the city was covered in sand. Zooming out, in fact the plain as such could be the "Tek Tek Daghlari Milli Parki" (if I tie text to the right feature) - an area bounded by Sanliurfa in the North West corner, bounded in the West also by Sultantepe and Mutlukaya, and which has Harran in the middle (the people who consider Sanliurfa as Ur Chasdim also consider this as the Haran). Akçakale is in the middle of the South border. Gögeç is in the South East corner. Karaali and Mamuca are further North, Karaali on the East border and Mamuca a bit inside.

The surrounding country, including Göbekli Tepe itself, is hilly. The plain I just found on Google maps may very well be the same that they found back then - it is something which, unlike the plain at Babylon, which is definitely not standing out from any other plain, since all the area is plainly very plain. You can't find a plain inside a plain, you can only find a plain in hilly country. This is an indication I could be right.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St. Martina, Virgin and Martyr

PS, it seems I lost the relevant part of the map while turning it to the right. Here it is:

PPS, I can as well add some big picture. I have underlined Göbekli Tepe, made a circle around the plain, and made pointers to high up points of Euphrates and Tigris:

As you can see, the plain is on the North border of Syria to Turkey./HGL

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