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Aus Der Box Skeptisch

where did the "sumerians" come from?

244 posts in this topic

I have read a cornucopia of information regarding the sumerians. Yet, one glaring question remains for me. "Where did they come from? They literally had their own language that didn't seem to relate to any know speech from the area. It seemed like cuneiform was an already established form of writing for them. While most of their advances with farming and such simply came with time and the first "civilization" grew from what they had started I ask you, how were they so individualized and advanced at that time?

To quote a webpage I was glancing at which gave rise to this post:

http://history-world.org/sumeria.htm

The original homeland of the Sumerians is unknown. It is believed that they came from the east, but whether by sea or from the highlands is unknown. Their language is not related to those major language families that later appear in the Near East - Semites and Indo-Europeans. (The original home of the Semitic-speaking peoples is thought to have been the Arabian peninsula, while the Indo-Europeans seem to be migrated from the region north of the Black and Caspian seas. A third, much smaller language family is the Hamitic, which included the Egyptians and other peoples of northeastern Africa.)

I hope to see a good discussion soon. As this query in particular is quite intriguing to me.

Thank you in advance.

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I have read a cornucopia of information regarding the sumerians. Yet, one glaring question remains for me. "Where did they come from? They literally had their own language that didn't seem to relate to any know speech from the area. It seemed like cuneiform was an already established form of writing for them. While most of their advances with farming and such simply came with time and the first "civilization" grew from what they had started I ask you, how were they so individualized and advanced at that time?

To quote a webpage I was glancing at which gave rise to this post:

http://history-world.org/sumeria.htm

The original homeland of the Sumerians is unknown. It is believed that they came from the east, but whether by sea or from the highlands is unknown. Their language is not related to those major language families that later appear in the Near East - Semites and Indo-Europeans. (The original home of the Semitic-speaking peoples is thought to have been the Arabian peninsula, while the Indo-Europeans seem to be migrated from the region north of the Black and Caspian seas. A third, much smaller language family is the Hamitic, which included the Egyptians and other peoples of northeastern Africa.)

I hope to see a good discussion soon. As this query in particular is quite intriguing to me.

Thank you in advance.

Erm..................Mesopotamia :innocent:

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That seems silly wasn't the land referred to as mesopatamia after the civilization gave rise? Also babylon and babylonia later.?

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Hungarians would love to tell you that the Sumerians came from their country, but that's what the Rumanians say too, lol.

Let's say they would agree on the Balkans, based on script found there that resembles the precursor of the Sumerian cuneiform script.

And I read somewhere that the Sumerians themselves say they came from the north, but I don't know what's true about that.

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Excellent thank you for your post abramelin that gives me another route to start researching.

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I have read a cornucopia of information regarding the sumerians. Yet, one glaring question remains for me. "Where did they come from? They literally had their own language that didn't seem to relate to any know speech from the area. It seemed like cuneiform was an already established form of writing for them. While most of their advances with farming and such simply came with time and the first "civilization" grew from what they had started I ask you, how were they so individualized and advanced at that time?

That's over-stating it a little.

In fact, that's over-stating it a lot. We can see the course of it developing over three or four centuries from a more primitive, not-quite-all-the-way-there proto-writing to a legitimate script: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuneiform_script#History.

Of course, saying the opposite *does* allow for, uhh, more colorful claims to be made ;)

--Jaylemurph

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Oh I definitely wasn't trying to turn this into anything "colorful". As far as symantics goes you are correct I should not have said established for that would assume it had already been used heavily and refined. What I was trying to highlight was it's uniqueness in the area. This is something I will study more. Thank you for correcting me. I really appreciate learning from my errors.

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Posted (edited)

hmmmm.....the sumerian cuneiforms were etched on to the sides of the "DIN-GIR"

The hairy apes who roamed around in the area where the DIN-GIR landed were genetically modified to form humans...the humans took up the cuneiforms and formed a language..how is it??? B)

Note : those who can take a hint - DIN-GIR & the stuff is the brainless drivel that one economist turned pseudo-historian/pseudo-whateverian

Edited by The Spartan

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hmmmm.....the sumerian cuneiforms were etched on to the sides of the "DIN-GIR"

The hairy apes who roamed around in the area where the DIN-GIR landed were genetically modified to form humans...the humans took up the cuneiforms and formed a language..how is it??? B)

Note : those who can take a hint - DIN-GIR & the stuff is the brainless drivel that one economist turned pseudo-historian/pseudo-whateverian

That would be a tad too colorful Spartan..... Just a smidgen :P

The Sumerians left behind legends that tell of a land "of the gods" which at one time became frozen and cold, and eventually forced them south, if I'm not mistaken, so the Balkans are a good contender for their origins.

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Ok with a little research and a direction to look from previous posts here are some possibilities.

Could be from Dilmun. (Longshot)

Some controversal research by Kifishin (I am not familiar with anything this person has done) who linked petroglyphs in Kamyana Mohla Ukraine to be proto-cuneiform and Catalhoyuk turkey to also be proto-cuneiform.

Vinca is another possibility between ukraine and greece it's "proto-cuniform" was found to be older than previous forms dated around 7000 - 7200 bc (mind you the date is an approx.)

Well I hope I brought some decent info to the table. I am not familiar with language or writings of ancient culture.

So guys help me out and help me to understand this more. Thank you to all who have posted so far.

Edited by Aus Der Box Skeptisch

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Ok with a little research and a direction to look from previous posts here are some possibilities.

Could be from Dilmun. (Longshot)

Some controversal research by Kifishin (I am not familiar with anything this person has done) who linked petroglyphs in Kamyana Mohla Ukraine to be proto-cuneiform and Catalhoyuk turkey to also be proto-cuneiform.

Vinca is another possibility between ukraine and greece it's "proto-cuniform" was found to be older than previous forms dated around 7000 - 7200 bc (mind you the date is an approx.)

Well I hope I brought some decent info to the table. I am not familiar with language or writings of ancient culture.

So guys help me out and help me to understand this more. Thank you to all who have posted so far.

It is a dilemma and there are no conclusive answers imo. The Balkans is a good bet because of the Vinca script but who were the inhabitants of the Balkans at the time?

I'd also consider a finno-ugric possibility from the north. They were also the first inhabitants of Europe.

I am not totally clear of the relationship with the Dravidians and ancient peoples but I have heard that they were the originators of Guanches, Berbers and various other groups.

Then there is the description of Sumerians as 'black headed' which may be disputed by some. Ultimately, I think Sumer benefitted from an extreme fusion of races because it had such a central location with emerging cultures on all sides so they had the advantage of trading with all of them.

http://uralica.com/fgpeople.htm

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/kuwait/backgrnd.htm

http://www.szabir.com/blog/sumerian-proto-uralic-proto-finno-ugrian-and-hungarian/

http://firstlegend.info/theoldones.html

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That's over-stating it a little.

In fact, that's over-stating it a lot. We can see the course of it developing over three or four centuries from a more primitive, not-quite-all-the-way-there proto-writing to a legitimate script: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuneiform_script#History.

Of course, saying the opposite *does* allow for, uhh, more colorful claims to be made ;)

--Jaylemurph

Jay,

Good to see you bud!

Now, stop holding back. You know for a fact that the Sumerians were the sole survivors of the bigfoot's massacre of the Roanoke colonists!

Harte

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This Sumerian queen's headdress is kind of interesting, though:

post-55116-088526400 1282778928_thumb.jp

Those leaves look like beech or elm leaves; not what I'd think grew on the lower Euphrates, although I could be wrong. Maybe a clue to where they came from?

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You know, interestingly enough, Aus, proto-writing artifacts pop up in this forum pretty regularly. It's just very few people want to see them as such.

Of course, for the life of me, I can't remember the names of any of them. I'm pretty sure if you type in "proto-writing" into the site Search-y box, you'll get at least a few hits from me using that term.

--Jaylemurph

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Hungarians would love to tell you that the Sumerians came from their country.

Ahhhh....There's part of that Communist "Uralic Theory" again. Please Abe, don't edge anybody on. I have some "commitments" to handle and my UM time is now limited....although I am going to dig that essay up from my "PDF cesspool". It's a comical read.

Lapiche

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Ahhhh....There's part of that Communist "Uralic Theory" again. Please Abe, don't edge anybody on. I have some "commitments" to handle and my UM time is now limited....although I am going to dig that essay up from my "PDF cesspool". It's a comical read.

Lapiche

Maybe you could post it if it isn't too long, we can allways use a good laugh.

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Ahhhh....There's part of that Communist "Uralic Theory" again. Please Abe, don't edge anybody on. I have some "commitments" to handle and my UM time is now limited....although I am going to dig that essay up from my "PDF cesspool". It's a comical read.

Lapiche

Hmmm.... maybe, but if you ever meet Hungarians, you better no say it's a 'Communist Theory', lol.

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Hmmm.... maybe, but if you ever meet Hungarians, you better no say it's a 'Communist Theory', lol.

That is very sound advice, cause most Hungarians I know, wouldn't take that too well.

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This Sumerian queen's headdress is kind of interesting, though:

post-55116-088526400 1282778928_thumb.jp

Those leaves look like beech or elm leaves; not what I'd think grew on the lower Euphrates, although I could be wrong. Maybe a clue to where they came from?

I'm not that familiar with Beech, but as far as I can tell, that's not likely to be Elm.

Elm leaves are serrated. Or at least the Elms I've seen were.

Harte

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Along with the sumerians came the earliest serpent worship in the west asia. I think this is an important key to understand the origin of sumerians. Even though before Sumer in nearby area there were some prosperous cultures like Catalhuyuk and Nevali Cori but serpent worship is virtually non-existent. However the earlier serpent worship is discovered in northwest China neolithic culture dating from 7500BC. There is a good chance that sumerians came from The Far east, with mongoloid features, or mixed between caucasoid and mongoloid like todays finnish people.

And snakes are one of the animal motifs found carved on the pillars at Gobekli Tepe, dating from circa 9000BCE. There is no need to assume a migration from the Far East simply on the basis of serpent-worship.

It is likely the Sumerian serpent worship was not "the earliest in the area", it is simply the earliest we have found in that area associated with civilisation.

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Along with the sumerians came the earliest serpent worship in the west asia. I think this is an important key to understand the origin of sumerians. Even though before Sumer in nearby area there were some prosperous cultures like Catalhuyuk and Nevali Cori but serpent worship is virtually non-existent. However the earlier serpent worship is discovered in northwest China neolithic culture dating from 7500BC. There is a good chance that sumerians came from The Far east, with mongoloid features, or mixed between caucasoid and mongoloid like todays finnish people.

Not really a "good" chance.

And sorry but serpent worship is known to far predate your NW China claim:

Archaeologists have discovered what seems to be remains of the world's earliest religious worship site in the remote Ngamiland region of Botswana. Here, our ancestors performed advanced rituals, worshipping the python some 70,000 years ago.

My linkhttp://www.afrol.com/articles/23093

70,000 years is a long freakin' time.

Harte

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Not really a "good" chance.

And sorry but serpent worship is known to far predate your NW China claim:

My linkhttp://www.afrol.com/articles/23093

70,000 years is a long freakin' time.

Harte

And, interestingly enough, about the same time as the "out-of-africa" migrations were starting to take place.

cormac

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The Sumerian civilisation emerged from the Ubaidian culture that had been living in the region for thousands of years, and was forced to adapt to climate change.

Some climate change refugees may have added to their numbers, perhaps bringing additional new ideas and concepts, though there's no direct evidence for this.

It's really like asking where the Victorians came from ......

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And, interestingly enough, about the same time as the "out-of-africa" migrations were starting to take place.

cormac

Is that the 'out of Africa' group of only about 150 people? That is what I read and if true I find it pretty impressive that such a small group could go on to populate much of Eurasia in 20,000 years and the whole world (approximately) in another 20,000. Then again I can imagine successful chieftans could have massive families and if they kept moving in different directions there may be less of a chance of cross breeding.

What are the chances of Sumer benefiting from extensive breeding between the many bordering areas that gave them a big advantage? Sure they would be getting advantages from trade and shared technology but I wonder if genetics at this level could have been a factor that sped up the process.

We know there were mongoloids in the region so chances are they made up an element of the sumerians. Some of the first proto writing occurs in the Vinca culture but also the jiahu script. Maybe an eastern relationship is not so unlikely but I am unsure about the level of the influence. Seems more likely that cultures in the region exerted a greater influence but the modern mindset does not lend itself well to understanding the ancient interactions of people. Science does not like speculation and with the evidence we have the findings are not immediately conclusive.

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Whist trading with the Vinca culture (or with others who in turn traded with others who in turn traded with the Vinca cuture) is possible and may have led to a sharing of ideas, I see no reason to suppose peoples from Europe would have migrated to the Middle East just as the Middle East was turning into a desert ..... If anything the opposite is more likely. Maybe the Vinca culture emerged from Ubaidians migrating north to more temperate climes?

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