About 200 years ago European archaeologists were searching through the sands for Bible remains in the Middle East. They were mostly searching in Egypt and the southern half of Mesopotamia, what is today called modern-day Iraq. They searched for the works of remains of Greek authors and journals of travelers among other ancient artifacts. Babylon, Ninevah, Ur. These are names of places that many have only heard or read about but that few if any in the world knew the precise locations of.
By the early 1800s, archaeologists had also made many discoveries. They collected numerous bricks, tablets, clay cylinders, and boundary stones that were inscribed with ‘mysterious markings.’ However, these items were not only present in Babylon and Ninevah but were found in many other places including in Iran, for example. They found scripts written in old Persian and there were other tablets in other unknown languages.
They found these languages by decoding them. The written form of Akkadian, which was called Babylonian, was another language of one of the scripts and the third of the inscriptions was in Elamite. You may have heard Jesus make mention of the ‘Elamites’ in the Bible. Akkadian, in the written form, was called cuneiform. However, this cuneiform was NOT developed by the Akkadians or the Babylonians-it was developed by another people. The Sumerians.
Each tablet had the phrase ‘Sumer and Akkad.’ As in land of Sumer and Akkad or King of Sumer and Akkad. Sumer was a place, but where was it? Who were these people, and where did they come from? These tablets were developed by a completely unknown people—scholars were stuck. They didn’t know it at the time, but archeologists had stumbled upon the “mother civilization” of both the Babylonians and the Assyrians.
The origins of the Sumerians is a perplexing question for archeologists. Were they newcomers to the region or just evolve out of the existing indigenous people already there? It’s hard to know but we’re told the Sumerian language was unlike any other known language in the region. The Sumerian’s are credited for constructing the first real cities: Eridu and Uruk. Within centuries they developed many other cities. These cities seemed like small countries and are called city-states. Historians call this the early dynasty of Sumer up until around 2300 BC.
These were cities and high walls to protect buildings, people, cities, streets, etc. There was a ziggurat that was the tallest building in the center of each city. Another important aspect of their city states was the each had a patron deity (god) that protected the city. At the time they were polytheistic and had many gods.
It has been reported that the Sumerians started to believe in a monotheistic God around 2900 BC. Chaldea was a small country that existed between the late 10th or early 9th and mid-6th centuries BC, after which the country and its people were absorbed and assimilated into the indigenous population of Babylonia. The people in Chaldea were of Sumerian descent and called themselves, Chaldeans.
I guess you could say that my ancient ancestors were absorbed and assimilated into the indigenous population of Babylonia. However, I can’t deny the fact that they were originally Sumerians. The Sumerians were incredibly crafty people that were known for the development of not only math, but astrology, and even for the creation of writing (cuneiform), again, they developed the first city-states that resembled countries.
Exactly where they came from is murky, but it has been reported that they may be from the Levant, or the Eastern Mediterranean, countries made up of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Jerusalem, etc. Whether they were from the Levant, Damascus, or Ethiopia, they were an amazing people!
Zina Hermez has authored the best-selling book(s), Not Without God: A Story of Survival and Not Without God: Hope In the Storm. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s also been featured on The Neil Haley (media giant’s) Show, The Intuitive Edge podcast, and on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’broadcast as well as Grace and Truth Radio World!
Zina’s written several hundred articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world from many different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and the Southern Writers magazine among many other places. Last August she created the “Writing Because I Can’t Not Write Group” meetings and workshops where aspiring and seasoned authors can network and learn together.
Zina writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She also likes to write about health and diet and loves to help others. Her latest book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm was just published last year.