BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Uruk

Where Myth Meets History

Through September 8, 2013
Pergamon Museum
Berlin, Germany

The Biblical writers had a clear sense that human civilization as they knew it had first flourished in the east, in the lands of Mesopotamia, modern Iraq. The stories of Creation, the Garden of Eden and the Flood were all born of well-known Mesopotamian traditions that had been around thousands of years before the authors of Genesis weaved them together into a timeless tale of Israel’s origins.

Uruk: 5,000 Years of the Megacity, now on display at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, highlights extraordinary and never-before-seen finds from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Uruk, one of the world’s first cities and the place where many of the Bible’s oldest traditions may have originated.

First settled more than 5,000 years ago, Uruk had nearly 40,000 inhabitants at its height in the early third millennium B.C.E. and was once ruled by Gilgamesh (depicted above in a neo-Assyrian statue), whose legendary feats and adventures were later mythologized in the famous epic that took his name.

The exhibit also celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the site’s excavation, which began under the German Oriental Society and continues today with the work of the German Archaeological Institute. The long-running excavations have uncovered valuable evidence of how urban life developed in the Near East and have recorded some of the world’s earliest temples, palaces and monumental public buildings. Given the poor preservation of many of the city’s mudbrick monuments, the exhibit uses dynamic three-dimensional reconstructions to display how the city and its buildings would have looked 5,000 years ago.

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18 Responses

  1. Jimmy says:

    Genesis never identify Cain’s or Seth’s wives.

    According to the Book of Jubilees, Cain married Abel’s twin sister. One of the motive for killing Abel was to get in his sister’s pants, when she was supposed betrothed to Abel. So jealousy and envy were the signs of Cain’s murderous intent.

    I don’t think Jubilees is any more historical and reliable than the Genesis.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Sorry, but Uruk was first settled 7000 years ago or 5000 BCE, not 5000 years ago as the article say.

    Uruk was a flourishing city from 4000 to 3000 BCE that predated the Sumerian civilisation. And it certainly predated the SUPPOSED FLOOD (which supposedly between 2340 to 2100 BCE), according to Genesis 10.

    Also, according to Genesis 10, Egypt didn’t exist until AFTER THE FLOOD, supposed found by son of Ham. Which is nonsense, when you considered that the pyramid of Giza was a couple of centuries before that roughly estimated dates of the Flood. And that there are even older pyramids at Saqqara from the 3rd dynasty. And smaller pyramids were continually being built throughout the 5th and 6th dynasties.

  3. donny says:

    to greg it was his sister

  4. greg says:

    Who was cains wife??

  5. John says:

    No wonder Christians get so much grief. It seems half of us don’t even believe basic truths in the bible.
    “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
    Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
    My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts. (Isaiah 45:11, 12 NIV)

  6. Mark says:

    William, the book of Genesis has a clear historical chronology from Adam onwards.

    As far as I know, none of the Mesopotamian myths have historical chronologies even though they may include historical material. So they are not works of history, unlike the Book of Genesis.

    Mark

  7. Don Haywood says:

    Sure, try the several different versions of the creation given in the book.
    Of course, this discussion will go no where because people have a difficult time reconciling belief and fact.
    Good luck to anyone who tries to convince any believer in anything to change a belief ( global warming naysayers for one example).

  8. Randy says:

    William,
    You make statements as though they’re accepted facts. What is your basis for doing so? Statements in the Bible that reference historical events have repeatedly been shown to be true by archeological finds. Can you show any place that has been proven to be mere myth? Generally speaking, if a witness (in this case, a written witness) is demonstrated to be truthful in matters that can be independently verified, it is reasonable to assume that said witness is also truthful in areas that have not or cannot be independently verified.

    Regards,
    Randy

  9. William says:

    Mark – perhaps some of the book of Genesis is literal history, I’ll give you that.
    HOWEVER, a lot of it…A LOT…is based common Middle Eastern stories and mythologies reworked into the Hebrew faith tradition. That doesn’t mean that the book is any less holy or authoritative, but that it’s not meant to be a literal history book or a scientific text.

    I feel for you if this is devastating to your faith or your belief in the Divine, but this is the truth and I hope that it indeed helps your journey of faith.

    Peace to you,
    William

  10. Mark says:

    The book of Genesis is history whereas the stories of Mesopotamia are a mixture of history and pagan mythology.

Write a Reply or Comment

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18 Responses

  1. Jimmy says:

    Genesis never identify Cain’s or Seth’s wives.

    According to the Book of Jubilees, Cain married Abel’s twin sister. One of the motive for killing Abel was to get in his sister’s pants, when she was supposed betrothed to Abel. So jealousy and envy were the signs of Cain’s murderous intent.

    I don’t think Jubilees is any more historical and reliable than the Genesis.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Sorry, but Uruk was first settled 7000 years ago or 5000 BCE, not 5000 years ago as the article say.

    Uruk was a flourishing city from 4000 to 3000 BCE that predated the Sumerian civilisation. And it certainly predated the SUPPOSED FLOOD (which supposedly between 2340 to 2100 BCE), according to Genesis 10.

    Also, according to Genesis 10, Egypt didn’t exist until AFTER THE FLOOD, supposed found by son of Ham. Which is nonsense, when you considered that the pyramid of Giza was a couple of centuries before that roughly estimated dates of the Flood. And that there are even older pyramids at Saqqara from the 3rd dynasty. And smaller pyramids were continually being built throughout the 5th and 6th dynasties.

  3. donny says:

    to greg it was his sister

  4. greg says:

    Who was cains wife??

  5. John says:

    No wonder Christians get so much grief. It seems half of us don’t even believe basic truths in the bible.
    “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
    Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
    My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts. (Isaiah 45:11, 12 NIV)

  6. Mark says:

    William, the book of Genesis has a clear historical chronology from Adam onwards.

    As far as I know, none of the Mesopotamian myths have historical chronologies even though they may include historical material. So they are not works of history, unlike the Book of Genesis.

    Mark

  7. Don Haywood says:

    Sure, try the several different versions of the creation given in the book.
    Of course, this discussion will go no where because people have a difficult time reconciling belief and fact.
    Good luck to anyone who tries to convince any believer in anything to change a belief ( global warming naysayers for one example).

  8. Randy says:

    William,
    You make statements as though they’re accepted facts. What is your basis for doing so? Statements in the Bible that reference historical events have repeatedly been shown to be true by archeological finds. Can you show any place that has been proven to be mere myth? Generally speaking, if a witness (in this case, a written witness) is demonstrated to be truthful in matters that can be independently verified, it is reasonable to assume that said witness is also truthful in areas that have not or cannot be independently verified.

    Regards,
    Randy

  9. William says:

    Mark – perhaps some of the book of Genesis is literal history, I’ll give you that.
    HOWEVER, a lot of it…A LOT…is based common Middle Eastern stories and mythologies reworked into the Hebrew faith tradition. That doesn’t mean that the book is any less holy or authoritative, but that it’s not meant to be a literal history book or a scientific text.

    I feel for you if this is devastating to your faith or your belief in the Divine, but this is the truth and I hope that it indeed helps your journey of faith.

    Peace to you,
    William

  10. Mark says:

    The book of Genesis is history whereas the stories of Mesopotamia are a mixture of history and pagan mythology.

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