“CIVILIZATION” – “WRITING” – THE FIRST MONOTHEISTIC RELIGION – WIDELY QUOTED OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURAL SENTENCES BORROWED FROM EGYPTIAN DOCUMENTARY SOURCES !

“ANCIENT EGYT FELL UPON EVIL DAYS WITH ITS CONQUEST IN 1800 B.C. BY AN ALIEN ASIAN PEOPLE KNOWN AS THE HYKSOS.  MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES ELAPSED BEFORE THE PRINCES OF THE SOUTH RESTORED INDEPENDENCE TO THE UNHAPPY LAND.

THE LAST MAGNIFICENT PERIOD IN EGYPTIAN HISTORY, “THE EMPIRE,”  BEGAN IN 1570 B.C. AND LASTED FOR A FEW VIGOROUS CENTURIES.

SUBSEQUENTLY, THE LAST MAGNIFICENT PERIOD IN EGYPTIAN HISTORY, THE EMPIRE, BEGAN IN 1570 B.C. AND LASTED FOR A FEW VIGOROUS CENTURIES.

A NEW DYNASTY, THE 18TH DYNASTY,  ESTABLISHED NAVAL SUPREMACY IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN AND CONQUERED STRATEGIC AREAS IN THE “FERTILE CRESCENT,”

A  RACIST ‘EUROCENTRIC” DEVICE OR DEFINITION MEANT TO “TAKE EGYPT OUT OF AFRICA”  !

HAD  INCLUDED “EGYPT” AS PART OF A HALF-MOON SHAPED GEOGRAPHICAL AREA SITUATED AROUND THE SOUTHEAST EDGE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

IN ORDER TO OMIT ANY REFERENCE TO EGYPT AND THE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACHIEVEENTS “IN AFRICA” WITH REGARD TO “CIVLIZATION” AND “WRITING,”

AND DENY EGYPTIANS IN NORTHERN AFRICA WHICH BORDERS THE MEDITERRANEAN SOUTH OF SYRIA-PALESTINE OR ANCIENT ISRAEL , AS  HAVING BEEN “THE WORLD’S EARLIEST OR FIRST CIVILIZATION !

A GREAT PHARAOH OF THIS EPOCH WAS THUTMOSE III (1490 B.C. – 1436 B.C.), A REDOUBTABLE WARRIOR, WHO CONQUERED PALESTINE, PHOENICIA, AND SYRIA,  AND CROSSED THE EUPHRATES AND RECEIVED GIFTS FROM DISTANT BABYLONIA.

 ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EGYPTIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO CIVILIZATION WAS THE DEVELOPMENT OF WRITING, AND ESPECIALY THE INTRODUCTION OF SEMI-ALPHABETIC WRITING.

ANCIENT  EGYPT – THE WORLD’S EARLIEST AND FIRST CIVLIZATON – MIGRANT ARICANS TO THE SUBCONTINENT OF EURASIA CARRIED THIS CULTURAL ACHIEVEMENT TO THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVER VALLEY TRADITIONALLY CALLED “THE MIDDLE EAST.”

Writing originated through the use of picturelike signs first to represent objects and later ideas.  The next advance was to use the same signs to represent the sounds of the words expressing those ideas.  Once the signs were identified with sounds, some were conventionalized to represent the sounds of syllables, the stage of syllabic writing.

With syllables signs an indefinite number of words could then be written phonetically with symbols representing their sounds. 

About 3000 B.C.  the Egyptians had reached the point of using special characters for certain vowels and consonants.

THE INVENTION OF WRITING REPRESENTS ONE OF THE GREAT MILESTONES OF HUMAN PROGRESS.  ‘’NOW MAN COULD ACCUMULATE KNOWLEDGE, RECORD IT AND PASS IT ON TO HIS DESCENDANTS.”

Some of the oldest writing is found in pyramid texts, which were mainly religious, their purpose being to assist the deceased in tombs to obtain immortality.Egyptian literature.

During the middle kingdom literature began to flourish, particularly folk tales and collections of proverbs.

Egyptian folk tales and collection of proverbs:aone popular story recounted the perils of a shipwrecked sailor, a narrative which is a prototype of sinbad the sailor.

aanother narrative of importance was the tale of the two brothers, which has striking resemblance to the biblical story of joseph and his brethren.

Most of the literature was expressed in poetic language, even though in prose form.athe most beautiful surviving piece of egyptian literature is ikhnaton=s hymn to the sun.  A few lines will suffice to give some idea of its poetic quality and its conception of an all powerful creator and heavenly father.a >thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky,

O living aton, beginning of life!

When thou risest in the eastern horizon,

Thou fillest every land with thy beauty

Thou are beautiful, great, glittering, high above every land,

Thy rays, they encompass the lands, even all that thou hast made,

How manifold are thy works!

They are hidden from before us,

 

O sole god, whose powers no other possesseth,

Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart

While thou wast alone.

[FOOTNOTE: QUOTED BY JAMES H. BREASTED, THE DEVELOPMENT OF RELIGION AND THOUGHT IN ANCIENT EGYPT (CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS: NEW YORK), 1912, P. 324, 326.ERIK HORNUNG, TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY JOHN BAINES, “CONCEPTIONS OF GOD IN ANCIENT EGYPT: THE ONE AAND THE MANY”  (CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS: ITHACA, NEW YORK), 1971, 1982, 1996]

EMMANUEL DE ROUGE INITIATED A NEW AND LASTING PERIOD OF ACHIEVEMENT IN FFENCH EGYPTOLOGY.  HE WAS PROBABLY THE FIRST EXPLICIT EXPONENT OF THE CONVICTION THAT EGYPTIAN RELIGION WAS ORIGINALLY AND FUNDAMENTALLY “MONOTHEISTIC.”

FOR DE ROUGE “ITS AENDURING AND SUBLIME FOUNDATION WAS THE UNITY OF THE SUPREME BEING, HIS ETERNITY AND OMNIPOTENCE,WHICH WERE NEVER SMOTHERED BY POLYTHEISM.”

[FOOTNOTE: ACCORDING TO E. A. W. BUDGE, “THE GODS OF THE EGYPTIANS OR STUDIES IN EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY”  (LONDON, 1904) 142, CHAMPOLLION-FIG

THE BROTHER OF THE DECIPHERER OF THE HIEROGLYPHIC SCRIPT HAD ALREADY PROPOSED A “MONOTHEISTIC= INTERPRETATION OF EGYPTIAN RELIGION

“ALPHABETIC WRITINGS – ALPHABET:  SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 1900 B.C. AND 1800 B.C.  AS EARLY AS 3200 B.C. AND POSSIBLY 3400 B.C.:

THE EARLIEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF ALPHABETIC WRITING DATED TO SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 1900 B.C. AND 1800 B.C. WAS DISCOVERED IN AFRICA, IN SOUTHERN EGYPT, WEST OF THE NILE BETWEEN THEBES AND ABYDOS (UPPER EGYPT).

 

IN JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, WITH NEW FINDS, EGYPTOLOGY FLOWERS, THE NEW YORK TIMES ON THE WEB, DECEMBER 28, 1999:

 

(IN THE DESERT WEST OF THE NILE, BETWEEN THEBES AND ABYDOS (UPPER EGYPT, IN AFRICA).  ALSOARCHEOLOGISTS FROM YALE FOUND INSCRIPTIONS THAT THEY SAY ARE THE EARLIEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF ALPHABETIC WRITING.

 

DATED TO SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 1900 B.C. AND 1800 B.C., TWO OR THREE CENTURIES EARLIER THAN PREVIOUSLY RECOGNIZED EXAMPLES OF USES OF AN ALPHABET, THE WRITING IS IN A SEMITIC SCRIPT WITH EGYPTIAN INFLUENCES.

 

GUNTER DREYER, DIRECTOR OF THE GERMAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE IN EGYPT REPORTED FINDING HIEROGLYPHIC INSCRIPTIONS ON POTS AND BONE THAT WERE MADE AS EARLY AS 3200 B.C., POSSIBLY 3400 B.C.

 

ALTHOUGH CONTROVERSIAL, THE INSCRIPTIONS SUGGESTED THAT WRITING FIRST APPEARED IN EGYPT, NOT IN MESOPOTAMIA (BABYLONIA AND SUMERIA), IN THE VALLEY OF THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVERS IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL REGION OF WHAT IS NOW IRAQ.

 

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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