Not only the biblical Noah, but also his Sumerian-Akkadian prototype Utnapishtim (Utnapasht, ed. ArtATsolum), the head of the city of Shuruppak, were saved from the flood in Armenia. But we know that there have been many floods. How many times has the Armenian highlands become a place of salvation?
For a long time, it was believed that the Sumerian civilization was not only the first, but it also covered all areas of human activity from sciences and crafts, and in terms of its development level, it significantly surpassed all subsequent cultures of the ancient world. Despite that modern scientists have so far failed to establish who the Sumerians were, where they came from, or how their civilization arose. Everyone claimed that it appeared on earth suddenly and unexpectedly, without traces of preliminary development, as if out of nowhere. Well, how can we explain that for example the mathematics on ancient tablets is quite comparable to our modern one? However unlikely it seems, it even includes spherical trigonometry. And all of this arises suddenly, out of the blue, from nowhere. But that doesn’t happen, according to elementary laws of logic, there should be gradual development, not a sudden appearance of advanced mathematics, although they were still savages and ran around the forest for prey just yesterday. How can science reconcile with the lack of elementary logic?
The myths of all ancient peoples assert that knowledge, technology, and culture were given to humans by god-civilizers. In the 3rd century BC, the successor of the empire created by Alexander the Great, the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter (281—261 BC), who came to rule Mesopotamia, was an educated man and wanted to know the history of the country in which he became ruler. At his behest, a historian, that is, a priest named Berosus (Akkadian name “Bel-utsur” or “Belriushu”, Arm. Բերոսոս), compiled a comprehensive and detailed history of Babylon and Sumerian civilization – “Babylonica” based on the oldest sources. We have not received the full text of Berosus’s history, it has survived only in individual fragments and quotes from ancient authors, but little has survived from these compilations in turn and reached us. Among those that have come down to us, one of the most important is the Armenian translation – the oldest and practically complete version of the “Chronicle” of Eusebius of Caesarea of the 4th century, made in the 5th century by the founder of Armenian historiography, Movses Khorenatsi.
In Sumerian mythology, the god of wisdom and creator of people was Aya-Enki. Seven wise men-assistants to Enki were called Abgal. According to legend, these sages were created by Enki and came to people from the world ocean Abzu, which is reflected in their name (Ab – water, Gal – large, Lu – man). Mentions of Abgal can be found in the “Uruk List of Kings and Sages” (165 BC), Berosus’s “Babylonica”, the “Poem of Erra”, and tablets with spells.
The dwelling place of Aya-Enki is referred to as Armenia. For example, when the Sumerian prototype of Noah – Utnapishtim begins to build the ark (which the flood later carries out to the Armenian highlands), in order to justify himself before the god Enlil (the main initiator of the flood), he says that he is going to sail to Enki. But in historical Armenia, the temples of Aya-Enki were not found. And, probably, not only because they were destroyed when they adopted Christianity. Rather, the god of wisdom, the creator of people, had another name among our ancestors. It is quite possible that he was represented by the progenitor of the Armenians, Aik-Naapet, the light of whose soul, according to traditional beliefs, ascended to the sky in the form of the constellation Orion, which is also called Aik in Armenia. Moreover, according to researchers, the name of Aik himself is associated with Aya-Enki. That is, the hero was given the name of the god.
According to Sumerian mythology, the very first city on Earth was Eridu (in modern southern Iraq), where was the temple of Abzu, the god Enki. When archaeologists reached the foundation of this first temple of Enki, under the sanctuary’s building there was a layer of virgin soil on which nothing had been built before, dated approximately 3800 BC. Therefore, it was decided that Sumerian civilization originated at that time.
In Berosus’s “Babylonica,” traditions about events are outlined, the antiquity of which, according to Sumerian datings, goes back many hundreds of thousands of years. That’s why modern historians divide his work into two parts: mythical and historical. And, like Plato, Berosus notes several floods, which are indeed confirmed by science. But what is most interesting is that his extensive datings begin to be confirmed as well.
Not so long ago, an amazing discovery was made: at the bottom of the Persian Gulf, even before the waters of the Indian Ocean flooded in eight thousand years ago, a civilization flourished for at least a hundred thousand years. This statement was made by Jeffrey Rose, a British archaeologist from the University of Birmingham. During excavations on the coast of the Persian Gulf, more than 60 ancient settlements with stone houses about 7500 years old were found. They all appeared as if out of nowhere, no older traces of gradually developing civilization were found in those places.
Rose asserts that all these traces are hidden at the bottom of the Persian Gulf. And all these settlements along its coast were built by refugees who managed to escape the flood, and this oasis was comparable in area to Great Britain. The oasis lasted 75,000 years, until it, like Plato’s Atlantis, was flooded by the waters of the Indian Ocean.
But, according to Jeffrey Rose, ancient people reached these places much earlier. In proof, he presents stone artifacts found during excavations in Yemen and Oman, which suggests that people settled in these places a hundred thousand years ago, or maybe even earlier. This changes our understanding not only of the beginning of human migration from Africa 50-70 thousand years ago but also of the whole history of mankind and its age.
It turns out that Berosus was right, datings in tens and hundreds of thousands of years are quite justified, and there were many floods. According to modern data, there were at least three, and that’s just starting from the Neolithic era, although there were catastrophes earlier as well. The datings are as follows: 12 thousand years ago a general rise in sea level by 100 meters and flooding of large land areas, 7.5 thousand years ago a rise in the Black Sea level by 140 meters as a result of a breakthrough into the previously closed basin of water from the Mediterranean, and finally, 5 thousand years ago the “Biblical flood,” a catastrophic tsunami, caused by the fall of a comet in the Indian Ocean, which carried the ships and boats of the Sumerians along the riverbeds from Mesopotamia up to the Armenian Highlands, where they were saved.
Indeed, the historical part of Berosus’s work is considered by historians to be absolutely reliable and fully confirmed by other ancient sources. Only the beginning – about the most ancient events, due to the gigantic datings was considered mythology, but it turns out that this is also starting to be confirmed.
How far this process will go and when all datings of the emergence of man and civilization will be revised will be shown in the future. But it is already clear that the Armenian Highlands became a place of salvation for all the survivors in the region, at least 3 times, and this is only in the Neolithic era. And if the Armenian tradition of the floods had survived and reached us, all this would undoubtedly have been noted there. And maybe even earlier events that changed the fate of the region and all mankind.
However, from the information that has reached us, we can already make certain conclusions and get answers to the main questions. Why did the god of wisdom, Aya-Enki, who created people, reside on the Armenian Highlands? Simply because each time a civilization was washed away by floods and tsunamis, knowledge, that is, “wisdom,” was restored – it came again from the territory of the Sacred Highlands in the north, which remained safe during all these cataclysms. And not only knowledge came, but also people.
When the population died, Mesopotamia was repopulated again, possibly from different places, but definitely and primarily from the north. It is known that a decent layer of 2 thousand words from Sumerian has survived in the Armenian language, but it is quite possible that these are not borrowings from each other, but simply the result of the resettlement of part of the people who preserved many of their words.
Sumerologist Armen Davtyan is currently working on compiling an Armenian-Sumerian dictionary. When it is ready, a lot more new and interesting things may be revealed. And to the question: how long and how many times the Armenian Highlands became a place of salvation, the answer is already clear – from the early Neolithic 12 thousand years ago and at least 3 times, not counting less grandiose cataclysms.
by Armen Petrosyan
Translated by Vigen Avetisyan