Sumerians and Armenians. What is common among ancient peoples?

Armenian scientists are intensively researching the heritage of the Sumerian civilization and its connection with Ancient Armenia, often making quite interesting discoveries.

It should be noted that to this day, the origin of about 70 percent of words in the Armenian language remains unknown. Sumerologist Armen Davtyan discovered that some of these words, which science only assumed were Indo-European, are found in the Sumerian language. Linguists consider the Armenian language to belong to a unique group of the Indo-European language family, in which no other living languages have survived.

According to glottochronological research conducted between 2003 and 2012 by Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), the Proto-Armenian language originated in the Armenian Highlands and adjacent regions of Anatolia around 7300 BC. We discussed this in detail in the article “When did the Armenian language appear?

This date almost coincides with that obtained by archaeologists in Çayönü (40 km northwest of the city of Diyarbakir) in Western Armenia, which is the 72-73 centuries BC, as was reported in the article “The first socialist revolution was in the Neolithic era: interesting facts about Armenia“.

It is also quite close to the data of geneticists who record the presence of the Armenian genotype as far back as 8,000 years ago, that is, around 6000 BC. There was even surprise in the media that Armenian women have maintained the genotype almost unchanged to this day. The difference of a little over a thousand years from the linguists’ date is due to the fact that science has not yet detected the very first appearance of the genotype. However, it has unequivocally determined that 4,000 years ago, this genotype was almost universally prevalent in the region of the Armenian Highlands.

Paleogenetics has also shown that the ethnogenesis of the Armenians was completed long before 1200 BC. This happened thousands of years before the fall of the Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean, between 2000 and 3000 BC, during the rise of new civilizations in the Middle East. This means that not only in the pre-Urartian times of the Hittite Empire, but even earlier, during the reign of Aratta, the population living in Shengavit, Metsamor, Lchashen, as well as in most of the ancient settlements of the Armenian Highlands, was already established as a nation and spoke an ancient variant of the Armenian language.

But since we do not have our own preserved and deciphered written sources from that period, this gap can only be filled with information from the sources of other peoples, primarily those living in the neighboring Mesopotamia.

And here is where it gets most interesting.

The genetic links of the Sumerian language have not been established either, it became extinct by the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Linguists consider it non-Semitic, unlike the Akkadian or Assyrian-Babylonian language that replaced it in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. It is still unknown where the Sumerian homeland was located, so it is unclear where to look for relatives of their language, which is why there are many mutually exclusive and poorly substantiated hypotheses.

Armen Davtyan found that over 2,000 words in the Armenian and Sumerian languages are identical. While the origin of 70 percent of the words in Armenian is still unknown, in some Sumerian cuneiforms up to 80 percent of the text can be read in Armenian. This is especially true for texts related to agriculture. 2,000 words make up less than 2 percent of the total number of words in Armenian. Likely, this is one of the oldest layers in it. Moreover, the similarity of the Sumerian language is seen not only with ancient, but even with today’s Armenian language.

Davtyan asserts that a vast number of words, recorded in the 20th century by Armenian ethnographers in villages of various regions, that is, in the period of already Soviet Armenia, surprisingly enough, can be found in the ancient Sumerian language. For example: shovel, onion, cattle, chair, bread, and others are quite identical with Sumerian words, both in meaning and sound. To this day, the origin of the Armenian word for bread “hats” is not exactly known, and in Sumerian, this word sounds very similar – “ats”.

Similar words exist not only in the field of agriculture but also in other areas, ranging from military, such as weapon, sword, dart, to astronomical terms. For example, in the word “planet,” only Armenians and Sumerians have the root “mol”; the Armenian “Մոլորակ” (Molorak) is a later form with the same root.

Armen Davtyan is now working on compiling an Armenian-Sumerian dictionary. When it is ready, everyone will be able to see the total number of analogies.

How rock art became writing

Based on the analysis of various Sumerian ideograms, the author practically proves that they can still be read in Armenian today. The common roots are also evidenced by both the pronunciation of ideograms that have reached us and the rock drawings found in Armenia.

As for the Sumerian ideograms and Hittite inscriptions, they are now not only read in Armenian but also find confirmations of the truth of these readings thanks to modern findings in Armenia itself. Thus, Armen Davtyan shows that before taking their usual form, Sumerian ideograms were conceived and designed in Armenian rock drawings.

Hamlet Martirosyan is also engaged in rock drawings and petroglyphs dating back to the Paleolithic 50-30 thousand years BC, then interrupted for 13 thousand years due to climate change, as there were no inhabitants in the highlands due to the cooling, and then resumed from the 17th millennium BC until the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

He also found out that the emergence of writing was based on this very tradition. That is, it was transferred to Mesopotamia, where about 6 thousand years ago it was used first as an ideogram for 5 centuries. And then, around 3500 BC, on its basis was created the Sumerian cuneiform, which later became the basis for most of the cuneiform writing systems of other peoples, such as Urartian, Assyrian, and Persian cuneiform.

Specialists of other nationalities usually regard such interpretations quite skeptically. This is due to the fact that today there are too many speculations on this topic in the world. Everyone who is not lazy, even non-specialists, tries with great effort to read still undeciphered writings in their language, starting from the Phaistos Disc on the island of Crete to the Glozel tablets in France.

However, it should be taken into account that there is a big difference. First, our researchers make their conclusions quite reasonably and without any stretch. With a living language, anyone who knows it can easily verify this. And secondly, there are very serious new discoveries in world history and archaeology about the prehistory of the Sumerian civilization, which are worth telling separately and in more detail.

In fact, the Armenian language, thanks to its great antiquity, has preserved a whole relic layer of words from the language of the Sumerians who lived thousands of years with our ancestors.

In our age of freedom of information, these amazing discoveries can soon be used in their work by Sumerologists from other countries. And then it is clear that the knowledge of historians can become larger and more interesting also about Armenia during the Bronze Age, from which no Armenian written sources have reached us.

And when they learn Armenian, they will find that Sumerian has become more understandable, and whole passages that still look like a set of poorly understood words, allowing different interpretations, will become more understandable and meaningful.

by Armen Petrosyan

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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