Friday, October 30, 2015

Fact-Checking the Torah -- the Ionians in Anatolia

I’m sure those Greek-reading clergymen noticed the similarity of Iapetos to Yefet.  What they may not have realized is that Ion is just another version of Yavan, a grandson of Yefet. 
Iapetos is listed in the Theogony of Hesiod, who wrote at the same time as “Homer” was developing the Iliad, the 600s BCE.  The Theogony ends where Enuma Elish has its middle – the battle of the gods.  In fact, Greek myth has two battles of the gods, the Titans against Uranos with Mother Earth’s help, and the Olympians against the Titans.
Hesiod’s father arrived in Greece from the Ionian city of Cyme on the west shores of Anatolia.   Cyme was founded by people from Locris.  Locris is a place in Greece described (in Roman Emperor Hadrian’s time) by Pausanias as the origin of wine-growing in Greek-speaking regions, and Pausanias identifies the first man to grow wine grapes as the son of Deucalion.
Now notice where Noach was when he started growing wine grapes.  In Anatolia.  In the Lake Van region.  Archaeology shows that wine grapes were domesticated in this region.  It happened about 4000 BCE. 

I told you to remember that date.  It’s almost in the middle of the period when proto-Semitic was developing.  It’s the same period when Anatolians were messing with meteoric iron. 
The Iliad uses the word sideros for “iron”; sideros is related to Greek for “star”, suggesting that originally the Greek language mostly knew of meteoric or star-generated iron.  However, the text of the Iliad seems to identify two other types of iron in use.  One is the “bloom” that settles out of smelting when ores contain iron as well as the copper wanted for bronze.  The other is “gleaming” iron which might refer to carbon steel.  (Remember, carbon steel developed by 1500 BCE and appeared in the Holy Land by 1000 BCE.)  The Iliad describes arrowheads as being iron.  These three points of information might seem to be later additions adopted for audiences who could not imagine weapons of war made of anything besides iron, but Agamemnon is accused of greed even though his huts are full of bronze and the Achaeans are described as “bronze-greaved.” 
The Iliad is not a story of Bronze Age people.  It is the story of a people on the crossroads using and valuing both bronze and iron.
Or peoples.  The people who destroyed Wilusa by 1160 BCE came from a loose association lumped together as the Sea Peoples based on their description and enumeration on an inscription of Ramses III at Medinat Habu, erected some time after 1175 BCE when (he claimed) he defeated them.  The components, who fought alongside Libyans, were: Ekwesh (part of a puzzle I will discuss later); Pelishtim (the Pleti of King David’s bodyguard, along with the Creti or Cretans); Teresh (ancestors of the Etruscans); Sikila or Shekelesh and Sherden (ancestors of the Phoenicians who founded Sicilian and Sardinian colonies); Weshesh (ancestors of the Oscians); Lukka (Lycians of Anatolia); and Denyen (Danaans). 
The Sea Peoples destroyed Wilusa, then moved inland and destroyed the Hittite capital of Hattusas, and then to the coast and destroyed Ugarit, all within a 40 year period.  The Denyen and Ionians had traditions which were Anatolian in origin, including the wars of the gods referred to in Theogony and later Greek material.  I’ll give more information about this Anatolian connection later.
Oh, just one more urban legend, pleeeze!  I think you will find in most books on the subject that the Sea Peoples are described as Bronze Age.  From the dates and previous posts, you know that by this time, steel was in use throughout southwestern Asia.  So Bronze Age is a hangover (urp!) from old archaeology books.  Scrub your brain and come into the 21st century, OK?
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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