> MDaines Wrote:
> > Thanos,
> > A note of caution when freely quoting the
> > Gilgamesh stories as just about everybody does.
> > This time not my words.
> > “W. Von Soden regrets that we depend on the
> > documents of the “Renaissance of Sumerian
> > culture” (around 2100 B.C.), instead of having
> > the real, old material at our disposal. The mere
> > fact that Sumerian was the language of the
> > educated Babylonian and Assyrian, the existence of
> > the many Sumerian-Akkadian “dictionaries” and
> > the numerous translations of the Gilgamesh epic
> > betrays the activity of several academies
> > responsible for the officially recognized text
> > editions. One can almost see the scholars puzzling
> > and frowning over the texts.” P. 120,
> > Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillano and
> > Hertha Von Dechend, David R. Godine, Publisher,
> > At the same time, it's reasonable to suppose that
> > the references to cedar trees are valid, and
> > that's your main point.
> Whether or not these early 3rd-2nd millenium BC
> copies of earlier Sumerian originals are faithful
> is completely irrelevant to the point. All that
> matters is that this is what the people thought at
> the time these were written which we can use as
> historians to help date these structures.
I would add the corollary that we need to be mindful of the limitations in how the ancient narratives may be used when attempting to date historic events and ancient structures.
For example, if an ancient narrative claims "I built three pyramids on Giza with my bare hands using a copper chisel and rope", the only logical conclusion we might be able to draw is that the author "thought" about three pyramids on Giza "at the time" the statement was penned and felt the need to express his "thought" about how such pyramids were built. Other than that, we really cannot logically conclude when the document was written, who wrote it, when it was written, or that the three pyramids we see today on Giza were in fact built with the tools and methods described in that narrative. At best, such a statement supports the notion that the three great pyramids we see today on Giza existed when that statement made.
Likewise, a document that states something like, "A hundred thousand men hauled huge stones up enormous ramps" could simply be the musings of someone trying to assert his guess about how the strange monuments he sees before his eyes might have been built.
For all we know, these kinds of statements simply may be stylized testaments of pious souls uttering a prayer, though fictitious in literal detail, that serves as their audition to the afterlife. I believe that this better characterizes what we are reading on the walls of many ancient tombs, for example at Rekhmire, Djehutihotep, Debhen, Unas, etc.
We may not presume that everything reported in the ancient documentation may be taken literally as a depiction of actual events. The Bible is a prime example. This is why I always put credence in the physical evidence rather than historic reports from ancient times, especially when you consider the vastly different standards of proof and conduct of different cultures throughout recorded history.
How can any of us ever know, when all we can do is think?
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12-Apr-18 13:05 by Origyptian.