Ancient Babylonian creation myth

The holy house, the Gods' house,
Was not created at sacred place,
Reed did not sprout, tree did not grow.
Bricks were not put, substructure not built,
House not made, settlement not constructed.
Settling not made, living together not made possible.
Nippur not created yet, Ekur not built
Uruk not created, Eanna not built,
Eridu not created yet, Eridu not built,
The place of the holy house, of the Gods' house not created.
The countries altogether were sea.
The floor of the island was flowing water;
Marduk(Ea) constructed a reed network on the water,
He made earth, poured it on the reed network,
To form a seat for the Gods to feel homely,
Humans he created ,
The tribe of Aruru peoples he created;
Animals of the field, alive, in the fields he created,
The green of the fields he created,
The lands, the meadows and the reed;
The game cow, its young, the calf,
The sheep, its young, the lamb of the hurdle,
Plantation of fruit trees and woods .....
(Winckler 1906)


This is a very important field of discussions for those who theoretically consider anthropology in the 'history-critical' framework of cultural evolution and have become aware that the conventional "pre-history" based essentially on archaeology (see W.C. McGrew, Chimpanzee Material Culture: Implications for Human Evolution, 1992) as a deeply misleading path.

This is particularly so if compared with the "ethno-prehistory" of "anthropology of habitat and architecture" which - based on nestbuilding behavior of the great apes and the hand as the most important "primary tool" - works with the (ethno-)prehistory of "fibro-constructive-semiotics".

This allows to discuss the reconstruction of the origins of various cultural concepts in new ways, e.g. paleo- and mesolithic food collecting, neolithic origins of aesthetic organization of the environment, neolithic socio-territorial formation of social structure, territorio-semantic roots of early theocracy and 'religion', etc..

This latter element is most important: The village founder as village chief becomes the 'owner of the territorial reed-sign' which he set up when he founded the village with forming this reed sign, initially with rooted reed, which autonomously produced its YinYang-style aesthetic structure (without preconception of the founder!). This categorically polar form becomes the basic model of the cognitive system of the village (the "immobile mover" suggesting the "coincidence of opposites in the same form") and in fact - as a general model - "creates" the village "kosmos" (gr. "kosmos" = originally small scale organisation of village). Thus, an abstract form-principle introduces sedentary life with agriculture and habitat. Consequently the local population considers this territorial sign with high ontological values. Later it appears as a local deity  (It is highly complex! Not "a primitive fetish" as theology claims!).

Note the term "theocracy" as political constitution and primary political system of early religion formed in early "high cultures", copying the highly complex aesthetic socio/territorio/political structure of the neolithic village and projecting its local spatio-polar condition into macrocosmic dimensions! Result: a highly problematic sacral-genetic political system which to some extent remained intact until today!

I have intensely worked recently and compared my detailed studies of 100 villages of rural Shinto in Japan with newer theories of Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and the Levante-cultures showing a lot of sources which can be integrated into this (ethno-)prehistorical "Anthropology of Habitat and Architecture" concept.

Archaeology is one important problematic field of modern cultural anthropology, the other one is the static historism of the humanities. We will talk about this later.

Views: 114



OAC Press



© 2020   Created by Keith Hart.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service