First Blog Post

DECEMBER 2014

The cold snap that gave Toronto the look and feel of a meat freezer eased off a bit this morning. A light snow came down and my two cats, Esperanza and Feliz came with me on my 6 a.m. morning walk.

The early morning quiet is a good time to think and reflect on life with a deep appreciation for what it gives without asking for anything in return. There is the air and snow, the trees and bushes and my cats with their tails high in the air and the little baggage of their furry bellies swaying as they trot along.

It’s been nearly eight years since I started down the road of research and cross-research that is now my book, “From Neanderthal to Moses: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality.”

Like the trail of humanity explored in my book, my efforts to reach this stage have been filled with visionary goals, practical problems, independent effort and working with and depending upon others to ensure my very survival.

In many ways, I am a prehistoric man in the modern world. As a youth, I had a clear sense of wanting to follow the ancient path of life – developing myself in body, mind, heart and soul through experience, study and entering the world as if it and I were in an embrace of friendship and free of formalities.

As a young man I learned how to fish, canoe, sail a small boat, climb trees, saddle and ride a horse, build campfires, treehouses and igloos. I studied gymnastics and taught myself public speaking and rudimentary martial arts. I learned how to hypnotize and give massages, write songs and poetry, and I was even elected class president and student council president when I was in Grade 9.

I was always a voracious reader and loved learning new things and meeting new people. Although my home life growing up was not what I would have liked, I have been blessed with many good friends and two wonderful ex-wives who have been supportive of me through many difficult years.

In particular, I have many thanks to offer my ex-wife Isabel and my good friends Mark and Levi. Without their support through many difficult years, I would not have survived and my book would never have been written.

In prehistoric times and even in some modern cultures, knowledge is understood to be something alive and so learning is two-way exchange between “the teacher” knowledge and the student.

In English, when we say “I have a book,” the book is simply a thing, an inanimate tool for our indiscriminate use. However, in many older languages such as Latin and some existing ones, the true meaning of that phrase is “the book is sharing its knowledge with me.”

My book has undergone two major changes and I have changed with my book.

The first version set out my original framework for investigation. The India-Hebrew link led me to an understanding of how religious institutions evolved in the world. While most people and historians assumed some form of organized religion has always existed, the evidence did not support that view. The oldest spiritual understanding was there was One God that was understood differently by everyone just as everything is understood slightly differently by everyone.

And at this time, there were no official priests or community temples, a concept of the Devil or widespread religious laws. So, how, when and why did they appear in the world, I wondered.

Asking and finding answers to those questions became the first version of this book, then called, “God Doesn’t Belong to Anyone: The World Before Religion & How We Got Here.”

The framework I had seen was strong and supportable but something was missing. It took me two more years to realize I had to step back even farther in time. That was when the fog lifted and I saw the trail I was following wasn’t just a history of religion it was the history of humanity.

It was my history and your history.

The book was revealing to me all it knew as I researched and wrote it. It was a collaborative effort.

I learned many things from the book. The pathways led to the original alchemists that actually did turn ordinary metals into gold, the likely true site of the sunken city known as Atlantis, the world’s first language, its first political visions and merchants starting 400,000 years ago.

But perhaps my greatest discovery was the answer to the question, “What defines us as human beings?”

The most magnificent accomplishment in all human history, the act that ultimately set us apart from other prehistoric humans and open the door to the modern world was not what most people think. It was not an invention, it was not an empire and it was not war.

Some 12,000 years ago, a group of people with a lot of knowledge made a momentous decision. They decided to share their knowledge with every other person in the world, and so they opened the first free school. Until that time, the only way people could learn was through their own experience and reflection or by asking someone nearby – a friend, family member or shaman. That wasn’t a very large or knowledgeable base.

Among all these people however, were some who had developed specialized skills in farming, animal husbandry, martial arts, mathematics and so forth. It was a group of these people who joined together and built the first school. “Let them come and learn,” they said. And it was from then on, that humanity took off and civilization began. Without those first teachers and their spirit of humanity in the oldest, truest sense of that word, we would not have a world with the Internet.

We have a world with the Internet because humanity began as an internet of networks of people.

When you start to look at history that way, you realize we are all prehistoric people in the modern world we just dress differently.

WHAT THEY SAY

Throughout the years of my research and writing, I distributed parts of my book-in-progress to many people asking for their comments and to point out any major flaw in my analysis and work before the book was published.

Here’s some of their comments.

“Barry – You realize you’ve discovered the new Rosetta Stone,” Rev. John Joseph Mastendrea, Metropolitan United Church, Toronto

“Thank you very much for sending me the preview of your upcoming book. I read it your fascinating approach to early human history with great interest. The evidence that the Harappans (people of the Indus Valley) traded deep into the middle east is now well established through the work of Randal Law of University of Wisconsin and others. Similarly, the language spread of the Indo-European languages that you have highlighted is also very well known. What is not well studied is the migration of ideas with must travel with language. Your suggestion that the ideas were carried back and forth and were at the root of the European civilization is certainly thought provoking and worth exploring,” Dr. Mayank Vahia, Astrophysicist, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, India

“The research of Barry Brown – in light of literary evidence and genetic studies hypothesizing that Jews migrated to Mesopotamia from Indus Valley during its downfall - might be of great importance in structuring Jewish history,” Dept. of Ancient Indian History Culture & Archaeology, Hindu University Banaras India

“Our study of the Jewish population of India revealed that their maternal and paternal gene pool is linked with the people of West- Eurasia. The literary evidence strongly supports this hypothesis. According to Stephen Knopp, the Greeks referred to the Jews as Judeos or “Jah-deos” or Yadavas, meaning people of Ya or descendants of Yadhu, one of the sons of Yayati. It is also said that the basis of the Kabbalah, the book of Jewish mystical concepts, described in “The Holy Kabbalah” by Arthur Edward White, is linked with the Vedas. The word Yadava is derived from the term “Yah Deva.” This term is identical to the name Yahweh, the single most important name of God of the Jews. After analyzing the archaeological and literary evidence we may conclude that the hypothesis needs further probing and extensive research are required to reach any concrete conclusion,” Dr. Lalji Singh Vice-Chancellor Hindu University, Banaras India, Leader of India’s Genome Project

“I don’t know if you are right – you might be – but you will change history if you are,” Yaen Vered, Canadian Representative Israeli Antiquities Authority

“Congratulations on this masterpiece of research,” Dr. Abdul Hai Patel Pres. Ontario MultiFaith Council, Past Coordinator Canadian Council of Imams

“I don’t know if you are right or not – my research doesn’t go back that far. But I can tell you this: millions of people will be interested,” Prof. Michael Gervais, Ancient Ethiopian History University of Toronto

“What you say about the Exodus makes good sense,” Prof. Noam Chomsky, MIT

WELCOME

WELCOME

Most people would say I’ve had an interesting life. I am a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and for many years I worked as an independent Canada News Chief for many American and other international news organizations including The Washington Times, ABCNews.com, MSNBC.com, New York Times, AP and many others. In all, I have worked for more than 120 news outfits in half a dozen countries and written over 3,000 stories.

This project began eight years ago when I came across an obscure quote from Aristotle who claimed the ancestors of the Jewish people – the ancient Hebrew people of the Bible – were once Brahman priests from India who migrated to the Middle East.

I was fascinated by this because I am Jewish, and when I was younger I spent three years living as a Hare Krishna monk studying Sanskrit and the Vedas and was initiated as a Brahman. So, I really wanted to know if Aristotle was right.

Like a detective on a case I began looking for evidence. Very quickly I discovered all the ancient scholarly, genetic, archaeological and scriptural sources agreed with Aristotle.

Indeed, it was right there in the opening pages of the Bible. According to that text, the story begins in the Garden of Eden which it says was in a land called “Havilah.” Every ancient Jewish and Christian source agreed – Havilah was India and the Pichon River of the Bible was the Ganges.

Following this Indo-European trail forward through the Bible and back to its origins, led me on a huge, panoramic tour of how human civilization began and how it changed in ways that still influence our modern world.

If you’d like to contact me for speaking engagements, media interviews or other topics, I can be reached at barry17 at rogers.com

Big thank yous go out to the many people who helped launch this project… Isabel, Mark, Levi and Nuruddin in particular.

Thank you for visiting!

Barry

P.S. The name of the website is a combination of the Sanskrit word “Namaste” and the Hebrew word “Shalom” as a shout out to Aristotle for starting me down this road.

“HUMANITY: THE WORLD BEFORE RELIGION, WAR & INEQUALITY”

“HUMANITY: THE WORLD BEFORE RELIGION, WAR & INEQUALITY”

By Barry Brown © 2103

Ask most people and they’ll tell you religion, war and inequality have been around for as long as human have existed; that it’s hardwired into our genetic code. Well, most people are wrong. What archaeology, genetics and anthropology all agree on is that there is no evidence of war before about 10,000 years ago and if war was in our genes it would always be there. But it isn’t.

It is also true that prehistoric people saw a “spiritual” living force in all things including people, animals, natural forces and even knowledge itself. What they didn’t have were organized temples, priests, a concept of the Devil or religious laws. None of those institutional pillars of organized religion existed until about 5,000 years ago. What changed was the world as it moved from a time of cooperative individualism to one of top-down organizations with a fixed hierarchy and rules for everyone.

But this world would not be born all at once and there would be resistance to it in every era.

The first modern civilization is the long forgotten Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient India (c 2600-1900 BC).

This anti-war society laid down the principles of multiculturalism, democracy and equality between people thousands of years before those ideas would return to the modern world. They pioneered the world’s first housing developments with homes of equal size (all equipped with a bathroom and running water), Their streets were organized on a grid of right angles and they had an underground piping system that disposed of wastes, provided hot and cold water to residences and cleaned the streets of their cities.

Yet, they had no king and no class system. Instead, they pioneered the use of universal logos and symbols so people from anywhere in the world could live in their first-in-the-world cities and make their way around. They also organized the world’s first trading zone. Although to call it a trade zone implies there were regions outside. In fact, what the Indus traders pioneered was a “Trust of Friends.” The Indus sailors would load up their boats and sail up to 3500 km away to Mesopotamia to trade with their friends.

They made these journeys without any weapons and without the gain of money – for no form of money has ever been found among the Indus relics. They made these voyages to make friends, spread knowledge (they pioneered standard weights and measures) and expand the regional economy by creating wealth for everyone. And it worked for 700 years.

A visionary “Founding Father” of the Indus Valley Civilization

After the fall of the Indus, many of those whose ancestors lived there took the same ideas of how to create a multicultural global center and applied it to the creation of the empire of the Near East. At their founding, the Hittites, Babylonians, Hyksos and others all played down their own origins. Instead, they praised and adopted the culture of those around them as a way of attracting them as allies rather than attempting to conquer them. It was a form of the same idea that enabled the founders of the Indus to create a new civilization out of the Dark Ages of chaos and bitterness that followed the end of the world’s first war.

Most of us tend to look at the past through modern eyes and judge it as we have been taught to – people of the past were ignorant, superstitious and violent.

Far from being primitive barbarians, our ancient ancestors were among the most innovative, free and creative people. For they created, organized and set down the foundations of all we think of as human life – language, art, crafts, community, global networking and the world’s first ideals.

Prehistoric human society was a time when our earliest ancestors by necessity gathered and shared knowledge with each other. Indeed, the only way to create a common language is by sharing words and meanings, there is simply no other way to do it and without a common language no civilization can take root.

And we did share our knowledge and ideals. By working with others with different skill sets, people began to build the first sophisticated urban centers 5,000 years ago. They organized the first farms and schools 12,000 years ago, created the first art at least 40,000 years ago, and began long distance trade as far back as 400,000 years ago.

Yet there are no weapons of war among the Stone Age tools that date back more than 1 million years.

The world’s first make-up kit may be this 100,000 year old abalone shell to carry and grind decorative red ochre paste. Found in the Blombos Cave on the Indian Ocean coast of South Africa.

In 2014, my new book, “From Neanderthal to Moses: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality” will be available for download.

It is a sweeping look at human history that starts 400,000 years ago with the question, “How do we learn?” Not, how do we learn in the modern world but how did we learn when there were no words for things or even the idea of words?

It follows the road of humanity as we come into our own, outlasting Neanderthal and our other ancestors, as we create the first language, the first art and the first schools. As humanity ages we reach the first war, the first empires and slaves, the histories that inspired the oldest stories in the Hebrew Bible and then onto into the modern world.

It is a look at human history as you have never seen it before.

My name is Barry Brown and I am a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Canadian journalist. During my 25 year career as an independent Canada News Chief and Correspondent, I’ve written more than 3,000 stories and worked for more than 100 news organizations including The Washington Times, New York Times, ABCNews.com, MSNBC.com and the Associated Press.

Seven years ago, I came across an obscure quote from Aristotle claiming the ancestors of the Jewish people – the ancient Hebrew people of the Bible – were originally Brahman priests from Ancient India who migrated to the Middle East. I was fascinated by this because I am Jewish and when I was a young man, I spent three years living as a Hare Krishna monk studying the ancient texts and language of India and was initiated as a Brahman.

Discovering that Aristotle was right was just part of the story. Following that line of history back in time to the beginning and forward into the modern world revealed a great story of how humanity began with a common culture and language, and how we began to fracture around religions, nations, tribes and cultures in ways that simply did not exist for most of human history.

As I researched and wrote this book, what I learned changed the way I understood my own history, the history of the Bible and the history of the world.

This website is a work in progress and will be improved.

If you would like to contact me for interviews, speaking engagements or other topics, you can reach me through barry17 @rogers.com

Thank you for visiting!

Barry Brown

HUMANITY: A WORLD WITHOUT WAR

An excerpt from “Humanity: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality” by Barry Brown © 2013.

4. A WORLD WITHOUT WAR – THE ANCIENT INDUS VALLEY

One of the most fascinating things about the hundreds of thousands of ancient artifacts found over the 1,500 settlements that once formed the Indus Valley Civilization (c 2600-1900 BC) is what’s not there.

There are no weapons. It’s not that weapons didn’t exist in the world. There were plenty of them and people who knew how to use them. However, the visionaries who founded the Indus Valley Civilization over 4,500 years ago decided their new model cities for the ancient world would be multicultural and welcome everyone from around the world. Their cities would be democratic with nominal leaders responsive to needs and desires of the whole community. They would separate religion from daily life by having no temples in any of their cities so that no priest class would arise to dominate their lives. And to ensure they did not come under the heel of an out-of-control warrior class they had no weapons of any kind.

If you think this stance made them a target for outside warriors, you’re wrong. Archaeologists examining the 700 year lifespan of this first experiment in modern civilization have found no evidence of any warfare – including the scars left by attackers – at any Indus site.

Yet this civilization was the largest of its time – covering an area twice the size of France. It was also the most technologically advanced and the wealthiest. It’s also very clear the founders of this civilization had a vision for the future and a background in urban planning, multicultural living and the horrors of war.

Only a society with knowledge of a horrific war becomes pacifist as a principle. So what war shaped the ideals of the Indus? It was the world’s real “First World War” – the War at Kurukshetra – and it happened around 5,000 years ago in Ancient India.

Manuscript illustration of the Kurukshetra War ( c 3067 BC) Courtesy Wikipedia

 

Many people consider the Kurukshetra War to be a myth. Most historians think the Ganges Civilization – which was destroyed by the war – came long after not before the Indus. Yet among the relics of the Indus Civilization is a carved ceramic seal with a picture that tells the story of the Kurukshetra War.

Here’s what happened: In a world that’s only known small scale battles or war games between trained warriors, a family divides over which side will rule the kingdom. This will war will gather 2.5 million warriors on one side and 1.5 million on the other, drawn from the families and their allies among 70 nations. A Prince named Krishna – relative to both sides – tries to stop the war but one side is determined. When it’s over both sides of the family are decimated, all the soldiers are killed and the golden age of the kingdom ends.

In the Capitol Dome in Washington, DC are a series of paintings that show, with great symbolic detail, the history of the United States from its founding. If the “founding fathers” of the Indus wanted to create a similar image to explain why they had renounced war, it might look something like this:

Indus Valley seal shows two warriors killing each other while someone stands between them.

No one knows exactly what this image represents. All that is certain is that the two central figures stabbing each other are identifiable as warriors because of the knot of hair at the top of their heads. So, whatever the picture means, it has something to do with war, warriors or both.

The two warriors are presented as equal in size, stature and abilities and the way they stab each other just with the points and in equal manner suggests this is a metaphor. Flanking the soldiers are monstrous-looking, horned human/animal figures. These figures have one set of human feet and a second pair of cloven hooves like a goat. Something flows from the back of their heads and they appear to be wailing or shrieking. The vertical lines on their arms appear to be raised hair indicating fear and death. (When some animals die, their hair raises.) Are these symbols of war?Compare those 4,600 year old “monsters of war” to images in this painting by Pablo Picasso.

“Guernica,” by Pablo Picasso (1937)

The famous mural, “Guernica,” was painted after the aerial bombing of the Spanish town Guernica by Nazi German bombers during the Spanish Civil War. Its figures, especially the horse in the center, have a similar feel to the human/animal figures in the Indus seal.

What is thought to be a sacred fig tree is represented in two ways on the Indus seal. There are flourishing trees on each end of the seal and a barren one in the middle. Three cone-shaped objects are positioned above the barren tree.

If the Indus Valley Civilization was founded by migrants from the Vedic culture who came 2,000 km west to found a New World apart from the problems of priests and warriors, they needed a way to communicate ideas quickly and easily to the people of different languages and cultures they wanted to attract.

So they pioneered the use of universal logos and symbolic art.

If the Indus seal does represents the Kurukshetra War it might be read as: Two halves of a family go to war and kill each other even though the man in the middle tried to stop them.

Who is the man in the middle? It could be the peacemaker of the War story – Prince Krishna – or it could be God. Perhaps the Indus leaders – some or all – thought Krishna and God were the same. Certainly in later eras Krishna would be worshipped as an incarnation or avatar of God in human form by many people.

In any event, someone tries to stop the war but fails and so what was once a flouring land became barren and the source of death – the barren tree. Perhaps the cones are graves.

But the flourishing fig trees are on both sides, perhaps indicating a sense of resurrection and renewal after the death of the old world.

 

HUMANITY: THE WIZARDS OF PUNT

An excerpt from “Humanity: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality” by Barry Brown © 2013.

3. MEET THE ALCHEMIST WIZARDS OF PUNT WHO TURNED ORDINARY METALS INTO GOLD

Anyone who has seen the “Harry Potter” movies had heard of the Philosopher’s Stone and may be aware of its magical properties said to turn ordinary metals into gold.

If you think the legends of the philosopher’s stone and the alchemists who used it are all made-up stories and fantasies – you’re wrong.

Some 5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt there lived a mysterious group of people who actually knew how to turn a base metal into gold. They were called “The Wizards of Punt.”

In the summer of 1493 B.C, Ancient Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut gathered a small army of 150 rowers and five sailing ships and set off. She and her entourage had heard legends of the faraway land of Punt. For more than 1,000 years, the people of this mysterious, hidden land had sent gold and silver to her ancestors on the throne. Several previous Egyptian Kings had traveled to Punt on trade missions, but for Queen Hatshepsut “Foremost of Noble Ladies,” this was to be a spiritual quest.

The Queen decided to personally lead this mission to Mars because her temple Oracles told her to go. In her 1996 book, “Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh,” Joyce Tyldesley explained that the Ancient Egyptians had simple boats for local use and they were not skilled sea travelers, so the long voyage to Punt, must have seemed like “a journey to the moon for present-day explorers.” The reward the Queen expected must have been great.

Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut (c 1479–1458 BC)

So they set off. The Egyptian men assembled, disassembled and re-assembled their boats as they walked across land and sailed through “the waters of inaccessible channels” of Egypt’s marshes and waterways in their search for “God’s land” – a place of the wealthiest people on earth.

Copy of an Ancient Egyptian record of the voyage to Punt, reprinted in The Road to Punt, F.D.P. Wicker, The Journal of African History, Vol. 12, No. 1 (1971), 162.

On arriving at Punt, the visitors were immediately greeted by the chief of Punt – Parehu, his wife, Aty and their two sons and daughter.

In the newsreel of hieroglyphics and the PR writers of Ancient Egypt, Hatshepsut’s tomb temple described the event.

“How have you arrived at this land unknown to the men of Egypt? Have you come down from the roads of the Heavens?” the King of Punt asked.

Yet, it was the Egyptians who were awestruck. The Puntians lived in beehvive-shaped homes, set above the ground on stilts or pilings, and topped by undulating thatched roofs. More than that, their marketplace colonnade was a wonderland of rare animals including giraffes, hippos and Brahma bulls, fabulous gems and jewelry made from the brilliant green stone malachite, and fragrances of all kinds.

After a lavish feast set out by the Egyptians, the King of Punt returned the favor with his own gifts of gold, precious gems and incense.

When the Egyptian Queen and her vessels returned, their boats were piled high with “fragrant woods, heaps of myrrh-resin and fresh myrrh trees, ebony and pure ivory, green gold of Amu, cinnamon-wood, eye makeup, apes, monkeys, dogs, panther skins,” and more.

Imagine what an impact all those dazzling and expensive freebies had on Egyptian society. Suddenly, everyone wanted to go shopping in Punt. What they gave away free came back to them in abundance. If the people of Punt had a slogan, it was “Make business not war.” And they were masters at it.

Possible locations of Punt

The people of Punt were extraordinary traders. With their wide-ranging people skills they were able to meet and greet people up and down the East African coast and create a trading circle that went from their coastal base up and down the shores of Africa, east to India, back to Punt and inland to Egypt.

The Egyptians called them the “Wizards of Punt,” and one of the most wonderful things these wizards brought to Egypt was electrum.

                                                   A goblet made of Electrum (unknown origin)

Electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold, silver and traces of other metals such as copper, was a rare prize in the ancient world – and the people of Punt knew how to manufacture what the later Greeks would call “white gold.”

The legends of alchemists able to turn common metals into gold likely began here with the story of how the people of Punt were able to manufacture electrum by including ordinary metals such as copper into the mix. They mixed ordinary metals with gold and silver and other ingredients to make “white gold.”

Over time as the original, true knowledge was lost, legend overtook reality and people thought there was a way to transform ordinary metals into gold because it fit their spiritual world view of personal transformation.

 

HUMANITY: WILL ALL THE HUMANS PLEASE STAND UP

An excerpt from “Humanity: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality” by Barry Brown © 2013.

Will All the Humans Please Stand Up

Fundamentally, human behavior hasn’t changed much since our earliest ancestors began roaming the plains and forests of Africa and the world beyond it 1-2 million years ago. Yet, only modern humans – Homo sapiens–survived.

Modern humans not only survived, they thrived.

  

From modern times, we can look back with pride on the success of our common ancestors. But if we travel back in time to when our modern Homo sapien human family began, we are faced with a perplexing question. “How do you build a civilization or even conceive of one when you have no formal language, no system of organized education, no example of what human society could be, and you live in a world surrounded by other kinds of people quite different from you?”

                                                                                       Reconstruction of Cro Magnon

About 200,000 years ago when modern humans first made their appearance they were not alone. Aside from the many skin tones and facial features of modern humans, there were other kinds of humans. Those aboriginal ancestors of modern humans are known today as the Neanderthals, Cro Magnon, Homo Erectus, Denisovans and the Pygmy people of the South Pacific to name a few.

                                                                                                          Denisovan

Our ancestors encountered all these varieties of the human family. Yet of all those early humans only our branch – the modern Homo sapiens – remains. Why?

                                                                                                               Homo Sapien

If naked aggression and brutal competition drove us to massacre all those ancient people, why has no one found any mass graves of the victims? Why are there no weapons of mass slaughter among prehistoric artifacts and no cave paintings of victorious battles?

                                                          Homo Sapien Sapiens (Modern Humans) from Southeast Asia

If early modern humans and our related ancestors weren’t instantly hostile towards each other, what were they doing?

The humans were partying. They were swapping genes and sharing knowledge and that’s why we survived and thrived.

“We know for sure (our ancestors and the extinct humans) mated and intermarried with each other,” Dr. Ed Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz, told the 2012 World Science Festival in New York City. Dr. Green, a specialist in Neanderthal genetics, explained there were children “born of early humans and Neanderthals and early humans and Denisovans. And we know that because we find the genes of Neanderthals and the genes of Denisovans in modern humans.”

While most of the early humans were already fading out when modern people arrived, the Neanderthal clan would keep going for another 170,000 years. Although shorter (5’4” on average) they had bigger eyes, much more physical strength than modern humans, their brain size was larger, and while they could probably speak the Neanderthal vocal range was likely limited by shorter muscles in the upper throat.

Neanderthals were better suited to the colder environments outside of Africa. They had dense muscles, relatively short legs and arms which helped them conserve heat, while modern humans from Africa had long arms and legs which allow for heat loss and faster running in a hot climate.

                                                      Modern Humans have longer legs and arms than Neanderthals

                                                       Spread of Neanderthal settlements 400-30,000 years ago.

For 200,000 years before modern humans and for nearly as long afterwards, Neanderthal villages were scattered throughout Europe, the Middle East and across Western Asia to southern Russia, Kazakhstan and western China. So why didn’t they survive along with us?

Prof. Chris Stringer of London’s National History Museum and author of “Lone Survivor: How We Came to be the Only Humans on Earth,” said the genetic diversity of the Neanderthals was very low and they were losing ground “even before modern humans arrived.”

In other words, Neanderthals kept to themselves. They didn’t inherit better genes by intermarrying with humans the way we did with them, and they didn’t learn the knowledge that humans were assembling. Neanderthals basically retreated from the advancing world until they fell off a genetic cliff.

One way we know this is from their inner ear. The inner canals are what gives us our ability to balance, do gymnastics and breakdancing. The human inner ear gets larger and more complex with each development until Neanderthal where it stops. Humans develop better ones but not Neanderthal.

The moral of this story is: if you want to learn how to dance, you gotta wanna party first.

 

HUMANITY: PREHISTORIC TWITTER

An excerpt from “Humanity: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality” by Barry Brown © 2013

PREHISTORIC TWITTER

30,000 year old cave painting from France

Did you know that 30,000-400,000 years ago prehistoric people had their versions of websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and developed knowledge and language together in the same way scientists work to solve advanced problems of physics at the CERN particle laboratory in Switzerland?

Did you know that people in the largest, wealthiest and longest-lasting empire of the ancient world were so rich they ate gold for desert yet they had no king, no money and no inequality?

Did you know that people once respected animals so much that even termites were given their own lawyers and trials before people could harm them?

Did you know that everything you think you know about early human civilization is probably wrong?

It has often been said that you can’t know where you are and where you are going unless you understand where you came from.

Today, most people think networking across vast distances, linking with many types of people around the world to exchange ideas and goods is what makes the modern world modern.

In fact, those activities have been going on since our earliest ancient ancestors walked the Earth.

Most people also think religion, war and inequality have been part of human society since the beginning. But this is also wrong. Organized religion, wars of conquest, inequality between people and even inequality between people, animals and the rest of the natural world all had a starting point in history.

Far from being primitive barbarians, our ancient ancestors were among the most innovative, free and creative people. For they created, organized and set down the foundations of all we think of as human life – language, art, crafts, community, global networking and the world’s first ideals. They also had a broad sense of spirituality that included all living things, a common Creator and even knowledge itself.

Far from being a time of war and survival of the fittest, prehistoric human society was a time when our earliest ancestors by necessity gathered and shared knowledge with each other.

By working with others with different skill sets, people began to build the first sophisticated urban centers 5,000 years ago. They organized the first farms and schools 12,000 years ago, created the first art at least 40,000 years ago, and began long distance trade as far back as 400,000 years ago.

Stone Age artifacts come in all shapes and sizes but no weapons

Yet there are no weapons of war among the Stone Age tools that date back more than 1 million years.

With each new discovery in the fossil record, the starting date for humanity gets pushed back earlier and the old models are called into question.

Our branch of that family – the Homo sapien sapiens or modern humans – appeared about 200,000 years ago. The world we lived in then was a “Lord of the Rings” earth with many different humans along with us, including the heavy-browed Neanderthal, jut-jawed Denisovans, Cro-Magnons, Pygmy people and more.

For more than tens of thousands of years we coexisted with each other as our ancient ancestors laid down the foundations of human society – language, a knowledge base, art and trade. We even “married” and had children with members of the older human family until the last of them – the Neanderthal – died out about 30,000 years ago.

What really clinched our success as the star of the human family happened about 12,000 years ago when, having developed a shared language with others in the world, our ancestors made a momentous decision. They saw that people were struggling to work in the world with limited knowledge. About 12,000 years ago, an assembly of people gathered. Each of them had great skills in farming, animal husbandry, sailing, fighting and other talents. From all over the nearby region, people would come to ask about these techniques.

And so they decided to open the world’s first school. These people decided they would share their knowledge – not just with their family or tribe or for selfish ends. They decided that all humanity should be educated. Let anyone who wants to learn come, they said.

Thus, in southeast Turkey was built the first school. Students began to arrive and after they graduated and returned home, they showed others what they had learned. Very quickly, the one room schoolhouse grew to a 20 building university campus that attracted students from all over the known world.

Today, the remains of that structure are called “the world’s oldest religious temple.” It was not a religious temple, it was a school. People did not swell the population at this structure because people were leaving their homes to worship a local god at a local temple. They came in great numbers because they were learning skills and networking with others.

It was a prehistoric LinkedIn.

Aerial view (Courtesy: Before Its News.com)

Ruins of the world’s first university? The Gobekli “Temple” in Turkey

 

Welcome to the website for my new book, “Humanity: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality.”

This brief history of humanity looks at our origins from the beginning and follows a cognitive development course of history. In other words, it begins by asking the question, “How do we learn?” Not how do we learn in the modern world, but how did human beings start learning when there were no words for things or even the idea of words?

We learned by cooperation and the open sharing of knowledge and skills. There is no other way to create a common language for interactions and trade.

 Did you know that everything you know about early human civilization is probably wrong?

Before it was a symbol of the Nazis, did you know the Indian swastika was used by the Hebrew people to decorate synagogues in ancient Israel because the Hebrews came to the Middle East from India’s Indus Valley 4,300 years ago?

 Did you also know that 30,000-400,000 years ago prehistoric people had their versions of websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and developed knowledge and language together the same way scientists solve advanced problems of physics at the CERN particle laboratory in Switzerland?

Did you know that the Pharaoh of the Exodus story (Akhenaten) was not native Egyptian but of mixed Indian-European background like the Hebrews, and that he may have been related to the Biblical character Joseph that saved Egypt?

Among the artifacts of Stone Age history – a period lasting more than 1 million years there are no weapons of war. As a result, the world’s first free public schools and universities were built 12,000 years ago, the first art was created 40,000 years ago and long-distance trade between humans and other prehistoric people was launched as far back as 400,000 years ago.

Seven years ago, I read a quote from Aristotle claiming the ancestors of the Jews – the Hebrew people of the early Bible – came to the Middle East from Ancient India. I began investigating and found all the evidence agreed with Aristotle. According to ancient Jewish authorities, the land where the Biblical Eden was located – Havilah – was Ancient India.

The “fall of Eden” was the world’s first war c 3000 BC. This was followed by the first anti-war state – the Indus – founded c 2600 BC on the principles of multiculturalism, free trade, the separation of church and state, and a bathroom in every home. Genetic research into the people of the Indus Valley has revealed Semitic and Middle Eastern backgrounds among them. After a flood destroyed the Indus (the story of Noah), many migrants moved west to Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Some were called the Hebrews or “wanderers from the East.”

The world divided into East and West as Near Eastern cultures with roots in old India – the Hittites, Babylon and the Hyksos of Ancient Egypt among others – were supplanted by western-rooted ones.

The divisions in the world today are modern, but in many ways the solution may be the most ancient one used by our common ancestors – cooperation.

 

Note: The website is being rebuilt and aside from this posting  and the Flipping History video, all the other material will be replenished. Those older posts will be updated with fresh material. Barry

EMPIRE OF IDOLS

Excerpts from “God Doesn’t Belong to Anyone: The World Before Religion & How We Got Here” (c) 2011. 

PART 2: THE EMPIRE OF IDOLS (3500-2500 BC)

“The further you look into the past, the further you can see into the future,” Winston Churchill.

“For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood (by all people) from what has been made,” Romans, 1:20 

With the end of the “Empire of Eden” after the War at Kurukshetra (see previous slide) about 6,000 years ago, refugees began to settle in the Indus River Valley. This lush and fertile valley that today overlaps parts of western India and eastern Pakistan became the center of what would be the world’s largest, wealthiest and longest lasting empire of all time. For this was a trading empire not an empire of military conquest. Indeed, the first war of conquest anywhere in the world is not recorded until about 300 years after the destruction of Indus Valley homeland – as a result of the event the Bible recalls in the story of Noah and the flood.

While the earlier “Empire of Eden” had been largely confined to the region of the Indian subcontinent, the Indus Valley rapidly expanded its far-flung settlements, trade and cultural contacts to eventually include the peoples of coastal Africa, Europe as far west as the British Isles and Scandinavia, north into Russia and into China and Southeast Asia. The map show the rough outline of this huge world of trade and exchange.

The dominant feature of this empire was its temples and statues of God. Early on in this civilization’s history, someone, perhaps an unknown king, ordered  the construction of the first temple dedicated to a vision of God that would become the common vision of Gd throughout most of the world. To this unknown king, as to many people of his day and now, God was not only known by his power but by his form – a gently smiling, flute-playing personality with skin of a blue-black coloring called Krishna. Whether this first temple was built to acknowledge Krishna as God or whether the identification of Krishna with God came later is not known. What is known is that the image of Krishna was the main vision of God throughout the empire, and Krishna’s image would leave its mark long after the empire and its empire-wide temple system had vanished.

For fragments of Krishna’s image would remain in the descriptions of a “dark” and “blue skinned” God in the Bible and in the way the goat-footed Devil was later depicted by the Christian Church. Curiously, among all known spiritual teachings the earliest (and original) images of God with blue-black skin are Krishna and another form of Krishna called Shiva.

Krishna, the blue/black skinned image of God as the source of male and female.

In the Bible, God’s “skin” is the “color of beryl,” a blue stone.

With the rise of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages (1000-1400 AD), the landscape of Europe was dominated by the great spires of the medieval churches that could be seen from miles away. Nearly 4,000 years earlier, Krishna temples were established all across the Indus Empire.

Current scholarship is divided on the history, culture and influence of the Indus Valley civilization. Nonetheless, what I am proposing here is based on connecting many bits of information to create a larger picture.

Briefly:

According to the 1833 book, “Anacalypsis: An Inquiry into the Origins of Languages, Nations and Religions,” by the British historian Godfrey Higgins, Stonehenge – before it was a site of Druid ceremonies – was a temple to Krishna.

The root of the word “black” in Russian (coron), Serbo-Croatan (crn), Old Prussian (krisnas) and Lithuanian (kersas) all derive directly from the word, Krishna, which means “Black.” How did languages so far from India end up with words for black that come from the Sanskrit word and personality, Krishna? The likely answer: They have this word because at one time gigantic statues of the black-skinned Krishna could be seen everywhere, and because they had been so dominant for so long when the statues were torn down the word for black associated with Krishna remained. And if the word for black can be found as far west as Germany it may well be that the culture stretched even far but the words left behind were lost.

In the Bible, God is described as dark-skinned in Song of Solomon and elsewhere as having skin the color of beryl – a blue stone. The most detailed description of a godly being in the Bible is found in the book of Daniel where the spiritual being is repeatedly described as “the blue man.” Yet in all of humanity’s writings about God, outside of those passages of the Bible there are only two other spiritual beings described as having blue-black skin – Krishna and another form of God from the Indian texts called Shiva. If the traditions of the Hebrews began in India, those Biblical descriptions of a blue-black God most likely had their origins with Krishna.

The earliest images of the Devil as depicted by the Christian Church were demonized illustrations of Pan, the most beloved image of God in ancient Greece. The Greek word “Pan” means “all” and refers to God as the source of all goodness and plenty in the world. Similarly, another way of interpreting the word “Krishna” is “the giver of all pleasures and plenty.” So the image that began as the flute-playing Krishna in India became the goat-footed, flute-playing Pan in the Indo-European world of ancient Greece and then the image of Pan was turned into the image of the goat-footed devil.

In the ancient texts of India called collectively, the Vedas, Russia is described as “the ancient holy land,” indicating that he idea of “holy mother Russia” existed long before Christianity. Further, while historians are divided on the origins of the words, “Russia” and “Moscow,” the Vedas may provide the answer. In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, one word for a holy person is “rishi” as in “Maharishi” which means “Great (Maha) Holy Person.” According to the Indian texts, Russia was the land of the Rishis or holy people. Within this land was a very sacred place that was held to be a place of liberation from worldly anguish. In Sanskrit, the word for spiritual  liberation is “Moksha.” Finally, recent excavations in the oldest Russian settlements in the Volga region turned up statues of Hindu gods.

In Finnish, the word for their “mythological” giants is Jättiläinen which is very similar to the name of the giants from the Hebrew Bible that were called Nephilim.

Trade between India and Africa has been ongoing for longer than recorded history. Modern anthropology suggests the first wave of modern humans to leave Africa 100,000 years ago began to travel and settle along the eastern coast of Africa and then into South Asia. Therefore, trade between the old homeland and the new stretching far back in time is likely and African records of trade with Indo-Europeans from the post-flood world (after 2500 BC) indicate that trade existed before the flood.

The map displayed is a genetic map of the chromosome family called Haplogroup J. Why would a map of this genetic marker be a reasonable guess for the extent and influence of the Indus Valley Empire? There are two main reasons. The first is that it just happens to include all the known regions of Indo-European influence in language and from the records I have studied and refer to in my books.

The second reason is that it indicates the genetic commonality between the people of ancient India – specifically one of its Royal Families, and the later Hebrew and Jewish people. In the study of “Jewish genetics,” Haplogroup J is considered one of the markers of a Jewish heritage. Not all Jews carry Haplogroup J and many non-Jews do carry it. Nonetheless, this chromosome family is closely linked to Jewishness.

In India, the largest chromosome families are M, P and others. But among the family tribes of India one in particular has a significant percentage of Haplogroup J. That tribe is called the Yadavas. What makes this important is that the Yadava family was once the Royal Family of India and Krishna was part of the Yadava clan. Did members of the Yadava family settle in the Middle East where the family name changed from Yadava to Judah – the root word of Jewish? Can the lineage of the “family of God” be traced from Krishna and the Yadavas to Abraham and the Jewish, Christian and Muslim families? In the Bible, King Solomon gets his gold from a trading center along the coast of India called “Ofir.” That ancient town was ruled by the Yadavas. In Indian genetic history, it is said the Yadava clan was once much larger and dominated ancient India. Recent studies indicate 1 million Britons carry genetic traits from the time of the Roman occupation of south England 2,000 years ago, so it is possible this genetic map indicates the descendants of the multicultural Indus Valley civilization.

The influence of this era’s temples, idols and priests would bring many changes to the world. They were centers of knowledge and sources of economic development and trade. But over time they also became power centers – demanding taxes to offset “bad larma,” controlling access to knowledge, and bringing into the world its first racial divisions with the darker skinned Indo-Europeans lording it over the lighter skinned Europeans and even darker-skinned Africans.

There are more than 200 stories from around the ancient world describing a devastating flood that happened around 4500 years ago. Current research suggests an asteroid impact in the South Indian Ocean may have been the cause of that flood and an undersea crater has been identified as the possible remains of that deadly crash. But of all the stories, descriptions of the worst damage come from India where the waters were said to have traveled as far as 100 km inland.

The Bible doesn’t record where Noah lived before the flood but for several reasons, it seems likely he came from the Indus Valley. If he did and then he and his ark where on the water for 40 days and moving westward Noah and his family would have landed in the Persian Gulf within sight of the foothills of the Ararat mountains as the Bible indicates.

What is also key to this global historic link between the Bible’s story of the Great Flood and India-based history is that around 2500-2300 BC there is evidence of a large migration of Indo-European peoples into the regions of Mesopotamia and the Middle East. There are Indo-European who arrive on the coast of Africa and are called the people of Punt. Ancient Sumerian and Ancient Akkadian Empires both get their big boost in technology and military prowess around this time.

Something must have happened around 2500-2300 BC that enabled this sudden and curiously simultaneous rise of these regional powers with new technologies. Was that event a great flood that destroyed the center of a previous world empire, that of the Indo-Europeans? Did its destruction prompt those migration and did those migrants bring with them wealth and advanced technologies from the Indus Valley?

If that was the cause, it would join together the histories of many ancient cultures.