Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Bradford Fowler
Last updated: April 9, 2019
Research has indicated the presence of Black migrants from the African Nile Valley in Ancient Sumer.
The region comprising of Sumer was the Tigris Euphrates river valley from the base of the Persian Gulf to the Akkad in the North. While the people of Sumer did not belong to any particular racial group; the Sumerian civilization flourished with the arrival of Black migrants from Africa’s Nile Valley. The Sumerians referred to themselves as the “blackheads” in their writings and were one of the many Nilotic Kushite colonies residing in early Asia.Anthropological evidence of bone structure supports African presence in this region.
Sumer consisted of a large number of independent city states. These city states often combined to form larger kingdoms led by leaders who were thought to be of divine origin. The Third Dynasty of Ur was one such example covering an area of four square miles, considered significant during those times. The rulers of the Third Dynasty of Ur referred to themselves as “King of Sumer and Akkad”. During the rule of Gudea , the governor of Lagash, Lagash annexed both Susa and Elam.The name for Gudea’s god Anu is indicative of Black presence in this region. The very foundation on which the Third Dynasty of Ur had been laid was suggestive of its downfall. Firstly, it consisted of a large number of states woven loosely together without a hint of centralization.
Secondly, the agricultural productivity of the land had been depleted thanks to years of ravaging the soil. Finally, the spread of Indo-European and Semitic people challenged the very existence of Sumer creating havoc and famine in the Southern city states.These reasons eventually led to the downfall of the Sumerian Blackheads who had laid the foundation for every near east civilization and gradually they disappeared from history. Elam, in many ways similar to Sumer, was the first cultural highpoint in Iran. Numerous scholars such as Elliot Smith point out the similarities between the cultures of early Elam and the Nile Valley such as the use of arrowheads, polished stone implements, pressure flaking, mace heads, scripts, pottery forms, stone vases, female figurines, art motifs, and metal mirrors.As was the case with the women of the Nile valley and women of early black societies in general, the women of Elam were held in high esteem both as humans and as well as goddesses. The common people of Elam worshipped a form of mother goddess named Kirisha.
Historical evidence from this region suggests a matrilineal character of royal succession. The wars with the Assyrians marked the end of Elam. The Assyrian armies were invincible with iron weapons, spearmen, horsemen, and heavy chariots. Under the rule of Ashurbanipal the Assyrians reached destructive heights conquering parts of Egypt and the great Phoenician city of Tyre.
Next, the Assyrians turned their attention towards Elam. The Assyrians directed and channeled all their resources towards the Elam war so much so that they lost Egypt in the process. After stiff resistance Susa fell to the Assyrians.
In spite of their numbers were severely depleted the Blacks of Elam remained a critical regional factor. During the same period, Southern Baluchistan which included parts of eastern Iran and western Pakistan was known as Gedrosia- “the country of the dark folk”. Massey describes the dark population of Baskakird and Sarhad as anthropologically similar to the Bisharis of the Egyptian Sudanese border region.The Arabian Peninsula similar to large parts of Asia was initially populated by Black people. Their descendants can be found in present day in Southern parts of the Peninsula.
These black people are classified as Veddoids by anthropologists and form large parts of the regions Africoid Mahra population. Their hair varies from wavy to curly and their skin complexion from light to dark brown. The Sabean culture comprised of a cultural synthesis between the east African settlers, and the nomadic people from the northern and central parts of the peninsula.The Sabean were named so after their capital Saba and were the most historic dwellers of pre-Islamic Arabia. We first hear of the Sabeans through the exploits of the queen known as Biqlis in the Koran, Makeda in Kebra Negast, and the Biblical Queen of Sheba. Each of these documents paints a picture of a well developed state with the women folk enjoying high social status. As the Arabians domesticated the camel trade of frankincense and myrrh flourished. Southern Arabia was geographically strategically located as an intermediary between the East and West.
The stepping stones of the Marib Dam were also laid during this time period when two mukarribs, Sumuhu’alay Yanaf and Yithi’amara Bayyim cut watercourses through the rock. The Marib Dam was considered the greatest technical achievement by Saba and served the region for numerous years. At some point during this period the African kingdom of Axum emerged as a synthesis of Ethiopian and South Arabian cultures. The earliest Ethiopian alphabet is of a South Arabian type and the Axumite script is an offshoot of the Saben script.During the same period there was a power struggle between Saba and Qataban. With the rise of Axum, Africans took a step forward in Ethiopian-South Arabian relations. Christianity started to spread in Arabia during this time period proven by the attendance of six Arabian bishops at the historic council of Nicea.
Christianity was to have a major part to play pre-Islamic Arabia. The reemergence of Sabean power under Malikkarib Yuhad’in, saw the influx of Jewish migrants leading to contentious relations between the Christians and the Jews.In 524 a coalition comprising of Eastern Roman Empire, South Arabian Christian refugees, and the kingdom of Axum succeeded in overthrowing the South Arabian King. Prior to the spread of Islam in South Arabia it was the Christians and Jews that dominated the scene. However, South Arabia did possess the sacred Kaaba sanctuary, with its black stone at Mecca.
The Kaaba was considered a holy place long before Mohammad. It was in these conditions that Muhammad, the force that would bring the whole of Arabia into one religious entity, was born.The people of Africa and Black people played a critical part in nurturing the fledgling Islamic religion. Black Bilal played such a crucial role in the development of Islam that he is often referred to as the Third in the Faith. Many of the initial converts to Islam were in fact Africans and many of the other converts fled to Ethiopia thanks to stiff opposition from the Arabians. According to historian Uthman Amr Ibn Bahr Al-Jahiz prophet Mohammad was of African lineage.
Black presence was found not only is Sumer, Elam, and Arabia but many parts of early West Asia.A case in point would be the Black role as the first Asian Hominid, the first modern human population. The Phoenician city states, Sumer, Elam and the home of the Biblical prophet Daniel, all have its roots in Africa’s Nile Valley. Some of the most arresting inferences with respect to the place of the Black race in the formation of early civilization were made during this time.
Godfrey Higgins documented a pervading Black presence upon Asia’s major civilizations. He makes numerous references to a Black Buddha, the Black god Krishna, and the Black Memnon.