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2600BCE

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§Central America

§Modern Belize

Radiocarbon dating show the Mayan living in Cuello, Belize about this time.

§Yucatán

The Maya originated in the Yucatán about this time.

§Europe

§Britain

Archaeological excavation has indicated that around 2600 BC, the builders abandoned timber in favour of stone and dug two concentric arrays of holes (the Q and R Holes) in the centre of the site. These stone sockets are only partly known (hence on present evidence are sometimes described as forming ‘crescents’); however, they could be the remains of a double ring. Again, there is little firm dating evidence for this phase. The holes held up to 80 standing stones (shown blue on the plan), only 43 of which can be traced today. The bluestones (some of which are made of dolerite, an igneous rock), were thought for much of the 20th century to have been transported by humans from the Preseli Hills, 150 miles (240 km) away in modern-day Pembrokeshire in Wales. Another theory that has recently gained support is that they were brought much nearer to the site as glacial erratics by the Irish Sea Glacier.[17] Other standing stones may well have been small sarsens, used later as lintels. The stones, which weighed about four tons, consisted mostly of spotted Ordovician dolerite but included examples of rhyolite, tuff and volcanic and calcareous ash; in total around 20 different rock types are represented. Each monolith measures around 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height, between 1 m and 1.5 m (3.3–4.9 ft) wide and around 0.8 metres (2.6 ft) thick. What was to become known as the Altar Stone (1), is almost certainly derived from either Carmarthenshire or the Brecon Beacons and may have stood as a single large monolith.

The north-eastern entrance was widened at this time, with the result that it precisely matched the direction of the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset of the period. This phase of the monument was abandoned unfinished, however; the small standing stones were apparently removed and the Q and R holes purposefully backfilled. Even so, the monument appears to have eclipsed the site at Avebury in importance towards the end of this phase.

The Heelstone (5), a Tertiary sandstone, may also have been erected outside the north-eastern entrance during this period. It cannot be accurately dated and may have been installed at any time during phase 3. At first it was accompanied by a second stone, which is no longer visible. Two, or possibly three, large portal stones were set up just inside the north-eastern entrance, of which only one, the fallen Slaughter Stone (4), 4.9 metres (16 ft) long, now remains. Other features, loosely dated to phase 3, include the four Station Stones (6), two of which stood atop mounds (2 and 3). The mounds are known as "barrows" although they do not contain burials. Stonehenge Avenue, (10), a parallel pair of ditches and banks leading 2 miles (3.2 km) to the River Avon, was also added. Two ditches similar to Heelstone Ditch circling the Heelstone (which was by then reduced to a single monolith) were later dug around the Station Stones.

§Greece

The beginning of the Bronze Age in Crete, around 2600 BCE, was a period of great unrest, and also marks the beginning of Crete as an important center of civilization.

The small island of Keria (now Keros) had advanced metal and plumbing. It was once a member of the Athenian Alliance. It was a sacred center where people brought broken statuary. The reason is as of yet unknown. Great marble structures were built from rock quarried on other islands. It was home to the cycladic culture. The town of Keros was built on a spit of land that connected it to the adjacent island, Daskalio. That land is now submerged.

§India

Indus-Sarasvati civilization reaches a height it sustains until 1700 bce. Spreading from Pakistan to Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, it is the largest of the world's three oldest civilizations with links to Mesopotamia (possibly Crete), Afghanisthan, Central Asia and Karnataka. Harappa and Mohenjo-daro have populations of 100,000.

Major portions of the Veda hymns are composed during the reign of Vishvamitra I (Dating by Dr. S.B. Roy).

Drying up of Drishadvati River of Vedic fame, along with possible shifting of the Yamuna to flow into the Ganga.

§Northwestern India and modern Pakistan

This period marked the beginning of the Harappan 3A (Nausharo II) phase of the Indus Valley Civilization and continued until about 2450 BCE. The two greatest cities, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, emerged circa 2600 BCE along the Indus River valley in Punjab and Sindh. Harappa flourished until around 1700 BCE.

Mohenjo-daro was built around 2600 BCE and abandoned around 1500 BCE. It was about this time that the Great Bath of Mohenjo Daro was constructed.

§Middle East

§Egypt

Sixth Dynasty in Egypt ends the ancient Egyptian Empire. Pepy II reigns 94 years, longest reign in history.

or Snefru is the pharoah until 2589 BCE.

§Mesopotamia

Epic of Gilgamesh Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates at least to 2,600 BCE, Gilgamesh braves lions, scorpion-men, and giants to find the source of eternal life. He finally does, in the shape of a thorny plant that grows at the bottom of the sea, but it’s stolen from him by a serpent before he gets a chance to use it.

Ur Ur was thriving during this period. Ur by this time was considered sacred to the god called Nanna (Sumerian) or Sin (Akkadian).

He is commonly designated as En-zu, or "lord of wisdom." During the period (c.2600-2400 BCE) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon. It is to this period that we must trace such designations of Sin as "father of the gods", "chief of the gods", "creator of all things", and the like. The "wisdom" personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astrology, in which the observation of the moon's phases is an important factor.

His wife was Ningal ("Great Lady"), who bore him Utu/Shamash ("Sun") and Inanna/Ishtar (the planet Venus). The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin/Nanna and his children.

Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, "Bull of Heaven", along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand). On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol. In the astral-theological system he is represented by the number 30 and the moon. This number probably refers to the average number of days (correctly around 29.53) in a lunar month, as measured between successive new moons.

§Sumeria

The end of the reign of Enmerkar succeeded by Lugalbanda. These could be mythological names. Of importance is the clay tablet containing the story that bears some similarity to the Biblical Tower of Babel Story.

Enmerkar, according to the Sumerian king list, was the builder of Uruk in Sumer, and was said to have reigned for "420 years" (or 900 as some copies).

The king list adds that he brought the official kingship with him from the city of E-ana, after his father Mesh-ki-ang-gasher, son of Utu, had "entered the sea and disappeared."

Enmerkar is also known from a few other Sumerian legends, most notably Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, where a previous confusion of the languages of mankind is mentioned. Here, he himself is called 'the son of Utu' (Utu was the Sumerian Sun god). In addition to founding Uruk, he is said here to have had a temple built at Eridu, and is even credited with the invention of writing on clay tablets for purposes of threatening Aratta into submission.

David Rohl has claimed parallels between Enmerkar, founder of Uruk, and Nimrod the Hunter, founder of Erech (the Biblical name for Uruk) according to Genesis 10, and builder of the Tower of Babel in post-Biblical legends. Rohl has even suggested that Eridu near Ur was the original site of Babel, and that the incomplete ziggurat found there, by far the oldest and largest of its kind, are none other than the ruins of the Biblical tower.

According to the Sumerian king list, Lugalbanda was the third king of Uruk and father of Gilgamesh, the legendary king of that ancient city. Legend has it that his wife was Ninsun, a goddess.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, not only did Lugalbanda procreate with the goddess Ninsun to give birth to Gilgamesh, but in the sixth tablet, it states that "he (Gilgamesh) gave as ointment to his god Lugalbanda", deifying him.

Thanks to archaeology, we have two epic texts featuring Lugalbanda as the main character, called by scholars Lugalbanda I (or Lugalbanda in Mountain Cave) and Lugalbanda II.

Neither of these epic texts speaks of Lugalbanda as a king, but we can read about him in the midst of his military and political career — that, as we can gather from other texts, brought him, several years later, to be chosen as Enmerkar's successor to Uruk's throne.

Also in neither poem is there mentioned any battle where Lugalbanda is directly involved, although he is apparently one of the generals of Enmerkar's army.

Dumuzid (= "true/right child/son" in Sumerian), "the Fisherman", originally from Kuara in Sumer, was the 3rd king in the 1st Dynasty of Uruk and Gilgamesh's predecessor, according to the Sumerian king list.

Gilgamesh was the son of Lugalbanda and the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), ruling circa 2600 BC, according to the Sumerian king list. He became the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the best known works of early literature, which says that his mother was Ninsun (whom some call Rimat Ninsun), a goddess. Gilgamesh is described as two-thirds god and one-third human.

According to the Tummal Inscription, Gilgamesh, and eventually his son Urlugal, rebuilt the sanctuary of the goddess Ninlil, located in Tummal, a sacred quarter in her city Nippur. In Mesopotamian mythology, Gilgamesh is credited with having been a demigod of superhuman strength who built a great city wall to defend his people from external threats.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is credited with the building of the legendary walls of Uruk. An alternative version has Gilgamesh, towards the end of the story, boasting to Urshanabi, the ferryman, that the city's walls were built by the Seven Sages. In historical times, Sargon of Akkad claimed to have destroyed these walls to prove his military power.

Fragments of an epic text found in Me-Turan (modern Tell Haddad) relate that Gilgamesh was buried under the waters of a river at the end of his life. The people of Uruk diverted the flow of the Euphrates River crossing Uruk for the purpose of burying the dead king within the riverbed. In April 2003, a German expedition discovered what is thought to be the entire city of Uruk—including the former bed of the Euphrates, the last resting place of its King Gilgamesh.

Despite the lack of direct evidence, most scholars do not object to consideration of Gilgamesh as a historical figure, particularly after inscriptions were found confirming the historical existence of other figures associated with him: kings Enmebaragesi and Aga of Kish. If Gilgamesh was a historical king, he probably reigned in about the 26th century BC. Some of the earliest Sumerian texts spell his name as Bilgames. Initial difficulties in reading cuneiform resulted in Gilgamesh making his re-entrance into world culture in 1891 as "Izdubar"

The city of Assur was founded about this time, later becoming the capital of Assyria during that period. The first Assyrian temple was built about 2030 BCE.

§Scandinavia

§Denmark

Porsmose Man, a bog body dated to this period. This skeletonized bog body was that of a 35–40 year old man that was found in 1946. The skeleton is most famous for the arrow head which pierced the man's nose, but he was not killed by this wound; but rather by an arrow that pierced his aorta. The arrows are presumed to have been fired from a close distance and from above.

§Sources

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