1. The Ancient Orient

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BEFORE 2000 B.C.


1. A thousand years before Abraham, civilization was old in the Orient. The Hebrews were latecomers.

2. 6000 B.C.—Jericho—before the age of pottery—was a thriving city. They domesticated animals, had cereal crops, and elaborate irrigation. This was almost 5,000 years before Abraham.

3. A thousand years later—in the next level—pottery appears. Agriculture and craft specialization are discovered.

4. By 4000 B.C. colored decorative pottery appears, with human and geometric figures. This pottery is found from the lake of Van- south to Kirkuk.

5. The first city-states appear. We do not know what language they spoke— there was no writing.

6. The diggers are, of course, bothered by the mystery of the Sumerians. See Urantia Book, (875.5) 78:8.1

7. They find pottery wheels and the ovens for firing the pottery.

8. About 3300 B.C. the first writing is discovered. So far, we are unable to read these writings (probably Sumerian).

9. Aside from the Urantia Book, the Sumerians remain the great mystery of all history.

10. During those times Egypt also enjoyed an advanced culture.

11. During those times successive waves of “Semites” went forth from Mesopotamia to the north and west.

NOTE: The story of the Andite expansion found in the Urantia Book, (889.1) 80:0.1


1. Ur was the cultural center of Mesopotamia.

2. The theocratic city-states were the final stage of Sumerian culture.

3. At this time, the Sumerians were polytheistic—each city-state had its own god.

4. The early Semites of Mesopotamia were the Accadians. They adopted Sumerian culture but kept their own Semitic language.

5. The empire of Accad (2360-2180) was the first real empire. The founder was Sargon of Kish.

6. The state-center moved from the temple of the god to the palace of the king.

7. Egypt prospered. The old kingdom Pharaohs built the pyramids and other hewn-stone (the oldest) buildings.

8. Egypt invented hieroglyphic writing. Religion had many ups and downs.

9. Culture in Palestine was far below that of the Nile and Euphrates. Nevertheless, there were prosperous cities at Jericho, Megiddo, Beth-shan, Ai, Shechem, Gezer, and Lachish.

10. The Canaanites spoke their own language, of which the later Hebrew was a dialect.

11. The Guti overthrew the Accad Empire and a brief “dark age” resulted.

12. Utu-hegal, king of Erech, destroyed the Guti and established the dynasty of Ur (2060-1950). Again Sumerian culture flourishes.

13. But this was the last of Sumerian culture, rule, and language.

14. About this time the Amorite invasion of Palestine began. Many cities destroyed.

15. The Mari empire was next to rule Mesopotamia. There was a long “balance of power” between Mari, Assyria, and Egypt.

16. Numerous groups of Semites infiltrated Palestine during these times.

17. Egypt declined in power and plunged into the “dark ages.”

18. Babylon, under Hammurabi, took over. But the Elamites, Assyria, and the Mari were yet to be conquered.

19. Mari (1750-1697) became the ruler of upper Mesopotamia. (Confirmed by recent excavations, yielding thousands of tablets.)

20. The Mari had horse-drawn chariots and the battering-ram. A palace with 250 rooms has been uncovered—one of the wonders of the ancient world.

21. But all this was overthrown by Hammurabi—Babylon took over the empire.

22. Mari was completely destroyed and the god Marduk took over in the new empire.

23. The Hyksos—origin unknown—took over in Egypt. Confusion reigned—a dark age was coining on.

24. The Hittite rule is to come later. But now it is time to go back and pick up the story of Israel during the times of the Patriarchs.

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