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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #11

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Re: The Ethnicity of Sumerians?


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Originally Posted by zwolf1215 View Post
I would guess that they are Semite. I find it hard to believe that they were from the far east, white or African.
Semites originate in the near east.

Why?
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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #12

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Re: The Ethnicity of Sumerians?


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Mesopotamian?
There's no ethnicity such as Mesopotamian.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #13

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Re: The Ethnicity of Sumerians?


Two historians I know - Samuel Kramer and Muazzez Ilmiye ig- have/had published very detailed books about them and I roughly read most of them; I'd prefer Samuel Kramer though as Muazzez -she is Turkish-fails to write elegantly.

Samuel Kramer, in his book The Sumerians: Their History, Culture and Character, hints the probability of a 'Turkic' or 'Altaic' connection while Muazzez openly claims they ARE Central Asian originated (at least)!

But I must say it is absolutely wrong to claim they are Semite or Drawidian. Most of the historians and linguists derive this from linguistical traits of Sumerian. Linguistically, Sumerian and Turkic are -to some extent- close and the pantheon and the names of Gods seem very connected such as Dingir (God in Sumerian) and Tengri-ir (God in Turkic languages) etc...

If you are really curious about Sumerians - I think it is great- you should read Samuel. I have these books in my library and they are very resourceful indeed:

* Sumerian Mythology: Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C

*
History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine "Firsts" in Recorded History


Cheers.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:17 PM   #14

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Re: The Ethnicity of Sumerians?


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Originally Posted by Satuf View Post
Semites originate in the near east.

Why?
I based my assumption off of the looks of the ancient Sumerian people and obviously their location. They defiantly don't look Far eastern(Chinese, Japanese) or Sub-Sahara African at all. Mesopotamia is in the heart of Iraq therefore they have to be related with the ethnic group of the area.

They could be in the Caucasian racial family. Middle eastern and Europeans share similar looks. I am not to familiar with the exact definition of what a Semite is. I always thought it was someone of Middle Eastern Origin that can't be classified as a white European. As I said Europeans and Middle Easterns do look similar, but not exactly the same. Actually a good example of this would be your avatar. That guy looks middle eastern, but has Caucasian features.

I guess that means I would give the Ancient Sumerians a European/Middle Eastern ethnicity and put them in the Caucasian race.

I hope you can understand that. I am not the best at explaining myself.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 07:29 PM   #15
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Linguistics to English


OK - im not saying they're English but with only a brief look at a Sumerian dictionary i see the following linguistic links. I'm not sure how they link languages as I have always noticed similar words in Sanskrit and Greek and even French, I see other similar links in Sumerian. Do they call it an isolate because it has no derivation or is it political side stepping because of the dark history around Aryan ancestry?

The Sumerian language is certainly linked to PIE, maybe Afro-Asiatic also, I only speak English so can't check.

a dug
a dug [IRRIGATE] wr. a dug4 "to irrigate (from canal water)" Akk. aq a eqli

adadda
adadda [GRANDFATHER] wr. ad-ad-da "grandfather" Akk. abi abi

adam
adam [HABITATION] wr. a2-dam "habitation" Akk. nam

adda
adda [CORPSE] wr. adda; adda2; adx(|LU2@sBAD|); adx(|BAD.LU2|); adx(|LU2GAM|); adx(|LU2@s|); a-daaddax(|LU2@g.U2|) "corpse; wreck (of a boat)" Akk. pagru; alamtu
adda [FATHER] wr. ad-da; ad "father" Akk. abu

a'eĝir
a'eĝir [WEIR] wr. a-eĝir; a-egir4 "a weir or dam"

ak
ak [DO] wr. ak; a "to do; to make; to act, perform; to proceed, proceeding (math.)" Akk. epēu

alala
alala [EXPRESSION] wr. e-la-lu; a-la-la "soothing expression"

name
name [SOMEBODY] wr. na-me "somebody" Akk. mamma

tag
tag [TOUCH] wr. tag "to touch, take hold of; to bind; to attack" Akk. lapātu; rakāsu

kingal
kingal [OFFICIAL] wr. kingal; kin-gal "grandee; crown authority over land, labor recruiter" Akk. mu'erru; rab

he
he [BE] wr. he2; he2-a "be it, be he"
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:47 AM   #16

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zwolf1215 View Post
They could be in the Caucasian racial family. Middle eastern and Europeans share similar looks. I am not to familiar with the exact definition of what a Semite is. I always thought it was someone of Middle Eastern Origin that can't be classified as a white European. As I said Europeans and Middle Easterns do look similar, but not exactly the same. Actually a good example of this would be your avatar. That guy looks middle eastern, but has Caucasian features.
Semite is a speaker of a Semitic language. The Sumerian language was not Semitic.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #17

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There Dzhakfar Tarihi Paper, which outlines three waves of migration of peoples from north to south.
These peoples inhabited a vast territory from the Apennines to the Ural mountains. The first wave coincided with the beginning of the Sumerian kingdom.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #18

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I read an old legend of Sumer according to which they had descended from the mountains to cultivate grain in the plains.

That's exactly my hypothesis, they belonged to the very first farmers of the Zagros mountains, and if related to someone, to Hurrians and Caucasian people. The linguistic evidence is too weak, though i think that the mountainer colonization is plausible.

Sumerians weren't semites, they are too far linguistically. All the facts point to Semites as desert people that lived closely with the sedentary sumerian civilization, although it seem that Semites were living into Sumer since earlier than previously thought.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 01:37 AM   #19

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Everybody has a different idea, but I prefer indigenous Mesopotamian. The connection to the Altaic languages which would be in far north eastern reaches of Siberia is highly doubtful, because technologies for such a huge undertaking were not present back then (Maybe 10,000-7,000 years ago?). I would say a relationship to Caucasian languages is more plausible.

Besides, comparative linguistics can at best make statements about periods of 7-6,000 years, whereas in the case of Sumerians they were there from at least 12-10,000 years ago (Maybe already far from their closest relatives by 3-2,000 years or more), and their language was not documented up until 5,500 years ago. Altaic was first documented less than a thousand years ago, Indo-European 3000 years ago, Afro-Asiatic 5,500 years ago. This 10,000 or more years is a huge gap in comparative linguistics and truly demands lots of courage for anybody to even try proving anything based on these evidence.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #20

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Quote:
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Semite is a speaker of a Semitic language. The Sumerian language was not Semitic.
Gotcha, however I think the Semite speakers of the middle east were the same ethnicity as the Sumerians.
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