Thursday, January 29, 2015

Genesis on Human Origins

The book of Genesis is the most helpful written source of information about human origins. The first 12 chapters provide significant information that can be used in anthropological study of the first humans, the earliest human communities, the development of settlements, early technologies, the origins of the priesthood, circumcision, animal sacrifice, the dispersion of archaic peoples, and the development of languages. The focus of this article is human origins. The next in the series looks at what Genesis tells us about Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors. The last in the series addresses the movement of archaic populations out of Africa to regions as distant as Northern Japan and Scotland.

To understand what Genesis tells us about human origins we must set aside preconceptions that cause us to filter out essential information. We must allow Genesis to speak for itself without imposing our beliefs on the text.

There is no conflict between the data of Genesis 1-12 and the concrete findings of science. Genesis provides an accurate and reliable picture of human origins, as we will see in this series on scientific verification of the Genesis data.

The First Humans

Humans appeared suddenly and unheralded upon the Earth about 4 million years ago. These humans, though anatomically archaic, were fully human. This aligns with the Genesis explanation. After the Earth had cooled and vegetation covered the ground, after the environment was safe for humans, that is when they appear (Gen. 1:27). Further, Genesis states that humans were a special act of creation, not the result of a long process of evolution from a primitive common ancestor. That assertion has the support of science also. The common ancestry theory has never been proven. It is impossible to prove something that is not true. The theory of humans and apes having a common ancestor is not indicated by the genome research. See “Study Reports a Whopping ‘23% of Our Genome’ Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny,” Evolution News, June 3, 2011.

The oldest Homo fossils exhibit all the physical traits of humans. They walked upright, had opposing thumbs, short fingers, human ankle bones, and human dentition. In humans, the back teeth are larger than the front teeth (not so with apes), and the canines are not pointed. Humans also lack the characteristic diastema, or tooth gap, found in apes.

These archaic populations were fully human, as evidenced by their anatomical structure, the presence of tools, controlled fire, and evidence of hunting and butchering. The archaic brain cavities were small compared to modern humans, though proportional to the smaller bodies. Further, brain size does not indicate lack of complexity of thought.

The earliest fossils that scientists agree to be fully human date to about 160,000 years and were found in desert sands near the Ethiopian village of Herto in 1997. These fossils show a range of anatomical features yet all the features are found among humans today. The nearly complete skulls of people who lived 160,000 years ago are, in the words of the American paleontologist Tim White, “like modern-day humans in almost every feature.”

Recent discoveries in Dikika, near Gona and Bouri, Ethiopia indicate that they shared food, and used flints to scrap, saw and chop. Two fossilized bones have been found that appear to be marked by stone tools. On the basis of low-power microscopic and environmental scanning electron microscope observations, these bones show unambiguous stone-tool cut marks for flesh removal and to access bone marrow.

Lucy's skeleton

When Jeremy DeSilva, a British anthropologist, compared the ankle joint, the tibia and the talus fossils of human ancestors ("hominins") between 4.12 million to 1.53 million years old, he discovered that all of the ankle joints resembled those of modern humans rather than those of apes. Chimpanzees flex their ankles 45 degrees from normal resting position. This makes it possible for apes to climb trees with great ease. While walking, humans flex their ankles a maximum of 20 degrees. The human ankle bones are quite distinct from those of apes. (Read DeSilva’s research here.)

A recent discovery of a complete fourth metatarsal of A. afarensis at Hadar that shows the deep, flat base and tarsal facets that "imply that its midfoot had no ape-like midtarsal break. These features show that the A. afarensis foot was functionally like that of modern humans." (Carol Ward, William H. Kimbel, Donald C. Johanson, Feb. 2011) From here.

Some of the earliest evidence of controlled use of fire by humans was found at Swartkrans in South Africa. Other sites that indicate fire use include Chesowanja near Lake Baringo, Koobi Fora, and Olorgesailie in Kenya.

Mary Leakey’s 1979 discoveries in Tanzania added to the evidence that humans walked the earth about over 3 million years ago. At Laetoli, about 25 miles south of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Leakey discovered footprints of a man, woman and child created about 3.6 million years ago and preserved under falling ash from the nearby Sadiman volcano. The raised arch and rounded heel of the footprints showed that whoever left these footprints walked as humans today.

Early human footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania date to 3 million years.

Some of the Australopithecine fossils dating between 2.4 million and 700,000 years are recognized by scientists as early human fossils. Mary Leakey considered her Tanzania finds to be Homo, that is, human, and not ape.

Other archaic humans lived in Africa near Lake Chad, Lake Turkana, Lake Baringo, and in Southern Africa. Paleoanthropologist John Hawks has written (here) about the Lake Turkana-Omo region:

"Ancient people were using this area throughout, leaving stone artifacts. It is amazing walking along the exposures, noting the stones that are the marks of ancient human activity. These early modern humans were making fundamentally the same kinds of artifacts that we find across western Eurasia, made by the earliest Neandertals, and across most of the African continent at the same time. There were regional differences in the pattern of toolmaking, but there was a broad technological commonality. This was the cultural background of our ancestors."

These archaic humans used polished bone tools, butchered animals for food, and controlled fire. Some of the earliest evidence of controlled use of fire by humans was found at Swartkrans. Other sites that indicate fire use include Chesowanja near Lake Baringo, Koobi Fora, and Olorgesailie in Kenya.

Using bones found at Pinnacle Point Cave in South Africa, archaeologist Corey O’Driscoll identified projectile impact marks which are between 91,000 and 98,000 years old, the oldest direct evidence for the use of projectile weapons.

Pinnacle Point cave

Human occupation of Pinnacle Point began about 162,000 years ago. The oldest level reveals a fairly sophisticated stone technology in which silcrete stone was heat-treated. Silcrete is a fine-grained stone brought from the South African coast. This is the oldest known example of such technology.

Large pieces of red ochre have been found at Pinnacle Point and at other sites in southern Africa. The pieces were either ground or scraped to produce a pigment for painting the body and for use in burials. The burial of rulers in red ochre was a universal practice among Late Stone Age peoples ( c. 100,000 to 20,000 years ago.)

This was also a period of human expansion. Humans moved along the major water systems of the ancient world. That world was also a wetter world in Africa and the ancient Near East. Human populations had spread out of Africa to virtually every continent. During this time the heads of clans were buried in red ochre powder, a symbol of blood, by which they expressed hope in life after death. Perhaps the oldest case (at least 50,000 years ago) involves the burial of a small boy in the Lebombo Mountains of Southern Africa. He was buried with a sea-shell pendant and covered in red ochre dust (ground hematite).

A man buried 45,000 years ago at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southern France was packed in red ochre. The Fox Lady of Doini Vestonice in Czechoslovakia was covered in red ochre at her burial 23,000 years ago. The Red Lady of Paviland in Wales was buried in red ochre about 20,000 years ago. Her skeletal remains and burial artifacts are encrusted with the red ochre. Another 20,000 year old burial site in Bavaria reveals a thirty-year-old man entirely surrounded by a pile of mammoth tusks and nearly submerged in a mass of red ochre.

Between 100,000-12,000 years ago a genetic and linguistic distance began to grow between two main groups: African and Asian. Genesis 11:1 speaks of a time when "the whole world had one language and a common speech" and this describes how the two groups were once so closely related that we can speak of a common cultural underpinning that expressed itself in the Afro-Asiatic Dominion.

Haplogroup N mitochondrial DNA 

The classification of fossils as ape or human has been revised several times because the criterion of classification of human and ape has not been consistently applied. Some scientists interpret evidence through their preconceptions and try to force the data to fit their interpretation of human origins. There is also a great temptation to publish research that might gain them funding to continue their work and the funding comes mainly from organizations and institutions that favor evolutionary theory.

The evidence indicates that humans have been on the surface of the earth for millions of years and that a range of physical features from population to population has been the norm. Population specific features were likely enhanced because archaic people practiced endogamy (marriage within the clan). From 3 million years to the present, physical changes in humans have not been very great. From the beginning, humans were fully human, the result of a special creative act of the Creator. The essence of the human being has remained unchanged from that initial act. There is no reason to abandon this belief since the widespread theory of evolutionary branching of ape and human from a common ancestor is not supported by the data.

Related reading: Adam Was a Red Man; Millions of Years Between Genesis 4:1 and Genesis 4:17; The Dispersal of Archaic Humans; Mining Blood; Facts About Human Origins; Biblical Anthropology and the Question of Common Ancestry; A Scientific Timeline of Genesis

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Shrine City of Nekhen

Tomb painting at Nekhen

Alice C. Linsley

Attention to the data in Genesis 4-12 reveals a movement of Nilo-Saharan peoples out of Africa over a long period of time. These were cattle-herding peoples whose religious imagery was rich in solar and cattle symbolism. Red cattle were especially sacred to them. Abraham is a descendant of the rulers of these people.

The oldest known temple (c. 5000 BC) to have association with Abraham's ancestors is the predynastic temple at Nekhen. The temple was located on the Nile, making it easier for temple officials to weigh and measure goods and assess tolls on the vessels that docked there.

The temple consisted of a large oval courtyard surrounded by a mud-plastered reed fence. The courtyard was paved with multiple layers of compressed mud. This temple closely resembles shrines depicted on seals from the First Dynasty.

A later temple (c.3500 BC) was built within the precincts of the city. The earliest phase of this temple was a circular stone wall surrounding a large mound of sand supported by limestone blocks on which there may have been an Early Dynasty shrine. A number of limestone fragments, likely the footings for large pillars, were found within the stone enclosure wall. The central shrine consisted of three rooms and four 20-foot high wood pillars. Animals, including cattle, goats, fish and crocodiles, were sacrificed in the oval courtyard.

By this time, Nekhen had a population estimated at 10,000 inhabitants and was the most important settlement along the Nile. The city stretched for over two miles along the edge of the floodplain and was an important shrine city and commercial center. There were stone masons, weavers, potters, and beer brewers. Metal workers crafted sacred objects of gold and copper. The earliest preserved house in Egypt, c.3600 BC. was the house of a potter. It was preserved when he accidentally burned it down while firing a load of pots.

Narmer Palette

Many artifacts of great importance have been found at Nekhen. These include funeral masks, statues, jewelry, beer vats, large flint knives, and the pillared halls characteristic of later Egyptian monuments and temples. Nekhen is where the oldest life-sized human statue was found: a priest from the temple of Horus, c.3000 BC.

In 1898 J.E. Quibell and F.W. Green found the macehead of Scorpion and the macehead and palette of Narmer at the main deposit of the temple of Horus. Also found at Nekhen were a seated red pottery lion and the great gold plumed falcon representing Horus, the son of Ra. Nekhen was named for Horus of the Falcon: Nekheny.

A 36-foot high funerary (c.2700 B.C.) enclosure of King Khasekhemwy, the father of the first pyramid builder, Djoser, is the oldest freestanding mud brick structure in the world,

Votive offerings at the Nekhen temple were ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine.

Horite priests placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose. In the morning the priests faced the eastern horizon to greet the rising sun, the emblem of Ra and his son Horus. Prayers were offered at dawn and dusk. The Chief Inspector of the Horite priests of Nekhen was Horemkhawef. His tomb has been identified.

Nekhen's sister city was Elkab (Nekheb), on the opposite side of the river. The tomb of Horemkhawef in Nekhen and the tomb of Sobeknakht in Elkab were painted by the same artist. Further, Hormose, the chief priest of Nekhen, was able to request material goods from the temple at Elkab for use at the temple at Nekhen.

One of the more intriguing discoveries at Nekhen was the recovery of an almost complete beard in association with the redheaded man in Burial no. 79. The facial hair of the man in Burial no. 79 had been trimmed with a sharp blade. The presence of long wavy natural red hair and a full beard suggests that this individual may have been Ainu (Annu). The Ainu were among Abraham's ancestors, and although they were already widely dispersed by Abraham's time, the Nile Valley appears to be their point of origin. The Annu built the original shrine of Heliopolis which is called "Onn" in Genesis 41. Joseph married the daughter of the high priest on Onn. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Priesthood in Anthropological Perspective

Alice C. Linsley

St. Basil the Great
I have written a great deal about the origin and nature of the priesthood.  I have also posted a number of articles and essays on the topic written by other people.

Here are some of those articles:

Priestesses in the Church by C.S. Lewis
The Priesthood in England - Part 1
The Priesthood in England - Part 2
The Priesthood in England - Part 3
The Priesthood in England - Conclusion
What is a Priest?
What is the Priesthood?
The Priesthood and Genesis
Ruler-Priests of Genesis
Luther Was Wrong About the Priesthood
More Thoughts on the Priesthood
Rethinking "Biblical Equality"
Why Women Were Never Priests
What's Lost When Women Serve as Priests?
Women Priests and the Anglican Church of North America
Women Priests by E.L. Mascall
Peter Moore on Women Priests

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ainu Anglican Bishop

The Rt. Rev. Paul Saneaki Nakamura 

One of the last living Japanese naval aviators, the former Anglican Bishop of Okinawa, the Rt. Rev. Paul Saneaki Nakamura spoke to members of the U.S. Marine Corps last month recounting his training as a kamikaze pilot in the closing months of the Second World War and of his subsequent conversion to Christianity. Read the report here.

Notice the Bishop's red skin tone and his Ainu facial structure: broad forehead, thick brows, wider nose; high, flat cheek bone structure. Click on the "relating reading" below to see other photos of Ainu men.

There were Ainu among Abraham's ancestors, so in a way, this man coming to Messiah represents closing a big loop.

The Ainu were known to be mighty warriors and their rulers were among the "mighty men of old" mentioned in Genesis.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Binary Sets and Gender Distinctions

Alice C. Linsley

The ancient biblical writers saw a binary pattern in the order of creation. Binary refers to perceived sets of opposites like dark-light; male-female; Creator-creature; life-death, etc. Not everything that we regard as opposites represents a binary set in the Biblical sense, however. Tall-short; hot-cold are relative to the person judging. At 5 feet 5 inches, I would be considered short by a Watusi warrior, but a Pygmy would consider me to be tall.

The difference between the binary view and dualism is significant. In dualism the entities in the set are regarded as equal. Think Ying-Yang. However, the biblical writers understood that one entity in the fixed binary set is superior in some way to the other. Males are larger and stronger than females. The Sun is greater than the moon. In Genesis we read that God created two great lights in the heavens: the greater (Sun) to rule the day and the lesser (moon) to rule the night. The superiority of the male and the Sun are not value judgments. These represent empirical observation of a universal pattern. The binary worldview is found throughout the Bible and is especially evident in Genesis. Sometimes the binary distinction is rather subtle and easy to miss. Consider, for example, the binary set of hot and cool encounters with God. Abraham was visited “in the heat of the day” by God in three Persons (Gen. 18:1). The binary opposite is “in the cool of the day”, the time of God’s visitation to Adam and Eve in Paradise (Gen. 3:8). We have encounters with God described as hot and cool. We must always pay attention to such distinctions. In the first God has come to punish Sodom and Gomorrah, and in the second God has come to enjoy fellowship with the Man and the Woman.

Men and women are ontologically equal in that they are both created in the image and likeness of the Creator. Nevertheless, it is universally observed that males are larger and stronger than females and that they naturally perform quite different tasks. The male-female binary set was employed by Paul in his exploration of the nature of the relationship between Christ and his Church. It is like the relationship of the sun and moon. In the ancient world the sun represented the masculine principle and the moon the feminine principle. These gender assignments are evident, for example, in Spanish - el sol and la luna, and in other languages that share a common proto-Afro-Asiatic system of roots. When Genesis 1 describes the sun as the greater light this pertains not only to its size, the strength of its light and the intensity of its heat. The reality is that it is the source of all light and warm. The moon merely reflects the light of the sun (refulgence). This is another way to describe the relationship between Christ and his Church. Paul says that he is exploring a mystery. Christ is the great light and source of life. His people reflect His light and life. Heaven is greater than earth. God is greater than humans. Were it not so, God could not stoop to save us. In emptying Himself (kenosis) Jesus Christ shows Himself to be the greater and the only one able too save. Without the binary view the Gospel would be meaningless. Christ's kenotic act would be senseless.

The study of philosophy tells us that the binary feature of reality allows for greater complexity. The human anatomy, for example, has a bilateral feature which allows for greater range of motion. The human brain has a binary feature - two chambers - which allows for greater complexity of thought. Binary language is the basis of the enormous complexity that has become possible with computers. Binary points us to a greater mystery. It seems to be God's way of inviting us to come closer and discover!

Here are two binary sets that pertain specifically to male-female distinctions: Deborah sitting under her tamar tree. A tamar is a date nut palm and was associated with the female principle. (Many Old Testament women were named Tamar.) The prophet or "moreh" consulted by Abraham sat under an oak. This tree was associated with the male principle.

There are two "passovers" in the Old Testament. The passover associated with Moses involving the lamb's blood streaked on the lintel and door posts. Because of this blood, death passed over these houses. Likewise the scarlet cord hanging from the window of Rahab's house preserved all those within when death came to Jericho. It is interesting that the blood and blood symbol in these two stories: the horizontal streak on the lintel, and the vertical red cord form a cross. The two narratives point us to Christ whose blood brings deliverance.

Trees and Crosses at the Sacred Center

We have a cross also when we consider the location of the two trees. Judges 4:4-6 says that the Palm of Deborah, was between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim (a north-south axis). Genesis 12 that tells us that the Oak of the Moreh was between Bethel and Ai (an east-west axis). The intersection of east-west and north-south provides another image of the cross. The two narratives must be taken together to gain this picture. 

The point of intersection of the north-south axis and the east-west axis was regarded as the sacred center. In the ancient world, sacred centers were often marked by trees. Genesis 2:9 says that the Tree of Life was in the sacred center of the garden. The Church fathers understood this to be an allusion to the cross upon which Christ died to give life to the world. The cross is called a “tree” in Scripture. Deuteronomy 21:22-13 is an example: “If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and you hang him on a tree, you must not leave the body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is a curse of God. You must not defile the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

So Jesus, the Son of God, became a curse for us. He died, was buried on that same day, and rose again on the third day, proving that He is the Righteous Ruler long expected of His faithful Horim (Horite ancestors).

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rethinking "Biblical Equality"

"In his actions in and toward the world of his creation, the one God and Father reveals himself primarily and essentially in a 'masculine' way."-- Fr. Thomas Hopko (Women and the Priesthood, p. 240)

Alice C. Linsley

When people speak of "Biblical equality" I am immediately suspicious of their interpretation of Scripture. Usually, on closer examination, I discover they are proponents of the complementarian doctrine, which imposes dualism on the Scriptures. The complementarian doctrine holds that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, and religious leadership. It is a soft form of the egalitarian doctrine held by feminists. In both views women are granted the role of priest. Neither of these views aligns with Biblical doctrine on gender distinctions. Not a single priest named in Scripture was a woman. Since bishops are taken from the order of priests, we now also have women bishops. Many complementarians accept the ordination of women to the priesthood, but are not comfortable with female bishops since this contradicts their headship principle; yet another clue that their doctrine is full of holes. 

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that is certainly the case with these pictures that serve as additional clues as to the error of the complementarian and egalitarian doctrines.

Writing about "Priestesses in the Church" C. S. Lewis describes such an innovation as a "wanton degree of imprudence." Imprudence was personified in the person of Ann Holmes Redding who served on Sundays as an Episcopal priest at St. Clement's of Rome Episcopal Church in Seattle while also dedicating her life to the study of the Quran with a Muslim group.

Some advocates of women in the priesthood have completely lost their grip on common sense. Susannah Cornwall argues that women can be priests because Jesus was a woman! This is her way of confronting "discrimination against women" which she believes "is based on the tradition of Jesus having chosen only male apostles." Of course, this is not the rationale for the all-male priesthood as it is revealed in the Bible, nor is this view supported historically, theologically, or anthropologically.

None of the apostles were priests. The three priests who were followers of Jesus were James the Just, Nicodemus, and Joseph of Hari-Mathea who was called "bouleutēs" which means honorable counselor. All were men and all were of the Horite ruler-priest lines. The Christian priesthood emerged from the pattern of the Horite priests. In their worldview male and female were not regarded as equals. This was based on their observation of patterns in nature. It is clear that males are stronger and larger than females. They are the best equipped to protect, fight wars, hunt, and sacrifice large, powerful animals. This is the nature of the blood work of males. It mainly concerns taking life so that, through the shedding of blood, life can be sustained.

Females, on the other hand, are created to perform a different kind of blood work: one that concerns giving life. Their work involves the shedding of blood in first intercourse, in their monthly cycle, and in child bearing. In the binary view of the Bible the blood work of males and females speaks of the distinction between life and death.

The male principle involves insemination, protection of the weaker, expansion and uprightness. It is symbolized in the ancient world by meteorites and iron seeds covering the surface of the earth, by the Sun's rays shining down, the lengthening of shadows, and the strength of mountains and pillars. The female principle involves receptivity, birthing, nurturing, fluidity and softness.

In the ancient world of Jesus' Habiru ancestors, bloods were never mixed or even present in the same space. Men were not permitted in the birthing hut. Women were not permitted where animals were sacrificed. When blood was shed there were priestly rituals for the purification of blood and relief of blood anxiety. Melchizedek performed this for Abraham (Gen. 14). He came to Abraham after a great battle in which Abraham incurred blood guilt. The ritual involved bread and wine. In Church tradition women waited 40 days to return to church, following the ancient custom of purification after shedding blood. The practice is still observed in the Eastern churches.

The Biblical view of gender distinctions reflects how the ancients understood what is universally observed, but contemporary dualistic and egalitarian views distort that reality. The distinction between the male principle and the female principle has become blurred so that none consider it odd that women serve in combat or as priests. Mothers kill their babies. Fathers abandon their children and abuse their wives. Men have sex with men. God is cast as goddess, and the fact that Jesus was born a man, the Son of God, is dismissed. All of this begs the question: Who are these women serving? It is not the God who has revealed Himself in Scripture and in the Word made flesh.

Before the ordination of women priests, Anglican orders were more highly regarded by the hierarchs of both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches. This innovation devalued Anglican orders in the view of those churches and continues to be an obstacle to wholeness within catholic Christendom. The innovation reveals confusion about the nature of the priesthood and infidelity to the received tradition which was embraced by the early priests of the Church. The ordination of women as priests is an accommodation to a culture that does not understand blood covenants or the distinction between the blood work of males and females.

When Anglicans contemplate reception of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist, it is appropriate to see before them a masculine form. Likewise, in contemplation of the Annunciation and Incarnation we would properly have before us an image/icon of Mary, not a masculine form. To place a female form at the altar unravels the fabric of the Messianic tradition. It tells this story: The ewe who gives birth, and nurtures with her milk, is sacrificed, offering herself for the life of the world. It simply does not work! The ewe is a timid creature who stays with her young and seeks protection from the ram when threatened. She embodies feminine virtues and her self-sacrifice is at odds with the order of creation. From the Biblical perspective, a woman at the altar is equivalent to the boiling of a baby goat in its mother's milk, something repeatedly forbidden, because this practice blurs the distinction between life and death.

Here is the message delivered when the female stands at altar: The one who saves is the daughter of God. The divine council agrees to take the life of one who is divinely designed to give life. We no longer have the Gospel. We have a pagan tragedy!

Ignatius of Antioch adjures, "Be diligent, therefore, to use one eucharist, for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup, for union with his blood; one altar, even as there is one bishop, together with the presbytery and the deacons who are my fellow-servants, to the end that whatever ye do, ye may do it according unto God. (Philadelphians 4.1).

Friday, January 2, 2015

Adam Was a Red Man

Alice C. Linsley

The Biblical writers recognized that the people among them with red skin were of an ancestral line of extreme antiquity. Some of these people were rulers in Edom. These are listed in Genesis 36. Esau the Elder and Esau the Younger were among them. Esau is specifically described as being red in Genesis 26.

The Hebrew word for red is edom and it is a cognate to the Hausa word odum, meaning red-brown. Both are related to the word dam, meaning blood, and to the name of the first man Adam, who was formed from the red clay which washed down to the Upper Nile Valley from the Ethiopian highlands. These soils have a cambic B horizon. Chromic cambisols have a strong red brown color. It is evident then that the Upper Nile is the urheimat of the Adam and Eve story.

Jeff A. Benner, an expert on ancient Hebrew, explains:

We are all familiar with the name "Adam" as found in the book of Genesis, but what does it really mean? Let us begin by looking at its roots. This word/name is a child root derived from the parent דם meaning, "blood". By placing the letter א in front of the parent root, the child rootאדם is formed and is related in meaning to דם (blood).

By examing a few other words derived from the child root אדם we can see a common meaning in them all. The Hebrew word אדמה (adamah) is the feminine form of אדם meaning "ground" (see Genesis 2:7). The word/name אדום (Edom) means "red". Each of these words have the common meaning of "red". Dam is the "red" blood, adamah is the "red" ground, edom is the color "red" and adam is the "red" man. There is one other connection between "adam" and "adamah" as seen in Genesis 2:7 which states that "the adam" was formed out of the "adamah".

In the ancient Hebrew world, a person’s name was not simply an identifier but descriptive of one's character. As Adam was formed out of the ground, his name identifies his origins. (From here.)

Though the story of red Adam comes originally from the Upper Nile, the account was preserved by his Edomite descendants, one of whom was Abraham. Abraham's territory was between Hebron and Beersheba. As can be seen from the map below, his territory was entirely in the region of Edom. The people who lived there had a reddish skin tone. That is why the Greeks called this region Idumea, meaning "land of red people."

Isaac was Abraham's proper heir, and as such, he inherited Abraham's territory. Edom was under the control of Horites, what the Jews call their "Horim." Both Hebron (where Sarah lived) and Beersheba (where Keturah lived) are in Edom. Abraham's territory extended between the settlements of his two wives, and included mountains and lowlands.

David is related to the Horite rulers of Edom and he is described in the Bible as red/ruddy. Samuel, the son of a Horite priest from Ramah, anointed him ruler.

And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these all the children?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep." Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here." So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he." Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:11- 13)

Here are images of people whose skin tone ranges from brown-red to red-brown

Beja of Sudan

Egyptian man in red

Grieving Egyptian
Note the reddish-brown skin tone

A red people is mentioned in African creation stories. It is said that God created the first human by mixing soil with his blood. This is circulated among the Igbo, for example, whose ancestors originated in the Upper Nile Valley. The Igbo belong to MtDNA haplogroup L1, believed to have first appeared approximately 150,000 to 170,000 years ago in East Africa.

Related reading: Solving the Ainu Mystery; The Nilotic Origins of the Ainu; Abraham's Ainu Ancestors; Samuel's Horite Family; What Color Was Abraham?; Millions of Years Between Genesis 4:1 and 4:17; Theories of Primal Substance; Ethical Concerns of Archaic Communities