Saturday, September 3, 2011

7000 BC Horse Burial Linked to Sheba

Alice C. Linsley

"And God took a handful of South wind and from it formed a horse, saying: "I create thee, Oh Arabian. To thy forelock, I bind Victory in battle. On thy back, I set a rich spoil And a Treasure in thy loins. I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth... I give thee flight without wings."-- from an Ancient Bedouin Legend (Byford, et al. Origination of the Arabian Breed)

The tribe of Sheba is credited with the earliest domestication, breeding and export of horses. This has been confirmed by the discovery of a 9000-year-old horse burial in Asir Province of Saudi Arabia on the Yemen border. Yemen is the traditional homeland of the people of Sheba.

The people of Sheba were the descendants of the son of Raamah and their territory extended from the southwestern part of Arabia northward to Beersheba (the well of Sheba). Sheba was the brother of Dedan (Gen. 10:7). The region of Dedan is where the oldest Arabic texts have been found.

The people of Sheba and Dedan are connected to Abraham. Abraham's wife Keturah resided at Beersheba and her firstborn son was the father of Dedan the Younger (Gen. 25:3). Most Arabs are descended from Abraham through Joktan (Yaqtan). Josephus knew him as Joctan and his name is preserved in the ancient town of Jectan near Mecca.

Mud residence at oasis in Asir Province
The Saudi Arabian Department of Museums and Antiquities recently reported the discovery of a 9,000-year-old horse burial at al-Maqar, along with a 3-foot-tall bust of a horse.

Ali al-Ghabban said that a Neolithic site at al-Maqar in Asir province has revealed the earliest evidence of horse domestication. “This discovery shows that horses were domesticated in the Arabian Peninsula for the first time more than 9,000 years ago,” said al-Ghabban. “Previous studies estimated the domestication of horses in Central Asia dating back 5,000 years.”
9000-year-old horse in ancient Sheba region

In his book The Black Pharaohs, Robert Merkot reports that the people of Sheba were famous for breeding high quality horses which they exported throughout the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion.

Genesis 10 tells us that Sheba was a Kushite whose royal ancestors originated in ancient Kush.  This is supported by the fact that the world's oldest saddles are from Nubia and the Upper Nile region that was Kush.

Abraham and his wife Keturah were descendants of Sheba, Ham's great grandson. Sheba was a contemporary of Eber, Shem's great grandson. Eber’s son Joktan married a daughter of Sheba. She named their firstborn son Sheba, after her father, according to the cousin-bride's naming prerogative.

Map showing Sheba and the Joktanite Clans

Keturah bore Abraham six sons.  The firstborn was Joktan, named after Keturah's father. The Joktanite clans still live in the region of southern Arabia. They were close kin to the people of Sheba.

It is interesting to note that the horse was associated with the Sun among the Afro-Arabians. During his reform, Josiah banned horses as a religious symbol. II Kings 23:11 reports that "He removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun at the entrance to the House of the Lord."  This may be due to the decadent practice of horse marriage in the Yedic tradition.

In the earliest Vedic texts we find warnings about transgressing these boundaries. These warn against actions and words that insult the gods, against homosexuality, and against sexual relations with animals. Later Hinduism reflects the different worldview of the Aryan invaders who entered from the north and subdued the Sudroid (Afro-Asiatic) peoples who lived there. The horse while regarded as noble, was never deified in Afro-Asiatic religion. Sexual relations with a horse or any animal was an unthinkable violation of the boundaries set by God in creation. Not so among Hindu rulers after the Aryan invasion.  The royal fertility ritual called Asvamedha yajna involved the king’s principal wife in a nightlong copulation with the king's most prized dead horse.

The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this 7th-century seal reads "Belonging to Asayahu, servant of the king."  For more information on this and other ancient seals, go here.

No comments: