Alice C. Linsley
Numerous linguistic connections between the Nile Valley and the Tigris-Euphrates Valley have been demonstrated here. Today another connection was called to my attention by an Oromo speaker living in the Horn of Africa. In the Nilotic Oromo language the word gurguru means "sell" and gurguraa means "seller." The word gurgur refers to metal workers who sold their wares in the city market places. Likely this is the root of the Japanese (Ainu) word guruma, meaning wheel. The Ainu originated in the Nile.
The Akkadian name Dûr-gurgurri (Bad-tibiri) means Wall of Copper Smiths or Fortress of Smiths. The Akkadian prefix Dûr- means "fortress of" as in Dûr-Sharrukin, “Sargon’s fortress.” According to the Sumerian King List, Dûr-gurgurri was the second city to "exercise kingship" in Sumer, following Eridu. The word Eridu is related to Eredo, a 70-foot barrier wall that runs for about 100 miles in Nigeria. Eredo is associated with the royal House of Sheba.
The building of Dûr-Sharrukin at the confluence of the Tigris and the Greater Zab rivers was undertaken by Sargon II in 717 BC. It was to be the new capital of Assyria, replacing Nineveh. The royal court relocated in 706 to Dûr-Sharrukin, although the city was not completed. The building project was abandoned after Sargon died in 705.
The fortress walls of Dûr-Sharrukin were huge, with 157 guard towers and 7 gates. The central temple was dedicated to Nabu, the guardian of scribe-priests. Nabu was the son of Marduk. A ziggurat was built within the confines of the royal palace.
|Shedu from Khorsabad |
University of Chicago Oriental Institute
The French consul, Paul-Émile Botta, began excavations at Dûr-Sharrukin in 1843. Botta painstakingly copied the cuneiform script he found etched on the palace walls. The subsequent translation by Rawlinson and Hinks revealed information that enabled historians to confirm Biblical information.
Finds at Dûr-Sharrukin include ivories encrusted with lapis lazuli, cuneiform inscriptions, bas-reliefs showing slaves yoked together, and monumental shedu, human-headed winged bulls. This is where the Assyrian King List was discovered which records kings from ca. 1700 BC until the middle of the 11th century BC.
Related reading: The Genetic Unity of Black African Elamite, Dravidian and Sumerian Languages by Clyde A. Winters; Biblical Sheba and East African Settlements Linked; Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers