The Afro-Asiatic Dominion
(Image: Dr. Clyde A. Winters)
Alice C. Linsley
Archaeogenetics has shown conclusively that a vast dispersion of Proto-Saharan peoples dominated the archaic world. Their range extended from the Benue Trough and Lake Chad, to the Nile Valley, the Indus Valley, and Southern Europe during the African Aqualithic Period. I have termed this the “Afro-Asiatic Dominion” because the languages spoken by these peoples would be classified in the Afro-Asiatic language family.
The term "dominion" is appropriate because these territories were ruled by kingdom builders who shared a common religious tradition and common ancestors. They also had a common conception of divine appointment of rulers by the overshadowing of the sun, the emblem of the Creator God.
These are the earliest rulers on earth. They are called the "mighty men of old" in Genesis and are described as "heroes" and "men of renown." They built shrine cities at high elevations, temples, palaces, pyramids and circles of standing stones. Their burial practices reflect a common conception of the body and spirit, and the hope for immortality.
The Afro-Asiatic Dominion is older than the Vedic Age (1700-800 BC) and much order than the Axial Age. These peoples maintained settlements at sheltered high places (tamana or kar) near water sources. These settlements became the Sun Cities of the ancient world. At the center of these royal cities were the temple, the palace, housing for priests, and quarters for the royal guard. The temple typically was aligned to the solar arc, with the doors opening to the rising Sun. They were called O'piru, which means "Sun house" and the royal priests who served at these temples were called 'apiru, ha'piru or Ha'biru. The English word Hebrew is a variant of Ha'biru.
Abraham is called "Hebrew" (Ha'biru) in Genesis 14:13. The Harris papyrus speaks of 'apriu of Re at Heliopolis, the shrine of the Sun. Plato, who studied under a Horite priest at Memphis for thirteen years, wrote "Tell me of the God of On, which was, is and shall be."
The biblical data indicates that many peoples and clans comprised the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. Among them were Sumerians, Nubians, and other Nilotes, Sudra, Ainu, Canaanites, and peoples of Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley. Linguistic and archaeological evidence suggests that the religion of the ancient Dravidian priests reflects Proto-Saharan beliefs and practices.
Abraham is a descendant of the Kushite kingdom builder Nimrod. In the Bible the term "Kushite" refers to Nilotic and Proto-Saharan peoples, and in particular to the ruler-priest descendants of Noah by his grandson Kush (Gen. 10:6-11). Kush was the father of Nimrod who established his kingdom in the Euphrates Valley and established the city of Akkad. This explains the linguistic connections between the Nile and Mesopotamia. The Akkadian script of Nimrod's kingdom is linguistically Afro-Sumerian and Sanskrit is closely related.
Václav Blažek believes that Elamite is an Afro-Asiatic language, and David McAlpin finds a genetic relation between the Elamite and Dravidian languages. Both are languages of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion which extended from the Nile to the Indus River Valley and into ancient Anatolia and Bactria.
The Greek writer Homer alluded to the vastness, diversity, and unity of the Kushite empires when he wrote, “a race divided, whom the sloping rays; the rising and the setting sun surveys.” Before Homer's time (ca. 8th century BC) there was but one vast dominion that stretched from West Africa to India and it was dominated by rulers and priests who were ethnically Kushite.
Cultural Diffusion and the Afro-Asiatic Dominion
How is it that people living across this vast expanse share so many important words? Genesis 11:1 tells us that the descendants of Noah who are listed in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10) were one people and spoke one language. In fact, all the peoples listed in the Genesis 10 are Afro-Asiatics and at one time they used virtually the same words, that is to say, they spoke closely related languages that shared a common system of roots.
One explanation for this is cultural diffusion over a large area resulting in common features. Diffusion is the process of spreading knowledge, skills, and technology from one culture to another. Cultural diffusion explains the linguistic affinities between languages as different the Asian Tamil and the African Hausa. The diffusion process begins when different cultures initiate regular contact through migration, commerce, marriage alliances and conquests. Let us consider the evidence for each of these aspects of diffusion.
Archaeogeneticists employ genetics, archaeology and linguistics to examine the origin and spread of people groups. Haplogroup R-M173 is of particular significance because this pertains to the ancient Kushite and Nilotic peoples who are genetically related.
At least three migrations out of Africa have taken place in the past 120,000 years. The first that has been documented took place in the Late Pleistocene (120,000-12,000 B.C.). Here the movement was from the Upper Nile Valley and the Horn into the coastal areas of Arabia. Evidence indicates that Nilotic peoples moved out of Africa in several directions. Thomas Strasser and his team have found hundreds of stone Age tools of African origin on the island of Crete. Others have been found on the Iranian plateaus, helping experts trace the steps of an Nilotic tribe that passed through the region on their way to India where it settled in the Andaman Islands. The tribe has all the physical features of black East Africans. Their ancestors are believed to have migrated out of East Africa about 60,000 year ago. According to Hamed NasabVahdati, a member of the archeological society at Iran's Cultural Heritage Center, the Stone Age artifacts found in Iran are very similar to those found in East Africa.
Many moved across land as the sea level was lower during of the ice age. However, for many the final stage of the journey would have been by sea. Dr. Richard Klein, an archaeologist at Stanford University, believes that the population discovered at Lake Mungo, in southeastern Australia, was originally from Africa. The Lake Mungo site holds the remains of an adult man who was sprinkled with copious amounts of red ochre in a burial ritual common among early humans. These humans would have had to cross 50 miles of ocean between the nearest point of Southeast Asia and the landmass of New Guinea and Australia, which were then attached.
The most recent involved the African population known as Kushites. In a study conducted under the direction of Clyde A. Winters at the Uthman dan Fodio Institute in Chicago, data from archaeology, linguistics, genetics and craniometric studies were used to explore the role of the Kushites in the spread of haplogroup R from Africa to Eurasia. Here we find evidence of the Dravidian connection to the ancient Kushites:
There is genetic, linguistic and archaeological evidence pointing to the African origin of the Dravidian speakers in India (Aravanan 1980; Winters 2007). The Indian archaeologist B.B. Lal (1963) believes that the Dravidian speaking people may have belonged to the C-Group. The C-Group people spread culture from Nubia into Arabia, Iran and India as evidenced by the presence of Black-and-Red Ware (BRW). Although the Egyptians preferred the cultivation of wheat, many ancient C-Group people (Nubia/Kushite) were agro-pastoral people who cultivated millet/sorghum and maintained large herds of cattle which were used for sacrifice and food. Bovine skulls were used to decorate their graves.
The C-Group people lived in northern Nubia, southern Egypt, and southward to the modern Sudan between 2300-1500 B.C. Winters believes that the Dravidian speakers of C-Group took millet to India (C. Winters, 2008b). B. B. Lal contends that the Dravidians came from southern Egypt and Sudan (Nubia/Kush). This would explain their dark complexion. Lal writes: "At Timos the Indian team dug up several megalithic sites of ancient Nubians which bear an uncanny resemblance to the cemeteries of early Dravidians which are found all over Western India from Kathiawar to Cape Comorin. The intriguing similarity extends from the subterranean structure found near them. Even the earthenware ring-stands used by the Dravidians and Nubians to hold pots were identical."
The Nubian megaliths of which Lal speaks date to about 3000 years before the present.
There is evidence that ancient peoples of Africa migrated in many directions. The Ashante moved west from Sudan to what is today Ghana. Some went eastward to the Near East, to Iran, to India and to Indonesia. This explains the correspondence of names like Orissa in Nigeria and northern India and the correspondence between the wedding ceremony of the Agharias of Orisha, India and that described in Genesis among Abraham's people.
Dr Derek Vance, senior author on the paper, added: “The study shows, for the first time, that monsoon rains fed rivers that extended from the Saharan watershed, across the northern Sahara, to the Mediterranean Sea. These corridors rivaled the Nile Valley as potential routes for early modern human migrations to the Mediterranean shores."
Cultural diffusion was aided by caravans that moved back and forth between west central Africa and Asia. This explains the appearance of ancient African artifacts in China. Wild donkeys were domesticated by the Kushites between 6500 and 4000 BC. The wild donkey was native to the Red Sea Hills and the arid Ethiopian highlands. Kushites used both camels and donkeys as beasts of burden. These hearty creatures enabled the transport of cargo across the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia and Pakistan. As Roger Blench has noted, "The spread of the donkey across Africa was linked with the proliferation of long distance caravans."
The region of Sheba in southern Arabia was famous for horses. The people of Sheba were close kin to Abraham and ethnically Kushite. The high-spirited, high-stamina Arabian horse is one of the oldest breeds, dating back 4,500 years. They were valued for breeding across the ancient Middle East and among Japheth’s Magyar descendants. Today Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse. The world's oldest saddles are from Nubia and the Upper Nile region.
The region of Dedan in northern Arabia was famous for trade and commerce. Isaiah 21:13 speaks of the “caravans of Dedanites” and Ezekiel 27:20 speaks of Dedan as supplying Tyre with precious things. They traded in spices, ivory, incense, and cotton with lands as distant as India, Cambodia and China. They traded in copper from the 4000 B.C. mines in the Air region of Niger where there are rock drawings of chariots, and evidence of early copper smelting and copper weapons. The Dedanites were ethnically Kushite and kin to the people of Sheba.
The Sudanese Kushites were the first to domesticate wild sorghum and millet. These became staple grains in Egypt and were taken to Pakistan and India between 3000 and 1000 BC, probably by the Dravidians. The Dravidians also mined gold in southern Africa in 1000 B.C. and it is likely that they transported both grain and gold by ship from northwestern Africa to India.
Migration and commerce do not sufficiently explain how peoples living across such a vast expanse of land should have a common worldview and linguistic heritage. The evidence suggests a more complex picture of migration, commerce, and alliances among peoples located around the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Peninsula and the Dead Sea.
The Kushite marriage pattern drove the Kushite expansion out of Africa
My research into the genealogical material in Genesis involves analysis of the Horite kinship pattern. This kinship pattern is unique and makes it possible to trace Kushite rulers.
The Horite pattern involved two wives and at least two concubines. The ruler's first wife was a half-sister and the second wife was a patrilineal cousin or niece. The marriages of firstborn sons contributed to the diffusion of Horite religion. The firstborn son of the half-sister wife ascended to the throne of his biological father. The firstborn son of the patrilineal cousin or niece bride ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather. All other sons were given gifts of camels, jewelry, flocks, herds and servants and sent away to conquer settlements and build territories for themselves. The importance of these "sent-away sons" as a driving factor in Kushite expansion should not be overlooked.
This pattern is evident in the case of the Kushite kingdom-builder Nimrod. Nimrod, one of Abraham's ancestors, is an example. He was ethnically Kushite but was probably sent away from his older brother Ramah whose territory was in northern Arabia. This explains why he regarded his mother as "lowly." She would have been a woman of less wealth and status than the wife of Ramah, Kush's the firstborn son. After numerous conquests, Nimrod’s territory was far greater than his brother’s. It extended the length of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley and within this territory there were three principal cities: Babel, Erech and Akkad in the plain of Shinar (Gen. 10:10). The script used to communicate across Nimrod’s empire Akkadian is Afro-Sumerian.
The conquest of the Sumerian city states by Kushites rulers is well-documented. Sargon the Great lived from about 2290 to 2215 BC, which is when his son Rimush (Ramesh) by his sister-wife ascended the throne. Alternative dates for Sargon the Great are 2360-2279, but these dates likely refer to his maternal grandfather after whom he was named. It was Sargon the Elder, not Sargon the Great, who conquered Nippur in 2340 B.C. and established his capital in Accad.
Sar-gon is the name by which Nimrod of the Bible is remembered in history. Sargon is a title meaning High King or King of Kings. The Elamite word for king is sunki, a cognate of the Hahm/Hamitic sarki, meaning king. The Sumerian word for king is sar and the Chadic word for ruler - gon.
The researcher on African Culture, Dr. Catherine Acholonu, reports that in Nigerian lore Nimrod is known as Sharru-Kin which is interpreted to mean “the righteous King.” Nimrod's Accadian name was Šarru-kīnu, which is usually translated “the true king.”
Many of the place names of Sargon’s kingdom in Kur-gal match places names in ancient Kush. For example, Accad is Agade, which is the original name of a river settlement in Odukpani, Nigeria. (Its geographical coordinates are 5° 29' 0" North, 7° 58' 0" East.) The name Accad is also related to the name of the city of Agadez in Niger, with a long association with metalworkers. Sargon’s territory was called Kish, which is Kush. One of the cities of his territory was Mari which is the Egyptian word for Mary. Another was Yar-muti (Old Arabic) which means Obedient (muti) Friend (yar).
A seventh century Assyrian text says that Sar-gon's birthplace was a city on the banks of the Euphrates called Azu-piranu. It was a Horite shrine as evidenced by the word piranu. The Hapiru devotees of Horus called a temple O-piru, meaning "House of the Sun." Azu is an East African name for God - Asa. Azu-piranu means “House of God” and is equivalent to the Hebrew word Beth-el. Hur-azu was a title for Horus and the Babylonian word for gold.
Kushite rulers, like Egyptian rulers, did not name their biological fathers in their king lists. This is because they believed that the ruler-priest was the son of Re whose emblem was the sun. The Pharaoh was called "son of Re" which is why Egyptian texts never mention an earthly father of the king. Kingship was rather a manifestation of the solar deity's overshadowing of noble women. Sargon the Great (probably Nimrod) claimed not to know his father. He based his authority to rule on the suggestion that he was conceived according to the Horite myth of miraculous virgin conception.
The evidence is conclusive that the Afro-Asiatic Dominion was essentially Kushitic and a vehicle for the diffusion of Horite worship. Dr Christopher Ehret has expressed this succinctly in his treatise "History in Africa." He writes, "The linguistic, genetic, and archaeological evidence combine in locating the origins of this family far south in Africa, in Eritrea or Ethiopia, and not at all in Asia. A complex array of lexical evidence confirms that the Proto-Afrasian society belonged to the pre-agricultural eras of human history." (p.4)
Related reading: Boats and Cows of the Proto-Saharans; The Kushite-Kushan Connection; Sent-Away Sons; The Kushite Marriage Pattern Drove Kushite Expansion; Who Were the Kushites?; Features of Afro-Asiatic Religion; Nimrod: Afro-Asiatic Kingdom Builder; The Genetic Unity of Black African Elamite, Dravidian and Sumerian Languages by Clyde A. Winters; False Correlations; Phoneme Study Pinpoints Origin of Modern Languages