Joining The Dots
I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Eden in the East
Eden in the East
In his book Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia, published in 1998, Oppenheimer makes a case that the rise in ocean levels that accompanied the waning of the ice age—as much as 500 feet (150 m)—during the period 14,000-7,000 years ago, must be taken into account when trying to understand the flow of genes and culture in Eurasia. Citing evidence from geology, archaeology, genetics, linguistics, and folklore, he hypothesizes that the Southeast Asian subcontinent of Sundaland was home to a rich and original culture that was dispersed when Sundaland was mostly submerged and its population moved westward. According to Oppenheimer, Sundaland’s culture may have reached India and Mesopotamia, becoming the root for the innovative cultures that developed in those areas. He also suggests that the Austronesian languages originate from Sundaland and that a Neolithic Revolution may have started there. [From the Wikipedia article on Stephen Oppenheimer:
I happen to believe very strongly in the prominence of the former Sundaland as the center for populating not only Southern Asia and Australia but of the New World as well, both by way of the Pacific Rim and, as some of the bolder proponents hypothesize, full across the the breadth of the Pacific while the Ice Age was still going on, during the Pleistocene. In part this is because of the work of geneticists but it also makes sense in view of the spread of material culture and even linguistics. But for the current blog posting, I shall allow others to have their say before I go on to tell what I think was going on.
From an Indonesian Discussion Board:
The above map is a map of the world’s 20,000 years many recognized
Well this theory is the theory propounded Oppenheimer from his “Eden In The East”. He twisted inverse time understanding during our schools, in which Southeast Asia was a suburban area; that blossomed after kena-induced migration of foreign, trade and culturasi of the number of foreigners that the Southeast Asian region as it has been losing its identity because so many foreigners who are coming. Now the question this way, whether he is just a mere hypothesis? But in fact he linked a couple of studies related to history and never existed in Indonesia.[Because this is before Indonesia existed]
The above map is a map of ice era, where the State some mainland Indonesia are within one scope regions (even malaysia) is known as SundaLand (sundaland)
Excerpts from that which is in the book of Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer took set-set since 20,000 years ago. When the Sundaland is still there, when the height of the Sea still 150 meters below sea level today. When the Earth’s temperature is slowly heating up, the polar ice caps at both Earth and causing rising sea levels, so that there arose a great flood. Oceanographic research showed that the Earth was once a great flood occurred three times at 14,000, 11,000 and 8,000 years ago. The flood caused the event was the increase in surface seawater up to as high as 8 to 11 feet from the original surface height. The flood resulted in the sinking of the bulk of the Sundaland to break into the Islands we now know as Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Bali.
Oppenheimer suggests that at that time, the area has been inhabited by the Sundaland humans in large quantities. Therefore, he thought, almost all world cultures have traditions that tells the story of the great flood which inundated a Mainland. The stories of the flood of Noah as, by him is considered to be one form of the transfer of information between the human generations about events of great consequence.
According to Oppenheimer, after the great flood, the menusia began to spread to other parts of the Earth. Oppenheimer stated that this was seconded by whose hypotheses reconstruction of the linguistic distribution of the latest advanced Johanna Nichols. Nichols was indeed trying to deconstruct the spread of the Austronesian languages. Previously, Robert Blust (linguist) and Peter Bellwood (archaeologist) stated that the spread of languages Austronesi a derived from mainland Asia to Formosa (Taiwan) and southern China (Yunnan) before getting to the Philippines, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands and Madagascar. Nichols said the construction in reverse where Austronesian languages spread from the Indonesia-Malaysia to other areas and be the parent of other world languages.
Oppenheimer had been that the population of Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo of today are descendants of the inhabitants of the Sundaland Migrated not gone upwards in elevation after some regions. In other words, he wanted to bring up that the spread of humans in the world comes from this area.
He expressed his opinion no analysis of the similarities of things Sumerian Neolithic and Southeast Asia are known as old 7,500 years. Then the physical features on the statues of Sumerian era relic that has typical face width (brachycepalis) also strengthens the hypothesis of oriental style.
Oppenhimer also sure that the characters in the story of Gilgamesh told as the only people who survived the great flood is a character similar to that of Noah as the book of the Bible and the Qur’an which is the character who managed to save himself from the great flood which damaged the sundaland. Old Babylonian legend tells also the arrival of seven scholars from the East who bring new skills and pengtahuan. The same story there in ancient India in the Hindukush. Variants of the legend of this kind was apparently spread in the archipelago and the Pacific.
Oppenheimer further suggests that a similar story with the story of the creation of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel as well as infighting (Qabil and Habil) turned out to be found in East Asia and the Pacific Islands. For example, the Maori people in New Zealand, called the first woman by the name ‘ Eeve ‘. Then in Papua New Guinea, the story is similar to Cain and Abel in the form of Kullabop and Manip. Traditions in this area is also suggested that the first man made of soil clays are colored red.
On the basis of the various hypothesis, Oppenheimer believed that the garden of Eden that is mentioned in the Bible is in Sundaland. Talk about a hypothesis of this, I also Oppenheimer so reminded of one of the verses in the book of Genesis which clearly mentions that Eden is on the East. Could it be the garden of Eden was located in Indonesia? And the first man ever placed God in Indonesia?
http://indonesiaindonesia.com/f/78000-teori-manusia-pertama-berasal-indonesia/Churchward also noticed the similarities of some of the Pacific Islanders to the stories in the Bible. In particular, he mentioned that the Maoris of New Zealand alsio knew the story of Cain and Abel.
|Sundaland in the Ice Age|
Book Review for Eden in the East:
Book Review: Eden in the East (An Atlantis in the Indian Ocean)
Book Review: Eden in the East (An Atlantis in the Indian Ocean)
Author: Stephen Oppenheimer
A Review by: Koenraad Elst
One of the many insulting epithets thrown at AIT disbelievers is that they are no better than “Atlantis freaks”. Actually, this is not entirely untrue. Some AIT skeptics who have applied their minds to reconstructing ancient history, have indeed thought of centres of human habitation in locations now well below sea-level. When Proto-Indo-European was spoken, the sea level was still recovering from the low point it had reached during the Ice Age, about 100 metres lower than the present level. It was in the period of roughly twelve to seven thousand years ago that the icecaps melted and replenished the seas, so that numerous low-lying villages had to be abandoned.
After all, it is a safe bet that more than half of mankind lived in the zone of less than 100 m above sea level. In the context of the present debate on global warming, it is said that a rise in sea level of just one metre would be an immense catastrophe for countries like Bangla Desh or the Netherlands. The Maledives would completely disappear with a rise of only a few metres. But more importantly, most big population centres today are located just above sea level: Tokyo, Shanghai, Kolkata, Mumbai, London, New York, Los Angeles etc. If the sea level would rise 100 m, most population centres including entire countries would become a sunken continent, a very real Atlantis. Consequently, there is nothing far-fetched in assuming the existence of population centres and cultures, 10 or 15 thousand years ago, in what are now submarine locations on the continental shelf outside our coastlines.
In a recent book, Eden in the East: the Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia (Phoenix paperback, London 1999 (1998)), Stephen Oppenheimer has focused on one such part of the continental shelf: the region between Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Taiwan, which was largely inhabitable during the Ice Age. Thinking that this was then the most advanced centre of civilization, he calls it Eden, the Biblical name of Paradise (from Sumerian edin, “alluvial plain”), because West-Asian sources including the Bible do locate the origin of mankind or at least of civilization in the East. In some cases, as in Sumerian references, this “East” is clearly the pre-Harappan and Harappan culture, but even more easterly countries seem to be involved.
Oppenheimer is a medical doctor who has lived in Southeast Asia for decades. He is clearly influenced by Marxism, e.g. where he dismisses religion as a means to “control other people’s labour”, with explicit reference to Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (p.483). His book is based on solid scientific research (genetic, anthropological, linguistic and archaeological), and is in that respect very different from the numerous Atlantis books which draw on “revelations” and “channeling”.
The most airy type of evidence, in its massiveness nonetheless quite compelling, is comparative mythology: numerous cultures, and especialy those in the Asia-Pacific zone, have highly parallel myths of one or more floods. These are not opaque allusions to Freudian events in the subconscious but plainly historical references to the catastrophic moments in the otherwise long-drawn-out rise of the sea level after the Ice Age. For, indeed, this rise was not a continuous process but took place with occasional spurts, wiping out entire tribes living near the coast. The last such sudden rise took place ca. 5500 BC, after which the sea level fell back a few metres to the present level.
According to Oppenheimer, the Southeast-Asian Atlantis, provisionally called Sundaland because it now is the Sunda shelf, was the world leader in the Neolithic Revolution (start of agriculture), using stones for grinding wild grains as early as 24,000 ago, more than ten thousand years older than in Egypt or Palestine. Before and especially during the gradual flooding of their lowland, the Sundalanders spread out to neighbouring lands: the Asian mainland including China, India and Mesopotamia, and the island world from Madagascar to the Philippines and New Guinea, whence they later colonized Polynesia as far as Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand.
Oppenheimer aligns with the archaeologists against the linguists in the controversy about the homeland of the Austronesian language family (Malay, Tagalog, Maori, Malgasy etc.): he locates it in Sundaland and its upper regions which now make up the coasts of the Southeast-Asian countries, whereas most linguists maintain that southern China was the land of origin. Part of the argument concerns chronology: Oppenheimer proposes a higher chronology than Peter Bellwood and other out-of-China theorists. My experience with IE studies makes me favour a higher chronology, for new findings (e.g. that “pre-IE” peoples like the Pelasgians and the Etruscans, not to speak of the Harappans, turn out to have been earlier “Aryan” settlers) have consistently been pushing the date of the fragmentation of PIE back into the past.
Another reason for not relying too much on the theories of the linguists is that Austronesian linguistics is a very demanding field, comprising the study of hundreds of small languages most of which have no literature, so the number of genuine experts is far smaller than in the case of IE, and even in the latter case linguists are nowhere near a consensus on the homeland question. Linguistic evidence is very soft evidence, and usually the data admit of more than one historical reconstruction, so I don’t think there is any compelling evidence against a Sundaland homeland hypothesis. Conversely, archaeological and genetic evidence in favour of the spread of the Austronesian-speaking populations from Sundaland seems to be sufficient.
It is quite certain that some of these Austronesians must have landed in India, some on their way to Madagascar, some to stay and mix with the natives. Hence the presence of some Austronesian words in Indian languages of all families, most prominently ayi/bayi, “mother” (as in the Marathi girls’ names Tarabai, Lakshmi-bai etc.), or words for “bamboo”, “fruit”, “honey”. More spectacularly, linguists like Isidore Dyen have discerned a considerable common vocabulary in the core lexicon of Austronesian and Indo-European, including pronouns, numerals (e.g. Malay dva, “two”) and terms for the elements. Oppenheimer doesn’t go into this question, but diehard invasionists might use his findings to suggest an Aryan invasion into India not from the northwest, but from the southeast.
But he does mention the legend of Manu Vaivasvata saving his company from the flood and sailing up the rivers of India to settle high and dry in Saptasindhu. Clearly, the origins of Vedic civilization are related to the post-Glacial flood, probably the single biggest migration trigger in human history.
The Tamils have a tradition that their poets’ academy or Sangam existed for ten thousand years, and that its seat (along with the entire Tamil capital) had to be moved thrice because of the rising sea level. They also believe that their country once stretched far to the south, including Sri Lanka and the Maledives, a lost Tamil continent called Kumarikhandam. If these legends turn out to match the geological evidence quite neatly, our academics would be wrong to dismiss them as figments of the imagination. But the Indian or Kumarikhandam counterpart to Oppenheimer’s book on Sundaland has yet to be written. This indeed is probably the most important practical conclusion to be drawn from this book: extend India’s history by thousands of years with the exploration of now-submarine population centres.
Another language family originating in some part of Sundaland was Austro-Asiatic, which includes the Mon-Khmer languages in Indochina (its demographic point of gravity being Vietnam) but also Nicobarese and the Munda languages of Chotanagpur, at one time possibly spoken throughout the Ganga basin. It is the Mundas who brought rice cultivation from Southeast Asia to the Ganga basin, whence it reached the Indus Valley towards the end of the Harappan age (ca. 2300 BC). In this connection, it is worth noting that Oppenheimer confirms that “barley cultivation was developed in the Indus Valley” (p.19), barley being the favourite crop of the Vedic Aryans (yava). Unlike the Mundas who brought rice cultivation from eastern India and ultimately from Southeast Asia to northwestern India, and unlike the Indo-European Kurgan people whose invasion into Europe can be followed by means of traces of the crops they imported (esp. millet), the Vedic Aryans simply used the native produce. This doesn’t prove but certainly supports the suspicion that the Aryans were native to the Indus Valley.
Concerning the political polemic, the usual claim that the caste system with its sharp discrimination was instituted by the invading Aryans to entrench their supremacy is countered by the finding that even the most isolated tribes on India’s hills turn out to have strict endogamy rules, often guarded with more severe punishments for inter-tribal love affairs than exist in Sanskritic-Hindu society. Here, Oppenheimer confirms that in the Austro-Asiatic and Austrone-sian tribal societies, where many of India’s tribals originate, inequality is deeply entrenched: “Yet the class structure which cripples Britain more than any other European state, is as nothing compared with the stratified hierarchies in Austronesian traditional societies from Madagascar through Bali to Samoa. (…) This consciousness of rank is thus clearly not something that was only picked up by Austronesian societies from later Indian influence.” (p.484) Social hierarchy is not a racialist imposition by the Aryans, but a near-universal phenomenon especially pronounced among Indo-Pacific societies including most non-Aryan populations.
Stephen Oppenheimer makes a very detailed and very strong case for the importance of the culture of sunken Sundaland for the later cultures in the wide surroundings. India too certainly benefited of certain achievements imported from there. What is yet missing is a similar study for the equally important and likewise neglected culture of the sunken lands outside India’s coast.
–I should also mention that Churchward did indeed speak of the geological counterpart to Kumarikhandam and he also spoke of a connection between the Tamils and the Ethiopians. If so, then the Tamil influence in Africa reached the Atlantic by way of the Sahel South of the Shara and in Eastern Africa down to the cape by way of the old Zinj area. [The part of Africa that “Zinjanthropus” was naed after]
This shall take a little time to cover all of the aspects of the problem but we have alreasdy had a start. I shall be calling Sundaland “Lemuria” with some regularity because that is the reference many of my sources use, but it is quite different from Atlantis and that point should be borne in mind.