As we saw last week, the youngest son of Noah, Ham, had a different experience growing up than his more responsible older brothers. Ham passed his defiant attitude down to this children, who established nations in Sumer, Egypt, Canaan, and probably Libya. Notice how tightly linked these four brothers are in the diagram below. Even though they moved to separate regions, they remained linked by a shared problem with authority. Archeology is now telling us that these brothers were even closer than was previously thought.
Two discoveries from archeology have changed my thinking. It had seemed obvious to me that the three sons of Noah all spread out through the Fertile Crescent and from there Ham moved down to Sumer. Pottery has shown us that there was a separate eastern migration down to Sumer, which could only have been the family of Ham. As we shall see today, this was not just Nimrod, but most or all of Ham's descendants. This is why the Bible most informatively tells us that they came from the East.
Since learning about the eastern migration, I have made an even more astonishing discovery. This comes from reading the reconstructions of David Rohl, an agnostic English archeologist who believes that the history of the Bible is accurate. Rohl studied hundreds of rock carvings of boats in the wadis (valleys) between the Red Sea and the Nile. He believes that Mazraim and Cush sailed around the Arabian Peninsula and settled Nubia (Upper Egypt) after having discovered gold in the wadis and the rich Nile valley. I had always through that Nubia was inhabited by primitive Africans until I learned that it had a more advanced early civilization than northern Egypt.
The truth is that Egypt was settled from the North by several migrations of peaceful people from the Fertile Crescent. These have names like Kabaran and Natufian and were probably the descendants of Japheth and/or Shem. Early Egyptian history is called predynastic because it preceded the hamitic dynasties. The Nubians to the south eventually attacked northern Egypt, unified Egypt, and established the 1st Dynasty of the Old Egyptian Kingdom. They made war with the pear-shaped mace which later became one of their symbols. We can suppose that Egypt would have remained peaceful and prosperous if it had not been invaded by the children of Ham.
Not only did Sumer bring dynastic rule to Egypt, but it continued to have an influence for some time. Many people like myself have thought that Sumer and Egypt were too far apart and separated by desert to have any significant contact with each other. Recent evidence of the Uruk culture at Buto and Hierakonpolis have shown this to be incorrect. Trade continued by both northern and southern routes so that Egypt inherited both good and bad culture from the Middle East. This link of the Uruk Period allows us to build a framework for understanding the rest of ancient history. Next week, we need to add dates to the Uruk Period so that we have a Biblical point of reference.