I am about to publish my new book, “From Neanderthal to Moses: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality.” This brief history of humanity looks at our origins from the beginning and follows a cognitive development course of history. In other words, it begins by asking the question, “How do we learn?” Not how do we learn in the modern world, but how do we start learning when there are no words for things or even the idea of words?
We learn by cooperation and the open sharing of knowledge and skills. There is no other way to create a common language for interactions and trade.
Did you know that everything you know about early human civilization is probably wrong?
Before it was a symbol of the Nazis, did you know the Indian swastika was used by the Hebrew people to decorate synagogues in ancient Israel because the Hebrews came to the Middle East from India’s Indus Valley 4,300 years ago?
Did you also know that 30,000 to 400,000 years ago prehistoric people had their versions of websites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and developed knowledge and language together the same way scientists solve advanced problems of physics at the CERN particle laboratory in Switzerland?
Did you know that the Pharaoh of the Exodus story (Akhenaten) was not native Egyptian but of mixed Indian-European background like the Hebrews and that he may have been related to the Biblical character Joseph who saved Egypt?
Among the artifacts of Stone Age history — a period lasting more than one million years — there are no weapons of war. As a result, the world’s first free public schools and universities were built 12,000 years ago, the first art was created 40,000 years ago, and long-distance trade between humans and other prehistoric people was launched as far back as 400,000 years ago.
Seven years ago, I read a quote from Aristotle claiming the ancestors of the Jews — the Hebrew people of the early Bible — came to the Middle East from ancient India. I began investigating and found all the evidence agreed with Aristotle. According to ancient Jewish authorities, the land where the Biblical Eden was located — Havilah — was ancient India.
The fall of Eden was the world’s first war about 3000 B.C.E. This was followed by the first anti-war state, the Indus, founded about 2600 B.C.E. on the principles of multiculturalism, free trade, the separation of church and state and a bathroom in every home. Genetic research into the people of the Indus Valley has revealed Semitic and Middle Eastern backgrounds among them. After a flood destroyed the Indus (the story of Noah), many migrants moved west to Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Some were called the Hebrews or “wanderers from the East.”
The world divided into East and West, as Near Eastern cultures with roots in old India — the Hittites, Babylonians and the Hyksos of ancient Egypt among others — were supplanted by western-rooted ones.
The divisions in the world today are modern, but in many ways the solution may be the most ancient one used by our common ancestors — cooperation.
Are you interested in learning more? Visit shalomaste.com.
Barry Brown is a veteran Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who has written for The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Times, among other publications. Contact Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.