Historical Genesis

From Adam To Abraham

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Chapter 2 - A Place in History: Adam and Associates

When the British began excavations in 1849 in what had been Assyria, diggers filled crates with some 25,000 clay tablets they shipped off to the British Museum, thinking they were just decorated pottery. Little care was exercised loading them into baskets without padding, and they were sent off across the desert on the backs of pack animals with the inevitable result. Archaeologist Andre Parrot lamented:

...the voyage was more disastrous for those documents than had been the taking of Nineveh by the Medes.

What ended up in London in a pile of dust were the broken fragments of the most valuable history of Mesopotamia. This had been the library of King Ashurbanipal (668-626 BC) who collected meticulously and stored carefully his collected treasure trove.

It was the Assyrian king himself who decided which pieces of literature were important enough to copy for posterity. Candidate material included writings from before the flood. We might have found them fascinating, but the king was unimpressed:

I study stone inscriptions from before the flood, which are obtuse, obscure and confused.

And so, the king spared future historians the laborious task of sorting through tedious pre-flood literature. Thankfully, through the years of expeditions in Mesopotamia, better trained archeologists have used greater care, and although few clay tablets survived unscathed, the history of the region can be fairly well evaluated today on the basis of a wealth of recovered material. Bible and Assyrian scholar Archibald Sayce remarked:

The ancient East has risen as it were, from the dead, with its politics, and its wars, its laws and its trade, its arts, its industries and its science.

Genesis is too specific in detailing the culture of Adam's day to allow us to propel him back in time so that Adam can be ancestral to everyone on earth. Also, the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 are a prohibitive factor showing a connected line of patriarchs from Adam to Abraham, who is dated to roughly 2000 BC. But even if we could slide Adam back over a hundred thousands years so that he could start the Homo sapiens species, or even one of the races, there is no place in the history of hominids where Adam could have commenced his line of descendants in isolation, absent any other type of human beings. Even at 100,000 years ago, Neanderthals occupied northern Europe. Both archaic Homo sapiens and Neanderthals make their appearance earlier than what are considered to be truly modern Homo sapiens, and they continued for tens f thousands of years after that. If Adam lived in the Neolithic Period as indicated by Genesis, then Adam entered a populated world.