~ Sumerian woman ~
This is, possibly, how a Sumerian woman of royal birth would have worn her jewellery in the City of Ur, located in now modern day Iraq. According to some, Sumerian writing is the oldest writing discovered by archaeologists.
The city of Ur of the Chaldees was the birthplace of Abraham, Father of Nations as later decreed by God. At age 75, Abram, his name not yet changed to Abraham, left Ur, taking his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, both families and all they owned, to, eventually, settle in his new home, the land of Caanan. Prior to settling in Caanan, they settled in Haran where God blessed both men greatly with tremendous wealth and many possessions but soon the land couldn't support both of them. New grazing grounds were needed and Abram gave Lot first choice. Lot decided to pitch his tents on the plain of Jordan, near the city of Sodom while Abram moved on to Caanan. At this time, Abram and Sarai were childless and, in fact, beyond "normal" child bearing years, at least Sarai was too old, biologically, to bear children; her normal course had ceased. Bearing children was a woman's sole identity, especially the bearing of sons, and for Sarai not to have born her husband children, was considered a curse. She gave her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abram and Hagar became pregnant and bore Abram a son, Ishmael, when Abram was 75 years old. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to despise Sarai and was mistreated by Sarai so Hagar ran away, to die in the desert. An angel of the Lord found her and told her to return to Sarai and Abram and to submit to Sarai. The angel of the Lord promised Hagar her yet unborn son would have too many descendants to count and "he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers".
Twenty-four years later, God appeared to Abram and told him he would now become a father for the second time. God made a covenant with Abram and promised, "you will be the father of many nations and your name will no longer be Abram but Abraham". This covenant also included all males, eight days or older being circumcised. God continued, telling Abraham his wife, Sarai, would also have a name change to Sarah and, through her son, "would be the mother of nations and kings of people would come from her". Both Sarah and Abraham found this too fantastic to be true; after all, Abraham and Sarah were both aged and they laughed at this idea but the next year, Sarah did indeed bear a son, Isaac.
Many things happened prior to Isaac being born. According to God's decree, all males, eight days and older, were circumcised this when Abraham was 99 years old and Ishmael was 13 years old. Additionally, Abraham was visited by "three men" who came to tell Abraham Sodom was going to be destroyed due to the extreme wickedness of the citizens. Abraham knew his nephew, Lot, and Lot's family resided in Sodom so Abraham began to bargain with the Lord.
Note: those middle easterners have always been great hagglers, it seems -smile-.
In due course, after much bargaining, the Lord agreed if ten righteous people could be found in the city, the Lord would stay his hand from destroying Sodom. The men left Abraham and made their way to Sodom and Lot's home. It gets rather graphic, at least in my mind, because the men of Sodom or Sodomites as they were known, went to Lot's house and demanded Lot give up his guests for the purpose of sex with the Sodomites. Lot refused and went so far as to offer his two virgin daughters for that purpose but begged the Sodomites to leave the guests alone.
Perhaps you know the end of the story...? Ten righteous men could, in fact, not be found but Lot and his family were given the opportunity to flee Sodom. The wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back after being told to only face forward. I've thought about that often and wondered how many blessings I've missed out on because I've neglected to look to my future because I was focused on my past. Only God knows.
The story of Ishmael and Isaac is the beginning of the "tension" between Jews and Muslims. Brothers, one illegitimate and the other legitimate, fought amongst themselves and their offspring continue to this day. They were both raised in the same household, one the son of a slave girl the other the son of the mistress and both have many, many, many descendants. There is a lot more to the stories of Lot and Abraham and it's all interesting and relevant to modern day events but I've gotten off track.
~ In this same room at the British Museum, there were other mummies ~
~ Staffordshire dig ~Move forward through history a few hundred years and we come to Great Britain and the Staffordshire Hoard. It's the largest Anglo-Saxon hoard ever found and the first pieces were found in July 2009. When the dig was finished, more than 1,500 pieces, totally more than five kilograms of gold were in Her Royal Majesty's collection.
~ Gold strip with Latin inscription ~
The Latin inscription reads, 'Rise up, Lord, and may Thy enemies be dispersed and those that hate thee be driven from thy face'. Numbers 10:35 The purpose of this strip is unknown and there are spelling errors in the Latin.
I've already shown the photo of the British Museum but wanted to show it again. There's something I missed telling you and I find it fascinating.In this photo of the left section of the British Museum, do you see the lion in the lower left corner?
That is this lion, the Lion of Knidos, weighing seven tons! It comes from a Knidos tomb in a cemetery in south-west Turkey. It looks extremely large in the above photo but when placed in context in its position in the British Museum, it pales in comparison. Amazing how perception changes things, eh?
Until next time,
Blessings ~ traveling safety ~ this fabulous trip ~ figuring out the Tube ~ making it all fit, history, that is ~