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Scandinavian Ancestry -- Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan International ^ | Summer 2000 | Thor Heyerdahl

Posted on 12/15/2001 2:43:28 PM PST by spycatcher


 Azerbaijan International

Summer 2000 (8.2)

Scandinavian Ancestry
Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan

by Thor Heyerdahl

Thor Heyerdahl with Peruvian children

Above: Thor Heyerdahl with Peruvian children who still construct traditional boats made of reeds, the principle material that enabled early migrations on trans-oceanic voyages. Courtesy: Thor Heyerdahl.

Archeologist and historian Thor Heyerdahl, 85, has visited Azerbaijan on several occasions during the past two decades. Each time, he garners more evidence to prove his tantalizing theory - that Scandinavian ancestry can be traced to the region now known as Azerbaijan.

Heyerdahl first began forming this hypothesis after visiting Gobustan, an ancient cave dwelling found 30 miles west of Baku, which is famous for its rock carvings. The sketches of sickle-shaped boats carved into these rocks closely resemble rock carvings found in his own native Norway.

Thor Heyerdahl and Ra 2

Above: Determined to prove that early man could have crossed the ocean in reed boats, Thor Heyerdahl sailed a reed boat named Ra 2 for 3,270 sea miles (6,100 kilometers) in 57 days in 1970. Courtesy: Thor Heyerdahl

Years later, the explorer stumbled upon another correlation between Norway and Azerbaijan. Norwegian mythology tells that the Scandinavian god Odin moved with his people to Norway from a land called Aser, in order to avoid Roman occupation. A 13th-century historian's description of Aser's origination matches that of Azerbaijan: east of the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea.

Is this story mythology or history? During his most recent visit to Azerbaijan in May 1999, Heyerdahl elaborated his point of view at a public forum. Here is his speech with personal notations added by Heyerdahl himself just prior to our going to press.

Ocean Currents that enabled early man to migrant oceans

Above: Heyerdahl's route that he made with a balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki in 1947 to prove that early transoceanic migrations were possible. Source: "Thor Heyerdahl, the Explorer", Oslo: J.M. Stenersens Forlag, 1994.

I think as science advances, it will become more and more evident that we have more in common with each other than any of us realized a few decades ago. This afternoon I visited the Gobustan caves. From the first time I saw the carvings out there [several years ago], I was attracted to the petroglyphs that feature reed ships. On the way back from Gobustan, I was told that I was supposed to speak tonight. I was told that I should speak about my relationship with Azerbaijan and how it began. I had barely half an hour to prepare myself for this topic, but I hope you will give me half an hour so I can tell you what I've been thinking.

The first time I came to Azerbaijan was in 1981 [He also visited in 1994, 1997 and 1999]. There weren't very many visitors from outside the Iron Curtain who came here back in those days. My invitation came from Azerbaijan's Academy of Sciences. I started thinking about why the Academy of Sciences in Azerbaijan would invite me and it dawned on me that I was in a very unique situation at the time because I was both a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and had received an Honorary Doctorate from the Soviet Academy of Sciences. I didn't believe in barriers between nations. I believed in people, not political parties.

Gobustan Rock Paintings -  near Baku Azerbaijan

Above: In the ancient caves of Gobustan which date back at least 5,000 years, cave drawings depict two different kinds of boats that were used for early navigation. Heyerdahl is convinced that people living in the area now known as Azerbaijan settled in Scandinavia around 100 AD. Gobustan is located about 30 miles southwest of Baku.

At that time I was fighting with scientists all over the world - both in the East and the West - because I believed that there had been peaceful contact between nations much longer than we, who consider ourselves civilized, ever realized. I believe there was contact by ships along the rivers and oceans long before civilization began. Earlier this century, nobody believed that people could navigate with the kinds of vessels that men were using 5,000 years ago. So I was fighting with scientists from all over the world - on both sides of the Iron Curtain - for my theory of ocean migration. I spent most of my time answering attacks in scientific publications. I had friends in Russia who sent me translations of these attacks. I answered back and my defense was published in Russian. Of course, it took quite a bit of time.

Roman inscriptions at Gobustan near Baku

Above: Roman inscription at Gobustan indicating that Roman troops were in the region around 97 AD.

One day I received a very surprising letter from Professor Keldish, President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He was quite famous on both sides of the Iron Curtain as he had sent the first Sputnik into space. He invited me to come to Moscow and defend my own theory in front of the Soviet scientists. I accepted the invitation and went alone to Moscow. It was a great moment for me to address the entire Academy, in a part of the world that was not very popular in my part of the world at that time.

Thor Heyerdahl at Gobustan rock carvings - 1994President Keldish himself organized the questions and it was a very fair and honest discussion. Before I left, I was given an Honorary Doctor's Degree from Lomonosov University in Moscow. Doctor Keldish asked me: "Why don't you collaborate with Russia and people from the Soviet part of the world in some of your expeditions in the future?"

Left: Thor Heyerdahl in 1994 at the Gobustan caves in Azerbaijan. Courtesy: Statoil

Now let me explain my own background as a scientist, because it wasn't everyone that President Keldish invited to come to Moscow. The reason was boats like those carved on the cave walls in Gobustan.

I had been educated in Oslo University in biology. As a student, I went on an archeological expedition to an island in the middle of the Pacific called Fatu-Hiva in Polynesia. I was to study how life had arrived at this island, which had come straight up from the bottom of the ocean. Millions of years ago the island had just been boiling lava. But when the first European explorers came, there were all sorts of plants and animals and even human beings. Of course, the study of zoology includes human beings as well. This was back in 1938.

It caused me to wonder: how did early people travel across the ocean? Europeans never discovered a single uninhabited island in any ocean. Every single island that could have been inhabited already was. All the thousands of islands in the Pacific and also all those in the Indian Ocean were populated. The islands in the Atlantic - the Canary Islands and the Caribbean Islands - were also populated. And so this is how I became interested in early navigation.

Doubting the Historians

Thor Heyerdahl and Jacqueline BeersScientists at that time insisted that no American Indian could have left America before Columbus, and no people could have reached America before Columbus except via the Bering Straits in the Arctic. This is where I learned how important it is for scientists to collaborate across different branches of science. I had my university training in biology, geography and physical anthropology. I had biological proof that someone must have brought certain plants from South America to Polynesia - for instance, the sweet potato, which only grew in South America. It could not have drifted alone across the ocean without the help of man.

Left: Thor Heyerdahl and wife Jacqueline Beers looking at book about antiquities in Azerbaijan at the Academy of Science during their 1999 visit to Azerbaijan. Courtesy: Statoil

Historians and anthropologists told me that in South America they had only rafts before the Europeans came. And so that's how I decided to construct a raft like I imagined the South American Indians had done, and sail with friends from Peru to Polynesia. This voyage on the "Kon Tiki" in 1947 was my first experience with a small vessel on the open ocean. From then on, I began organizing archeological excavations. My first was in 1952 to the Galapagos Islands. The next was to Easter Island in 1955-56. That was the first time I saw carvings of those large sickle-shaped ships. They were the same type as those in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. I started to suspect that people of early civilizations in North Africa might have been able to cross the Atlantic long before Columbus did.

We Europeans usually think that we have discovered everything, but that's not correct. We're realizing that everywhere there were people who came before us. My anthropological training has made me understand more and more how much alike people are, regardless of nationality, race or physical features.

I've also come to the conclusion that we err if we believe that we are much different from people who lived 5,000 years ago. I think that we can say with assurance that we are born with the same genes as people 5,000 years ago were. We start at zero for each new generation. We accumulate technical knowledge, but our intelligence or mental characteristics don't change.

With this in mind, I came to the conclusion that the Egyptians who built the pyramids left behind art and technology of an incredibly high level. They would not have continued to build boats made of reeds if they had considered such vessels to be primitive and ineffective. So, I decided that there must be something wrong with our scientific theories. All the literature that I had read at the university had said that boats made of balsam wood would absorb water and sink.

So I went on to prove that these scientific theories were wrong. The Kon Tiki raft kept afloat for 101 days until we arrived in Polynesia. In Egypt it was said at the Papyrus Institute that papyrus reed would absorb water and sink after two weeks. Again, I decided to trust the ancient pharaohs more than modern scientists who have never even seen a papyrus ship. That's how I came to build my first reed boat. Together, with an international crew of seven people, we sailed for two months. The reed boat was still afloat.

The Buduma fishermen from Lake Chad in Central Africa, who built this reed ship, were not used to ocean waves. The rope lashings busted and we started losing reeds. The problem was that half of the reeds were not floating with the rest of the ship. We were sitting there watching the reeds float behind us. When we arrived off the coast of the U.S., I decided that we should not take any risks with human life, but we should try again. For one month we had been swimming underneath the vessel and trying to tie it back together with ropes. In the end we had 17 sharks swimming alongside us, so we had to discontinue our repairs. So I told my men, "Are you going to come? We'll start again next year."

So we attempted to make the trip again and crossed the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados in 1970, with the papyrus ship Ra II and with all the same crew, plus a Japanese cameraman.

On both these Atlantic trips, I experimented not only with the vessel, but also with the crew. I mixed people - black as black as you can get, with yellow and white - along with representatives of all the existing main religions, including atheism. There was one person from North America and one from Soviet Russia, one Arab and one Jew.

We lived together so well that they all came with me again when I sailed another reed ship in the Indian Ocean in 1977-78. That reed ship, the Tigris, was larger, which made room for more nationalities. We sailed down the river Tigris up to the Persian Gulf, up to Pakistan, the Indus Valley, then reversed our direction and sailed across the Indian Ocean and came back to the entrance of the Red Sea, where we could meet the modern world. The 11 of us were from 11 nations, from all different political inclinations, all major religions, and we all lived together in peace for five months in the tight quarters of a reed ship.

We received messages from the United Nations that we shouldn't push any further because there was a war being waged on both sides of the Red Sea, where millennia ago peaceful Sumerians and the people from the Indus Valley had traded with Egyptians. We sent a telegram to the United Nations and recommended that they halt weapons delivery to people who had been fighting only with swords until Westerners had come and were making profit from perpetrating wars more catastrophic than ever.

Visiting Azerbaijan
And so, after those three expeditions on three different oceans, I was invited to visit Azerbaijan. I came here because I had established good contacts with scientists in this country, and I had learned that you had something quite sensational at Gobustan. I came to Azerbaijan as a guest of the Academy of Sciences in Azerbaijan to see the petroglyphs in Gobustan.

The President of the Academy was driving around with me to see this country and its beautiful nature and to meet local people - scientists as well as farmers. I learned about his family connections the day before I left - he was the brother of the President of Azerbaijan. That's how my friendship with your country started.

Due to this friendship that I have with Azerbaijan, when Statoil from Norway came here, I was invited to join the delegation because I knew so many people here. And that's when I became interested in the fact that you have two types of boat petroglyphs in Gobustan.

On my first visit, I came to study the reed ships that are similar to the boats of the ancient Mediterranean. But on my second visit, I learned that the people in Azerbaijan call themselves Azeri. I remembered from my school days that we have legends in Norway woven into Norwegian history in such an intricate way that we don't know where history starts and mythology ends. But the documented history of Norway dates back more than 800 years. Traditions about the original homeland of our ancestors were recorded in the 18th century in Ireland and say that we are descendants of the land of the Aser.

Early Scandinavian History
We learn of the line of royal families in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. But we didn't take these stories about our beginnings seriously because they were so ancient. We thought it was just imagination, just mythology. The actual years for the lineage of historic kings began around the year 800 AD. So we learned all the kings in the 1,000 years that followed and did not interest ourselves in earlier names.

But I remember from my childhood that the mythology started with the god named Odin. From Odin it took 31 generations to reach the first historic king. The record of Odin says that he came to Northern Europe from the land of Aser. I started reading these pages again and saw that this was not mythology at all, but actual history and geography.

Snorre, who recorded these stories, started by describing Europe, Asia and Africa, all with their correct names, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea with their old Norse names, the Black Sea with the names we use today again, and the river Don with its old Greek name, Tanais. So, I realized that this has nothing to do with the gods who lived with the Thunder god Thor among the clouds.

Snorre said that the homeland of the Asers was east of the Black Sea. He said this was the land that chief Odin had, a big country. He gave the exact description: it was east of the Black Sea, south of a large mountain range on the border between Europe and Asia, and extended southward towards the land of the Turks. This had nothing to do with mythology, it was on this planet, on Earth.

Then came the most significant point. Snorre says: "At that time when Odin lived, the Romans were conquering far and wide in the region. When Odin learned that they were coming towards the land of Asers, he decided that it was best for him to take his priests, chiefs and some of his people and move to the Northern part of Europe."

The Romans are human beings, they are from this planet, they are not mythical figures. Then I remember that when I came to Gobustan, I had seen a stone slab with Roman inscriptions. I contacted the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. I was taken to the place, and I got the exact wording of the inscription.

There's a very logical way of figuring out when this was written. It had to be written after the year 84 AD and before the year 97 AD. If this inscription matched Snorre's record, it would mean that Odin left for Scandinavia during the second half of the 1st century AD. Then I counted the members of the generations of kings, every king up to the grandfather of the king that united Norway into one kingdom, because such information is available - around 830 AD.

In anthropology we reckon 25 years per generation for ruling kings. In modern times, a generation may extend up to 30 years, but on average the length of a generation in early reigns is 25 years. When you multiply 31 generations by 25 years, you come exactly back to the second half of the 1st century AD. So there is proof that these inscriptions carved by the Romans in stone coincide with the written history written almost 1,800 years ago in Iceland.

We all know that the Northern people are called Caucasian. Here is where history, archeology, geography and physical anthropology come together.

The more I research the topic, the more evidence I find that this part of the planet has played a much more significant role than anybody ever suspected. I am working on a book at present together with a colleague, and we are halfway through it describing our observations.

Blond-Haired Mummies
In the meantime we have contacts with the Academies of Sciences in 11 nations. We do not want to leave anything out. The most surprising discovery was when we contacted Communist China. They had discovered blond-haired mummies in the Karim Desert deep inside China, so perfectly preserved in the cold climate and salty earth that you could see the color of the skin and hair. The Chinese archeologists were surprised because these mummies were not Mongoloids at all; they suspected instead that they were Vikings.

But it didn't make sense to me that Vikings should be deep inside the deserts of China. When the Chinese archeologists conducted radio-carbon dating, they determined that the mummies were of Nordic type dating from 1,800 to 1,500 years BC. But the Viking period started around 800 AD. It then became obvious that these mummies were not Vikings who had come to China. Here was a missing link. And again the Caucasus enters into the picture as a mutual migratory center.

But this is not the end of the story. These mummies were dressed in cloth that had been woven, and the colors and the woven pattern were of a very specific type. The Chinese themselves studied the mummies and then invited American experts to study the clothing who determined that the weave and coloring were typical of the Celts of Ireland. But this made no sense at all. Then we contacted Ireland to get their sagas, and their written saga says that their ancestors were Scythians. So, again, their roots come back here to the Caucasus.

This is only the beginning, because this is as far as we have obtained documentation from the Academies of Sciences with which we are in contact. I will not go into detail further, but I have also found archeological evidence that is so striking that there can no longer be any doubt.

My conclusion is that Azerbaijan has been a very important center, sending people in many directions and attracting people from many directions. You have had metals that made the Romans want to come here. But you have been very central in the evolution of civilization, and more than anything, this is proven by the petroglyphs in Gobustan.

One thing is clear: navigation occurred before civilization. We used to believe that civilization came first, and once people had developed a high enough level of civilization, then they started to build boats. This just isn't true. On the contrary, it was when people built ocean-going vessels - that enabled them to contact each other so that they could trade and learn from each other. It was through contact and peaceful cooperation that civilization developed.

Azerbaijan International (8.2) Summer 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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1 posted on 12/15/2001 2:43:28 PM PST by spycatcher
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To: blam
Sorry, the pictures were there when I previewed it -- twice. Must have been in my cache or something. Oh well, I tried. Next time I'll make sure the full url for each image is in the html source.
2 posted on 12/15/2001 2:46:19 PM PST by spycatcher
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To: spycatcher
I guess that means some Turks will claim Scandinavia as part of Greater Turkistan along with the Azeris, etc. Better than the EU I guess.
3 posted on 12/15/2001 2:54:06 PM PST by Shermy
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To: spycatcher
Interesting. I myself would love to what Thor's doing. So many ancient European tales of migrations. For a moment, I thought Thor was going to link Aser with ancient Assyria and regenerate British Israelism by saying Scandinavians are remnants of the Lost Ten Tribes.
4 posted on 12/15/2001 2:56:04 PM PST by fso301
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To: Shermy

Above: Heyerdahl's route that he made with a balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki in 1947 to prove that early transoceanic migrations were possible. Source: "Thor Heyerdahl, the Explorer", Oslo: J.M. Stenersens Forlag, 1994.

Above: In the ancient caves of Gobustan which date back at least 5,000 years, cave drawings depict two different kinds of boats that were used for early navigation. Heyerdahl is convinced that people living in the area now known as Azerbaijan settled in Scandinavia around 100 AD. Gobustan is located about 30 miles southwest of Baku.

5 posted on 12/15/2001 2:57:18 PM PST by spycatcher
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To: fso301;LostTribe
"For a moment, I thought Thor was going to link Aser with ancient Assyria and regenerate British Israelism by saying Scandinavians are remnants of the Lost Ten Tribes."

We'll get FReeper LostTribe's take on this.

6 posted on 12/15/2001 2:58:56 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
I presume LostTribe is an adherant to British Israelism.
7 posted on 12/15/2001 3:05:48 PM PST by fso301
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To: fso301
"I presume LostTribe is an adherant to British Israelism."

See his profile page for your answer.

8 posted on 12/15/2001 3:12:04 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
>We'll get FReeper LostTribe's take on this.

Hello Blam!

On a quick read I don't have any problem with Heyerdahls premise. (Have printed it out for more careful reading.) The headline sounds right on target, as this where the LostTribes disappeared and the Celts appeared. But the people who lived there THEN are not the people who live there NOW, as the Celts were just passing though. I'll get back after I've studied it more carefully.

9 posted on 12/15/2001 3:21:05 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: fso301
>I presume LostTribe is an adherant to British Israelism.

Wrongo. Click on the Profile for more info.

10 posted on 12/15/2001 3:22:19 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: spycatcher
Clearly the Scandanavians were in the area north and east of the black sea, as the following history from the time of the Emperor Justinian relates. There is also another theory that the Svear of Sweden are the Heruli from Roman history. The Heruli were Goths from the Black Sea region who migrate to northern Italy and then disappear from history.


(The United Goths)

"IV (25) Now from this island of Scandza, as from a hive of races or a womb of nations, the Goths are said to have come forth long ago under their king, Berig by name. As soon as they disembarked from their ships and set foot on the land, they straightway gave their name to the place. And even to-day it is said to be called Gothiscandza. (26) Soon they moved from here to the abodes of the Ulmerugi, who then dwelt on the shores of Ocean, where they pitched camp, joined battle with them and drove them from their homes. Then they subdued their neighbors, the Vandals, and thus added to their victories. But when the number of the people increased greatly and Filimer, son of Gadaric, reigned as king--about the fifth since Berig--he decided that the army of the Goths with their families should move from that region. (27) In search of suitable homes and pleasant places they came to the land of Scythia, called Oium in that tongue. Here they were delighted with the great richness of the country, and it is said that when half the army had been brought over, the bridge whereby they had crossed the river fell in utter ruin, nor could anyone thereafter pass to or fro. For the place is said to be surrounded by quaking bogs and an encircling abyss, so that by this double obstacle nature has made it inaccessible. And even to-day one may hear in that neighborhood the lowing of cattle and may find traces of men, if we are to believe the stories of travellers, although we must grant that they hear these things from afar.

(28) This part of the Goths, which is said to have crossed the river and entered with Filimer into the country of Oium, came into possession of the desired land, and there they soon came upon the race of the Spali, joined battle with them and won the victory. Thence the victors hastened to the farthest part of Scythia, which is near the sea of Pontus; for so the story is generally told in their early songs, in almost historic fashion. Ablabius also, a famous chronicler of the Gothic race, confirms this in his most trustworthy account. (29) Some of the ancient writers also agree with the tale. Among these we may mention Josephus, a most reliable relator of annals, who everywhere follows the rule of truth and unravels from the beginning the origin of causes;--but why he has omitted the beginnings of the race of the Goths, of which I have spoken, I do not know. He barely mentions Magog of that stock, and says they were Scythians by race and were called so by name.

Before we enter on our history, we must describe the boundaries of this land, as it lies.

V (30) Now Scythia borders on the land of Germany as far as the source of the river Ister and the expanse of the Morsian Swamp. It reaches even to the rivers Tyra, Danaster and Vagosola, and the great Danaper, extending to the Taurus range--not the mountains in Asia but our own, that is, the Scythian Taurus--all the way to Lake Maeotis. Beyond Lake Maeotis it spreads on the other side of the straits of Bosphorus to the Caucasus Mountains and the river Araxes. Then it bends back to the left behind the Caspian Sea, which comes from the north-eastern ocean in the most distant parts of Asia, and so is formed like a mushroom, at first narrow and then broad and round in shape. It extends as far as the Huns, Albani and Seres. (31) This land, I say,--namely, Scythia, stretching far and spreading wide,--has on the east the Seres, a race that dwelt at the very beginning of their history on the shore of the Caspian Sea. On the west are the Germans and the river Vistula; on the arctic side, namely the north, it is surrounded by Ocean; on the south by Persis, Albania, Hiberia, Pontus and the farthest channel of the Ister, which is called the Danube all the way from mouth to source. (32) But in that region where Scythia touches the Pontic coast it is dotted with towns of no mean fame:--Borysthenis, Olbia, Callipolis, Cherson, Theodosia, Careon, Myrmicion and Trapezus. These towns the wild Scythian tribes allowed the Greeks to build to afford them means of trade. In the midst of Scythia is the place that separates Asia and Europe, I mean the Rhipaeian mountains, from which the mighty Tanais flows. This river enters Maeotis, a marsh having a circuit of one hundred and forty-four miles and never subsiding to a depth of less than eight fathoms.

(33) In the land of Scythia to the westward dwells, first of all, the race of the Gepidae, surrounded by great and famous rivers. For the Tisia flows through it on the north and northwest, and on the southwest is the great Danube. On the east it is cut by the Flutausis, a swiftly eddying stream that sweeps whirling into the Ister's waters. (34) Within these rivers lies Dacia, encircled by the lofty Alps as by a crown. Near their left ridge, which inclines toward the north, and beginning at the source of the Vistula, the populous race of the Venethi dwell, occupying a great expanse of land. Though their names are now dispersed amid various clans and places, yet they are chiefly called Sclaveni and Antes. (35) The abode of the Sclaveni extends from the city of Noviodunum and the lake called Mursianus to the Danaster, and northward as far as the Vistula. They have swamps and forests for their cities. The Antes, who are the bravest of these peoples dwelling in the curve of the sea of Pontus, spread from the Danaster to the Danaper, rivers that are many days' journey apart. (36) But on the shore of Ocean, where the floods of the river Vistula empty from three mouths, the Vidivarii dwell, a people gathered out of various tribes. Beyond them the Aesti, a subject race, likewise hold the shore of Ocean. To the south dwell the Acatziri, a very brave tribe ignorant of agriculture, who subsist on their flocks and by hunting. (37) Farther away and above the Sea of Pontus are the abodes of the Bulgares, well known from the wrongs done to them by reason of our oppression. From this region the Huns, like a fruitful root of bravest races, sprouted into two hordes of people. Some of these are called Altziagiri, others Sabiri; and they have different dwelling places. The Altziagiri are near Cherson, where the avaricious traders bring in the goods of Asia. In summer they range the plains, their broad domains, wherever the pasturage for their cattle invites them, and betake themselves in winter beyond the Sea of Pontus. Now the Hunuguri are known to us from the fact that they trade in marten skins. But they have been cowed by their bolder neighbors.

(38) We read that on their first migration the Goths dwelt in the land of Scythia near Lake Maeotis. On the second migration they went to Moesia, Thrace and Dacia, and after their third they dwelt again in Scythia, above the Sea of Pontus. Nor do we find anywhere in their written records legends which tell of their subjection to slavery in Britain or in some other island, or of their redemption by a certain man at the cost of a single horse. Of course if anyone in our city says that the Goths had an origin different from that I have related, let him object. For myself, I prefer to believe what I have read, rather than put trust in old wives' tales.

(39) To return, then, to my subject. The aforesaid race of which I speak is known to have had Filimer as king while they remained in their first home in Scythia near Maeotis. In their second home, that is in the countries of Dacia, Thrace and Moesia, Zalmoxes reigned, whom many writers of annals mention as a man of remarkable learning in philosophy. Yet even before this they had a learned man Zeuta, and after him Dicineus; and the third was Zalmoxes of whom I have made mention above. Nor did they lack teachers of wisdom. (40) Wherefore the Goths have ever been wiser than other barbarians and were nearly like the Greeks, as Dio relates, who wrote their history and annals with a Greek pen. He says that those of noble birth among them, from whom their kings and priests were appointed, were called first Tarabostesei and then Pilleati. Moreover so highly were the Getae praised that Mars, whom the fables of poets call the god of war, was reputed to have been born among them. Hence Virgil says:

"Father Gradivus rules the Getic fields."

(41) Now Mars has always been worshipped by the Goths with cruel rites, and captives were slain as his victims. They thought that he who is the lord of war ought to be appeased by the shedding of human blood. To him they devoted the first share of the spoil, and in his honor arms stripped from the foe were suspended from trees. And they had more than all other races a deep spirit of religion, since the worship of this god seemed to be really bestowed upon their ancestor.

(42) In their third dwelling place, which was above the Sea of Pontus, they had now become more civilized and, as I have said before, were more learned. Then the people were divided under ruling families. The Visigoths served the family of the Balthi and the Ostrogoths served the renowned Amali. (43) They were the first race of men to string the bow with cords, as Lucan, who is more of a historian than a poet, affirms:

"They string Armenian bows with Getic cords."

In earliest times they sang of the deeds of their ancestors in strains of song accompanied by the cithara; chanting of Eterpamara, Hanala, Fritigern, Vidigoia and others whose fame among them is great; such heroes as admiring antiquity scarce proclaims its own to be. (44) Then, as the story goes, Vesosis waged a war disastrous to himself against the Scythians, whom ancient tradition asserts to have been the husbands of the Amazons. Concerning these female warriors Orosius speaks in convincing language. Thus we can clearly prove that Vesosis then fought with the Goths, since we know surely that he waged war with the husbands of the Amazons. They dwelt at that time along a bend of Lake Maeotis, from the river Borysthenes, which the natives call the Danaper, to the stream of the Tanais. (45) By the Tanais I mean the river which flows down from the Rhipaeian mountains and rushes with so swift a current that when the neighboring streams or Lake Maeotis and the Bosphorus are frozen fast, it is the only river that is kept warm by the rugged mountains and is never solidified by the Scythian cold. It is also famous as the boundary of Asia and Europe. For the other Tanais is the one which rises in the mountains of the Chrinni and flows into the Caspian Sea. (46) The Danaper begins in a great marsh and issues from it as from its mother. It is sweet and fit to drink as far as half-way down its course. It also produces fish of a fine flavor and without bones, having only cartilage as the frame-work of their bodies. But as it approaches the Pontus it receives a little spring called Exampaeus, so very bitter that although the river is navigable for the length of a forty days' voyage, it is so altered by the water of this scanty stream as to become tainted and unlike itself, and flows thus tainted into the sea between the Greek towns of Callipidae and Hypanis. At its mouth there is an island named Achilles. Between these two rivers is a vast land filled with forests and treacherous swamps.

VI (47) This was the region where the Goths dwelt when Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, made war upon them. Their king at that time was Tanausis. In a battle at the river Phasis (whence come the birds called pheasants, which are found in abundance at the banquets of the great all over the world) Tanausis, king of the Goths, met Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, and there inflicted a severe defeat upon him, pursuing him even to Egypt. Had he not been restrained by the waters of the impassable Nile and the fortifications which Vesosis had long ago ordered to be made against the raids of the Ethiopians, he would have slain him in his own land. But finding he had no power to injure him there, he returned and conquered almost all Asia and made it subject and tributary to Sornus, king of the Medes, who was then his dear friend. At that time some of his victorious army, seeing that the subdued provinces were rich and fruitful, deserted their companies and of their own accord remained in various parts of Asia.

(48) From their name or race Pompeius Trogus says the stock of the Parthians had its origin. Hence even to-day in the Scythian tongue they are called Parthi, that is, Deserters. And in consequence of their descent they are archers--almost alone among all the nations of Asia--and are very valiant warriors. Now in regard to the name, though I have said they were called Parthi because they were deserters, some have traced the derivation of the word otherwise, saying that they were called Parthi because they fled from their kinsmen. Now when Tanausis, king of the Goths, was dead, his people worshipped him as one of their gods."

11 posted on 12/15/2001 3:30:59 PM PST by Lessismore
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To: spycatcher
Thor Heyerdahl's theory that Polynesians migrated by boat from South America has been debunked over the last few years by genetic evidence. This evidence shows that the Peruvians were descended from Asians who migrated down the Americas from the North, and that the Polynesians were of nearby Asian origin, not from the Americas.

Similar genetic evidence might be helpful in evaluating his latest theory.

See The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes.

12 posted on 12/15/2001 4:06:51 PM PST by AZLiberty
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To: Lessismore
Thank you for your interesting article. But please note that it is considered good manners on FR to NOT pollute threads with 3 page articles, however interesting, when they could better be LINKED to and read there by those who care to. That leaves the threads free for commentary on the original article, and takes the burden off those Freepers who do not have hi-speed connections. Thanks. -LT
13 posted on 12/15/2001 4:08:13 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: AZLiberty

Excuse me, by anyone of the stature of Thor? The value of genetic testing has been grossly overrated by those whose purpose it serves, much like carbon dating. See the recent squabble about genetic linking of Jews and Palestinians, and whose "evidence" matches up with which sponsoring organizations.

14 posted on 12/15/2001 4:11:47 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: blam
After reading the article I believe Thor is right on target! Chalk Him up another pioneering breakthrough!

The single disconnect is the date he places on the Chinese mummies. It is about a thousand years earlier than the 620 BC date when the Celts (as we know them) first appeared in recorded history in northern Iraq, west of the Caspian Sea, and all around the Black sea. There are 2 obvious possible explanations for the disparity.

(1) The Chinese carbon dating is wrong. This always has to be considered. According to my Jewish Biblical Archeology professor at Oxford who managed digs in Palestine, a swing of a thousand years in carbon dating thereabouts is not at all unusual. From his extensive real-life dig experience he was always skeptical of carbon dates.

(2) If the dates are correct, these "blond haired Vikings" could be Israelites from the first bail-out of their Egyptian captivity. The Bible documents that following Josephs rein, when political conditions began to sour, one of Judahs sons plus members of the Tribes of Judah, Dan, and ASHER bailed out of Egypt by sea. Egyptian leaders from "upper" Egypt were coming down (northward) and taking over what Joseph had created, bringing about the bad times for the Israelites which are documented in such great detail in the OT.

These "early leaver" Israelites sailed first to the Eastern Med, then Westward to form settlements in Spain, then on to Ireland. Perhaps some of them stayed behind in the East and went northward into China? The dates and peoples do seem to match. If true, the "Vikings" in China would not be from the Lost Tribes of Israel as we think of them, but their much earlier cousins direct from Egypt.

In terms of the Norwegians, since Thor is dating them from Azerbaijan in early AD, just after the time of Christ, they could well be from either the earlier "Vikings" direct from Egypt, or from the Lost Tribes who appeared in that same region much later.

That's my first pass at it. What do you think?

15 posted on 12/15/2001 5:08:32 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: LostTribe
Wrongo. Click on the Profile for more info.

I did and it appears as if you are an adherant to at least some form of British Israelism. Not that I have any problem with that.

16 posted on 12/15/2001 5:26:05 PM PST by fso301
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To: AZLiberty
This is a skeleton of the oldest dated skeleton ever found in the Americas. Please be so kind and point out the Asian features on this image.

This is Luzia, she died at the age of 24, 11,500 years ago in Brazil.

17 posted on 12/15/2001 5:32:39 PM PST by blam
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To: LostTribe
"If true, the "Vikings" in China would not be from the Lost Tribes of Israel as we think of them, but their much earlier cousins direct from Egypt."

They must be the earlier cousins. I've read a number of books on the Chinese mummies, ("The Mummies Of Urumchi" and "The Tarim Basin Mummies") to name two, I believe the dates.

18 posted on 12/15/2001 5:40:08 PM PST by blam
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To: LostTribe
Go to this site and click on the links. You'll love the maps. This was a good book,The mummies of Urumchi.

19 posted on 12/15/2001 5:47:22 PM PST by blam
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To: LostTribe
It all seems plausible, one thing about the Chinese mummies, it looks from what I previously read that they predate the era of Abraham by quite a bit, in fact the oldest assumptions put them before Adam. Not too sure about that, but I believe the Tarim basin was the area where the flood of Noah occured based on the close proximity of a very likely Eden location that is now the Pamir plateau, this area was an inland sea from about 2300 bc to the time of Christ, IIRC, and so the discovery of these mummies lends support to this theory since they are obviously Adamic in lineage.

I believe they were the victims of that flood and their ancestors.

20 posted on 12/15/2001 5:58:41 PM PST by Citizen of the Savage Nation
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