Notes Index

The Hebrew Alphabet: The Ultimate Time Capsule

And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!   -- Shelley
Likewise, we will not go at length into the story of the Deluge, although the origins of this legend reveal certain elements of the conflict between the different symbols which we have been examining. The incoherence in the behaviour of a divinity who decides to suppress all life because his creation has gone sour, and who in this drastic operation carefully preserves a sample of each of his created species so that he can keep alive what he intends to destroy, is a stepping-down to the folklore level of some of the contradictions with which are are now familiar. And the picturesque Odyssey of Noahh and his Ark furnishes amusing decorations for nurseries.

The Deluge, no doubt, was really a cataclysm that was apparently the end of a world and, for those to whom it happened, it was the end of the world. Then came the surprising discovery that everything was beginning again. The Semitic genius grafted some interesting symbols onto these archaic memories, such as the Ark itself, the raven, the dove, and of course, all the numbers involved ... each episode merits careful study, but we shall keep to its broad lines.    Noahh
  We know that there have been many cataclysmic events on the earth, in both myth (see Noah and Atlantis) and history (The Day the Dinosaurs Died, the various Ice Ages , the Minoan eruption) and the possibly related Late Bronze Age collapse, "a transition which historians believe was violent, sudden, and culturally disruptive ... within a period of forty to fifty years at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the twelfth century almost every significant city in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed, many of them never to be occupied again." Note that writing went extinct in Mycenaean Greece for 400 years..

  We know that humans have existed in their present form and cranial capacity for at least several hundred thousand years.
Homo sapiens, the first modern humans, evolved from their early hominid predecessors between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago. They developed a capacity for language about 50,000 years ago. The first modern humans began moving outside of Africa starting about 70,000-100,000 years ago.    Khan Academy
  In term of the History of Humans, it looks like our ancestors stood up a couple of million years ago. Neanderthals , and Denisovans had been around for 500,000 to 750,000 years, proabably interbreeding with each other and humans until they disappeared 50,000 (Neanderthals) and 15,000 (Denisovans) years ago. Homo Sapiens appear in the middle Paleolithic about 300,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it starts to develop about 12,000 years ago, when the Neolithic New Stone Age begins.

So we know that an advanced civilization can develop out of pounding rocks in twelve thousand years. We know that the Quaternary glaciation cycle started 2.5 million years ago, with ice sheets advancing and retreating every 40 thousand to 100 thousand years, and that "over the past 740,000 years there have been eight glacial cycles," or two or three since modern humans have been around. We also know that ice sheets grind the earth down a mile or two.

If we allow 25,000 years for an average rise and fall, it looks like we could run the advanced civilization simulation ten or twelve times since humans apparently first appeared.

So we want to raise the queston: What would it take to completely eliminate all traces of an advanced civilization from the face of the earth? Humans seem to be performing this experiment, so we may soon have the answer, but meantime, let's raise another question: If you wanted to send some important information to a future civilization because you know that it will take ten or twenty thousand years for humans to develop the capacity (think modern science) to understand/decode your message when they open the time capsule, what would you do?

The myth says, put it in Noah's Ark because God is going to wipe out everyone from the time when giants walked the earth and the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans (Gen 6:1-5) -- which by the way, sounds like some kind of advanced civilization.

Ok, we've got the boat to survive God's wrath and make it over to the other side, but what do we put in it? How do we transmit information that human minds won't be capable of understanding for thousands (and thousands) of years?

The Ozymandias effect tells us that physical artifacts and monuments don't last. The oldest Egyptian Pyramind was built 4,600 years ago. We need a better container for our important information.

Humans have apparently been talking to each other for 50,000 years but our ancester language with no written traces was Proto-Indo-European from 4500 BC to 2500 BC. Paleo-Hebrew, a child of the Phoenician alphabet, with 22 consonants, appears in the historical record in the 10th century BC.

So now we have two problems: anything physical will disintegrate, and the language we use to express our thoughts may not not even be there to understand them.

Let's think about language. According to conventional wisdom humans developed speech only 50,000 years ago, apparently mumbling and using sign language before that for two or three hundred thousand years. Until recently Neanderthals were considered non-talking sub-humans but as research progresses, it looks like they were more like us than we thought and likely talked to each other and the humans they were sleeping with. Science thinks that Neanderthals preceded homo sapiens by one or two hundred thousand years. When did they start talking? If we deny Neanderthals conversational ability as this source does, language evolved some time after the beginning of last human exodus from East Africa, when non-glacial-adapted humans migrated north, 50 to 70 thousand years ago. During this time, countless Languages have evolved and been lost:   "Academic consensus holds that between 50% and 90% of languages spoken at the beginning of the 21st century will probably have become extinct by the year 2100."

Ok, what languages seem to have lasted the longest? Let's look at our oldest books. In the East, the Vedas are "among the oldest sacred texts" dating to as early as 1700 BCE, in Sanskrit. In the West, the Torah   "a product of the Babylonian captivity (c. 6th century BCE)," in Hebrew.

Sanskrit has been in continous use in an incredibily multi-lingual ecology for almost three thousand years, continuously regenerating itself as a common repository of spiritual knowledge. Hebrew went extinct after the Jews revolted (for the third and final time) in 132 CE but has been miraculously resurrected for some reason in the State of Israel.

Quaternary glaciation - Wikipedia
The Quaternary glaciation, also known as the Pleistocene glaciation, is an alternating series of glacial and interglacial periods during the Quaternary period that began 2.58 Ma (million years ago), and is ongoing. Snowball Earth - Wikipedia
The Snowball Earth hypothesis proposes that during one or more of Earth's icehouse climates, Earth's surface became entirely or nearly entirely frozen at least once, sometime earlier than 650 Mya (million years ago). Timeline of glaciation - Wikipedia

Late Paleozoic icehouse - Wikipedia
The late Paleozoic icehouse, formerly known as the Karoo ice age, was the climate state 360-260 million years ago (Mya) in which large land-based ice-sheets were present on Earth's surface.[1] It was the second major glacial period of the Phanerozoic.

Timeline of the evolutionary history of life - Wikipedia
More than 99 percent of all species, amounting to over five billion species,[1] that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct.

Could Neanderthals Speak? The Ongoing Debate Over Neanderthal Language - The Crux

Sacred language - Wikipedia
A sacred language is often the language which was spoken and written in the society in which a religion's sacred texts were first set down; however, these texts thereafter become fixed and holy, remaining frozen and immune to later linguistic developments. Once a language becomes associated with religious worship, its believers may ascribe virtues to the language of worship that they would not give to their native tongues ... The concept of sacred languages is distinct from that of divine languages, which are languages ascribed to the divine (i.e. God or gods) and may not necessarily be natural language.
Divine language - Wikipedia
In Judaism and Christianity, it is unclear whether the language used by God to address Adam was the language of Adam, who as name-giver (Genesis 2:19) used it to name all living things, or if it was a different divine language. But since God is portrayed as using speech during creation, and as addressing Adam before Gen 2:19, some authorities assumed that the language of God was different from the language of Paradise invented by Adam, while most medieval Jewish authorities maintained that the Hebrew language was the language of God ... Angelical was supposed to have been the language God used to create the world, and then used by Adam to speak with God and Angels and to name all things in existence. He then lost the language upon his Fall from Paradise, and constructed a form of proto-Hebrew based upon his vague memory of Angelical. This proto-Hebrew, then, was the universal human language until the time of the Confusion of Tongues at the Tower of Babel.
Twilight language - Wikipedia As has often been said, tantric texts are written in "twilight language" (sandha-bhasa, gongpay-kay), which, as the Hevajra tantra states, is a "secret language, that great convention of the yoginis, which the shravakas and others cannot unriddle". This means that the texts of Buddhist tantra cannot be understood without the specific oral commentary by authorized Vajrayana teachers.[1]

Metalanguage - Wikipedia
An embedded metalanguage is a language formally, naturally and firmly fixed in an object language.

Astrological World Cycles
Ages of Man - Wikipedia

Stone Age - Wikipedia
The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted roughly 3.4 million years[1] and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking.
The Neolithic also known as the "New Stone Age"), the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first development of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago (4500 BC), marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
Chalcolithic - Wikipedia
The Copper Age in the Ancient Near East began in the late 5th millennium BC and lasted for about a millennium before it gave rise to the Early Bronze Age. The transition from the European Copper Age to Bronze Age Europe occurs about the same time, between the late 5th and the late 3rd millennia BC.

Bronze Age - Wikipedia
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, and in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian J|rgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies.
Iron Age - Wikipedia
The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humankind. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic) and the Bronze Age. The concept has been mostly applied to Europe and the Ancient Near East, and, by analogy, also to other parts of the Old World.

Study of links between Hebrews (Jews) And Vedic Brahmins
Ancient Indian and Hebrew Language Connection?
The Mythological Hebrew Terms Explained By The Sanskrit on JSTOR
Timeline of Hindu texts - Wikipedia
Mesha Stele - Wikipedia
Are Sanskrit and Hebrew related? - Quora
Which language is oldest, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, or Sanskrit? - Quora
Brahmic scripts - Wikipedia
Sanskrit - Wikipedia
Vedas - Wikipedia

Language - Wikipedia
Indo-Aryan languages - Wikipedia
Indo-Iranian languages - Wikipedia
Indo-European languages - Wikipedia
Afroasiatic languages - Wikipedia
Sino-Tibetan languages - Wikipedia
Niger-Congo languages - Wikipedia
Austronesian languages - Wikipedia
Semitic languages - Wikipedia
Semitic languages occur in written form from a very early historical date, with East Semitic Akkadian and Eblaite texts (written in a script adapted from Sumerian cuneiform) appearing from the 30th century BCE and the 25th century BCE in Mesopotamia and the northern Levant respectively. The only earlier attested languages are Sumerian, Elamite (2800 BCE to 550 BCE) (both language isolates), Egyptian and unclassified Lullubi from the 30th century BCE.
Northwest Semitic languages - Wikipedia
The Indo-European Branches of the Language Tree |
Understanding The Sacred Language Of Sanskrit - Collective Evolution
Hebrew language - Wikipedia
The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE.[9] Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language

A Short History of the Hebrew Language by Chaim Rabin
contra extinction in 70 CE, Jews wrote a lot in Hebrew in the diaspora
Brahmi script - Wikipedia
developed in the mid-1st millennium BCE, is the oldest known writing system of Ancient India, with the possible exception of the undeciphered Indus script
Brahmic scripts - Wikipedia
Brahmic scripts descended from the Brahmi script. Brahmi is clearly attested from the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ashoka,
Cuneiform - Wikipedia
Emerging in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC (the Uruk IV period) to convey the Sumerian language, which was a language isolate, cuneiform writing began as a system of pictograms, stemming from an earlier system of shaped tokens used for accounting. In the third millennium ... was gradually replaced by the Phoenician alphabet during the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-612 BC). By the second century AD, the script had become extinct, its last traces being found in Assyria and Babylonia, and all knowledge of how to read it was lost until it began to be deciphered in the 19th century. Geoffrey Sampson stated that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, and, probably [were], invented under the influence of the latter",[12] and that it is "probable that the general idea of expressing words of a language in writing was brought to Egypt from Sumerian Mesopotamia.

Egyptian hieroglyphs - Wikipedia
Since the 1990s, the discoveries of glyphs at Abydos, dated to between 3400 and 3200 BCE, may challenge the classical notion according to which the Mesopotamian symbol system predates the Egyptian one, although Egyptian writing does make a sudden apparition at that time, while on the contrary Mesopotamia has an evolutionnary history of sign usage in tokens dating back to circa 8000 BCE.[16]
Prehistoric Egypt - Wikipedia
This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC and ends in the Naqada III period c. 3000 BC.
Ancient Egypt - Wikipedia
The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.
Egyptian chronology - Wikipedia

Origin of language - Wikipedia
The origin of language and its evolutionary emergence in the human species have been subjects of speculation for several centuries. The topic is difficult to study because of the lack of direct evidence ... This shortage of empirical evidence has led many scholars to regard the entire topic as unsuitable for serious study. In 1866, the Linguistic Society of Paris banned any existing or future debates on the subject, a prohibition which remained influential across much of the Western world until late in the twentieth century.[1][2]
List of languages by first written accounts - Wikipedia
The earliest known alphabetic inscriptions, at Serabit el-Khadim (c. 1500 BC), appear to record a Northwest Semitic language, though only one or two words have been deciphered. In the Early Iron Age, alphabetic writing spread across the Near East and southern Europe. With the emergence of the Brahmic family of scripts, languages of India are attested from after about 300 BC.
Anatolian languages - Wikipedia
Hittite language
Lydian language - Wikipedia
Lycian language - Wikipedia

Language family classifications as Newick trees with branch length

Alphabet - Wikipedia
The first fully phonemic script, the Proto-Canaanite script, later known as the Phoenician alphabet, is considered to be the first alphabet, and is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including Arabic, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and possibly Brahmic.
Language isolate - Wikipedia
A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship with other languages, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common with any other language. Language isolates are in effect language families consisting of a single language. Commonly cited examples include Ainu, Basque, Korean, Sumerian, Elamite, and Vedda, though in each case a minority of linguists claim to have demonstrated a relationship with other languages.[1]
Writing system - Wikipedia
A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in also being a reliable form of information storage and transfer ... The general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies ... Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms, ideograms and other mnemonic symbols. Proto-writing lacked the ability to capture and express a full range of thoughts and ideas. The invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner that was not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable.
Egyptian hieroglyphs - Wikipedia
Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters ... The later hieratic and demotic Egyptian scripts were derived from hieroglyphic writing, as was the Proto-Siniatic script that later evolved into the Phoenician alphabet.[9] Through the Phoenician alphabet's major child systems, the Greek and Aramaic scripts, the Egyptian hieroglyphic script is ancestral to the majority of scripts in modern use, most prominently the Latin and Cyrillic scripts (through Greek) and the Arabic script and Brahmic family of scripts (through Aramaic).
Linear B - Wikipedia
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet by several centuries. The oldest Mycenaean writing dates to about 1450 BC.[1] It is descended from the older Linear A, an undeciphered earlier script used for writing the Minoan language,
Greek alphabet - Wikipedia
The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC.[3][4] It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet,[5] and was the first alphabetic script to have distinct letters for vowels as well as consonants.
Mycenaean Greece - Wikipedia
Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600=1100 BC.It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system ... Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace-centered states that developed rigid hierarchical, political, social and economic systems. At the head of this society was the king, known as wanax. Mycenaean Greece perished with the collapse of Bronze Age culture in the eastern Mediterranean, to be followed by the so-called Greek Dark Ages, a recordless transitional period leading to Archaic Greece where significant shifts occurred from palace-centralized to de-centralized forms of socio-economic organization (including the extensive use of iron).
Late Bronze Age collapse - Wikipedia
The Late Bronze Age collapse involved a Dark Age transition period in the Near East, Asia Minor, the Aegean region, North Africa, Caucasus, Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, a transition which historians believe was violent, sudden, and culturally disruptive. The palace economy of the Aegean region and Anatolia that characterised the Late Bronze Age disintegrated, transforming into the small isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages. The half-century between c.?1200 and 1150 BC saw the cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, of the Kassite dynasty of Babylonia, of the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and the Levant, and of the Egyptian Empire ... Within a period of forty to fifty years at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the twelfth century almost every significant city in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed, many of them never to be occupied again.
IAmA Eric Cline, Ph.D. I specialize in the collapse of civilizations at the end of the Bronze Age. My book 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed just came out and has been a trending bestseller on Amazon. I am also a biblical archaeologist. AMA! : IAmA
TIL of 1177 BC: The year that civilization collapsed. In a short period of time all empires along the Mediterranean collapsed violently;including the Egyptian, Hittite, and Mycenaean empires.Almost every significant city in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed, and historians don't know why : todayilearned
McGuineaRI comments on TIL of 1177 BC: The year that civilization collap1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing systemsed. In a short period of time all empires along the Mediterranean collapsed violently;including the Egyptian, Hittite, and Mycenaean empires.Almost every significant city in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed, and historians don't know why
u/Ucumu gives an overview of the collapse of civilizations from an archaeological perspective : DepthHub

Biblical Hittites - Wikipedia
Sea Peoples - Wikipedia

Cyrus the Great - Wikipedia
Axial Age - Wikipedia
Minoan Sea Power - HistoryWiz Ancient History
Minoan eruption - Wikipedia (1500 BC)
Santorini - Wikipedia
Location hypotheses of Atlantis - Wikipedia
  YossarianWWII comments on Humans were around for ~ 300,000 years before advent of modern civilization which then brought about the relatively drastic changes of the past 5,000 years. Was it a slow but steady march to this point, or did something trigger or catalyze this change?
TIL To solve the problem of communicating to humans 10,000 years from
TIL about Nuclear Semiotics - the study of how to warn people 10,000+ years from now about nuclear waste, when all known languages may have disappeared : todayilearned
xsy BBC - Future - How to build something that lasts 10,000 years

World History Timeline | Essential Humanities
Timeline of ancient history - Wikipedia
World Civilizations Timeline | Preceden
Timeline of Ancient Civilizations - 30 Empires and Societies of the World
Civilization Timeline - Ancient History Encyclopedia
A timeline map of the 200,000 year history of human civilization
History of Human Civilization - Timeline
Timeline of Ancient Civilizations. Let me know if I'm missing anything! : AncientCivilizations

A puzzling past sea level rise might have its missing piece | Ars Technica - About 14,650 years ago, sea level jumped 12 meters in just a few centuries.

Gvbekli Tepe - Wikipedia
Gobekli Tepe: The World's First Temple?
Gobeklitepe | The Oldest Temple of the World
15 Insane Facts About Gvbekli Tepe That Everyone Should Know
itsallfolklore comments on So, it's 10,495 BCE and I'm on my way to Gvbekli Tepe... wait, why am I on my way to Gvbekli Tepe?

Top 42 Agile Ancient Civilizations Timeline Printable | KongDian
Civilization Timeline Chart Beginning Of Ancient -
Hadza people - Wikipedia

Jared Diamond on His New Book, Upheaval