BY DRUSILLA DUNJEE HOUSTON
The excavations of Petrie revealed in Egypt the remains of a distinct race that preceded the historic Egyptians. The earliest civilization was higher than that of the later dynasties. Its purer art represents an “Old Race” that fills all the background of the pre-historic ages. It colonized the first civilized centers of the primitive world. The ancients called this pioneer ram which lit the torch of art and science, Cushite Ethiopians, the founders of primeval cities and civilized life. The wonders of India, to which Europe sought a passage in the age of Columbus, the costly products and coveted merchandise of Babylon, and the amazing prehistoric civilization of Asia Minor, sprang from this little-recognized source. The achievements of this race in early ages were the result of co-operation. Cushites reached the true zenith of democracy. Their skillful hands raised Cyclopean walls dug out mighty lakes and laid imperishable roads that have endured throughout the ages. This was the uniform testimony of ancient records. Modern writers seem of superficial research, either being unaware of these facts or knowing, purposely ignore them. Archaeologists dig up the proofs, ethnologists announce their origin, but history refuses to change it’s antiquated and exploded theories.
General history informs us that when the curtain of history was lifted, the civilization of Egypt was hoary with age. It was a culture that must have developed from thousands of years of growth. Why is the scholarship of the world so silent Is to what lay behind historic Egypt? No nation throughout the ages has “as Athene sprung full-fledged into the knowledge of all the arts and sciences.” The story of what lay behind Egypt fascinated the whole ancient world. The culture of Egypt did not originate upon the Lower Nile. Who then was her teacher? It was the ancient Cushite empire of Ethiopians, which weighty authorities tell us ruled over three continents for thousands of years. Should the world wait longer to test the truth of these ancient witnesses? Besides, these gigantic achievements, the petty conquests of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and of Napoleon Bonaparte, fade into insignificance. There seems to be fear to tell about these ancients, who built mighty cities, the ruins of which extend in uninterrupted succession around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Traces of this hoary empire works appear to have been wrought by giants, hearing marks of Cushite genius, have been found by scientists all over the primitive world.
We marvel at the wonders recently unearthed in Egypt. Let us look behind her through the glasses of science at the “Old Race” of which she was in her beginning, only a colony. Ethiopia was the source of all that Egypt knew and transmitted to Greece and Rome. We are accustomed to thinking of Ethiopia as a restricted country in Africa but this was not true. The study of ancient maps and the descriptions of the geographers of old, reveals that the ancient Land of Cush was a very widespread and powerful empire. Rosenmuller shows us that the Hebrew scholars called Cush, all the countries of the torrid zone. It was the race that Huxley saw akin to the Dravidians of India, stretching in an empire from India to Spain. The Greeks described Ethiopia as the country around the Indus and Ganges. (Rosenmuller’s Biblical Geography, Bk. III, p. 154.)
H. G. Wells says that the Hamitic tongue was a much wider and more varied language than the Semitic or Aryan in ancient days. It was the language of the Neolithic peoples who occupied most of western and southern Asia, who may have been related to the Dravidians of India and the people of George Elliot’s Heliolithic culture. Sir H. H. Johnson says that this lost Hamitic language was represented by the scattered branches of Crete, Lydia, the Basques, the Caucasian-Dravidian group, the ancient Sumerian and the Elamite. The peoples of this race were the first to give the world ideas of government. Stephanus of Byzantium, voicing the universal testimony of antiquity wrote, “Ethiopia was the first established country on earth and the Ethiopians were the first to set up the worship of the gods and to establish laws.” The later ages gained from this ancient empire, the fundamental principles upon which republican governments are founded. The basic stones of that wonderful dominion were equality, temperance, industry, intelligence, and justice.
The average historical book ignores this testimony and disputes in its theories the records and monuments of Egypt and Chaldea. They group the races in utter contradiction to the records of the Greeks and Hebrews. In the light of reason, who would know about the ethnic relations of the ancients, the scholars and historians of Egypt, Chaldea, and Greece, who are more and more corroborated by the findings of science, or the theories of the men of today? The modern writer whose research has been superficial does not know that before the days of Grecian and Roman ascendency, the entire circle of the Mediterranean and her islands was dotted with the magic cities and the world-wide trade of Ethiopians. The gods and goddesses of the Greeks and Romans were but the borrowed kings and queens of this Cushite empire of Ethiopians. So marvelous had been their achievements in primitive ages, that in later days, they were worshipped as immortals by the people of India, Egypt, old Ethiopia, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean world.
Rawlinson, after his exhaustive research into the life of ancient nations, says, “For the last three thousand years the world has been mainly indebted to the Semitic and Indo-European races for its advancement, but it was otherwise in the first ages. Egypt and Babylon, Mizraim and Nimrod, both descendants of Ham, led the way and acted as the pioneers of mankind in the various untrodden fields of art, science, and literature. Alphabetical writings, astronomy, history, chronology, architecture, plastic art, sculpture, navigation, agriculture, and textile industries seem to have had their origin in one. or the other of these countries.” (Rawlinson’s Ancient Monarchies, Vol. I.) The taming of the animals was the gift to us of these prehistoric men. By skill and perseverance, they developed from wild plants the wheat, oats, and rye that are the foundation of our agriculture. This work was done so many ages ago, that their wild origin has disappeared. The average man little realizes the gifts of the prehistoric ages, or how helpless we would be without them today.
Rawlinson continues, “The first inventors, of any art, are among the greatest benefactors of mankind and the bold steps they take from the known to the unknown, from blank ignorance to discovery, are equal to many subsequent steps of progress.” Bunsen says in his Philosophy of Ancient History, “The Hamitic family as Rawlinson proves must be given the credit for being the fountainhead of civilization. This family comprised the ancient Ethiopians, the Egyptians, the original Canaanites, and the old Chaldeans. The inscriptions of the Chaldean monuments prove their race affinity. The Bible proves their relationship. It names the sons of Ham as Cush, Mizraim, Phut and the race of Canaan. Mizraim peopled Egypt and Canaan the land later possessed by the Hebrews. Phut located in Africa and Cush extended his colonies over a wide domain.” (Philosophy of Ancient History, Bunsen, p. 51)
Bunsen concludes by saying, “Cushite colonies were all along the southern shores of Asia and Africa and by the archaeological remains, along with the southern and eastern coasts of Arabia. The name Cush was given to four great areas, Media, Persia, Susiana, and Aria, or the whole territory between the Indus and Tigris in prehistoric times. In Africa, the Ethiopians, the Egyptians, the Libyans, the Canaanites, and Phoenicians were all descendants of Ham. They were a black or dark-colored race and the pioneers of our civilization. They were emphatically the monument builders on the plains of Shinar and the valley of the Nile from Meroe to Memphis. In southern Arabia, they erected wonderful edifices. They were responsible for the monuments that dot southern Siberia and in America along the valley of the Mississippi down to Mexico and in Peru their images and monuments stand a “voiceless witnesses.” This was the ancient Cushite Empire of Ethiopians that covered three worlds. Some of our later books recognizing their indisputable influence in primitive culture, speak of them as a brunet brown race representing a mysterious Heliolithic culture. Wells testifying from researches of Eliot Smith admits that this culture may have been oozing around the world from 1500 B.C. to 1000 B.C.
He calls it the highest early culture of the world. It sustained the largest and most highly developed communities, but as in other modern books, there is a failure to give us clearer light upon this ancient culture and its origin. Baldwin speaking more frankly affirms that Hebrew writers describe these first inhabitants of cities and civilized life as Cushites. “The foundations of ancient religions, mythology, institutions, and customs all had the same source. He considered the Egyptian and Chaldean civilizations as very old but the culture and political organization of Ethiopia was much older. They belonged to what Egyptians and Chaldeans regarded as real antiquity, ages shrouded in doubt because they were so remote. The oldest nations mentioned in history did not originate civilization, the traditions of Asia bring civilization from the south, connecting it with the Erythraean Sea. These traditions are confirmed by the inscriptions found upon the old ruins of Chaldea.” (Prehistoric Nations, Baldwin.)
Wilford, that eminent student of the literature of India, found that Ethiopia was often mentioned in the Sanskrit writings of the people of India. The world according to the Puranas, ancient historical books, was divided into seven dwipas or divisions. Ethiopia was Cusha-Dwipa which included Arabia, Asia Minor, Syria, Nubia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and an extended region in Africa. These Sanskrit writings prove that in remote ages these regions were the most powerful richest and most enlightened part of the world. From these authoritative records and the conclusions drawn by historians of deeper research, we would decide that many ancient peoples, who have been assigned to other races in the average historical book of modern times, were in reality Ethiopians. There were nations that called themselves Cushites who never knew themselves under the titles and classifications that superficial students have given them. The Phoenicians in the days of Christ called themselves Ethiopians. The Scriptures and ancient records called the Samaritans Cushites. To create a true story of the ages the entire fabric of the ethnological relationship of the races will have to be torn down to be more honestly laid.
This Ethiopia, which existed for long ages before its wonderful power was broken, cannot be limited to the short chronological period of history, that, the facts of geology prove to be in error. The Bible gives no figures for the epochs of time. It speaks of Creation and its after periods in God cycles that we cannot resolve into figures. We read in Prehistoric Nations, “In the oldest recorded traditions, Cushite colonies were established in the valley of the Nile, Barabra, and Chaldea. This beginning must have been not later than 7000 or 8000 B. C. or perhaps earlier. They brought to development astronomy and the other sciences, which have come down to us. The vast commercial system by which they joined together the “ends of the earth” was created and manufacturing skill established. The great period of Cushite control had closed many ages prior to Homer, although separate communities remained not only in Egypt but in southern Arabia, Phoenicia and elsewhere.” (Prehistoric Nations, pp. 95, 96.)
Baldwin continues, “5000 B. C. Egypt and Chaldea became separate. The Cushites were still unrivaled. 3500 to 3000 B. C. the kingdom divided again. We do not know what caused the breaking up of the old empire, which for thousands of years had held imperial sway.” It may have been that the first cities and civilization extended beyond the “Deluge.” The Sabaeans, Himyarites, and Ethiopians maintained supremacy almost to modern times; but the ancient glory had departed previous to the rise of Assyria 1300 B. C. Not long before the Arabian peninsula had been overrun by Semites, chiefly nomads, who became the permanent inhabitants. The previous conquests of the ancient world denominated by modern books as Semitic were Cushite Arabian and not of the later Semitic Arabian race. Through this error, many ancient branches of the Hamitic race are lined up its Semitic. After the rise of Assyria, tire Ethiopians above Egypt became the central representatives of that power that had exercised world empire for thousands of years. What kind of race could this have been that could throw such giant shadows upon time’s dawn?
The stories of the “Arabian Nights,” which so enthralled us in childhood and to which the childhood of the world clings as though they were true has this historic basis. They picture the activities and worldwide scope, of Cushite civilization in the declining days of Ethiopian glory. Its scenes represent India, Persia, Arabia, and Chaldea, which were primitively Cushite, in the decline of the Gold and Silver Ages of ancient tradition. Archaeological research and findings are proving that there wore such ages. The tales of the Arabian Nights, so marvelous and gripping in interest, did not spring from mere fancy alone, and because of this have for mankind an alluring and undying fascination. These tales minus their genii and fairies form an imperishable book picturing a far distant but powerful civilization. In the land of the ancient Chaldean, in Egypt, in happy “Araby the Blest,” and along the shores of the Mediterranean, the evidence of this prehistoric civilization are being dug up in wonder by the archaeologists of the civilized nations today. Relics in their way as wonderful as the gems called up by Alladin’s Lamp, hidden just as were his finds in chambers of the earth.
Heeren, whose researches furnish invaluable information to the later historians says, “From the remotest times to the present, the Ethiopians have been the most celebrated and yet the most mysterious of nations. In the earliest traditions of the more civilized nations of antiquity, the name of this most distant people is found. The annals of the Egyptian priests were full of them, and the nations of inner Asia on the Euphrates and the Tigris have woven the fictions of the Ethiopians with their own traditions of the wars and conquests of their heroes; at a period equally remote they glimmer in Greek mythology.” Dionysus, Hercules, Saturn, Osiris, Zeus, and Apollo were Cushite kings of the prehistoric ages. Around these and other Ethiopian deities, the people of the Mediterranean and the Orient wove their mythologies. Prejudice and ignorance may have marked their deeds as fabulous but the imperishable monuments that they left are not imaginary. They are the realistic reminders of a people who deeply impressed and colored the life, art, and literature of the ancient world.
The prehistoric achievements of Cushite heroes were the theme of ancient sculpture, painting, and drama. They were the object of worship of all the nations that appear civilized at the dawn of history. The literature and music of Greece and Rome were permeated by this deep Ethiopian strain. These classic forms and ideals maintain supremacy in the art of modern times. Heeren continues, “When the Greeks scarcely knew Italy and Sicily by name, the Ethiopians were celebrated in the poems of their bards. They were the remotest nation, the most just of men, the favorites of the gods. The lofty inhabitants of Olympus journey to them and take part in their feasts. Their sacrifices are the most agreeable that mortals can offer and when the faint beams of tradition give way to the clear light of history, the luster of the Ethiopians is not diminished. They still continue to be the object of curiosity and admiration, and the pens of cautious and clear-sighted historians often place them in the highest rank of knowledge and civilization.”