Do Japanese Petroglyphs reveal prehistoric connections with the ancient Sumerian-Akkadian-Elamite or Phoenician civilizations?

The Japan Petroglyph Society

Japanese Petroglyph Sites & Their Religious Sides

Since 1978 the Japan Petroglyph Society have found no less than 3000 rocks with engravings throughout Japanese islands, scholarshiped by Government of Education and Cultures and Boards of Education.

It is to be noted that most of those 3000 engraved rocks are located in the precincts or at the summits of sacred hills, which have been worshipped by the native inhabitants probably since prehistoric ages.

The engraved stone tablets shown in photographs above were excavated at one of sanctuaries in Okinawa and are kept at the Governmental Museum of Okinawa prefecture, where since prehistoric ages about 12000 B.P. to 6500 B. P. “Sobata sea – people” used to dwell and build peculiar Okinawan cultures.

As seen in the pictures (see top of page), 2 big birds are engraved at the top of buildings (perhaps ancient types of shrines) and at the lower part of each building.

Pyramid engraving, inter alia

In the above stone tablet at the lower right right is a pyramid engraved. These will show a characteristic of Japanese petroglyphs and their religious sides, because even today at Okinawa native sea people have sincere faith and pious belief in the legendary homeland, “Nidai-Kanai” which is believed to have been located in a very far place in the ocean, where their ancestors lived happy life forever. Some scholar suppose that their legendary homeland must be the lost, sunken continent of Mu. We do not know exactly when the continent of Mu sank, but according to under sea archaeology, some kind of geological catastrophe must have happened in 12000 B.P. These dates correspond to the legendary Okinawan stories. The stone tablets tell complete stories of the Mu’s culture and religion at that time. These 12 stone tablets, kept at the Governmental Museum, will provide us clue’s to solve the enigmatic origins of human letters and languages. Another characteristic of the Japanese petroglyphs is that 30% of them could be deciphered with Proto-Sumerian and Sumerian cuneiforms. We do not know exactly why Japanese petroglyphs are related with Sumerian letters. The only thing we could suppose is that in the late prehistoric ages, Sumerian seafaring tribes threatened by Akkadians invasions fled to the seas. Some tribes reached prehistoric Japan, which the scholars who belong to The Epigraphic Society of Harvard University used to suggest at the ISAC and E.S. conference.Emeritus Prof. Barry Fell (late President of E.S.) was an outstanding leader of the theory, adding that he is sure the Sumerian seafaring people reached the Far East while other groups reached the Americas B.C.

Shown below are exact samples of petroglyphs, which could be deciphered using the Sumerian language.

The picture below is one of “Sumerian typed refuges and shrines” found in Japan. Such a refuge and shrine typed formation can be found in Shikoku and Kitakyushu: the picture left shows one of rock shelters recently identified at Mt. Nakatsu-mine, Tokushima city. It is similar to the Skara Brae settlement, Orkney in Scotland or another settlement at Clickhimin, Shetland, Scotland.

Skara Brae-like remains

My colleagues in Shikoku report that similar rock formations were found at 3 tops of mountains, and all look like the “Heaiau” (rock shrine in Hawaii). The most interesting fact is that such rock formations have a lot of cupule-rocks within their precincts. Cupules are very characteristic to islands of Hawaii, where so many petroglyphs could be found. Hawaiian petroglyphs and cupules are said to have been made by the sea-people who came to Hawaii in the later part of prehistoric ages…..

Their homelands are not known, but the Hawaiian legends say that those petroglyphs and cupules were made by those people, who reproduced their customs and traditions at homelands, which must have been to the west of the Pacific. If the seafaring people who reached Hawaiian islands and engraved them had come from the west of the Pacific, Japan where similar cupules and petroglyphs are found should be one of their homelands. Further examination will find the answer. The 85% of 3000 engraved rocks are located in very old religious spots: by waterfalls, at the top of sacred mountains, by temples or shrines and at the cliffs which gathers worship.

Sumerian-built rock shelter?

Shown below are exact samples of petroglyphs, which could be deciphered using the Sumerian language.

:

Their homelands are not known, but the Hawaiian legends say that those petroglyphs and cupules were made by those people, who reproduced their customs and traditions at homelands, which must have been to the west of the Pacific. If the seafaring people who reached Hawaiian islands and engraved them had come from the west of the Pacific, Japan where similar cupules and petroglyphs are found should be one of their homelands. Further examination will find the answer. The 85% of 3000 engraved rocks are located in very old religious spots: by waterfalls, at the top of sacred mountains, by temples or shrines and at the cliffs which gathers worship.

The picture above shows a trigonon pyramid at a waterfall in Mima province, Tokushima pref. It is about 4 meter size, and native people worship the divine trigonon, believing that the rock was the source of mothers’ milk, source of life, calling the spot “Chibushan Taki” (waterfall of bosom) where on Oct.28.1997, “Djasla” (Earth Goddess) was found carved on a trigonon pyramid, which proved the local legend of the waterfall. The prehistoric inhabitants had the pious belief in Earth Goddess, and the pure fresh water was regarded as the gift of Nature, Goddess of Nature. Mr. Frank Joseph, Chief Editor of “The Ancient American” which are read widely in U.S.A., was invited officially by Government of Tokushima and related 5 towns and 2 villages so as to make academic researches and give lectures about the prehistoric softwares in Shikoku. On seeing “Heiau type Rock Shrine” he gave a comment that is quite resembled those in northwestern Europe. Japan, where we find so many prehistoric softwares, must have been one of the most important CROSSING FRONTIERS in prehistoric ages. All the petroglyphs, cupules, engravings, and rock art (including rock-formations) certify the thesis. We would be very appreciative to Irac’98 and all the colleagues if long concealed secrets come in the light at symposiums.

Chubushan Taki

Nobuhiro Yoshida, President of Japan Petrograph Society, Japan

***

There are many similarities between Sumerian (=Ubadian) and Japanese mythology. The Sumerians (c 3000 BC to 1400 BC) are said to be the very first sun worshipers (source: SUN GODS), Within their culture, there is the first layer of the great gods (vaguely suggested as existing in Japanese cosmological heavens), the second triad of Planetary gods included the Sun god Utu (Japanese equivalent has Amaterasu), Nanna-Suen (the moon) associated with snake-worship  (Japanese equivalent has Tsuki-yomi moon worship and extant moon shrines: Tsuki Shrine) and Inanna-Venus approximates the Japanese equivalent of Izanami, wife of Izanagi, both the latter myths are similar enough with respect to elements of their stories as well in their descent to the Underworld or Netherworld, with the distinction that Amaterasu and Susano are gods created after Izanami’s husband, Izanagi returns from the Netherworld and wipes his eye.

One notes many similarities between the two cultures’ early religions involving the worship of Earth goddess and goggle-eyed clay figurines, the lunisolar calendar-stone circles or henges, swastika symbolism, ideas of a heaven and rock-sky vault, rock or sacred stone veneration, primordial watery cosmos, rooster herald to the Underworld, boat of the dead motif …for further research and comparison of mythical motifs, see Sumerian Mythology.

Using the calendric system and circles, and writing system the Phoenicians had inherited from the Sumerians, and which by around 1200 BC, they had refined the language from hundreds of symbols down to less than thirty, the Phoenicians spread the stone circle technology and calendric and astronomical knowledge to as far Great Britain (Source:  “The Phoenician Origin of Britons Scots and Anglo Saxons Discovered by Phoenician and Sumerian inscriptions in Britain by Pre-Roman Britain coins” by L. Austine Waddell, pp. 234. The author also noted that Sumerian inscriptions can be seen on observation stones of the Keswick Stone Circle. See also ” The History of Writing” on the Semitic adoption of Akkadian writing.)  The Phoenicians spread their genetic signature Y-DNA R1b1a and R1b1* to their colonies, and their genetic subclades R1b1b1 and R1b1b2 — the most common form in Europe as well as in Pakistan and parts of Central Asia, that are closely associated with the spread of Indo-European languages and culture. (Weak signals of R1b1b1 may be found in Japan as well) source: Eupedia.

The stone circle technology and calendric system possibly came to Japan from the Near East via the Caucasus-Central Asia, northern India-Andaman, Yunnan, Shaanxi to Japan (all of which locations have megalithic stone circles in common). The earliest stone monoliths, circles or henges are from the Mesopotamian and Turkey/Anatolian region (source: Middle Eastern megaliths, Wikipedia). The Sumerians spread the technology to the Semitic peoples (see Abraham – the son of a Sumerian oracle priest), and to other neighbouring tribes and kingdoms such as the Phoenicians and the Egyptians. Around 3000 BC, the group of people known as the Phoenicians emerged as a colony of traders who had close interactions with Sumerians, they cut down trees in the mountains of Lebanon, shipping them downriver to Sumeria. They adopted became skilled boat builders and navigators building cities and ports along the east coast of the Mediterranean, trading with distant lands including Egypt and Greece. The genetic mutation founding the J2b subclade which is thought to have originated in Greece (or possibly in Anatolia) corresponds roughly to the ancient Greek and Roman spheres of influence (sources: Eupedia and Romans at Stonehenge from standing stones to cosmic pillars).

Thus, it is possible to contemplate an ancient genetic trail represented by the Y-DNA J2 out of Near East to the Caucasus to the southern parts of Japan, Okinawa, where J2 haplotype 1 is found at 1.15% (Source: Learning Centers, Ancestry.com).

Alternatively, the YAP genetic marker found in Japan may be an indication of the migratory trail (follow the grey sector of map) from Africa to India via the western corridor, beginning with the founding clade proto-Shiya muslim group (11% frequency) that introduced all these cultural elements to later YAP carriers. YAP+ is also found at high frequencies among Iraqis (10.8%), Lebanese (25.8%), Syrians (10%), Palestinians (17%), Saudi Arabians (5%) and Israelis (20.3%). According to recent studies, the proto-Asian Dravidians were descendants of Elamites, inhabitants of Elam (southwestern Iran) and speakers of proto-Elamo Dravidian languages. Note: The YAP+ lineage has never been detected in any other North Indian or South Indian population, except for Siddis(40%), a migrant group of East African ancestry found in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. YAP+ is also found in Central Asian populations (12–27%) and scattered throughout Southeast Asia with a low frequency. It has been suggested (Underhill) an East African population with a sub-clad of the African YAP/M145/M203/SRY4064 cluster expanded into the Middle East and the Arab communities within the last few thousand years.(Source: YAP signature of Africa-Middle-Eastern migration into India).

Near Eastern stonework or lapidary culture, and should be cross-referenced with the work The Lapidary Sky Over Japan by Peter Metevelis, on the iconic symbolism of stone in Japanese mythology, such as the lapidary sky, Amaterasu’s rock cave-grotto and ritual cult practice of building a temple around a bethyl stone.  Ancient mesopotamian materials and industries: the archaeological evidence by Peter Roger Stuart Moorey is a reference that provides invaluable for information on the stonework and craftsmanship of Mesopotamian cultures.

One problem with this theory however, are the early dates of the DE haplogroup and YAP lineages which are thought to have left Africa between 55,000 ~66,000 years ago, and the evidence of the earliest arrivals in Japan date to 35,000 years ago. The Yonaguni monument is thought to be at least 10,000 years old. All these dates predate the Mesopotamian civilization as the Sumerians are thought to have settled in the area to build its cities only around 4,000 BC. The Jomon civilization is much older than the civilization in the Near East.  The alternative candidate then for the provenance of the megalithic technology would be from the area of  the Gobekli Tepe ruins in southeastern Turkey in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. The ruins are said to be 11,000 years old and thought to have been related to the prehistoric Syrian peoples (bearers of Y-DNA haplogroups J1 and J2 …and also YAP in a particular lineage) nearby Gobekli Tepe. Haplogroup J is thought to have left Africa around 60,000 years ago, populating the Fertile Crescent, the Levant and Anatolia by around 30,000 years ago.

One might also note another possible but later Near Eastern influence on Shinto shrines and sacred stone veneration: the Phoenicians worshipped sacred stones under the name of Baetylia, which word is evidently derived from the Hebrew Bethel – see  The Stone of Foundation. The origin of the Shinto shrine building may have been the building of stone shrine monuments to house magical or sacred stones (see photos of shrine housing baetyl stones at the Sacred Stones page). There is evidence of that special worshipping of Baetyl sacred stones originated in the Phoenician or Semitic sphere, with the stone cult spreading to the whole mediterranean area, and elsewhere, we have the pre-islamic pagan cult practice of the worship of the cube idol of the Kaaba in Mecca, the black cube of Dusares in the Nabatean Petra and the omphalos-shaped stone of Elagabal-Ammudates in Emesa. Below we list many references to the practice that eventually spread to the Caucasus, Central Asia and East Asia with the Indo-European and nomadic kurgan steppe cultures, and the Silk Route trade:

Meteorites, Rocks from the Gods? | The Omphalos and the Baetyl Stone | Baetyl | Stones and the Sacred |  Black Stone | Overview of Jacob’s Pillar Stone  | The Stone of Destiny | Symbols of Sacred Science by René Guénon, Henry Fohr

In Southwest Asia, the ancestors as well as current descendants of the Pumi, Qiang, Tibetan the Naxi peoples in the Tibeto-Yi Corridor are known for their white stone worship was no exception,which is not only a reflection of their ancestry worship was a hallmark of the ancient Di-Qiang ethnic group (source). The Naxi have a legend of Sanduo, a war god who built a temple around a white stone. The Tibetan tribes are, according genetic research, known to have contributed genetic lineages to the Japanese gene pool.

The Yonaguni underwater monument is said to enigmatically resemble a Sumerian ziggurat, while in the vicinity, on Miyako Island (one of the Ryukyu Islands), there is a folktale of a moon-god that took pity on the short-livedness of mankind, and so he deigned to let them drink the water of life (SOMA, the Near Eastern and Sumerian equivalent) and the serpent, the water of death. Source: Japanese Prehistory: the material and spiritual culture of the Jomon period pps. 131- 134 by Nelly Nauman

In the article posted above, we note that the 12 stone tablets, kept at the Governmental Museum, Okinawa provides inscriptions that are hoped to be clues to solve the question of the origins of Japanese letters and languages. The article noted “Another characteristic of the Japanese petroglyphs is that 30% of them could be deciphered with Proto-Sumerian and Sumerian cuneiforms. We do not know exactly why Japanese petroglyphs are related with Sumerian letters. The only thing we could suppose is that in the late prehistoric ages, Sumerian seafaring tribes threatened by Akkadians invasions fled to the seas. Some tribes reached prehistoric Japan, which the scholars who belong to The Epigraphic Society of Harvard University used to suggest at the ISAC and E.S. conference. Emeritus Prof. Barry Fell (late President of E.S.) was an outstanding leader of the theory, adding that he is sure the Sumerian seafaring people reached the Far East while other groups reached the Americas B.C.”

For further references, refer to current comparison studies and research on the Sumerian and Japanese languages and writing scripts:

“In terms of typology, Sumerian (=Ubadian) is an agglutinative language in which prefixes and suffixes are attached to verb and noun stems (Japanese is also such a language), and is an ergative-absolutive language in which the subject of transitive verbs is marked by the ergative case, and the subject of intransitive verbs and object of transitive verbs are marked by the absolutive case. Subject-object-verb is the general order for writing sentences.”–Fumi Karahashi — Source: Spending my days with cuneiform writing: Reconstructing Sumerian grammar by Fumi Karahashi, Associate Professor of Ancient Oriental Studies, Faculty of Letters, Chuo University

Early Japanese and Early Writing Akkadian Systems Early Writing Systems, Oct 6, 2007 Jun IKEDA (The Akkadians who conquered the Sumerians, adopted and simplified their script)

Sumerian and Japanese: a comparative language study by Roger Ahlberg, R. Yoshiwara

Sumerian Artefacts

The Mystery at YONAGUNI: Is there a 10,000 year old pyramid and city underwater at Yonaguni?

In the news: Yonaguni Monument — natural wonder, or man-made mystery?

YAP insertion signature in South, Asia‘,Annals of Human Biology,34:5,582 — 586, (2007) Chandrasekar, A.,et al.2007, Vol. 34, No. 5 , Pages 582-586 (doi:10.1080/03014460701556262)

YAP, signature of an African-Middle Eastern migration into India CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 88, NO. 12, 25 JUNE 2005 by Suraksha Agrawal et al. (.pdf version)

“The present study has been envisaged to ascertain the presence of the YAP insertion in various North Indian groups of Brahmins, Bhargavas, Chaturvedis, Kayastha, Rastogis, Vaish, Mathurs, Sunni and Shiya Muslims. YAP+ve lineage has been further analysed for M-145 and M-203 markers, which are equivalent to YAP insertion and M-174 and SRY-4064 markers, to delineate the two different lineages specific to African/Middle East Asian and East Asian/Japanese populations respectively. …

Y-chromosome is present in two lineages worldwide, corresponding to M145/M203/SRY4064 (haplogroup E) and M145/M203/M174 (haplogroup D) polymorphisms respectively.

First lineage belonging to haplogroup D is specific to Japan and other Southeast Asian populations, while haplogroup E is confined to Sub-Saharan
African, Middle Eastern and Southern European populations.

In the present study, 1021 Y-chromosomes belonging to nine different populations of North India were analysed for YAP insertion and four other single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to delineate the two lineages. Out of nine populations only one, i.e. Shiya Muslims revealed presence of YAP element at a frequency of 11%. Further analysis based on four additional SNPs revealed that all the YAP+ve samples could be categorized under Africa-Nigeria to Middle East-specific haplogroup E lineage. Interestingly, Sunni Muslims
who historically have the same origin, i.e. from the Middle East showed a complete lack of YAP+ve lineage similar to other castes. We hypothesize that unlike Sunnis, Shiya Muslims due to their lesser number and less admixture with other caste groups of India, still carry the ancestral YAP+ve lineage, which in all probabilities is one of the founder haplogroups. All Middle Eastern populations show the presence of this lineage in almost similar frequency. Our study shows the presence of YAP+ve lineage in North Indian populations, reflecting an African/Middle Eastern migration into North India.”
Rare deep rooting Y-chromosome lineages in humans: Lessons for Phylogeography, Genetics. 2003 Sep;165(1):229-34., by Michael E. Weale et al.

The discovery of DE macrohaplogroups in Nigerians report a new very rare deep-rooting YAP clade (Figure 1). — because group E represents the great major- group, so far found only in five Nigerians, being the least derived of Y chromosomes found in sub-Saharan Africa, leads to the opposite conclusion—of significant evidence in human migration patterns for range expansion from West Africa to Asia.

Hammer MF (September 1994). “A recent insertion of an alu element on the Y chromosome is a useful marker for human population studies”Mol. Biol. Evol. 11 (5): 749–61. PMID 7968488.

Abstract: A member of the Alu family of repeated DNA elements has been identified on the long arm of the human Y chromosome, Yq11. This element, referred to as the Y Alu polymorphic (YAP) element, is present at a specific site on the Y chromosome in some humans and is absent in others. Phylogenetic comparisons with other Alu sequences reveal that the YAP element is a member of the polymorphic subfamily-3 (PSF-3), a previously undefined subfamily of Alu elements. The evolutionary relationships of PSF-3 to other Alu subfamilies support the hypothesis that recently inserted elements result from multiple source genes. The frequency of the YAP element is described in 340 individuals from 14 populations, and the data are combined with those from other populations. There is both significant heterogeneity among populations and a clear pattern in the frequencies of the insertion: sub-Saharan Africans have the highest frequencies, followed by northern Africans, Europeans, Oceanians, and Asians. An interesting exception is the relatively high frequency of the YAP element in Japanese. The greatest genetic distance is observed between the African and non-African populations. The YAP is especially useful for studying human population history from the perspective of male lineages.

Shi H, Zhong H, Peng Y, et al. (2008). “Y chromosome evidence of earliest modern human settlement in East Asia and multiple origins of Tibetan and Japanese populations”BMC Biol. 6: 45.doi:10.1186/1741-7007-6-45PMC 2605740PMID 18959782.

Altheide TK, Hammer MF (August 1997). “Evidence for a possible Asian origin of YAP+ Y chromosomes”Am. J. Hum. Genet. 61 (2): 462–6. doi:10.1016/S0002-9297(07)64077-4.PMC 1715891PMID 9311756.

Underhill (2001). “The case for an African rather than an Asian origin of the human Y-chromosome YAP insertion”Genetic, Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on Human Diversity in Southeast Asia. New Jersey: World Scientific. ISBN 9810247842.

Bravi, Claudio M., et al.Tracing the origin and geographic distribution of an ancestral form of the modern human Y chromosome Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 74; 139-149, 2001 [See also Bravi, Origin of YAP+Lineages of the human Y-Chromosome,  Am J Phys Anthropol 112:149–158, 2000.

Proto-Neolithic and Neolithic Cultures in the Middle East — The Birth of Agriculture, Livestock Raising and Ceramics: A Calibrated C Chronology 12 500 – 5 500 BC establishes early dates for the Middle Eastern cultures and Mesopotamian proto-Neolithic and Neolithic settlements.  Read more about the Akkaddians and the Akkad Period here.  Find details of the Neolithic of the Levant and other Middle Eastern cultures  at the AncientNearEast.tripod.com website.

Gobekli Tepe (Smithsonian website)

2 responses to “Do Japanese Petroglyphs reveal prehistoric connections with the ancient Sumerian-Akkadian-Elamite or Phoenician civilizations?

  1. LOL! Petroglyphs ain’t a wtiting system. Moreover why do you connect them to Sumerian? Sumerian culture is far away from Japan and there are no evidences of their connexion.

  2. The genetic trail has recently been clarifying through recent research. The YAP haplogroup runs through the entire Mesopotamian, Arab-Semitic world, through to the Indian corridor into Yunnan-Mongolia, southern Austronesian Tai and through to Japan. This is not opinion, but a hypothesis of geneticists who now have a YAP map/chart showing the trail and there is a host of published papers in recent years. The origin of Sumerian civilization has been identified as having a distinct origin in the population of Marsh Arabs today. Read all the primary source genetic research material readings before you discount the clues. I have posted links as references here as well as elsewhere on the blog. Linguists have written papers on the links between Akkadian-Sumerian-Phoenicians and Japanese grammar – they were the first to make the connection. The Middle-Eastern “chair of the gods” tabernacle’s similarity to sacred practices of the same belt of peoples through the same belt into the NW Indian-Nepal-Tharus corridor to SEAsia, with the same exact way of carrying their deities of the NE Indians, peoples in Yunnan, Tai and Southern Chinese Fujian provinces (dispersed to Malaysia and Singapore) also have exactly the same palanquin for festivals as the Japanese matsuri. The same peoples also have the same custom of wearing hachimaki-like headbands, adhere to white (or white and black) as sacred colours, even tied in the same way, as do the Phoenicians depicted in one Egyptian mural that has made much of by scholars. The same belt of peoples are also the ones who have influenced adjacent or neighboring tribes into having the same fire-walking or fire-torch ascetic rituals, making the same white flour-sugared offerings to the deities. Apart from YAP, J is a Phoenician-Middle-Eastern Y-DNA haplogroup that can be found in Okinawa, Ryukyu, as intimated by this article. Petroglyphs are incisions or etchings in rock that can contain both drawings and language symbols, both the depictions and the latter being the subject of the article being examined and under discussion. The Underworld myths and boats of the dead with a cock or bird leading the way for the dead or to meet the dawn motif is a common motif in all of these cultures, the Innana legend is identical with Izanami myth in stark elements, as are the Churning Sea of Milk of the SEA-Cham peoples. The same geographical range is also the one that has jar burials (with or without cremation), cave burials and strikingly similar megalithic practices — all found in Middle Eastern cultures, and Laos-Vietnam-Daic and Japanese prehistoric cultures. Whole books are dedicated to identifying the genetic and anthropological trail between Mesopotamia and Asia, the best known of which and most densely packed with genetics, blood and disease markers, bp deletions, etc as well as comparisons of mythical motifs is Stephen Oppenheimer’s “Eden in the East”, who spent decades as a doctor, and then following the bp deletion malaria and thalasemia trails. No evidence? Please, the consideration of the evidence is work that fills many tomes.

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