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Makkah is the oldest city in the world?

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  Quote balochii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Makkah is the oldest city in the world?
    Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 14:43
Makkah is believed to be more then 10000 years old, Prophet Abraham lived there.

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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 15:31
There is no proof of this claim except from Muslim testimony which would be biased. A thorough and unbiased research into this topic would actually lead to contrary evidence depending on ancient historical testimony.

It is interesting to see that Herodotus, who wrote a historical account of Arabia in 430 BCE, makes no mention whatsoever of a place called Makkah anywhere in Arabia. He gives very detailed accounts of Arabian peoples, villages and trading posts all the way from Syria to Arabia Felix (Yemen) but nowhere does he mention Makkah. This is quite surprising considering that Muslims claim that this was the first house ever built on Earth, later on completed by Abraham. Muslim assert that Makkah was a center for worship and all Arabians made pilgrimage to the kaabah, even before the time of Muhammad. The question is, if this is so and Makkah has been around for so long and had a privileged status amongst the Arabs, why is there no mention of it in the detailed accounts of Herodotus? For that matter, why is there is no mention of it in any records whatsoever, whether ancient or early medieval?

Here are the accounts of Herodotus, you may want to look through it to confirm what I said:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/arabia1.asp


Excerpt from the accounts:

''The next country to which he came belonged to the nomads, and was in great part a complete desert [the Debae]. It was called Ararene. The king of the country was Sabos. Gallus spent fifty days in passing through this territory, for want of roads, and came to a city of the Negrani [probably Mecca], and to a fertile country peacefully disposed. The king had fled, and the city was taken at the first onset. After a march of six days from thence, he came to the river [in the land of the Minae].''


Notice that what I put in bold is an addition by the website that posted the accounts, this is not Herodotus' commentary. Also notice that the description follows by saying that this land is fertile which definitely doesn't fit as a description of Makkah.

Here is a picture of Makkah



As you can see it is pretty rocky and deserted, definitely not fertile.

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 15:49
Originally posted by balochi

Makkah is believed to be more then 10000 years old, Prophet Abraham lived there.

With no disrespect to Father Abraham the Prophet or any others involved.....
This claim is rejected by both Science in general and archaeology, anthropology and physical geology in specific.
 
The reputed oldest cities in the world depending on definition of 'city', and evidences still in dispute (ie. as periods of continuous occupation is also a qualifier), are:
 
 
Damascus-Balkh-Damascus-Jericho-Byblos-Sidon....and that's using scientific date that dates them at least from 3000BC thru 9000BC depending on the location. Alas oral traditions and theological tradition is insufficient.
 
 
 


Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 25-Oct-2012 at 15:51
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 16:12
I seem to have forgotten many other accounts by Greek historians. Two other historians mapped and provided accounts of Arabia and these are Pliny and Agatharchides. They focused more on the east coast of Arabia and that should be enough of a reason for them to mention Makkah, which they did not. They all seem to mention important places very close to where Makkah is right now, such as Taymah, Saba'a, Mariaba and Najran... But not makkah. How can that be if Makkah was a major center of worship and pilgrimage?



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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 16:56
If we speak of the 'elder' tis a good question reference Pliny. But how important would Makkah been, if in hindsight, I speculate that he had essentially already come to his conclusions reference the inhabitants, customs, social mores etc...as evidenced by the references to the other places you note. Perhaps the answer was he simply was never informed of it.....don't know.
 
 
In any effort here is a link to his great work...Pliny the Elder: the Natural History
 
 
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 17:30
Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

If we speak of the 'elder' tis a good question reference Pliny. But how important would Makkah been, if in hindsight, I speculate that he had essentially already come to his conclusions reference the inhabitants, customs, social mores etc...as evidenced by the references to the other places you note. Perhaps the answer was he simply was never informed of it.....don't know.
 
 
In any effort here is a link to his great work...Pliny the Elder: the Natural History
 
 


''Perhaps the answer was he simply was never informed of it.....don't know.''


That is a very far-fetched conclusion mainly because of the reasons I gave you. Makkah is supposed to be a major site of worship and pilgrimage, meaning surrounding Arab tribes would flock to it at least once a year to worship their idols there. How can such a prominent city, as per Islamic claims, be totally forgotten and have not one single mention by either of these three accounts of Arabia? This given the fact that these historians have mapped Arabia with a decent level of detail, so much that they even mentioned small villages and not only the big towns of Arabia Felix and Hegra.

The least we can conclude from this is that Makkah was a very small village or trading post in their time and had absolutely no religious importance whatsoever in that time! This totally goes against Islamic tradition which claims Makkah was  a major center of worship even before the 7th century This is not to say that there is actually no evidence of its existence to begin with...


Additionally I would like to add and this information many people do not know. Makkah was not the only place which had a Ka'abah or cube-shaped house of worship. This surprisingly comes from Muslim testimony. There were many Ka'abahs before the 7th century to which each tribe made pilgrimage. There was the Kaaba of Najran, Kaaba of Ta'if, Kaaba of Thu-al-kaabat, Kaaba of Thu-al-khulsa, Kaaba of Fils, kaaba of Riyam, Kaaba of Rada'a...etc


So from a historical point of view, it is obvious that Arab tribes each had their own houses of worship that they set pilgrimage to. This already disproves the claim that Makkah was a prominent place of worship since as I showed there were many houses of worship throughout Arabia.


I'll also add that there was a Roman expedition that was undertaken in the year 23 BCE which passed by Hegra and then finally arrived in Arabia Felix. Again, the account mentions many villages and towns but does not mention Makkah. Why is that?



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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 19:34
Originally posted by Baal Melqart

Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

If we speak of the 'elder' tis a good question reference Pliny. But how important would Makkah been, if in hindsight, I speculate that he had essentially already come to his conclusions reference the inhabitants, customs, social mores etc...as evidenced by the references to the other places you note. Perhaps the answer was he simply was never informed of it.....don't know.
 
 
In any effort here is a link to his great work...Pliny the Elder: the Natural History
 
 


''Perhaps the answer was he simply was never informed of it.....don't know.''


That is a very far-fetched conclusion mainly because of the reasons I gave you. Makkah is supposed to be a major site of worship and pilgrimage, meaning surrounding Arab tribes would flock to it at least once a year to worship their idols there. How can such a prominent city, as per Islamic claims, be totally forgotten and have not one single mention by either of these three accounts of Arabia? This given the fact that these historians have mapped Arabia with a decent level of detail, so much that they even mentioned small villages and not only the big towns of Arabia Felix and Here.

The least we can conclude from this is that Makkah was a very small village or trading post in their time and had absolutely no religious importance whatsoever in that time! This totally goes against Islamic tradition which claims Makkah was  a major center of worship even before the 7th century This is not to say that there is actually no evidence of its existence to begin with...

Possible.....which would then support my speculation.

Additionally I would like to add and this information many people do not know. Makkah was not the only place which had a Kaaba or cube-shaped house of worship. This surprisingly comes from Muslim testimony. There were many Ka'abahs before the 7th century to which each tribe made pilgrimage. There was the Kaaba of Najran, Kaaba of Taif, Kaaba of Thu-al-kaaba, Kaaba of Thu-al-khulsa, Kaaba of Films, kaaba of Riyam, Kaaba of Rada'a...etc


Actually I had been informed of such...which then would further my speculation as well...ie. no mention because of what you id above and your next para below.
So from a historical point of view, it is obvious that Arab tribes each had their own houses of worship that they set pilgrimage to. This already disproves the claim that Makkah was a prominent place of worship since as I showed there were many houses of worship throughout Arabia.


I'll also add that there was a Roman expedition that was undertaken in the year 23 BCE which passed by Hegra and then finally arrived in Arabia Felix. Again, the account mentions many villages and towns but does not mention Makkah. Why is that?


Again possibly the same reasons you and I both elucidate....
a. it was not an isolated example therefore further deserving of special attention and or identification and hence no need.
b. or to even include it on maps as the cartographers may have been satisfied with the work as developed in identification of other places. Because of other or more significant prominence or value as they defined them not the locals... eg. trade centers-cross roads, locations of clan leaders, oasis etc. As you note, and I discern, this is the Makkah of the 1st ce. not the 7th....hence it's later importance is not realized until the advent of Islam. Long after the fact. And for very different reasons. But as I note tradition falls short in the face of science when determining the age of places. So I stand on my original post reference Makkah.


Besides....I'm not arguing here Baal with the main of your points....point of fact, I can find them eminently reasonable. Insofar as Makkah specifically.... I am speculating.LOL 



Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 25-Oct-2012 at 19:35
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 19:44


I guess you are right. You can't judge wit absolute assuredness that it didn't exist back then but it seems very possible to me. One thing we are sure of is that Islamic tradition is not the least accurate in portraying the history of Makkah which they claim had always been a major center of worship and trade.



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  Quote Toltec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 20:28
I believe Uruk is generally regarded to be the first city and dates to around 3000bc though Memphis may give it a run for its money. Uruk most likely was the first town around 5000bc. As for the oldest village that's any one's guess, Göbekli Tepe, is 9000 years old and bet they find something older soon.

Edited by Toltec - 25-Oct-2012 at 20:33
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 20:54
Uruk and other's are indeed candidates...however as I noted; that remains hotly debated based on interps of evidence. Again, also based on archaeological definitions of 'city'. I'll stick with Jericho. Gobekli's problem is... it has not been defined as a 'city' using the standard qualifiers. A religious site and the oldest? Yes...that's the consensus.
 
All in all it gives me a gawdamn headache.Wink
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  Quote balochii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 21:32
makkah was known as bakkah/bacca in the past, it is mentioned in many different places 
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  Quote balochii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 21:34
even if you are not religious, all you have to see is what were the ancient trade routes from Yemen/Oman to the fertile crescent. Makkah is in the middle of those trade routes, it is very clear that that the city has existed for a very very long time 
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 22:16
Originally posted by balochi

even if you are not religious, all you have to see is what were the ancient trade routes from Yemen/Oman to the fertile crescent. Makkah is in the middle of those trade routes, it is very clear that that the city has existed for a very very long time 
 
makkah was known as bacca/bacca in the past, it is mentioned in many different places
 
Yes and no. For bakkah... iirc.... applies first to the Kaaba and the immediate area it encompasses. Where Makkah refers to the greater area and or city established around the same....which by definition it includes. Ntl there remains a distinction.
 
 
As for your above...I'm not questioning that the city is ancient or even possibly holy among others of greater or lesser reknown, in the region, in the context of the varying eras (certainly it was and is after the Prophet). But how ancient. And as for it's value as a crossroads and trading center....I don't argue that either.....but the 'when' and the 'recognized prominence' are not necessarily to be associated in, if at all, the 1st ce.
 
The earliest 'possible' reference to it being holy, for example, is Diodorus Siculus....bibliotheca historica....and that being ascribed to the Muslims viewpoint predominately. But as Baal has pointed out there were many others and much better known...mapped and reported on.
 
In other words....I don't doubt it's significance post 7th ce.  But I speculate that it's prominence prior.. is not well established.. based on the uncertainty or lack of-in the record. And consequently I reject it as the world's oldest city because of this lack in the record....and the science I referred to earlier.
 
On a personal note. I consider it to be holy as well.... as I do the whole country and general region. Why is not important. Nor am I going to expound on that. And I only wish I might be able to visit...but alas that is not likely.


Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 26-Oct-2012 at 01:04
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  Quote Arthur-Robin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2012 at 07:22
I had wondered at times if Mecca was connected with Egyptian Mafkat "turquoise (Sinai)" or Hebrew Mithkah (wilderness stop) or Sumerian Magan/[Macae/Mahra/Makran] but the earlier Bakkah had made it seem unlikely (before and now), Though one source reckons it is thought to come from Phoenician maqaq "ruined" or Arab mahrab "sanctuary". Perhaps Bakkah/Bacca might be related to (valley of) Baca/Bacca "weeping" (which might be related to Bacchus)?

(Sorry I won't be posting any much after this week when i get back to my offline studies.)
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2012 at 08:32
Originally posted by balochii

makkah was known as bakkah/bacca in the past, it is mentioned in many different places 



Muslims tradition again claims that Bakkah is Makkah but there is absolutely no proof of this. If you were trying to identify it with the Valley of Baca mentioned in the OT then you would be saying that Bakkah is in Palestine, not the Hijaz.

If you wanted to broach this topic from a religious point of view then I can also show you that the Quran never talks about Makkah being a holy site but Bakkah. On top of that, it is clear that the people addressed, who lived in Bakkah, were somewhere in Palestine/Syria, not Hijaz.

٣:٩٦  ان اول بيت وضع للناس للذي ببكه مباركا وهدى للعالمين

Indeed, the first by Text-Enhance">House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Bakkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds.


٣٧:١٣٣  وان لوطا لمن المرسلين
٣٧:١٣٤  اذ نجيناه واهله اجمعين
٣٧:١٣٥  الا عجوزا في الغابرين
٣٧:١٣٦  ثم دمرنا الاخرين
٣٧:١٣٧  وانكم لتمرون عليهم مصبحين
٣٧:١٣٨  وبالليل افلا تعقلون

And indeed, Lot was among the messengers.

[So mention] when We saved him and his family, all,

Except his wife among those who remained [with the evildoers].

Then We destroyed the others.

And indeed, you pass by them in the morning

And at night. Then will you not use reason?



٦:١٤١  وهو الذي انشا جنات معروشات وغير معروشات والنخل والزرع مختلفا اكله والزيتون والرمان متشابها وغير متشابه كلوا من ثمره اذا اثمر واتوا حقه يوم حصاده ولا تسرفوا انه لا يحب المسرفين

And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, by Text-Enhance">similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due portion on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.


٢٩:٣١  ولما جاءت رسلنا ابراهيم بالبشري قالوا انا مهلكوا اهل هذه القرية ان اهلها كانوا ظالمين
٢٩:٣٢  قال ان فيها لوطا قالوا نحن اعلم بمن فيها لننجينه واهله الا امراته كانت من الغابرين

And when Our messengers came to Abraham with the good tidings, they said, "Indeed, we will destroy the people of this city. Indeed, its people have been wrongdoers."

[Abraham] said, "Indeed, within it is Lot." They said, "We are more knowing of who is within it. We will surely save him and his family, except his wife. She is to be of those who remain behind."




I think it would also be worth watching this documentary which has caused so much controversy among Muslims. But what the hell, we want to search for truth and truth is painful sometimes.



http://www.channel4.com/programmes/islam-the-untold-story/4od





Edited by Baal Melqart - 26-Oct-2012 at 08:42
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  Quote benzin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2012 at 12:06
My vote is Balkh as the most ancient known city.
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  Quote balochii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2012 at 14:30
Originally posted by Baal Melqart

Originally posted by balochii

makkah was known as bakkah/bacca in the past, it is mentioned in many different places 



Muslims tradition again claims that Bakkah is Makkah but there is absolutely no proof of this. If you were trying to identify it with the Valley of Baca mentioned in the OT then you would be saying that Bakkah is in Palestine, not the Hijaz.

If you wanted to broach this topic from a religious point of view then I can also show you that the Quran never talks about Makkah being a holy site but Bakkah. On top of that, it is clear that the people addressed, who lived in Bakkah, were somewhere in Palestine/Syria, not Hijaz.

٣:٩٦  ان اول بيت وضع للناس للذي ببكه مباركا وهدى للعالمين

Indeed, the first by Text-Enhance">House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Bakkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds.


٣٧:١٣٣  وان لوطا لمن المرسلين
٣٧:١٣٤  اذ نجيناه واهله اجمعين
٣٧:١٣٥  الا عجوزا في الغابرين
٣٧:١٣٦  ثم دمرنا الاخرين
٣٧:١٣٧  وانكم لتمرون عليهم مصبحين
٣٧:١٣٨  وبالليل افلا تعقلون

And indeed, Lot was among the messengers.

[So mention] when We saved him and his family, all,

Except his wife among those who remained [with the evildoers].

Then We destroyed the others.

And indeed, you pass by them in the morning

And at night. Then will you not use reason?



٦:١٤١  وهو الذي انشا جنات معروشات وغير معروشات والنخل والزرع مختلفا اكله والزيتون والرمان متشابها وغير متشابه كلوا من ثمره اذا اثمر واتوا حقه يوم حصاده ولا تسرفوا انه لا يحب المسرفين

And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, by Text-Enhance">similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due portion on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.


٢٩:٣١  ولما جاءت رسلنا ابراهيم بالبشري قالوا انا مهلكوا اهل هذه القرية ان اهلها كانوا ظالمين
٢٩:٣٢  قال ان فيها لوطا قالوا نحن اعلم بمن فيها لننجينه واهله الا امراته كانت من الغابرين

And when Our messengers came to Abraham with the good tidings, they said, "Indeed, we will destroy the people of this city. Indeed, its people have been wrongdoers."

[Abraham] said, "Indeed, within it is Lot." They said, "We are more knowing of who is within it. We will surely save him and his family, except his wife. She is to be of those who remain behind."




I think it would also be worth watching this documentary which has caused so much controversy among Muslims. But what the hell, we want to search for truth and truth is painful sometimes.



http://www.channel4.com/programmes/islam-the-untold-story/4od






where does it say that it is Palestine? there is no proof of this. The hejaz region has always been connected to what was happening in the fertile crescent. There are ancient biblical cities with ancient churches just outside Medina, I my self have been to those places to visit.

and palm trees, gardens etc.. can easily be grown in the Makkah valley. when it rains there, all the mountains of Makkah become green and lush
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2012 at 15:58
Are you serious? Pomegranate, grapes, olives and figs only grow in the mediterranean... It is impossible for these plants to grow in Makkah or anywhere near for that matter! Nor has nayone witnessed the growth of such plants in the region in the past 14 centuries.

Well, I have never seen or heard of these ''biblical cities with ancient churches''. Got any pictures?

Where is the destroyed people of Lot, you agree that they are in Palestine, right? Also don't forget that the Quran made them an Ayah (sign) for the people of the prophet and for everyone for that matter. Why does Abraham who is supposedly living 1200km away from Lot (for whatever unknown and very questionable reason btw) talk about the town of Lot by addressing it with ''Hathihi-al-qarya'' (this town) which in Arabic is clear that the place is close and cannot be used for something far away otherwise Abraham would have said ''Tilka-al-qarya'' (that town).


Also, I would like to see you explain how the people of the prophet pass by the destroyed town of Lot by day and by night... Notice that the arabic verb used is ''Tamurrun'' which insinuates something one does daily and not after a journey. This is evident from the use of the verb in the Quran. I'll show you an example:

١١:٣٨  ويصنع الفلك وكلما مر عليه ملا من قومه سخروا منه قال ان تسخروا منا فانا نسخر منكم كما تسخرون

And he constructed the ship, and whenever an assembly of the eminent of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. He said, "If you ridicule us, then we will ridicule you just as you ridicule.

the verb is the same in the singular form ''yamurr'' which means to pass by something. The people of Noah passed by him regularly and they surely didn't do this after travelling 1200km.

The Quran doesn't say Palestine because it doesn't need to, this should be quite evident and was quite evident to the people addressed by Muhammad. It should also be to everyone who is studying the Quran with an open mind.



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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Oct-2012 at 11:26
Is there evidence Mecca was inhabited before the first buildings? It may have started out as a "tent city" where nomads converged at certain times of the year
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Baal Melqart View Drop Down
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Oct-2012 at 12:40
Originally posted by Nick1986

Is there evidence Mecca was inhabited before the first buildings? It may have started out as a "tent city" where nomads converged at certain times of the year


There has been a view opined by Dr. Ra'afat Ammari on this topic. He is a knowledgeable researcher on Islamic history with at least 20 years experience in the subject. Here is an article he wrote, it might help you understand better what Makkah was before the 7th century and when it was built.

http://religionresearchinstitute.org/mecca/construction.htm
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