Ancient Mesopotamia : a biblical presence of the world’s first olive oil, pistachio oil, laurel berry oil and almond oil soaps traded on The Silk Route, 2nd century BC -14th century AD, where the first civilisation of the world started. Ancient Mesopotamia's collection of these imported cultural soaps are skilfully made by hand, hand-cut, dried stored for months with the original ingredients unchanged for centuries, remarkably today, still being handmade from the same historical areas, as the Soapmakers continue making history. Mardin, located on The Silk Route, The Persian Royal Road, the oldest city in Upper Mesopotamia, a Unesco Tentative Listing; the open museum, 4500 BC with the most preserved architecture in the world. The Province of Mardin, Dara, where masons all over Mesopotamia built the last Roman Fortress 114 feet tall, keeping back the Persians. Mardin Soap : remarkably, still being handmade today from the same historical area. Aleppo : Soapmakers continue the more than 2000 year soap history, just miles over the border in Gaziantep (on The Silk Route). Antioch : the third largest city of The Roman Empire, after Alexandria and Rome on The Silk Route, 1,100 acres, the only Roman city illuminated at night for hundreds of years, favoured by The Emperors, the centre of literature.The romantic magnet for scholars, writers, philosophers, the marriage of Antony and Cleopatra 37 BC, the park of woods at Daphne leading down to the Mediterranean waters. Antiochia Soap : centuries later, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area. Nablus : the world's most ancient olive groves, a Unesco World Heritage Site, Central Highland area of Nablus, Battir to Hebron. Seven natural springs, The Roman Empire channels and pools irrigate, centuries later, still worked today, continuing making history. Nablus Soap : remarkably, from the same historical area since the 10th century. Ancient Mesopotamia products contain no perfumes, artificial colours or, preservatives, 100% biodegradable and not tested on animals. Ancient Mesopotamia imports the collection of soaps traded on The Silk Route directly from the Soapmakers.
Ancient Mesopotamia : continuing the ethical and sustainable ethos, the culture and spirit of the first Soapmakers of the world remarkably, still handmade today from the original historical areas whilst supporting their families.
Soap : an ancient product.
Ashurbanipal, the last King of Assyria, 7th century BC, The North West Palace, Nineveh; where he establishes the great library, until the Babylonians sacked the city and palace in a rebellion 612 BC resulting in The Palace being burnt down.
1840 Austin Henry Layard assisted by Hormuzd Rassam (a Nineveh local) funded by The British Museum uncovers thousands of clay tablets written in cuneiform and Akkadian language at The North West Palace.
1872 George Smith, intrigued by history of Assyria (by profession, an apprentice bank note engraver) spent each lunch hour observing hundreds of clay tablets at The British Museum. The Museum realised his knowledge and invited him to assemble the tablets. To his amazement he married a clay tablet story about a world drowned by flood, about a man who builds a boat, about a dove released in search of dry land. His thoughts were the Noah's Ark story but, this was not the book of Genesis astonishingly, it was Gilgamesh, an epic poem inscribed into damp clay around 1800 BC. He was invited to read his translation of the tablet to an audience at The Society for Biblical Archaeology in London attended by Prime Minister Gladstone. Epic of Gilgamesh read by George Smith caused a sensation. The Daily Telegraph put up 1000 guineas for George Smith to continue his investigations and excavations; he died in Aleppo of dysentery at the age of 36 years in 1876 leaving 8 groundbreaking books on Assyria.
Hormuzd Rassam was recalled by The British Museum to continue excavations at the Babylonian city of Sippar discovering the great door of the Palace of Balawat and 70,000 cuneiform tablets.1880 was his final expedition as he was being erased from the records due to hyperbole of Sir Henry Rawlinson claiming he was just a digger who oversaw works in progress. The British Museum removed his name from plaques and visitor guide books. Hormuzd Rassam could not find one publisher for his memoirs having a good relationship with his best friend Austin Henry Layard since he was 19 years old and after spending 18 months at Oxford. He died in Hove 1910 knowing that Layard wrote 'one of the honestest and most straight forward fellows I ever knew and one whose services have never been acknowledged'.
A Little History
Ancient Mesopotamia : Mesopotamia, ancient Greek meaning ‘Between two rivers' the Tigris-Euphrates, the biblical land known as Ancient Mesopotamia, The Fertile Crescent, on The Silk Route, the rise of the first civilisation of the world, where time began, Sumerians : 60 parts, 60 seconds, 60 minutes, Luna calendar 12 months, 360 degrees, the wheel, weaving cloth, the cart, the chariot, the sailboat, the plough, mathematics, architecture, sun-dried bricks, astronomy, astrology, agriculture, irrigation, cuneiform writing, monarchy, copper tools, arrowheads, razors, swords, harpoons, maces, slings and clubs. The first recorded evidence of soap production written in cuneiform on a clay tablet 2800 BC, Sumerians. 2200 BC, Sumerians (where oils in soap began), a formula of soap consisting of water, alkali (ash) and cassia oil (cinnamomum) was written on a clay tablet (two thousand years before The Silk Route opened) . King Nabonidus, Neo-Babylonian 6th century BC : ashes, cypress extract, sesame oil (antibacterial, antiviral) written on clay cylinders, Ur. Babylon : the eighth gate to the inner city, The Ishtar Gate 575 BC, one of the seven wonders of the world, 2500 acres, 11 miles of wall wrapped around the most famous city of Ancient Mesopotamia. Greek historian Herodotus, declaring 'Overwhelmingly opulent the walls so broad chariots could race around them', later confirmed by Architect Callimachus of Cyrene. Antipater of Sidon, Greek writer, Poet 2nd century BC begins the official listing replacing The Ishtar Gate for The Lighthouse of Alexandria.
The first handmade olive oil, pistachio oil, laurel berry oil and almond oil soaps traded on The Silk Route at a time when Jesus was born, Roman Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs of Egypt reigned. Galen of Pergamum : 2nd Century AD, Philosopher, Greek Physician, Surgeon, Personal Physician of The Emperors, Chief Physician for the treating of wounds to the gladiator school in Pergamum. Discoverer, that urine was formed in the kidney and arteries carried blood. His theories dominated medicine for 1500 years. His stay in Antioch and Aleppo were frequent, declaring to his patients the importance of the healing powers of the oils in soap (antiseptic, anti-itching, antibacterial). Zosimos of Panopolis 3rd century AD, Greek-Egyptian Alchemist, investigates the composition and chemical changes that occurred in the water and oils. Centuries later, still handmade today, remarkably, from the same historical areas, as the Soapmakers continue making history; hand-cut, dried stored for months being traditionally produced by hand through the generations of families, with only natural ingredients, unchanged throughout the centuries.
The Silk Route : The Merchants of Antioch earned their reputation for hundreds of years from the sale of silk, soap, glass, spices, cotton and copper tools, trading under 1400 Roman columns and porticoes for more than two miles, using their vegetable oil filled lamps each night to light up the colonnaded street for more than 800 years. Persian Sogdian Traders travelled and spoke the language of Sogdiana for hundreds of years from Chang'an (perpetual peace), Han Dynasty, Samarkand to Antioch the third largest city of The Roman Empire, where Hadrian was in command of the army of the East. Commissioned by the 9th Emperor Vespasian establishing The Praetorian Fleets : Classis (Fleet) Syriaca. Classis (Fleet) Mesopotamica. Patrolling Antioch (Selucia, seaport) to Alexandria, reinforced, if necessary, with 200 ships from Classes Praetoriae. Emperor Hadrian nominated by his legions of the East, Antioch 117AD.
Silk : 2696 BC Lei Zu, daughter of Xi Ling, Empress, Wife of The Yellow Emperor, the implementer of silk; by chance a silkworm cocoon fell from a tree into her tea cup unwrapping the silk and strong but, soft thread. Yellow silk : a class distinction. 552 AD : Emperor Justinian I sends two emissaries (Nestorian monks) to China to smuggle silkworm eggs, hidden in rods of bamboo, tired of paying exorbitant silk prices. Later, sericulture (silk farming) began.
Ancient Mesopotamia Gifts
644 Charlton Horethorne