9,500 BC The Plain of Mesopotamia, Wild Wheat Grass. The Sumerian word for wheat was 'she-gib-ba' meaning 'the dark grain'. Mesopotamia, the original home of bread-making wheats.
Where Time Began : The Story of Silk, implemented by chance, The First Moisturiser of The Ancient World, Queen Zenobia, Cleopatra, Elizabeth 1, Assyrian Queens, Pharaohs, Papyrus, called tjufy by The Pharaohs where The Romans 500 BC first rolled Papyrus into little cylinders called Candalae, The Story of The Libraries, Scrolls, Parchment, Theatres, Dams, Canals, Aqueducts and Bronze Water Raising Screw, sent water 50 miles from the mountains into the heavenly gardens of Nineveh, date palm tree is an early reference to the Archimedes Screw, as the trunk of a date palm often grows with spirally protrusions similar in shape to an Archimedes Screw, Assyrians, four centuries before Archimedes, Sennacherib (grandfather) : First Hydraulic Engineer of The Ancient World, 500 years before The Romans built Aqueducts, Ashurbanipal (grandson), The Hanging Garden of Nineveh, not Babylon, Antioch, where the word Christianity began, implemented by Peter, Paul. First : Sumerians, oil in soap. First : Antiseptics, Antibacterial, Anti-itching, Anti-inflammatory. First : Sumerian Priests Used these Soaps for medical benefits, Clay Tablets, Where Children and Family need to know.
Ancient Mesopotamia : THE UNTOLD STORY, THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, MORE UNTOLD THAN WE THOUGHT, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still making history, still today, please scroll down. 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 (when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the route), all other Routes on The Silk Route stayed open for Trading until the 16th century, continuing where the first sophisticated civilisation of the world started, WHERE TIME BEGAN. Ancient Mesopotamia's collection of these imported cultural soaps are skilfully made by hand, hand-cut, dried stored for months reducing moisture content making the soap hard and long lasting with the original ingredients unchanged for 40 centuries, remarkably today, still being handmade from the same historical areas, as the Soapmakers continue making history. The Silk Route, The Soapmakers, all from the area of Ancient Mesopotamia, The Fertile Crescent. Antiochia, Queen Zenobia's preference. Aleppo, laurel berries received daily from Antioch for 300 years, favoured by Queen Cleopatra and Queen Zenobia. Mardin : The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel (the abundance of Pistachios and Pistachios with kernel of the apricot favoured by Assyrian Queens and Princesses for their hair), Almond, The Romans and Greeks preference. The profusion of olive tree plantations at Antioch in the 4th Century AD and 5th Century AD. Nablus Soapmakers began in the 7th Century AD, the families increased through popularity. From the 10th Century the first pressed olive oil was made from the finest ancient olive groves in the world (five thousand years old, still today) Nablus, Palestine, The Fertile Crescent (the preference of Elizabeth 1). 40 centuries of soapmaking, used by The Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs and the wealthy, two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, centuries later, still handmade today.
Pliny the Elder, friend of Emperor Vespasian, known for his writings 77AD 'Naturalis Historia', other writings advising on woman's cosmetics : asse's milk removes wrinkles, butter mixed with white lead useful against acne and cows placenta recommended for removal of facial ulcers and he describes soap as 'An invention of The Gauls for giving a reddish tint to the hair' (made of tallow, ash). Whilst in Antioch he observes laurel berries were being loaded onto donkeys daily for the constant journey to Aleppo but, he never completed the question 'why'. Oil in Soap was an incredible expensive luxury and historians have never paid any attention to it and clearly only referred to the oil and strigil, the mystery of why oil in soaps never went to Rome ( The Romans omitted the history of The Sumerians discovery of Oil in Soap, Sumerian Priests used oil in soap for medical benefits, written on clay tablets and The Romans chose to ignore, as they could not afford these Moisturisers themselves ). The continuing Untold Story of Oil in Soap for 40 centuries, has saved more lives than penicillin, the greatest medical discovery in human history, still today. Sumerians : First, to Measure Time, Sumerians : Oil in Soap.
ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA : continuing the ethical and sustainable ethos, the culture and spirit of the first Soapmakers of the world remarkably, 40 centuries later, still handmade today from the original historical areas whilst supporting their families.
SOAP : the greatest medical discovery in human history, cleans away something you cannot see, soap does not attract germs, water does. UNICEF : doctors wash their hands half as frequently as they should, if every cook used soap it would cut the world’s rate of respiratory infections by 25%. Saves the life of a healthy person oblivious to the bullet they dodged, has saved more lives than penicillin, doesn't just make cities healthier it makes them possible, enabling our existence.
MARDIN : located on The Silk Route, The Persian Royal Road, the oldest City in Upper Mesopotamia, where humans have existed for 11,500 years, the first farming communities of the world (Unesco World Heritage Site Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia). Mardin the open museum, Unesco Tentative Listing, 4500 BC with the most preserved architecture in the world, where The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel. The ochre sunset of Mardin, where olive oil, pistachio oil, travelled on The Persian Royal Road, where Persian Sogdian Traders travelled on The Silk Route and spoke the language of Sogdiana for hundreds of years from Chang'an (Han Dynasty), Samarkand to Antioch (The Roman Empire). The Province of Mardin, Dara, three miles from the Persian border of Nisibis, founded in 505 AD. EMPEROR ANASTASIUS builds a city, where masons were summoned to build the last Roman Fortress 114 feet tall : great storehouses, palaces, churches, bazaar, houses, reservoir, water channels and graves of the Roman warriors wrapped around a two and a half mile wall 'Anastasiopolis'.
EMPEROR JUSTINIAN 1st 527-565 AD rebuilds and strengthens the last Roman Fortress, Wife Theodora, exceptionally beautiful, intelligent, Empress, ruled with Justinian 1st for 21 years, a woman from a poor background. Theodora had grown up among the working classes of Constantinople (330 AD the new Capital of The Roman Empire, lasting 12 centuries) previously, Ancient Greek City of Byzantium, four times the size of Byzantium, built on seven hills, just like old Rome), she was a child of the circus who became Constantinople's best known actress. Theodora loved the male, female baths and frequented them often, early in the morning and leaving late. The mixed baths (where olive oil and alkali (ash) was used) ended in the 8th century AD. Procopius, Writer, Greek Scholar, Principal Byzantium Historian of the 6th century AD portrayed Theodora as a wanton of the most promiscuous sort, sighting a stage act that the future Empress was said to have performed involving her naked body, some grain and a gaggle of trained geese. Justinian 1st passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes, his marriage to Theodora caused a scandal but, she became one of the most influential women of the Ancient World. The earthquake of earthquakes 526 AD Antioch, Theodora ensured the fine Church of St. Michael and The Basilica of Asterius were rebuilt despatching marble columns from Constantinople (first campaigner of women's rights). Mardin Soap : two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area.
ALEPPO, 64 BC a Roman Province : Soapmakers continue making history two thousand years before The Silk Route opened remarkably, still being handmade today in Gaziantep, on the Silk Route, just miles over the border from Aleppo City, where laurel berries were received daily from Antioch for 300 years. Aleppo, the preference of Queen Cleopatra and Queen Zenobia. The mixture of olive oil, water and lye; underground fires begins the process heating the oil for 3 days for the oil to react with the lye and water, creating a thickness thereafter, adding laurel berry oil. Pouring the mixture over a sheet of waxed paper awaiting ageing, chemical changes for the cutter's hand and stamped seal. Reactions with the air gently turning the soap gold on the outside and mystical emerald green on the inside, reducing moisture content making the soap hard and long lasting. The Aleppo Soapmakers : still handmade today in Gaziantep on The Silk Route, 40 centuries of soapmaking, ensuring same weather pattern as Aleppo, continuing making history, just miles over the border from Aleppo City. Aleppo : Unesco World Heritage Site, once ruled by Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, today, continuing to stay on the 'The List of World Heritage in Danger'.
ANTIOCH, 64 BC a Roman Province : 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. Third century AD, The Imperial Palace residence of Queen Zenobia (Antiochia, the preference of Queen Zenobia, just a short walk from the Soapmakers), Queen of Palmyra Empire, Queen of Syria, Queen of Egypt, ruler of one third of The Roman Empire (6 years, loved by her people). Libanius, Antioch's celebrated Orator, born Antioch 314 AD, a Greek teacher of rhetoric of the Sophist School who tells the story of the City being illuminated each night 'People of Antioch were sleeping on the roofs at night where the summer breeze would gently stir the garments of the sleepers,' favoured by The Emperors, the centre of literature, the romantic magnet for scholars, writers, philosophers, the marriage of Antony and Cleopatra 37 BC, (Aleppo, the preference of Queen Cleopatra, where Antony establishes Antioch as his Headquarters), the park of woods at Daphne (Daphne : ancient Greek meaning laurel, spoken in Ancient Antioch), known for its plethora of thickly planted mulberry bushes, groves of cypresses and laurels forming a dramatic continuous roof, the carpet of rose groves interspersed with streams five miles from Antioch leading down to the Mediterranean waters. Antiochia Soap : two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area.
NABLUS, PALESTINE 63 BC a Roman Province : 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 (10th legion) channels and pools irrigate, centuries later, still worked today, continuing making history. Nablus Soapmakers began in the 7th Century AD, the families increased through popularity, from the 10th Century the first pressed olive oil was made from the finest ancient olive groves in the world ( five thousand years old, still today). Local lime, ash (ashes of the barilla plant from the salty banks of the River Jordan) are pounded into a powder, the pure olive oil soap mixture is gently heated and continuously stirred over many days in copper vats, then spread out to set, soaked in red vegetable pigment, a grid of woollen threads leaves its imprint, as the process of lines are established for the cutter's hand, whilst the stamped seal of the two crossed keys completes the process; Nablus Palestine,The Fertile Crescent (the preference of Elizabeth 1) and popular with Jordanian Families, Nablus Soap, remarkably, from the same historical area since the 10th century.
PALESTINE in the ancient world was part of the region known as Canaan where the Kingdoms of Israel and Judaea were located. The term `Palestine’ was originally a designation of an area of land in southern Canaan the people were known as Philistines (sea people). The Philistines are thought to have come to the area towards the end of the Bronze age c. 1276 BC and established themselves on the southern coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea in an area afterwards known as Philistia. The whole of the region was referred to as ‘Canaan' in Mesopotamian texts and trade records found at Ebla and Mari as early as the 18th century BC while the term ‘Palestine' does not appear in any written records until 430 BC in the Histories of Herodotus. Later, the term ‘Palestine' came to be used for the entire region which was formerly known as Canaan.
ANTIOCHIA, ALEPPO, Laurel Berry oil (not seen in the West) with the perfect percentage of Olive oil. Antiochia, Aleppo both assist gardeners, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis. Both natural moisturisers, antiseptic, anti-itching, antibacterial, anti-fungal, assisting problematic skin, calming sensitive skin, leaving skin soft, nourished and silky. 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. 40 centuries of soapmaking, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area.
PASARGADAE, 6th Century BC, Achaemenid, First Persian Empire, Cyrus 11 the Great, classic Persian art, architecture, Palaces, gardens, the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the four gardens, Unesco World Heritage Site. Cyrus used Babylonian Priests to text 'Cyrus the Cylinder', British Museum. The successful Propagandist of The Persian Empire. The vast Empire, Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, Hindus River, India. First : respect for cultural, diversity of Peoples. The Cylinder : excavated Babylon 1879, it records how Cyrus restored Shrines and allowed deported Peoples to return home, The Ancient Near East 550-331 BC.
The Apādana Palace, East Stairway and Throne Hall 'Hundred Column Hall' founded by Darius I in 518 B.C. Persepolis the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Darius 1, King of Kings : son Xerxes I title, Shahanshah, King of Kings (486-465 BC), and grandson Artaxerxes I (465-424 BC), Unesco World Heritage Site. Darius invites Egyptians to do Ivory and Gold building at the Palace, Babylonians for Brick building, Assyrians journey with Timbers from Lebanon.
Assyrians with Rams, gifts for The King of Kings, Apādana Palace, Persepolis (The City of The Persians), East Stairway.
Delivering messages, system of Governors, Satraps, circulating royal decrees, Susa (ancient capital of Persia) - Sardes (Important, wealthy City of The Near East), Darius 1, 522-486 BC, Horses from The Royal Stables, The Kings Pirradazis (horse changing), Angareion (horse posting), Angarium (riders), in relays 24 hours each 1,677 miles, 111 stations (caravanserai) on the heavily guarded Persian Royal Road, for others who travelled on these routes the penalty was death, 7-9 days or, 3 months on foot. First postal system of the world.
DARIUS 1 allows The Soapmakers to travel on The Persian Royal Road. The Parthians from Persia (247BC-224AD) allowed silk to travel through their Empire trading ostrich eggs for silk, building caravanserai along The Silk Route ensuring daily riches which, was repeated by The Kushans making The Silk Route safe to travel. Later, Persian Sogdian Traders, 2nd Century BC, travelled on The Silk Route for more than 800 years.
ASHURBANIPAL, the last King of Assyria, 7th century BC (Assyrian Empire 1365-609 BC) ,The North West Palace, Nineveh, Upper Mesopotamia; 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. Ashurbanipal’s library was buried beneath the burning walls of his Palace and was lost for over 2,000 years. The first broken and scattered remains of the library were found in 1840 and are now at the British Museum.
1840 Austin Henry Layard later, assisted by Hormuzd Rassam (a Nineveh local) in 1846 funded by The British Museum uncovers thousands of clay tablets written in cuneiform and Akkadian language at The North West Palace.
1861 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 (Sumerian King), 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 he was a trustee of the British Museum from 1876 until his death and a British East India Company army officer, claiming Hormuzd Rassam 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 Magdalen College Oxford. He died in Hove 1910, aged 84 years knowing that Layard wrote 'One of the honestest and most straight forward fellows I ever knew and one whose services have never been acknowledged'.By the end of his life, Rassam's reputation and achievements were once again receiving greater recognition, at least amidst his professional colleagues; in their obituary for Rassam, The Royal Geographical Society wrote: 'The death of Mr Hormuzd Rassam deprives The Royal Geographical Society of one of its older and more distinguished Fellows.'Hormuzd Rassam was also a Fellow of The Society of Biblical Archaeology and The Victoria Institute. Today, The British Museum acknowledges that Hormuzd Rassam was an archaeologist later, an official and an assistant to Austen Henry Layard. His excavation papers are held in the central archives in The British Museum.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM : The royal gardens at Nineveh were spectacular. They were irrigated by canals which stretched over 31 miles into the mountains in order to make them a year-round oasis of all types of flora. There is a recent argument that the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) were actually those at Nineveh and later writers had confused Nineveh and Babylon. Even if this was not the case, Ashurbanipal’s gardens were certainly impressive and exotic. The King collected plants from across the Ancient World and brought them back to his capital. The largest Capital City of 18 gates of The Ancient World. However, it was not just the architecture that made the royal residence impressive, surrounding the palace were orchards, game parks and lush and exotic gardens that evoked a paradise on earth. Ashurbanipal claimed : 'I planted alongside the palace a botanical garden, which has all types of trees and every fruit and vegetable.' The gardens at Nineveh were irrigated by an immense canal network built by Ashurbanipal's grandfather Sennacherib. He brought water to the City over 31 miles using channels and aqueducts to create a year-round oasis of all types of flora.The canals stretching 31 miles into the mountains, and Sennacherib boasted about the engineering technology. A monumental aqueduct crossing the valley at Jerwan, which can be seen still today, made of over 2 million stones and waterproof cement. The aqueducts were constructed over 500 years before the Romans started building their aqueducts and inscribed with the following words: 'Sennacherib King of the world King of Assyria. Over a great distance I had a watercourse directed to the environs of Nineveh, joining together the water, over steep-sided valleys, I spanned an aqueduct of white limestone blocks, I made those waters flow over it. In order to draw water up all day long, I had rope, bronze wires, chains made and I set up the great cylinders and date palm trees over cisterns. Designing an automatic Sluice that opened by itself. Some of the water was diverted to irrigate orchards, fields to the north of Nineveh, an artificial marshland to delay the flow, filter the water which attracted wildlife.' At Arbela, Sennacherib built an underground tunnel to bring high quality water into the City, an underground aqueduct with shaft to the surface at intervals, ASSYRIANS : Masters of the principles of hydraulic engineering. Water raising screw : a great tree trunk 'gismahhu', the word for cylinder 'alamittu' moulds, date palm tree, water screw cast in bronze.
Ancient Greek & Roman Writers who were associated with the classical account of 'The Hanging Garden of Babylon' : Berossus (Babylonian Priest of Marduk, writer), Josephus, Siculus, Rufus, Strabo, Philo of Byzantium, Cleitarchus (biographer of Alexander the Great). 8,200 Gallons of Water per day would have been required to service the writers classical accounts. Apparently, there is a recent argument that the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) were actually those at Nineveh and later writers had confused Nineveh and Babylon. Apparently, non of The Writers visited Babylon but, they clearly did know about the eighth gate to the inner City and did not know about the 18 Gates of The North West Palace at Nineveh. It appears the original mistake may have been Cleitarchus who was not above exaggerating, delighting in stories about wonderful things. History shows : even Herodotus of Halicarnassus was capable of making Babylon the capital of Assyria.
Dr. STEPHANIE DALLEY, Assyriologist of Oxford University’s Oriental Institute a scholar of The Ancient Near East. She has retired as a teaching Fellow from the Oriental Institute, Oxford, author of 'The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon' where The Professor describes : deciphering cuneiform scripts and reinterpreting Greek and Roman texts : a 7th Century BC Assyrian inscription mistranslated : cognisant of the bas-relief in Layard's book : Bronze water raising screw (4 centuries later Archimedes), The Professor has suggested that date palm tree is an early reference to the Archimedes screw, as the trunk of a date palm often grows with spirally protrusions similar in shape to an archimedes screw : Sennacherib referred to his Palace gardens (700 BC), 'A wonder for all the peoples' : Nineveh renames all of its gates, after the Babylonian gods, after sacking Babylon, The New Babylon : Alexander the Great and his Generals spent days at Jerwan encamped close to the great stone aqueduct awaiting The Battle of Gaugamela : a complex system of canals, dams and aqueducts (500 years before The Romans built aqueducts). The Professor looked at the comparative topography of Babylon and Nineveh and realised that the totally flat countryside around Babylon would have made it impossible to deliver sufficient water to maintain raised gardens described in the classical accounts, it therefore became quite clear that the ‘Hanging Gardens’ could not have been built in Babylon. Hanging Garden of Nineveh received mountain water from streams 50 miles away to the Citadel and the Hanging Garden. History re-written, with full detailed definitive evidence.
Layard's artist copy of the original, now lost, bas-relief depicting trees growing on a roofed colonnade, The Hanging Garden of Nineveh.
INCREDIBLE ASSYRIANS building Dams, Canals, Aqueducts and bronze water screws (four centuries before Archimedes, 500 years before The Romans built aqueducts). Cleverness : bronze water raising screw sent water 50 miles from the mountains into the heavenly gardens of Nineveh. Mardin Oil in Soap used by the privileged Royal Gardeners planting The Hanging Garden of Nineveh of Sennacherib, Ashurbanipal (grandfather, grandson), where permission was granted by both Kings for the Soapmakers to travel on The Persian Royal Road at Nineveh, for others who travelled on this route the penalty was death so, the good fortune of travellers on The Silk Route at Nineveh was a better option.
Sennacherib : First Hydraulic Engineer of The Ancient World.
Just a few of The Story-Tellers - The Ancient Near East.
Mardin : The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel the abundance of Pistachios favoured by Assyrian Queens and Princesses for their hair, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still making history, still today.
Celebrated Theatres of The Near East Bosra Theatre Southern Syria, Capital of The Roman Province of Arabia, Emperor Trajan 2nd Century AD, seating 15,000, Unesco World Heritage Site
The Library of Celsus, Ephesus, built in 117AD. The repository having a capacity to hold 12,000 scrolls, Unesco World Heritage Site.
Celsus Library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus built in 117 AD Commissioned in 114 AD by Tiberius Julius Acquila with provision to purchase scrolls in the amount of 23,000 Denarius and finished by his heirs. The library was built to commemorate his father Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus aged 70. Celsus had been a member of the Roman Senate and he was, from 105 to 107 AD, the proconsul of Ephesus. Celsus had also been Consul in Rome in 92 AD, where he was responsible for all public buildings. He was one of the richest businessmen in Ephesus. The library was then a fitting memorial and burial place for one of Ephesus’ grandees. Completed in 117 AD, Celsus was then entombed in a lead coffin encased in a marble sarcophagus decorated with high relief figures of Nike, Eros, rosettes and garlands. The sarcophagus was buried under the flooring near the apsidal wall.
That Special Gift for Him : an original cultural gift. The Ancient Near East, Short Stories, Maps, Sketches, Photographs, Where Time Began, Aleppo : lasting 3-6 months, Matthew was writing His Gospel and always walked for 3 weeks from Antioch to Tarsus with a very expensive Aleppo for his best friends Peter, Paul, Apostles, still today. Book, Ancient Soap, Ancient History in Box, Click Store and scroll.
STILL TODAY, THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM
Historians : Dismissed Oil in Soap, as a luxury too far and most could never have afforded it so, Oil and Strigil was the explanation; if they only knew it was the greatest medical discovery in human history, still today.