78.7.1 The river dwellers were accustomed to rivers overflowing their banks at certain seasons; these periodic floods were annual events in their lives. But new perils threatened the valley of Mesopotamia as a result of progressive geologic changes to the north.
78.7.2 For thousands of years after the submergence of the first Eden the mountains about the eastern coast of the Mediterranean and those to the northwest and northeast of Mesopotamia continued to rise. This elevation of the highlands was greatly accelerated about 5000 B.C., and this, together with greatly increased snowfall on the northern mountains, caused unprecedented floods each spring throughout the Euphrates valley. These spring floods grew increasingly worse so that eventually the inhabitants of the river regions were driven to the eastern highlands. For almost a thousand years scores of cities were practically deserted because of these extensive deluges.
78.7.3 Almost five thousand years later, as the Hebrew priests in Babylonian captivity sought to trace the Jewish people back to Adam, they found great difficulty in piecing the story together; and it occurred to one of them to abandon the effort, to let the whole world drown in its wickedness at the time of Noah's flood, and thus to be in a better position to trace Abraham right back to one of the three surviving sons of Noah.
78.7.4 The traditions of a time when water covered the whole of the earth's surface are universal. Many races harbor the story of a world-wide flood some time during past ages. The Biblical story of Noah, the ark, and the flood is an invention of the Hebrew priesthood during the Babylonian captivity. There has never been a universal flood since life was established on Urantia. The only time the surface of the earth was completely covered by water was during those Archeozoic ages before the land had begun to appear.
78.7.5 But Noah really lived; he was a wine maker of Aram, a river settlement near Erech. He kept a written record of the days of the river's rise from year to year. He brought much ridicule upon himself by going up and down the river valley advocating that all houses be built of wood, boat fashion, and that the family animals be put on board each night as the flood season approached. He would go to the neighboring river settlements every year and warn them that in so many days the floods would come. Finally a year came in which the annual floods were greatly augmented by unusually heavy rainfall so that the sudden rise of the waters wiped out the entire village; only Noah and his immediate family were saved in their houseboat.
78.7.6 These floods completed the disruption of Andite civilization. With the ending of this period of deluge, the second garden was no more. Only in the south and among the Sumerians did any trace of the former glory remain.
78.7.7 The remnants of this, one of the oldest civilizations, are to be found in these regions of Mesopotamia and to the northeast and northwest. But still older vestiges of the days of Dalamatia exist under the waters of the Persian Gulf, and the first Eden lies submerged under the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
78.8.1 When the last Andite dispersion broke the biologic backbone of Mesopotamian civilization, a small minority of this superior race remained in their homeland near the mouths of the rivers. These were the Sumerians, and by 6000 B.C. they had become largely Andite in extraction, though their culture was more exclusively Nodite in character, and they clung to the ancient traditions of Dalamatia. Nonetheless, these Sumerians of the coastal regions were the last of the Andites in Mesopotamia. But the races of Mesopotamia were already thoroughly blended by this late date, as is evidenced by the skull types found in the graves of this era.
78.8.2 It was during the floodtimes that Susa so greatly prospered. The first and lower city was inundated so that the second or higher town succeeded the lower as the headquarters for the peculiar artcrafts of that day. With the later diminution of these floods, Ur became the center of the pottery industry. About seven thousand years ago Ur was on the Persian Gulf, the river deposits having since built up the land to its present limits. These settlements suffered less from the floods because of better controlling works and the widening mouths of the rivers.
78.8.3 The peaceful grain growers of the Euphrates and Tigris valleys had long been harassed by the raids of the barbarians of Turkestan and the Iranian plateau. But now a concerted invasion of the Euphrates valley was brought about by the increasing drought of the highland pastures. And this invasion was all the more serious because these surrounding herdsmen and hunters possessed large numbers of tamed horses. It was the possession of horses which gave them a tremendous military advantage over their rich neighbors to the south. In a short time they overran all Mesopotamia, driving forth the last waves of culture which spread out over all of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa.
78.8.4 These conquerors of Mesopotamia carried in their ranks many of the better Andite strains of the mixed northern races of Turkestan, including some of the Adamson stock. These less advanced but more vigorous tribes from the north quickly and willingly assimilated the residue of the civilization of Mesopotamia and presently developed into those mixed peoples found in the Euphrates valley at the beginning of historic annals. They quickly revived many phases of the passing civilization of Mesopotamia, adopting the arts of the valley tribes and much of the culture of the Sumerians. They even sought to build a third tower of Babel and later adopted the term as their national name.
78.8.5 When these barbarian cavalrymen from the northeast overran the whole Euphrates valley, they did not conquer the remnants of the Andites who dwelt about the mouth of the river on the Persian Gulf. These Sumerians were able to defend themselves because of superior intelligence, better weapons, and their extensive system of military canals, which were an adjunct to their irrigation scheme of interconnecting pools. They were a united people because they had a uniform group religion. They were thus able to maintain their racial and national integrity long after their neighbors to the northwest were broken up into isolated city-states. No one of these city groups was able to overcome the united Sumerians.
78.8.6 And the invaders from the north soon learned to trust and prize these peace-loving Sumerians as able teachers and administrators. They were greatly respected and sought after as teachers of art and industry, as directors of commerce, and as civil rulers by all peoples to the north and from Egypt in the west to India in the east.
78.8.7 After the breakup of the early Sumerian confederation the later city-states were ruled by the apostate descendants of the Sethite priests. Only when these priests made conquests of the neighboring cities did they call themselves kings. The later city kings failed to form powerful confederations before the days of Sargon because of deity jealousy. Each city believed its municipal god to be superior to all other gods, and therefore they refused to subordinate themselves to a common leader.
78.8.8 The end of this long period of the weak rule of the city priests was terminated by Sargon, the priest of Kish, who proclaimed himself king and started out on the conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia and adjoining lands. And for the time, this ended the city-states, priest-ruled and priest-ridden, each city having its own municipal god and its own ceremonial practices.
78.8.9 After the breakup of this Kish confederation there ensued a long period of constant warfare between these valley cities for supremacy. And the rulership variously shifted between Sumer, Akkad, Kish, Erech, Ur, and Susa.
78.8.10 About 2500 B.C. the Sumerians suffered severe reverses at the hands of the northern Suites and Guites. Lagash, the Sumerian capital built on flood mounds, fell. Erech held out for thirty years after the fall of Akkad. By the time of the establishment of the rule of Hammurabi the Sumerians had become absorbed into the ranks of the northern Semites, and the Mesopotamian Andites passed from the pages of history.
78.8.11 From 2500 to 2000 B.C. the nomads were on a rampage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Nerites constituted the final eruption of the Caspian group of the Mesopotamian descendants of the blended Andonite and Andite races. What the barbarians failed to do to effect the ruination of Mesopotamia, subsequent climatic changes succeeded in accomplishing.
78.8.12 And this is the story of the violet race after the days of Adam and of the fate of their homeland between the Tigris and Euphrates. Their ancient civilization finally fell due to the emigration of superior peoples and the immigration of their inferior neighbors. But long before the barbarian cavalrymen conquered the valley, much of the Garden culture had spread to Asia, Africa, and Europe, there to produce the ferments which have resulted in the twentieth-century civilization of Urantia.
78.8.13 [Presented by an Archangel of Nebadon.]