Archaeologist Thomas Strasser (Providence College) and his team have found 130,000 year old stone hand axes on Crete that are identical to 800,000 year double-edged axe heads found in African, suggesting that humans left Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago and traveled on seagoing vessels to Europe and the Near East via larger islands in the Mediterranean.
In his 20 years of work on Crete, Strassser has discovered several hundred double-edged cutting implements at nine sites in southwestern Crete that date to 130,000 years ago and earlier. Strasser reported that hand axes he found on Crete were made from local quartz but are identical to those fashioned in Africa about 800,000 years ago. (Read more here and here.)
It is clear that peoples from Africa were migrating eastward to Pakistan, southern India, and Sri Lanka. The Sudra (Sudanese) who inhabited these areas were black. The Sudra Kingdom, mentioned in the epic of Mahabharata, was one of the ancient Saraswati Valley kingdoms. Herodotus referred to the Sudra/Dravidians as the “eastern Ethiopians” and described them thus: “The Eastern Ethiopians differed in nothing from the other Ethiopians, save in their language, and the character of their hair. For the Eastern Ethiopians have straight hair, while they of Libya are more woolly-haired…”
The Indus civilization had several large cities, including Mohenjo-daro and Harrapa. That civilization is known by the name “Harappa” and the people of this civilization were Dravidians. The Indian archaeologist, B. B. Lal, contends that the Dravidians came from southern Egypt and Sudan (Nubia). This would explain their dark complexion. Lal writes: "At Timos the Indian team dug up several megalithic sites of ancient Nubians which bear an uncanny resemblance to the cemeteries of early Dravidians which are found all over Western India from Kathiawar to Cape Comorin. The intriguing similarity extends from the subterranean structure found near them. Even the earthenware ring-stands used by the Dravidians and Nubians to hold pots were identical." The Nubian megaliths of which Lal speaks date from around 1000 B.C.
Evidence of much older connections between Africa and India comes from the Onge of the Andaman Islands at the eastern edge of the Bay of Bengal. They are believed to have migrated from Africa around 60,000 years ago. They resemble African pygmies. Analysis of the Y-chromosome of 46 Onge men revealed an ancient genetic trait of African races, especially the Pygmies. The initial research was done by Dr. Lalji Singh, Director of India's Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad and was annoucned in 2001. Dr. Singh's findings paralleled those of Dr. Erika Hagelberg, a Cambridge scientist, who analysed Andaman hair samples which had been stored in Cambridge since 1907. She found that clusters of DNA from the hair were most similar to those in southern African pygmies.
Onge woman and child
This corresponds to the evidence in linguistics which connects the languages of southern India with the languages of the Upper Nile Valley and the Lake Chad region. Consider these examples:
Chief is "neb" in Egyptian and "nab" in Dravidian. This may be the origin of the semitic nabi = prophet.
Father is "abba" in Hebrew, "baba" in Hausa/Hahm, "appa" in Dravidian, and "apu" in Mundari.
The Hebrew root "thr" = to be pure, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm "toro" = clean, and to the Tamil "tiru" = holy. All are related to the proto-Dravidian "tor" = blood.
Small is "sr" in Egyptian and "siru" in Dravidian.
The prefix ke or ki denotes smallness: "ke" in Coptic, "kenna" in Dravidian and "kina" in Nubian.
Woman, daughter is "asa" in Dravidian and "as" in Cushitic/Nubian.
Day is "ulla" in Dravidian and "ul" in Nubian.
Stone or rock is "kal" in Dravidian and "kulu" in Nubian.
Mountain is "male" in Dravidian and "mule" in Nubian. (Read more examples here and here.)
As we explore the African context of Abraham's ancestors we uncover possible explanations for the names found in Genesis. Consider the name of Abraham's barren wife, Sara, who is said to have laughed when she received the news that she would bear a son in her old age. The association of laughter with the name Sara is suggested by several Afro-Asiatic languages. The verb to laugh in Hausa, a Chadic language, is dara. Dara and Sara may be regarded as cognates since the letters d and s are interchangeable in Dravidian and many African languages.
Sara might also be related to the Amharic sak', meaning to laugh, which is a cognate to the eastern Chadic Kambaata word osalut, meaning ‘laughter’.
It is interesting to note also that the largest population group in Chad is called the Sara. Sara society is organized by patrilineal descent from a common male ancestor. There is a 3-clan confederation such as characterizes Abraham's people. The qir ka are the eastern Sara, the qin ka are those living in central Chad, and the qel ka are the western groups. According to legend, there were giants among the Sara.
Closer examination of the African cultural context of Abraham's ancestors promises to bring greater understanding of the older layers of the biblical material. It is time for biblical scholars to turn their eyes to Africa.