During the Bronze Age (c.3000 B.C. to 1100 B.C.) ancient states emerged along the Nile, the Indus River, and in the Ancient Near East. These were located in ore rich regions near major water systems where early systems of irrigation developed. This was one of the first regions inhabited by humans outside of Africa and also the region connecting Africa and Eurasia. The region’s location at the crossroads of migratory routes contributes to its importance in understanding populations of the Bible.
Meroe on the Orontes was about 2800 miles from the shrine city of Meroe on the Nile. Both were under the control of the ancient sea-faring Egyptians who built sea-worthy ships. Meroe was the farthest outpost of the Egyptian Empire and at its peak the city would have had Amurru.
Amurru is the name of the northernmost district of Egypt's empire, and it included the coastal region from Ugarit to Byblos. The Orontes marked the northern boundary of Amur-ru. Meroe on the Orontes was one of the northern-most Egyptian outposts.
The Dispersed Hebrew
of migration were also early trade routes controlled by
regional rulers. The Sumerian rulers had a long-established trade with Dilmun
(Bahrain) and with port cities in the Indus valley. Ships sailed southeast on
the Tigris or Euphrates to the Persian Gulf, making stops at the port city of
Dilmun (Bahrain), passing the Oman Peninsula, and entering the Arabian Sea.
From there the ships sailed northeast on the Indus River to Mohenjo-Daro and
As early as 7000 B.C., the island of Bahrain, identified by the Sumerians as Dilmun, served as a major trade depot with its own commercial seal. Ships coming from Dilmun and ports east traveled to the Sumerian cities of Ur, Erech, and Nippur. The city of Eridu, regarded as the oldest Sumerian city, was an important trade center as early as 5000 B.C.
Thomas Geoffrey Bibby (1917-2001) lead excavations at Dilmun in the 1950s. Bibby discovered artifacts that show that Dilmun (Bahrain) was the capital of an independent kingdom and the center of trade between ancient Sumeria and the Indus River Valley. The Bronze Age civilization at Dilmun lasted two thousand years.
An international team of scientists from the University of Tübingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany analyzed the DNA of 93 Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 CE. The evidence from their study reveals a surprising close relation to ancient people of the Near East such as Armenians.
Our analyses reveal that ancient Egyptians shared more ancestry with Near Easterners than present-day Egyptians, who received additional sub-Saharan admixture in more recent times.
We find that ancient Egyptians are most closely related to Neolithic and Bronze Age samples in the Levant, as well as to Neolithic Anatolian and European populations.
A genetics study by Haber et. al (2015) published not so long ago in the Nature’s European Journal of Human Genetics has demonstrated this connection.
We show that Armenians have higher genetic affinity to Neolithic Europeans than other present-day Near Easterners, and that 29% of the Armenian ancestry may originate from an ancestral population best represented by Neolithic Europeans.
Today’s Armenians show genetic affinity to both the ancient Europeans and ancient Egyptians. That there was plenty of contact between ancient Egypt and ancient Armenia is apparent from Egyptian artifacts that were found in ancient Armenian burials.
The Armenians show signatures of an origin from a mixture of diverse populations occurring from 3000 to 2000 BCE. This period spans the Bronze Age, characterized by extensive use of metals in farming tools, chariots, and weapons, accompanied by development of the earliest writing systems and the establishment of trade routes and commerce. Many civilizations such as in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus valley grew to prominence. Major population expansions followed, triggered by advances in transportation technology and the pursuit of resources. Our admixture tests show that Armenian genomes carry signals of an extensive population mixture during this period. We note that these mixture dates also coincide with the legendary establishment of Armenia in 2492 BCE. Admixture signals decrease to insignificant levels after 1200 BCE, a time when Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean world suddenly collapsed, with major cities being destroyed or abandoned and most trade routes disrupted.