Sacred Lands

Sacred Lands the cradle of human kind

Sacred Lands Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania in Africa who is the Ethiopia of the Bible.

The Early Pleistocene is an unofficial sub-epoch in the international geologic timescale in chronostratigraphy, being the earliest (or lowest) division of the Pleistocene Epoch within the ongoing Quaternary Period. It is currently estimated to span the time between 2.580 ± 0.005 Ma (million years ago) and 0.773 ± 0.005 Ma. The term Early Pleistocene applies to both the Gelasian Age (to 1.800 ± 0.005 Ma) and the Calabrian Age.

While the Gelasian and the Calabrian have officially been defined by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) to effectively constitute the Early Pleistocene, the succeeding Chibanian and Tarantian ages have yet to be ratified. These proposed ages are unofficially termed the Middle Pleistocene and Late Pleistocene respectively. The Chibanian provisionally spans time from 773 ka to 126 ka, and the Tarantian from then until the definitive end of the whole Pleistocene, c. 9700 BC in the 10th millennium BC.

A number of varieties of Homo are grouped into the broad category of archaic humans in the period that precedes and is contemporary to the emergence of the earliest early modern humans (Homo sapiens) around 300 ka. Omo-Kibish I (Omo I) from southern Ethiopia (196 ± 5 ka) and the remains from Jebel Irhoud in Morocco (about 315 ka) and Florisbad in South Africa (259 ka) are among the earliest remains of Homo sapiens. The term typically includes Homo neanderthalensis (430+–25 ka), Denisovans, Homo rhodesiensis (300–125 ka), Homo heidelbergensis (600–200 ka), Homo naledi, Homo ergaster, and Homo antecessor.

Eastern Africa
  1. And Christ said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the Ethiopia at the beginning, and over every creeping thing that crept upon the earth. 2 million years ago, homo habilis

It was not until 1963 that evidence of the presence of ancient hominids was discovered in Ethiopia, many years after similar discoveries had been made in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania. The discovery was made by Gerrard Dekker, a Dutch hydrologist, who found Acheulian stone tools that were over a million years old at Kella. Since then many important finds have propelled Ethiopia to the forefront of palaeontology. The oldest hominid discovered to date in Ethiopia is the 4.2 million year old Ardipithicus ramidus (Ardi) found by Tim D. White in 1994. The most well known hominid discovery is Lucy, found in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar region in 1974 by Donald Johanson, and is one of the most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossils ever uncovered. Lucy’s taxonomic name, Australopithecus afarensis, means ‘southern ape of Afar’, and refers to the Ethiopian region where the discovery was made. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago.

There have been many other notable fossil findings in the country. In Gona stone tools were uncovered in 1992 that were 2.52 million years old, these are the oldest such tools ever discovered anywhere in the world. In 2010 fossilised animal bones, that were 3.4 million years old, were found with stone-tool-inflicted marks on them in the Lower Awash Valley by an international team, led by Shannon McPherron, which is the oldest evidence of stone tool use ever found anywhere in the world. In 2004 fossils found near the Omo river at Kibbish by Richard Leakey in 1967 were redated to 195,000 years old, the oldest date in East Africa for modern Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens idaltu, found in the Middle Awash in Ethiopia in 1997, lived about 160,000 years ago.

Some of the earliest known evidence of early stone-tipped projectile weapons (a characteristic tool of Homo sapiens), the stone tips of javelins or throwing spears, were discovered in 2013 at the Ethiopian site of Gademotta, and date to around 279,000 years ago. In 2019, further evidence of Middle Stone Age complex projectile weapons was found at Aduma, also in Ethiopia, dated 100,000-80,000 years ago, in the form of points considered likely to belong to darts delivered by spear thrower.

The earliest records of Ethiopia appear in Ancient Egypt, during the Old Kingdom period. Egyptian traders from about 3000 BC refer to lands south of Nubia or Kush as Punt and Yam. The Ancient Egyptians were in possession of myrrh (found in Punt), which Richard Pankhurst interprets to indicate trade between the two countries was extant from Ancient Egypt’s beginnings. Pharaonic records indicate this possession of myrrh as early as the First and Second dynasties (3100–2888 BC), which was also a prized product of the Horn of Africa Region; inscriptions and pictorial reliefs also indicate ivory, panther and other animal skins, myrrh-trees and ostrich feathers from the African coastal belt; and in the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty (2789–2767 BC) a Puntite is mentioned to be in the service of the son of Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid. J. H. Breasted posited that this early trade relationship could have been realized through overland trade down the Nile and its tributaries (i.e. the Blue Nile and Atbara). The Greek historian and geographer Agatharchides had documented seafaring among the early Egyptians: “During the prosperous period of the Old Kingdom, between the 30th and 25th centuries B. C., the river-routes were kept in order, and Egyptian ships sailed the Red Sea as far as the myrrh-country.”

The first known voyage to Punt occurred in the 25th century BC under the reign of Pharaoh Sahure. The most famous expedition to Punt, however, comes during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut probably around 1495 BC, as the expedition was recorded in detailed reliefs on the temple of Deir el-Bahri at Thebes. The inscriptions depict a trading group bringing back myrrh trees, sacks of myrrh, elephant tusks, incense, gold, various fragmented wood, and exotic animals. Detailed information about these two nations is sparse, and there are many theories concerning their locations and the ethnic relationship of their peoples. The Egyptians sometimes called the Land of Punt, “God’s-Land”, due to the “large quantities of gold, ivory, and myrrh that could be easily obtained”.

Evidence of Naqadan contacts include obsidian from Ethiopia and the Aegean.

Christianity was introduced into the country by Frumentius, who was consecrated first bishop of Ethiopia by Saint Athanasius of Alexandria about 330 CE. Frumentius converted Ezana, who left several inscriptions detailing his reign both before and after his conversion.

The Southern Levant

The other Sacred Lands: “The Southern Levant” is a geographical region encompassing the southern half of the Levant. It corresponds approximately to modern-day Israel, Palestine, and Jordan; some definitions also include southern Lebanon, southern Syria and/or the Sinai Peninsula. As a strictly geographical description, it is sometimes used by archaeologists and historians to avoid the religious and political connotations of other names for the area. This is Israel of the Bible.


Israel, officially known as the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel’s financial capital and technology center is Tel Aviv and the proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state’s sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem is internationally unrecognized. President Trump (USA) made Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Antiquity Main Article:

History of ancient Israel and JudahFurther information: Israelites, Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), and the Kingdom of Judah.

Map of the Kingdom of Israel, 1020 BCE–930 BCE as imagined from the Bible narrative. The notion of the “Land of Israel”, known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael, has been important and sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical times. According to the Torah, God promised the land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people. On the basis of scripture, the period of the three Patriarchs has been placed somewhere in the early 2nd millennium BCE, and the first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE. Subsequent Israelite kingdoms and states ruled intermittently over the next four hundred years, and are known from various extra-biblical sources.

The first record of the name Israel (as ysrỉꜣr) occurs in the Merneptah stele, erected for Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah c. 1209 BCE, “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.” This “Israel” was a cultural and probably political entity of the central highlands, well enough established to be perceived by the Egyptians as a possible challenge to their hegemony, but an ethnic group rather than an organized state; Ancestors of the Israelites may have included Semites native to Canaan and the Sea Peoples. McNutt says, “It is probably safe to assume that sometime during Iron Age a population began to identify itself as ‘Israelite'”, differentiating itself from the Canaanites through such markers as the prohibition of intermarriage, an emphasis on family history and genealogy, and religion.

AM   (Anno Mundi “from the creation of the world”), abbreviated as AM or A.M., or Year After Creation,

  • Creation (Adam) AM 1        
  • Birth of Abraham AM 1946
  • Entrance into Egypt AM 2236
  • Exodus AM 2666
  • Solomon’s temple AM 3146
  • Exile AM 3576
  • Edict of Cyrus AM 3626
  • Rededication of the Temple AM 4000 (164 BCE) Bronze see graphic under
  • Late Bronze 1600–1200 BCE
  • Iron Age I: 1200–1000 BCE
  • Iron Age II: 1000–586 BCE
  • Neo-Babylonian: 586–539 BCE
  • Persian: 539–332 BCE
  • Hellenistic: 332– BCE

The period dates and phases below are solely applicable to the

Early Bronze Age (EBA)

  • 3300–2100 BCE
  • 3300–3000: EBA I
  • 3000–2700: EBA II
  • 2700–2200: EBA III
  • 2200–2100: EBA IV

Middle Bronze Age (MBA) & Intermediate Bronze Age (IBA)

  • 2100–1550 BCE2
  • 100–2000: MBA I
  • 2000–1750: MBA II A
  • 1750–1650: MBA II B
  • 1650–1550: MBA II C

Late Bronze Age (LBA)

  • 1550–1200 BCE
  • 1550–1400: LBA I
  • 1400–1300: LBA II A
  • 1300–1200: LBA II B (Bronze Age collapse)

Ancient Galilee

Jordan River

In 634–641 CE, the region, including Jerusalem, was conquered by the Arabs who had just recently adopted Islam. It remained under Muslim control for the next 1,300 years under various dynasties. Control of the region transferred between the Rashidun Caliphs, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Seljuks, Crusaders, and Ayyubids throughout the next six centuries, before the area was conquered in 1260 by the Mamluk Sultanate. During the siege of Jerusalem by the First Crusade in 1099, the Jewish inhabitants of the city fought side by side with the Fatimid garrison and the Muslim population who tried in vain to defend the city against the Crusaders. When the city fell, about 60,000 people were massacred, including 6,000 Jews seeking refuge in a synagogue. At this time, a full thousand years after the fall of the Jewish state, there were Jewish communities all over the country. Fifty of them are known and include Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. According to Albert of Aachen, the Jewish residents of Haifa were the main fighting force of the city, and “mixed with Saracen [Fatimid]troops”, they fought bravely for close to a month until forced into retreat by the Crusader fleet and land army. However, Joshua Prawer expressed doubt over the story, noting that Albert did not attend the Crusades and that such a prominent role for the Jews is not mentioned by any other source.

The 15th-century Abuhav synagogue, established by Sephardic Jews in Safed, Northern Israel.

  • In 1165 Maimonides visited Jerusalem and prayed on the Temple Mount, in the “great, holy house”.
  • In 1141 the Spanish-Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi issued a call for Jews to migrate to the Land of Israel, a journey he undertook himself.
  • In 1187 Sultan Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty defeated the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin and subsequently captured Jerusalem and almost all of Palestine. In time, Saladin issued a proclamation inviting Jews to return and settle in Jerusalem, and according to Judah al-Harizi, they did: “From the day the Arabs took Jerusalem, the Israelites inhabited it.” Al-Harizi compared Saladin’s decree allowing Jews to re-establish themselves in Jerusalem to the one issued by the Persian king Cyrus the Great over 1,600 years earlier.
  • In 1211, the Jewish community in the country was strengthened by the arrival of a group headed by over 300 rabbis from France and England, among them, Rabbi Samson ben Abraham of Sens. Nachmanides, the 13th-century Spanish rabbi and recognized leader of Jewry greatly praised the land of Israel and viewed its settlement as a positive commandment incumbent on all Jews. He wrote, “If the gentiles wish to make peace, we shall make peace and leave them on clear terms; but as for the land, we shall not leave it in their hands, nor in the hands of any nation, not in any generation.”
  • In 1260, control passed to the Mamluk sultans of Egypt. The country was located between the two centres of Mamluk power, Cairo and Damascus, and only saw some development along the postal road connecting the two cities. Jerusalem, although left without the protection of any city walls since 1219, also saw a flurry of new construction projects centred around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound (the Temple Mount).
  • In 1266 the Mamluk Sultan Baybars converted the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron into an exclusive Islamic sanctuary and banned Christians and Jews from entering, which previously would be able to enter it for a fee. The ban remained in place until Israel took control of the building in 1967.
  • In 1470, Isaac b. Meir Latif arrived from Ancona and counted 150 Jewish families in Jerusalem. Thanks to Joseph Saragossi who had arrived in the closing years of the 15th century, Safed and its environs had developed into the largest concentration of Jews in Palestine. With the help of the Sephardic immigration from Spain, the Jewish population had increased to 10,000 by the early 16th century.
  • In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire; it remained under Turkish rule until the end of the First World War when Britain defeated the Ottoman forces and set up a military administration across the former Ottoman Syria.
  • In 1920 the territory was divided between Britain and France under the mandate system and the British-administered area which included modern-day Israel was named Mandatory Palestine.

On a Personal Note


  • The distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem is the same distance between Quebec City and Plaisance Quebec, or Ottawa, ON and Cobourg, ON.  
  • Now imagine yourself 9 months pregnant siting on a donkey wile your hubby walk, no road as we know, crossing mountains, road conditions, wild beasts, bandits, etc.
  • The direct distance, from Nazareth to Bethlehem is about 70 miles air born or 111 KM

Source: Wikipedia and Google Maps

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