Perennial Turkish archaeologist: Human culture and civilization originated from Sumer in Mesopotamia

Video duration 01 minutes 58 seconds

The perennial Turkish Sumerian scholar, Muazaz Alamiah Gig, 108 years old, said that human culture and civilization originated from Sumer (southern Mesopotamia), and that the Sumerian civilization (later called the Babylonian civilization) is the “mother” of all cultures in the world.

Gig, who is known for her studies in the field of Sumerology at the Istanbul Archeology Museum, said in an interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency, that through her studies on the Sumerian civilization (4500-1900 BC), she was able to access valuable information in this field.

The history of the Sumerian civilization was written on clay tablets in cuneiform script in the regions of southern Iraq today. The Sumerians founded the cities of independent kingdoms, the most famous of which are Ur, Uruk and Uma. They knew the development of ancient arts, architecture and sciences. The epic of the Sumerian king of Warka, Gilgamesh, is one of the oldest literary and religious texts in history.

Personal and academic biography

About her decision to study at the Faculty of Language, History and Geography at Ankara University, Cig said, “The Faculty of Language, History and Geography was opened in 1936 and I was among the first batch of students who studied at this faculty.”

She added, “I was born in the city of Bursa (west) in 1914, in a poor family of immigrant origins (Crimean Tatars), and before joining the college I worked as a teacher in a school in the state of Eskişehir (northwest).”

“One day, I received from my father the news of the opening of the College of Language, History and Geography in Ankara. It was a dream for me to study at that college, but my work as a teacher was necessary at that time to help the family who had just owned a small house,” she said.

She added, “Thanks to my father’s support, I was encouraged to go to Ankara and enroll in college with a friend of mine, despite all the difficult circumstances we both were experiencing.”

With regard to the motive behind her desire to study at the Faculty of Language, History and Geography in Ankara, Cig indicated that the college was established by the desire of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in order to provide the opportunity to study Turkish history and language, and to train experts capable of studying Turkish language, history and culture.

“It was very important to study Turkish history and the countries founded by the Turks throughout history, as well as the ties and relations they established with China, India, Russians, Arabs, Greece and Hungary. This is exactly what the college that was founded with the important contribution of Ataturk did,” she added.

turning point

She said that she received an offer to visit the Istanbul Archeology Museum after graduating from the Department of Archeology – Sumerology at the Faculty of Language, History and Geography at Ankara University, and that that day marked a real turning point in the history of her life that spanned for more than a century, and opened new horizons for her that enabled her to Conducting important studies in the field of Sumerian science.

And she continued, “At that time I had a good relationship with a group of German academics. At that time, we started writing articles about the most prominent antiquities that were in the Istanbul Archeology Museum.”

“This is what prompted many foreign academics to travel to Istanbul and see the antiquities in the museum, and we worked with these academics to write a set of books looking at the Sumerian civilization,” she added.

On whether she continues to research topics related to Sumerian science, Gage said that it has become difficult for her at the present time to work in the field of research and academic studies – due to her advanced age – but she eagerly follows all the books published in this field.

Marginalization of the Sumerian Civilization

And she added, “There are not many people working in the field of Sumerian science inside Turkey or abroad. To be frank, there is not enough interest in the world in Sumerian science, as is the situation in our country, although human culture and civilization originated from Sumer, and there is a book entitled ( History begins in Sumer).

She added, “The West does not find it necessary to pay attention to the Sumerian civilization, because it considers that all cultures and civilizations emerged from the womb of the Greek civilization. Today, the academic circles are aware of the fact that the Sumerian civilization is the mother of all cultures, and hence the importance of the Sumerian studies that were worked on in Turkey, which has a large number of cultures.” An important task of well-versed researchers in Sumerian science.

Regarding her international fame in the field of Sumerian science, Gage said, “Neither now nor in the past did I feel that I was an exceptional case, because I worked in this field and produced a wide range of studies. I am only happy when I see my books read and receive attention.”

In response to a question about the “secret of success” for her, she replied, “The secret of success is dedication to work without getting caught up in thinking about what might happen in the future. We have to work, study and make an effort. I have worked hard all my life.”

She added, “The Sumerians 5,000 years ago asked a question about what benefit can be gained from leisure? And I say that reading alone is not enough. We must start and continue writing in order to leave a trail instead of taking the experiences and information we have obtained to the grave!”

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