The Rise of Man in the Gardens of Sumeria...

Book Details

Author  Christine Preston
Publisher  Sussex Academic Press
Publication Date   June 19, 2009
ISBN  1845193156
Pages  260

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Lieut. Col. Laurence Austine Waddell (1854-1938) was a British Army officer with an established reputation, mainly due to his study on the 'Buddhism' of Tibet, his explorations of the Himalayas, and a biography which included records of the 1903-1904 military expedition to Lhasa (Lhasa and Its Mysteries). Waddell was also in the limelight due to his acquisition of Tibetan manuscripts which he donated to the British Museum. His overriding interest was in 'Aryan origins.' After learning Sanskrit and Tibetan, and in between military expeditions and gathering intelligence from the borders of Tibet in the Great Game, Waddell researched Lamaïsm. He extended his activities to archaeology, philology, and ethnology, and was credited with discoveries in relation to Buddha. His personal ambition was to locate records of ancient civilization in Tibetan lamaseries. Waddell is little known as an archaeologist and scholar, in contrast with his fame in the Oriental field, due to the controversial nature of his published works dealing with 'Aryan themes.' Waddell studied Sumerian and presented evidence that an Aryan migration, fleeing Sargon II, carried Sumerian records to India. He interrupted his comparative studies of Sumerian and Indian king-lists to publish a work on Phoenician origins and decipherment of Indus Valley seals, the inscriptions of which he claimed were similar to Sumerian pictogram signs cited from G. A. Barton's plates, which are reproduced in this volume. In this book, Waddell's life is reconstructed from primary sources, such as letters from Marc Aurel Stein at the British Museum and Theophilus G. Pinches, held in the Special Collections at the University of Glasgow Library. Special attention is paid to the contemporary reception of his theories, with the objective of re-evaluating his contribution. They are contrasted to past and present academic views, in addition to an overview of relevant discoveries in archaeology.

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