Rise of Man in the Gardens of Sumeria: A Biography of L. A. Waddell

Rise of Man in the Gardens of Sumeria: A Biography of L. A. Waddell

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By (author) Christine Preston

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  • Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
  • Format: Hardback | 260 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 228mm x 20mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Brighton
  • ISBN 10: 1845193156
  • ISBN 13: 9781845193157
  • Illustrations note: illus

Product description

Lieut.-Col. Laurence Austine Waddell (18541938) was a British Army officer with an established reputation mainly due to a work on the 'Buddhism' of Tibet, his explorations of the Himalayas, and a biography which included records of the 1903-4 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 Lamaism. 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 civilisation 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. Bartons plates, which are reproduced in this volume. 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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Author information

Christine Preston is a Researcher in the Classics and Ancient History Department, University of Swansea. She is a translator and the author of Scramble for Katanga - an historical review on the colonisation of the Congo. In the process of researching the origin of Indo-European languages she came across L.A. Waddell's The British Edda, which led her to write this biography. Her current research focuses on the Archaeology of the Indus Valley civilization; Aryan and Sumerian controversies; and decipherment of Indus Script.

Review quote

"Preston's doctoral research into ancient India led her to Waddell (1845-1938), the first European to publish research on Tibetan Lamaism and Buddhism. She reconstructs his life and career as a British Army officer, and sheds light on the ideologies he expressed in works that have long since been sidelined by the media and scholars. Among his claims were that the writing of Indus Valley (still undeciphered) was Sumerian, and that the Icelandic Elder Edda reveals the ancient Aryan makers of civilization. The history he told recounts the Aryan quest, the rise of man, and the second garden of Sumeria." --"Reference & Research Book News"

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction: The Controversial Scholar; Quest and Career - A Tour of the Himalayas; Excavations in Pataliputra, 1895-1903; Quest for Manuscripts in Lhasa, 1903-1904; Sumerian, Decipherment, and 'Shinar'; Decoding the Dragon and Rise of Man (The British Edda); The Phoenician Origin of the Britons; Identification of the first Sumerian Dynasty; Ur-Nina, Ruler of the Gardens of Sumeria; Menes was Sumerian; Archaeology of the Indus Valley Civilisation; Indo-Sumerian Seals Deciphered; Findings about the 'Second Edin'; Decipherment of the Seals; Epilogue: The Forgotten Scholar; Appendices; Index.