The Jordan National Museum covers a time span of about 200,000
years mainly focusing on the history of about 20,000 years, i.e.
it covers a span from the Paleolithic Age to the present day.
It is just 3 years since I started engaging in the exhibition planning
of the National Museum. The 3 years seem to be quite long thinking
from a lapse of personal time, however, thinking of the covered
time span, the word that it is only in the twinkling of an eye tends
to come out unawares.
I have come to Jordan 3 years ago, bought one book after another and
worked hard, rather than cramming study for the examination, being
absorbed in reading them. At first I felt disgusted with the extremely
different sense of time from Japan.
It is often said that the everlasting 4 thousand years of China or
the 5 thousand year ancient history of Egypt, however in the historical
sense of Jordan and its vicinity Chinese civilization had started
in about the middle of the Bronze Age and even Egyptian civilization
had started in about the beginning of the Bronze Age as well, hence
it is concluded they had started their civilization comparatively
In this connection, in Jordan, the time after the Bronze Age starting
about 5000 years ago is called the historical age i.e. the age having
a record written in letters, and the time before that is clearly defined
as the pre-historical age i.e. the age having no, or yet unfound,
record in letters.
The maximum time period of the archaeology is until between the Iron
Age starting about 3000 years ago and the Expedition of Alexander
the Great in 334 BC, and the time after that is treated as a subject
of the historical science.
The time of Alexander the Great was in the transition from the Jomon
Period to the Yayoi Period in Japan when Himiko, ancient Japanese
queen described in the old Chinese book, was not yet born. Furthermore,
Muhammad, the patriarch of Islam, more exactly the last and true prophet,
lived almost in the same generation as Shotoku-taishi, the former
left a lot of clear records such as many expedition ones and the story
about his marriage with a widow, but the latter left Horyuji-temple
and several books only and is still veiled mysteriously.
Incidentally, well known Salaf ad-Deen who flourished in the time
of the Crusaders lived almost in the same generation as Minamoto Yoshitsune,
in Arabia they never call the Crusaders but the Frankish Invasion,
as well as the invasion to Iraq by the Bush administration is called
Even the Roman Empire is grasped in the sense of the Kamakura Age
of Japan. The time after the beginning of the Islamic Empire that
was in the same age as the Taika-no-kaishin started in Japan tends
to be set aside from a subject of the historical science. Especially
in the Arabic cultural sphere where the language revealed to Muhammad
by God, Allah, was directly edited as the Qur' an and the language
has never changed for more than 1300 years and daily spoken as living
Arabic standard language, as of the NHK' s one, in all over Arabic
language spoken region from Iraq, the east end, to Mauritania in the
west end of North Africa, the west end, the Qur' an is not a historical
relic but daily scriptures. Therefore, such a tendency may probably
Probably because of their tribal humiliation, no Jordanian wants to
talk of the time of the Ottoman Turk' s conquest after 16th century,
100 years before the start of the Edo period in Japan. They suddenly
become talkative and begin talking of the present-day history, not
the modern one, starting from the Great Arab Revolt in 1916 renowned
for the Lawrence of Arabia.
Today' s Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was born through the Great Arab
Revolt as its opportunity, however I was at first confused with this
abruptness as well.
When I became accustomed with the out-order of the time sense, the
next conflict fell upon me.