Human migration patterns in Africa from the end of the last ice age to the first dynasty of Egypt
Posted: 15 September 2012 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m looking to try to isolate the various peoples who settled in ancient Egypt prior to the first dynasty.

1) I’m looking to identify what role that climate change played in human migration patterns.  I’ve read Burroughs’ “Climate Change in Prehistory” and Mithen’s “After the Ice”, both of which are excellent.  However, I’m trying to keep a targeted focus on the peoples who eventually settled in ancient Egypt.  For instance, books like “Genesis of the Pharaohs” by Toby Wilkinson seem to suggest that at least some of the peoples who settled there were originally pastoralists who migrated out of the Sahara as it dried out from being a savannah and became the desert we know it as today.  I just want to trace things further back in time.
2) I want to explore trade routes, and how prehistoric trade influenced civilization.  So far, I’ve found an excellent book called “From Egypt to Mesopotamia:  A Study of Predynastic Trade Routes” that makes a pretty big dent in the subject, but I also want to look farther afield than it does.
3) I’ve read that the invention of pottery happened much earlier than 5000 BCE, so I’m trying to narrow down who used pottery before then, when they used it, and what it was used for.  (Mainly, I think tracing that can help to identify who are the most likely candidates for the peoples who eventually wound up in predynastic Egypt.)

I do have a hypothesis that the story of Atlantis as related by Plato from Solon’s record is the layman’s explanation of the creation mythology of ancient Egypt, but in order to prove that theory, I would need to do literary analysis of the creation literature on the temple at Edfu, to attempt to determine when it was originally written (that is, was it a late creation, or was it copied from an earlier temple on the same spot, possibly dating back to predynastic times).  I don’t think anyone’s done this, but I don’t know hieroglyphics myself, so I’m kind of stuck on how to progress with that hypothesis.  I’m very big on proving what I believe, so I’m just approaching this hypothesis from the angle of what I *can* prove in the meantime.

I’m currently working on a book which will take current issues (peace in the Middle East, climate change, health care, etc.) and discuss them from the perspective of the origin of civilization.  I’m hoping that a different perspective might help to bring more clarity and get us closer to solutions.

Damon

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Posted: 16 September 2012 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Damon, IMO the Atlantian story has no place in Egyptian cosmography nor historical accounts as it post-dates the pre-dynastic period in Egyptian history. Most scholars lay the story on Plato supposedly written in 360BC as a way for him to showcase his philosophy leading to the “Repubic”. My advise is to start at the end of the Pleistocene era and work your way forward to the Indo-European migrations from the Black Sea area down into the Nile Valley. Some historians and anthropologists postulate that plant domestication began there simultaneously with the Mesopotamian area. I really don’t know how far back in time you wish to go but I wouldn’t bother researching much after ten thousand BCE. Before Narmur the Egyptians were living in small villages herding goats and farming. Not a very auspicious beginning for one of the greatest civilizations born out hunter-gatherers. But if you’re interested there are several books on paleoanthropology out there that I and others here could recommend.


http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/archaeology/atlantis/


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 September 2012 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi demoncasale,

The invention of pottery is certainly an interesting topic. In fact, a friend of mine, a professor of anthropology, focuses just on this topic and assures me that he is gathering evidence that the invention of pottery happened much earlier than we thought. He also has some new ideas what kind of effect this might have had on some of the earlier civilizations.

I think I still have some of his papers on this topic and if you are interested I can send them to you. Let me know.

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Posted: 16 September 2012 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 16 September 2012 06:07 AM

Damon, IMO the Atlantian story has no place in Egyptian cosmography nor historical accounts as it post-dates the pre-dynastic period in Egyptian history. Most scholars lay the story on Plato supposedly written in 360BC as a way for him to showcase his philosophy leading to the “Repubic”.

That’s why that hypothesis is dependent on doing linguistic analysis of the creation literature on the temple at Edfu.  For instance, we can date certain religious beliefs to the Old Kingdom, New Kingdom, etc., so looking carefully at those texts, we should be able to date them at least to some degree.  It’s a similar concept to that proposed by the documentary theory for biblical analysis.

Thevillageatheist - 16 September 2012 06:07 AM

My advise is to start at the end of the Pleistocene era and work your way forward to the Indo-European migrations from the Black Sea area down into the Nile Valley. Some historians and anthropologists postulate that plant domestication began there simultaneously with the Mesopotamian area. I really don’t know how far back in time you wish to go but I wouldn’t bother researching much after ten thousand BCE. Before Narmur the Egyptians were living in small villages herding goats and farming. Not a very auspicious beginning for one of the greatest civilizations born out hunter-gatherers. But if you’re interested there are several books on paleoanthropology out there that I and others here could recommend.

http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/archaeology/atlantis/

Cap’t Jack

As far as when I want to start, I want to start before the introduction of agriculture, prior to the end of the last ice age, and work my way from there.  In any case, the whole reason I’m even looking at the story of Atlantis in the first place has to do with books I stumbled upon regarding the historicity (or lack thereof) of King Arthur as a real person.  There are a lot of books which state that he was simply a myth, or a composite of different individuals.  Then Norma Lorre Goodrich came along and quoted from a contemporary Welsh document that names him.  So when I read a book called “Gateway to Atlantis” by Andrew Collins, which is basically an examination of various claims for Atlantis together with an analysis of legends, symbolism, and seafaring from the time of Plato on down, I was intrigued.  I’d never seen any pseudoscientific book before that was that careful with laying out all of the evidence, whether contradictory or not, and so what I’m trying to do is to take that research one step further.  I’m already interested in the origin of civilization for other reasons, so I’m looking into this as well.

Again, this is a *hypothesis* on my part which I currently have no way of proving or disproving.  I’m just curious, is all.

George - 16 September 2012 06:27 AM

Hi demoncasale,

The invention of pottery is certainly an interesting topic. In fact, a friend of mine, a professor of anthropology, focuses just on this topic and assures me that he is gathering evidence that the invention of pottery happened much earlier than we thought. He also has some new ideas what kind of effect this might have had on some of the earlier civilizations.

I think I still have some of his papers on this topic and if you are interested I can send them to you. Let me know.

Absolutely!  Please do.

Damon

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