Go to the Egyptian Dreams shop
Egyptian Dreams
Ancient Egypt Discussion Board
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Ancient humans 'followed rains'

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Pre-dynastic Egypt
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Daughter_Of_SETI
Divine Adoratrice


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 2558
Location: Hull, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:45 pm    Post subject: Ancient humans 'followed rains' Reply with quote

I just read this news article and thought it was really interesting. Very Happy It's about prehistoric humans in the Eastern Sahara of Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Chad.
_________________


In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this - Terry Pratchett.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that article, Daughter_Of_SETI. I found it very interesting. Just imagine, an area the size of Western Europe (Eastern Sahara) almost entirely devoid of human life. It was also interesting to read that the climate fluctuated so dramatically: it wasn't a steady desertification but a process of rains and drying and rains and drying. The article provides a good understanding of how some ancient peoples ended up settling along the Nile once the desert took hold for good.
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Daughter_Of_SETI
Divine Adoratrice


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 2558
Location: Hull, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this part particularly interesting:
Quote:
"The Nile Valley was almost devoid of settlement until about exactly the time that the Egyptian Sahara was so dry people could not live there anymore," Dr Kropelin told the BBC News website.

"People preferred to live on savannah land. Only when this wasn't possible they migrated towards southern Sudan and the Nile.


It's hard to imagine a time when people would have chosen to live in the Savannah rather than the fertile Nile Valley. Very Happy
_________________


In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this - Terry Pratchett.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see it, though. The Savannah was teeming with life, both animal and vegetable, and there was ample room for the herds to graze. The fertile land along either side of the Nile is, by contrast, quite limited and almost nonexistent toward the south. It must've been a drastic change to the first settlers, though luckily the populations of people were never to the point that overcrowding seemed to be an issue. Not in ancient times, at least.
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Daughter_Of_SETI
Divine Adoratrice


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 2558
Location: Hull, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd not really thought of it like that, I suppose the Nile would've seemed quite limiting in comparison, for the hunter gatherers that had been roaming the Savannah for years beforehand.
_________________


In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this - Terry Pratchett.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We know that before the desert finally took hold, the tracts of land out beyond the Nile were still quite fertile. The petroglyphs and rock paintings in the wadis to the east suggest plenty of grazing and herding went on out there, while cultivation was starting to occur along the Nile. But all of North Africa was once a fertile expanse of savannah before desertification settled in, so it drastically narrowed the habitable lands on which people could live.
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Diorite
Scribe
Scribe


Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 210
Location: Land of Make-Believe

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving to the Nile Valley and settling in for growing crops would have been a major change of life style for the people. On the savannah the life style would have been hunting and gathering. The move to the Nile Valley would have involve changing to a more sedentary life growing crops. A real blow to the "manhood" of the hunters.

Diorite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The move to the Nile Valley would have involve changing to a more sedentary life growing crops. A real blow to the "manhood" of the hunters.


Yes, but the founding of a civilization. Once those crops and domesticated animals spread from the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, the settling down of peoples along the Nile is what eventually enabled them to become such a great nation. Behind most every great civilization is agriculture. Wink
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Philip Arrhidaeus
Citizen
Citizen


Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Posts: 65
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a ‘very short’ answer Wink for a very complicated question.

Tools of the Acheulean man are found dating from 200.000 B.C. and small communities north of Assyut are attested from 120.000 B.C. Men lived in a landscape that changed a few times from very hospitable land to savanna and desert.
What we would call real organized communities were found in Lower Nubia from around 40.000 B.C., and in Upper Egypt from around 24.000 B.C.

Between 21.000 and 12.000 B.C. there was a period of extreme aridity, followed by a period of high floods and a change in weather conditions around 9.000 - 8.000 B.C. where the deserts surrounding the Nile valley turned into savanna, rich in herds of wild animals, and this until around 5.000 B.C.

There are settlements known from between 13.000 and 10.000 B.C., for example the Afian near Esna, the Sebilian from Kom Ombo, the Isnan in the South and the Qadan in Lower Nubia. (In cemetery 117 at Jebel Sahaba large horns of cattle were found above the graves like later during early Dynastic times.)
But indeed, around 10.500 B.C. the grounding stones begin to disappear, making place for more hunting instruments, maybe indicating the high floods in the Nile valley, making it impossible to collect grain.

The first farming communities with domesticated animals were found in the southwestern Delta at Merimde beni-Salame from around 5.000 B.C., probably the earliest known farming village in Egypt. The roots of domestication could very well be found in the Middle East.

So, it is a fact that people from the desert sought refuge along the fertile Nile valley, certainly when the savanna surrounding the Nile changed in a desert, but since there was ample place in the valley, I don’t think there was much hostility involved.
And maybe the people that came from the desert in around 5.000 B.C. were for part descendants from the communities that left the Nile valley during the earlier high floods of the Nile in search of better survival-conditions in the desert, turning into savanna.

So who influenced whom? I think there has always been a mutual influence of all people and communities, everywhere. As long as Egyptian faraos did not tend to control their borders like they did from the Late Predynastic and Dynastic period, the influence - through trading alone - was much bigger and since the king had not yet fixed ideological and iconographical standards for political meanings, ideas could more easily find their way and evolve.

Like we all know, the immediate origin of the later Egyptian state is to be found, maybe first in the Badarian culture, but certainly in the Upper Egyptian sites Naqada, Hieraconpolis, This/Abydos, and perhaps the A-group in Lower Nubia (Qustul).

And concerning the rock paintings that have been found in locations in the Eastern and Western desert: it is naturally easier to find such archeological evidence in remote locations than in dense populated areas in modern times. I don’t think that’s evidence for being the one and only true origin of the later Egyptian culture.
It is more complex than that.

And very difficult to explain for me in English. So my apologies for possible gibberish.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Daughter_Of_SETI
Divine Adoratrice


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 2558
Location: Hull, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that input Philip. Very Happy I've been reading The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology by Andrew Sharratt which details the origins of man in general (for my Egyptology course assignments), and goes into detail about the movements of settlers around Africa and around the Nile. It's very interesting to read about how the ancient Egyptian civilisation came to be at the Nile. Your post was extremely helpful and interesting.
_________________


In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this - Terry Pratchett.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting material, Philip Arrhidaeus. Thanks a lot for sharing that with us. I'm not terribly knowledgeable on prehistoric times in Egypt--it's a sadly neglected area of study--so I welcome information from people and sources who have a better handle on it than I. That's one of the reasons I so enjoyed Toby Wilkinson's Genesis of the Pharaohs.

You're right that those petroglyphs in the Eastern Desert don't exactly tell us from where the early peoples came, but they do help us to understand the mind of the early Egyptian dweller and how the great dynastic state was built from there. Wilkinson makes a terrific case in more detail than I can summerize, on the various origins of the first Egyptians.

Evidently neolithic tools have been found even under the ruins of Karnak. The evidence is there, it would seem, if you know where to look.
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Pre-dynastic Egypt All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group