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Origins of Ancient Egypt
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A while ago there was a beautiful exhibit about Sumeria where I live. I was struck by for instance the similar designs using lions in furniture and apparently as a symbol for the ruling class.

I do believe there are also egyptian palettes that show middle eastern looking individuals (I cannot remmeber if they were referred to as Mesopotamian or Sumerian when I read about this.

Something that makes me wonder though is the finds at Nabta Playa.
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology/sites/africa/nabtaplaya.html

There is mention here of a very old settlement that shows African settlements from a very long time ago. The tumulus with buried cows make me wonder though if there was already some type of worship of bovine deities at that time. And this is old enough that if so, it would suggest an african orgin.

It's also possible of course that there are parallel developments of cow gods/goddesses in several places and that they later reinforce/influence one another.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
A while ago there was a beautiful exhibit about Sumeria where I live. I was struck by for instance the similar designs using lions in furniture and apparently as a symbol for the ruling class. .


Hmm..dats an intrusting point man. Lions were a widely used symbol of royalty in the ancient near east, so maybe sumeria was the place where the whole lion-royalty thing originated and spread elsewhere, or maybe not who knows Confused

anneke wrote:
I do believe there are also egyptian palettes that show middle eastern looking individuals (I cannot remmeber if they were referred to as Mesopotamian or Sumerian when I read about this.


middle eastern looking people? hmmm....dunno but there is the gebel arak knife that shows "sumerian" motifs like the guy holding two lions...that obviously shows mid east influence.

anneke wrote:
Something that makes me wonder though is the finds at Nabta Playa.
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology/sites/africa/nabtaplaya.html

There is mention here of a very old settlement that shows African settlements from a very long time ago. The tumulus with buried cows make me wonder though if there was already some type of worship of bovine deities at that time. And this is old enough that if so, it would suggest an african orgin.

It's also possible of course that there are parallel developments of cow gods/goddesses in several places and that they later reinforce/influence one another.


Archaeologists think nabta playa was the origin of the cow/hathor cult in ancient egypt, and scholars like frankfort and wilkinson see hathor as a typical african ("hamitic" in their words) mother cow goddess. And why would hathor be anything but an indigenous god to egypt? i dont think any of egypt's gods were foreign Idea
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
There is mention here of a very old settlement that shows African settlements from a very long time ago. The tumulus with buried cows make me wonder though if there was already some type of worship of bovine deities at that time. And this is old enough that if so, it would suggest an african orgin.
So far there are no reasons to doubt it was an african site. Similars beliefs make life easier to newcomers to rule a country. Regarding Hathor, it seems she complemented or replaced Bat (source Toby & Richard Wilkinson) ; there is no evidence, but Hathor could have developped as an epithet of Bat.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knife handle from Gebel el-Arak (3500-3100 B.C.)



Petrie, W.M. Flinders. The Making of Egypt, London. New York, Sheldon Press; Macmillan (1939) pp. 65-66:

Chapter VII. The Dynastic Conquest

Conflict of Races

"We now have to view as a whole the tumultuous age of dynastic invasion. For some centuries we may see large movements going on, threats from the south and east, and influences from other quarters--one of the great ages of unrest and admixture like the ages of the XIII-XVIIth or XXIIIrd-XXVth dynasties. This troubled time occupied the Semainean age.

For a demonstration of the invasion by the dynastic race, one of the greatest events in the history of Egypt, we turn to a single sculpture in ivory, the knife handle from Gebel el-Arak, probably presented to some great chief. The flint blade of the knife was a fine example of parallel flaking. The ivory handle is carved in relief on both sides. On the top of the first side is shown a combat between short-haired men with bullet heads and long-haired men. The bullet heads, like the followers of Narmer, are in all cases getting the better. Both parties are unclothed, but wear a waist cord to hold up a dagger sheath. The invaders only are armed, using a truncheon. In the lower scene are two lines of ships, and drowned men lying in the sea between them. The upper line is of vessels with high prow and stern, the lower has vessels with cabins like the Egyptian. This is Egyptian history what the Bayeux tapestry is to English history, a national monument of conquest. Happily this is not the only representation of these opposing people, but they are shown also on the one painted tomb at Hierakonpolis. There are also combats of black men overcoming red men.

Source of the Conquerors

Adding to the history, there is on the other side of the knife handle a figure of a hero or divinity subduing two lions. Such a group is widely spread, anciently, with lions in Elam, Mesoptamia and Greece; tigers in the Harappa of India; winged bulls or horses in Assyria; ibex in Arabia and deer in Italy; wolves at Athens; swans in Greece. For various animals we see that the idea is not the restraint of violence, but the assumption of power over all Nature, however untamable. Such then is the purpose of this group, and the source of it is a cold country, for the hero has a thick coat and cap, and the lions have thick hair under the whole body as a protection in snow. It must be from mountainous and not from the plains of Mesopotamia that the figures come. The two beautiful figures of dogs belong to the Babylonian myth of Etana on the flying eagle, with two dogs looking up after it. Below these are exquisitely spirited figures of animals, the connection of which we cannot realize in the broken connection.

Here is an historic monument of the highest value, but badly wreaked by the Government policy of seizing discoveries. In a free system of rewards, the tomb where this lay would have comes under official care, all collateral objects would have been preserved, and every fragment of such an ivory could be recovered by sifting. But this object was never known officially till in the hands of the dealer.

The ships on the ivory knife handle are distinguished by having an animal head on the prow, probably as a figurehead. These are the bull's head and the oryx head, and they possibly signify the names of the vessels. Below is the black ship at Hierakonpolis, belonging to the black men who are shown as conquering the red men; and the other ship of these conquering invaders on the knife handle, with the similar high prow and round-topped cabin. The subjects of the invasion and conquest carved on this knife handle, and depicted with such vigour . . . . serve to clear away the distorted view of supposing all the history to have been a smooth uniform development of a single people. Even the earlier settlements of this and other lands were the result of the mixture of half a dozen races fighting for supremacy."-- W.M. Flinders Petrie



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eccles
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: Pre-Dynastic Egypt Reply with quote

One thing I often wonder about. Which came first. The Sumerians or the Egyptians.
Considering Anthropologists say Homo Sapiens Sapiens developed in Africa and spread to the rest of the Planet, Who came first: Egyptians or Sumerians. Which people settled where first.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the BBC historical site, the Sumerians established their first city, Urak, in 4,000 B.C.
The pre-dynastic Egyptians were first known to be from 3100-2950 B.C.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
According to the BBC historical site, the Sumerians established their first city, Urak, in 4,000 B.C.
The pre-dynastic Egyptians were first known to be from 3100-2950 B.C.


I ALWAYS read that egypt and sumer came about in 3500 b.c.
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eccles
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kendo1 wrote:
Osiris II wrote:
According to the BBC historical site, the Sumerians established their first city, Urak, in 4,000 B.C.
The pre-dynastic Egyptians were first known to be from 3100-2950 B.C.


I ALWAYS read that egypt and sumer came about in 3500 b.c.


Latest discoveries put Pre-dynastic much earlier than 3500 BCE:

The Predynastic Period of Ancient Egypt (prior to 3100 BC) is traditionally the period between the Early Neolithic and the beginning of the Pharaonic monarchy starting with King Menes. However, the dates of the Predynastic period were first defined before widespread archaeological excavation of Egypt had taken place, and recent finds which show the course of Predynastic development to have been very gradual have caused scholars to argue about when exactly the Predynastic period ended. Thus, the term "Protodynastic period," sometimes called "Dynasty 0," has been used by scholars to name the part of the period which might be characterized as Predynastic by some and dynastic by others.

The Predynastic period is generally divided into cultural periods named after the places where a certain type of Egyptian settlement was first located. However, the same gradual development that characterizes the Protodynastic period is present throughout the entire Predynastic period, and individual "cultures" must not be interpreted as separate entities but as largely subjective divisions used to facilitate easier study of the entire period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predynastic_Egypt


Predynastic (5,500 - 3,100 BC)
Beginning just before the Predynastic period, Egyptian culture was already beginning to resemble greatly the Pharaonic ages that would soon come after, and rapidly at that. In a transition period of a thousand years (about which little is still known), nearly all the archetypal characteristics appeared, and beginning in 5500 BC we find evidence of organized, permanent settlements focused around agriculture. Hunting was no longer a major support for existence now that the Egyptian diet was made up of domesticated cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, as well as cereal grains such as wheat and barley. Artifacts of stone were supplemented by those of metal, and the crafts of basketry, pottery, weaving, and the tanning of animal hides became part of the daily life. The transition from primitive nomadic tribes to traditional civilization was nearly complete.

Cont: http://www.touregypt.net/ebph5.htm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm late joining this discussion but prehistoric Egypt has become a favorite topic of mine in recent years. Having studied the prehistoric periods of both Egypt and Iraq, I would have to admit that the prehistory of Iraq presents a picture of a people more advanced in social stratification and urbanization. I don't think that can be argued.

As Osiris II noted in an earlier post, the city of Uruk was well established long before anything of a similar nature came to exist in prehistoric Egypt. In fact, I think it's safe to say no city of late-prehistoric Egypt ever approached the size and population of Uruk. It's also safe to say that in terms of the domestication of flora and fauna, both prehistoric Palestine and Mesopotamia were more advanced than the same in Egypt. In fact, all evidence suggests many if not most domesticates in Egypt made their way from the Levant and Mesopotamia.

It was really only toward the end of the Naqada II period in Egypt (c. 3200 BCE) that Egypt started to present a definitive divide in social stratification (Wengrow 2006). For instance, prestige items and highly decorated vessels are seen much more rarely in the graves of average people but are typically the norm in the graves of those who appear to have been the elite of their villages. This pertains to Upper Egypt, of course, and principally in the areas of Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Abydos. Although excavations in more recent years have established that the people of Lower Egypt and especially in the Delta were more culturally advanced than once thought, it was only with the evident migrations of south to north that the first vestiges of unification began to take shape.

One thing that does define Egypt in no uncertain terms, I believe, is that it became the first true nation-state: not just a city-state of local and limited sociopolitics but an entire land ruled by one king overseeing a well-organized administrative bureaucracy.

LOL One of the things on which scholars still seem divided is exactly who the first king was. The Egyptians identified him as Meni (Greek Menes), although to my knowledge no evidence exists as of yet to nail down precisely who Meni was. Archaeological evidence still seems divided between Narmer and Aha for the first king of Dynasty 1. One thing is certain: we still do not have a solid understanding of all of the regional rulers or "proto-kings" who ruled just prior to unification.
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Sobek101
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Forgive me for three things... Reply with quote

1. for using info from a kid's book (to be fair I find Horrible Histories to be a good source), 2. if this has been said before and 3. if I am thread-bumping.

I have read that creation of Egypt began when the village kings began to take over village kings until there were two kings of upper and lower "egypt" when some people came from the east (not sure where but I guess anywhere from the Middle East to India) came and united the kings into a country called "Eygpt" (it is believed they came from the East, not from Egypt because archaeologists have found the first Egyptians had larger heads than the natives).

Sorry if this is embarrasingly basic but that's my knowledge on the creation of Egypt.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best and trustworthiest spring on the subject at the Internet is, in my opinion, the page by Francesco Raffaele : PREDYNASTIC AND PROTODYNASTIC EGYPT - A Synthetic Model of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization Origin and Development.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject: Raia Reply with quote

Well, in the ancient times, it seems that there was an advanced society with extreme advances in technology like we have no idea. then the ice age ended, tons were slaughtered and the few that survived stretched out along the globe, if you look up the interactions between ancient civilizations continents and oceans apart from one another, it talks all about the who idea of the few bits of knowledge that were able to be preserved became distorted over the centuries, turning these people into gods and goddesses. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Raia Reply with quote

Pharaoh Hatshepsut wrote:
Well, in the ancient times, it seems that there was an advanced society with extreme advances in technology like we have no idea. then the ice age ended, tons were slaughtered and the few that survived stretched out along the globe, if you look up the interactions between ancient civilizations continents and oceans apart from one another, it talks all about the who idea of the few bits of knowledge that were able to be preserved became distorted over the centuries, turning these people into gods and goddesses. Wink


No it doesn't seem that. There is absolutely zero evidence for any of this "advanced ancient technology" tripe. It has already been debunked time and time and time again. Please stop trying to pass this junk off as real.

The only thing we can hope for here is that the little wink emoticon you included indicates that you were hoping we would see that you were being facetious, but it wasn't quite a good enough indicator for that. So if you were trying to be facetious, it just wasn't funny enough.

Bob
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You seem to be wasting your breath, Bob!
No matter how often it is shown and de-bunked on this board, the "ancient technology" tripe coninues to pop up.

Personally, I think it's a huge insult to the ancient Egyptians to keep believing they were not capable of building such huge, magnificent monuments, that some "superior intelligence" must have been around to do it.

I can ee it now--some little green men zip in, with their space ships, build the pyramids using levetation, advanced thoughts, or some other "woo-woo", for some unknown purpose of their own, then hop in their space ships and zip off. Logical!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MyJuliet wrote:
I've heard of these kings, Scorpion is the first ever Pharaoh. I do not know, Dynasty continues with the crocodile, I am sure more animals
Scorpion is apparently the first king that we can say really "looks Pharaonic"- He was no animal, Scorpion is both his name and the glyph placed beside his face to spell out the word-title that specified him. He was king only of Upper Egypt, and his conquests are inferred from his mace and some cave incisions, not by some inaccurate movie stories.
If Narmer, who ruled over both Egypts, is assigned to Dynasty One, then Scorpion gets included in Dynasty Zero, nominally pre-dynastic. This does not make him the "first ever Pharaoh", and there are better candidates around. Manetho says this ruler was Menes, but what we have points to Narmer, and there's no historically proven connection between these two names. On the other hand, the stylistic connection from Scorpion's mace to Narmerís palette is obvious.
Now, where do the crocodile and those other animals come in? Osiris, Seth and Horus may have been based upon real Kings from some legendary era, but I have never seen references to Sobek or other animal-like gods in those contexts.
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