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How far back does recorded history officially go?

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posted on Sep, 17 2016 @ 10:32 PM
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also most News is Propaganda, both sides create it and then the guy who wins gets to say "see it told you so" and the other guy shuts up and surrenders. That is how history is created.

It is simple.

If you really want to decipher human history you would probably get further if you completely disregard anything that is written down by one culture that is referencing a different culture.

Obviously there are exceptions.




posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 01:01 PM
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originally posted by: Quasiscientist

I suppose I'm just focusing on the wheel because I'm trying really hard to visualize what life and war was like during the First Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Most of my mental imagery about this time comes from video games like Children of the Nile (I have no idea how accurate Children of the Nile depicts the cities of this time) and films like The Scorpion King (which I realize is extremely anachronistic.)

I haven't played CotN, but after looking at the Wikipedia description, I may try it (and snag screencaps for when I teach.) As shown on Wikipedia, the scenarios and so forth seem reasonably accurate, if fictionalized. "Scorpion king" on the other hand is accurate only in that there was a pharaoh named Scorpion in a country called Egypt. After that, the accuracy is just about zero.


I know that ancient armies generally had three different types of troops, them being: spearmen (or "infantry"), horsemen (or "cavalry"), and bowmen (or "archers"). But if neither horses nor wheeled vehicles had been introduced to Egypt during its Early Dynastic Period, then I guess that that must mean that they couldn't have had cavalry... right?

Right. (and it's not just wheels... chariot wheels need to be light, so you have to have a spoked wheel.)

Egypt's first professional troops were NOT Egyptian- they were the Nubians. These troops are called the "Medjay." (Wikipedia link)


I am feeling a bit surprised that wheeled vehicles did not appear 1,300 miles away in Egypt at the same time. I mean, after all, don't Egypt and Sumer both have very similar climates?

Nope.


Both civilizations developed along river valleys... the Sumerian civilization developed along the Tigris-Euphrates river system, while the Egyptian civilization developed along the Nile river system. And these river valleys were themselves surrounded by hot and arid deserts.

Yes for Egypt, No for Sumeria. The deserts of Arabia are to the south, but to the east is the fertile Indias, to the north are the mountains of Turkey and Anatolia which include lots of grassy plains. The soil of the plains (dirt, held down by grass) is VERY different from the Egyptian sand.

While Cairo Egypt is the same latitude as Austin Texas, Baghdad (modern) is the same latitude as Dallas, Texas. There's a temperature difference and rainfall difference.


www.nytimes.com...

...the ancient Egyptians already had a paved road by 2600 BCE?

Yep. But... only for transporting things down to the river, if you notice. And only very short stretches.

Roads elsewhere were impractical because the first sandstorm would cover the pavement and you couldn't find it after that. They had regular trade routes but they weren't paved. Moving things by water was far easier and more efficient (larger loads, faster, less energy, safer.) Areas where the wheel develops as transport wagons are areas of grassland plains. Wheels are difficult in mountains without good roads. They're possible in forested areas if you clear the road. Geology affects technology use which is also why the MesoAmerican civilizations in the mountains didn't have wheels (that and a lack of domesticated animals sturdy enough to pull them.)


I'm also curious to know if Egyptians of this time used pack animals to carry goods (within the cities, not from one city to another) or if they just carried their goods on their backs.

Generally by human effort; occasionally by using cattle pulling sledges since cattle were domesticated first. Donkeys were also in use somewhat from 2000 BC onward

And carrying things within a city wasn't easy unless you were using the main temple roads and going to and from the river to the temple. Houses were put up wherever there was a space and there's no such thing as city planning or even standardized street widths. Getting anything from Point A to Point B in a city would be done more easily by humans (small amounts at a time... a basket load) than by other transport.


Didn't the ancient Egyptians establish colonies along the Mediterranean coastline of West Asia, in places like: Tel Arad, Besor, and Rafah?

I also know that the Egyptians had cedarwood transported from Lebanon, according to this article:

www.touregypt.net...

Yes and yes. In areas easily accessed by water.


I'm not sure how effective this type of wood might be for constructing wheeled vehicles.

Cedar was horribly expensive for them. They did import hardwoods for fine furniture, and this is what they used for chariots.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 04:54 AM
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a reply to: Quasiscientist

The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. I'd guess at around 10,000 years written by a few but kept hidden kept secret.
edit on 19-9-2016 by Kale7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 01:52 PM
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originally posted by: Byrd
Raffele's usually the go-to source for much of it, but his site isn't updated as often as one would like. In general, this material is at conferences. And no, chariots were not introduced until the time of Tutankhamun (his father, Akhenaten, was one of the first to have chariots. And no,they didn't have naval combat and no, Sumer didn't have a large empire back then. And no, horses weren't domesticated for chariot use until 2,000 BC and that wasn't anywhere near Egypt.


I'm curious: how much is known about Narmer's life? I've looked through Raffele's web site, and the page for Narmer itself doesn't seem to have have much more information than the Wikipedia page for Narmer (otherwise, Raffele's web site is awesome and goes into much greater detail into the Prehistoric, Protohistoric, Predynastic, Protodynastic, and/or Early Dynastic periods of Egypt than Wikipedia, thanks again for the link!)

According to Wikipedia, Menes was considered a bit of a "culture hero" in Ancient Greece and elsewhere and the Ancient Greeks apparently wrote myths, legends, poems, novels, literature in general about him. I was wondering if anything that was written about Menes' life could be considered "non-fiction". Especially considering that Menes seems to nowadays be generally considered as having been the same person as Narmer, I wonder if anything non-fiction written of Menes' life could likewise be considered non-fiction of Narmer's life. Narmer doesn't seem to appear very often in today's popular culture, aside from a 1960 Italian film "La donna dei faraoni" (which I have yet to see but plan to soon.)

Also: where can I read one of these Ancient Greek stories about Menes?



posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: SentientCentenarian
I don't know the answer but I read once that 99% of all human history has been lost to us.

At least. But on the other hand, a really huge chunk of human history consists of mundane crap like wandering around in groups looking for food, fighting between small tribes, farming and raising little proto-humans. Only thrilling to hardcore archeoanthropologist types.



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift

originally posted by: SentientCentenarian
I don't know the answer but I read once that 99% of all human history has been lost to us.

At least. But on the other hand, a really huge chunk of human history consists of mundane crap like wandering around in groups looking for food, fighting between small tribes, farming and raising little proto-humans. Only thrilling to hardcore archeoanthropologist types.


I think that for the sake of this argument, it would be best to assume that everything that happened to humans during the Stone Age would be considered "pre-history". The Bronze Age could probably be considered the starting point for humanity's "history". And then "proto-history" would be the "grey area" between pre-history and history, probably somewhere between the years 3500 BCE and 2600 BCE.

But I'm trying to pin-point the earliest event that was recorded using a writing system (a writing system that has been officially deciphered like the Sumerian cuneiform script, rather than the Indus script which has yet to be officially deciphered) and has been reliably dated.

For example, the Battle of Halys was recorded on May 28, 585 BCE by Herodotus. The exact date is known because of an eclipse that occurred on that day, (which was, of course, mentioned by Herodotus.) So, in a way, this could be one of the earliest known battles of which its exact day is known. It's very precise. But then again, I know that there are battles that occurred even earlier than that of which much information is reliably known (such as: the Battle of Kadesh believed to have occurred on May 1274 BCE, and the Battle of Megiddo believed to have occurred on April 16, 1457 BCE.)

Or should the beginning of history be considered to be when humans first began to develop an interest in researching their own history? Since Herodotus is often referred to the "father of history", could he mark the beginning of history?

Or maybe the beginning of history should start with the earliest known literature, such as maybe the "Instructions of Shuruppak" dated to 2600 BCE?



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 12:06 PM
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originally posted by: Quasiscientist
Or maybe the beginning of history should start with the earliest known literature, such as maybe the "Instructions of Shuruppak" dated to 2600 BCE?

That might be a more fruitful line of inquiry. There are supposedly "recordings" of natural events like floods and supernovae carved as symbols into rocks in various places. And you have some hard mud bricks with scratches on them indicating trading livestock or grains between people. But those aren't really literature. Maybe it would be better to ask what the first recorded "story" is that has to do with historical or mythological happenings, that was recorded in order to make a point about law or morals or some other bit of philosophy, or to tell the story of some particularly brave warrior.

It's kind of sad that much of what we consider to be "history" has to do with people fighting each other. But we as human beings are a scrappy bunch, I guess.



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 12:24 PM
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a reply to: fatkid

I noticed most of the replies mentioned the Sumerians, Egyptians, and even the Mayans. I am not sure how much of there history is passed down as oral or if it was written and documented to certain dates.

Though there is some discussion about any exact date, the Chinese calender starts in @ 2698 BC and is considered to be continous from there. There is some debate over how many preceeded the "Yellow Emperor" but this is noted as the starting point.



posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 03:01 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift
That might be a more fruitful line of inquiry. There are supposedly "recordings" of natural events like floods and supernovae carved as symbols into rocks in various places. And you have some hard mud bricks with scratches on them indicating trading livestock or grains between people. But those aren't really literature. Maybe it would be better to ask what the first recorded "story" is that has to do with historical or mythological happenings, that was recorded in order to make a point about law or morals or some other bit of philosophy, or to tell the story of some particularly brave warrior.


According to this article:

abob.libs.uga.edu...

...there is some evidence that suggests that there may have been an impact event in the Indian Ocean on May 10, 2807 BCE, may have triggered a megatsunami that hit Asia along its Indian Ocean coastline, may have interrupted the continuity of settlement in Sumer, and may have been the "Flood" described in Sumerian mythology.

The "Instructions of Shuruppak" seems to be among the earliest known Sumerian literature (dated to around 2600 BCE.) Shuruppak was apparently the son of Ubara-Tutu (Ubara-Tutu was listed as the last king in Sumer before the Flood on some versions of the "Sumerian King List".) Shuruppak was himself apparently the father of Utnapishtim (Utnapishtim met the Sumerian king Gilgamesh, and Gilgamesh himself was the hero in the "Epic of Gilgamesh" written roughly between the years 2250 BCE and 2000 BCE.)

This "Flood" may explain why there is so little information about Sumer from before 2800 BCE compared to how much there is about Egypt. There's a great deal of information about Egypt's rulers going as far back as 3100 BCE, such as that first pharaoh Narmer. Even a plethora of information of kings that ruled over different parts of Egypt before him!


originally posted by: tinymind
I noticed most of the replies mentioned the Sumerians, Egyptians, and even the Mayans. I am not sure how much of there history is passed down as oral or if it was written and documented to certain dates.


I think that a lot of stories (such as the aforementioned Epic of Gilgamesh) were originally passed down through oral tradition, and eventually written on clay tablets. This may suggest that mythological figures such as Gilgamesh may have been real historical figures, but through the centuries their stories were greatly exaggerated, mythologized, and so people like Gilgamesh became deified.


originally posted by: tinymind
Though there is some discussion about any exact date, the Chinese calender starts in @ 2698 BC and is considered to be continous from there. There is some debate over how many preceeded the "Yellow Emperor" but this is noted as the starting point.


I'm having a bit of a hard time finding out what year this year (2016) would be according to the calendars of some of the oldest civilizations, such as the calendars of the Babylonian, Sumerian, and Egyptian civilizations. I know that they had calendars but I'm not entirely certain how far back they went. I know that according to the Assyrian calendar, it's currently the year 6766. But then what year might the Sumerian and Egyptian calendars state?

I think remember reading somewhere that the Egyptian calendar had first been introduced during the reign of the pharaoh Djoser, or maybe Djer, maybe around the time that the Great Pyramids were first starting to be built I think. I know that the Egyptian calendar was not much different from the calendar we use today. I believe that their calendar may have been luni-solar, and thus they had "months". Which makes me wonder if the calendars of the Egyptians and Sumerians influenced the calendars of later civilizations, such as those of the Assyrians', Babylonians', Greeks', and Romans'. Of course, our current calendar is very closely based off an old Roman calendar, which was itself based off of an even older calendar, and so on.
edit on 22-9-2016 by Quasiscientist because: Gilgamesh

edit on 22-9-2016 by Quasiscientist because: paragraphs

edit on 22-9-2016 by Quasiscientist because: typo



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 11:11 PM
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a reply to: tinymind

There is a lot of evidence that it was written down (prior to Europeans coming to the new world)

the idea that they were building giant buildings with out using planning/writing/math is kind of silly if you just use a little bit of common sense, they weren't just throwing stones together, it obviously had to be planned very well we are talking about massive feats

It was probably either destroyed or buried under the Vatican in one of its deep libraries or in some old dark castle somewhere probably to never be translated.



posted on Sep, 29 2016 @ 01:15 PM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: fatkid
I noticed most of the replies mentioned the Sumerians, Egyptians, and even the Mayans. I am not sure how much of there history is passed down as oral or if it was written and documented to certain dates.


Apparently, Mesoamerica is the only other place in the world (depending on who you ask, some might tell you that there were one or two other places where writing was developed independently) where a writing system has been confirmed to have been developed independently (the other place having been in Sumer, around the year 3500 BCE, in what would today be called Iraq.) Of course, it all depends on who you ask. Others may tell you that the Egyptians developed their own writing system (Egyptian hieroglyphs) independently from the Sumerians' writing system (Sumerian cuneiform). Then, of course, there's also China who seem to have developed their own writing system nearly 3,000 years after the Egyptians and Sumerians did. And yet others may say that it all started in Sumer, and the idea of writing gradually spread throughout the Eastern Hemisphere (to places like Egypt and China.)

Anyway, as for Mesoamerica... the Olmecs apparently managed to develop their own writing system as far back as roughly around the year 1000 BCE. See: en.wikipedia.org...

During the war between the Spanish and Aztec empires, the Aztecs also had their own writing system... (see: en.wikipedia.org... )

...which itself may have been influenced by the Mayans' writing system (see: en.wikipedia.org... )

It's also theorized that the Inca may have used something called "quipu" (see: en.wikipedia.org... ) which may have been used for historical records, but has been yet to be fully deciphered. So far it seems that the Inca only used quipu for counting rather than writing.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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Anyway, I've developed an over-simplified chronology timeline of events (based on what's been mentioned on this thread so far) that could potentially mark the "beginning of recorded history" (listed in chronological order from the "beginning of time" to the "present day"):

  1. circa 13700000000 BCE — The "general consensus" seems to currently be that this is roughly when the universe started. Of course, there were no humans (as stated "officially", anyway) back then to record this event. So we'll have to take today's scientists' word for it for now.

  2. circa 2800000 BCE — Seems to be around the time that the "Homo" genus first began to emerge. And then the "Oldowan" stone tool -making industry began approximately around this time as well ("Oldowan" stone tools possibly being the first stone tools to be crafted by what some may consider "human beings" or "proto-humans".)

  3. circa 70000 BCE — The time in which our species "homo sapiens" is believed to have first emerged. They apparently emerged out of Africa, roughly around the same time as the "Toba catastrophe" which allegedly reduced the entire human population to (I think) about 2,500 individuals. This is probably what spurred our species to begin migrating to other continents.

  4. circa 8500 BCE — Seems to be the beginning of the neolithic revolution. "Jericho" is often times stated as being the oldest continually-inhabited city in the world, with some of its remains dating as far back as to this time. Of course, Jericho was not always a city, it seems to have been a "village" (according to the "Ekistics" definition of a "village".)

  5. circa 6500 BCE — The "Cradle of Civilization" is often stated as having been "Sumer". The Sumerian civilization apparently started with its "Ubaid period", which started around this time.

  6. circa 6000 BCE — The "Jiahu symbols" is possibly the oldest known example of "proto-writing".

  7. circa 3114 BCE — Possibly the beginning of the reign of the second Egyptian pharaoh "Hor-Aha".

  8. circa 2600 BCE — The earliest written literature dates from this time: Sumerian texts, including the: "Instructions of Shuruppak" and the "Kesh temple hymn".

  9. April 16, 1457 BCE — Battle of Megiddo

  10. May 1274 BCE — Battle of Kadesh

  11. May 28, 585 BCE — Eclipse of Thales



posted on Oct, 6 2016 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: Quasiscientist

I think that looks reasonable (without checking dates mind you because I haven't time right now. There's some material about early Chinese dynasties that can shovel in there.

Remember, archaeologists will not be totally surprised if a date gets pushed back farther (like the earliest dates for humans entering North America. There are limits, though... no one's going to believe h.sapiens in the Cretaceous at this point.



posted on Oct, 6 2016 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: Quasiscientist

I would add one correction to your list. 60-70 KA is when Homo Sapiens first pushed out of the safety net of E. Africa. The oldest known Homo Sapien remains ( Homo Sapiens Idaltu) were found in the Omo Kibish Mational Park in what is today Ethiopia by Richard Leakey in the early 70's. In 2004 the Omo remains were dated to ~195 KA +/- 5 KA they are the current title holders of oldest Anatomically Modern Human (AMH).

Aside from that, not too shabby of a list

Further Reading

edit on 6-10-2016 by peter vlar because: Added link



posted on Oct, 6 2016 @ 11:11 PM
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originally posted by: BestinShow
As far back as Cave Paintings...


That's what I was about to post, art is a record of sorts, just need to know how to interpret it.



posted on Oct, 7 2016 @ 12:12 AM
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originally posted by: peter vlar
a reply to: Quasiscientist

I would add one correction to your list. 60-70 KA is when Homo Sapiens first pushed out of the safety net of E. Africa. The oldest known Homo Sapien remains ( Homo Sapiens Idaltu) were found in the Omo Kibish Mational Park in what is today Ethiopia by Richard Leakey in the early 70's. In 2004 the Omo remains were dated to ~195 KA +/- 5 KA they are the current title holders of oldest Anatomically Modern Human (AMH).

Aside from that, not too shabby of a list

Further Reading


Thanks for checking, Peter. I got busy and didn't get a chance to check back.



posted on Oct, 13 2016 @ 10:54 AM
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originally posted by: Byrd
a reply to: Quasiscientist

I think that looks reasonable (without checking dates mind you because I haven't time right now. There's some material about early Chinese dynasties that can shovel in there.


I'm curious about what you know about early Chinese dynasties.

It's my understanding that China was officially unified after Qin's wars of unification during the Warring States period, starting the "first" Chinese dynasty: the Qin dynasty. But apparently there were other dynasties before the Qin dynasty (according to Chinese tradition), right? Before the Qin dynasty there was: the Zhou dynasty, and before that: the Shang dynasty, and even before that was: the Xia dynasty. But only the Zhou dynasty has been confirmed by archaeological evidence to have been a "real" dynasty to precede the Qin dynasty, right?

And I know that the earliest writing system to be confirmed in China would be with the "Oracle bone script" which has been dated to somewhere between the years of 1400 BCE — 1050 BCE (which could correspond to either the Zhou dynasty and/or the Shang dynasty.)

While the "Jiahu symbols" (being seemingly considered "proto-writing") have been dated to around 6600 BCE and correspond to the "Peiligang culture".

There seem to have been some attempts in connecting the archaeological cultures of the "Erlitou" and/or "Erligang" with the early Chinese dynasties of "Xia" and/or "Shang", but there has yet to be any strong evidence to connect them, right?



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