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The Enigmatic Founders of Civilization

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posted on May, 16 2017 @ 10:52 AM
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originally posted by: Kantzveldt
The paper on the seals discussed that initially the Egyptians had no practical usage for the seals they were acquiring, but you're talking about very early dates there and they went on to develop their own seals to be used in administrative practise.

Yes they did. While Uruk may have been the first city to develop these forms, the use of them spread... but this does not mean that the culture associated with them spread. Many nice Japanese goods came into America when I was young but we did not change American civilization to Japanese civilization.


As for adopting their own methodology the situation was similar with Susa, they adopted some of the Urukian systems of weights and measures but not all, and the development of Proto-Elamite is obviously very different then the script of Uruk, perhaps people were encouraged to think for themselves and come up with their own solutions.


The idea of some small group of people coming in and establishing a settlement and suddenly "teaching everyone the right way" and taking over doesn't hold up. The two groups spoke very different languages -- Afro-Asiatic (the Egyptian language) is not very similar to Babylonian. The idea that a group of people are going to come in and show others how to become cities and introducing them to gods that they will adopt.... simply by pointing and grunting at trade stuffs or using a bad pidgin language is pretty absurd. Trade in Egypt was long-established. They would only use Urukian weights and systems if they had to leave Egypt and trade with Uruk.

Otherwise the Urukians would have to use Egyptian weights and accounting systems if they wanted to trade with Egyptians.


Gods or at least their expression are generally rooted in the native language at a fundamental level, many closely related to expressions of natural phenomena, they also tended to be closely related to the local topography and flower and fauna as well as agricultural and craft practise, this was certainly the case in Mesopotamia, it's a question of how you organize them into a Pantheon.


The Egyptian deities and their organizations are nothing at all like the Babylonian ones.




posted on May, 16 2017 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: Byrd
Ahh, but Byrd, are you so sure that Japanese culture did not influence yours to measurable degree?
How far are you from a sushi resurant?
Japanese ideas and technologies helped revolutionize american industry and allow us to outpace our economic and military rivals for nearly five decades.
Take ramen noodles, having a pacific heratige, they have been a part of my entire 53 year life, but for the first third of my life you had to go to the japanese or asian market to get them, but now they can be found in every market.
The summer time fave foot wear, flip flops, a traditional japanese fiber sandal, translated into rubber for sale to the amercan market.

Sometimes influences can be subtle, and yet have profound affect, and back to the japanese,
A single working musket washed up in japan, 1530's?, and within ten years they were making rifles of a far better quality and in such numbers it changed the course of japanese history.
Or a major influence can leave almost no trace of the influencer ,like the mongol assimilation by the chinese. Even though they conquered the chinese,
ten years later you couldnt tell, as the mongols had become chinese, for the most part.
Sorry, got long winded,



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Language was never much of a problem there were skilled translators then as now and people familiar with more than one culture, were is the evidence for this long established Egyptian trade prior to the earliest contact...?

The fact is there are many unknowns here, you don't know whether large groups or small, regularity of contact, whether permanent staging posts were established as was generally the case, there's also the question of motivation on the part of the Urukians and what was their greater purpose, you perhaps underestimate them...

a reply to: Spider879

Why would anyone take their sticks off them?
edit on Kpm531135vAmerica/ChicagoTuesday1631 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 07:00 PM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: Byrd
Ahh, but Byrd, are you so sure that Japanese culture did not influence yours to measurable degree?
How far are you from a sushi resurant?


We're not talking about loanwords and food. We're talking about adopting a rulership style and a system of writing/accounting plus deities.


Or a major influence can leave almost no trace of the influencer ,like the mongol assimilation by the chinese. Even though they conquered the chinese, ten years later you couldnt tell, as the mongols had become chinese, for the most part.



They were not some group from 800 miles away who showed up and traded for 400 years. They lived on the borders of China, sometimes had treaties with them, practiced trade and had other interactions.



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 07:05 PM
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originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: Byrd

Language was never much of a problem there were skilled translators then as now and people familiar with more than one culture, were is the evidence for this long established Egyptian trade prior to the earliest contact...?


Do you have a source for this? The root languages are very different.


The fact is there are many unknowns here, you don't know whether large groups or small, regularity of contact, whether permanent staging posts were established as was generally the case, there's also the question of motivation on the part of the Urukians and what was their greater purpose, you perhaps underestimate them...


No, I don't... but at the same time they were undergoing problems at home and Egypt was too far away to make a colony or a part of the empire. They'd been trading with Egypt for awhile, so Egyptians were familiar with them. Egyptian culture (which begins in the middle of Egypt, not near the points of contact) develops its own style and its own written language and a method of developing and controlling wealth (through the temple distribution system) that was unlike the Mesopotamian model.

They always had contact, but they apparently held little interest or affection for each other. The only time Egypt acquired any form of culture from another civilization was when that one conquered Egypt... and then it's pretty obvious.

Derivative cultures and technologies are fairly easy to track.



posted on May, 17 2017 @ 01:00 AM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt




Why would anyone take their sticks off them?

Because their "sticks" gave their elites the right to govern them, along with their head gear and other symbols of high office, the Brits never donned African Asian and Native American garbs and symbols to rule over them, matter of fact they generally insisted that the locals changed theirs.

So far all you have shown is that contacts and trade were made, that we already know, Enki does not equal Horus.


These people ^ spread out of the Sahara to jump start the Nile Valley complex along with others already living on the Nile all the way to the Great Lakes, the above is a map of shared technology before the drying of the Sahara, the various cultures not unlike movements in Mesopotamia, would take hundreds of yrs of to band together whether through warfare or intermarriage to form powerful states that could match the same coming out of Mesopotamia, they were not simple country bumpkins easily impressed by visitors with same level of technological and political development.



posted on May, 17 2017 @ 05:18 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

There would have been language differences between the Urukians who one would assume provide the basis for Sumerian and those Trans- Caucasians who spoke a form of the NW Caucasian language group and between the ancestors of the Elamites, thus within the considered Uruk sphere itself there were major language differences, but it doesn't seem to have been an insurmountable problem with regards to contact and cooperation.

The Temple distribution system was the Mesopotamian model, which is why it was important to develop an organized Pantheon and create regional centres accordingly to which the people were attached, exactly the same in Iran, there's consideration of a system of standardized rations being regulated at Jemdet Nasr when that became the administrative centre of the Uruk sphere.

There's also an underlying spiritual/philosophical theme seen on the seals themselves which is that of the fish within the stream or river of consciousness, that in itself finds correlation in Nilotic religion, the journey along the river as spiritual metaphor.

a reply to: Spider879

Like in the story of Moses and the serpent rod everybody had their magic sticks, but really it also requires a magical form of thinking to imagine that just because populations were present in the Nile region that they would naturally develop Egypt in the form it took, it's not only the case that you can't demonstrate independent development of metallurgy or an early trade and administrative capacity or a capacity for monumental architecture but there is also the question of ideology and a systemic approach to religion.


edit on Kam531136vAmerica/ChicagoWednesday1731 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2017 @ 10:40 AM
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originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: Byrd

There would have been language differences between the Urukians who one would assume provide the basis for Sumerian and those Trans- Caucasians who spoke a form of the NW Caucasian language group and between the ancestors of the Elamites, thus within the considered Uruk sphere itself there were major language differences, but it doesn't seem to have been an insurmountable problem with regards to contact and cooperation.

Uhm... no. Those are European langauges with common root words.

African languages are very different, as anyone who's tried to learn them can tell you. With no root words in common, learning the language takes skill. I don't doubt that over 400 years, children whose parents came from both groups managed to communicate with both groups. But we're talking a small number of people.


The Temple distribution system was the Mesopotamian model, which is why it was important to develop an organized Pantheon and create regional centres accordingly to which the people were attached, exactly the same in Iran, there's consideration of a system of standardized rations being regulated at Jemdet Nasr when that became the administrative centre of the Uruk sphere.

They were somewhat similar on the surface yes. But each arose independently.


There's also an underlying spiritual/philosophical theme seen on the seals themselves which is that of the fish within the stream or river of consciousness, that in itself finds correlation in Nilotic religion, the journey along the river as spiritual metaphor.


No such metaphor exists among the ancient Egyptians. Fish were not held in any particular regard. They were food.
a reply to: Spider879

Like in the story of Moses and the serpent rod everybody had their magic sticks, but really it also requires a magical form of thinking to imagine that just because populations were present in the Nile region that they would naturally develop Egypt in the form it took, it's not only the case that you can't demonstrate independent development of metallurgy or an early trade and administrative capacity or a capacity for monumental architecture but there is also the question of ideology and a systemic approach to religion.




posted on May, 17 2017 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

None of them are Indo-European languages, the only reason Hurrian can be translated is because of bi-lingual Hittite (Indo-European) and Ugaritic tablets, which was a common practise, it would have been desirable to establish a permanent trading colony in order to establish a point of contact fully conversant with the linguistic and cultural differences, perhaps that became the first institution in Egypt.

The tradition of the fish within the stream of consciousness also related to the seven sages didn't gain popularity in Egypt that's true enough, but consider the Ab-tu fish and it's likely relationship to the Mesopotamian Ab-zu, the mysteries of the deep, Abtu, Great Fish of the Abyss, he got to pull the barque of Ra and is also considered to relate to Abydos.



posted on May, 17 2017 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt

If I or anyone else wanted to, we could make a counter claim that Mesopotamian cultures and by extension civilization was somehow jump started by migrating East Africans en-mass which did in fact took place about 10kyrs B.C and that they brought the civilizing seeds to the area to later germinate and blossomed into Mesopotamian civ, but that while technically true, would be non the less simplistic if we ignored local developments.

Spread of East Africans into Mesopotamia under the guise of the Afrasian super language family,

A Conversation with Christopher Ehret Christopher Ehret,
UCLA Interviewed by WHC Co-editor Tom Laichas




There's another really interesting innovation in Africa: pottery. There are two places in the world which develop pottery really early. One is Japan, where you find pottery before 10,000 BCE, going back to at least 11,000 or 12,000 BCE. And then you've got pottery by 10,500 BCE in the eastern Sahara, and it spreads widely in the southern Sahara. Unlike the Middle Eastern ceramics, where you can see the development of pottery at every stage, the stuff we find in the southern Sahara is already great pottery. So there's probably 500 years we're missing from the archaeological record. So let's say that pottery develops in the southern Sahara 2,500 years before Middle Eastern pottery. The Middle Eastern stuff does look like it was developed independently of the African, but ­ hey, this is really interesting! Africa is not too far away; there may have been some diffusion.


WHC: You associate the development of agriculture and intensified hunting with four major cultural groups. You call these groups "civilizations." Why? Ehret: This question comes down to the problem of what the word "civilization" really means. Unfortunately, the idea that comes most often to people's minds is to contrast "civilization" to "disorder." So it becomes a value judgment about behavior. Because being civilized is a good thing, we tend to credit ourselves with being civilized. This is unexamined baggage. The word, of course, goes back to the Latin civis, and the idea of living in a town.



WHC: You describe two other groups. One of them is the Afrasans. Can you talk about them for a moment? Ehret: These are people who have been called Afro-Asiatic and also Afrasian. I'm saying "Afrasan" because I'm trying to get "Asia" out. There is still this idea that the Afro-Asiatic family had to come out of Asia. Once you realize that it's an African family with one little Asian offshoot, well, that itself is a very important lesson for world historians. We actually have DNA evidence which fits very well with an intrusion of people from northwestern African into southwestern Asia. The Y-chromosome markers, associated with the male, fade out as you go deeper into the Middle East. Another thing about the Afrasans: their religious beliefs. Anciently, each local group had its own supreme deity. This is called "henotheism." In this kind of religion, you have your own god to whom you show your allegiance. But you realize that other groups have their own deities. The fact that they have deities different from yours doesn't mean their deities don't exist. This kind of belief still exists. It's fading, maybe on its last legs, in southeastern Ethiopia, among people of the Omati group. They descend from the earliest split in the Semitic family. Way up in the mountains, they have this henotheism. They have a deity of their clan, or their small group of closely related clans. They have their priest-chief who has to see to the rites of that deity. We see the same kind of thing in ancient Egypt. If we go to there, we discover that the Egyptian gods began as local gods. With Egyptian unification, we move from this henotheism to polytheism. To unify Egypt, after all, you have to co-opt the loyalty of local groups and recognize their gods. We have no direct evidence, but it's certainly implied by the things we learn about the gods in the written records we do have.
worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu...

The man^ is no slouch as he is the goto guy for linguistics .
Again I am not making the point that Africans are responsible for Mesopotamian high culture and civ, just that there is more justification to make that claim if needs be, than a few traders bringing stuff from Uruk.



posted on May, 17 2017 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

Uruk/Sumerian was not of the Hamito-Semitic language group, and the Urukian sphere wasn't Semitic, only later groups such as the Akkadians and Amorite/Babylonians become dominant in Mesopotamia though conquest, Hurrian colonization is ended in Edom and Canaan by Semitic tribes also, so not a very impressive claim, generally they were a liability.



posted on May, 17 2017 @ 05:20 PM
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originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: Spider879

Uruk/Sumerian was not of the Hamito-Semitic language group, and the Urukian sphere wasn't Semitic, only later groups such as the Akkadians and Amorite/Babylonians become dominant in Mesopotamia though conquest, Hurrian colonization is ended in Edom and Canaan by Semitic tribes also, so not a very impressive claim, generally they were a liability.


Like I said if we ignored local development..



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