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Stoneage man today.

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posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 09:17 PM
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I hope this is in the right area.

The thread about the Egyptians being in Australia has made me think about a book printed in the late 60s about the comparison of the Aboriginal and the Europeans today.

First off lets start with why did European man develop the way they did, and why the Aboriginal stayed more or less unchanged.

We all know the concept of Stone Age and how they developed tools. These tools were made of flint, a stone only found in the UK and parts of Europe. Flint is easily shaped into tools and weapons. Further down the timeline came the Bronze Age, then Iron Age. These two ages resulted from the mining of the materials needed to make bronze, then later iron, which in some cases were quite close to the surface (in the UK). With this came domestication and basic agriculture, Europe and the UK had many animals which were domesticated, and plants that were easily grown, and the local climate also played a part. Agriculture was quite easy because of tools developed, and the use of domesticated animals that helped. Seafaring, villages, towns, cities, trade, industrialisation, government, etc. Now we all know that the UK and Europe was also influenced by many battles, wars, etc (Vikings, Saxons, Romans).

Let’s look at Australia; the Aboriginal back in the colonial days (and even today in same areas) is as it was up to 50,000 years ago. They used basic weapons and tools, have a nomadic lifestyle, and were a hunter/gatherer. A close look at the geology of Australia shows that while there are the basic materials needed to make bronze, iron and other metals, it was not as easily accessible. And while there are hard rocks (like granite) there was no flint available, so weapons and tools were restricted to wood and bone. Agriculture was never adopted because most of the crops we see today come from Europe and the sub-continent, and although there was a low quality native grass that is used, without the advancement of metal tools, even a small cultivated area suitable for even 1 family was impossible. All the aboriginal food was hunted or collected from the bush. The climate also has a part to play, knowing agricultural practices such as irrigation would help establish agriculture in even hot climates for example, the areas around Egypt. Domestication was also almost non-existent, with the exception of wild dogs.

The aboriginal with regards to seafaring was restricted to localised fishing in rivers and close to shore.

Outside influence was also another issue. There was not much in the way of ocean going ships until the 1600s to 1700s (except for the possibility of Egyptian influence), so other technology was hard to come by.

Language did develop in both groups of people, and to a curtain point, a form of written records was developed by the aboriginal in the form of rock art, which was even used to identify points of history and extinct animals.

So without many advancements in technology, the Aboriginal People of Australia are a living example of Stone Age man.

Any input here is welcome.




posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 06:46 AM
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You might want to check out a long but quite entertaining and informative quasi-debate between myself and Gemwolf in which we explored the various factors which influence the rate at which different cultures develop in terms of technological advancement. Whilst our debate centered largely on the many cultures of the African continent, I also drew links with the Australian Aborigines, being Australian myself.

As part of the debate, we examined influences such as environment, social structure, contact with other civilisations, as well as spiritual and cultural influences. I think you would find this debate interesting. Let me know what you think. You can find the debate here (it kind of developed out of a tangent of the primary focus of this thread). It continues for a few pages, but hopefully you will find it interesting, since it explores in some depth the very issues you have yourself raised.



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 07:59 AM
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my theory is that technological advancement is not born of ability nor of availibility of reasources, as jerimiah says in his link, but out of an attempt to overcome a lack of reasources.

in every part of the world where we see a lack of technology there is also an abundance of natural reasources coupled with a relitively stable climate, (ie. there is little fluctuation in the seasons) or there is a migratory pattern among both animals and man. in each of these cases, small, mobile tribes are prefferable for survival, either to preserve reasources through a system of hunt clean and leave until game restocks naturally, as is the case in rainforrests, or to follow the herd as is the case on grasslands.

however in a climate where availibility of reasources fluctuates according to seasonal change and migration holds little promice(there are no herds to follow), it becomes nessacery to over hunt when game is available and store it for when it is not, to do this successfully you must develop a methord of storage and a way of predicting seasonal change.

prediction of seasonal change leads to the development of the callender and storage of food leads to perminant dwellings. (you need to be close to your stores) it is then no longer nessacery to have a small tribe as mobility is no longer nessacery, in fact it's a bad idea as the larger the tribe, the less difficulty it will have competing for reasources with other tribes when game is abundant, however with a large tribe, it is difficult to store enough dead game to sustain it, (the methords used were uasually smoking, salting or freezing in the north) and so it becomes a better idea to capture live game and keep it alive until it is needed, thus livestock, but how do you keep livestock alive when you are in a fixed location,overgrazing wouldn't take long so you also need to gather and store food for it. this means a larger tribe again because not only do you need more people to capture a live animal, you also need them to collect food, so we're now talking 200 people, to solve this, over time, it becomes clear that the food that feeds the livestock (grasses) will grow at certain times in certain places, so it is easier to gather,and that the surplus seeds can be consumed as food and the prosess is refined until we get proper agriculture. this is an on-going prosess by the way.

so we have large tribes in fixed location with agriculture, an ever refined callender and leaders or groups of leaders to administer the distribution of reasources, thus civilisation born of nessicity and seasonal change.

a longwinded way to say
nescesity, not ability, is the mother of invention.



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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~~~~~~~~~~


then again, sometimes things just appear from nowhere, which in turn affects human behavior and the directions they take...

need, necessity, are factors

but there are others as well.... check out this link to a movie titled
"The Gods Must Be Crazy"

a primitive bushman ...



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 10:33 AM
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Jeremiah, your link has some very good points, and the whole thread is worthy of a good read.

So appart from the possible Egyptian ruins, as far as i know there are no ruins of old cities in Australia.

I have watched a TV show that showed the day in the life of an aboriginal tribe in the outback, as as far as I remember it takes great time and effort to collect enough food for the tribe, which leaves very little time for other activities.

So we have a group of people that developped the following:

1. Communication, in the form of language, and in rock art/paintings, but no real form of writing.
2. Culture, such as tribal ritual dancing, story telling (dreamtime stories) from generation to generation, almost a record of aboriginal history.
3. Community, there were tribe leaders (elders), warriors, the rest helped with the collection of food and materials for the tribe.
4. Weapons and equipment, well spears, boomerangs, woomeras, some musical instraments, and various tools.
5. Agriculture, well there was none, just the collection of native food items as the tribe was nomadic.
6. Settlements, again there was no real permanent buildings, just a humpy (a shelter made of sticks and bark. Some grass hut type structures were also used). Some permanence were around caves.
7. Law and Order, quite surprising, there was some sort of law and order in the form of punishment for various offences.
8. Trade, not sure on this one, but there may have been trade in the form of swapping items between tribes.

So while we have a classic stone age group of people, there were some developments in communication, the community itself, and basic laws.

Now before european settlement, there was no real interaction with other peoples except for the possibility of Egyptian visitations, so nothing much would have changed.

One other thing as to why the aboriginal didn't advance much beyond the stone age can not be put down to intelligence. After all, it didn't take long for them to understand more advanced language, writing, agriculture, building, and anything the europeans took for granted, so in the end there lack of development has to be put down to environmental factors, such as climate (as in Jeremiah's post in the other similar thread), and lack of primary resources to make even the most basic equipment to get to the bronze age.

To a point, looking at similar lattitudes, Africa has a similar problem, however there is more or less direct access to Europe. But on the other hand South America did develop an advanced civilisation, which did have some interesting (and advanced problem solving) developments, such as cities very high in the mountains.

[edit on 31-1-2006 by Saldorri]



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 02:46 PM
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the south and central american civilisations didn't have metal tools though, explain that using the ''availibility of reasources'' idea.

and yes, on a globe europe looks accesible from africa, but practically speaking, it's not. besides, there is legends of a huge central african empire, ever heard of ''queen sheeba''? if that empire were built of mud brick buildings, ruins would be difficult to find and large scale archiology hasn't happened much outside of egypt. we can't be sure it exhisted but there is more evidence to suggest it did than it didn't.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by pieman
the south and central american civilisations didn't have metal tools though, explain that using the ''availibility of reasources'' idea.

and yes, on a globe europe looks accesible from africa, but practically speaking, it's not. besides, there is legends of a huge central african empire, ever heard of ''queen sheeba''? if that empire were built of mud brick buildings, ruins would be difficult to find and large scale archiology hasn't happened much outside of egypt. we can't be sure it exhisted but there is more evidence to suggest it did than it didn't.


By south/central american, I hope we are talking about the Myans here. They did get some rather impressive buildings up, and even had large cities. They had agriculture, and as far as I remember they had access to various metals including gold. They would have had good tools to do this.

I have heared of the african empire of sheeba but don't know much about it, any good links for this.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by pieman
the south and central american civilisations didn't have metal tools though, explain that using the ''availibility of reasources'' idea.


Didn't they?



After 2000 BC peoples in villages in several coastal valleys of central Peru organized to build great temples of stone and adobe on large platforms. After about 900 BC these temples appear to have served a new religion, centered in the mountain town of Chaví® de Huá®´ar. This religion had as its symbols the eagle, the jaguar, the snake (probably an anaconda), and the caiman (alligator), which seems to have represented water and the fertility of plants. These symbols are somewhat similar to those of the Mexican Olmec religion, but no definite link between the two cultures is known. After 300 BC Chaví® influence—or possibly political power—declined. The Moche civilization then appeared on the northern coast of Peru, and the Nazca on the southern coast. In both, large irrigation projects, towns, and temples were constructed, and extensive trade was carried on, including the export of fine ceramics. The Moche depicted their daily life and their myths in paintings and in ceramic sculpture; they showed themselves as fearsome warriors and also made molded ceramic sculptures depicting homes with families, cultivated plants, fishers, and even lovers. They were also expert metalworkers.



Distinctive craft needs and artistic styles characterize each culture area of the Americas. Nearly all the major technologies known in Europe, Asia, and Africa in the 16th century were known also to Native Americans before European contact, but these technologies were not always used in the same way. For example, although the Andean nations had superb metallurgists, they made few metal tools (people used stone tools for most tasks); instead they applied their skills to creating magnificent ornaments. In architecture, the Maya built a few true (known as keystone) arches, but for roofing their buildings, Mayan architects preferred not the true arch but the narrow corbeled vault. See also Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture.



In North America, in the upper Midwest, copper had been beaten into knives, awls, and other tools in the Late Archaic period (around 2000 BC), and since that time it had been used for small tools and ornaments. The use of copper in this region, however, was not true metallurgy, because the metal was hammered from pure deposits rather than smelted from ore. The earliest metallurgy in the Americas was practiced in Peru about 900 BC, and this technology spread into Mesoamerica, probably from South America, after about AD 900. Over the intervening centuries a variety of techniques developed, among them alloying, gilding, casting, the lost-wax process, soldering, and filigree work. Iron was never smelted, but bronze came into use after about AD 1000. Thus, copper and, much later, bronze were the metals used when metal tools were made; more effort, however, was put into developing the working of precious metals—gold and silver—than into making tools.


Source

Oh wait...

They in fact did, however it was more important for them to make metal sculptures and jewlerry than metal-tools. They didn't need them for hunting or for building things. So it still does fit in with the theory.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 02:35 PM
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Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" effectively asks and attempts to answer the same question.

The long and the short of it, from what I understand (haven't read the book), is that the old world, from europe to china, has an advantage in that it has large streches that are at the same lattitude, essential long straches of the same environment, and that this permits a few things. One is that there is ease of movement of people and animals naturally along these lines of lattitude, and that that itself is an advantage. The other is that the animals that move along these lines were far more adaptable to domestication. Almost all domesticated animals are eurasian, with the exception of the llama, from peru. The crop plants that grew there, like wheat and rice and barely, were far more suitable to the beginings of agriculture and sustaining a large population than, say, yams, corn, potatos and the like.

From that basis, agriculture, animal domestication and confluence of peoples and ideas, you get the start of the tremendous domination of the eurasian civilzations over the rest.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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This thread reeks with cultural chauvinism. The discussion sounds like a Victorian era conversation at a Gentleman's Club about the poor rotten downtrodden overseas and the superiority of London coalburning air.

You are assuming that the 'savage' lives in a position of 'inferiority' due to 'ignorance'.

Time (say, several thousand years, or maybe less) will tell if your polluting, extinct-ing, extracting, oppressing, controlling, thieving murdering self-satisfied so-called "civilization" is superior to traditional tribal lifestyles.

Often, it is enough to know- and to prohibit. Before the Darwin Effect kicks in.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by Chakotay


This thread reeks with cultural chauvinism. The discussion sounds like a Victorian era conversation at a Gentleman's Club about the poor rotten downtrodden...



which is why i tried to insert the reference to the movie
"The Gods Must Be Crazy"
about a bushman, effectively living in a stoneage lifestyle in the contemporary world....

I would of cited another film titled "Emerald Forest"
but that message is more appropros to culture & anthropology
than 'backwards' & 'unsophitated' 'lumbering', 'neolithic, brutes'...
who- - -it is thought,,,MUST desire to attain Western European
thought/culture/science/standards/societal models.....
and their vain attempts to construct the same path that western europeans cobbled, which led to their 'supremacy' in all facets of living.....


argggh?!



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 09:11 AM
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The Tropic of Capricorn runs through Australia, Africa, and South America, and in South America did form quite an advanced civilisation did they not.

As I don't know what the geology in South America (and even Africa) is like I will have a look, to see what South America had in order for the local population to advance as far as they did (talking pre-european involvement here) Any geologists with input here, please feel free to post any stuff.

I am interested in finding out why our Aboriginals remained nomadic while other countries progressed.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Saldorri
The Tropic of Capricorn runs through Australia, Africa, and South America, and in South America did form quite an advanced civilisation did they not.

I wouldn't call the Toltecs, Mayas, or incans "quite advanced" civilizations. They seemed to be on a level with, for example, Early Ancient Egypt. Thats more advanced than the barbarian germanic tribes at the same time, and these kinds of things are relative and pretty subjective anyway.

An interesting question is why did the central and south american civilizations stagnate in that form, and also why did the north american civilizations, the peublo buildiers, the plains civilizations, the mound buildiers in the south, and even the iroquis ancestors in the north east, seem to become sedentary, build cities, and then have it all fall apart?

An intersting answer to that is that, in one example, the people abused their resources. They made, in the central plains if I recall correcty, great use of timber, building houses and public offices and burning it for warmth, but because they were also living in cities and had a growing population, this created pollution problems from the fires and lead to rampant deforestation, until that resource was gone and their civilization fell apart.

I also recall reading about some south american or central american civilizations that built their cities next to local lakes, and then the lakes piled up with refuse and died out and the cities were abandoned.

Infact, from what I can see, taking into accoutn the mayans and toltecs in one hemisphere, and then the 'bronze age system collapse' in europe and the collapse of harrapan, it almost looks like cities in these early stages and ages would allways be in danger of collapse and abandonment, people would just leave them completely.



I am interested in finding out why our Aboriginals remained nomadic while other countries progressed.

I think it has a lot to do with the stuff diamond mentions. To go from being a nomadic people to a sedentarty lifestyle, you need some things that australia doesn'ts seem to have naturally, like a viable crop, animals to domesticate, and, considering the extensive numbers of rivers in europe and central asia, lots of rivers.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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I wouldn't call the Toltecs, Mayas, or incans "quite advanced" civilizations. They seemed to be on a level with, for example, Early Ancient Egypt. Thats more advanced than the barbarian germanic tribes at the same time, and these kinds of things are relative and pretty subjective anyway.


But advanced enough to build some serious cites. Teotihuacan was started about 100BC, and at its hight had up to 125k people.

Incas on the other hand only lasted for a short time, this link also has a good break down of this group.


An interesting question is why did the central and south american civilizations stagnate in that form, and also why did the north american civilizations, the peublo buildiers, the plains civilizations, the mound buildiers in the south, and even the iroquis ancestors in the north east, seem to become sedentary, build cities, and then have it all fall apart?


Looking at the Myans, and Incas, both kinda fell apart as the Spanish came in during the 1500s, although your next point is also valid....


An intersting answer to that is that, in one example, the people abused their resources. They made, in the central plains if I recall correcty, great use of timber, building houses and public offices and burning it for warmth, but because they were also living in cities and had a growing population, this created pollution problems from the fires and lead to rampant deforestation, until that resource was gone and their civilization fell apart.?


Of what I have watched on TV, the people of South America did dedicate alot of time and effort on there base religion, and maybe didn't focus too much on environmental matters and conservation leading to there downfall. A lesson can be learnt here as to what happens when the local population pollutes, and uses everything. And although the Mayans had agriculture, growing plantation trees for construction and fuel wasn't practiced. And correct me if im wrong, they didn't have access to coal.


I also recall reading about some south american or central american civilizations that built their cities next to local lakes, and then the lakes piled up with refuse and died out and the cities were abandoned.


Did they do any archeological digs/dives near the sites, would be interesting to see how they lived by what they threw out.


Infact, from what I can see, taking into accoutn the mayans and toltecs in one hemisphere, and then the 'bronze age system collapse' in europe and the collapse of harrapan, it almost looks like cities in these early stages and ages would allways be in danger of collapse and abandonment, people would just leave them completely.


I always thought that the Bronze Ages just progressed into the Iron Age. But the Europeans did progress into what we see today.


I think it has a lot to do with the stuff diamond mentions. To go from being a nomadic people to a sedentarty lifestyle, you need some things that australia doesn'ts seem to have naturally, like a viable crop, animals to domesticate, and, considering the extensive numbers of rivers in europe and central asia, lots of rivers.


Australia does lack some minerals that europe has, no real native cultavatable crop, no domesticatable animals (although planty of game), and rivers, to a point yes. The south coastal areas do have enough flowing water in them, and the far north have a wet/dry season, leaving the middle areas subject to seasonal flood type rivers. But I think the key missing (and important) item.....is (was)....Flint

I will continue to dig up some more links, going to try and find some good Aboriginal links.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Found some interesting links. (I tried to the bottom of the last post, but it tried to replace the whole post while in preview)

Anyway This link has a good overview of the Aboriginal.

And this is where it gets better, the aboriginal did have access to flint (by trade, and developed some basic agriculture, Link here, going to ask a friend who lives near where the aboriginal agriculture (in Geraldton WA) if there is any remains left.

Edit typos, getting late here


[edit on 2-2-2006 by Saldorri]



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by Saldorri

I wouldn't call the Toltecs, Mayas, or incans "quite advanced" civilizations. They seemed to be on a level with, for example, Early Ancient Egypt. Thats more advanced than the barbarian germanic tribes at the same time, and these kinds of things are relative and pretty subjective anyway.


But advanced enough to build some serious cites.

Certainly. Like I said, they were on par with early ancient egpyt.


Looking at the Myans, and Incas, both kinda fell apart as the Spanish came in during the 1500s,

The mayans had alread abandoned their cities at that point. I think that the history of the aztecs illustrates it all quite well. The aztecs were a people that came into the region from somewhere else, presumably as a nomadic tribe of some sort. They found Technoticlan, which was already ancient and abanonded, having been built by the toltecs, and they marveled at it and took up residence in it.





And correct me if im wrong, they didn't have access to coal.

I think you're correct, yes.


Did they do any archeological digs/dives near the sites, would be interesting to see how they lived by what they threw out.

mmm, can't remember the specifics, this was from a NYT "Tuesday Science Section" article from a few years ago. I am not too knowledgeable when it american civilizations.


I always thought that the Bronze Ages just progressed into the Iron Age.

It did, but only after a very unstable period, sort of like a rock perched on a point, teetering in two directions, one leads to oblivion, the other, recovery and progress. At the end of the bronze age the med. civis were nearly destroyed, excepting egypt, but even it went through some disasterous times. Greece enters, infact, a prolonged dark age and when the people come out of it, its like that old world practically never existed, it was probably as distant for them in terms of understanding as roman times are for us. Their cities collapsed, people went back into quasi-nomadic life, not unlike the mayans and toltecs or mound builders and iroqouis ancestors in america.




I think it has a lot to do with the stuff diamond mentions. To go from being a nomadic people to a sedentarty lifestyle, you need some things that australia doesn'ts seem to have naturally, like a viable crop, animals to domesticate, and, considering the extensive numbers of rivers in europe and central asia, lots of rivers.



Flint

Hmm. Very interesting.


I will continue to dig up some more links, going to try and find some good Aboriginal links.

Sounds good, don't know much about them either.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 07:10 AM
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the aboriginals never went any further, in the form of physical technology, because it simply wasnt needed. every thing they could ever want was here in abundance.

im pretty sure they had a very complex legal sorta rule and social system,

and they did trade with indonesia, getting metal blades.

as for any notion of they didnt have the ability to advance, look at thingsa like boomerangs. they were (are) quite clearly cappable.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 02:12 AM
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Aborigines traversed the Oceans, there are cave paintings in Brazil and Argentina depicting the same artwork as in Australia, as well as paintings oc ocean going vessels. Why they stopped nobody knows.

Dreamtime is far more than story telling, it is a real place to learn from ancestors and leave messages for descendants as well.

The mayan calendar was the most accurate on earth until the invention of the Atomic clock in 1950's, as well as predicting eclipses on the far side of the earth. Mayans have a Highly advanced sense of Time, and measure in cycles, which is the proper manner as opposed to linear which is western theory.


How is advanced civilization being measured? Happiness? health? ability to sustain your family while spending the majority of your life surrounded by your friends and family instead of the walls if a cubicle..?

Maybe we are backwards




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