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kmt_sesh

Let's talk history

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Just as long you aren't my middle school history teacher in disguise.  She tried to teach us that the people of ancient Egypt would go on picnics and climb the pyramids during a family outing to have some fun. 

So my question is:  How insane/uneducated was my teacher or was she somehow correct and I'm a heathen for doubting her?  Any Google searches don't bring up any answers to this question of mine.

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Great idea for a thread !

I read that the Bell Beaker Culture (or just Beaker Culture) covered a period from about 3000 - 1600 BC (depending on who you talk to) and covered a large part of Central, Western and North Western Europe... And apparently it is generally thought that they were not a "unified" people but various cultures that traded extensively with each other and shared the same style of pottery and art.... And since the Great henges were built about this time I am assuming that the Beaker Peoples were the builders...

My question is, is there any hard evidence of a pre-Beaker "civilization"?... I assume that many tribal groups were around before then, but where they part of a larger cultural group like the Beakers?...

I'm probably not wording this right....

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Posted (edited)

Wow Wickian. I'd have to say your teacher was a little misguided in her knowledge of ancient Egypt.

What a great idea for a thread! I've already decided to follow it. Need to come up with some questions I want to ask.

Edited by susieice
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7 minutes ago, Wickian said:

Just as long you aren't my middle school history teacher in disguise.  She tried to teach us that the people of ancient Egypt would go on picnics and climb the pyramids during a family outing to have some fun. 

So my question is:  How insane/uneducated was my teacher or was she somehow correct and I'm a heathen for doubting her?  Any Google searches don't bring up any answers to this question of mine.

 

I seriously doubt that the people in Phaoronic (sp?) Egypt would have been allowed to climb the pyramids... After all we don't allow people to climb on Grant's Tomb (though I believe the punishment back then would have been a bit harsher than a fine)...

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3 minutes ago, Wickian said:

Just as long you aren't my middle school history teacher in disguise.  She tried to teach us that the people of ancient Egypt would go on picnics and climb the pyramids during a family outing to have some fun. 

So my question is:  How insane/uneducated was my teacher or was she somehow correct and I'm a heathen for doubting her?  Any Google searches don't bring up any answers to this question of mine.

before the casing stones came off that would probably have been quite a riot to slide down. almost irresistible.

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Before the advent of metal, I believe flint and obsidian were traded in Europe and the Middle East.  Do we have any idea how far that network spread, and the timeline of those activities?

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I just looked at an American History book that I have and right away I found a paragraph that I can't believe is true. In 1872, Congress passed a law requiring members of both houses to be docked a day's pay for every day's absence, except in the case of illness. It's only been enforced twice. Who were those poor unfortunate souls who were held up to a higher accounting to absolutely no one?

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11 minutes ago, Taun said:

Great idea for a thread !

I read that the Bell Beaker Culture (or just Beaker Culture) covered a period from about 3000 - 1600 BC (depending on who you talk to) and covered a large part of Central, Western and North Western Europe... And apparently it is generally thought that they were not a "unified" people but various cultures that traded extensively with each other and shared the same style of pottery and art.... And since the Great henges were built about this time I am assuming that the Beaker Peoples were the builders...

My question is, is there any hard evidence of a pre-Beaker "civilization"?... I assume that many tribal groups were around before then, but where they part of a larger cultural group like the Beakers?...

I'm probably not wording this right....

henges in central and eastern europe are quite a bit older than beaker. the one at szemely is pretty to look at.

szemely.jpg

as a general rule the bigger a henge is the older it is oddly. vinga romania hosts the largest found so far but serbia has the oldest,

oddly the burial remains from this culture display the earliest ydna j2 found yet

so yes there are big things that are much older

 

peace

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44 minutes ago, Wickian said:

Just as long you aren't my middle school history teacher in disguise.  She tried to teach us that the people of ancient Egypt would go on picnics and climb the pyramids during a family outing to have some fun. 

So my question is:  How insane/uneducated was my teacher or was she somehow correct and I'm a heathen for doubting her?  Any Google searches don't bring up any answers to this question of mine.

I'm certainly not your middle school teacher. Or am I? Now sit back down, Wickian, and stop pestering the other boys and girls. And take that gum out of your mouth. Actually many years ago I was a teacher, and did my student teaching with middle schoolers. I really like kids that age.

Either your teacher got things a little off, or is it possible you're remembering it a little wrong? Are you sure she said "the people of ancient Egypt"? Because in the nineteenth century and well into the early twentieth century, it was fairly common for tourists to climb the pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid. They would pay native Egyptian men to be their guides because the natives knew the best and safest routes up the pyramids. And, yes, many of these people paused at the tops of the pyramids to have a picnic and take in the sights. You can just imagine the incredible views from up there. But it was mostly the Europeans who wanted to do this. The native men did it just to earn some extra money for their families.

Nowadays it's no longer permitted. The Egyptian government does not allow tourists to climb the pyramids. I'm told the same is now true for most of the pyramids in Central and South America, too.

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49 minutes ago, Taun said:

...

My question is, is there any hard evidence of a pre-Beaker "civilization"?... I assume that many tribal groups were around before then, but where they part of a larger cultural group like the Beakers?...

I'm probably not wording this right....

Glad you joined in, Taun. My knowledge base on prehistoric Europe is not all that great. Other posters can answer this better than I. The one area of European history which I have done a fair amount of research is Paleolithic western Europe, and that was because of an exhibit we had at our museum on Lascaux some years ago. I've done only a modest amount of reading on the Danube Valley culture and even less on the Beaker culture.

I'm hoping cormac will join the discussion. He's better equipped to field this question than I. But I can say folks like the Danube and the Beaker were not a civilization, per se, but a cultural group, if widely established. They do not meet the current anthropological or archaeological criteria for the term "civilization," as would the Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks, or Aztecs. But considering the Beaker culture dates to the late Neolithic, there certainly were cultural groups in Europe before them. The Danube culture is a good example. They weren't a cohesive nation or polity but a collection of recognizable groups sharing similar ceramics, lithics, and other aspects of material culture; I believe one group among these were the Vinca. Some of these cultures date back to 7,000 years ago.

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1 hour ago, Tatetopa said:

Before the advent of metal, I believe flint and obsidian were traded in Europe and the Middle East.  Do we have any idea how far that network spread, and the timeline of those activities?

I know only a little about this topic and only because I like obsidian and used to do some reading on it. My figures might not be entirely tight, but regarding the Middle East, there is evidence of some obsidian trading from over 10,000 years ago—even before the widespread advent of agriculture in this region. The introduction of agriculture, and hence of settlements and the first civilizations, greatly increased trade in obsidian. 

I know obsidian does not occur in Egypt, but the pharaonic Egyptians used it frequently, which means they had to have acquired it through trade (they even preferred an obsidian blade for the slices they made into the flanks of mummies when removing the internal organs). I do recall with confidence that an important source for obsidian was Anatolia (Turkey). Obsidian is one of those stones whose chemical composition makes it fairly easy to determine the source point.

How obsidian was sourced in prehistoric Europe or how it was traded there, I can't say with any certainty. Hopefully one of our posters who knows European history better than I, can field this question.

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There is something I've been wondering. What's the oldest stone built structure in Egypt?

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Since we're still on Egypt, what method do archaeologists think the Mayans and Aztecs used to build their pyramids. Is it similar to the way they believe the Egyptians did?

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1 hour ago, kmt_sesh said:

I'm certainly not your middle school teacher. Or am I? Now sit back down, Wickian, and stop pestering the other boys and girls. And take that gum out of your mouth. Actually many years ago I was a teacher, and did my student teaching with middle schoolers. I really like kids that age.

Either your teacher got things a little off, or is it possible you're remembering it a little wrong? Are you sure she said "the people of ancient Egypt"? Because in the nineteenth century and well into the early twentieth century, it was fairly common for tourists to climb the pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid. They would pay native Egyptian men to be their guides because the natives knew the best and safest routes up the pyramids. And, yes, many of these people paused at the tops of the pyramids to have a picnic and take in the sights. You can just imagine the incredible views from up there. But it was mostly the Europeans who wanted to do this. The native men did it just to earn some extra money for their families.

Nowadays it's no longer permitted. The Egyptian government does not allow tourists to climb the pyramids. I'm told the same is now true for most of the pyramids in Central and South America, too.

It was many years ago, but I clearly remember she said ancient because not only were we learning about ancient Egypt at the time, but she was talking about the smooth shell the pyramids used to be covered in.

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1 minute ago, ShadowSot said:

There is something I've been wondering. What's the oldest stone built structure in Egypt?

Why, the Sphinx, of course. It's over 10,000 years old, you know. Or maybe that subject of fringe folly will pop up in this thread and we can straighten things out.

This might need more digging on my part (or other people's), but I'm off to bed so I'm pulling this from memory. Off the top of my head, and hoping it meets with your criteria, I'd have to say it's the stone-lined burial chamber in the tomb of Khasekhemy, at Abydos. This king was the last in Dynasty 2 and is probably my own favorite from the Early Dynastic Period. I seem to recall reading in one of Toby Wilkinson's books that Khasekhemy also used stone in one of his temples, and if this correct, then of course it would probably even predate his tomb.

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7 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

There is something I've been wondering. What's the oldest stone built structure in Egypt?

nabta playa 

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Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

There is something I've been wondering. What's the oldest stone built structure in Egypt?

One of the most interesting settlements from the period, Arkin 8, was discovered close to Wadi Halfa near the modern border with Sudan. It seems to have been a temporary camp, possibly used seasonally. It was not very well preserved, but did provide an impressive number of artefacts (predominantly pebble like tools) and a structure thought to date to around 100,000 BC. Composed of a series of sandstone blocks set in a semi-circle with a 180cm by 120cm oval foundation dug 30cm deep, it is one of the earliest structures to be found anywhere in the world.

Excavations by Waldemar Chmielewski

Chmielewski, Waldemar 1968 "Early and Middle Paleolithic Sites near Arkin, Sudan:' in
Fred Wendorf, ed.,The Prehistory of Nubia
1. Dallas: Fort Burgwin Research Center and Southern Methodist University Press,110-147.
Edited by Hanslune
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Question what was the extent and characteristics of Egyptian 'colonies' in the Levant, purely military posts to hold what is now Sinai, Israel and Palestine or more?

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1 hour ago, kmt_sesh said:

I know only a little about this topic and only because I like obsidian and used to do some reading on it. My figures might not be entirely tight, but regarding the Middle East, there is evidence of some obsidian trading from over 10,000 years ago—even before the widespread advent of agriculture in this region. The introduction of agriculture, and hence of settlements and the first civilizations, greatly increased trade in obsidian. 

I know obsidian does not occur in Egypt, but the pharaonic Egyptians used it frequently, which means they had to have acquired it through trade (they even preferred an obsidian blade for the slices they made into the flanks of mummies when removing the internal organs). I do recall with confidence that an important source for obsidian was Anatolia (Turkey). Obsidian is one of those stones whose chemical composition makes it fairly easy to determine the source point.

How obsidian was sourced in prehistoric Europe or how it was traded there, I can't say with any certainty. Hopefully one of our posters who knows European history better than I, can field this question.

Another older and long trade route  ( for lapis lazuli ) was  between  modern day  Afghanistan / Tajikistan  (source) and into the Indus valley and west to the far NW of Africa and  Egypt .

Mmmmmmmm ......  'Asian' lapis !  

 

TUT-Ausstellung FFM 2012 47 (7117819557).jpg

 

 

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How did they pump water to the top of the hanging gardens in Babylon?

What sort of laser device did the use in Pharoahs lighthouse to set enemy ships on fire?

Why does the Academic Cabal iqnore or bury Cladking's paradigm changing (and entertaining) assertions on a variety of things like Ancient Egyptian construction methods proper contextual understanding of Ancient Egyptian writings?

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What is your take on the book of Revelations? It truly reads like a heavy acid trip.

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10 hours ago, susieice said:

Since we're still on Egypt, what method do archaeologists think the Mayans and Aztecs used to build their pyramids. Is it similar to the way they believe the Egyptians did?

 The stones used in central America were much smaller than those in Egypt. In fact, most are small enough that a single person could carry one. If I recall correctly, one theory is that they could have used a sort of harness to carry the stones on their backs and simply had a procession of people walking from stone pile to and up the pyramid. Logistically speaking, not the nightmare the AE had. 

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15 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

Why, the Sphinx, of course. It's over 10,000 years old, you know. Or maybe that subject of fringe folly will pop up in this thread and we can straighten things out.

This might need more digging on my part (or other people's), but I'm off to bed so I'm pulling this from memory. Off the top of my head, and hoping it meets with your criteria, I'd have to say it's the stone-lined burial chamber in the tomb of Khasekhemy, at Abydos. This king was the last in Dynasty 2 and is probably my own favorite from the Early Dynastic Period. I seem to recall reading in one of Toby Wilkinson's books that Khasekhemy also used stone in one of his temples, and if this correct, then of course it would probably even predate his tomb.

 

14 hours ago, Hanslune said:

One of the most interesting settlements from the period, Arkin 8, was discovered close to Wadi Halfa near the modern border with Sudan. It seems to have been a temporary camp, possibly used seasonally. It was not very well preserved, but did provide an impressive number of artefacts (predominantly pebble like tools) and a structure thought to date to around 100,000 BC. Composed of a series of sandstone blocks set in a semi-circle with a 180cm by 120cm oval foundation dug 30cm deep, it is one of the earliest structures to be found anywhere in the world.

Excavations by Waldemar Chmielewski

Chmielewski, Waldemar 1968 "Early and Middle Paleolithic Sites near Arkin, Sudan:' in
Fred Wendorf, ed.,The Prehistory of Nubia
1. Dallas: Fort Burgwin Research Center and Southern Methodist University Press,110-147.

Ah good, looking forward to reading up on this. 

 

14 hours ago, cern said:

nabta playa 

Ah, I was thinking of that site but couldn't remember the name, thank you. 

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5 hours ago, Gaden said:

 The stones used in central America were much smaller than those in Egypt. In fact, most are small enough that a single person could carry one. If I recall correctly, one theory is that they could have used a sort of harness to carry the stones on their backs and simply had a procession of people walking from stone pile to and up the pyramid. Logistically speaking, not the nightmare the AE had. 

There's also a difference in that they were built in stages, with a older structure being buried under a newer construction. 

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