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Were The First Civilizations African?

 
 
cello
 
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2007 04:17 pm
Some time ago, in another topic, I mentioned that I read that the first humans came from Africa and travelled to Europe, Asia, etc.

Incidentally I found today this link when I was searching which was the first civilization on Earth. I wonder how correct the info in the link is, anyone has comments, I would appreciate to learn some more.

http://www.geocities.com/joao_marri/

By the way, was the first civilization Mesopotamian or Sumerian or other?
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2007 07:36 pm
As far as the link goes....you might want to look up the term Afro-Centrist or Nuwaubianism.

Sumeria {Sumer} is part of Mesopotamia, the southern end of it, and that's where the majority of scholars believe the first true civilizations...advanced societys...began, but it's still debatable.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2007 04:43 am
Thanks, 2Packs, for pointing out about the Afrocentrists. I have never heard that term before. I found another link that is even more descriptive:

http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/humanity.html

I am going to read more about them and about Sumer(ia)/first civilizations. This is all very interesting stuff.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2007 12:16 pm
That's a nice page.

I should say that, Afrocentrilism and Nuwaubianism are only somewhat related ideals....in that they both prescribe heavily to the "Out of Africa" scenario, which is backed by a lot of scientific evidence....but after that, they don't have a lot in common.

The Centralists are far more reasonable in their claims, while on the other hand, Dr. York and his followers, well...would be considered downright kooky. I would describe Dr. York as a cross between L. Ron Hubbard and David Koresh.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2007 08:15 am
I just noticed the topic "Big Lies in History ... etc.", it is kind of similar to this.

The thing I don't understand is if the civilizations mentioned were African as the Afrocentrists claim, why did they have so many different languages and not just one.

Also how did the other countries' culture experts react to those claims, does anyone know?
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2007 09:38 pm
I thought the first civilization was bacteria that came in an asteroid. Where that asteroid landed, who knows?

By the time the bacteria evolved into humans, why the concern over where the first civilizations were? They were where they were? Does it make a difference???
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2007 09:44 pm
Foofie, your personal defination of civiliztions seem somewhat different that the defination the rest of us use.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2007 10:10 pm
roger wrote:
Foofie, your personal defination of civiliztions seem somewhat different that the defination the rest of us use.


I'm just trying not to be multi-cellular organism centric.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 09:18 am
Foofie, I think it matters to know where the first civilizations started, as it may give us a better understanding of the evolution of mankind, before and after. The thing is we might have had different first civilizations at different places on the planet at the same time, for example in America, Asia, Africa, etc., only we may not have discovered evidence of that yet.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 09:34 am
cello wrote:
Foofie, I think it matters to know where the first civilizations started, as it may give us a better understanding of the evolution of mankind, before and after. The thing is we might have had different first civilizations at different places on the planet at the same time, for example in America, Asia, Africa, etc., only we may not have discovered evidence of that yet.


Call me stupid, but I thought the difference between different geographic locations is the weather. And, during our evolution, humans adapted to the weather; some got lighter skin to allow vitamin D synthesis; some got darker skin to prevent vitamin D overdose. Some got thin lips and flatter faces to preserve body heat; some got fuller lips and larger nostrils to allow heat in the blood to disperse to the air. All these differences are just packaging. I don't judge a book by its cover, nor do I judge a gift by its wrapping paper.

So, in my opinion, whether different civilizations arose simultaneously, or consecutively, are just non-sequitors, unless of course I have some belief that older civilizations would give someone more cultural pride. Sure, let people have cultural pride. It's probably good for self-esteem.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 09:53 am
This is not about cultural pride, this is about the evolution of humankind as a whole. I look at humans as humans, I don't look at their skin colour.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 02:56 pm
There have been a few migrations "out of Africa" since man {the homo species} first wondered what was on the other side of the pond {the Red Sea}. But the one that concerns us the most is the one that occurred around 50,000 years ago....the exodus of the Sapiens...that would be you and me.

The first true civilizations, defined as having a standard work force, writing, a religious structure, the arts, a simple government...etc, did not come into existence until about 6,000 years ago. Which leaves roughly 40,000 years for the Sapiens to roam around populating the world, perfecting hunting/gathering/farming, tool making, forming independent languages, harnessing fire...and going through physical changes, mostly in appearance....skin, eye, and hair color....due to several factors, climate/habitat and exposure to UV rays.

Often the Afrocentrist will draw from the out of Africa scenario, but conveniently forget about the 40K year developmental period. They would have you believe that what we know today as a modern ethnic/cultural African founded every other great civilization in the world...which is just not true. Of course, there were Africans {true black men} involved in some of the great achievements in human history...naturally in Egypt {where they were known as Nubians}, as well as the other ancient civ's....but it's basically impossible to even guess at what extent they actually played in our overall growth as a species.

There are two ways to look at the Africans being overlooked, political or even racial motives to deny them credit for their achievements...which is what the Centrists claim, which does have some merit, but hardly to the extent they assert to be truth. Or it was simply just not considered a necessity to point out the fact, or make note of someones skin color/area of origin in that time period....though sometimes they did. In my opinion the Africans probably contributed more to the world than we are aware of, but not as much as some try to claim.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 03:48 pm
Thank you, 2Packs, for the info. This subject is so vast that some pointers like you gave are very helpful.

I thought that civilizations have existed for more than 6,000 years, so it is really a short period.

I think that the Afrocentrist movement raises some questions that we can look at and see whether there is any basis to that before rejecting it as invalid. It was a question I have had in the past, based on my very limited knowledge of history and of Africa, as to why Africans were the only population that does not have a "past" (I assume), at least a past that is documented as other countries/civilizations.

Now with the knowledge that the first humans supposedly came out of Africa, the question is why the Africans did not develop the "African" civilization in Africa before developing civilizations in other areas in the world. Or did they and have we lost all traces of the African civilization because it is too old? Maybe that is why we have so many jungles in Africa now, maybe those jungles cover the lost African civilization, I don't know?

I would like to remind readers that my comments and questions are not in any way race/culture biased but are meant only for me to better understand the history and evolution of mankind.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 04:47 pm
You are very welcome, too bad we haven't had a real expert come in here and lay down some heavy..stuff...on us, heh.

It is a very vast subject, and for the most part is not an exact science, some of the books/articles that I read on this subject as a younger man, {which wasn't that long ago} are now almost totally out of sync with modern thinking, and current ideas could..and probably will be modified in the years to come.

Common sense would dictate that the oldest settlements, or points of origin, would have produced the first civ's...and actually that was a long held belief, but at the time, the belief was that life originated in mesopotamia, and up to that point all evidence pointed in that direction...until they finally got around to digging in Africa.

Like you said, there very well could be some ancient civ located in the depths of the interior, that predates all. But if one is never found, there are plenty of valid reasons for it not to exist, none of which are anyone's fault.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 06:47 pm
But, assuming we're not talking about an Adam and Eve in Mesopotamia, where did the Mesopotamians come from?

But, personally I'd rather think that all humans came from Africa, my ancestors included, since otherwise, I'd have to wonder how much of my genetic make up comes from Neanderthal.
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Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 10:56 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

Quote:


According to the Toba catastrophe theory, 70,000 to 75,000 years ago, a super volcanic event at Lake Toba reduced the human population to 10,000 or even 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. The theory was proposed by Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[1][2]


History

Within the last three to five million years, after human and other ape lineages diverged from the hominid stem-line, the human line produced a variety of species.

According to the Toba catastrophe theory, a massive volcanic eruption severely reduced the human population. This may have occurred around 70-75,000 years ago when the Toba caldera in Indonesia underwent an eruption of category 8 (or "mega-colossal") on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. This released energy equivalent to about one gigaton of TNT, which is three thousand times greater than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. According to Ambrose, this reduced the average global temperature by 5 degrees Celsius for several years and may have triggered an ice age.

Ambrose postulates that this massive environmental change created population bottlenecks in the various species that existed at the time; this in turn accelerated differentiation of the isolated human populations, eventually leading to the extinction of all the other human species except for the two branches that became Neanderthals and modern humans.

[edit] Evidence

Some geological evidence and computed models support the plausibility of the Toba catastrophe theory, and genetic evidence suggests that all humans alive today, despite their apparent variety, are descended from a very small population, perhaps between 1,000 and 10,000 individuals.[3][4]

Using the average rates of genetic mutation, some geneticists have estimated that this population lived at a time coinciding with the Toba event. These estimates do not contradict the consensus estimates that Y-chromosomal Adam lived some 60,000 years ago, and that Mitochondrial Eve is estimated to have lived 140,000 years ago, since Toba is not conjectured to be an extremal bottleneck event, where the population was reduced to one breeding pair.

Gene analysis of some genes shows divergence anywhere from 2 million to 60,000 years ago, but this does not contradict the Toba theory, again since Toba is not conjectured to be an extremal bottleneck event. The complete picture of gene lineages (including present-day levels of human genetic variation) supports the theory of a Toba-induced human population bottleneck.[5]

[edit] Migration

According to this theory, humans once again fanned out from Africa after Toba when the climate and other factors permitted. They migrated first to Arabia and India and onwards to Indochina and Australia, and later to the Fertile Crescent and the Middle East.
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densedome
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2007 11:16 pm
The recent discovery of 7000+ year old Scandinavians, the carbon dating of several North American finds, and the ancient deep african tribes has thrown several spins into yarns and vice-versa.

Still the fertile crescent of northern Iraq to Jordan and Israel is the only true offer of civilized, true language developed peoples with archeological evidence backing up the theories.

There is much chance in dating ancient bones. But, the pottery, weapons and tools, and sites uncovered in Sumerian lands still offer the best evidence.

It is also evident that middle Africa had some humanoid life long before them, there just isn't much evidence connecting it to modern man.
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Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 09:19 am
densedome wrote:
The recent discovery of 7000+ year old Scandinavians, the carbon dating of several North American finds, and the ancient deep african tribes has thrown several spins into yarns and vice-versa.

Still the fertile crescent of northern Iraq to Jordan and Israel is the only true offer of civilized, true language developed peoples with archeological evidence backing up the theories.

There is much chance in dating ancient bones. But, the pottery, weapons and tools, and sites uncovered in Sumerian lands still offer the best evidence.

It is also evident that middle Africa had some humanoid life long before them, there just isn't much evidence connecting it to modern man.


WTF???????????????????????????

There is a lot of evidence linking all modern humans to as few as 1000-10,000 Eastern Africans.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980908074159.htm

Quote:
Geneticists long have argued that the human species passed through a recent bottleneck, but they never offered explanations for the population crash or recovery, nor considered its consequences for modern human diversification. Ambrose's model, which he calls the Weak Garden of Eden/Volcanic Winter model, is an offshoot - with significant additions - of the Weak GOE model proposed by Henry Harpending and others. The Weak GOE model proposes an African origin for modern humans about 130,000 years ago, and credits the invention and spread of advanced stone tool technology, 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, for population growth after the bottleneck. Ambrose argues that volcanic winter resulting from the super-eruption of Toba "caused the bottleneck, and that populations may have expanded in response to climatic warming 10,000 years before the advent of modern technology."

Ambrose has linked geneticists' research to that of volcanologists Michael Rampino, Stephen Self, Greg Zielinski and colleagues, which shows the super-eruption of Toba caused a volcanic winter that lasted six years and significantly altered global climate for the next 1,000 years. Those six years of "relentless volcanic winter" led to substantial lowering of global temperatures, drought and famine, and to a global human population crash during which, if geneticists are correct, no more than 15,000 to 40,000 people survived.

"The standard view of human evolution has been that modern populations evolved from an ancient African ancestor. We assumed that they differentiated gradually because we assumed ancestral populations were large and stable," Ambrose said. But, he noted, genetic research now demonstrates that changes in population size were sometimes dramatic. The new model resolves the paradox of the recent African origin model: If we are all so recently "out of Africa," why don't we all look like Africans?

"When our African recent ancestors passed through the prism of Toba's volcanic winter, a rainbow of differences appeared," Ambrose said.


More on Toba Catastrophe Theory.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 09:09 pm
Thank you to all of you for your input. First time I heard about that Toba theory, Roxxxanne. It is hard to imagine such a small population though. How could they even survive the elements of the day (big roaming animals, no fire, no clothing, etc.) and reproduce sufficiently to cover the planet? We would say animals of such a small quantity to be on the extinct list nowadays.

My theory is that all humans did not come out of Africa but appeared at the same time everywhere on the planet in the forms (more or less) that they used to be. From the evidence gathered, the "first" "humans", if they were indeed humans and not "something" else, looked different depending on where we found the bones. So it seems to me that if those were the first humans, then "whatever" they looked like had evolved into what we look like in different areas of the world.

It is not only the skin colour (pigmentation) that is different because of the weather. There are other differences such as the shape of the eye, the nose, the lips, the cheeks. I don't think these are due to the weather. And how about the different languages? All these seem to indicate to me different "classes" of humans, without meaning that any class is superior or better than another one, just different.

As I have mentioned previously in another topic, humans to me are much like bears, black, white, brown, and yet they are all bears.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 09:45 pm
Foofie you share similar views with the other scenario....Multiregional hypothesis....which has some interesting points, but dna sampling is still leaning toward the single origin theory.

The Toba theory helps put things in perspective, as far as numbers go....they also believe that a very small number of people crossed the Bering Strait to colonize the Americas.
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