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Where in the world was the first civilisation?
By civilisation I would like these three features to exist:
Figure(s) of authority
Some kind of marriage system. By this I mean the women aren't shared between multiple men or vice versa.
From my basic, and most likely wrong, knowledge, I think it's around the Middle Eastern area. Maybe as far south as Kenya, or as far east as Iran/Pakistan/India or as far west as Turkey. I don't think it would've been north of that, but I'm not very knowledgeable in the area, so I may well be wrong.
Thanks for reading.
It's actually quite hard to tell, but it may have begun in North Africa about 9 thousand years ago, before north africa became a desert due to a 10 or so degree shift in the earth's rotation. We now know that iron-work originated in west Africa and that written language developed in what is now Somalia and Ethiopia, but the oldest known ruins are probably Gobekli tepi in turkey, but they're pretty far from africa- though that doesn't mean a thing as the Pyrimids are pretty far from Gobekli tepi, and Stone-Henge is pretty far from The Pyramids.
The Near/Middle East
Impossible to say. In the mideast, there are Tells on every hilltop, most of which have never been excavated. In India there are traces of civilizations dating back at least 17,000 years, though now all thats left is a billion pottery and stone shards, but still, those are big civilizations. It takes a lot of time to amalgamate and grow civilizations into a big one (try to find two historians who agree on a date when Rome "began"). But the farther back you go, the more you encounter the bigger portion of our story. Upon homosapiens migration out of Africa, we encountered heavy populations of Neanderthals and Denisovans, who both had fire, tools, clothing, music, and weapons tens of thousand of years before we did, having existed solely in europe and asia respectively, not coming from africa at all. They had at least established trade routes, and regular sites of communal living, where homosapiens then interbred with them and dispersed, an interbreeding that was successful enough that the spawn outlived all the purebreds, and today everyone alive on earth (except for a whole area in northern africa, where enough people never left and didn't interbreed when some migrated back) share between 4-10% DNA with neanderthalensis & 2.5-4% DNA with Denisovans.
Humankind has a lot more history behind it than the Africa->Egypt->Persia->Greece->Rome->Europe->USA saga as printed in the 1960s textbooks we still teach our retarded children with today.
>we still teach our retarded children
I would just like to quote that and admire it.
Well done, sir.
Mesopotamia was the first real civilation
Sumer, more than likely.
So there aren't any African civilisations apart from Egypt?
Or did historians completely reject the idea of one existing after European colonialism?
I'm pretty sure Sumeria is recognized as the first civilization. I know that between the Tigris and Euphrates is considered the cradle of Civilization.
Usually they say its in Mesopotamia. That seems be pretty acceptable and I haven't ever really read any good evidence to the contrary aside from stuff about potential civilizations in the (modern-day although not then called) Sahara. But a lot of those theories really arise from a lack of good info available, albeit its fairly clear there were people doing something civilized there before they took refuge in and formed Egypt (or so it goes).
> We now know that iron-work originated in west Africa and that written language developed in what is now Somalia and Ethiopia
When has this ever been established ever. Sauce?
> and today everyone alive on earth (except for a whole area in northern africa, where enough people never left and didn't interbreed when some migrated back) share between 4-10% DNA with neanderthalensis & 2.5-4% DNA with Denisovans.
I was always under the impression that large portions of sub-saharans didn't share large portions of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA
> So there aren't any African civilisations apart from Egypt?
> Or did historians completely reject the idea of one existing after European colonialism?
(Assuming you mean before European colonialism) Yes, definitely consistent and long-lasting civilization in modern-day Ethiopia with pristine qualities. The Numidians definitely had something, although it tended to be a tad Egyptian-copy cat/younger brother in a lot of ways *see Korea*. A few civilizations in West Africa but they usually came and went with the sporadic gold trade which they centered around the regulation of. By regulation, I of course mean one guy taking more than his fair share in exchange for doing a meh job of keeping the trade fair. North Africa had civilizations in and after ancients times. Carthage was in Tunisia and the Greeks set up cities in modern-day Libya which often integrated with local populations. Muslims set up sultanates and caliphates across the rest of North Africa around the same time as Egyptians started speaking Arabic.
Fuck, I meant Nubians.
But Numidians are cool too. I think they were Berbers in North Africa.
I guess it depends on what you consider civilization. Authority has existed for as long as life forms have had to compete for control of resources. Chickens have among the highest social power structures of authority of any species, humans included. But we don't consider chickens all that civilized.
Trade systems have existed since pre-sapiens, with at least Neanderthals (possibly the aforementioned denisovans, though far less is known about them) were hunter gatherer tribes occasionally bumping into one another trading skins and tools for food, and once we grew up big & strong, between the intelligent species, surviving some harsh climates...
The modern materialist notion of western marriage as accepted by the US government eliminates an awful lot of otherwise would-be civilizations. Magellan could tell you a thing about that, when they came upon sharing-based societies. ...and it's not even universal in our own country. It's a fairly modern invention, and a fairly shoddy, coming from unscrupulous roots and heading to an ugly end. It's well that it's lost much value as we've matured a bit.
If you consider civilization as many anthro's do, a site of communal residence intended to be permanent, we've been doing that since before we were humans, on Africas great rift. So too as hunter gatherer tribes, as with earlier hominids. The neolithic revolution (agricultural revolution) is often looked at as a conveniently recent date of mankind's attempt through plant and animal domestication to create a society that becomes a self-sustaining organism in its own rite. This happened in the fertile areas in south & southwest asia, (esp present-day India) first, roughly 10,000BCE, before building up villages and cities in the millennia that followed. But it was about 7000 BC when cities allowed some people to win big and live sedentary lives, by convincing the majority to do the work, enabling economies, armies, and power struggles to flourish, essentially creating the modern civilization. The look of civilization has changed slightly, but if you read what Ashok and Cyrus were dealing with in early civilization, it shows you how far we haven't come in all this time.
There was this interesting book, some anthropologist (though he wasn't known for that, he was known by Americans as an OMG ATHEIST) extrapolates the shit out of a lot of the knowledge we have on early civ.
I wish I remembered the title, I'd reread it.
Central Africa and the Congo had a few, but they declined and collapsed when they started selling their people into slavery to Arabian traders - one big reason the Europeans only found primitive tribes when they showed up in the 1800's. Malaria limited their ability to create large urban centres, so there are few material relics, but digs have unearthed currency, mathematical relics etc.
For reference: "Congo: een geschiedenis - David van Reybrouck" ISBN: 978 90 234 5866 1.
I disagree enormously- the Malian Empire was so powerful and rich at one time that when the emporer, Mansa Musa, made pilgrimage to mecca and began giving away his gold, he purportedly spilled so much gold into the streets of Alexandria that he crashed the economy. I don't know if that's a true tale, but it's rather sophisticated on economics- meaning that if it didn't happen, Malians were at least economically savvy. Not to mention the evidence that Malian mariners reached florida before columbus- a tribe (possibly the arawaks, but I'm not entirely sure, will source you you want) having explained to columbus's men that their beautiful gold/copper alloy spears came from trade with dark-skinned people from across the sea.
The Malian Empire is massively neglected in the study of history nowadays.
You disagree with a reference?
no, actually, i kinda just clicked on the wrong post, but by the same poster, so it wasn't a complete fail.
Then I'll have to point out that the Congo and the Mali empire are worlds apart, and that statements pertaining to the former should indeed not be generalized for the entirety of Africa. Congo civilizations are but one of the many groups that popped up around Africa, but one limited by peculiar circumstances.
The point I was originally trying to make is that some civilizations could indeed be civilizations, without leaving behind obvious and imposing architectural relics (the Mali empire did in fact leave obvious traces - the cool stuff in Timbuktu most obviously), and that this warps contemporary perceptions.
ahh, i wasn't aware that you were making that point, which is extremely valid. i sometimes imagine what awesome poetry/stories/techniques just kinda vanished when perfectly civilized peoples just kinda split, or died out/were assimilated and conquered etc.
Mesopotamia. 'Ur' was the first ever city, and as such, the first 'state' in the sense that we know the word.