Skip to comments.Beyond Mesopotamia: A Radical New View Of Human Civilization Reported In Science
Posted on 08/02/2007 2:55:22 PM PDT by blam
Public release date: 2-Aug-2007
Contact: Natasha Pinol
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Beyond Mesopotamia: A radical new view of human civilization reported in Science
Many urban centers crossed arc of Middle Asia 5,000 years ago
A radically expanded view of the origin of civilization, extending far beyond Mesopotamia, is reported by journalist Andrew Lawler in the 3 August issue of Science.
Mesopotamia is widely believed to be the cradle of civilization, but a growing body of evidence suggests that in addition to Mesopotamia, many civilized urban areas existed at the same time about 5,000 years ago in an arc that extended from Mesopotamia east for thousands of kilometers across to the areas of modern India and Pakistan, according to Lawler.
While Mesopotamia is still the cradle of civilization in the sense that urban evolution began there, Lawler said, we now know that the area between Mesopotamia and India spawned a host of cities and cultures between 3000 B.C.E. and 2000 B.C.E.
Evidence of shared trade, iconography and other culture from digs in remote areas across this arc were presented last month at a meeting in Ravenna, Italy of the International Association for the Study of Early Civilizations in the Middle Asian Intercultural Space. The meeting was the first time that many archaeologists from more than a dozen countries gathered to discuss the fresh finds that point to this new view of civilizations start. Sciences Lawler was the only journalist present.
Archaeologists shared findings from dozens of urban centers of approximately the same age that existed between Mesopotamia and the Indus River valley in modern day India and Pakistan. The researchers are just starting to sketch out this new landscape, but its becoming clear that these centers traded goods and could have shared technology and architecture. Recovered artifacts such as beads, shells, vessels, seals and game boards show that a network linked these civilizations.
Researchers have also found hints, such as similar ceremonial platforms, that these cultures interacted and even learned from one another. A new excavation near Jiroft in southeastern Iran, for example, has unearthed tablets with an unknown writing system. This controversial find highlights the complexity of the cultures in an area long considered a backwater, Lawler explained.
These urban centers are away from the river valleys that archaeologists have traditionally focused on, according to Lawler. Archaeologists now have access to more remote locations and are expanding their studies.
Middle Asia Takes Center Stage, by Andrew Lawler of Sciences news team. For copies of this article or to request an interview with Mr. Lawler, please contact Natasha Pinol at +1-202-326-7088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the worlds largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to advance science and serve society through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.
This is more consistent with my view that the first civilizations are even older and the Indus and Mesopotamian civilizations were spawned by ancient civilizations that sank when Sundaland went underwater at the end of the Last Ice Age. Wise Men From The East and all.
There was a great Flood in Sundaland?
I am always convinced that there was a civilization that predated Mesopotamia. It would be in present day India to Indonesia.
My money's on Minas Tirith...
Sundaland may have been Atlantis.
I’m thinking that Minas Tirith was the capitol of the land of Gondor, in Middle Earth.
Many urban centers crossed arc of Middle Asia 5,000 years agoMaybe they knew some little places to go to... Where they never closed... Downtown.
I believe that they are talking about pre-Persion Iran.
There's gotta' be a cold, dry period sometime about 4000BC that drives these people and the reindeer and muskox herds they lived on South into Mesopotamia and the Huang Ho/Yangtse river systems where they could, in short order, expand those systems (and their accounting methods) into hieroglyphic writing.
All the rest of civilization would then arise out of the settled living and agricultural traditions of the folks from the South.
However, a civilization without some form of writing is just short of being a civilization.
Note, by hypothesizing a cold, dry period we can neatly get rid of the settled traditions in Ukraine. Those folks would have simply died out or found themselves reduced to being hunter/gatherers unable to maintain settlements.
...where people are all the same...a place to go where everybody knows your name.
Giza didn't happen first ~ it happened "later" after a period of development. And yes, there is a "test pyramid" ~ check out "The Step Pyramid of Saqqara built for King Zoser". I believe a later, larger pyramid, was initially built at too steep an angle and started to collapse. They changed the angle on the upper portion.
Still, there are hundreds of millions of people living in the region.
There are also large stone structures built in United Kingdom, Norway, and Spain that predate the Egyptian stone structures.
The engineering of stone structures is clearly something that developed in many cultures over many centuries.
Petula is that you?
"The great pyramids of Egypt provide a wonderful glimpse of the artistry, skill and imagination of the ancient world. But pyramids can be found in India, China, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Ireland. In this provocative book, geologist Schoch (noted for his work in redating the Sphinx, which was recounted in his Voices of the Rocks) wonders how so many diverse cultures built such similar structures with similar purposes.
Using geological, linguistic and geographical evidence, he contends that a protocivilization of pyramid-building peoples was driven out of its homeland, the Sundaland, which geologists believe connected Southeast Asia with Indonesia, by a rise in sea level caused by comet activity between 6000 and 4000 B.C. Fleeing their homeland, these peoples took their knowledge of pyramid building with them into Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Peru.
Schoch hypothesizes that the pyramids were built to reach into the skies and to penetrate the mystery of the heavens, source of catastrophe.
Schoch also asserts that the pyramids point to unity and symbolize the deep concerns shared by all humans. Schoch builds his engrossing case on geological details of the pyramid sites he has examined around the world. In the end, however, even he admits his evidence of a Sundaland protocivilization is speculative.
As controversial as this book is bound to be, Schoch's evocation of the pyramids forcefully reminds us of their enduring power as monuments to the spirit of human creativity."
There are presently more pyramids in Mexico that all the rest of the world combined.
The horse outline is relatively modern. Stonehenge is far older than ANYTHING in Egypt.
BTW, the Chinese had ships with ocean going capability by about 1875 BC ~ and probably used them.
The Great Pyramid and Stonehenge were built by the same people. The Sphinx is much older but wasn’t so much built as hammered out of an outcrop. Anyway, none of this stuff is all that old. 30,000 BC is old.
There's a maximum angle possible using limestone. When you exceed that angle you end up with a pile of rubble. The world is littered with piles of rubble.
If we cared we could probably detect their former presence by evaluating the percentage of rubidnium present in the sand used to build the dykes in Nederland.
This will certainly happen to Chicago at some time in the next 35000 years. Archaeologists will then postulate a predecessor civilization that sent missionaries South to build the ruins of the complex on top the hills at New Orleans.
Very likely. Might be interesting although it wouldn’t have much value since the ownership records are also long gone. What is interesting is that the moose emigrated from Asia to Alaska at the same time as the migrating bands of hunters about 12,000 years ago. A wildlife biologist from Univ of Alaska just got an award for proving that.
What I am wondering is why we don’t hear much about the giant cog stones in the grand gallery.
No, the 'Fertile Crescent' ran west from Mesopotamia through Syria and Israel to Eypt.
Rethinking a History That's Carved in StoneThree months after the announcement of its discovery in Central Asia, a tiny stone object inscribed with symbols thought to be the writing of an obscure desert culture from 4,000 years ago is more of an enigma than ever. If this is indeed an early form of writing, as its discoverer has suggested, it is strong evidence for a previously unknown civilization that began about 2300 B.C. across much of modern Turkmenistan and parts of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan... An even more puzzling aspect of the discovery has been raised by specialists in ancient Chinese writing. They contend that the inscription bears more than a passing resemblance to Chinese writing -- not an early script, but one that was not used until about 200 B.C... There is no clear evidence for Chinese writing before about 1300 or 1200 B.C. -- 1,000 years after people lived at the Anau site in Turkmenistan where the mysterious inscription was unearthed... Another possibility, which would throw the scholarship of Chinese writing into turmoil, is that the 2300 inscription date is correct. That would suggest that influences from Central Asia or farther west might have contributed to the invention of Chinese writing. Dr. Mair, who holds that such influences were greater than previously thought, has raised this controversial point.
by John Noble Wilford
July 31, 2001Another ancient civilization found"It's not ancient Iranian, not ancient Mesopotamian. I even took it to my Chinese colleagues," he said. "It was not Chinese." ...No one knows the extent of this civilization, which may reach beyond Margiana, deep in the Kara Kum desert, and Bactria, which straddles the Uzbek-Afghan border. Hiebert said he believes that a third area, Anau, outside Ashgabat near the Iranian border, is connected to this civilization, perhaps even the origin of the culture. It is about 2,000 years older, going back to 4500 BC, or the Copper Age.
by Faye Flam
May 3, 2001 [no url]Ancient writing found in TurkmenistanA previously unknown civilisation was using writing in Central Asia 4,000 years ago, hundreds of years before Chinese writing developed, archaeologists have discovered... The discovery suggests that Central Asia had a civilisation comparable with that of Mesopotamia and ancient Iran as far back as the Bronze Age, University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert told the BBC... It is not known what the people of the civilisation called themselves, so researchers have dubbed the society the Bactria Margiana Archaeology Complex (B-Mac), after the ancient Greek names for the two regions it covers.
Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 05:57 GMT 06:57 UK
The script combine pictograms with abstract symbols which some experts consider to be comparable in design to the early Sumerian writings, while others consider them to be simply random scribbles. Their meaning (if any) is unknown. If they do comprise a script, it is also not known what kind of writing system they represent.
These illustrations show (a) the collection of symbols that accompany the Magdalenian cave art in France, from 20,000 years ago or less, and characters in three of the early written languages which resemble the Paleolithic marks: (b) Indus Valley signs, India, (c) Greek (western branch), and (d) Runic (after Forbes and Crowder, 1979) -- From Plato Prehistorian by Mary Settegast. [after Forbes and Crowder, "The Problem of Franco-Cantabrian Abstract Signs: Agenda for a New Approach." World Archaeology 10 (1979): 350-66.]
Rocking The Cradle (Older Than Mesopotamia, Iran?)
The Smithsonian | 4-25-2004
Posted on 04/25/2004 8:42:18 PM EDT by blam
New Discoveries In Syria Confirm Theory On Spread Of Early Civilization
Newswise.com | 6-2-2002 | Carrie Golus
Posted on 06/03/2002 4:42:03 PM EDT by blam
archaeologist Says Central Asia Was Cradle Of Ancient Persian Religion
AFP/Yahoo | 3-18-2005
Posted on 03/19/2005 11:59:31 PM EST by blam
Turkmenistan: Making Bid For Cradle-OfCivilization Bid
Eurasianet | 5-21-2007
Posted on 05/23/2007 7:33:27 PM EDT by blam
Why Had Mesopotamians Built Mari (3,000BC)
Middle-East Online | 3-2-2005 | Annick Benoist
Posted on 03/02/2005 2:42:48 PM PST by blam
French archaeologist solves mystery of Mesopotamian city
The Daily Star | Thursday, March 03, 2005 | By Annick Benoist
Posted on 03/05/2005 1:04:47 PM EST by Lessismore
French Archaeologist Solves Mystery of Ancient Mesopotamian City
Turkish Press | Annick Benoist
Posted on 04/08/2005 6:35:01 PM EDT by nickcarraway
Archaeologists Unearth a War Zone 5,500 Years Old
NY Times | December 16, 2005 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Posted on 12/16/2005 5:51:40 AM EST by Pharmboy
Ancient Citadel Shows Scars Of Mass Warfare (Mesopotamia - 3500BC)
New Scientist | 12-16-2005 | Will Knight
Posted on 12/16/2005 11:34:38 AM EST by blam
Artifacts found at ancient city (”This was ‘Shock and Awe’ in the Fourth Millennium BC.”)
Middle East Times | December 17, 2005
Posted on 12/22/2005 12:41:34 AM EST by nickcarraway
Ruins in Northern Syria Bear the Scars of a City’s Final Battle
New York Times | January 16, 2007 | John Noble Wilford
Posted on 01/16/2007 10:36:52 AM EST by SunkenCiv
Ancient Weapons Found In Ruins In Syria
Yahoo News | 1-16-2007 | Tara Burghart
Posted on 01/16/2007 6:46:37 PM EST by blam
New Details of First Major Urban Battle Emerge
CCNews | 1/17/07
Posted on 01/17/2007 9:03:09 AM EST by Valin
Ancient Iranian Site Shows Mesopotamia-Like Civilisation
New Kerala | 11-16-2004
Posted on 11/16/2004 7:45:22 PM EST by blam
“Jiroft Inscription”, Oldest Evidence of Written Language
Persian Journal | Jan 12, 2006
Posted on 01/13/2006 10:24:48 AM PST by SunkenCiv
New Discoveries in Jiroft May Change History of Civilization
Persian Journal | Jan 26, 2006
Posted on 01/26/2006 2:19:36 PM EST by robowombat
Jiroft Is Lost Link Of Chain Of Civilization: Majidzadeh
Mehr News | 1-12-2007
Posted on 01/13/2007 6:15:01 PM EST by blam
Thanks Blam. This one got added, but never got the ping message, which is an odd oversight on my part. :'o
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I kinda tend to think that “civilization” was the result of ancient folk using that special weed as a smoke source in their saunas.
Domesticated animals and cultivated crops so they wouldn’t have to go so far to get some munchies when they were stoned.
Longer ago that that.
Based on what?
Probably recycled, as in the case with a lot of the material from much more recent Imperial Roman structures. The longer a pile a rubble lays around, the longer someone has to think of a use for it.
Just rub a rock of equal hardness against your target long enough and it happens.
All it takes is enough people and enough time. No doubt the early Britons had neither so they didn't polish them up.
This stone rubbing trick had been around since Homo Habilis too!