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 email@example.com.
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.