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Author Topic: THE SAHARA  (Read 4036 times)
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2009, 08:51:34 am »

“If we define civilization as the emergence of large urban centers, labor specialization, bureaucracy, a high degree of social stratification with centralized authority, monumental architecture and writing —all these emerged as the result of increased competition for resources,” Brooks told me earlier. “What happens is increased territoriality, increased social pressures, technological innovations like irrigation, farming and herding, and concentration of political power.”

Beginning around 5500 years ago, Brooks says, humans developed civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, north-central China and northern coastal Peru.

Like most other scientists, he shuns the idea of “climatic determinism,” but Brooks says the term illustrates that climatic and environmental change of the kind usually associated with the collapse
of civilizations also appears to have played a significant role in their emergence.

A research fellow at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change in Norwich, England, Brooks directs the Western Sahara Project, and he is a special consultant on climate change adaptation for the United Nations Development Program.

He has spent considerable time on the topic in Libya, including investigating the role climate change played in the 2500-year-old Garamantes civilization of southwestern Libya, a region known as the Fezzan.

At the Sahara’s eastern end, other research is showing how desertification contributed to the emergence of the dynastic civilization of the Nile Valley in present-day Egypt and Sudan.

So, five years ago Brooks undertook study of the Sahara’s western end, long neglected in part because of politics and funding difficulties.
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