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ORIGIN OF HUMAN CIVILISATION

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Author Topic: ORIGIN OF HUMAN CIVILISATION  (Read 148 times)
Bianca
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« on: June 21, 2007, 10:43:51 am »






                                  O R I G I N   O F   H U M A N   C I V I L I S A T I O N




By Ashok Malhotra



It is more or less widely accepted that human civilization consisting of planned cities, organized governance, writing, manufacture and trading began about five thousand years ago in a region of earth comprising the Indus valley, Mesopotamia and Egypt.

The precise details of when and where specific aspects of civilization began are not yet known fully. There are many similarities between Sumer, Egypt and the Indus Valley Ė the sites of earthís earliest civilizations. These are some of the hottest, driest and most inhospitable places on the planet. It takes considerable agronomic and hydrological knowledge to convert the marshes and control the floods to turn these into productive farmlands. Civilization originated in these harsh, desert environs lacking many basic resources. Rapidly they invented mining, chariot, sailboat, writing, cities, engineering and so on, and all this while most of the worldís tribes was still living as hunter-gatherers. It is difficult to explain the radical departure from the human norm by several tribes without invoking some insexplicable genetic deviations. Recent discoveries including the discovery of submerged cities of the gulf of Camaby India are however shedding new light on the matter. A possible scenario for the emergence of civilization is as follows.

About six thousand years a small tribal community living on the western coast of India was inspired because of a yet unexplained genetic evolution to begin the construction of planned cities and invent the first few symbols to depict human words or language. They emerged from their prehistoric existence as civilized humans that wanted to develop pottery, cities, and agriculture, and become literate by developing writing. These communities developed the first few pictorial symbols to represent human names and words. Remaining at first a small community for the first few hundred years these coastal people were eventually forced to move northwards and westwards due to seismic disturbance and submergence of their coastal cities about five and a half thousand years ago. They chose only arid plains to establish their new habitations, along the greatest of rivers that flowed at that time, since it is these they were used to and familiar with. Interaction with existing local communities in their new habitats provided them with much needed manpower for a rapid expansion of civilization. Forests scared them because of the threat of wild animals and they were completely unfamiliar with mountain territories considering them unsuitable for agriculture and hence these were avoided in the first march of human civilization. A branch of this community migrated to what is now Iraq and developed the Sumerian civilization on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. From here they spread to the Nile valley as well.

The Indus valley people began moving towards Sumer as early as 3300 BC and established their first settlements in ancient Sumer. They spoke the language of their forefathers. It was a completely different language from that of local populations of the area. Ancient Sumerian language is different from other languages of the area such as Hebrew, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Aramaic, which are Semitic languages, and Elamite a non-Semitic tribal language of the area with African connections. However, as the ruling class, the colonizers made Sumerian the official language. The local population continued to use Akkadian language. The Sumerian language is a linguistic isolate unrelated to other languages on earth many of which belong to well-known groups of languages. The isolated character of the language is proof that it belonged to a single tribe that had developed in isolation. Whenever an official language differs from a local one, it is a clear indication that the rulers are of foreign origin. It is surprising that ancient historians on earth have not used this as a clue to tracing the origin of the people who brought civilization to Mesopotamia. The extent of the civilized world around 3000 BC lies in a belt extending from the Nile valley to the Indus valley. Since ancient Sumerian is completely different from the local languages around Mesopotamia, it is not difficult to guess where these new colonizers had come from. Their language was different from that of Nile Valley as well. However, since it was the Sumerians who established civilization in the Nile Valley too, some of their vocabulary did enter Egypt and continues to be used till today, as for example the word Khet for an agricultural holding. By the time Sumerians reached the Nile valley they had no need to establish Sumerian as the official language of Nile valley since they had become familiar with local languages of the area. As intermarriages between local Akkadians and ruling Sumerians increased, Sumerian was replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language around 2000 BC. Nevertheless, it continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial and scientific language in Mesopotamia until about 1 AD. From the beginning of the second millennium, Babylonians and Assyrians maintained and utilized the extinct Sumerian language in much the same way that ancient Greek and Latin are used for artistic, religious and scholarly purposes today. Although the Sumerian language is not an Indo-Aryan language it uses the root system for developing words. This was later adapted by Indo-Aryans in the development of Sanskrit in the Indus Valley. The use of Sumerian language began first in southern Mesopotamia and spread northwards indicating from which direction Indus people arrive in Mesopotamia, probably through the sea route. Ancient scribes have provided equivalence between Sumerian and Akkadian words and these can be employed to advantage by historians struggling to decipher the Indus Script. So far they have been looking elsewhere trying to establish its equivalence with Dravidian or Indo-European languages and failed. The Indus language was replaced by Indo-Aryan languages in the Indus valley as in much of the old world with the arrival of Aryans. Some of the words of the Indus-Sumerian language however continue to persist in local dialects till today.

Egyptian civilization began with an ancient historic event. The Sumerians Nirmer along with his son Menes and an army of 5000 Akkadian guards set out on a conquest of the Nile valley around 3200 BC. They followed the northern route along Euphrates that reached the Nile valley through Syria. On the periphery of the Nile valley they subjugated local people of African origin and expanded their army further, eventually conquering the Egyptian valley without much of a fight. A prehistoric flint knife, with a handle carved from the tooth of a hippopotamus, in the possession of Louvre and found at Gebel el Arak near Nag Ham‚di depicts a scene from the conquest. On one side of the handle is a battle-scene including some remarkable representations of ancient boats. Many of the warriors are **** with the exception of a loin girdle, but, while one set of combatants have shaven heads or short hair, the others have abundant locks falling in a thick mass upon the shoulder. The **** warriors are obviously of local African origin. It displays the wisdom of the conquerors in utilizing locals for their campaigns. On the other face of the handle is carved a hunting scene. In the upper field is a remarkable group, consisting of a personage struggling with two lions arranged symmetrically. The rest of the composition is not very unlike other examples of prehistoric Egyptian carving in low relief, but here attitude, figure, and clothing are un-Egyptian. The hero wears a turban on his abundant hair, and a full and rounded beard descends upon his breast. A long garment clothes him from the waist and falls below the knees, his muscular calves ending in the claws of a bird of prey. There is no doubt that the heroic personage is represented in the familiar attitude of the Babylonian hero Gilgamesh struggling with lions, a favorite subject of early Sumerian and Babylonian seals. His garment is Sumerian rather than Egyptian. The design itself is unmistakably of Mesopotamian origin. There was no physical barrier to the use of the river-route from Mesopotamia into Syria and of the tracks thence southward along the land bridge to the Nile's delta.

After the conquest Nirmer (The Scorpion King) returned to Babylon leaving his son Menes in charge of the new kingdom. Menes unified the scattered communities of the entire Nile Valley. There he established the First Egyptian Dynasty with a Sumerian civilization. The unified state led to the development of writing, the start of large scale construction and the venturing out from the Nile Valley to trade. The most remarkable evidence of cultural connection is shown in the architecture of Early Dynastic tombs of Egypt and Mesopotamian seal-impressions showing exactly similar buildings. A problem that early Sumerian ruling class faced upon arrival in Egypt was the different, even contrary religious beliefs. Egyptians glorified the floods whereas the Sumerian dreaded it because of their religious records of the deluge that had originally flooded their homeland and beautiful cities on the western coast of India leading to their exodus. However the Sumerians soon assimilated everything useful they found in the new lands and thus developed their culture even further. Unlike the colonists of eighteenth century the Sumerians arrived in any new territory with the intention of making it their home and progressed from strength to strength as they marched westwards. However the Nile valley was the limit of their expansion since their were no other great rivers flowing through vast arid plains to the west of the Nile. Nimes established the first Egyptian dynasty. The second Egyptian dynasty that ruled with the symbol of the dog rather than a bird appears to have emerged on Egyptian soil itself.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ashok_Malhotra
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