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Author Topic: Nabta Playa & Gebel Ramlah burial grounds
Myra Wysinger
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Michal Kobusiewicz, Romald Schild, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (2005)

... the Combined Prehistoric Expedition has discovered a massive kurgan in the Nabta Playa lake basin, towering over the fields of stone monoliths, now destroyed by the desert winds. Its small burial pit was found to contain the head of a child 2.5 to 3 years old, undoubtedly the offspring of a powerful ruler of the Nubian Desert about 3,500 years BC, just prior to the establishment of the first Egyptian state.

We already know that soon after this date, drought forced the herders to abandon these lands. Digging deeper and deeper wells proved insufficient, and people had go elsewhere in search of water. And so where might they have gone, if not to the relatively close Nile Valley? They brought with them the various achievements of their culture and their belief system. Perhaps it was indeed these people who provided the crucial stimulus towards the emergence of state organization in ancient Egypt.

also at Gebel Ramlah,

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Information on the Gebel Ramlah burial ground... Skeletal remains of 67 individuals ... Radiocarbon dates indicate that these burials were made in the fifth millennium B.C., during the last phase of Neolithic settlement in this region, which is called Bunat El Ansam (Megalith Builder) by Wendorf and Schild (2001). The undisturbed nature of the skeletal remains, grave goods, and the graves themselves facilitated the collection of important new data concerning these ancient people. A total of 896 artifacts of various types were recovered ... black-topped pottery were also recovered

From a physical anthropological viewpoint, the population sample exhibits evidence of North African and sub-Saharan admixture.

The communities using the cemeteries described above were almost the last dwellers of the dying savanna, which is today’s desert. The worsening drought soon forced them to migrate toward the Nile Valley, where they undoubtedly brought their culture, organizational system and beliefs contributing to the birth of ancient Egyptian civilization.

Source: Burial practices of the Final Neolithic pastoralists at Gebel Ramlah, Western Desert of Egypt, Michal Kobusiewicz, Jacek Kabaciński, Romuald Schild, Joel D. Irish and Fred Wendorf, British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan 13 (2009): 147–74


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Calabooz '
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Wow, thanks very much Myra. Also reminds me of Rudolph Kuper and Stefan Kropelin's article.
Posts: 1502 | From: Dies Irae | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djehuti
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Yes. Excellent article Myra. Though I must point out one discrepancy.

From a physical anthropological viewpoint, the population sample exhibits evidence of North African and sub-Saharan admixture.

We have had countless discussions on the fallacy of Africa's populations being divided into "North" and "Sub-Sahara", especially since the following sentence says it all.

The communities using the cemeteries described above were almost the last dwellers of the dying savanna, which is today’s desert. The worsening drought soon forced them to migrate toward the Nile Valley, where they undoubtedly brought their culture, organizational system and beliefs contributing to the birth of ancient Egyptian civilization.

In other words there was no Sahara at all but fertile grasslands, yet we are to believe there was a population division based on the Sahara.

This reminds me of the exact same descriptions made of Neolithic populations in Niger with the find of the Tenerians.

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-Just Call Me Jari-
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^^^^
Excatly my thoughts. Given the fact that the Natives of so called North africa were black like Uan Maggiog I don't see a point in saying they were a blend of "North Africans" and Sub Saharans. Agains as you allude to Jehuti the was no Sahara Desert so no Sub Sahrans. a Better Descriptor would be "Sahrans" and it is confirmed that the Egyptians descend from Saharans.

Even when the evidence is so blindingly clear they can't help to somehow limit "African" role in Egypt's foundation. By inserting North Africa they immediatly bring up images of so called Mediterranians and give the impression that the original "North Africans" were white not blacks.

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Calabooz '
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^I guess this type of wording is expected when Joel Irish is a contributor. He is obsessed with making a connection to North Africans and Europeans.

On the other hand, at this time, Nile Valley inhabitants, and inhabitants of North Africa in general would have been relatively recent migrants from sub-Saharan Africa since the Mesolithic.

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alTakruri
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Alice Roberts presents a computerized model of
Africa in her video The Incredible Journey. It
shows the shrinking and growing desertification
of the "Sahara" over ten of thousands of years
of time but she stopped well in the Pleistocene.

It would be instructive if one such model were
available on the net for all to see how extensive
desertification was and why populations in the
region did spread northward and southward and
Saharans entered delta and the Mid Nile Valley
from Egypt from the northeastern and central
eastern Sahara respectively.

Does anyone have data showing there were no
coastal African phenotypes in the eastern
Sahara at the time its populations began
drifting toward the Nile?

Does anyone have have data showing that delta
Egyptians phenotype did not vary from valley
Egyptians during and after the Saharan migrations?

[My apologies for not concentrating on the actual
subject of the thread but on a peripheral matter.]

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zarahan- aka Enrique Cardova
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The communities using the cemeteries described above were almost the last dwellers of the dying savanna, which is today’s desert. The worsening drought soon forced them to migrate toward the Nile Valley, where they undoubtedly brought their culture, organizational system and beliefs contributing to the birth of ancient Egyptian civilization.
_


In other words there was no Sahara at all but fertile grasslands, yet we are to believe there was a population division based on the Sahara.


^^Indeed. "North Africa" includes huge swathes of
Chad, Mali, Niger and the Sudan. If there is any
"admixture" at that time it is likely these peoples
are in the mix. And the Arabized coastal strip does
not figure into ancient peoples like the black
Uan mummy from Libya.

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the lioness,
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quote:
Originally posted by Djehuti:
[QB] Yes. Excellent article Myra. Though I must point out one discrepancy.

From a physical anthropological viewpoint, the population sample exhibits evidence of North African and sub-Saharan admixture.

We have had countless discussions on the fallacy of Africa's populations being divided into "North" and "Sub-Sahara", especially since the following sentence says it all.

The communities using the cemeteries described above were almost the last dwellers of the dying savanna, which is today’s desert. The worsening drought soon forced them to migrate toward the Nile Valley, where they undoubtedly brought their culture, organizational system and beliefs contributing to the birth of ancient Egyptian civilization.

In other words there was no Sahara at all but fertile grasslands, yet we are to believe there was a population division based on the Sahara.


How is a "dying savanna"


"fertile grasslands" ?

_______________________________________

A timeline of Sahara occupation [See Map]:

* 22,000 to 10,500 years ago: The Sahara was devoid of any human occupation outside the Nile Valley and extended 250 miles further south than it does today.

* 10,500 to 9,000 years ago: Monsoon rains begin sweeping into the Sahara, transforming the region into a habitable area swiftly settled by Nile Valley dwellers.
around 10,500 years ago, a sudden burst of monsoon rains over the vast desert transformed the region into habitable land.
This opened the door for humans to move into the area, as evidenced by the researcher's 500 new radiocarbon dates of human and animal remains from more than 150 excavation sites.
"The climate change at [10,500 years ago] which turned most of the [3.8 million square mile] large Sahara into a savannah-type environment happened within a few hundred years only, certainly within less than 500 years," said study team member Stefan Kroepelin of the University of Cologne in Germany.

* 9,000 to 7,300 years ago: Continued rains, vegetation growth, and animal migrations lead to well established human settlements, including the introduction of domesticated livestock such as sheep and goats.

* 7,300 to 5,500 years ago: Retreating monsoonal rains initiate desiccation in the Egyptian Sahara, prompting humans to move to remaining habitable niches in Sudanese Sahara. The end of the rains and return of desert conditions throughout the Sahara after 5,500 coincides with population return to the Nile Valley and the beginning of pharaonic society.
Gebel Ramlah burial grounds: 5,500 years ago

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Djehuti
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^ I was referring to before that time period when the monsoon rains still reached North Africa, you twit!!

As such, there was no Sahara desert and thus no division of African populations into North and "Sub-Saharan"!!

The period when sub-Saharan Africa was most influential in Egypt was a time when neither Egypt, as we understand it culturally, nor the Sahara, as we understand it geographically, existed. Populations and cultures now found south of the desert roamed far to the north. The culture of Upper Egypt, which became dynastic Egyptian civilization, could fairly be called a Sudanese transplant. Egypt rapidly found a method of disciplining the river, the land, and the people to transform the country into a titanic garden. Egypt rapidly developed detailed cultural forms that dwarfed its forebears in urbanity and elaboration. Thus, when new details arrived, they were rapidly adapted to the vast cultural superstructure already present. On the other hand, pharaonic culture was so bound to its place near the Nile that its huge, interlocked religious, administrative, and formal structures could not be readily transferred to relatively mobile cultures of the desert, savanna, and forest. The influence of the mature pharaonic civilizations of Egypt and Kush was almost confined to their sophisticated trade goods and some significant elements of technology. Nevertheless, the religious substratum of Egypt and Kush was so similar to that of many cultures in southern Sudan today that it remains possible that fundamental elements derived from the two high cultures to the north live on.--Joseph O. Vogel (1997)

"It is possible from this overview of the data to conclude that the limited conceptual vocabulary shared by the ancestors of contemporary Chadic-speakers (therefore also contemporary Cushitic-speakers), contemporary Nilotic-speakers and Ancient Egyptian-speakers suggests that the earliest speakers of the Egyptian language could be located to the south of Upper Egypt (Diakonoff 1998) or, earlier, in the Sahara (Wendorf 2004), where Takács (1999, 47) suggests their ‘long co-existence’ can be found. In addition, it is consistent with this view to suggest that the northern border of their homeland was further than the Wadi Howar proposed by Blench (1999, 2001), which is actually its southern border. Neither Chadics nor Cushitics existed at this time, but their ancestors lived in a homeland further north than the peripheral countries that they inhabited thereafter, to the south-west, in a Niger-Congo environment, and to the south-east, in a Nilo-Saharan environment, where they interacted and innovated in terms of language. From this perspective, the Upper Egyptian cultures were an ancient North East African ‘periphery at the crossroads’, as suggested by Dahl and Hjort-af-Ornas of the Beja (Dahl and Hjort-af-Ornas 2006). The most likely scenario could be this: some of these Saharo-Nubian populations spread southwards to Wadi Howar, Ennedi and Darfur; some stayed in the actual oases where they joined the inhabitants; and others moved towards the Nile, directed by two geographic obstacles, the western Great Sand Sea and the southern Rock Belt. Their slow perambulations led them from the area of Sprinkle Mountain (Gebel Uweinat) to the east – Bir Sahara, Nabta Playa, Gebel Ramlah, and Nekhen/Hierakonpolis (Upper Egypt), and to the north-east by way of Dakhla Oasis to Abydos (Middle Egypt)."--Anselin (2009)

Give it up already! We all know you're a white racist masquerading as a "low-IQ" African. [Embarrassed]

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Whatbox
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Wow, never seen that Anselin quote before.
Posts: 5555 | From: Tha 5th Dimension. | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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