A Leauki's Writings
Or some five of them...
Published on April 1, 2006 By Leauki In Prehistoric
This is a list (with explanations) of some questions about history I have often been wondering about.


Question 1

How did Egypt evolve into the expensive pharaonic system several thousand years ago?

I have always wondered how one culture among so many evolved into that supreme exaggeration of an absolute monarchy.

(Yes, I know about human stupidity. I also know about the joke with the Egyptians falling for a classic "pyramid" scheme back then.)

Question 2

Was there a series of civilisations before the current series of civilisations?

History goes back a few thousand years. Over an extended period of time the stone age turned into the copper age into the bronze age into the iron age (this is where the Hittites come in). I wonder whether at some point in time, long before the current series of civilisations there was an earlier series, which is now lost in time.

Human beings as a species are much older then documented history suggests. I do not know enough about physics and archaeology to be able to tell how much evidence of a civilisation remains after thousands of years. And in this case it would be tens of thousands of years. Perhaps the Toba catastrophe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory) took care of the last stage of this previous civilisation?

(Stone age cave wall paintings are not that old.)

Question 3

What happened 5766 years ago?

The Jewish calendar begins, according to some, with the creation of the world. Well, I don't believe the world is a mere 6000 years old, but I think that _something_ must have convinced the authors of the calendar that it should be the starting point. It is likely, of course, that they came up with the epoch (the beginning of the calendar) hundreds or thousands of years after it happened.

But individuals who make up a working lunisolar calendar are not stupid. Did they define the epoch? If they did, what made them think that (translated) around 3760 BCE was a good starting point? Presumably they calculated the age of the world by adding up the years the Bible mentions, but who made up these numbers? Perhaps, and most probably with a considerable error of likely tens, possibly hundreds of years, a significant event in world history is referred to here as the epoch.

(The other calendars I know have very clear epochs, the birth of some guy, some other guy starting to announce stuff, the foundation of a city etc..)

Question 4

What people did Noah belong to?

This question is more serious than it sounds, as it is possibly the wrong question to ask. But this version is catchier than the real question.

It is known that the so-called Afro-Asiatic languages (I prefer the old term "Hamito-Semitic" languages) originated in Africa ("it is known" means "the most reasonable assumption is" here). But the majority of speakers are, and have likely always been, white. The modern descendants of the original language are Arabic (Semitic), Hebrew (Semitic), Aramaic (Semitic), Amharic (Semitic, spoken in Ethiopia), Berber (Hamitic, spoken around the Sahara), Cushitic (Hamitic), and Coptic (in between, remnant of the Egyptian language, used as liturgical language by Egyptian Christians).

If these languages or their ancestor came from Africa, why do so many Caucasians speak it?

And this brings us to Noah, who is traditionally thought to be the sole survivor of a flood and ultimately the father of all humanity afterwards. Maybe two questions are really one.

(Yes, I know about the Ryan-Pitman deluge theory. The Black Sea transforming from a huge freshwater lake into a salt water environment would be a sufficiently great event, but it likely happened too early to be relevant, unless question 5 has a positive answer for the range of 10,000 years, which is very possible indeed!)

Question 5

What is left of the deep past?

This relates to question 2 "Was there a series of civilisations before the current series of civilisations". Legends and myths are told and it never stops. Stories are modified a lot until somebody writes them down (which happened a few thousand years ago). But I wonder whether any of the myths and legends we have learned are actually based on events long before the current series of civilisations. Perhaps some go back a lot further than 7000 or so years.

At the moment it looks like there is a historical event horizon. We have the last 7000 years covered and before that there was basically nothing, or so it seems. But what made the event horizon? (Is that the event 5766 years ago described in question 3?) For a father to tell a story to his son, a story he himself has heard from his father is nothing new. I presume it has happened for tens of thousands of years (if spoken language is that old, I don't know).

I am not talking about aliens visiting the earth and the possibility that some common memory of that event exists which we could use to our spiritual advantage or anything like that. I am referring solely to "normal" legends or possibly even recurring story-lines that are common in so many stories. Some people have argued that all stories are based on just a few basic stories. Perhaps these stories are based on events that happened a _very_ long time ago?

(Yes, I know about Danicken and other nutters. But they referred to more recent history and very specific events. I am talking about deep history and very unspecific events.)

Comments (Page 1)
on Apr 01, 2006
There is a certain irony about Noah and the Black Sea theory. Please nobody mention it.
on Apr 01, 2006
I'll give a hint.

If Noah was, with his family, the only survivor, it is likely that his tribe's language died with him while his children would speak the language of the people they met after the flood. (Yes, there were such people.)

on Apr 03, 2006
Next Question:  Why were civilizations, literally worlds apart, both Pyramidic in nature?  While arguments can be made for a common origin of the Aztecs, Toltecs, Mayans and Incans, why was their civiliation so much like the Egyptions, which pre-dated them (by most dating) by thousands of years?
on Apr 03, 2006

Why were civilizations, literally worlds apart, both Pyramidic in nature?

This is easy. Pyramids are a basic three-dimensional form. It would be surprising if only one civilisation came up with the architecture, especially over thousands of years.
on Apr 14, 2006
(Yes, there were such people.)

who were these people? What are you basing this on?
on Apr 25, 2006

who were these people?

Possibly blacks. Certainly speakers of the ancestor of all afro-Asiatic languages, a language family now present in Africa and the middle east.

What are you basing this on?


on Jun 08, 2006

Ditto LW's post.



on Jun 08, 2006
I am here all right...

You two are fantastic!

Sorry, LW, that I didn't react to your question at all. I should have. I am very sorry. It's good to see you back.

I think in April or so I suddenly found that there was really no point in posting to JoeUser any more for me. I was always a bit of an outsider here. Then I noticed that I began commenting more on other weblogs (some of which I had referred to here). At some point I just started thinking about setting up a blog elsewhere and advertising it by pointing to it in comments. Several bloggers had asked me if I had a blog after reading my comments on theirs.

JoeUser is a community. I am not very good with communities.

on Jun 12, 2006
JoeUser is a community. I am not very good with communities.

Wish you would reconsider. You can always be the occassional guest star.
on Jun 13, 2006

the occassional guest star

Now that you mention it. Karim Elsahy ran this bit about me on his (popular!) blog: http://onearabworld.blog.com/765351/

I also get the occasional emails from Israelis and Arabs about forum posts in middle eastern blogs. A few (Arab) bloggers have asked if I had a blog of my own after reading my comments in their forums. I am becoming somewhat famous as a commenter... the guest star thing seems to be it for me.

I don't know how that happened... but it coincided with my retreat from JU.
on Sep 28, 2006
I think the questions that you have raised are interesting. As someone with more than professional interest in such issues I will try to respond.

It is very difficult to identify the "0" year of any calendar. Even in the reforemd Julian_Gregorian calendar that we use "0" yeAR as the year of the birth of Christ was iidentified only in the fifth century.

I recently read Bruce Trigger's Understanding Early Civilizations published by the Cambridge University Press. MANY of these questions are discussed therein. Your thoughts on religion and kingship are discussed in this book.
on Nov 28, 2007
one additional question may possibly suggest or offer hints to help answer yours.

at what point did god and those who interacted or claimed to do so with him become male?

the earliest objects of worship of which i'm aware were all female. it doesn't seem terribly unlikely at least some of their representatives might have also been
on Nov 28, 2007

at what point did god and those who interacted or claimed to do so with him become male?

You are confusing grammar with theology. G-d isn't male.

In the Hebrew language (and all Semitic languages, I think) there is no neutral gender, only male and female. Female is used by and for female persons and gramatically female objects. Male is used for everything else (by and for male persons, grammatically male objects, as yet unidentified objects, groups made of male and female entities as listed before).

If a man says "I read the book" he would say:

"Ani qor'e et haSefer."

A girl would say:

"Ani qor'et et haSefer." (With "qor'et" being the female version of "qor'e".)

If you ask the question "what is this", pointing at an object that is grammatically female, you would say:

"Ma zot?" ("zot" is female "this".)

But since you don't know what it is, you do not actually know it's a grammatically female word, hence you would ask:

"Ma ze?" ("ze" is male "this".)

If "we" read the book and we are all male:

"Anachnu qor'im et haSefer."

If we are all female:

"Anachnu qor'ot et haSefer."

If we are a group of unidentified members or a mixed group:

"Anachnu qor'im et haSefer."

The word for G-d used most prominently in the Bible is "Elohim", which is, technically, a plural of "el" ("a god"), with an extra "h" (which has a meaning but is not important here).

However, since "Elohim" is neither male nor female and not identified as either, the male gender is used, as per the rules outlined above:

"Bereshit bar'a Elohim et haShamayim ve at ha'Aretz."

("In the beginning created G-d the heavens and the earth.")

"bar'a" is past tense masculine of the verb "libro'" ("to create"). It is related, I think, to Aramaic "bar" ("son").

Similarly the word "av" (the root is: glottal stop, means both "father" (male) and "creator" (unidentified gender, i.e. male).

When the concept of that particular god was translated into English (and other European languages with usually have three genders), the male gender remained in the translation.

on Nov 28, 2007

those who interacted

There were both male and female prophets.

Leaders tended to be male, even in cultures that had lots of female gods.
on Nov 29, 2007
Question 2

Was there a series of civilisations before the current series of civilisations?

they have found evidence of earlier civs in india.

according to the myth of atlantis. they were the masters of the air.
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