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BS: How old is civilization?

Mr Red 05 Jul 18 - 03:25 AM
David Carter (UK) 05 Jul 18 - 02:50 AM
keberoxu 04 Jul 18 - 09:23 PM
Raggytash 04 Jul 18 - 07:34 PM
Donuel 04 Jul 18 - 07:07 PM
robomatic 04 Jul 18 - 06:14 PM
Charmion 04 Jul 18 - 04:55 PM
Iains 04 Jul 18 - 04:57 AM
David Carter (UK) 04 Jul 18 - 03:11 AM
keberoxu 03 Jul 18 - 02:36 PM
Bobert 03 Dec 08 - 08:13 PM
Bill D 03 Dec 08 - 07:15 PM
Rapparee 03 Dec 08 - 06:24 PM
Riginslinger 03 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM
heric 03 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM
fretless 03 Dec 08 - 04:01 PM
Genie 03 Dec 08 - 05:30 AM
Rapparee 02 Dec 08 - 10:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Dec 08 - 09:58 PM
Rapparee 04 Jan 08 - 09:00 PM
Big Mick 04 Jan 08 - 08:14 PM
Gurney 04 Jan 08 - 08:08 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Jan 08 - 03:39 PM
Amos 04 Jan 08 - 02:25 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Jan 08 - 02:19 PM
Amos 04 Jan 08 - 12:34 PM
Big Mick 04 Jan 08 - 12:13 PM
Riginslinger 04 Jan 08 - 11:28 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Jan 08 - 10:42 AM
Amos 04 Jan 08 - 10:36 AM
Rapparee 04 Jan 08 - 09:25 AM
Big Mick 04 Jan 08 - 09:01 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Jan 08 - 04:45 AM
Gurney 04 Jan 08 - 04:07 AM
Stephen L. Rich 04 Jan 08 - 01:46 AM
Amos 03 Jan 08 - 09:51 PM
Don Firth 03 Jan 08 - 09:48 PM
Rapparee 03 Jan 08 - 07:00 PM
Amos 03 Jan 08 - 04:36 PM
Little Hawk 03 Jan 08 - 04:21 PM
Amos 03 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM
Little Hawk 03 Jan 08 - 03:16 PM
Rapparee 03 Jan 08 - 02:24 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Jan 08 - 12:34 PM
Riginslinger 03 Jan 08 - 11:59 AM
Little Hawk 03 Jan 08 - 11:49 AM
Les in Chorlton 03 Jan 08 - 11:25 AM
Big Mick 03 Jan 08 - 11:05 AM
Amos 03 Jan 08 - 10:32 AM
Riginslinger 03 Jan 08 - 10:29 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 03:25 AM

I like Gandhi's quip, about how civilization might be a good idea.

I think he was asked about Western Civilization. But it is still a good quip.


Is it defined by a large population, diet, architecture, trade, writing? or something else?

Language? But the point I would have made. Like defining Culture, Folk, and Russian interference in Political Elections. We know it exists, at its core, but the outline is fuzzy enough to be unsure how far we can stretch** the definitions.

** excepting with Russia, no stretch is probably far enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 02:50 AM

The quote given by robomatic is totally unfair to the pre-Columbian peoples of North America such as the Hopewell culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 09:23 PM

Your wish is my command.

Göbekli Tepe


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Raggytash
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 07:34 PM

There is a very interesting article in todays Guardian (UK) newspaper,opinions page, which is available on line about a site in South Eastern Turkey.

Believed to be about 11,000 years old it pre-dates all known agriculture by millenia.

Could someone please provide a link.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 07:07 PM

It really depends upon your definition of civilization. Is it defined by a large population, diet, architecture, trade, writing? or something else? I am fascinated by the high tech myths of ancient prehistoric India.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 06:14 PM

I like the observation, source unknown (because I'm not looking it up):

"The United States is the only country to go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening period of civilization!"


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 04:55 PM

I like Gandhi's quip, about how civilization might be a good idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 04:57 AM

https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/cs/profiles/Algeria.pdf

I would have thought this source reasonably neutral on the question!


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 03:11 AM

Wikipedia is not always right, but not likely to be out by 3000 years. It states that the first mention of the Arabs is in an Assyrian inscription from 853 BCE. They appear to have been a semitic tribe in the Syrian desert. But they didn't really enter Africa until the Islamic conquests of around 630 AD.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jul 18 - 02:36 PM

So why append a post to this thread?

Because, on a thread about a present-day refugee crisis,
an assertion was made that

"Arabs have had a presence in Algeria since 4000 BC ."

Am I the only one who wonders what went wrong where in that assertion?

We could look at around 4000 BC ,
south of the Mediterranean,
and be reminded that
the Nile Valley was just getting the foundation for
an empire of Egyptian Pharoahs in place.

But then, just because Algeria and the River Nile are
both in the northernmost part of the African continent,
why confuse the two?
Were the Pharaohs of the Nile Valley
even remotely interested in what is today Algeria?

And why confuse the pharaonic Egyptians with Arabs?

Or Arabs with the ancestors of the Berbers/Kabyles/Amazigh?

In 4000 BC I do not doubt that Semitic languages existed in some form, and I would be surprised
if the Semitic language group,
in which both Hebrew and Arabic have their origins,
did not have some really ancient preserved examples,
whether they be scrolls, tablets, or what have you.

I just wonder if Arabs were even Arabs as long ago as 4000 BC,
be it in the Saudi peninsula
or in the North African Maghreb.

Were they, rather, Bedouins?
If you know even a surface scratch's worth about Arabic
then probably it is more than I know, however
I do recall this much:
that the actual word
"arab" in its language of origin
means a human collective that is a non-nomadic settlement,
of which each human individual member
is either an "araby" or an "arabiyyah" depending upon gender.
Suggesting that the individual is a fragment of a greater whole.
In the language of origin, you do not call an individual human being an Arab:
"arab" means the entire settlement, a collective entity.

"Arab" therefore implies that, while its ancestors
might have been nomadic Bedouins,
the members of an "arab" base their form of civilized society
upon staying in one spot and giving up a nomadic existence.

In 4000 BC, on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea,
were the coastal lands well to the west of the Nile Valley,
and their mountains,
and their part of the Sahara,
inhabited by people whose language was Semitic in origin?
Sure there is cave art in North Africa from that far back,
however, how do you make its creators out to be Arabs?

This is not an aliens-from-outer-space deal here,
although it looks as though this thread tended that way at first.

Yes, the word "Semitic" comes from "Shem," one of Noah's sons
in the Book of Genesis;
and yes, what is now called the Afroasiatic language family
was hypothesized by a Hebrew-speaking grammarian, in Algeria,
in the 9th century AD
(Judah ibn Quraysh, commenting on
connections between the Berber languages and the Semitic languages),
but still ...
4000 BC?

Okay, thanks for letting me get that out of my system.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 08:13 PM

Tweed got it right a year and half ago... We ain't got there yet, folks, so put the horns down... Maybe this century??? Maybe next... I donno...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 07:15 PM

" Now they're just as confused as everybody else."

The folks in Kansas, where I grew up, are not confused...they KNOW the word was created only 6000 years ago....

I have not heard how they deal with awkward details like the Iceman, who is 8000 or so.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 06:24 PM

You know, I really think that it's old enough to know better.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM

"Just ask the school board in Dover, Pennsylvania."


                   That school board was replaced. Now they're just as confused as everybody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: heric
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM

Civilization is 146 years old, having started with John Morton's cabin in the West End of Vancouver. I don't know or worry about the rest of you.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: fretless
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 04:01 PM

Govs. Huckabee and Palin agree that creation took place at 9 AM on October 23, 4004 BC. Civilization is harder to pin down --maybe 1,000 years or so after that. Just ask the school board in Dover, Pennsylvania.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Genie
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 05:30 AM

How old is civilization?

Maybe a better question is, "When will it start?"


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 10:02 PM

I would very much like to know if there was East-West trade between the Mississipian Mound Builder culture and the Chaco-Anasazi Culture. The time periods overlap.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:58 PM

Many years ago, i had a U. of Texas professor in Anthropology who was studying a group of Indian traders. Each year they worked their way back and forth from Oregon-Washington area to the Texas Gulf Coast- wintering along the Gulf. They would trade obsidian, etc. from Oregon south, and shells, etc, north, dealing in all sorts of stuff on the way.
I should look for that professor's publication; it should be interesting.

There was quite a bit of trade between tha Valley of Mexico at the time of the Aztecs with New Mexico-Arizona pueblo Indians. Much of the turquoise used in the Valley of Mexico came from New Mexico-Arizona mines, much from near Santa Fe. Bright Macaw feathers, shells, etc. were brought north. Just how the trade was carried out is poorly known.

These were two trade routes that covered long distances. There were probably others, but I haven't read the recent research (or very much of the old for that matter).


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 09:00 PM

My brother has a housefull of stuff made in various places which has ended up in Central Illinois.

He also has some stuff he got in Vietnam, among it an AK-47 rifle, a lamp used in the VC tunnels, and other war "souvenirs." My other brother has a Huk beheading sword he got in the Philipines and a Siberian wolf skin he got in Thailand -- while in the Air Farce.

If you excavate their houses you might wonder about, say, the wolf skin or the Montagnard crossbow. But...it proves a connection, in some way, with another culture. As far as I know, neither brother has been in Siberia....


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 08:14 PM

Gurney .... that is the point. For this many examples to show up around the Pre-Columbian world, whether through conflict, trade, or some combination of the two, indicates civilization. I don't believe that the European model of civilization is the first, or only valid one.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Gurney
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 08:08 PM

Amos, the point I was making is that stuff moving about is not necessarily a sign of trade, but may be just as likely a sign of raiding.
It would be nice to think that there were peaceful guys dealing about the world, trading in polished jet and shell and bronze, but much of history shows more a mindset of 'He got it, me want it, smack!'

No way to tell now, of course.
I suspect early settlers weren't delicate, self-effacing people, any of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 03:39 PM

I guess it depends on what picture you are imagining.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 02:25 PM

Sure, they may not.

I am not sure if this changes the picture much, though.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 02:19 PM

I think my minor suggestion is that although trading neighbours will know each other, goods could be traded on and on to a point where the final recipients might have no knowledge of the origin of the goods.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 12:34 PM

TRade among neighboring groups is surely one of the hallmarks of civilization, also -- the rising up of something more important that smashing skulls and stealing food from neighbors.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 12:13 PM

Les...... do most traders and end users know each other? The point is that one of the hallmarks of civilization is a trading network. For these things to show up in such disparate regions, and the Michigan location is just one of many, then there must have been a network. Refer back to the original question. I don't understand what your contention is.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 11:28 AM

Was Ronald Reagan neaderthal or cromagnum?


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 10:42 AM

When things are traded over long distances it could well be that the people at each end do not know of each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 10:36 AM

And even if the artifacts were taken by force it still represents a huge network of interactions about which we have no real recorded history, connecting many tribal sectors of the Americas prior to the Spanish invasion.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 09:25 AM

Exactly, Mick. Michigan copper has, I believe, been found in Chaco sites in the Southwest. Abalone from the West Coast definitely has. The pre-Columbian peoples no more existed in isolated communities than did those in Europe or Asia.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 09:01 AM

The difference, Arnie, is that these artifacts that I describe were Pre-Columbian. It is a fair assumption, I would think, when one finds Michigan copper in areas far removed from Michigan in the Americas, and also finds objects that are not native to the area, such as abalone shell, that they were traded. Even if it were souvenirs from armed conflict, these are pre-Columbian artifacts.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 04:45 AM

Good point, and trade isn't always between equals


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Gurney
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 04:07 AM

On the subject of artifacts pointing toward trade: how does that assumption work? Our local museum has plenty of things made in other countries. They used to belong to old soldiers, and the price paid was in blood, because they belonged to other soldiers first. Who didn't become old.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 01:46 AM

How old is civilization?

Old enough to know better.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 09:51 PM

I think there must be a song in there somewhere, Don. Peeing in the Library's Pot ... it has a certain je ne sais quoi, don't you agree?

As to the Templearity of Libraries, I can only concur. For some of the most passionate paeans to libraries ever written, I recommend Ray Bradbury.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 09:48 PM

A library should be—in fact, is—a sacred place.

One of the greatest tragedies—and atrocities—in history was the burning of the Great Library at Alexandria. We can only estimate what was lost, but we know it was immense. Many of the cultural works and much of the wisdom of the world up to that point.

A library is the memory of a society, and much more. They should be regarded as temples.

Symptoms of both civilization and lack thereof are often to be found in libraries While many folks are researching, studying, learning, or just enjoying a good read, there's some guy over in the corner peeing in the rubber plant.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 07:00 PM

Problem is, by the time they're GOOD they're read and quite willing to retire. Never again to put up with a snotty brat who whines "But what do you meeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaan nobody's written up the evolution of the raccoon?" or a snooty broad who shouts "WADDA MEAN I OWE FOUR DOLLARS?! I PAY YOUR SALARY!!" or faculty members who check out materials and NEVER EVER return them or the members of the Great Unwashed who decide to change their status to the Washed in the library's restroom or....

The was, long ago, a time when libraries and librarians (and the literate in general) were accorded high status and were, in fact, often associated with temples.

Right....


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 04:36 PM

I think you have been forgetting to wear your teapot too often of late, good Hawk...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 04:21 PM

"Look how long it takes to train a good librarian!!"

Yeah, eh? Like...

Fifteen minutes?

Or a couple of days?

Ha! Just trying to bug you, Rapaire. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM

Well, yes and no. WHile there is enough historical information to provide raw data on failures of the past, the ability to weigh importances correctly and trace sequential consequences through time accurately, and overcome fixed ideas and dig up data omitted here and there in order to build a better understanding --- all these important skills may not be on those stacks.

Look how long it takes to train a good librarian!! Let alone a full-blown analytical thinker!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 03:16 PM

Ah, yes, libraries. Shane has used those to sleep in overnight now and then...when other facilities were temporarily lacking, due to eviction or various legal problems that happened to arise for some reason at the time, and the weather was just too damn cold outside for the usual emergency measures. Life just isn't kind to some people, but the library is there so that those people still have somewhere to go.

Shane thanks you, Rapaire.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 02:24 PM

There IS an invention of humanity's that CAN keep us from re-inventing the wheel, from making the same mistakes over and over and over. It was invented way back BCE. But people ignore it, or find it too much work, to really USE a library.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 12:34 PM

Evidence of all sorts is growing day by day.

People like us have been around for about 200,000 years.

The move from farming to gathering and hunting seems to be crucial. People who gather and hunt don't have many things and so don't leave much behind. Farming is settled and comes in in a number of places in the last 20,000 years but I will have to check that.

All the "great" "civilisations" (in terns of public buildings and public life)were built on the wealth from farming.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 11:59 AM

One can't help buy wonder if what were are finding now was discovered as being something ancient at some point in the past, achived, and then lost again. If there was some way to keep what has been learned for all time, we wouldn't have to keep reinventing the wheel.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 11:49 AM

My guess is that complex civilizations have existed on this planet so long prior to the time most people now think they did, that they would fall down in utter astonishment if they found out about what really has gone before.

Maybe as far as 35,000 years back. Maybe 50,000 years back. Maybe even 500,000 years back.

But that's just my best guess. It remains sheer conjecture. I very much doubt that people will ever get it all figured out or even half figured out. I think what we know now is just fragments of all that has gone before.

Every age has had its ruling set of "informed" authority figures at the top of the society who thought they had it pretty well all figured out. They didn't, they don't now, and they won't in the future, in my opinion....but that's not to say it's not worth continuing to investigate and gather further fragments of information to add to our existing body of knowledge, assumption, and conjecture. It's a very interesting matter, if one keeps an open mind and is prepared to admit one might not know it all.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 11:25 AM

The study of what people did early on is amazing with more and more genuine scientific evidence cropping up all the time. In fact evidence from genes, remains and language is growing much faster than daft ideas from the fringe.

"The Americas had civilization long before the Europeans, including my ancestors, came and screwed it all up."

I guess people have said this before but their is often an assumption on the part of some Europeans that "Americans" screwed things up, when of course the Screwing up was done essentially by "Europeans" who had gone to America.

The "Beachcomber Hypothesis" is very strong. That we left Africa to get to Arabia when the sea was low and traveled along beaches taking food from the seas pretty well all the way to Australia. This is supported by genetic, archaeology and language studies. Clearly various groups went north and east.


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 11:05 AM

Interesting thread, but some just cannot help but use it to take shots at the US. But there is a nugget of something in their criticisms. The Americas had civilization long before the Europeans, including my ancestors, came and screwed it all up.

The original posts did point out some things from my home area that I have always found interesting. In my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan there is an exhibit in the Museum, of the People of the Three Fires (Chippewa, Ottawa, and Pottawottami). There are examples of Pre-Columbian trade items that were excavated from local archeological sites. One of the pieces of beadwork included bits of abalone shell that would have come from the Gulf of Mexico areas, or even the West Coast. This was pointed out to me by the Museum Director at the time, Mr. Weldon Frankfurter. Just as the copper examples cited in the opening suggest a widespread continental trading system, so does this. I am but a layman, and make no claims to being able to explain this, other than to say that Mr. Frankfurter gave it to me of an example of a trade network. This surely would indicate the presence of civilization.

We have a series of Indian Mounds along the Grand River which are now protected.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 10:32 AM

I meant the recession of the ice, but maybe it was as late as the Reagan recession. :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How old is civilization?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 10:29 AM

"As did early homo sapiens during the recession."


                      Is this the Reagan recession we're talking about? I thought he was older than that.


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