December 09, 2006

what was the first civilization?

Evolving spontaneously in the cradle of the Lower Nile sometime around 4000 BC, the Egyptiac civilization of northeast Africa has been recognized as the first civilization, preceding the Sumeric or Sumerian civilization of present day Iraq by about 500 years. Unlike the Sumeric civilization which collapsed c.1700 BC, the Egyptiac civilization lasted for 43 centuries and finally collapsed in 280 AD.

It was the first, the longest running, the most colorful and the most recognizable civilization in terms of monuments and artifacts still existing and still amazing us today.

Egypt was the natural end of the journey for all Africans emigrating from the equatorial rainforest, but it took around 496,000 years - from the earliest fossil remains of man found in northern Africa dated 500,000 BC - for the Egyptiac civilization to develop in 4000 BC (when the world population was c. 120m).

Bearing in mind Egypt's location - providing an easy nexus between the Mediterranean seafaring traders and the hordes of Africans migrating north to find food, just like they do today - it is hardly surprising that the Egyptiac Civilization developed from a thriving slave trade.

But which race founded it?

The last dynasty of the Egyptian rulers - the Ptolemies - were of white Macedonian (Greek) descent, and at some stage before that the rulers were black Nubians, but in the beginning - from depictions of early Egyptian life - its ruling classes appear to be predominantly fair skinned. So, while there is no doubt that we all originally developed from the black descendants of the first migrants out of Equatorial Africa, the first civilization in Egypt was more likely to have been founded by the descendants of those migrants who had traveled furthest - to Europe - where isolation in a cold climate had caused them to evolve very differently from their African ancestors.

In view of the fact that no other place in Africa had developed any sort of civilized life, it seems likely that it was the Mediterranean seafaring people who settled in Egypt - via reverse migration - who initially established the Egyptiac civilization. Breeding with the Africans, these people developed the characteristic Middle Eastern appearance that we see today.

In respect of slavery, the Egyptiac Civilization started a trend that continued throughout all subsequent civilizations - including modern Western Civilization - which begs the question: without slaves, is there civilization?

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