Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Middle Eastern and African History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Middle Eastern and African History Middle Eastern and African History Forum - Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and all nations of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula


Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 28th, 2017, 04:25 PM   #51

The Reality's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Ireland, Dublin
Posts: 922

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameteurhistorian View Post
Benin had its great earthen walls, Zimbabwe its stone encampments, Aksum its burial chambers and stele, etc.
I knew about Benin and Zimbabwe, just I considered it a bit less complex than Asian architecture, Either way your right.

There are also many mathemathical and astronomical stone structures in Africa like Adams Calender and The stone calender in Nabta Playa which are also very complex.
The Reality is offline  
Remove Ads
Old April 28th, 2017, 04:37 PM   #52
Archivist
 
Joined: May 2016
From: US
Posts: 164

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameteurhistorian View Post
Not even close.

Some peoples, in some parts of the world, did create their own civilizations.
I said some created their own civilizations. I listed some in fact, right in the post you quoted.
wskim is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 05:20 PM   #53
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: USA
Posts: 1,626

When numbers of people beyond a critical mass live together in close proximity, long enough, they tend to create civilizations. That happened in the river valleys of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China, as a result of epic climatic change at the end of the last glacial age, forcing peoples to live close together by the rivers. That sprouted those civilizations. In the New world the same gatherings of people took place for different reasons to trigger civilizations.

In any case, the key to give birth to a civilization is people beyond a critical number, living in very close proximity long enough. In the tribal primitive cultures in areas like Europe, Black Africa, Australia and so on that didn't happen. Peoples were too widely distributed. The population density simply wasn't enough.

No wonder the word civilization is derived from civic life, city life.
kandal is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 05:39 PM   #54
Archivist
 
Joined: May 2016
From: US
Posts: 164

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
When numbers of people beyond a critical mass live together in close proximity, long enough, they tend to create civilizations. That happened in the river valleys of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China, as a result of epic climatic change at the end of the last glacial age, forcing peoples to live close together by the rivers. That sprouted those civilizations. In the New world the same gatherings of people took place for different reasons to trigger civilizations.

In any case, the key to give birth to a civilization is people beyond a critical number, living in very close proximity long enough. In the tribal primitive cultures in areas like Europe, Black Africa, Australia and so on that didn't happen. Peoples were too widely distributed. The population density simply wasn't enough.

No wonder the word civilization is derived from civic life, city life.
Isn't Sudan considered black Africa? They created their own civilization.
wskim is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #55
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: USA
Posts: 1,626

Quote:
Originally Posted by wskim View Post
Isn't Sudan considered black Africa? They created their own civilization.
Nubian civilization came about as a result of Egyptian civilization. No Egyptian civilization, no Nubian civilization.
kandal is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 07:00 PM   #56

VHS's Avatar
VHS
Vague Historical Studies
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: Orion Arm
Posts: 3,492

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
When numbers of people beyond a critical mass live together in close proximity, long enough, they tend to create civilizations. That happened in the river valleys of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China, as a result of epic climatic change at the end of the last glacial age, forcing peoples to live close together by the rivers. That sprouted those civilizations. In the New world the same gatherings of people took place for different reasons to trigger civilizations.

In any case, the key to give birth to a civilization is people beyond a critical number, living in very close proximity long enough. In the tribal primitive cultures in areas like Europe, Black Africa, Australia and so on that didn't happen. Peoples were too widely distributed. The population density simply wasn't enough.

No wonder the word civilization is derived from civic life, city life.
Big cities existed in pre-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Trans-Saharan Empires of Songhai, Mali, and Ghana were clear demonstrations of African urbanization.
100 Facts about the Songhai Empire
West Africa was a cradle of many civilizations, including the Nok civilization.
Sao Civilization in current Cameroon demonstrated urbanization and skills in iron, bronze, copper works.
VHS is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 08:06 PM   #57
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: USA
Posts: 1,621

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
Nubian civilization came about as a result of Egyptian civilization. No Egyptian civilization, no Nubian civilization.
They're more interrelated than you think; it's not just Egyptians influencing Nubians and they created Nubia.
ameteurhistorian is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 08:29 PM   #58

Son Of RA's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Jun 2013
From: Universe
Posts: 854

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
Nubian civilization came about as a result of Egyptian civilization. No Egyptian civilization, no Nubian civilization.
It was actually the other way around. But I'll let you have your fun.
Son Of RA is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 09:12 PM   #59
Academician
 
Joined: Mar 2017
From: London
Posts: 74

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
Sub Saharan Africa, that was not influenced from the outside never developed civilizations of its own. It remained too tribal and primitive.
Honest question... Would you mind detailing anything you know about African history? Anything.
...

And Benin predates the Portuguese exploration of Africa ('outside influence'), so does Kongo.
Artsy is offline  
Old April 28th, 2017, 09:32 PM   #60

Ighayere's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2012
From: Benin City, Nigeria (originally)
Posts: 1,752

Quote:
Originally Posted by Son Of RA View Post
Focusing on the interior of Africa, when people see that there are no fancy large lasting stone structures they come to the conclusion that most of Africa did not have any large kingdoms and was mostly primitive. Sure there are exceptions like Great Zimbabwe and the Swahili Coast, but those are the assumptions that people make.

The thing that people have to understand is that Africans in the interior and Sahel USED DIFFERENT building material compared to for example Europeans who mostly built in stone. Africans did not use long lasting building material. But instead temporary and perishable material. They were NOT permanent!
There was a reason for that. It was not merely a matter of choice in most instances but had to do with what material was available to build with.

Quote:
When Europeans first visited these African cities like Benin, they noted that they were quite large. For example here is Benin.
Click the image to open in full size.

^^Its quite large ain't? Well, that city is no longer there and is almost like it has vanished. Including the Benin Wall. Due to wars, but also not keeping up with the maintenance.
Not to come across as a nitpicker but that picture, from Olfert Dapper's book Description of Africa, is not truly an exact depiction, but more like one artist's visualization of one of the more important descriptions of the city. The city was probably more impressive looking than that, going by the way European visitors described it over the centuries. But perhaps you already knew that and you're just trying to keep things simple for others.

Your point about it being a very large city is understood though.

Quote:
Another example...The capital of the Kongo Kingdom.
Click the image to open in full size.
This will perhaps seem like more nitpicking - and perhaps it is - but that is the capital of a different kingdom: the kingdom of Loango:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Loango

The capital of Kongo - called Mbanza Kongo and later Sao Salvador - was described in positive terms by the first Portuguese that visited it. It was said to be as large as the city of Evora in Portugal was at that time and they also stated that its houses were well built. This is an artist's rendering of the city based on a written description, also from Dapper's book:

Click the image to open in full size.

It might be a bit hard to make out the houses but you can maybe find a larger or zoomed in image elsewhere.


Quote:
But to make my strong point many African cultures built large cities however very few of them were constructed by stone. In African cultures, large monuments and structures constructed of permanent and endurable material such as stone was built for spirits of the dead or the gods and meant to last for eternity, whereas large monuments and structures constructed for the living people were constructed of more temporary and perishable materials such as adobe (mud-brick) or wood.

And btw Ancient Egypt was NOT exempt from this. Virtually ALL cities in Egypt were constructed of 'mud-brick' and 'wood'. This is the reason why Egypt was popularly called by archaeologists a civilization 'without cities.' And yet many Africans built cities large and small with the same materials the Egyptians used and still most of Africa is deemed "without civilization..."
I appreciate your effort in attempting to correct the misconception that only North Africa had large, thriving cities (in fact Africa south of the Sahara had many, even if not as many as some regions of Asia), but I do feel that there is something you are ignoring here. In most parts of Africa stone simply did not exist in appreciable quantities that would have allowed those people to even build numerous houses - not to talk of large monuments - in stone. It happened sometimes that stone was used, when it was available, but it often could not simply have been a matter of choice. This is certainly the case for Benin, which you mentioned earlier, which is not in a region and not near a region where usable stone is available in significant quantity.

And consider this description of the city of Kano and its original wall (Kano was invaded multiple times over the centuries; the impressive city wall that the British saw when they conquered Northern Nigeria was not likely to be the original structure), from the early 16th century:

"Cheuno, a city which others call Cano is one of the three (major cities) of Africa. The two others are Fes and Cairo. About them, the Moors say that there is no product in this world which cannot be found there. Cano is equi-distant from both Fes and Cairo, a journey of about two months. The city (of Kano) is bigger than Ninive [Nineveh] was, as described by the traders who come to Algiers. It is the only city of the Africans with a wall and this wall has been built with so many stones that none are to be found any more in the area. The wall has 18 gates and the city is the most civilized in these countries. People are living in great luxury. . ." - Vincenzo Matteo

The statement that it was the only African city with a wall is obviously untrue but of course Matteo's knowledge of the rest of Africa would necessarily have been somewhat limited. Anyway what is relevant here is how there was not even enough stone in the area for the builders of Kano to be able to build anything in stone after using all that there was for part of the city wall. Much of Africa was like this and it wasn't simply an issue of choice in many cases.

Last edited by Ighayere; April 28th, 2017 at 10:07 PM.
Ighayere is online now  
Closed Thread

  Historum > World History Forum > Middle Eastern and African History

Tags
africa, civilizations, debunking, interior, left, myth, mythwhy, refuting



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Arabic Golden Age" myth vs. Ibn Khaldun - which is true? Amga Middle Eastern and African History 29 May 30th, 2016 01:57 PM
Where did this myth of a "flood" of european slaves in the barbary coast begin? moe101 Middle Eastern and African History 81 November 14th, 2015 02:21 AM
"Stalin" "Black myth" of the security officers: NKVD troops in World War II kekau92 European History 0 June 11th, 2013 12:40 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.