WHAT IS HISTORY – THE AFRICAN ODYSSEY: THE AFRICAN HERITAGE IN WORLD HISTORY AND HUMAN BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY: FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES AND THE EARLIEST CIVILIZATIONS TO THE 21ST CENTURY (2013)

WHAT IS HISTORY?  – THE AFRICAN ODYSSEY:  THE AFRICAN HERITAGE IN WORLD HISTORY AND HUMAN BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY – HAROLD L CARTER – JUNE 2013

History :

 In History and Life, T. Walter Wallbank, University of Southern California, Arnold Schrier, University of Cincinnati, Donna Maier, University ofNorthern Iowa, and Patricia Gutierrez-Smith, Roberto Clemente High School,Chicgo, Illiniois (4th edition, (Scott, Foresman and Company: Glenview, Illinois, Sunnyvale, California, Atlanta, Georgia, Glenview, Illinois, Oakland, New Jersey, Dallas, Texas), 1990, a few of the definitions included were:

“What Is History”:

“It (“history” ) is somewhat unfortunate that the word history should be used in several different senses.  In its origin (Greek …) it meant learning by inquiry.  The historian was a searcher after knowledge, an investigator.  But by a subtle transformation the term came to be applied to the record or narrative of what had been learned by investigation; and in this sense it passed over into the Latin “historia” and into modern speech.  … Meantime another ambiguity … caused confusion in thought.  The word history is used to denote not only the record of what has been learned by inquiry, but also the course of events themselves.”

—  Allen Johnson, The Historian and Historical Evidence, 1926

“The subject of history is the life of peoples and of humanity.”  —  Count Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1865-1872

“To enable (people) to understand the society of the past and to increase their mastery over the society of the present is the dual function of history.”

— Edward H. Carr, What Is History, 1962

“To teach kings the history of their ancestors so that the lives of the ancients might serve them as an example, for the world is old, but the the future springs from the past.”

—  Djeli Mamoudou Konyate, an African griot (historian), 1950s

In Unit 1:  Civilization Begins” it was indicated:

“For the earliest people, life was difficult.  They had to learn how to find food and shelter, protect themselves, and develop rules and customs that would make group living possible.  The way in which various people have solved these basic problems is called their culture.  A great advance in human culture came when people began to farm, to establish governments and laws, to make metal tools, to build cities, and to write.  This kind of culture is called civilization.

 

In this 1990 a World History textbook History and Life, T. Walter Wallbank, University of Southern California, Arnold Schrier, University of Cincinnati, Donna Maier, University ofNorthern Iowa, and Patricia Gutierrez-Smith, Roberto Clemente High School,Chicgo, Illiniois (4th edition, (Scott, Foresman and Company: Glenview, Illinois, Sunnyvale, California, Atlanta, Georgia, Glenview, Illinois, Oakland, New Jersey, Dallas, Texas), 1990, it was indicated:

Chapter 1:  “Early Humans”:

“Physical anthropologists and archaeologists work with other specialists such as chemists, botanists, physicists, and geologists – to reconstruct the past.  Most geologists now believe that the earth is approximately 4.5 to 5 billion years old.  According to most scientific theories, the planet began as a glowing cloud of gas and dust that slowly formed into a ball of molten rock.  Heavier materials such as iron sank to the center of the planet while lighter gases such as nitrogen and water vapor moved to the surface, forming the earth’s atmosphere and oceans.

After hundreds of millions of years had passed most of the planet was covered by deep oceans and shallow seas.  It was in these oceans and seas that living things first appeared:  and with them begins the story of life on earth.

“ … Homo sapiens, that is, human beings, came into existence about 100,000 years ago.  Ancient skeletons suggest that other beings similar to humans lived nearly 4 million years before that time.  Both humans and these prehuman creatures are called hominids which means “two-legged primates.”

Cave art in Africa older than the cave art in Europe – The arrival of cave art in Europe – Other Sources:

The dates of the settlements of those African migrants in Eurasia are as follows:

Australia:  90,00 60,000 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_archaeology

Italy:  24,000 – 23,000 years ago (Grmaldi Cave)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cro-Magnon

France:

Spain:

Central and Northeastern Eurasia:

China:

By May 11, 2009 it had become known that later versions of Homo sapiens sapiens crossed the Red Sea into Arabia and proceeded from there across  southern Eurasia, to Australia, and India,

and reached central and northeastern Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

May 1 2011 – Genetic History of Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_Europe

A Genetic History of the Migrations from Africa to Eurasia:

May 1 2011 – Archeogenetics of the Near East – Middle East – the Levant – Egypt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeogenetics_of_the_Near_East

 

A May 11, 2009, Archaeology Daily Mail, article, “”Out of Africa: the Tribe that Populated the World,” posted on

http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/200905111207/Out-of-Africa-the-tribe-that-populated-the-world

May 2009 – It was indicated:

“The incredible human journey draws on archaeological and genetic studies from around the world to trace the expansion of the human race.  It tells how the DNA of today’s populations of Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America can all be traced back to a single tribe of Africans.

Modern humans are thought to have evolved about 195,000 years ago in East Africa and within 50,000 years had spread to other parts of the continent.

 

“It is thought that 70,000 years ago a dry period caused Red Sea levels to fall and the gap across its mouth to shrink from 18 miles to eight miles.  A tribe of as few as 200 people took advantage of this and crossed to Arabia.”

February 2005 – 195,000 year old fossil

A February 16, 2005 National Geographic News article, “Oldest Human Fossils Identified,” had indicated:

Human fossils found 38 years ago in Africa are 65,000 years older than previously thought, a new study says—pushing the dawn of ‘modern’ humans back 35,000 yearsNew dating techniques indicate that the fossils are 195,000 years old.

The two skulls and some b ones were first uncovered on opposite sides of Ethiopia’s Omo River in 1967 by a team led by Richard Leakey.  The fossils dubbed Omo I and Omo II, were dated at the time as being about 130,000 years old.  But even then the researchers themselves questined the accuracy of the dating techniques.

 Herto – 160,000 years ago: 

 The new findings published in the February 17, 2005 issue of the journal Nature, establish Omo I and II as the oldest known fossilsof modern humans.  The prior record holders were fossils from Herto, Ethiopia, which dated the emergence of modern humans in Africa to about 160,000 years ago.

The new dating confirms  the place of the Omo fossils as landmark finds in unraveling our origins,’ said Chris Stringer, director of the Human Origins Group at the Natural History Museum in  London.

[Note:  It should be noted that Christopher Stringer indicated the following quoted below]

The 195,000 year-old date coincides with findings from genetic studies on modern human populations.  Such studies can be extrrapolated to determine when the earliest modern humans lived.  The findings also add credibility to the widely accepted ‘Out of Africa’ heory of human origins which holds that modern humans (later versions of Homo sapiens) first appeared in Africa and then spread out to colonize the rest of the world.

“The new date also widens the gap between when anatomically modern humans emerged and when ‘cultural’ traits—such as the creation of art and music, religious practices, and sophisticated tool-making techniques—seem to have appearedEvidence of culture is not extensively documented in the archaeological record until around 50,000 years ago.

[Note the challenge to this conclusion below!] 

 “The wider gap could add fuel to a long-term debate swirling around when modern human behavior as opposed to modern human anatomy, emerged.  ‘Those who believe that there is widely scattered evidence of modern behavior going back 200,000 years in Africa will be delighted that modern human anatomy also goes back that far,’ said John Fleagle, a physical anthropologist at Stony Brook University in New York and one of the co-authors of the study.  ‘[Scientists]—

[Note:  Think Milford Wolpoff!]—who believes that modern human behavior only appeared abruptly about 50,000 years ago will see [the new date as] further expanding the distinction and the temporal gap between modern anatomy [as it evolved in Africa] along with modern cultural behavior … as opposed to it having evolved or emerged first  in central, northeastern, and northwestern Europe, and southern Eurasia through the “Firt Europeans” (African migrants !) ]

“‘So we know where Omo I and Omo II are now, and they’re now documented by GPS, so they won’t get lost again.  But we didn’t have GPS 40 years ago.’ Said Frank Brown, a geologist at the University of Utah and a co-author of the study.

[GPS – Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS

 When ‘cultural’ traits—such as the creation of art and music, religious practices, and sophisticated tool-making techniques first occurred in Africa.

 [Continued]

 

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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