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Book Review: The Roman Market Economy

Book Review: The Roman Market Economy | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
Temin argues that markets for land, labour, capital and wheat spanned the Roman Empire and were part of an economy that was as market-oriented as those of pre-industrial England and the Netherlands. Markets across the provinces were linked and under the Pax Romana (a time of relative peace during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE), and this afforded centuries of improvement in living standards for the average citizen, who was nonetheless trapped in a society still subject to long-run Malthusian constraints. Such bold statements made in the realm of ancient history – where economic evidence may be extensive but is always fragmentary – are hard to prove. Temin does not aim to present comprehensive evidence that supports this theory, but rather to introduce the underlying assumptions and the economic framework necessary for test it.
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Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond
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Portraits of Reconciliation

Portraits of Reconciliation | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, these perpetrators and survivors are standing for forgiveness.

Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

Yesterday was a national holiday here in Burundi, commemorating the shooting down of the plane containing the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, and the beginning of the awful genocide in Rwanda.  I was in Nairobi at the time, and have graphic visions of what took place, which I will blog about this week.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 7, 4:37 PM

The idea behind these images is incredibly powerful and heartbreaking.  The horrific genocide turned neighbor against neighbor and tore communities and a country apart.  I can only imagine the pain for the individuals, but also the trauma inflicted on the national psyche. See also the White House's official statement on the 20th anniversary of the genocide. 


Tags: Rwanda, political, conflict, refugees, Africa.

Paige Therien's curator insight, April 11, 1:14 PM

These pictures and the stories behind them are very emotional.  The Rwandan Genocide was made possible by powerful propaganda which further pushed Hutu and Tutsi interests and perceptions of one another to opposite extremes.  As they are all Rwandans who live amongst each other, the genocide spread like wildfire from within and turned the country on its head.  I think the fact that victim/forgivers and perpetrators can stand side by side and be civil is very important. It shows the persistence of humanity to work together in reciprocal relationships and the importance of a "clear conscience" when doing so.  This project of reconciliation fosters support for those who lost so much, as well as unity through communication.  When these people are compared with the United States, I think it is very telling of the United State's moral and ethical character; the lack of political and economic interests in Rwanda was their reasoning behind our country not getting involved.

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Portolan Charts 'Too Accurate' to Be Medieval

Portolan Charts 'Too Accurate' to Be Medieval | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

Portolan charts, it was always assumed, were compiled by medieval European mapmakers from contemporary sources. A Dutch doctoral dissertation now disproves this: these nautical charts are impossibly accurate, not just for medieval Europe, also for other likely sources, the Byzantines and the Arabs. So who made them – and when?


Via Seth Dixon
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The Central African Republic: Past and present - KensingtonChelseaToday

The Central African Republic: Past and present - KensingtonChelseaToday | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
The Central African Republic: Past and present. The pre-colonial period, the humanitarian crisis & more at http://t.co/8gjiAIGUXn #CARcrisis
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Background on the history, past and recent of the CAR - 

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Prehistoric spider footprints found in Arizona

Prehistoric spider footprints found in Arizona | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
These are footprints left behind when a tarantula-size arachnid crawled over the sand of what’s now northern Arizona, 260 million years ago.
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How Climate Change Influenced the End of the Late Bronze Age - National Review Online (blog)

How Climate Change Influenced the End of the Late Bronze Age - National Review Online (blog) | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

How Climate Change Influenced the End of the Late Bronze Age
National Review Online (blog)
According to archeologist Eric H. Cline in his new book 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, the great ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Mycenaens, the Canaanites, and the Cypriots in the Late Bronze Age may have fallen in large part due to climate change, nearly three millennia before mankind’s first industrial revolution.

diana buja's insight:

Hum.  

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From wild grass to golden grain

From wild grass to golden grain | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

Believe it or not, rice, our staple crop, was not introduced to our island by Aryan migrants from Eastern India around the 5th century BC as had been previously supposed. Rather its cultivation seems to go back to pre-historic times, in all probability to Sri Lanka’s Stone Age


Via Dorian Q Fuller
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, January 10, 7:46 AM

So the claim is made that there was a period of indigenous rice cultivation in the early Holocene of Sri Lanka, that was in the middle Holocene. Not implausible, perhaps, but certainly not proven. (1) Sri Lanka has a rich range of wild rices, both progenitor and non-progenitor species; (2) the evidence of phytoliths cannot easily or relaibly differentiate morphologixall wild versus domesticated rices, although phytoliths assemablges can be useful for determining ecology and this inferred cultivated versus wild ecologies (as we are finding in early China), but such evidence has (not yet) be made available in this case. As happens all too often journalistic headlines trump real science, which is a pity, but core sequences of pollen and phytoliths from Sri Lanka will indeed prove to be important for reconsturcting the prehistory of the island. So too will be rejecting predjudices, expressed by this journalist, that hunter-gatherers (like Veddahs) should be assumed to be "stupid" (and by implication only farmers are "intelligent"). All humans are intelligent have expressed this in many different ways-- adapting to the tropical rainforests through microlithihc tools and hunting of arboreal game some 40,000 years ago-- which is evidence in Sri Lanka-- is one means by which they have done so.(see, e.g. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248411000881 ;)

Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, January 10, 7:48 AM

Some journalist hyperbole that masks what could be an important dataset.

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Polynesian chickens tell tales of ancient migration

Polynesian chickens tell tales of ancient migration | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
Did the Polynesians beat Columbus to South America? Not according to the tale of migration uncovered by analysis of ancient DNA from chicken bones recovered in archaeological digs

Via David Connolly
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Was the ark round? A Babylonian description discovered

Was the ark round? A Babylonian description discovered | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
Irving Finkel, curator, British Museum I've just come from the press conference launching my new book, The Ark Before Noah. As I told the journalists, it all started with a fairly normal event for ...
diana buja's insight:

"This tablet, however, turned out to be one in a million. The cuneiform was a sixty-line passage from the ancient Babylonian Story of the Flood. This story had been well known since the 1870s, when George Smith, a brilliant decipherer who worked at the British Museum, first identified the story known from the Book of Genesis in a seventh-century cuneiform tablet from Nineveh. The two accounts – Babylonian and biblical – were closely related. The new tablet, however, written in about 1750 BC, has startling new contents...

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About

About | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
A course with Ömür Harmanşah Water is the source of life. In the midst of a global climate change, environmental crises for water resources and the political debates over water, we have come to the...
diana buja's insight:

Dr. Harmansah is  Professor of Archaeology and Egyptology and Western Asian Studies at Brown - one of the 'new breed' of researchers who are busily combining various fields that historically have been treated as separate enclaves.  

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Farmers, smelters and caravans: Two thousand years of land use and soil erosion in North Pare, NE Tanzania

Farmers, smelters and caravans: Two thousand years of land use and soil erosion in North Pare, NE Tanzania | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

Slope deposits in North Pare provide evidence of two millennia of anthropogenically driven land clearance, soil erosion and land degradation. Drawing on deposit stratigraphy, soil magnetic parameters, stable carbon isotope composition and radiocarbon dating, three phases of soil erosion are distinguished characterized by distinct surface processes and increasing levels of agricultural land use.

Onset of slope deposit formation in Pare since about 300 BC documents soil erosion as an immediate consequence of new land use practices associated with the spread of agriculture and iron working across northern Tanzania. By AD 500, slope deposits extended into valley bottoms and to middle slopes suggesting catchment-wide land clearance and soil erosion. In the 15th century AD, progressive anthropogenic soil erosion had exhausted the topsoil resource and material changes of the slope deposits reflect widespread subsoil erosion. The exposure of subsoils represents an ecological tipping point and triggered the transition to a new morphodynamic framework dominated by runoff-based erosion processes that are recorded as sand lenses and sand layers. The most recent deposits show ongoing accelerated erosion and severe land degradation whilst cessation of sand lens preservation indicates pre-colonial intensification of agricultural land use. Land use changes and socioeconomic transitions associated with the establishment of the Ugweno chiefdom and the 19th-century caravan trade are discussed as possible responses to imperceptible long-term land degradation in Pare.

The study demonstrates that anthropogenic soil erosion and not external climatic drivers shaped landscape development in Pare and shows that the identification of environmental thresholds is essential for the assessment of resilience in human-dominated ecosystems.


Via Dorian Q Fuller
diana buja's insight:

Another great links and thoughts from Dorian Fuller.  Thanks, Dorian!

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, December 6, 2013 12:49 PM

Geoarchaeological evidence suggests agricultural landuse from the later First Millennium BC. This is only slightly older than current archaeobotanical evidence from the region; so is this poijting to a quite late introduction of cultivation in the hills region of east Africa? If so, it casts further questions on the reported early banana from Cameroun.

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Soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

Soil biodiversity and ecosystem function | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
It has long been recognised that organisms living in the soil are important for making nitrogen available to plants and for storing carbon in the soil but a new paper in PNAS by de Vries et al, Soi...
diana buja's insight:

Comprehensive studies of soil, such as this on, are so labor and finance intensive that similar studies in developing countries may not be possible.  What are the next 'best bet' options?  

In Sudan (el-Obeid area) we discovered local farmers identified a soil type that was not identified by researchers.  The farmer-identified soil type was linked to specific forms of cropping.  That, in itself, was reason enough to conduct our less intensive, but more farmer-centered study,of soils.

Similar findings here in Burundi, regarding micro-catchment soil types - identified by farmers - especially in wetland areas.

But the weakness of these studies relates to their less specific results.

As the study in the attached research notes:

"Researchers found a strong link between soil biodiversity and the performance of ecosystems, in particular on carbon and nitrogen cycling. Indeed soil biodiversity was a greater predictor of C and N cycling than land use. Intensive wheat rotation was found to reduce soil biodiversity across the food web in all countries. The authors hope that this and other research will lead to the development of sound land management practices that support soil biodiversity, in turn increasing the productivity of land while mitigating climate change.

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Raziq's curator insight, September 6, 2013 11:23 PM

 It has long been recognised that organisms living in the soil are important for making nitrogen available to plants and for storing carbon in the soil but a new paper in PNAS by de Vries et al, Soi

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Base of the 6th Roman Legion Discovered in Galilee - Archaeology Magazine

Base of the 6th Roman Legion Discovered in Galilee - Archaeology Magazine | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

 “From here, around 3,500 soldiers in a hierarchical system ruled over the Galilee and part of Samaria,”  

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Shocking new theory: Humans hunted, ate Neanderthals

Shocking new theory: Humans hunted, ate Neanderthals | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
diana buja's insight:

Humans today eat gorillas and chimpanzees, so why would our prehistoric ancestors flinch at sitting down to a nicely roasted Neanderthal?

 

That's the shocking new hypothesis being raised by anthropologists in Spain who wonder if our closest extinct relative was exterminated in the same way as 178 other large mammals, so called megafauna, which are suspected of going at least partially by the hand of hungry human hunters.

 

"Except in its native Africa, in the other continents Homo sapiens can be considered as an invasive alien species," write researchers Policarp Hortolà and Bienvenido Martínez-Navarro of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. They published their hypothesis in the May issue of the journal Quaternary International.

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KAZAKHSTAN : Ancient nomads spread earliest domestic grains along Silk Road, study finds

KAZAKHSTAN : Ancient nomads spread earliest domestic grains along Silk Road, study finds | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

Charred grains of barley, millet and wheat deposited nearly 5,000 years ago at campsites in the high plains of Kazakhstan show that nomadic sheepherders played a surprisingly important role in the early spread of domesticated crops throughout a mountainous east-west corridor along the historic Silk Road, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

“Our findings indicate that ancient nomadic pastoralists were key players in an east-west network that linked innovations and commodities between present-day China and southwest Asia,” said study co-author Michael Frachetti, PhD, an associate professor of archaeology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University and principal investigator on the research project.


Via Lemercier Olivier
diana buja's insight:

Our findings indicate that ancient nomadic pastoralists were key players in an east-west network that linked innovations and commodities between present-day China and southwest Asia,” 

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200 objets du trésor de Toutankhamon ont été transférés au Grand Musée égyptien encore en construction

200 objets du trésor de Toutankhamon ont été transférés au Grand Musée égyptien encore en construction | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

By RANY MOSTAFA

CAIRO: 200 artifacts of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s treasures were transferred Thursday to the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum in, Mohamed Mostafa, head of GEM, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The artifacts are being renovated and prepared for display in a separate hall dedicated to the young pharaoh, said Mostafa.

“The new section is seven times bigger than the pharaoh’s section in the Egyptian museum in Tahrir Square,” said Mostafa, who added that the new hall will operate with the most updated technology systems.

Other artifacts, including limestone sphinxes and granite pillars, have been transferred to the GEM, member of GEM’s transferring artifacts committee Basem Hamad told Al-Balad news website.

“Archaeologists and professors of antiquity renovation have been consulted before taking the decision to transfer Egypt’s treasures to the Grand Egyptian Museum,” said Hamad, who added that the artifacts will be transported through a convoy and secured by police forces.

On Aug. 25, 2006, after years of controversy and logistical headaches, a colossal pink granite statue of Ramses II was transferred in one piece from Cairo’s busy Ramses Square to the GEM.

The transfer was carried out during a high-risk overnight operation through Cairo’s streets on a 27-metre motorized convoy.

The technique used in lifting the statue is similar to the one used by ancient Egyptians in lifting the pyramid’s blocks, according to Zahi Hawass, former Minister of Antiquities.

The GEM is being built over an area of 117 acres and is considered the biggest-ever Pharaonic museum worldwide. Its foundation stone was laid in February 2002.

Under the supervision of UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA), an International Architectural Competition to design the GEM was launched in 2002. The design of an Irish architect firm named Heneghan Peng was chosen.

The cost of the project is estimated at $550 million and is being funded by Japanese JICA and a fund raising campaign. It is expected to be inaugurated in mid-August 2015.


Via Egypt-actus
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Hausa/Fulani Pre-Colonial Political System in Nigeria

Hausa/Fulani Pre-Colonial Political System in Nigeria | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial political system can be credited to the Holy Jihad fought by Uthman Danfodio in 1804. They can be found in the Northern part of Nigeria covering areas like Kaduna, Sokoto,...
diana buja's insight:

Brief summary of pre-colonial administrative conditions in northern Nigeria.  The coloial Brits seemed a bit stymmied - here were highly literate persons who were quite unlike residents in southern Nigeria and other African areas of British colonialism.

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Elaborate tomb of Egyptian scribe discovered in Abydos

Elaborate tomb of Egyptian scribe discovered in Abydos | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
A tomb newly excavated at an ancient cemetery in Egypt would have boasted a pyramid 7 meters (23 feet) high at its entrance, archaeologists say.
diana buja's insight:

-- Cahail believes that Horemheb's family had military ties that allowed them to afford such an elaborate tomb. Another burial chamber, this one missing a sarcophagus, contains shabti figurines that were crafted to do the work of the deceased in the afterlife. Writing on the figurines say that they are for the "Overseer of the Stable, Ramesu (also spelled Ramesses)." This appears to be a military title and it’s possible that Ramesu was the father or older brother of Horemheb, Cahail said.

Read more at: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.fr/2014/03/elaborate-tomb-of-egyptian-scribe.html#.UzpXFfl_v2g
Follow us: @ArchaeoNewsNet on Twitter | groups/thearchaeologynewsnetwork/ on Facebook

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Biographies in bone

Biographies in bone | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
The diet and journeys taken by those who lived in the Sahara Desert thousands of years ago are being analysed through their teeth and bones

Via David Connolly
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David Connolly's curator insight, March 29, 8:17 AM

Our knowledge of past civilisations is gleaned from what is left behind – the shards of pots, traces of dwellings and goods from graves. And just as these are clues to the everyday behaviours of individuals long gone, so too are their bodily remains. Locked in their teeth and bones is information that scientists can use to reveal how they lived, such as the food they ate and the distances they travelled.

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Archaeology of African Plant Use

Archaeology of African Plant Use | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

While the study of plants alongside archaeological projects has long been established within Europe and the Near East, for much of Africa such studies are much rarer. This volume represents an important contribution to this growing focus of research, and provides an important corpus of work both for the archaeobotanist and African archaeologist alike.

The twenty-two newly-authored chapters are divided into four major areas of study; the archaeobotanies of hominids during the Palaeolithic, the West African Neolithic, the role of plants in the economies and structure of complex societies, and finally a series of case studies that apply new techniques and approaches to African archaeological analyses. The themes of the papers cover such diverse topics as primate plant use, diet and evolution, palaeoenvironmental change, domestication, agriculture, iron production and historical linguistics.


Via Dorian Q Fuller
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, February 17, 6:50 PM

Includes a chapter in Nubian agriculture and Meroitic state collapse: "

Agricultural Innovation and State Collapse in Meroitic Nubia: The Impact of the Savannah Package" by Dorian Fuller

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El Kurru: A Royal City of Ancient Kush

El Kurru: A Royal City of Ancient Kush | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

We have continued to work on the mortuary temple that we think was devoted to the cult of a dead king (or maybe all the dead kings and queens in the cemetery). It’s a large building, and we have now nearly excavated the entire outer room with 26 columns. Stay tuned for a photo within the next week...


Via Dorian Q Fuller
diana buja's insight:

Thanks to Dorian Fuller

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, March 12, 7:04 AM

A blog on current fieldwork reinvestigating the Napatan cemetery at El Kurru.

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How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public

How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
Even as publics in many of the surveyed Muslim-majority countries express a clear preference for women to dress conservatively, many also say women should be able to decide for themselves what to wear.

Via Seth Dixon
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Ignacio Garrido's curator insight, January 14, 10:19 AM

Execise 18 :

 

1. You have to send the answer by moodle

2. To sum up the new in 5 lines.

3. What do you think about this way of dress?

4. What is the favourite way of muslim dress prefer in each countries?

5. Who has written the new? Do you think is he/she objective? Why?

6. Is these new as you can wath on TV ? Think your answer.

7. Can you relationed the pictures ( number in graphic ) with its real name ( in the text of the new )?

 

Good Luck

Mr. Lavold's curator insight, January 18, 12:35 PM

We've been discussing the Quebec Charter of Values and the limits it places on diversity in the Quebec landscape. Isn't it interesting that such legal limitations do not exist in many of the Muslim countries around the world.

mjonesED's curator insight, January 18, 5:02 PM

For our colleagues who might be traveling in the middle east.

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Michigan State University Libraries - Vibrant Treasures - Joseph Banks Florilegium

Michigan State University Libraries - Vibrant Treasures - Joseph Banks Florilegium | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it
>Michigan State University Libraries - Vibrant Treasures - Joseph Banks Florilegium
diana buja's insight:

Joseph Banks (1743-1820) supported many of the explorers of his day, who were Africa-Bound.  Florilegium was his magnum opus.

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A review of palaeobotanical findings of early Vitis in the mediterranean and of the origins of cultivated grape-vines, with special reference to new pointers to prehistoric exploitation in the west...

The presence in S.E. Spain of Vitis vinifera L. seeds at prehistoric siites of the 3rd millennium B.C., and pollen at Quaternary stations, are considered in the light of conflicting views about the origins of cultivation of the grape and their relation to spontaneous and subspontaneous Vitis in Western Mediterranean Europe. It is proposed that new findings from Spain cast doubt on the widely-held view that Vitis exploitation there is no older than Classical times. Botanical as well as archaeological arguments are put forward to support a greater antiquity of exploitation of Vitis in Mediterranean prehistory, based on a critical review of the literature about both palaeobotanical finds of Vitis and the modern distribution of spontaneous Vitis in the Mediterranean basin and adjacent regions.


Via Dorian Q Fuller, Eve Emshwiller
diana buja's insight:

Info. on ancient history and distribution of grape vines - it's greater antiquity than normally presented.  There is quite early recording of (domestic?) grapes in ancient Egypt and I'll try to find the reference

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, December 12, 2013 3:15 PM

New evidence for prehistoric use of grapes in Spain.

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Agriculture's roots spread east to Iran | Humans | Science News

Agriculture's roots spread east to Iran | Humans | Science News | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

Agriculture originated across a broader swath of southwestern Asia’s Fertile Crescent, and over a longer time period, than many scientists have thought, excavations in western Iran suggest.

Between 11,700 and 9,800 years ago, residents of Chogha Golan, a settlement in the foothills of Iran’s Zagros Mountains, went from cultivating wild ancestors of modern crops to growing a form of domesticated wheat called emmer, say archaeobotanist Simone Riehl of the University of Tübingen, Germany, and her colleagues. Until now, most evidence of farming’s origins came from sites 700 to 1,500 kilometers west of Chogha Golan, the scientists report in the July 5Science.


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The Archaeology News Network: Medieval tower and paintings discovered in Sudan

The Archaeology News Network: Medieval tower and paintings discovered in Sudan | Pre-Modern Africa, the Middle East - and Beyond | Scoop.it

Dongola Citadel is located on the uplifted rock on the bank of the Nile. It was surrounded by fortifications built in the late fifth and sixth centuries. In the past, archaeologists stumbled upon its walls, but never before so well preserved fragments. This year, they unveiled the tower preserved to a height of more than 8 m.

diana buja's insight:

Massive fortifications - vs. Bishari and other pastoral groups - perhaps also from Egypt ?

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