July was a bad month. My mother died on July 7, and I was involved with arranging her funeral.
I have also become increasingly frustrated with history and with my lack of progress in recent events, cultural areas, and the scientific areas of the knowledge Base. For the past few days decided to follow my instincts and start working on the other end, with science.
I have found that for motivational purposes, it’s often easier to work from the top down, which suggests development of biohistory. There are, practically speaking, four major divisions, the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eons. Of these, the Cenozoic is the most recent and easiest to study, and this is at the forefront of my investigation. Ecology is also prominent in biology, and I am working on subdivisions of systematics and organism biology.
I am treating geological history separately but in parallel with biological history. Biological history focuses on communities, biological evolution, animals, plants, and so forth, while geological history focuses on oceans, continents, climate, landforms, rocks and minerals, and so forth. These are closely tied and connected, but often require different approaches. Physical geography is now subdividied, and I am working on atmospheric and hydrospheric science.
I also am working on divisions of astronomy and chemistry, so far a little bit more slowly than biology and earth science.
I got to about the 27th century BC and decided that I wanted to backtrack to go through periods of prehistory: Trying to do all the possible connections was just too tedious. But I have made some progress in other areas.
For one, I have finished a review of how other sociology applies to Asiatic peoples, and have begin reviewing religion. For another, I have finally finished connecting biographies to social mechanics, and I am now in a position to consider why the people selected for the biographies were important. For a third, I have finished reviewing connecting nations and cities to culture, and done a review of how peoples are applied. I am now in the process of reviewing how institutions are applied to culture.
The fourth millennium BC includes the beginning of Bronze age civilization and the beginnings of recorded, written history. At my present stage of development, this is largely concentrated on Egyptian civilization and culture, but I do have references to developing civilizations in Pakistan and China.
At this point, I am shifting to antiquity. Antiquity has much finer subdivisions than prehistory does. The subdivisions of Antiquity are at the level of individual centuries. This is not quite fine enough to work with a conventional narrative history, but summaries of the major peoples and historical figures are possible. Beginning in the early 3rd millennium BC, I can examine the 30th century BC.
Other history can be used to consider the 30th century BC. I have added a few comments about sources. In the 19th century and 20th century, written history has been supplemented by archaeology. I still have a focus on Egypt and the first dynasty. Harappan civilization was developing in Pakistan and India, but since the writing has not been deciphered and translated, its history is not well known.
I don’t really have a great deal to add for the 8th millennium BC, 7th millennium BC, 6th millennium BC, or 5th millennium BC, except that there was increasing evidence of Neolithic settlements in various places around the world. I have included a few more references to Egyptian developments and archaeology. One of my continuing goals for the knowledge base is better discussion of archaeology and its history. So far, I only have a few scattered notes.
For Asiatic peoples, I have finished a review of their connections to other peoples of the world. Western Civilization is being connected to biographies, and their is still some ways to go. For the history of institutions, I have completed a review of the early 3rd millennium BC.
In the 2nd decamillennium BP, I take note of developments in Egypt, which include several successive cultures with various degrees of transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture. There were similar developments in Iran and Anatolia. From here on, I will be concentrating on developments of Egypt, although this was not necessarily the highest or most advanced civilization: It was rivaled by Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian peoples were more important anciently than the size of modern Iraq would indicate, so it will take some time before these are developed to their proper place in this period. There were also some settlements in India and in China and Japan. There are identified cultures in France. So far I have little information on Africa or the Americas. A new series of social developments, for which I used the term the agricultural revolution, began. During this period, peoples and cultures I identify as horticultural, with settled farming, began to appear. Whether agriculture was invented independently in several cultures about the same time or whether it was an idea that spread rapidly does not appear clear from the evidence now available.
For Western Civilization, I have completed a review of anthropology. For some time, I have been anticipating making connections to biographies. I have now reached the point where I can begin to do this.
For the 3rd decamillennium BP, I went back to review what references there were for France. There were quite a few. I find in my various readings that a great deal of what is thought about middle prehistory is derived from the work of French prehistorians and archaeologists, and has been rather heavily Eurocentric. That is starting to change, but many of the named cultures of this period have French names.
For late mid Pleistocene prehistory, I am short on notes for developments in Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is believed that modern humans migrated from Africa and began to populate the world, but the references I have gathered don’t describe this process well.
The next period, the 5th decamillennium BP, also belongs to late Pleistocene prehistory, but I have placed in middle prehistory. Decamillennium is too a word. I made it up myself, from perfectly respectable roots; it’s less cumbersome to write ‘the 5th decamillennium BP’ than it is ‘the period from 50,000 years before present to 40,000 years before present’ over and over. I don’t yet have many references to events of this period.
The next period, the 4th decamillennium BP, also belongs to the late Pleistocene prehistory. It is thought that Neanderthal man began to disappear in this period, and were replaced by modern humans. The maximum extent of the last ice age is thought to have been approximately in this period.
For Anthropology, I have finished making connections to nations as far as they have developed and will begin making connections to cities smaller than Singapore. For Personal studies, I have finished making connections to cities larger than Hong Kong, and have begin connecting to nations. For Science, I have finished reviewing the connections to Anthropology. I am beginning to connect biographies. This is somewhat out of order according to my current development scheme, but it fits with what the scheme should have been.
Sometimes I find that including more references and information creates more confusion.
For the period I am calling mid Pleistocene prehistory, in Africa I am finding references to anatomically modern man. The middle East has a few unspecified references to tools, and to some Neanderthals. South Asia has a references to Soanian culture, which is identified more with stones than bones. The Orient and Southeast Asian and Oceanic peoples have references to Homo erectus in the early period. Europe chiefly has references to Neanderthals. Eventually, I will have to broaden the connections to include more nations, subdivide the period, and find better references to clarify developments of this period. In the meantime, stone age developments and hunting and gathering peoples are chiefly applicable. There are traces of the origins of social institutions, but I consider them more speculative than substantial, and I lack good references. Pretty much the same goes for culture.
I abruptly decided that I was tired of the 19th century, and to go back to prehistory.
Pliocene prehistory is focused on the earliest origins of humanity, as revealed by investigation of skeletal remains by archaeologists, primarily of the 20th century. These are limited to Africa, which is still being connected. Stone age developments are also being considered. The origins of the institutions ought to be traced, but the evidence is still unclear. Most of the evidence consists of stone tools and skeletal remains, or what I call “stones and bones”.
Early Pleistocene prehistory likewise is limited to principally the 19th century, and mostly limited to Africa. along with stone age developments and institutional origins. The evidence is still mostly stones and bones.
Early mid Pleistocene prehistory. This began to be studied in the 19th century, and is better known in the 20th century. Remains of are found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. This is still mostly concerned with stone age developments and hunting and gathering society. The role of institutions is not yet clear. Evidence is still mostly stones and bones. I have not yet examined culture enough to distinguish the various types of stone industries, but this important in the archaeology of this period. The predominant species of this period is believed to be homo erectus.
For Western Civilization, I have made connections to human geography as far as it has been developed.
The history of institutions through middle prehistory has been rewritten. Science has also been connected to details of human geography as far as they are developed.
One of the reasons my review of history is going so slowly is that I am taking the time to expand the links of other connected areas.
Although my review of the mid 19th century from 1841-1860 is principally showing up Britain’s involvement in the Crimean war and the United States in the Mexican war, there are still a lot of international developments I have set aside for now.
In the major area of culture, specifically the sociology of culture, I have completed the connection with cities and I will be doing a review of how various peoples of the world are connected to culture.