Monthly Archives: August 2021

Unexpected turn

I am still working through early prehistory, which I noted in my last post involves Africa, especially Eastern and Southern Africa. For Central East Africa, I am working with Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Rwanda and Burundi also belong to this group, but are smaller and I am setting them aside. For Northern East Africa, I am working with Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. Although I knew that Somalia occupies the Horn of Africa, I had not quite fixed in my mind that Eritrea is on the southwestern shore of the Red Sea. Djibouti is smaller and will be more important in middle and late prehistory. For Interior East Africa, South Sudan is not the largest, but it has a an important central place, followed by Sudan. Chad will be next, and is more important in middle and late prehistory. In Southern Africa, I have individual nations. Malawi is fairly small, but occupies a critical location between Central East Africa and South Africa. It is practically surrounded on the east and south by Mozambique, which is next in importance at this period. South Africa itself has quite a few hominid fossils, but is a bit harder to get to. Later on, I will be connecting Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

In working through the rather artificial political and governmental subdivisions of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, I have noticed that the tribes and villages tend to be distinguished by languages. I have long since noted that language is an important organizing principle for peoples, but I have more or less set it aside for later consideration. Later has now arrived, and it’s about time to start considering languages of the world.

I had set aside my work in cartography, but I have picked it up again. I’ve more or less identified the contours, except perhaps for a few small regions. Next I need to add lakes and rivers. At this smaller scale, more of the Great Lakes in the rift zones of Africa can be identified, not just Lake Victoria. Also on my plate is creating another map at the next smaller scale.

Back to the Beginning

Eep. It’s been almost a month since I updated the blog. I decided I was more interested in gong back to the beginning than in keeping up with current events, so that means going back to early prehistory.

I also wanted to push the development of interconnections, and I finally have a more or less continuous ladder. We’ll see how that goes.

The story begins in Central East African peoples, on the west side of Lake Turkana, in Kenya. This region has the oldest and largest known collection of human and prehuman fossils. Whether this is because this is the true site of the origins of mankind, whether it is because conditions for fossilization and preservation of remains have been better in this region than in others, whether it is because the fossils are easier to find, or whether it is because anthropologists have been looking for them more than in other areas, or because of some combination of these factors is not entirely clear. In any case, it makes a convenient starting point. From this point in Kenya, I can go northward into Ethiopia, northwestward into South Sudan and the Nile watershed, westward into Uganda, southward into Tanzania, and eastward into Somalia. From there, we shall see what happens.