I have made progress in my Knowledge base by connecting modern history, economics, and education, behavioral culture, and conceptual culture to periods of history at the century level. Family studies, particular groups, and material culture are well underway.
I’ve been contemplating a historical fantasy for some time now, and I’m almost to the level of detail to begin serious outlining. It appears that I’m going to have to work my way backward from the present after all.
Happy Independence Day (and Fourth of July, too).
In spite of riots, cancel culture, and Wuhan coronavirus, I believe in the United States of America.
“The Man must be bad indeed who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the great Author of the Universe whose divine interposition was so frequently manifested in our behalf.”
—George Washington: letter to Samuel Langdon, September 28, 1789
So I don’t just thank the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who were brave and honorable men in spite of their flaws and foibles, but the God who put a desire for freedom in their hearts and the idea that all men are created equal under Him in their minds.
“God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”
― Otto von Bismarck
It comes to my attention that I am working at cross purposes with myself. On the one, hand, I am working from the beginning in prehistory forward, and on the other, from the present back. It’s no wonder that progress is slow. This is highlighted by the fact that while recorded history depends on documents for source material, archaeology depends on artifacts, Whichever direction I work from these are hard to get to.
I use this as a shortcut reference to the types of evidence available for early and middle prehistory. Bones, as in fossil remains of human skeletons, and stones, as in stones that show evidence of having been formed into tools. Most of the references I have for early prehistory are in the “bones” category, but as I work forward into middle prehistory, “Stones” become more important. This should be no great surprise. Since bones are organic material, they are subject to all sorts of processes that degrade them, and it is fairly rare that conditions are right for them to be fossilized. It is also fairly uncommon for the rock layers in which fossils can be found to exposed at the surface; they are often either buried under later deposits, or have been eroded away. Stones are more durable.
To continue my investigations into early prehistory, I found it necessary to broaden the interconnections of African peoples, Asiatic peoples, and Western civilization. These are now done sufficiently that I can move on to the next stage. For Africa peoples, I now have connections to African cities and communities. The next step will involved connecting stone age developments to the various peoples of the world, There aren’t many cities that can be reliably traced that far back.
In sociology, social mechanics, social change, I am working with particular changes and movements back through centuries of antiquity. These include stone age developments, the agricultural revolution, agrarian developments, and the industrial revolution. Each of these will be subdivided further. For now, since I am interested in beginnings, In the 19th century, European archaeologists began to classify artifacts as belonging to the Stone age, Bronze age, and Iron age. The Stone age was further subdivided into the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle Stone age) and Neolithic (New Stone age). The Paleolithic was subdivided into include Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic, and Upper Paleolithic, referring to the depth at which artifacts were found. There were regional variants. Outside Europe, Mesolithic is often called Epipaleolithic, and African finds are often labeled differently (Early Stone Age, Middle Stone Age, and Later Stone Age). Dating of cultures and cultural developments is only very approximate, and the various stone ages began and ended in different times and in different places. Most of these cultures and stages of development are only known through archaeology. I refer to those discovered and described by explorers and anthropologists, chiefly in modern times, as the historical Stone Age.
My investigations of prehistory have led me to the region of Lake Turkana, which is mostly in Kenya but extends into Ethiopia. This is currently one of the alkaline/saline lakes with no outlet in the East African rift system, but at various times in the past has been completely dry, and at others sufficiently filled its basin to overflow and be the source of rivers flowing into either the Indian Ocean (earlier) or the Nile river system (later). This region probably has the richest collection of hominin fossils that has yet been found. The advancing and retreating shorelines have created various layers of sediment and conditions good for preserving fossils, and because so many have been found, the region has attracted special attention of anthropologists looking for them. Between Kenya and South Africa, the other region where ancient fossils have been found, there are Zaire, and Zimbabwe. I would like to see more information from those areas. It may be that political conditions have not been highly favorable to research, and I’m not sure that physical conditons were conducive to fossilization.
Not much to report today, except that I’ve finally got the Middle East connected to centuries of history. My principal focus will be on Egypt to begin with, but ancient Egyptian civilization and culture is a HUGE field. Some of the earliest roots are in region I am calling Interior North Africa (Sudan, Chad, and south Sudan) which don’t have a great many prehistoric fossil remains, and I have to follow stones more than bones. In the latter part of early prehistory and through middle prehistory, I need to pay more attention to other regions of the middle East and to Europe, which also diverts my attention. Visible progress is likely to be slow.
After fighting red tape with with my medical insurance, a visit to my dendrochronologist (it’s a joke), and composing a couple of political rants, I didn’t make a whole lot of progress in my history studies. A little, but not much.
Nominations for the 2020 Mayor’s Hall of Shame are open. So far I have:
De Blasio (New York City)
Garcetti (Los Angeles)
Breed (San Francisco)
I keep going back to the beginning in my studies of prehistory. For the latest pass, I have begun expanding the connections of specific peoples to others, and I am beginning with the closest neighbors. I have done significant connections of African peoples, but these were rather quickly eclipsed by Asian and European peoples. The connections among the subdivisions of African peoples, an among the subdivisions of Eastern African peoples are being explored. I would like to do more with subdivisions of Middle Eastern peoples, but this is very close to having full connection with centuries of history. I have religion (in general) connected all the way to the beginning, and want to focus on particular religions and on getting government connected.