There’s been a lot press this past week in various science magazines and online publications about the discoveries in Central Asia that could/will revolutionize the modern perception of the genesis of civilization.
- Discovery of Middle Asia Cities Recasts Ancient History by Ben Mauke – LiveScience
- Beyond Mesopotamia: A radical new view of human civilization reported in Science – EurekAlert
- Middle Asia Digs Suggest a New View of the Dawn of Civilization – American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
We were all taught in school that civilization began in the Mesopotamia area of Iraq, right? And that everything else (i.e. Egypt, Harappa) spread from there. Well, with each discovery, that appears to be less and less true.
What’s causing all of the buzz. Two areas: Jiroft in Iran and the Bactria-Margiana Archaeology Complex (BMAC) in Central Asia (i.e. Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan).
Both of these areas had extensive commercial ties to the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India/Pakistan, Oman, and each other. However, all of them had their own distintive styles, reflecting indepedent cultures.
Jiroft may even have had its own writing system.
Interestingly, contemporary with these old world civlizations, we have the Caral/Supe Valley (aka Chico Norte) Civilization of the Peruvian Andes.
The fields of archaeology, and ancient history study have recently become very interesting indeed.