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Re: New Theory on the Evolution of Egypt

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  • Martín Segovia
    ... at least implicit in virtually any concept of the development of civilization. ... Maybe if you judge by the simplistic way journalists put it, but I think
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 3, 2007
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      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
      >
      > Now who'd a thunk that? It appears that this is something that is
      at least implicit in virtually any concept of the development of
      civilization.
      >
      > george
      > gfsomsel




      Maybe if you judge by the simplistic way journalists
      put it, but I think that as a theory it was advanced
      only about 15 years ago in anthropology and AFAIK never
      for egyptology where demography, circumscription, the
      need for control over irrigation, etc., etc. had not
      very convincingly been advanced before and the concept
      in all its implications seems to be a fairly original
      idea for the early development of complexity in Egypt.

      Doesn´t it at least deserve a fair hearing when it is
      more academically presented? Maybe it has already been
      and I haven´t seen it. I didn´t attend the meeting they
      mention, has anybody here?

      Martin



      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Antonio Lombatti <antonio.lombatti@...>
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, September 2, 2007 6:41:06 AM
      > Subject: [ANE-2] New Theory on the Evolution of Egypt
      >
      > Professor Juan José Castillos, of the Uruguayan Institute of
      Egyptology, claims that the evolution of the Egyptian civilisation
      resulted from the ambition of individuals with a strong inclination
      towards exerting power. He presented his thesis yesterday at the 2nd
      National Summit for Egyptology Studies, in the southern Brazilian
      city of Curitiba.
      >
      > The full report can be read here:
      >
      > http://www.anba com.br/ingles/ noticia.php? id=15771
      >
      > Antonio Lombatti.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      ______________________________________________________________________
      ______________
      > Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative
      vehicles. Visit the Yahoo! Auto Green Center.
      > http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center/
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • B. Andelkovic
      With the past and present civilizations in mind, overambitious, power-hungry individuals and conflict over power can hardly be labeled as new . As far as
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 6, 2007
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        With the past and present "civilizations" in mind, overambitious, power-hungry individuals and conflict over power can hardly be labeled as "new".

        As far as the state formation in Naqada IIC-IID1 Egypt (ca. 3500 BC) is concerned (power conflict as the true prime mover/dominant factor included) perhaps this might be of interest:


        Andelkovic, B., 2004, The Upper Egyptian Commonwealth: A Crucial Phase of the State Formation Process. Pp. 535-546 in Egypt at its Origins. Studies in Memory of Barbara Adams. Proceedings of the International Conference "Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt", Krakow, 28th August - 1st September 2002. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 138, eds. S. Hendrickx, R. F. Friedman, K. M. Cialowicz, and M. Chlodnicki. Leuven, Paris and Dudley, MA: Uitgeverij Peeters and Departement Oosterose Studies.

        Andelkovic, B., Models of State Formation in Predynastic Egypt. In Archaeology of Early Northeastern Africa: In Memory of Lech Krzyzaniak. Studies in African Archaeology 9, eds. K. Kroeper, M. Chlodnicki and M. Kobusiewicz. Poznan: Poznan Archaeological Museum (2006, in press).

        Andelkovic, B., Parameters of Statehood in Predynastic Egypt. In L'Egypte pré- et protodynastique. Les origines de l'Etat. Toulouse (France) 5-8 sept.2005, eds. B. Midant-Reynes, Y. Tristant, S. Hendrickx, and R. F. Friedman. [The Proceedings are to be published by Peeters Publishers at Leuven, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta series. Their publication is planned for the end of year 2007.]


        ____________________________________________
        Dr. Branislav Andelkovic
        Asst. Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology
        Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Archaeology
        Cika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
        E-mail: B.Andelkovic@...
        Tel.+381 11 3206 235; Fax.+381 11 2639 356
        ____________________________________________
        The Belgrade Mummy: http://www.f.bg.ac.yu/bemum/

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Martín Segovia
        ... power-hungry individuals and conflict over power can hardly be labeled as new . ... BC) is concerned (power conflict as the true prime mover/dominant ...
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 7, 2007
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          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "B. Andelkovic" <B.Andelkovic@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > With the past and present "civilizations" in mind, overambitious,
          power-hungry individuals and conflict over power can hardly be
          labeled as "new".
          >
          > As far as the state formation in Naqada IIC-IID1 Egypt (ca. 3500
          BC) is concerned (power conflict as the true prime mover/dominant
          factor included) perhaps this might be of interest:
          >
          >
          (several references given)

          >
          > ____________________________________________
          > Dr. Branislav Andelkovic
          > Asst. Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology
          > Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Archaeology
          > Cika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
          > E-mail: B.Andelkovic@...
          > Tel.+381 11 3206 235; Fax.+381 11 2639 356
          > ____________________________________________
          > The Belgrade Mummy: http://www.f.bg.ac.yu/bemum/
          >





          I am afraid you might have missed the point. It´s
          quite clear that individuals and their power struggles
          are not new in egyptology, but the concept of "aggrandisers"
          and how they came about and even if it is an adequate
          explanation for the appearance of hereditary chiefs
          in formerly somewhat egalitarian groups, is a subject
          much discussed in modern anthropology, and applied to
          the beginning of class stratification in predynastic
          Egypt I have never read it discussed in any egyptology
          book or paper so far. It apparently requires looking
          for different kinds of evidence in the archaeological
          record.

          All the interpretations I have read about deal with
          other possible causes for this phenomenon, as I pointed
          out in an earlier post.

          So, if you can provide precise references in which
          this modern anthropological concept is applied to Egypt,
          then this research would not be ´new´, but if you cannot,
          then this would definitely be new and original.

          Just some thoughts I wanted to share.

          Cheers,

          Martin Segovia
        • Osvaldo
          Just for information, about the controversy of New Theory on the Evolution of Egypt, of professor J. J. Castillos’s webpage:
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 8, 2007
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            Just for information, about the controversy of New Theory on the Evolution
            of Egypt, of professor J. J. Castillos’s webpage:



            http://www.geocities.com/jjcastillos/complexity.html



            Fraternally,



            Osvaldo Luiz Ribeiro

            Brasil





            _____

            De: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] Em nome de Martín
            Segovia
            Enviada em: sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2007 14:45
            Para: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Assunto: [ANE-2] Re: New Theory on the Evolution of Egypt





            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com, "B.
            Andelkovic" <B.Andelkovic@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > With the past and present "civilizations" in mind, overambitious,
            power-hungry individuals and conflict over power can hardly be
            labeled as "new".
            >
            > As far as the state formation in Naqada IIC-IID1 Egypt (ca. 3500
            BC) is concerned (power conflict as the true prime mover/dominant
            factor included) perhaps this might be of interest:
            >
            >
            (several references given)

            >
            > ____________________________________________
            > Dr. Branislav Andelkovic
            > Asst. Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology
            > Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Archaeology
            > Cika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
            > E-mail: B.Andelkovic@...
            > Tel.+381 11 3206 235; Fax.+381 11 2639 356
            > ____________________________________________
            > The Belgrade Mummy: http://www.f <http://www.f.bg.ac.yu/bemum/>
            bg.ac.yu/bemum/
            >

            I am afraid you might have missed the point. It´s
            quite clear that individuals and their power struggles
            are not new in egyptology, but the concept of "aggrandisers"
            and how they came about and even if it is an adequate
            explanation for the appearance of hereditary chiefs
            in formerly somewhat egalitarian groups, is a subject
            much discussed in modern anthropology, and applied to
            the beginning of class stratification in predynastic
            Egypt I have never read it discussed in any egyptology
            book or paper so far. It apparently requires looking
            for different kinds of evidence in the archaeological
            record.

            All the interpretations I have read about deal with
            other possible causes for this phenomenon, as I pointed
            out in an earlier post.

            So, if you can provide precise references in which
            this modern anthropological concept is applied to Egypt,
            then this research would not be ´new´, but if you cannot,
            then this would definitely be new and original.

            Just some thoughts I wanted to share.

            Cheers,

            Martin Segovia





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mikey Brass
            ... I tend to agree with the scholars criticising the concept of aggranisers on practical and theoretical grounds. One aspects of the criticism is it treats
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 8, 2007
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              Osvaldo wrote:

              > http://www.geocities.com/jjcastillos/complexity.html

              I tend to agree with the scholars criticising the concept of aggranisers
              on practical and theoretical grounds. One aspects of the criticism is it
              treats the predynastic inhabitants of the Nile Valley as a region upon
              which to impose theoretical models constructed from examples outside of
              Africa.

              --
              Best, Mikey Brass
              MA in Archaeology degree, University College London
              "The Antiquity of Man" http://www.antiquityofman.com
              Book: "The Antiquity of Man: Artifactual, fossil and gene records explored"

              - !ke e: /xarra //ke
              ("Diverse people unite": Motto of the South African Coat of Arms, 2002)
            • Jon Smyth
              Is it not perceived that in order for a social group to evolve interaction is required between different social groups? That a group which remains isolated is
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 9, 2007
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                Is it not perceived that in order for a social group to evolve
                interaction is required between different social groups?
                That a group which remains isolated is more likely to remain static?

                Progressive evolution of a select society may well be as a result of
                aggressive contact with the outside world. I think it has been readily
                demonstrated that conflicts tend to result in 'leaps-forward' in
                technology in all ages.
                Ironically there can be mutual benefits from mutual aggression between
                differing social groups.

                Are you concerned about a revamping of Petrie's Dynastic Race Theory?

                Best Wishes, Jon Smyth
                Toronto, CAN.


                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Mikey Brass <michael.brass@...> wrote:
                >
                > Osvaldo wrote:
                >
                > > http://www.geocities.com/jjcastillos/complexity.html
                >
                > I tend to agree with the scholars criticising the concept of
                aggranisers
                > on practical and theoretical grounds. One aspects of the criticism
                is it
                > treats the predynastic inhabitants of the Nile Valley as a region upon
                > which to impose theoretical models constructed from examples outside of
                > Africa.
                >
              • Martín Segovia
                ... aggranisers ... is it ... upon ... outside of ... Why not? Not forcing them into the data but checking if they make sense or not, after all, man is
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 9, 2007
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                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Mikey Brass <michael.brass@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > I tend to agree with the scholars criticising the concept of
                  aggranisers
                  > on practical and theoretical grounds. One aspects of the criticism
                  is it
                  > treats the predynastic inhabitants of the Nile Valley as a region
                  upon
                  > which to impose theoretical models constructed from examples
                  outside of
                  > Africa.
                  >
                  > --
                  > Best, Mikey Brass
                  > MA in Archaeology degree, University College London





                  Why not? Not forcing them into the data but
                  checking if they make sense or not, after
                  all, man is basically the same everywhere.
                  I don´t see anybody ´imposing´ anything on
                  anybody but rather exploring possibilities.

                  Following your views, then Carneiro´s ideas
                  about circumscription should not have been
                  applied to Egypt and Bard should not have
                  joined him for the purpose because if I
                  remember right, he originally conceived them
                  for Peru. Still, those views were published
                  and (for a while) received respectful attention.

                  That would seem to me adopting a very narrow
                  minded approach that would impoverish rather
                  than increase knowledge.

                  From my readings in archaeology and anthropology
                  it seems that evidence and theoretical views
                  emerging from all over the world are tested
                  everywhere, and this seems a fertile pursuit.

                  Sincerely,

                  Martin Segovia
                • Mikey Brass
                  ... I do not accept the concept of progressive evolution . Cultural structures, a higher abstraction level resting upon social organisational principles, are
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 9, 2007
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                    Jon Smyth wrote:
                    > Is it not perceived that in order for a social group to evolve
                    > interaction is required between different social groups?
                    > That a group which remains isolated is more likely to remain static?
                    >
                    > Progressive evolution of a select society may well be as a result of
                    > aggressive contact with the outside world. I think it has been readily
                    > demonstrated that conflicts tend to result in 'leaps-forward' in
                    > technology in all ages.
                    > Ironically there can be mutual benefits from mutual aggression between
                    > differing social groups.

                    I do not accept the concept of "progressive evolution".

                    Cultural structures, a higher abstraction level resting upon social
                    organisational principles, are inherently vested with the
                    trappings of power symbolism. This power symbolism has been defined as
                    “a complex of thoughts, rules and practices…which describe and explain
                    the functioning meaning and goal of a social group” (Skalnik 1996, 86).
                    To the degree by which symbols of power are co-opted towards political
                    ends, political ideology manifests itself as “a specific set of
                    thoughts and rules regulating the co-existence of people on one
                    territory…[embracing] more people…[and] explains why particular people
                    should be rulers and others not” (Skalnik 1996, 86).

                    The incorporation of symbols into the ideological trappings of political
                    power questions to what degree these events parallel the transformation
                    of essentially egalitarian modes of production into social hierarchies.
                    Fieldwork conducted amongst the Moors and Tuaregs of the Sahara and
                    Sahel (Bonte 1977), the Dii of Cameroon (Muller 1996) and the Nanumba
                    polity in northern Ghana (Skalnik 1996), amongst others, has reinforced
                    the notion of recognition of multiple forms of political organisation
                    advocated by Fried (1967).

                    The manifestations and nature of egalitarian political and
                    socio-economic societies are well documented in the literature (Barnard
                    1992, Fried 1967, Smith et al. 2000). What is important
                    to note, however, is that while the environment is an active and
                    important component of patterns of landscape exploitation, development
                    of a ranked society from an egalitarian base in a pristine situation
                    occurs through a combination of indigenous stimuli and variables
                    (Fried 1967). Rank societies regulate behaviour through shared ethnic
                    group membership differentiated into a formalised kinship network based
                    on descent principles, labour divisions based on age and sex,
                    redistributing integrated economic resources on a village as
                    opposed to individual level (thus enhancing the status of the
                    redistributor) and having the loci of co-operation centred around the
                    ethnic group (Fried 1967, McElreath et al. 2003).

                    Further delineations are required between centralised states and
                    stateless segmentary lineage systems. In the latter, ritual and
                    political influence have contrasting spheres of control:
                    ritual activities in the peripheral areas are in constant flux, while
                    the seat of political authority is centred on the core domains of the
                    territory held in place by checks and balances of ritual sanction and
                    institutionalised interdependence (Southall 1988b). The Nanumba
                    political structure of northern Ghana is an example of a society whose
                    power does not rest on the formalised structure of a state, but whose
                    different groups and institutions function interdependently through a
                    shared symbolic/cognitive manifestation of ritual, tradition and
                    authority as the source of legitimation (Skalnik 1996).

                    Muller (1996) has highlighted the intertwined political and ideological
                    groupings of the Dii and Gbaya in Cameroon as examples of different
                    political entities. The Dii chief undergoes a series of induction rites
                    upon his succession which are seen to legitimise his rule and provide
                    him with the strength, knowledge and humility to govern. Through this
                    process, the right of rulership is based on contracts between the
                    institution of the chief, who is also the chief priest, and those who
                    are ruled. The Gbaya are a population living to the south of the
                    Dii. While they too are organised into clans, the difference between
                    them and the Dii is the Gbaya have no formalised hereditary leadership;
                    their ideology of egalitarianism promotes splinter tendencies (Muller 1996).

                    While constructs of societal nexus are generally orientated towards
                    identifying either power symbols in polities such as state societies or
                    to identify the use of symbolic constructs in egalitarian cultures,
                    Renfrew (2001) has drawn attention to the feedback mechanisms of
                    four crucial concepts. However, Renfrew’s model does not adequately
                    account for ritual as a force for stability and change. Marxist (Bloch
                    1977), ecological anthropological (Rappaport 1979) and Neo-Darwinian
                    (Bettinger 1991) perspectives differ on the privileging of ritual as a
                    casual or derivative principle. Despite this, there remains the issue of
                    what factors integrate ritual with the social dynamics inherent in
                    emerging social hierarchies. Dual inheritance theory (Boyd and Richerson
                    1985) has been used to integrate ritual and social inequality into a
                    model outlining how ritually sanctioned justification may be monopolised
                    by high ranking individuals to increase their lineage’s wealth and
                    social status (Aldenderfer 1993). Giddens’ (1984) theory of
                    structuration and the concepts of agency (Barrett 2001) and
                    indirectly biased transmission (Boyd and Richerson 1985) are powerful
                    theoretical tools for explaining how social complexity subsequently
                    became institutionalised. Spencer (1993) uses these theoretical
                    constructions to hypothesize how transient “simultaneous
                    hierarchy” (achieved status) evolves into permanent elite, using agency
                    as the catalyst and structuration as the cultural limitations framing
                    the process.


                    --
                    Best, Mikey Brass
                    MA in Archaeology degree, University College London
                    "The Antiquity of Man" http://www.antiquityofman.com
                    Book: "The Antiquity of Man: Artifactual, fossil and gene records explored"

                    - !ke e: /xarra //ke
                    ("Diverse people unite": Motto of the South African Coat of Arms, 2002)
                  • Mikey Brass
                    ... For the same reason I would be hesistant to apply ethnography from, for example, a corner of southern Africa to Polynesia without taking into account
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 9, 2007
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                      Martín Segovia wrote:

                      > Why not?

                      For the same reason I would be hesistant to apply ethnography from, for
                      example, a corner of southern Africa to Polynesia without taking into
                      account ethnography from the region in question.

                      Getting *ideas* from reading a a broad range of ethnography is not
                      something I disagree with, of course. However, successfully *applying*
                      ethnographic concepts is a different animal.

                      There have been too many inaccurate instances of applying non-African
                      ethnography to African contexts for me to anything but cautious.

                      Kevin MacDonald and Andrew Reid have a book coming out next year on
                      early African statehood which explores these themes indepth.

                      --
                      Best, Mikey Brass
                      MA in Archaeology degree, University College London
                      "The Antiquity of Man" http://www.antiquityofman.com
                      Book: "The Antiquity of Man: Artifactual, fossil and gene records explored"

                      - !ke e: /xarra //ke
                      ("Diverse people unite": Motto of the South African Coat of Arms, 2002)
                    • B. Andelkovic
                      Dear Mr. Segovia, Thank you for your comments. ... It is my believe that Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology dealing with the pre- and proto-history of Egypt
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 10, 2007
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                        Dear Mr. Segovia,

                        Thank you for your comments.

                        >It´s quite clear that individuals and their power struggles
                        >are not new in egyptology, but the concept of "aggrandisers"


                        It is my believe that "Egyptology" and Egyptian archaeology dealing with the
                        pre- and proto-history of Egypt are hardly quite the same discipline
                        (although the first two "Dinasties" are correctly identified as the very end
                        of Naqada IIIC1-IIID).

                        As far as one can conclude from Prof. Castillos own words: "aggrandizers,
                        that is, individuals seeking to benefit from favourable circumstances to
                        create a power base for themselves and emerge like god-like rulers of a
                        larger community than the one to which they originally belonged", it pretty
                        much looks like the very same thing (i.e. power struggle of individuals),
                        and accordingly, can hardly be perceived as "new".

                        >the beginning of class stratification in predynastic
                        >Egypt I have never read it discussed in any egyptology book or paper so far

                        Here is an excerpt from my 2004 reference:

                        "We have no doubts that conflict was, if not a prime mover (cf. Griswold
                        1992b: 237), a prime method then of the state formation. Therefore, we agree
                        with Campagno (2002b: 21) that "in the beginning [and ever since] was war",
                        but we are prone to disagree over the reason, namely exotic prestige goods,
                        he suggested for the conflict. Exotic goods were, in our view, merely an
                        item in a long list of gains that went to the ultimate winner of the "grand
                        prize", because what the Egyptian elite were really fighting for was
                        absolute power. Needless to say, the final winner was the Divine King. A
                        number of authors (e.g. Patch 1991: 359-360; Geller 1992: 156-157; cf.
                        Griswold 1992b: 239; Siegemund 1999: 243-252) reject
                        competition/conflict/warfare as a motivating factor because they likewise
                        consider only a few isolated items of the winner's list. Indeed, the
                        conflict was hardly caused by shortage of land, approaching of the carrying
                        capacity, or scarce resources. The natural resources and energetic potential
                        were more than abundant in the Nile Valley. Nonetheless, the most manifest
                        aspect of the power competition was truly a fight over land, or better said,
                        fight over territory (and more territory) caused, as Needler stressed (1984:
                        31) by "the inherent tendency of absolute power to expand beyond its
                        borders". In essence, Bard and Carneiro (1989; cf. Bard 1992: 16) were
                        right with their circumscription model, except in omitting to reveal the
                        main and the most important reason for the competition - the true prime
                        mover - the will to power."

                        The other two of my references (I have mentioned in my previous mail) are
                        still in press, so no wonder that you have never read them. The similar is
                        valid for my PhD "The Evolution of Gerzean Culture: Internal and External
                        Factors" (submitted December 2002, defended June 2003, University of
                        Belgrade) that was, unfortunately, written in Serbian.

                        However, let me mention but a few, I believe that similar views are held in
                        the several papers of my friend and colleague Dr. Marcelo Campagno
                        (including his PhD, "From Kin-chiefs to God-kings. Emergence and
                        Consolidation of the State in Ancient Egypt: From Badarian to Early Dynastic
                        Period, ca. 4500-2700 B.C.", defended December 2001, University of Buenos
                        Aires), as well as in the works of Dr. Alejandro Jimenez-Serrano
                        (Universidad de Jean).

                        I have to add that I know, respect and appreciate Prof. Castillos work very
                        much. The point that you might have missed is rather related to Eliot
                        Braun's comment (September 3, 2007) "It seems that once every few years
                        someone discovers 'America' and the PAPERS PICK IT UP." [emphasis added]

                        With best regards,

                        Branislav Andelkovic
                        Editor, Journal of the Serbian Archaeological Society

                        ____________________________________________
                        Dr. Branislav Andelkovic
                        Asst. Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology
                        Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Archaeology
                        Cika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
                        E-mail: B.Andelkovic@...
                        Tel.+381 11 3206 235; Fax.+381 11 2639 356
                        ____________________________________________
                        The Belgrade Mummy: http://www.f.bg.ac.yu/bemum/
                      • Martín Segovia
                        ... individuals), ... Dear Dr. Andelkovic, Thank you for your detailed reply. From what you write I confirm the views I got from other readings, that all those
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 10, 2007
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                          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "B. Andelkovic" <B.Andelkovic@...>
                          wrote:
                          >



                          >it pretty
                          >much looks like the very same thing (i.e. power struggle of
                          individuals),
                          >and accordingly, can hardly be perceived as "new".



                          Dear Dr. Andelkovic,

                          Thank you for your detailed reply.

                          From what you write I confirm the views I
                          got from other readings, that all those
                          approaches you mention analyze the conflicts
                          to expand power among chieftains, but I
                          don´t see there the very beginning, how
                          those people ++started++ changing things
                          in their own communities to get the process
                          going, how and why and what allowed the
                          rise of these fellows over their kin
                          rupturing all traditions and old social
                          bonds, how they managed to do so and how
                          that can be appreciated in the archaeological
                          record in prehistoric Egypt, that is what
                          I see of new in this approach and not
                          repeating all over the discovery of
                          America.

                          And I understand that Bard later dissociated
                          herself from earlier views she shared with
                          Carneiro because the circumscription model
                          didn´t seem to apply to Egypt then with plenty
                          of fertile land for everybody.

                          Respectfully yours,

                          Martin Segovia
                        • richfaussette
                          ... static? Yes, resource competition increases selection pressure among neighboring groups. Adaptive traits survive the increase in selection pressure. They
                          Message 12 of 29 , Sep 10, 2007
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                            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Mikey Brass <michael.brass@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Jon Smyth wrote:
                            > > Is it not perceived that in order for a social group to evolve
                            > > interaction is required between different social groups?
                            > > That a group which remains isolated is more likely to remain
                            static?


                            Yes, resource competition increases selection pressure among
                            neighboring groups. Adaptive traits survive the increase in selection
                            pressure. They are "selected." That's evolution.

                            An isolated group would remain relatively "static" in technology that
                            promoted their survival in resource competition with other groups
                            after many generations of that technology not being "selected" simply
                            because there were no other groups around to bring the requisite
                            selection stresses to bear.


                            Paul Colinvaux, the ecologist, in Fates of Nations: A Biological
                            Theory of History posits this mechanism for technological advances.

                            rich faussette
                          • Martín Segovia
                            ... Well, you don´t know if what you find in one region of the world can be applied to another until you try and see how well it explains the problem at
                            Message 13 of 29 , Sep 11, 2007
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                              --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Mikey Brass <michael.brass@...> wrote:
                              >

                              >Getting *ideas* from reading a a broad range of ethnography is not
                              >something I disagree with, of course. However, successfully
                              >*applying*
                              >ethnographic concepts is a different animal.



                              Well, you don´t know if what you find in one
                              region of the world can be "applied" to another
                              until you try and see how well it explains the
                              problem at hand there or not, but a priori
                              rejecting that it can be applied or expressing
                              a distrust to such approaches is closing one´s
                              mind to possibilities that can be good answers
                              to problems such as the birth and growth of
                              complexity in a given place and time.

                              That some of them have been found wanting
                              or incorrect is part of the natural order of
                              things in science, in many cases you don´t
                              know until you try it.

                              Martin Segovia
                            • Martín Segovia
                              Dear Dr. Andelkovic, ... Griswold ... the grand ... was ... External ... Thank you for the information. All this is fine for the disputes among chiefs
                              Message 14 of 29 , Sep 11, 2007
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                                Dear Dr. Andelkovic,

                                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "B. Andelkovic" <B.Andelkovic@...>
                                wrote:
                                >

                                >"We have no doubts that conflict was, if not a prime mover (cf.
                                Griswold
                                >1992b: 237), a prime method then of the ++state formation++.
                                ==============
                                >Exotic goods were, in our view, merely an
                                >item in a long list of gains that went to the ++ultimate winner of
                                the "grand
                                >prize",++ because what the Egyptian elite were really fighting for
                                was
                                >absolute power.
                                ==============
                                >The similar is
                                >valid for my PhD "The Evolution of ++Gerzean Culture++: Internal and
                                External
                                >Factors"



                                Thank you for the information.

                                All this is fine for the disputes among
                                chiefs competing "for the grand prize",
                                as you remark, but as I said, others try
                                to go deeper into the very beginning of
                                it all and that seems to me to be rather
                                new.


                                >However, let me mention but a few, I believe that similar views are
                                held in
                                >the several papers of my friend and colleague Dr. Marcelo Campagno


                                I´ve read some of the papers and books
                                by this scholar but I haven´t found there
                                answers to this specific problem, except
                                for general comments of what may have
                                happened but nothing of how, who and why
                                and possible archaeological indicators
                                of the first steps.

                                So it seems we are talking of different
                                things and there seems to be little purpose
                                in going round in circles mentioning things
                                that are not really the same, even if they
                                are part of the same overall process.

                                All the best,

                                Martin Segovia
                              • richfaussette
                                ... I don´t see there the very beginning, how those people ++started++ changing things in their own communities to get the process going, how and why and what
                                Message 15 of 29 , Sep 11, 2007
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                                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Martín Segovia <martsego@...> wrote:
                                  I don´t see there the very beginning, how
                                  those people ++started++ changing things
                                  in their own communities to get the process
                                  going, how and why and what allowed the
                                  rise of these fellows over their kin
                                  rupturing all traditions and old social
                                  bonds, how they managed to do so and how
                                  that can be appreciated in the archaeological
                                  record in prehistoric Egypt, that is what
                                  I see of new in this approach and not
                                  repeating all over the discovery of
                                  America.

                                  martin,
                                  The hymn to man in the rg veda precisely records the substantive
                                  changes in hierarchalization and specialization that must be made to
                                  move from a pastoral/tribal existence to nation state.

                                  When they dismembered Man,
                                  Into how many parts did they separate him?
                                  What was his mouth, what his arms,
                                  What did they call his thighs and feet?
                                  The Brahmin was his mouth;
                                  The Rajanya (Princes) became his arms;
                                  His thighs produced the Vaisya (professionals and merchants);
                                  His feet gave birth to the Sudra (laborer).


                                  Man is dismembered when he moves from tribal to landed society. The
                                  dismemberment is specialization into priest/warrior classes, a
                                  transition that is theologically resisted in Genesis when Joseph
                                  arranges for his family to remain shepherds in Egypt and symbolized
                                  when Cain (the farmer) kills Abel (the shepherd).
                                  The overriding theology of the hebrew bible and the christian gospels
                                  says that a man of God has the "law written on his heart."
                                  It logically follows that a man with the law written on his heart has
                                  no need of a written law maintained by a priestly caste. He is
                                  not "of the nations." His social structure is tribal. he is of the
                                  order of melchizedek: priest AND warrior.

                                  The Persian diaspora is described by Bryant as the imposition of a
                                  socioethnic elite over landed states. In the story of Joseph in Egypt
                                  we have Joseph's family, a socioethnic elite serving as intermediary
                                  functionaries (controllers and the pharoah' s herdsmen), between the
                                  pharoah and the formerly free farmers of Egypt.

                                  It is also necessary for tribesmen, wishing to dominate landed
                                  states, to serve in a landed state, learn the structure and then
                                  return to their people and teach them how to master it and fulfill
                                  specialized functions as Moses did.

                                  rich faussette
                                • Mikey Brass
                                  ... There is a wealth of literature on the inherent dangers of uncritically applying ethnography. There have been too many inaccurate instances of applying
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Sep 11, 2007
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                                    Martín Segovia wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Mikey Brass <michael.brass@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> Getting *ideas* from reading a a broad range of ethnography is not
                                    >> something I disagree with, of course. However, successfully
                                    >> *applying*
                                    >> ethnographic concepts is a different animal.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Well, you don´t know if what you find in one
                                    > region of the world can be "applied" to another
                                    > until you try and see how well it explains the
                                    > problem at hand there or not, but a priori
                                    > rejecting that it can be applied or expressing
                                    > a distrust to such approaches is closing one´s
                                    > mind to possibilities that can be good answers
                                    > to problems such as the birth and growth of
                                    > complexity in a given place and time.

                                    There is a wealth of literature on the inherent dangers of uncritically
                                    applying ethnography. There have been too many inaccurate instances of
                                    applying non-African ethnography to African contexts for me to be
                                    anything but cautious. I trust you noticed that what I stated in my
                                    messages differs from your above summary of them.


                                    --
                                    Best, Mikey Brass
                                    MA in Archaeology degree, University College London
                                    "The Antiquity of Man" http://www.antiquityofman.com
                                    Book: "The Antiquity of Man: Artifactual, fossil and gene records explored"

                                    - !ke e: /xarra //ke
                                    ("Diverse people unite": Motto of the South African Coat of Arms, 2002)
                                  • Samuel Lerner
                                    ... to ... Your approach seems quite different to others here, should we strive to understand these things through theology or legends? best regards, ....
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Sep 11, 2007
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                                      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "richfaussette" <RFaussette@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > The hymn to man in the rg veda precisely records the substantive
                                      > changes in hierarchalization and specialization that must be made
                                      to
                                      > move from a pastoral/tribal existence to nation state.
                                      >
                                      > When they dismembered Man,
                                      > Into how many parts did they separate him?
                                      > What was his mouth, what his arms,
                                      > What did they call his thighs and feet?
                                      > The Brahmin was his mouth;
                                      > The Rajanya (Princes) became his arms;
                                      > His thighs produced the Vaisya (professionals and merchants);
                                      > His feet gave birth to the Sudra (laborer).
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Man is dismembered when he moves from tribal to landed society. The
                                      > dismemberment is specialization into priest/warrior classes, a
                                      > transition that is theologically resisted in Genesis when Joseph
                                      > arranges for his family to remain shepherds in Egypt and symbolized
                                      > when Cain (the farmer) kills Abel (the shepherd).
                                      >



                                      Your approach seems quite different to others here, should we strive
                                      to understand these things through theology or legends?

                                      best regards,

                                      .... Samuel Lerner
                                    • richfaussette
                                      ... The ... symbolized ... Samuel, My approach is based on the evolution of social systems and the comparative psychology of religion. What I did in the
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Sep 12, 2007
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                                        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Samuel Lerner" <samulern@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "richfaussette" <RFaussette@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > The hymn to man in the rg veda precisely records the substantive
                                        > > changes in hierarchalization and specialization that must be made
                                        > to
                                        > > move from a pastoral/tribal existence to nation state.
                                        > >
                                        > > When they dismembered Man,
                                        > > Into how many parts did they separate him?
                                        > > What was his mouth, what his arms,
                                        > > What did they call his thighs and feet?
                                        > > The Brahmin was his mouth;
                                        > > The Rajanya (Princes) became his arms;
                                        > > His thighs produced the Vaisya (professionals and merchants);
                                        > > His feet gave birth to the Sudra (laborer).
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Man is dismembered when he moves from tribal to landed society.
                                        The
                                        > > dismemberment is specialization into priest/warrior classes, a
                                        > > transition that is theologically resisted in Genesis when Joseph
                                        > > arranges for his family to remain shepherds in Egypt and
                                        symbolized
                                        > > when Cain (the farmer) kills Abel (the shepherd).
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Your approach seems quite different to others here, should we strive
                                        > to understand these things through theology or legends?
                                        >
                                        > best regards,
                                        >
                                        > .... Samuel Lerner


                                        Samuel,
                                        My approach is based on the evolution of social systems and the
                                        comparative psychology of religion. What I did in the previous post
                                        was show how the theology conforms to the structure of the social
                                        system under discussion.
                                        I am not a scholar. I do not presume to know what the scholars on
                                        this list know. I have simply looked at the evolution of religion
                                        from a Darwinian perspective rather than fight the common fight,
                                        religion versus science and the result after a quarter century of
                                        effort has been productive for me.
                                        Do you disagree with anything I've written? Please object and I will
                                        clarify.


                                        rich faussette
                                      • Samuel Lerner
                                        ... Thanks, this is all I wanted to know. Shana tova. .... Samuel Lerner
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Sep 12, 2007
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                                          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "richfaussette" <RFaussette@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I am not a scholar. I do not presume to know what the scholars on
                                          > this list know. I have simply looked at the evolution of religion
                                          > from a Darwinian perspective rather than fight the common fight,
                                          > religion versus science and the result after a quarter century of
                                          > effort has been productive for me.


                                          Thanks, this is all I wanted to know.

                                          Shana tova.

                                          .... Samuel Lerner
                                        • richfaussette
                                          ... There is a bit more - perhaps others would be interested. The following lines appear in wikipedia (we ll use it as a resource for the purposes of
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Sep 17, 2007
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                                            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Samuel Lerner" <samulern@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "richfaussette" <RFaussette@> wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > I am not a scholar. I do not presume to know what the scholars on
                                            > > this list know. I have simply looked at the evolution of religion
                                            > > from a Darwinian perspective rather than fight the common fight,
                                            > > religion versus science and the result after a quarter century of
                                            > > effort has been productive for me.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Thanks, this is all I wanted to know.
                                            >
                                            > Shana tova.
                                            >
                                            > .... Samuel Lerner
                                            >



                                            There is a bit more - perhaps others would be interested. The
                                            following lines appear in wikipedia (we'll use it as a resource for
                                            the purposes of illustration).

                                            "Nonetheless, "the precarious condition in which they lived for a
                                            considerable period made it impracticable for them to keep up their
                                            former proselytizing zeal. The instinctive fear of disintegration and
                                            absorption in the vast multitudes among whom they lived created in
                                            them a spirit of exclusiveness and a strong feeling for the
                                            preservation of the racial characteristics and distinctive features
                                            of their community. Living in an atmosphere surcharged with the Hindu
                                            caste system, they felt that their own safety lay in encircling
                                            their fold by rigid caste barriers" (Dhalla, 1938:474). Even so, at
                                            some point (perhaps not long after their arrival in India), the
                                            Zoroastrians - perhaps determining that the social stratification
                                            that they had brought with them was unsustainable in the small
                                            community - did away with all but the hereditary priesthood (called
                                            the asronih in Sassanid Iran). The remaining estates - the
                                            (r)atheshtarih (nobility, soldiers, and civil servants), vastaryoshih
                                            (farmers and herdsmen), hutokshih (artisans and laborers) - were
                                            folded into an all-comprehensive class today known as the behdini
                                            ("followers of daena", for which "good religion" is one translation).
                                            This change would have far reaching consequences. For one, it opened
                                            the gene pool to some extent since until that time inter-class
                                            marriages were exceedingly rare (this would continue to be a
                                            problem for the priesthood until the 20th century). For another, it
                                            did away with the boundaries along occupational lines, a factor that
                                            would enamour the Parsis to the 18th and 19th century British
                                            colonial authorities who had little patience for the unpredictable
                                            complications of the Hindu caste system (such as a clerk from one
                                            caste who would not deal with a clerk from another)."



                                            Now recall Pierre Bryant's description of the Persian diaspora as a
                                            socioethnic elite (From Cyrus to Alexander) as you consider the
                                            conscious decision by the Parsis above to shed priest/warrior
                                            stratification to live in diaspora in India. Now further consider the
                                            conquest of Canaan in the Hebrew bible as a nation building exercise
                                            in which just the opposite occurs. Rather than being shed, the
                                            stratification is created (priesthood and military organized by
                                            Moses). So, the split into priest/warrior classes is described in the
                                            bible, but where do we see the same priestly/pastoral diaspora social
                                            structure described for the Parsis in the Hebrew bible?

                                            We find it in Genesis.

                                            My essay on this matter will be published this fall in the Occidental
                                            Quarterly. It is titled THE BOOK OF GENESIS FROM A DARWINIAN
                                            PERSPECTIVE.

                                            The Hebrew bible contains a formula for nation building and another
                                            formula (allegorized in the book of genesis) for living in diaspora.

                                            rich faussette
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