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Re: RES: [ANE-2] Re: New Theory on the Evolution of Egypt

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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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